A Disappointing Gabfest

gabfest logoI often tout the great Slate.com’s Political Gabfest as one of my favorite podcasts. I usually love the interesting legal insight of Emily Bazelon, the timely and often historically-based (and poll-based) comments from John Dickerson and the quick wit of David Plotz. However, this week was a sad exception. John is exempt from my criticism because he was absent. His stand in, Josh Levin seemed as perplexed as me, so he’s also excused.

Emily and David spent a considerable amount of time lamenting the Olympics – using words like “boring” and “tedious”. As they wondered aloud why someone hadn’t come up with a better way to move through water than the butterfly or backstroke, I was thinking, “idiots.” As they went on and on about “who cares if the gymnasts are too young? The older gymnasts better come up with a new program!” I knew that had not seen the heart-warming story of the 33-year old German gymnast. I knew they didn’t know that Micheal Phelps has double-jointed knees, which helps him achieve that perfect butterfly – a ridiculously difficult feat of coordination and timing – but it’s really his life-long dedication that’s made him the most-medal winning Olympian of all time.

They seem to be missing the point. The Olympic spirit, if you will. It’s not about sitting through each heat – unless that’s your thing. It’s not even about these awesome photo finishes – like when Phelps won the gold or Torres won the silver (which both made me cry!), it’s about appreciating the life long dedication and awesome athletic skill of these Olympians. The fact that they represent our country to the world, when we could really use the good press and the good will! The fact that they work their asses off not just for their own glory but also for ours.

I totally hated David and Emily’s lame, small-minded, decidedly un-athletic commentary on the Olympics. I’ll be glad when they get back to talking about politics.

tv update (sytycd spoiler alert)

Of course I’m glued to the Olympics, but I’ve started Tivo-ing them because NBC is going CRAZY with commercial breaks. I think I’m just so used to the Tivo that I have no patience for commercials. Especially after each and every 5 minutes of Olympic coverage. I’m sure I’m missing really good Hallmark-esque

I heart swimmers!
I heart swimmers!

Olympic moments. I did catch the Johnson & Johnson commercial where Cullen Jones thanks his mom. I love that one. Of course, it made me cry.

I have to point out my favorite Olympic moments. I loved the giant printing press and the tai chi masters in the opening ceremony. The whole thing really appealed to my band-geek side – awesome formations, keeping those circles while doing all those crazy tai chi moves?! Awesome!

And of course, the men’s swimming relays have been so exciting. And the womens! Really, it’s all exciting. Although, I don’t seem to love gymnastics as much as I used to. I think I get a little caught up in the toll it’s taking on these girls – especially the Chinese ones (who are absolutely NOT 16). I do love that 33 year-old German lady though. I hope she wins a gold.

How about our President and family being the US’ biggest fan? On one hand, the “most spirited” in me is happy to see such high level support. I’m sure it means a great deal to the athletes, who definitely deserve the support. But the concerned citizen in me can’t help but think, “he sure has a lot of time on his hands!” I mean, telling Putin that Russia is using excessive force on the sovereign nation of Georgia and that he is against the bombing outside of South Ossetia is all well and good. Even asking for an Olympic cease-fire seems reasonable. Coming from anyone but George W. Bush. Who has been bombing the sovereign nation of Iraq for years now, who has called no such Olympic cease fire, who has no boundaries when it comes to acting on the offensive – even when there’s no defense.

Okay, enough with the soapbox.

Now, back to my normal viewing habits. I don’t want to post a spoiler, but can you believe last week’s Mad Men??? So THAT’s what happened to Peggy’s baby! That show is so good.

And Joshua winning SYTYCD – very cool. If it couldn’t be Katie, then I’m glad it was Joshua. He sure earned his money on that show – power lifting every girl a hundred times in every routine. I just loved him the whole season.

I’m totally enjoying the High School Musical reality show – get in the picture? get in the game? Whatever, it’s great. I can hardly stand how the kids say “like” every other word, but they sure can sing.