OK, so it's Olympics time. I'm fascinated by the Olympics. Partly because I like the "thrill of victory" crap, and partly because I enjoy watching sports that I won't watch again for another four years.
That's the fascinating part about the Olympics - the four-year time span. If there wasn't another movie sequel for four years, you'd say, "Gee, whatever happened to that Spiderman thing?" But sports like archery and volleyball go four years without any updates and you glom on like it was yesterday the last time you saw them.
Does anybody give a crap about gymnastics or swimming except on four-year cycles? No, and that's why the Olympics are fascinating to me. Michael Phelps will win a dozen or so medals, his gross income will increase by millions of dollars and the last time we saw him seriously pursuing his sport was 2008. That's a long time for society to maintain interest in something. We lose track of television shows during the summer rerun season, so it's amazing that we still care about Michael Phelps.
It's probably those Subway commercials and the occasional article about his (alleged) pot smoking and the women he (allegedly) carouses with that keep us interested. He's back in the national spotlight because he has won a few more medals, so I guess we'll have him around for at least two more years until some winter Olympian grabs the spotlight - if such a thing is possible.
Now, it's this Gabby Douglas. We'll be inundated with Gabby Douglas ads and magazine articles. That's nice, but eight days ago we could have run Gabby Douglas over with our car and we'd say, "I ran some kid over in my car. I feel horrible." Now, we'd be a national disgrace. There's a slim margin between making a minor mistake and being a national enemy.
So, prepare yourself for Gabby-this and Gabby-that. It's not enough that she has won some medals, she has to have a name like Gabby to make it even easier for Madison Avenue types to twist her into a media sweetheart. Sometimes, the advertising is self-inflicted.
And I have no idea why there is a photo of Thor on my ironing board at the top of this essay. Perhaps I think it would be nice if Thor could dive in a straight line, fire an arrow 70 yards into a target, swim really fast or balance on a beam. He's just a cat.