Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ugly Americans

Soon as the story first broke that Ryan Lochte and his swim teammates had been robbed at gunpoint in Rio, you knew something had to be up. After all, Lochte was able to cultivate a career as an affable doofus because he really is, by all objective accounts, an affable doofus. So it makes sense that he would almost cause an international incident by lying about a little post-party vandalism.

None of this obviates the fact that Rio is, again by all objective accounts, an overpopulated, crime-ridden dump where the wealthy live behind security systems and high gates, and the poor live clustered on hillsides in corrugated tin sheds. Lochte's story was believed precisely because it was so believable.

Between the 2014 World Cup and now the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil has made an attempt to draw "prestige" events that show it as a player on the world stage, rather than a over-large banana republic. Problem is, in dealing with FIFA and the (notorious) IOC, two of the most corrupt and useless "world" organizations outside of the UN, Brazil has merely managed to cement that reputation of those organizations and or itself as a country.

Lochte's indignation at being shaken down in the street for a fine by Brazilian street cops just shows what a dope he is. If he had pulled this shit in, say, New York City, and the cops didn't recognize him, he'd have spent at least a few hours in a holding cell in Rikers, one of the more terrifying places in this country. Lochte (and his presumably virgin asshole) should be thanking those cops for sparing him from a Rio holding cell.

Not that any of it matters; while the gossip rags and moral wags are scolding him for his bad behavior and poor international diplomacy, Lochte has gone back to his regular life -- swimming for a living, cashing fat checks, and banging hot chicks. What a country! We should all be so lucky.

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