Monday, July 04, 2016

Does Anyone Here Know How to Play This Game?

A couple of weeks ago, Brazil -- a giant, swampy, third-world slum masquerading as a real country -- had a ceremony to celebrate its hosting of the Summer Olympics this year. During the ceremony, a jaguar -- which had been rescued as a cub and brought up at the zoo where the ceremony was being held -- was shot dead after it got loose from its handler and attacked a soldier.

Considering that Brazil is also the country that, just two years ago while hosting the World Cup, transported materials up the Amazon for the sole purpose of building a full-size stadium just for the World Cup, that sounds about right. I assume their national anthem is played on a sad trombone.

This is the future of Olympic games in particular, if not world sporting events in general. Real countries are no longer interested in the enormous expense required to host the events; the "prestige" conferred by hosting is just not worth it for American and European municipalities and states that are already cash-strapped.

So it falls to third-world despotisms, whose (by definition) levels of corruption assure that the proper people get paid. It's glorified money-laundering, enabled by equally corrupt "sports" organizations such as the IOC and FIFA. It's not just one hand washing the other, it's many hands in a sleazy daisy chain, passing thick envelopes as fast as the eye can comprehend. At no point anymore should any observer suppose that a genuine world power would bother with this nonsense.

Built into this paradigm is that there is a sort of Peter Principle ceiling of competence, as far as which world cities are even willing to throw into the selection process -- primarily on the fear that they might actually be chosen to host. Leave it to the Zika-stans of the world.

But of course we are witnessing the political version of this very phenomenon in the interminable American presidential campaign. Drumpf's shitshow has been from day one an almost literal iteration of The Producers, a flop by design, while HFC's ham-fisted effort makes one wonder equally whether she actually wants to win. One can easily believe that Bill Clinton had no untoward discussion -- or even an ulterior motive -- on Loretta Lynch's private plane, and still acknowledge that it's about the dumbest fucking thing imaginable for him to do.

In the end, chances are that we will collectively choose Bullshit over Batshit, not that it will make much difference in the practical sense. If the Drumpf (bowel) movement is not stomped into the ground like it sorely deserves, HFC will be damaged goods right from the get-go. The SCOTUS picks will have to be compromised, just to get them into the Senate for review, as will any serious legislative or policy proposals.

(Don't worry, I'm not Bernie-or-busting here; that ship has sailed. The choice we have is HFC or Drumpf, and the differences between the two should be obvious.)

Two hundred and forty years into this noble experiment, where we have come to understand that the system is not really broken, but is rather fixed, in the worst possible way, there is a perverted sort of logic that we would be reduced to two candidates who both appear to be making every sincere effort to lose. And why shouldn't they? In the latter days of the republic, with the fix inexorably in, there is only so much anyone can do, no matter how sincere they might suppose themselves to be. Ask Preznit Hopey-Changey about that one.

Happy Independence Day!

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