In the last month or so, I've been working with The Complete First Season guys on new material for our website - it's been redesigned so that it will be continually updated with new material.
One element of this will be The Complete First Blogs on which each of us will be posting something new nearly every day. I'll be contributing a new piece of writing every Monday. I'll also be republishing an excerpt of that new blog posting here several days afterwards, but it will always be published in full every Monday on The Complete First Blog.
The site is yet to go live, but when I do, I shall notify. You.
Since it's not live yet and I can't link it as such, I offer you my contribution for this week.
I have barely watched any of the Winter Olympics from Vancouver. Come to think of it, I barely watch any sport generally, let alone the Olympics. I get enough Olympic action from the Michael Buble-smooth-croon-soaked ads Foxtel plays ad nauseum. So I've been basically oblivious. I’ve heard rumblings in the news of homophobia in Nine’s commentary which was kinda resolved and yet not. I heard we won a gold for snowboarding. Um, yeah. Cool.
But apart from that I’ve barely watched anything. Until Saturday night that is. Saturday night – the night when AC/DC was on in Brisbane, the Mardi Gras was on in Sydney and the immense distance between the audiences wasn’t exclusively geographical – I finally found myself watching Nine’s coverage of VANCOUVER GOLD.
‘Vancouver Gold’. Sounds like a midday movie title. A single father doctor from Washington state moves north of the border after the death of his wife, and finds a new love and life ra ra ra ra and the greatest fortune of all is love. Or family. Or… I don’t know. I have Foxtel so I don’t have to watch that crap during the day.
Clearly Nine has to share the Australian broadcasting rights with Foxtel so on Saturday night, all they were screening was a highlights package of each of the recent events. Somehow I found myself crashed on a couch taking it all in. They showed the jumping, they showed the bobsledding on the dangerous track in which five or so teams in a row crashed. The Germans handled turn no. 12 with the precision and efficiency you’d expect from the Germans. Before the Canadians beat them. And the Americans beat the Canadians. But I'm sure the Germans beat the Americans at something else, thus the bizarre game of Olympic rock-paper-scissors continued. The Slovenians never stood a chance.
Then they showed the speed skating.
Tatiana Someone was a name I heard mentioned but didn’t particularly pay attention to - as indicated by my lack of ability to remember her name. Look, in my experience, any Australian Olympian named Tatiana is Australia’s darling. She’s blonde. She's young. She has a European name. There’ll be a Muesli Bar ad contract waiting for you when you get home, sweetheart.
Anyway, the highlight package sped along until Tatiana appeared… in the strangest design of a Lycra speed skating suit I have ever seen. … admittedly, I hadn’t seen many prior to that night, but that doesn’t make me a liar. Whereas the other countries were plain silver or red or blue, the Aussie one had this odd skeletal/muscular pattern.
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images - linked from here.
It reminded me of Nigel Tufnel’s green skeleton shirt.
Maybe it was a psychological tactic to make them think they were lighter than they were, but my first reaction was ‘hmmm... it has been some years since I watched Tron.’ Tatiana Muesli-Bar-Contract didn’t make it through to the medals but at the point when she knew she wasn’t going to make it, I kinda wanted to see her pull out an identity disc and dispatch some users...
... they are called speedskatingsuits, right? SSS?
Right! But then.
I thought how weird it was seeing shot after shot of all of these athletes in skintight, bodyhugging suits designed to be aerodynamic, in gloves, helments and reflective sunglasses, when out in the middle of the track are three Olympic officials in suits, ties and ice skates.
Just casually gliding about. Businessman on ice skates. Brilliant.
They were making the wearing of ice skates seem totally normal. Normal looking men from the ankle up, but then…
I would love to see someone, anyone – a high powered businessperson, a judge, a lowly office temp - wear ice skates to work on Casual Friday. I can’t see why it wouldn’t fit the criteria. It’s closed footwear, so it’s safe. Well, safe for the wearer’s feet anyway.
So, I’m going back into hibernation while the Olympics are on. Poke me awake with a stick when Curb Your Enthusiasm comes back.
In other news, on this day in 1975, colour television started broadcasting in Australia. Also, on this day in 1989, someone somewhere was probably watching this classic scene from Tron on VHS.