With a graceful twist
And a hop into the air
We all win world peace.
It's 08-08-08! Today is a day filled with luck and athleticism, as the Olympics have officially kicked off on the other side of the world. I'm a fan of the Olympics for two reasons:
1) The Olympics offer my a chance to watch sporting events that don't usually enter the U.S. television airwaves. The pentathlon, Judo, fencing, table tennis and trampoline are all events that I'm going to watch just because I can. They're there. Isn't that enough of a reason to get excited?
2) People tend to give the Olympics weird super powers. The Olympics can turn average amateur athletes into heroes. It can bring peace to warring nations. It can remind us that Communists and Capitalists can coexist (although neither party is going to get much sleep for these next two weeks.) Sure, this is a time for watching the best of the best compete against each other in a number of different events. But it's also a time for hyperbole. That's the true draw of these games. If I'm wrong, then I will steal the gold medal from the men's Taekwondo winner and eat it.
Anywho, the opening ceremony has taken place, and now we must all strap ourselves in for sixteen days of unbridled excitement. As the kids say, "Huzzah!"
In other news, the BNW's After Party returns tonight (Friday!) at 10 pm. It'll feature some new videos, some sketches, a new song and some improvisation. Shazow! You should be there!
I should be off. My USA headband needs a little more puffy paint before I settle in for my Olympic-watching. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
China opens Olympics with pageantry, pyrotechnics
Once-reclusive China commandeered the world stage Friday, celebrating its first-time role as Olympic host with a stunning display of pageantry and pyrotechnics to open a Summer Games unrivaled for its mix of problems and promise.
Now ascendant as a global power, China welcomed scores of world leaders to an opening ceremony watched by 91,000 people at the eye-catching National Stadium and a potential audience of 4 billion worldwide. It was depicted as the largest, costliest extravaganza in Olympic history, bookended by barrages of some 30,000 fireworks.
To the beat of sparkling explosions, the crowd counted down the final seconds before the show began. A sea of drummers — 2,008 in all — pounded out rhythms with their hands, then acrobats on wires drifted down into the stadium as rockets shot up into the night sky from its rim.
Three hours later, the parade of athletes concluded with the entry of the 639-strong Chinese team, led by flag-bearer and basketball idol Yao Ming alongside a 9-year-old schoolboy who survived May's devastating earthquake in Sichuan province. The welcome — by a frenzied, chanting, flag-waving crowd that sought to cool itself with paper fans in the stifling heat — was thunderous. And moments later, the crowd erupted again when President Hu Jintao declared the games formally open.
Any people in the audience that were not cheering and applauding for the spectacle were executed immediately.