Today marks the end of the first month of Bankingcommish. One month down, almost five to go. For those of you coming to these pages a little late, let me clarify…
I’ve been challenged to write one blog post of 400 words per day or more, starting from July 1st up until The Falls Festival begins in Marion Bay, Tasmania, on December 29th. A number of people have pledged funds for this cause, with payment due on the 29th of December (if I am able to write my one post per day until then). Currently I stand to collect $1070 in cash.
I AM NOT WRITING THIS FOR THE SAKE OF IT. That would be stupid. I’m writing it for money.
You’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realise that the Olympics are in full swing at the moment; it’s on every TV, smattered indiscriminately across every newspaper and is choking up my Twitter feed like Chris Benoit on a weight machine…
I think this is the first Olympics that I’ve really noticed how saturated that the news references to social media have become… every second story seems to be about someone interacting with an athlete via Twitter or someone writing something inappropriate that causes someone else to take offense. There was the case of English diver Tom Daley, who was tormented for letting down his deceased father after finishing fourth in the ten metre synchronised diving event on Monday after stating that he was, “Hoping to win a medal for Dad”. A 17 year-old has since been arrested in Weymouth in the Southwest of the UK regarding the comments. (What do they actually charge him with anyway? Poor taste?)
The most prevalent of the Australian Twitter hate was directed towards James Magnussen and the rest of the Australian 4 x 100m men’s relay team when they finished an unfathomable fourth several days ago after going into the event red-hot favourites. People were very quick to take to Twitter and rip on Magnussen specifically, who made the somewhat unwise decision to claim, “Brace yourself” in March of this year regarding the Olympics, and also appeared in numerous ads for sponsor Coles in the lead-up to this years’ games. Australia loves cutting down a tall poppy. Give us a reason, any reason…
It’s not just a one-way street, either; 20 year-old Emily Seebohm went as far as to say that her obsession with Twitter and Facebook may have cost her the gold medal in the 100m backstroke event (she won silver) due to her staying up late Tweeting and Facebooking (a small part of me died when I used those verbs). She was still crying about her loss in a press conference twelve hours later. The race obviously meant a lot to her, but obviously not as much as receiving a tweet like, “h3y gur1, h0p3 y0u hav a gud rac3! I kn0 u wil beat da world record! Y0u g0 4 g0ld bab3z!!! xox” from one of her fans. Why else would she deprive herself of sleep on the eve of the biggest race of her life? It doesn’t make sense.
To the athletes getting upset about some of the derogatory comments being made on Twitter & Facebook, I’ve got a simple solution. Sign out, delete your profile and forget about it. You’re at the Olympics. You’re at the FUCKING OLYMPICS! You’ve obviously busted your ass for years and years to get into the position to represent your country at the highest level, does it really matter if some absolute Gumby fuck that you’ve never met and never will meet doesn’t like you or says something mean about you on Twitter? Conversely, do you need the digital affection (not that kind) of strangers to assist your performance? Are the cheers of the crowd not sufficient?
To the media; stop writing stories about comments made on Twitter or Facebook. They’re unjustified, unscrupulous, uninteresting and unauthorised. Your fascination with reporting them causes far more harm than good. Tweets turn the news into a soap opera and you’re making society dumber by giving them credence.
To the Australian public; our athletes don’t go into these events hoping to lose. They train specifically to win. To criticize or pour hatred on an individual or a team simply because they haven’t lived up to your own expectations is patently ridiculous. Get a grip.
I hope Magnussen smokes the fuck out of them in the 100m freestyle.