Friday, August 19, 2016

Let's get ugly

Ashton Eaton won the decathlon again last night, so that was good. Tied the Olympic record. Became only the third man in history to win back-to-back Olympic decathlons. Even took time out from his busy day to congratulate American teammate Kerron Clement, who won the 400 for Uncle Sam.

Only thing he didn't do was something illegal/embarrassing/egregiously stupid.

That means we still have a fighting chance to get out of Rio without a complete outbreak of Ugly Americanism, which is seeing a fine resurgence these days thanks to a certain presidential candidate and the racist/xenophobic/just-plain-jerkwater nitwits who adore him.  That it's spread to Rio is largely due to the herculean efforts of sociopathic soccer goalie Hope Solo and platinum-haired goofball Ryan Lochte, who've given the world a preview of what America will look like if the Game Show Host wins and (one assumes) ushers in the end times.

Which is to say: Self-indulgent, grotesquely entitled and convinced that if you're not American, you're crap.

Solo gave us a splendid example of the latter when she lashed out at the Sweden team that upset the U.S. in the Olympic quarterfinals, calling them "cowards" because the Swedes executed a successful game plan and the Americans did not. Extra points for not owning her own role in the loss; Solo gave a several weak goals in the tournament and was not, for perhaps the first time, the team's best asset.

All she was was a jerk. An Ugly American of the first water.

And speaking of water, let's talk about swimming star Lochte, our very own homegrown idiot. First he invents some cockamamie story about being robbed at gunpoint (in which he's the hero, of course, bravely refusing to get on the ground even though someone was supposedly pointing a gun in his face). Then, as the story quickly unravels, he heroically flees to the United States, leaving the three young swimmers he led astray that fateful night to take the fall.

Turns out the four of them, likely drunk as lords, vandalized a gas station bathroom when they found its door locked (How dare they lock us out? We're Americans!). Then a security guard showed up, weapon drawn. Then, like the entitled little punks they were, they basically threw money at the guy to cover the damage and skedaddled.

Given the relatively trivial nature of the whole business, why they didn't just come clean and tell the truth about what happened is a question best left to those with half a brain. That they figured the fake-cop-robbed-us-at-gunpoint story would fly, however, is a nifty little window into what they really thought of their hosts. Of course people will believe it! I mean, it's Rio! Everyone knows they're all criminals here, looking to victimize clean-cut American lads like ourselves!

Or, you know, something along those lines.

Of course, the IOC, desperate to avoid yet another scandal, soft-shoed the whole thing,
essentially saying it was just a case of boys being boys. This despite the fact that, at 32, the ringleader (Lochte) was clearly no boy.

Although he does play one on TV, apparently. Among other roles.

Ugly American being one.

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