Berth of a Nation

This Winter Olympics has by far been the most compelling, and the most disturbing TV viewing event since Real World Denver when that one chick lost her shit and wrecked the entire MTV loft.

I mean, just consider some of the things that have happened thus far:

  • Apollo Ohno, whose name sounds like a NASA flight tower panic scream, who races against men with lady butts
  • Lindsay Vonn, who prepares for each race by visualizing the course–eyes shut, hands waving/floating weirdly in front of her. Her mimery reminds me of Yoda using the Force to raise Luke’s X-Wing from the swamp
  • That uber-weird American brother-sister skating couple. Siblings should never, ever, be this close. They won points on style and choreography, but from what I can tell, lost about 7pts for incest. Amazingly, Donnie and Marie Osmond aren’t participating in ice-skating–I would’ve thought that Donnie would love any chance to slide into Marie.

But by far, the oddest thing to come out of this Winter Olympics–I mean odder than an entire world being hosted by Canadians–has got to be the Russian folk dance performance.

For Russian skaters Boris and Natasha Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, where others turned towards more traditional/sensible themes: flamenco, Indian or something ‘crazy’ like from their own country, these two ice-skating Bond villains dropped a Molotov on everyone by doing a skating routine where they dressed as Australian Aborigines.

Admittedly, viewers are in a tough position: I mean I find all the skating dance performances and costumes to be various forms of atrocities.

But this? This was certainly unique.

I mean while the intention was certainly to go for the Aboriginal-look, the effect seemed something more akin to, I don’t know, Ferngully on Ice. On some level, I knew that I should’ve been offended, but it’s really hard to when it’s 1) ice skating–something I don’t find entertaining unless they’re dressed as He-Man, or Disney’s Aladdin and 2) they looked more like two people wearing body-sized flesh-toned Band-Aids more than any Aborigines that I’ve ever seen. Are there mulatto Aborigines? Mulatta-rigines sounds like the entree of the night at a tacky trattoria.

Though it was also hard to miss the fact that several Aborigines voiced their displeasure by shooting poison darts at the Russkies from the stands.

But again, not surprising. They’re Russians! They’re “in” to dark-skinned people is probably limited to bootleg copies of Trapped in the Closet.

Besides, this Olympics has been all about the color-swapping!

Black Germans skating! Read that again: a black german on ice. He was so ashamed he even did it in white-face, though he ended up looking like one of The Joker’s henchmen.

"Have you ever skated with the devil under the pale moonlight?"

Asian-Black girls skating!

And I swear that I counted at least 4 asian chick-defectors skating for other countries instead of their native country.

What was also interesting was watching the aftermath of the performance. The interview with the Russian duo was brief and confusing, just look:

Bob Costas (his boyish wig slightly askew): Well, Oksana and Maxim, that was some performance you just put on for everyone. Tell me; what were you thinking exactly?

Oksana: We were thinking of winning prized medallion for glorious standing of Mother Russia.

Costas: I see. Did you ever consider the idea that some might find your choice of performance ‘offensive’?

Maxim (leaning forward and grabbing mic from Costas): It was plan all along, Amerikan. Russia is always on offensive!

Oksana (nodding feverishly): Yes, we, as Amerikans say, “we play for kids”!

Costas: I think you mean “keeps”.

Maxim (shaking head and scattering tribal makeup everywhere): No, we play for kids. Like R. Kelly.

Oksana: Like Mikael Jakkson.

Maxim: Like Roman Polanski.

Oksana: Like American Apparel ads.

Maxim: Give us your Miley Cyrus! Give us your Swift Taylors! We will even take black ones.

This interview abruptly ended with Maxim running–in skates–and grabbing Scott Hamilton.

NBC later interviewed an Aborigine who offered “no comment”, but that was probably because it was Shani Davis.


1 Comment

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One response to “Berth of a Nation

  1. Anna Shurak

    I am glad you have written this commentary. I also have been quite disturbed by the skating scene this year. I am not sure if my elevated concern is due to viewing “Blades of Glory” and hence can no longer take any skating event seriously, or it is just that creepy….alas…maybe attending a figure skating dinner party tonight for the long program will shed light on my ponderings….

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