I have taken a break from my studies to share a couple of things: 1) The Antarctic Mystique blog is still in progress. Keep in mind that it’s a blog about an entire continent–a rather inaccessible, morbid and glacier-slammed continent at that.
What should you expect? The same balls-to-the-wall, ends-of-the-earth drama as my Artikos series. Which takes time.
Right now I would say I’m in the middle stages–conducting interviews and gathering data. I’m processing the data and collecting waivers to shield me from any possible litigation. I’m photo-shopping pictures. I’m also doing some other stuff.
Other things I’m doing: corroborating inflammatory claims. Claims like: “There is no ‘pole’ at the South Pole.” and: “Ernest Shackleton was a much nicer guy than Robert Falcon Scott, as evidenced in the layout of his Antarctic headquarters in an egalitarian fashion as opposed to Scott’s more hierarchical design.”
I’m asking hard-hitting questions: “Is it true that the Americans have not scored a single point against the Kiwis in the 25-year-old annual Antarctic rugby game?” “Is the Frosty Boy soft serve machine in the McMurdo cafeteria really that much better than other soft serve machines on more civilized continents?”
These are the sorts of questions I’m asking.
Also, I am in grad school. Remember??? Jeesh. I’m busy!
Okay, onto the second piece of news: 2) The Winter Olympics are over and I only watched two events. (Thank you Grace and Will for hooking me up.)
What was it like? Instead of Men on Skis there was just a bunch of Kids on Snowboards doing whirly twirlys and these weird jumpy thingies over giant nesting dolls. That’s when I decided that the magic of the 1988 Calgary Games that I’ve been trying to recapture for 26 years is gone…vaporized like snow in certain atmospheric conditions.
Let’s review the facts: Palm trees grow in Sochi, the cold war is over, and I don’t even recognize half of the events anymore.
Am I the only one that feels this way??? About the Olympics??? No, I’m am NOT.
Here’s a brief interview with the paragon of old-school Olympianism (and by “old school” I mean the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics), men’s downhill gold medalist and Swiss skier, Pirmin Zubriggen.
A few things you should know before reading the transcript: Zurbriggen won the men’s downhill by half a second, just edging out his Swiss teammate Peter Mueller. Mueller skied first, giving ABC the opportunity to zoom in on his face as he waited for Zurbriggen to descend. It was intense and made all the more suspenseful by ABC’s laying down “Every Breath You Take” by the Police while zooming in on Mueller’s ice-blue eyes. I have it all on VHS.
Spartan Holiday: Pirmin Zurbriggen, there seems to be a sort of romantic alpenglow around you that I haven’t noticed around today’s Olympic athletes. Why is that?
Pirmin Zubriggen: Well, I live in the Alps and the sun is now setting.
Spartan Holiday: That’s one explanation. But wouldn’t you say that the belle epoque of the Winter Olympics are over?
Zurbriggen: I wouldn’t say that. There are many, wonderful people…dedicated athletes…still competing…
(We lose Skype connection)
So there you have it. If Pirmin Zurbriggen, the Swiss deity on skis says the Olympics are ruined, you can hardly argue. But I do sort of wish I had a TV. And free time.
If you have free time, you should share your favorite Winter Olympics moments here. Wouldn’t it be fun to reminisce? Freely? With your abundance of time? I think it would.
PS: I found the song lyrics to “Every Breath You Take” and paired it with this picture of an Arctic whale to sort of synthesize the different topics of this blog. Music here. Enjoy:
Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay
I’ll be watching you
Oh, can’t you see
You belong to me?
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you