Plus, Ask Matt explores the stupidity of the metaverse and the nobility of unpleasant work
damn -- I love your thinking/writing. So pleased I'm part of Matt's Mob.........
“ Zuckerdorks” - Ha, I like it!
“ And even now, I’m writing things I want to write, for money. Which isn’t the worst way in the world to make a living”
Figured I’d comment on this as a young guy who quit his job at the end of 2020 to write for himself for a living. I’m certainly not making the kind of living that I was or that you are, Matt. Yes, I left a job I hated to do what I loved. But I had zero debt, some money saved up, and no dependents. If I had a family, I would never have taken that kind of leap. So your answer to Lucky Guy is pretty spot on.
You too??!! I enjoy the Winter Olympics, not for the spectacle but for my inner sport geek. Curling is an awesome example. Doesn't spending a lifetime just trying to determine the temperature of ice as you rub a broom across seem a little like worrying about which fly is going to attract a fish? In the final analysis, they mean little but a certain satisfaction in doing an obscure thing well. Plus, you can easily drink a beer while doing both. Is that really something you're going to diss? If not that, then how about my new hero: Nick Baumgartner. A 40 year old snowboarder who lives in the UP of Michigan and built his own racing track in his front, side, and back yards. Tell me that is not cool!! Jeez!! ''Better to burn out than fade away.'' ;-)
There was a time not long ago that we as a family gathered around the tv to watch everything Olympics. It seems today it is barely even a story. What happened to "USA! USA!" What happened to the pride in wearing something Red White and Blue during the Olympics? Getting you morning beverage at work or water cooler and talking about the previous nights events? I must include myself in this group of non-followers.
OK, Matt, that's it! Now you're crabbing about the Olympics??? I would never say that it's pointless - except for curling, since the "competitors" actually HAVE to be baked just to "play". Nor would I ever say that watching figure skating is a waste of time. No, it's a waste of electricity, actually. As far as clouds are concerned, I like looking at them trying to reckon shapes. I ignore verses especially stupid ones except when playing my ukulele. "Unpleasant work" is not noble; it's unpleasant and it's work. I think Trump said something about the Noble Prize, though.
So, I guess I'll have to join you in boycotting the Olympics. How will I survive? Guess I should check with Boris.
I learned a new word today - anhedonia. Thank you, and it's always a pleasure reading your well-versed discourse.
The luge bit had me laughing out loud.
I love this column, even the grouchiness, bitching and whining! Keep on keepin’ on! I didn’t watch one second of the Olympics and I’m happy as can be! But don’t get me started on the 20 degree temperatures here in Texas.
I’d say you’ve fully recovered from Covid. Excellent mailbaggery.
Thanks again for a thoughtful, incredibly well done read. There is a Canadian sports reporter in Beijing named Cathal Kelly, who is almost as entertaining to read as you are, and I thought you might appreciate his take on the opening ceremony. I read this (on paper, that I paid for, because I’m either a rube, at an idealist kicking at the darkness), and thought “this guy is trying to get kicked out of China) Good for him. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/article-watching-the-olympic-opening-ceremonies-has-become-a-force-of-habit/
Wow, When I read the responses to the first two questions I was thinking "Pull up! Pull up!" cause I felt you were nose diving with cynicism iced wings. (Not that I disagree but seemed odd for you.) But, alas, Mr. Positive Spin came through in the end. Absolutely loved your comments on the heroism of doing what needs to be done. There is a higher calling than doing solely for yourself and I like to believe that doing what needs to be done for others eventually reaps just rewards. Not necessarily what you imagine you want cause "You can't always get what you want, But if you try sometimes well you just might find, You get what you need." Thanks for the reminder.
So winter athletes aren’t athletes. I invite you to race the men’s downhill - or the women’s. Or launch off the large hill ski jump - or the small hill.
Where we agree. It is manifest hypocrisy that the International Olympic Committee awarded the games to China. I’m sure we could live for decades and pass a nice inheritance to our children on just a small slice of the kickbacks.
Of course this is old hat for the IOC who awarded the Olympics twice to Hitler - summer and winter games. I’d argue Hitler is a tough act for Zhi to follow. Prior to both Hitler’s Olympics and Zhi’s there was pious chest pounding by the US and others amounting to …. Nothing!
These Olympics should have been pulled from China and awarded to venues that currently have all the infrastructure to host on short notice: Calgary, Vancouver, Salt Lake, etc.
I applaud your writing and blog.
All the best!
Given the insanity and sociopathy of America's so-called leaders, how will I know when to expatriate from what once was, "...the greatest country in the world?"
-M. Otto Heer
Thank you Matt. Your illuminating comment (also mentioned by Christopher Dombek) inspires me to take a more positive approach to my criticism of my homeland. America the Beautiful, at least when compared to likes of Communist China.
Matt..Re: China & the Olympics...covered that one quite nicely, thank you.
The Metaverse is indeed a load of horse apples (and you know I know horse apples). A glitzy tech gimmick being ballyhooed because Big Tech and FB or Meta or whatever they call themselves now have pretty much hit a wall and are running out of large shiny gadgets to sell. F**k Zuck and his Bajillions. More $$$ than brain cells. Gamers and hobbyists should have an interest. The rest of humankind shouldn't waste any of their brain cells thinking about it.
And true passions seldom do pay the bills, at least for the working, blue-collar class. The most noble men and women I've known are the ones who came to work on time every day, worked hard at a job they didn't particularly like for one reason or another (not always just the work itself), did it well and never complained about their lot. Because it was what they could do to best provide for their families, be it food on the table, medical insurance or tuition money for a college education for their kids. And because their families were, in the end, their truest passion.
Interesting about Elvis Costello's pop. Had no idea. But it gave me reason to play big band music! For instance, the Helsinki Quarantine Big Band playing "Birdland" by Canadian trumpeter and big-band leader Maynard Ferguson. A lot of funn with a lot of Finns!