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July 27, 2012

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How are you doing?!? is my thought. Or did you post an eye update earlier?

I'm busy working on my next post, natch.

Also, USans who are watching tell me the NBC announcers Never. Shut. Up. I *hate* that, so I'm glad I'm not watching.

I've never forgotten watching Princess Diana's funeral cortege, flipping channels between American networks and the BBC. The Beeb actually let there be long passages of just the sound of horse hooves and people watching silently. It was like actually *being* there, while the American coverage was like being there with an incredibly annoying relative you can't get away from and who won't stop talking, *ever*.

Doing ok, thanks. Haven't posted an update, but may do a midweek post about some of the interesting stuff I've learned. The second operation was both easier because I knew what was going on and tougher, because it was 2 hours, rather than 80 minutes of the first one. I'm sure that if I do it again, I will have things down perfectly, which, when I think about it, is the story of my life.

About US versus BBC announcers, I think this, about Bob Costas and Munich underlines the difference

Costas then pauses for about 12 seconds (an eternity in TV time) as the 39-person Israeli delegation – clad in their country’s blue and white – continued their march into the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

When 12 seconds is your eternity, well, annoying relative is a good descriptor.

Sometimes I cope with with the chatter by turning the sound off, but that dfoesn't help when the "coverage" consists of cutting away from the event to cover the chatters.

I'm glad your eye surgeries went OK and agree that I'd like a more detailed up date when you feel ready. I hope you feel better soon. And I hope you can see.

Rumor has it that in 2020, President Mitt Romney will kick off the Olympic Games hosted here with a celebration of America's cradle to an early grave individual medical insurance market, with freedom floats celebrating the most uninsurable pre-existing conditions and a special ceremony in which likenesses of Medicare and Medicaid are set alight and burned to the ground.

A new Olympic event will debut as well: shopping your tumor to hospital emergency rooms around town. To spare expense, neither flight for life nor ambulances may be used. These measures will also prevent a Rosie Ruiz type of subterfuge.

It will be a strictly amateur event.

There will be dopes ... but no doping ... to keep it honest in the spirit of fair play.

USans who are watching tell me the NBC announcers Never. Shut. Up....

after reading this, Sat AM, watching NBC's coverage has been very difficult. once you start paying attention, you notice that, no they do not ever stop talking. and if they find themselves without something to say, they will just repeat whatever inanity they were going on about twenty seconds prior. silence is not allowed.

after a while, you start to wish there was a Strangle Announcer button on the remote.

still, i do like that NBC was showing events on at least six channels, over the weekend. got to see some events i'd never seen on TV before: fencing, table tennis, badminton, water polo.

once you start paying attention, you notice that, no they do not ever stop talking.

It's a bit like laugh tracks on sitcoms. They don't bother you so much until you really notice them, after which they annoy the crap out of you.

I don't know whether to blame ESPN or MTV or cable news or what. But the constant-commentary-with-numerous-commentators model seems to have been spawned during the rise of those things. (Why do they want to pay all those people?)

I'll never forget during Live 8, being on the periphery of the event in Philly, but in a bar watching the Pink Floyd reunion broadcast from London as covered by MTV. They cut mid-song (perhaps during Comfortably Numb) to some stupid VJ with nothing of any import to say.

From Wikipedia:

On 2 July 2005 Pink Floyd performed at the London Live 8 concert with Roger Waters rejoining David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright. It was the quartet's first performance together in over 24 years — the band's last show with Waters was at Earls Court in London on 17 June 1981.

(...)

In the US, MTV and VH1 provided intermittent and incomplete live and taped coverage, frequently breaking away mid-song for commercials or commentary by their veejays. This decision drew criticism from numerous viewers who viewed the commentary as being frivolous or inane and would have preferred to see the music acts themselves.

It's as though events are there for the sake of broadcasts, rather than the other way around.

I haven't watched the Olympics in several years. The last gymnastics I watched was back when Kari Scruggs ( is that the name?) won a bunch of golds.

I remeber the coverage of that gymnastics being particularly annoying because the talking heads had, apparently, decided ahead of time that the main story was about this tiny Rumanian girl, so no matter what the other gymnasts were doing, they kept cutting to their favored performer. And she wasn't doing all that well.

It got more and more ridiculous the longer the gymnastics went on: Kari getting ignored or minimized while she hit ten after ten, the Rumanian girl getting all the attention for lesser scores.

I remember thinking that the ony way the talking heads would notice the real story wws if Keri got injured. Shortly after that she nailed a landing, got a ten, and hopped around on one foot. Her coach carried her off the matt, and the talking heads suddenly realized where the story was.

The talking heads are such a bunch of brainless twits that manipulating them is a form a self-defense.

An Australian take on the Olympics.

[h/t James Fallows]

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