August 21, 2008

The Postmodern Pentathlon

The International Olympic Committee today announced that the Modern Pentathlon -- an Olympic event that tests five skills a young officer would have needed to succeed as a courier during the Napoleonic Wars: fencing, shooting, swimming, horseback riding, and running -- will be replaced at the 2012 London Summer Games by the Postmodern Pentathlon, which will test the skills crucial to delivering a message in the 21st Century:

- Spinning

- Cellphoning while riding in an elevator

- Staying on message

- Being ubiquitous in the media

- Taking offense

Medal favorites include Mischa Saakashvili, Morris Dees, Karl Rove, and David Brock.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


halfbreed said...

The only problem with that sport is that the judging will completely biased, as the outcome will be entirely determined by those who own the media. In fact those competitors whose message is not pre-approved will not even be allowed to appear at the starting gate. Let's bring back that small-d democratic version, with swimming, running, etc.

Usually Lurking said...

Steve, something that you might want to think/blog about is:

Why have we not seen another "crazy" billionaire try to run for the White House since Ross Perot. I mean, we saw a lot of people become extremely wealthy during the 90's. Is it that none of them are interested in "throwing their money away", or are they simply not interested in a somewhat thankless job?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Martin said...

There's a whole raft of new events that could be added: the Texas steel-cage death match, women's mud wrestling, competitive drinking, and the L.A. biathalon (driving and shooting).

Whiskey said...

lurking -- because Perot got tagged as a Crazy Billionaire and Bill Gates does not want to be tagged that way.

Steve -- I think you're a bit unfair to Rove. He knew he had a poor candidate and did what he could to push to 50% +1. Mostly by slicing and dicing voting patterns. Which is not post-Modern but well, modern. Susan Estrich, of the smoke-laden voice, would be a better choice.

Implicit in Post-Modernism is the inability to actually accomplish anything. Rove actually got GWB elected. Twice. Pretty remarkable if you think what he had to work with, even considering the poor state of the opposition.

Usually Lurking said...

Whiskey, that is what I was thinking. That, for any Steve Forbes-like guy out there, that they are much more concerned about being tagged as crazy or eccentric than the loss of any money.

Granted, campaigns are very expensive.

Anonymous said...

because Perot got tagged as a Crazy Billionaire and Bill Gates does not want to be tagged that way.

Plenty of skeletons in that Redmond closet, I'm sure. Many well-documented by the media but others ignored because Gates isn't exactly a "public figure."

How many American billionaires are in politics at all? I know of exactly one: Nurse Bloomberg.

Running for office gives media greater license to delve into a person's business history and the manner in which they acquired their loot.

Traditionally politics is not the province of the folks who earn the money but of those who inherit it or marry into it: Theresa Heinz's first husband, Michael Huffington, Herb Kohl, the Kennedys, the Bushs, Mark Dayton, John Huntsman, Jr., Pete Coors, ad infinitum.

We have almost as many politicians married to filthy rich people (McCain, Kerry) as politicians who are themselves filthy rich, and my suspicion is that Chelsea Clinton, who has worked for billionaire Democratic donor Marc Lasry, is going to (try to) marry a billionaire or son of then use the money to finance her political career.

Oh yes, it's coming. You knew it was. We won't be rid of those people for decades yet.

Mark said...

and the L.A. biathalon (driving and shooting).

The Comptathlon? The Multicultathlon? Help me out here.

Kop said...

Steve, you've written, 'My job is to post material that is true, new, significant, and interesting / entertaining, in roughly that order.'

If comedic worth be regarded a subset of entertainment, then I see your point.

hafenhaffermandst said...

Saakashvili again. And Dees for good measure.

My blog reading is quite limited - you and Laurence Auster both are among the half-dozen.

I admire your fortitude in the face of his persistent personal attacks arising from transparent (to me) anti-gentilism.

Yet no direct response. You should.

CJ said...

Yes, the inner-city biathlon where you drive an Escalade with spinning rims and shoot targets with a MAC-10. I like that one. It could catch on fast, with worldwide appeal and lots of sponsorship opportunities.

/ didactic mode on /

Pentathlon, heptathlon, decathlon, and biathlon are all spelled with only one a.

/ pedant off /