Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Thursday 26 August, 02004


by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:27 pm

Aaron says dressage is more absurd than synchronised swimming and I strongly disagree.

17 responses to “Olympics”

  1. Deborah says:

    For true absurdity, as well as detached horrified and amazed fascination, I recommend greco-roman wrestling, European handball and women’s weightlifting.

  2. Matthew says:

    I rule those three sports non-absurd.

    The first and last differ with synchronised swimming in that they hone skills which most of us already value.

  3. Deborah says:

    I dispute your ruling; the latter hones valuable skills to a ridiculous (although admirable) extent and the former… ? Synchronised swimming can also be argued as building on skills of swimming, balance, dance etc. and presenting them in an expressive way, so that criteria is tenuous, in my humble opinion.

  4. Matthew says:

    Everyone wants to be graceful, but who wants to be graceful in a pool??

  5. Deborah says:

    Swimmers, divers, synchronised swimmers.

  6. Deborah says:

    And it’s nice that you want to be graceful.

  7. Tim says:

    I think this is what makes it absurd. If two men are fighting over something they will naturally wrestle. If a woman wants to lift something heavy she literally ‘lifts weights’. If a whole bunch of people go swimming together they don’t naturally start performing graceful dance movements in unison. Perhaps it comes down to practicality. Wrestling and weightlifting both have practical uses. Synchronised swimming is utterly pointless, as is dressage for that matter.

  8. richface says:

    i’m with you on this one matt. nothing is as absurd as synchronised swimming.

    i agree with your point, tim, but i also think dressage seems somehow more connected with reality than synchronised swimming.

  9. aaron says:

    Deborah, you make excellent points ;). Face…clearly you have never appreciated bellet, either.

    Synchronised swimming is a feat of massive athletic endurance. Talk to someone who’s actually done it. Sitting on the back of a horse and making it prance sideways (and I mean prance) is gay. What would make it cool would be some obvious connection to old-style fighting or chivalry-type stuff.

    Anyway, almost every olympic sport you care to think of is absurd, when you begin to ask what purpose it serves apart from its own perfection. They’re all abstracted from any real-life purpose these days. But if you do come up with any answers, they will equally apply to synchronised swimming.

    So there.

  10. Deborah says:

    Indeed, I was just about to comment that Tim’s justification might lead to the conclusion that hockey is absurd – when someone wants to transport a small ball into a net, they don’t naturally form a team with similarly like-minded people and start smacking it and each other with curved sticks.

    Although dressage is abstracted from earlier traditions of horsemanship, that were necessary in herding livestock etc. Making a huge animal dance sideways looks stupid, but it requires a lot of control and skill.

    Aaron raises a valid issue, that might be resolved by the introduction of jousting.

  11. Matthew says:

    I make an absurdity exception for team games.

  12. Bairdms says:

    Bring back jousting as a sport

  13. Bairdms says:

    Or jousting as an anything for that matter

  14. Richard D. Bartlett` says:

    Aaron you are a bloody shit

  15. Raspygold says:

    I must agree, jousting would be thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
    I watched the finals of the synchronised swimming, and I must say, although I personally think of the “sport” as a waste of time, it was amazing to think about the dedication in learning the rutines for such a pointless exercise, probably more than in many of the other sports in the Olympics. But also, the swimmers are very rarely out of time.
    I think that if they wish to include synchronised swimming in the olympics, they should also include synchronised dancing and all various other synchronised activities, possibly even synchronised belching…..

  16. Bairdms says:

    Hmm, synchronised dove releasing?

  17. Raspygold says:

    synchronised terrorist attacks? – just a thought

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