"One cup sport, one cup pop culture, half cup theory...stir briskly."
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Bruce Jenner-as-Olympics: Extreme Fakeover
There was a time when we though our Olympians were...natural, just like we thought our corn flakes were unprocessed, and...well hell we didn't even know what "genetically modified" corn was. Blood, sweat, tears, and "eat your Wheaties." I ate them growing up in the late 70's, although I did gobble up a @PopTarts411 once in a while! So watching the Olympic Trials for track and field this week, I saw 1976 Gold Medallist Bruce Jenner (now known more for his role in the Kardashian "reality" scum-spectacle) interviewed. His transformation mimics that of our elite athletes. His nose job, eye job, face lift, and all-around extreme martianesque makeover is symbolic of where the sport was in his era vs. what it has become. In both academic and public spaces we quibble, and sometimes vehemently argue, about how much testosterone women may possess for them to compete...as women. Of course, seldom is there mention of how little a man might have to qualify him for the women's division. The point is that, like Bruce Jenner's face, elite athletics has become tough to watch at times, but like the clearly brilliant audiences who remained glued to the latest Kardashian escapades, I still watch...if just for the presence of a wrinkle in time.