AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.
For those of you not following anything non-nappy-ho related over the last few days, it'd be easy to miss this little blurb about what those crazy Olympic organizers in Beijing are attempting for the betterment of their city. So far there have been proposed bans on spitting, rundown housing, bad manners and now, unintelligible English. All of these highly aggressive plans are to ensure that when the world is watching Beijing, nothing embarrassing happens. It's a lot like planning an elaborate wedding, and Beijing officials are getting all Bridezilla making sure there are no tactless, undesirable guests drunk face-planting in the cake. Beijing deserves to have a pretty Olympics! It's been their dream since they were little girls!
It's a fair sentiment and one that the Beijing Olympic committee has every right to do, considering it could be a disaster if it doesn't go smoothly. If Atlanta had a sweeping "No bombs" policy, well, I'm sure that the '96 Olympics would've gone a lot smoother. Beijing is just taking extra, extra precautionary measures to make sure they don't have their own version of Richard Jewel spouting off mangled Chinglish in the middle of their Olympic village. That would be bad for business.
Oh, and that picture to the right has nothing to do with today's column. I just heard that Aqua Teen Hunger Force had a movie coming out soon and I figured I'd give them a little plug for it. I forget where I heard about that movie, but I'm pretty sure it's opening this weekend. You guys hear anything about that?
Anyway, I'm rolling with my boys Huan Huang and Nini, breaking out my giant gong and placing odds on the next things the Beijing Olympic committee will consider banning for the 2008 games.
? ? ? , ? ? .
Although considered a delicacy in certain parts of China, I'm sure the hosting committee has direct orders out to all chefs and street meat purveyors to keep their more eccentric food items to a minimum. But Beijing is currently in the middle of a cat overpopulation problem, so it's a tough call: Let the savages eat the cats or let the cats roam free. It's probably in the country's best interest to let some some quick-thinking chef take some of the cats, throw them on hot dog buns and begin passing them off as hot sausage sandwiches to control frothing cats from attacking tourists as they stroll through the Imperial Gardens.
As eloquently stated by former football great Reggie White, the Chinese are very inventive people and can turn a television into a watch and many other things. (Or something like that.) Robots would usually be something that the Chinese would want to flaunt for the visitors from around the world, but the more and more advanced they become, the more menacing they could be to outsiders. Especially Americans, who've seen I, Robot and won't feel safe unless Will Smith is around. In fact, everybody feels safer when Will Smith is around, so Beijing should probably make him an ambassador for a month.
Even scarier than robots, ninjas are disastrous for a city's morale and tourist trade. These stealth pirates can attack without warning and ruin a peaceful, happy event with one mighty swing of their nunchuks. Although there are some ninjas that are supposedly good-natured and crime fighters, there are only a few of them left. It's best to ban all ninjas from the Olympic village in order to ensure a trouble-free Games — or else risk a city pillaged and plundered by these shadowy fiends.
The Today Show: 4/1
Meredith Viera's lack of skating ability aside, she might not be as much of a problem as Matt Lauer and Al Roker, who displayed horribly bad manners by donning Almond Joy-exposing luge suits when "The Today Show" visited Torino. Granted, it'll be summer in Beijing, but these guys have a tendency to get all man-handsy when they're around each other. Why take the chance of Al and Matt sporting Speedos and doing funny bits off the high dive? Plus, Al Roker has a reputation for eating cats. They'd be better served going with "Good Morning America."