Why Isn’t Arse Quality Included in the Judging for the Diving? The Rio Olympics Reviewed

Has Clare Balding been genetically engineered purely to be the perfect BBC Olympics TV presenter? Why is fencing so dull? And couldn’t the rowing include at least one oik?
Stuff I have learnt after two solid weeks watching the Olympics on TV.

1. Tennis and golf shouldn’t be Olympic sports. Yes, I know we won both and Rose’s final chip on to the 18th green was great to watch. But you can see this sort of thing done with a tougher range of competitors at any number of majors all the time. Olympic medals should be there to reward the Corinthian spirit not just an opportunity for millionaires to add something a bit different to their mantelpiece.

2. I still don’t understand the judging system for the diving but had arse quality been included in the women’s events — as I believe it should — the Italian girl would have done much better.

3. Definitely, definitely don’t say stuff like 2 (above) when watching with a teenage daughter. The language!

4. The lack of diversity in the men’s rowing events is shocking. I think one year they ought to include a person who isn’t blond, privately educated and Oxbridge just to mix it up a bit. They could always chuck the token oik into the water, afterwards, if he caught a crab. Mind you, in the toxic seas of Brazil that might have resulted in a manslaughter rap.

5. The men’s badminton doubles between Team GB and Japan was more exciting than such an event has any right to be. I particularly liked one of the British pair breathlessly explaining after they’d won (against a pair seeded third in the world) that he wasn’t actually that a good player but had just tried hard.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

Yale Students: Shakespeare Is Better Than Maya Angelou, Honestly

Students at Yale University have petitioned their English Department for a change of curriculum. They want fewer “white male authors” and more contributions by “women, people of color and queer folk”.

Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to why I’ve linked these two stories?

Yes, that’s right. It’s because I am sexist, racist, homophobic pig.

Also because I am a shameless elitist.

I actually believe that whether you’re talking international sport or you’re talking about literature then it is quality – not how many gender or diversity boxes it ticks – that should be the criterion that counts.

What this means, in practice, is acknowledging that Shakespeare is better than Maya Angelou, English literature is better than Nigerian literature, Pride and Prejudice is better than Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Paradise Lost by straight dead white male John Milton is better than anything by lesbian Poet Laureate Carole Ann Duffy (or indeed, probably, by any other lesbian poet in history, ever, including Sappho) and that all women’s sport (apart from showjumping, the only one where girls can compete with boys on equal terms; and possibly women’s beach volleyball) is basically a waste of space.

This doesn’t mean, as far as sport goes, that women should be discouraged from playing it. On the contrary, anything that gets women out of the designer shoe and hand bag emporia, away from internet victims’ groups and onto the playing fields where they can work off the rage, bitterness and insecurity which would otherwise be vented against men has got to be a good thing.

Plus, if any of our daughters were to become a top international sporting champion (which by the sounds of it is pretty easy, if you choose something like football: you just need to shift a spherical object vaguely in the right direction with your foot, taking care to avoid any 15-year old boys) then obviously it would be fantastic news because they’d probably make enough to pay for their own weddings instead of asking their impoverished, long-suffering parents to stump up.

That apart, though, there really isn’t much to be said for women’s sport. As a hobby, yes. But not as a thing to be taken seriously at an international level. Not even tennis where, frankly, they grunt very unattractively, the rallies go on for way too long, and the hottest looking ones almost never make it to the highest levels.

Read the rest at Breitbart.