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enough with the twizzles

i love watching the winter olympics, and especially the ice skating. and especially especially the ice dancing.

but since the scoring scandals in the last winter olympics, the sport has instituted a new scoring system.

and i don’t like it.

the scoring used to be more subjective, which led to abuses. but rather than correcting the abuses, the sport chose to throw the baby out with the bath water, and start from scratch.

now the scoring is almost completely objective. there’s a list of moves that everyone has to do, and each move has a point system attached, and the skaters make all their jumps and twirls and such, and all the points are totted up, and they add some points for what used to called artistry or whatever, and there’s the score.

and all these twizzles drive me nuts. every team looks alike now, as they constantly attempt multi-rotational turns in unison on one skate. that’s a quick definition of a twizzle, and every team twizzles in all three rounds of ice dancing. a bobble on a twizzle may have cost the u.s. ice dancing team a gold medal.

it’s moronic.

and of course, what do the skaters do to gin the system? they do all kinds of high-point moves so they can get lots of technical points, because those points are apparently open ended.

so i guess that, technically speaking (pun intended) a skater could go out there and do nothing but a series of quad jumps for four minutes. and if they landed a few of them (you get more points for attempting and falling a quad than you do for landing a merely competent triple) then they could maybe win.

with no artistry whatsoever.

this admittedly is an extreme example. but it’s where the sport is going. the winning skaters and teams have an almost automatonic quality, rote skating of programs designed to get as many points as possible. and the teams with pizzazz don’t win. watching skating is not as enjoyable as it used to be.

and, anyway, why suddenly does everything in the world have to be absolute and objective? this is a general trend, and i don’t like it. i like a bit of subjectivity. it adds interest. simple minds need simple rules. i can parse things just fine on a higher level of bloom’s taxonomy, thank you.

the college football bowl games are slowly and inexorably moving toward a national system of playoff games. what’s wrong with they way it is? i think it’s fun when you have two teams with legitimate claims to the national college football title. it’s fun to argue about it. some years there’s no dispute. but there’s nothing wrong with the years that it isn’t absolute.

baseball has this formula down perfectly. baseball is a mish-mosh of conflict for people to argue about. are babe ruth’s 60 home runs during a 154-game season still better than barry bonds’s 72 home runs during a 162-game season? should records set by juiced-up athletes count? such arcana can keep a fan going for a long, long time.

here’s one for you: the bible is the literal word of god, and if you don’t do exactly what it says, you are going to burn in hell.

still doubt that all this need for clear-cut objectivity isn’t a problem?