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Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Notes to the Nitpickers

I was originally going to make this part of every article but it’s too long.  So it’s going here and I’m just linking out to it.  Response to this series, which I agree has gotten totally out of control, has been varied. Many like it or are at least amused by it.  While I don’t mind attaboys or whatever, I don’t really care since I don’t do anything in my life to make anybody happy but me.  Like it or don’t like it, I’m doing what I’m going to do.   Many wish I’d just get to the point and I will be talking about OL’ing next week, promise.

But there is another category of responses that I want to address in detail because it’s going to make me buy a high powered rifle and start murdering people.

What This Series Is About

A point I’ve made once or twice but apparently need to address again is this: I am attempting to write a series on the issue of Olympic Lifting in the United States, building up a tremendous amount of background to a sport that is, for anybody who bothers to read the article series title, Olympic Lifting.   See the title.  It’s Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting and that should give everyone a pretty damn good indication of what the global topic of the series is about.  The US is a key part of it.  So is Olympic Lifting.

Now, I will actually start talking about Olympic lifting, especially in this country next week.  At which point I won’t talk about any of this.  But in order to fully address that topic, I felt it necessary to look at a whole host of different topics including other successful sports systems and the situations that spawned them.

As well, I spent even more time discussing the US since, remember the title, this is about a niche sport in the US.  I spent altogether too much time rambling about sociology and economics and a whole host of other stuff nobody but me really cared about.  Right now I’m looking sort of at the history of sports in this country, mainly focusing on the big three.  Soon I’ll look at some other sports.  But all of this is just background.

Then it’s Olympic Lifting and nothing else.  Because that’s what this series is about.

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What This Series is NOT About

But there seems to be a problem with the above concept because folks seem intent on focusing on things that, simply, this series is NOT about.  Because, and I made this point a couple of times but it apparently bears repeating, I am not trying to write a comprehensive treatise on the following non-inclusive list that I am providing in no particular order: Kenya or it’s sociopolitical climate, Russian economic development, Foreign geography, American economics, American social structure, Evolutionary biology, Michael Bay movies or the role of breast implants therein or just about anything else I’ve covered so far.

Certainly those topics are things I considered relevant enough to talk about as BACKGROUND for my actual topic.  But they are not what this series is about.  Which is pretty clear if you, I dunno, pay attention to the words in the title of every article.

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Back to the Bitching

Because invariably a set of comments I am getting that is going to make me go rifle shopping has to do with details.  More importantly, wholly irrelevant details.   Because people are intent on not seeing the forest for the trees.  They keep running head first into the trees.  And these sets of comments come in two flavors.

The first are the nitpickers, folks taking issue with minor details or nuances about something that I’m either leaving out, getting wrong (b/c I can’t be bothered to fact check) or whatever.   I’m not just talking about my constant typos; these are details that folks are focusing on that, and let me say this simply, have absolutely no bearing on my overall topic.

Case in point, someone took issue with my statement that football players wear 50 pounds of pads.  Fine, it’s not 50, it’s some other number and I didn’t bother fact checking it.  And here’s why: the number doesn’t matter.  How heavy the pads are are 100% irrelevant to the point I was trying to make, which was that rugby players don’t wear pads and football players do.  Whether it’s 10 pounds, 20 pounds or 3000 pounds is irrelevant.  So it doesn’t matter.

Of more importance, the weight of the pads has exactly less than zero bearing on the game of football, how it is played, it’s history in this country or how it has impacted on sport in America.  Less than zero.  It is an irrelevant point which has nothing to do with my overall thesis which is (remember the title): Olympic lifting in the US.  And I don’t fact check irrelevant points; they can be looked up easily in any case.  Because they don’t matter.  Need I repeat this yet again or are we getting it?

There have been many like these, for example a lot of gnashing of the teeth over my inability to get straight the UK, GB, Scotland or all that crap.  Ok, I’ll admit that including SOUTHERN Ireland under British rule was a total screwup, and I changed it.  The rest are irrelevant details.  They have no bearing on what UK Cycling did with the track program or what their cyclists did at the international level.  None. Zero bearing.

Whether it’s GB, UK, British, English or some other terminology is simply 100% irrelevant to my thesis.  And since it’s in Foreignland ™, it matters to me even less.  I’m not writing a geography thesis and I don’t give a damn about the rest of the world because I’m an American.   I’m not interested in irrelevant details on any level.   Is this sinking in?

And that brings me to the second set of problem comments.  These are the detail mongers.  These are folks for whom it is just critically important that I consider every detail, every nuance of every topic that I am covering as BACKGROUND for this series.  Usually it represents me not having spent adequate time (in their mind) or detailing some minor point relevant to THEIR PET SPORT  COUNTRY.

So I got one that suggested I detail the Greek Olympic lifting team (the guy was Greek).  Another suggesting I spend more time on Australian sport (he was an Aussie).  I got an absurdly long-assed message on Facebook from a baseball psycho rambling about some bullshit rule change from back in the day and a mention of Lingerie Baseball (he was a baseball idiot and that’s redundant).

Because, see I made one crack about Foxy Boxing way back when and it’s just critical as hell that I mention a dumbed down girly version of baseball for men to jerk off to because baseball is the single most important thing in HIS life.    Hence it was critical to him to let me know that I left it it out.

Because he didn’t understand that my mention of the one example was to make, I dunno, a singular example.  Not to write a comprehensive article on the role of ‘sports men can jerk off to’ in American sport.  Which might actually be interesting to research.

There is a subcategory of this, folks getting twisted that I left out some detailed nuance or detail of their pet sport.  So someone took me to task for not making the distinction that while kickoffs are made from a tee, field goals are kicked off the ground in football.  And you know why I didn’t mention it?  Because it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t change a thing.  It’s an irrelevant nuanced detail that nobody but a football fan cares about.  And I am not trying to write a detailed series about football (note again the subject of the article).  And leaving out that detail (or a description of a safety) changes exactly NOTHING about what I’m actually talking about.  Irrelevant detail is irrelevant.  Hence I’m not including it.

Basically, when people aren’t busy bitching about how long this thing is, they are complaining that I have left out some minor detail on their pet sport or their pet country.  Because they fail to realize the following.

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I Can Not be Comprehensive

Every topic I have attempted to cover in this series has had one if not multiple books of many hundreds of pages written on it.  Hell, baseball alone probably has thousands of pages alone detailing every nuance, every historical oddity, every bit of that stupid ass sport.  And baseball fans love that kind of thing because they have no lives. The same goes for football and every other major sport.  Don’t even get me started on stuff like economics and evolutionary biology and those topics that’s hundreds of thousands of pages.

And I’m usually spending like 6-10 paragraphs, a few pages at most on each topic.  Topics that others have written hundreds of pages about.  Which means, guys, that I can’t cover every detail.  Because if I did, each of my articles would be 300 pages long.  Because that’s why someone wrote a book about the topic.  If you want the details of it, go read the book that’s why I tried to present sources or at least relevant links where possible.  Or hell, write your own damn series about your pet sport or system; then I can just link to that.

So here’s what I ask of everyone reading this: stop missing the forest for the trees.  I’m not writing a treatise on ANYTHING but Olympic Lifting in the United States even if I’m taking my own sweet time getting to the point. Nitpicking me about irrelevant details that only you care about, nuances and tidbits that you think are critically important in terms of the role of grain in the collapse of the Russian socioeconomic structure or whatever is getting up your ass, is just going to make me buy a rifle and start killing people.  And then you’ll never see my conclusion because I’ll be in jail.

Ok, I’m done.

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