By Seb Kemp
Apologies to anyone who was waiting for this. Somewhere around last Friday things became a blur after a rider plowed their front wheel through the back of my head. After that it has all been bright colors and loud noises, blow-up sex dolls and the odour of seared body armor. That's right, this past week has been consumed by Crankworx, the ten-night long mountain bike festival where the world comes to the sleepy mountain town of Whistler to be put through Guantanamo levels of sensory stimulation and sleep deprivation.
Crankworx is stacked with events for all. There are competitions, races and a smorgasbord of drinking parties. It can be easy to lose the message amongst all the dispatches. I live here in Whistler and I simply can't keep up with all the bulletins that are coming out of Crankworx. It's breaking wave after breaking wave of stuffing and filling. Information hangover.
Anyway, just as Crankworx was cranking into gear, the Olympics in London were shutting down.
Usain Bolt “I am now a living legend.”Nicola Adams “It made my day.”Yorkshirewomen know how to do it properly.
— Robin Marshall (@TheProfRobin) August 10, 2012
Yorkshire is a small enclave of straight-talking, frugal, tea-drinking Englishmen hidden in the moorlands of Northern England. Yorkshire people love cricket and have their own dialect. They obviously don't like making a fuss about much either.
Usain Bolt, on the other hand, is a showman. Or what someone from Yorkshire might refer to as a bit of a big head. In Jamaica, where Usain is from, a big head is a cigar that is emptied and stuffed with marijuana. In a more North American vernacular big head can refer to someone who is a bit of a douchebag.
— Dissent (@dissentlabs) August 12, 2012
If you have time and inclination to fuel the kind of class war fire that still burns strong in a Yorkshireman's heart then go check out RichKidsOfInstagram
Usain Bolt Nabs Photographer's DSLR, Snaps Awesome POV Shots j.mp/Qja1jo Awesome !!!
— Dan Carr (@dancarrphoto) August 9, 2012
Anyway, Usain Bolt, quite the talking point. He has become a living legend even if he had to make us all aware that that particular phrase was all on the tips of our own tongues. Meanwhile, there are still dummies with as much use as a fart in a jar that dominate the media.
Given the number of amazing female role models coming out of the Olympicscan we stop giving so much media space to vacuous do nothings?!
— Zoe C (@zoesee) August 9, 2012
Isn't it time we gave some airtime to the real heroes? The people that really make this world a better place? The kind of people that provide us all with an example that we really can achieve anything we want? Even if that dream is to be paid well to just sit at home on the couch watching daytime television while tweeting about next to nothing.
— Amber Turnau (@amberturnau) August 10, 2012
Social media superstars being touted by social media hacks. That's like Will Smith paying for his son to become a caricature of youth culture.
Will Smith’s son pop rapping about shoes and skateboarding in a skatepark. Little bit awkward… youtu.be/PFOBd0TWgws
— HUCK Magazine (@HUCKmagazine) August 10, 2012
There’s only One Direction one wants to see these little girls heading and that’s the exit.
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) August 12, 2012
Can they bring on the who ever won olympic gold in shooting and take out One Direction??
— Scott Marshall (@Scott_Marsha11) August 12, 2012
Aaaaah yes been waiting for this, one direction, a huge part of our popular heritage
— Rob Warner (@robwarner970) August 12, 2012
— Rich Thomas (@richthomas24) August 12, 2012
At the closing ceremony rockstars and aging karaoke hags were dredged up to send us all off into a post-Olympic slumber filled with colorful dreams of beauty and grace. One Direction’s performance, however, fell, oh, just a bit short of the mark. I had no idea who One Direction was and perhaps you don't either.
This, amazingly, is the kind of act that we choose to stamp the full stop into a landmark event like the Olympics.
But amongst the madness, the badness and the mind-numbing crappiness of this world, there is always a voice of calm reason and clear thinking perception.
Twitter is cluttered with so much shit
— Richard King (@richardericking) August 7, 2012
Richard has got a good point though. Take for example this illuminating tweet by the mountain media's most handsome and illustrious journo.
I’m at Terminal 1 (Barcelona, Cataluña) w/ 29 others 4sq.com/RFTN8g
— Israel Romero (@IsraRomero) August 13, 2012
Just reading that tweet makes me feel like I am right there in Barcelona breathing in the warm air of untempered creativity and bold design that birthed some of the greatest architecture anywhere in the world.
Canned air from Paris and NYC, lets you have a breath from your favorite cities ow.ly/cXcfi
— The Creative Finder (@findcreatives) August 14, 2012
So it begs the question, is social media just canned air that we have placed a new value upon? I think the answer would be that it depends on the quality of the air you buy into.