08/5/12

The Flight of the Sciuridae

So “bars” are everything to an emcee.

Musicians call them measures. 4 beats.

One and two and three and four and . . . .

For the rapper, it’s like a private, inescapable metronome. Ringing in your head, quantizing every activity of life.

And, certainly in hip hop, bars universally come in pairs. A typical verse has 16. Especially to beat producers, an odd number of them is anathema. So hip hop approaches, with suspicion, anything called the “uneven bars.”

But, the way the United States’ All-Around Gold-winning Gymnast, Gabby Douglas, did it, was sort of fresh. I tore a rotator cuff and the seat of my pants just watching her routine from my couch. I’ve dislocated my entire rib cage reaching for a not too far remote. I can’t really guess about the disruption to the structural integrity of my skeleton were someone actually to lift me up to one of those bars, either the high or low.

They unimaginatively call her “the flying squirrel.” The scientific name for squirrel is sciuridae if you have a mind to throw that in a cheer or jingoistic chant.

She is the first woman of African descent, from any country, to win the all-around gold in gymnastics. This site has covered a good bit of race in sport. I think it’s pretty fair to guess that as a cultural and socio-economic matter gymnastics hasn’t been very accessible to the black athlete.

So, in a manner of speaking, when Gabby flies, she clears a bar of admission for her and her family, quite symbolically, uneven.

I don’t suspect that her victory will release the floodgates. But, as this site has observed before, it sure is a whole lot easier, as a psychological matter, to replicate success, when there is a picture of what it looks like for someone a lot like your own self.

But, her accomplishment, for a generation of girls, black and white, has flipped the whole vantage. Literally and figuratively.

In other Olympic news, Usain Bolt reversed the rotation of the Earth’s axis yesterday in order to save Margot Kidder from her performance in the 1978 classic, Superman. He also posted a sort of embarrassing wind-aided 9.63 in the 100m. Sheesk. That’s kind of slow.

For the speed of light.

Don’t forget, I’m right on pace for my medals totals predictions made here in January of this year and for my projection of the overall medals winner. I’m assuming you bet the farm as I’ve repeatedly advised.

Congrats, Gabby. And, all the girls of the universe. I’ve got two, myself, that are pretty fired up.

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by Sundance.

Today’s song blog here:

Uneven Bars