Posted by on Aug 5, 2008 in Palaver |

I find, often to my chagrin, that I am an utterly typical consumer. When I buy a 32-inch HD flatscreen TV, believing I’m a leading-edge electronics guy, I soon learn that everybody bought a 32-inch TV that month. Ditto dining-out trends, footwear, online purchasing habits, you name it … I’m a human Columbus, Ohio, the city that’s famous for focus groups because its denizens so typify consumer behavior.

The bright side of being middle-of-the-curve is that my own attitudes and preferences serve as a good predictor of the national mood.

And I absolutely could not care less about the upcoming Summer Olympics* in Beijing. Couldn’t name three U.S. Olympic athletes to save my life, wouldn’t watch the hundred-meter dash if they held it in front of my house.

Indeed, having no intention to watch on TV, I had to surf around a bit just to see if the games were in progress (apparently the opening ceremonies take place tomorrow). The two things I know about these Olympics are that the air is filthy and the Chinese government will meddle with Internet access.

Hence the prediction: a ratings disaster for NBC.

*Now the X Games are a different story. The skateboarding Big Air contest was a mind-blowing display of courage, skill and sportsmanship, with my favorite vert skater Bob Burnquist taking the gold.