Some Thoughts On The London Olympics
July 28, 2012 4 Comments
The Olympics are a fascinating event. The London Olympics began last night with an opening show that included an ode to socialist medicine. Yet the Olympics tell us to put politics aside for two weeks. That doesn’t happen of course. A Greek jumper was thrown out of the Olympics for a supposedly racist tweet but the South African flag bearer won’t be punished for walking into the stadium last night flashing the black power sign. An Iranian is claiming a “gut” injury so he won’t have to play Israel. The Olympics claim they will clamp down on this sort of nonsense but then they refuse to have a moment of silence to remember the 1972 Munich attack 40 years ago. Also, somehow Palestine is a nation yet it isn’t. And here we thought this was a non-political event.
Our Olympic team looked ridiculous last night. Nothing says American like beret’s and outfits that make the fellas look like men of leisure circa 1935 and the ladies look like stewardesses. Everyone made such a deal over the fact that these outfits were made in China. The real problem is that they’re ugly and they have nothing to do with the United States. All the other countries wore outfits that in some way represented their nation. What exactly about the American outfit represented the US? Just because an American designed them doesn’t mean they represent the country. Where are the cowboy hats or stetson’s? Where are the cowboy boots? Why do our ladies look like stewardesses?
Mitt Romney is over at the Olympics. Apparently he hopes to see his wife Ann’s horse in one of the equestrian events. He suggested earlier in the week that London wasn’t ready to host the games. He’s right of course, London has all sorts of problems heading into this week. Not the least of which is a taxi strike that forced Romney to hoof it across London to speak with Irish leaders. They also have a threatened customs officials strike scheduled for this weekend. Traffic is a major concern, as is public transportation. They’re having security issues as well. So no, London isn’t all that prepared for these disasters. But still, what was the point of saying the obvious? Romney is overseas to spread good will, get a little good press, smile and be looked at. Even if his comments were right, they distracted from his goals.
How many people know the Nazi origins of the Olympic torch race? Everyone views the torch race is an Olympic tradition, one of these absurd little events where we pretend there is solidarity within a nation and between nations. The fact though is that the torch race is an invention of the Nazi’s who used it as a massive propaganda tool for the 1936 Olympics. Hitler had the torch race start in Olympia, complete with a German band and swastika’s flying. It wound it’s way north to Berlin, where only the very best looking blonde haired and blue eyed Aryan’s carried the torch to the Stadium. It makes you wonder why the torch race has become an Olympic tradition.
I hope the Americans do well in London. For the next two weeks we’ll be subjected to hours of sports we never knew we cared about (think: swimming and weight lifting) and hours of sappy NBC created story lines. Let’s face it though, all the sappy stories are dreadful and the Olympics themselves have lost a lot of their importance in our lives. The Cold War made the Olympics important. It was the United States vs. Soviet Union. It was Western freedom vs. Eastern communism. The Olympics have never been as interesting since the fall of communism, not that we would give that up for two weeks of amusement every four years. Still, deep in your heart you know these Olympics won’t be as exciting or as interesting as they were 24 years ago. Now, someone wake me up when the tennis is on. I want to see Venus and Serena on Centre Court again beating down their opponents.