i missed the olympics

Look, I'm green (actually yellow, overall, in an infused way) with envy. 

Somehow, like some kind of grotesque accounting error, we scheduled our vacation time (cottage, no internet, erratic tv) to miss the Olympics. It felt a bit odd, not knowing who was abusing who, nation-wise. Whenever I turned on the radio, catching snatches of trumpet-accompanied news here and there, all they could ever talk about was the medal count, and how important it was, and what it signified. None of it made any sense -- a gold medal performance has about as much influence on popular, amateur athletics (and public fitness) as the space trips of astronauts do on the prevalence of science clubs. Yes, yes I know -- the valour of the games, the triumph of the human spirit. Somewhere, some young person will be inspired to pursue athletic excellence! Or just excellence in general! Uh huh. Well, if *that's* the reason they're spending all that money (fifteen billion pounds!), then they/we might as well start subsidizing things like the NHL, or the NFL, because a lot of little boys actually *are* inspired by those grown-up, millionaire little boys (be famous, be loved, be rich, bang models, etc). But no one would stand for that, would they, because that would be politically repellent.

Like financial bubbles, flu epidemics, and wars between India and Pakistan, the Olympics seems to be one of those things that just refuses to quit, and every so many years we're forced to endure another one. The trumpets blare and somebody waves a torch around, and Paul McCartney gets to appear at the opening ceremonies, searching for just a little bit more of that public love (for what? singing? Christ!), and then a few dumb lambs get sacrificed for cheating, and the judges and referees are all either a little bit crooked or a little bit stupid, and the Chinese and Americans win everything. Yes, the British seem to have done rather well, in terms of their golden trinkets, but I wonder if they have any other more pressing problems they could have used all that money on, and if some small part of the national character, in the coming days, will be a little bit ashamed of itself. O well. If there's any consistent theme to modern history, it's one of invented mythologies, and colossal fucking waste.


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