Oly, Oly, Ocean free: Troubled city shows through its gold, silver & bronze plating

Posted: August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

‘Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time.’

— George S. Patton

The Olympics package — not the sports nor the athletes, mind you, but the way it is marketed and presented — has annoyed the crap out of me since I was about 14, OK?

Athletic competition itself is basically dual-natured: Talent and fitness on the one hand, mind over matter on the other. Success depends on both — so there’s a basic element of “killer instinct”, or at least “edge,” which — just for the time being, let’s call it “healthy,” in the context of the games.

The Olympics, however, and maybe much more than soccer, retains, to some extent, a vestige of Nationalism. Oh, the United States and others have complicated matters with ethnodiversity that is a source of quality. From what I’m hearing, however, China is really pushing for future success in these games. Why?

Indigent Londoners received a handout of free buns (note: Not a current photo from this year’s Olympic games. Thank you very much).


I cannot think of a reason other than nationalism or at least, “national spirit,” “pride in country,” or whatever.

So on the one hand there is this nationalism which is sort of … well it’s a little bit … anachronistic.

What’s more disturbing about these games, however, is … not so much that they’re poorly attended, but that they’re so … ostentatious … in a city where poverty is dire, evident, and growing. Of course, since the Olympics are … well they’re sort of military in nature, aren’t they? — one might as well go whole-hog with the glitz, following the philosophy of that great military genius/madman, George S. Patton.

Therefore the more dire the poverty suffered by some Londoners — the most lavish and gilded the Olympics event and promotion should be, right? Well, quite honestly, I don’t think the Olympics have ever quite been blue collar. Of course, nowawadays even baseball belongs to the 1 percent.

Here’s what some other observers have to say about London and the Games:

The New Internationalist

Kitty’s blog

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