‘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?
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: