It’s only been a few days, but I’m already tired of the 2012 Olympics.
I’m not a big sports guy to start with. I don’t watch football, or hockey, or basketball, or golf, or boxing, and so on. I married into being a Yankees fan, and I can hold down a conversation about baseball if called upon to do so, but to watch something like the Olympic Games come around this past weekend—well, I’m amazed at the size of the crap that I simply don’t give.
The Olympics combines barely organized sport—if the clusterfuck that the coverage of it has been is any indicator, anyway; it’s like no one thought to schedule these things and so you get an ADD jump from swimming to gymnastics with no natural segue whatsoever—with baseless nationalism and commodified sentimentality. Don’t believe me? Watch it for about 30 seconds and listen to the announcers talk about how hard the American athletes have worked to get where they are, how much they want it. Think for about two more seconds about how much harder nearly everyone else in the world has to work for not having the economic privileges that America flaunts every two years at either the summer or winter games, and if at the end of that 32 seconds, you don’t realize the whole thing is bullshit, then congratulations on your willful ignorance.
Not only that, but it’s completely unconscionable that companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola should be allowed to advertise during sporting events. You mean to tell me that at the same time I have to watch running, jumping, spinning and swimming built up as the peak of human achievement—I’d like to dig up that guy who invented movable type and punch him in the face—I’m also expected to believe the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, two of the American companies most singly responsible for the obesity epidemic, had some hand in making it happen? Can I really be the only one who finds this notion absurd?
I must be, because it’s all I’ve heard about since competition started, and everything between is Morgan Freeman voiceovers and slow motion gymnastics, trying to make me buy into being proud that someone channeled their addictive personality into simulated war at an early age and embarked on 10-15 years of training for one single moment that, at the age of—what? 18?—will define the rest of their lives? I’m supposed to support this behavior, and feel my pulse race while their irresponsible, abusive parents are panned to crying in the stands like they’re anything more than the athletics equivalent of the freaks on Toddlers And Tiaras?
You know why I don’t care how many medals America wins in the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London? Because I’m not three and/or currently training as a diver.
I know I sound bitter, but really, I’m not. I used to get really mad about this kind of stuff. It really upset me, and that doesn’t happen anymore. I’d rail on and on about how this, the Super Bowl, the World Series, tv shows, shitty movies, shitty music, whatever—how it and god were all just distractions set up to reinforce a power structure that holds down our minds and poisons our bodies. I don’t have the energy to make that happen anymore. I guess that’s part of getting old. So you know what I do now instead?
Go Team U.S.A.