Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Games

So that’s it.  If you are living in the United States, NBC has shown how the world has come together as one, once more in the spirit beauty and peace of the Olympic Games. They have shown us how we’ve been able to compete with one another and against one another and we have come out with a few scars and some heartache, but also with the ability to celebrate the memories and the heroes and the ideals of what makes life worth living. We’ve seen threats to security largely dismissed or at least controlled, but then what did you expect, 007 was there.

You know, I bet Betty Windsor, who has now become the ultimate Bond Girl, must have waited almost 50 years to say, “Good evening Mr. Bond,” on film. That’s probably a decade or 2 longer than I’ve been waiting to say, "I expect you to die Mr. Bond," in my best Goldfinger accent while looking like Yaphet Kotto wished he had  looked like when he did Live And Let Die….sorry but you can’t be humble when you’re doing or talking about being a Bond villain. But I’m starting to digress.

Apart from the usual corporate prostitution that our friend Mitt perfected in Salt Lake City, there was very little scandal this time out at the events. In fact the only thing I can think of was the guy from St Kitts or somewhere who got sent home for sleeping with his wife or the 4 badminton teams that were dismissed from the Games for deliberately not playing at their best. Actually the badminton thing was almost unforgivable. I would have been highly pissed as a spectator to have gotten tickets to one Olympic event that I could probably get into for the rest of my life and see a team play with less athletic skill and ability than my 60 year old Aunt Sally with her rheumatoid arthritis. Instead I’m just highly pissed because I remember the absolute joy of playing badminton as a child. I remember hitting the shuttlecock into the air as fast and as hard as I could and just watching how it would hover as it cleared the net giving me time to figure out who on the over side would lob it back and where I would have to be for that rapid gut wrenching volley to begin in earnest. It was like chess with a racket and a net; you always had to think at least 3 or 4 moves ahead.

The thing with the Olympic Games is that I end up watching things that I would never ever do or watch in real life.  Not the running or the swimming or anything with a stopwatch, but gymnastics. I’m not talking about the regular gymnastics where I know I could rip out my shoulder from its socket in say the rings or snap my neck from doing the vault, but like the floor exercises where you see the little girls run jump and leap…and then you see them run jump and leap… and then they run jump and…you get the picture. At least I hope you do because I don’t. But worse still is the competition with the little girls with the ribbon and the hoops. What the Hell is that and what does it mean? But I watched it. I watched it all. All being provided by our good friends at NBC for my, our, viewing entertainment even though it was 5 hours after the fact.

I won't mention the inane droning on by the NBC correspondents about things people already know about or their apparent lack of interest in non-US athletes other than those with the initials UB or even their failure to even grasp the significance of Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Tim Berners-Lee to the worlds of design engineering and information exchange; but I will say that they have an uncanny ability to turn any world event into just another version of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve and that must be an achievement in and of itself.

But you know, if I’m still around 4 years from now….well.


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