Monday, August 03, 2015

1520 Coming Down from Olympus

Okay, take out your pencils and papers, kids, it’s time for a quiz.  Just one question today: What’s more mindless than football, duller than baseball, and more boring than golf and tennis combined?


Right! The Olympics.


Endless days and nights of … nothing.


It’s time to rethink this lumbering and useless draining of international resources.  


What sparks this not-too-diplomatic tirade?  Two recent developments, Rio- 2016 and Beijing- 2022.


The worst first.


When you think of Brazil, what comes to mind?  Pretty women, brilliant music and dance, good coffee, bright sunshine, beautiful beaches.  What’s pushed beneath your radar? Gangs.  Dead street urchins, poverty and now, disease.  Raw sewage in which the world’s supposedly greatest athletes are expected to swim.


If they awarded a gold medal for countries that don’t treat human waste and grow viruses, Brazil would be a sure winner.  If there were one for countries whose olympic participants’ winning ceremonies will need to be held in hospital wards… again, it’s Brazil.


They have a year to clean up a death trap that was a century or more in the making.  They won’t make it. This is an olympics that will honor survival more than ability to swim the backstroke or sail over the bounding main.


Then there’s the recently announced 2022 winter games in China.  Here’s a country with a billion people spending money it doesn’t have on building a village from scratch.  They have a lot of experience building future ghost towns.  Dozens of them over the years.


Great buildings with no people, no jobs and with the former residents of the little villages that used to be there wandering off into the mountains searching for their next meal.


Oh, the Olympic Village will fill.  And then it will be abandoned.


The people who put on this kind of carnival are too smart not to know that once the hoopla ends and the money leaves town (but not their own bank accounts) all those assets will just sit there and rot.


Take a look at Sochi.  Or Beijing after 2008.  Athens, 2004. Munich 1972.  Sarajevo 1984.


And we’re just talking about venues.  What about the people.  Like the East German women shotputters who turned out not to be women.  Or the bladerunner who killed his girlfriend in South Africa or any of a hundred lesser crimes.


No. The Olympics is an advertising event.  And it’s a money printing machine outdone only by the accompanying money burning machine, which it also is.


It’s yet another chance for snooty European old white guys to lord it over us lesser beings.


And it’s an endless bore. Think watching grass growing or paint paint drying.


Shrapnel:


--At around the time we were all in a knot over Cecil the lion, someone in the Carlisle PA area shot a dog in the face and left it for dead which it isn’t.  The lion was beautiful and the dog ugly.  But really… what’s the matter people these days.


--And alas, poor Rowdy Roddy Piper, we knew you well if not for long enough.  The one time professional wrestler died of cardiac arrest at the age of 61. He put on a good show and that’s what they paid him for.


--Since this is Wessay #1520, a salute to the former WFYI, 1520 on the am radio dial, in olden times owned by the New York Herald Tribune.  Struggling, it changed formats as often as an average woman changes shoes, those fools gave a kid $85 bucks a week to play records and do news on the air. And for which that kid will ever be grateful.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2015

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