Thursday, February 11, 2010

If I said that I can't stand the Olympics, does that make me a bad person?

I realize that many people think the Olympics is a sacred ritual symbolizing a place where different cultures and countries can come together in the spirit of friendly competition and whoop on each other without causing the same long term impacts as going to war, but I have to say I'm sick of the hype and it bores the heck out of me. I especially think the Winter Olympics is right up there with watching water boil when it comes to entertainment.

It isn't that I don't enjoy watching sports. I will watch football willingly because I understand it better and believe it has a base quality not sullied by the pretense that it is anything but a sport for hire. Football players compete for the money and the fame. They are open about this. Olympic athletes imply that they are competing for their country's honor. But let's cut through the bull and admit it's about the endorsements and boasting rights that they won a gold medal.

I am sure that if anyone actually read my blog, they would be deeply offended by me dissing on the Olympics. But it is just one more sacred cow that needs to be put into the proper perspective. I believe people think they like the Olympics because it has been hyped into them every four years that they are supposed to like the Olympics. We are led to believe that it is downright unAmerican in a global kind of way not to like the Olympics.

Face it, the Olympics is a money machine. Cities compete with each other for the honor of hosting the Olympics know it can be a major boost to the local economy. When we first learned the Olympics were coming to Vancouver several years ago, I was dragged into several meetings in Seattle to learn how our local economy could figure out how to exploit Olympic bound people passing through to Vancouver. I even had to listen intently to a local business man who had been the official portable toilet contractor for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Apparently people who go to the Olympics generate a great deal of human waste.

And that is my point exactly.

I am particularly tired of the commercials featuring Olympic hopefuls I have never heard of competing interpretive bob sledding. McDonalds is even boasting that they provide the official chicken nugget dipping sauce of the Winter Olympics.

I bet you the original Olympics in Ancient Greece didn't have snowboarders competing. Come to think of it there wasn't an winter Olympics in Ancient Greece. They didn't have snow. They just had the summer Olympics with a bunch of naked guys wrestling and seeing who could throw a javelin the furthest.

I suppose I shouldn't be so critical of the whole thing. After all, I spent most evenings flipping through my FIOS cable looking for something decent to watch and inevitably end up watching Man Vs. Food.

Now if they add competitive eating of disgusting amounts of food to the Olympics I might change my mind.


K. said...

I like the Winter Olympics far more than the Summer Olympics (I'm Minnesotan, after all), but I do have mixed feelings overall.

I do like the Winter Olympics because of two things: Figure skating (for the falls, I admit it) and the mogul skiing (because I like to say every time I watch it, "They must have bad knees by time they get old," because I am a creature of habit).

I dislike the commercials (and DESPISE the McD's commercial about the freaking 'official' dipping sauce. Really? Gah.). I especially dislike how most of the commercials are for junk food I dislike NBC's exploitation of their coverage and the fact that if I want to watch the Shen/Zhao short program figure skating performance online since I missed the performance earlier tonight, I CANNOT because of all the stupid rights and violations people break if they post it online. If I want to watch something different than what is shown on TV, I cannot because I am not a cable subscriber and therefore cannot get access to Olympic videos online.

Also? I am inordinately excited because I (and the babe) are getting Vancouver Olympic mittens from a Canadian friend of ours. But I am fond of Canada, and would have wanted them regardless of the Olympic link.

I am annoyed that NBC doesn't really show much of other countries' competitions. I hate that they do so much commentary. Then there is the whole debate about how other countries' governments pay for the athletes to train, but in our country, the athletes' families go broke or are wealthy to get them to the games.

Wait. Why do I watch again?

Ok. I'll shut up. Your blog. Not my place to rant. :)

Time said...

Rant away. I like it. It definitely beats the deafening silence. :)