I haven't posted a blog update in awhile. What you are about to read is a facebook post that received several "TLDR" responses, so perhaps this is the better venue for my rant. At any rate, here are my thoughts regarding the RIO Olympics, in all their splendor:
So I was going to write a post scolding people for being dismissive of the Rio olympics, but then I remembered/discovered a few things:
1. The quality of the water in Rio might actually be bad enough to be a legitimate concern. I first dismissed this as false facts being amplified by the facebook echo chamber, but Newsweek says that some places where olympic sailors, rowers and conoers will be competing are teeming with human excrement.
2. From the same Newsweek article: Scientists found "super bacteria that could cause urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and bloodstream infections, along with meningitis in the waters that marathon and triathlon swimmers will compete". Both points one and two are legitimate concerns.
3. And then, I come to number three. Does it really matter if I post this on facebook, or my blog, for that matter? Does anything that we post on facebook or other social media outlets have any effect on the material world? Does it matter at all how many people watch or don't watch the olympics? If I don't turn on my TV and cheer on Michael Phelps, will he only get fifteen medals instead of seventeen? Does the number of viewers affect his percentage of the advertising revenue?
I think the opening ceremonies were neat, if not a little disappointing, based on comparison to previous outings. But, as Americans, do we really want to be petulant and turn up our noses at a lower budget affair? The talking heads kept repeating, in almost apologetic fashion, that they only had one tenth the budget of previous opening ceremonies. I thought Americans gave credit for effort, not on the amount of money spent.
Also, should we really judge the whole contest based on something as insipid as a dance show with flashing lights, clever set pieces and awe-inspiring choreography? Do we want to promote the idea that we're vapid, brain-dead zombies only interested in shiny things and explosions?
I say we focus on supporting the athletes, who have no doubt worked their ASSES off to get where they are and sunk themselves in debt to make the rest of us couch surfers look good. They are ambassadors for all of us, saying to the world: "Hey! Not all Americans, despite what you might think, are morbidly obese, amorphous play doh creatures, fond of consuming entire bags of cheese puffs while binge watching netflix and cable television. Some of us are champions, and through hard work and good old fashioned nose-to-the-grindstone American work ethic, have become pinnacles of physical achievement, worthy to compete on the world stage. We wish you the best of luck in your efforts to best us."