Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Imagine if you will young Sri, away from home for the first time, a freshman at marching band / flag corps camp (yes, I was a big nerd - try not to die of shock). After a grueling day of drills and music rehearsals, we would all crowd around the only television in a five-mile radius to watch the Summer Olympics. We were sweaty, we were tired, we were running on cafeteria food and sheer bloody-mindedness. But we put off collapsing into our plastic dorm mattresses for a few hours every night ... because it was the Olympics.

I'm not a huge fan of sports television. When channel-surfing, I flip past ESPN and the like without a second glance. All the same, I can't deny the powerful allure of the Olympics. Is it the spirit of friendly-yet-fierce competition? The awesome, international scope? The skimpy athletic gear? Something about the Olympics captures our attention and our hearts, uniting the human race from the convenience of our living rooms.

Go World.

This year, however, the Olympics seem to be causing more division than unity. The government of the host country, China, has a long history of human rights violations. There is some evidence that preparations for the Olympics have actually made things worse. Several organizations are campaigning for a boycott, and 15 members of Congress (including Speaker Pelosi) wrote a letter to President Bush asking him to forgo the opening ceremonies.

You may be asking, "what has this got to do with the price of tea ... well, you know where?" Or you may be shouting, "get to the point, already!" My thought is this - should I watch the Olympics this year? Does it even make a difference to withdraw my 'support' by tuning into I Love Lucy reruns instead? If a blogger rolls off her sofa, does it make a sound? I'm just not sure. But given the current controversy, I don't know if I'll be able to watch Synchronized Swimming with the same child-like joy as in years past.

I don't care what people say - that shit looks hard.

1 comment:

Maggie Cats said...

I'll watch the events I like (gymnastics, diving, swimming, shot put) to support our athletes, but I don't think Bush should attend the opening ceremonies.