The Olympics: No
Vacation from War, But a Happy Distraction
ancient Greece, the Olympics were a time when all armed conflicts were laid to
rest. Today it's the time when one can look away from the madness of the world
without feeling guilty. It is not really the same - but we've become more
modest over the last 2,000 years."
world is again spellbound by the five rings in its eyes. Spectators around the
world are reveling in the performances of "their athletes" in
Vancouver; or suffer when four hard years of preparation are rewarded with defeat.
The jubilation of the Swiss over Simon
Amman's ski-jumping triumph is just one of the voices in a vast global
The distraction bestowed on
us by the athletes is more than just welcome: it’s a real necessity, since the Games
give us hope that human endeavor and the success that arises from it can be measured,
that good performance is rewarded, and that those who foul others will be excluded
from competition - or at least have to sit for two minutes in the penalty box.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
Sport offers us the illusion
that life is somehow computable ... even though the weather has thrown down the
first stumbling blocks in the way of the Olympics, for example, by postponing
the men's downhill or making the snowboarding events dependent on a constant caravan
of trucks hauling snow.
The fact that this winter is
slightly gaga has been known for some time, but it became painfully clear when in
many places, salt stocks for road maintenance ran out and roads presented
themselves in truly wintery garb. Things have gone so far that in Germany,
entire stretches of the Autobahn had to be closed and cities on America's eastern
seaboard were buried in snow, with Washington D.C. actually ceasing to operate.
Haiti is slowly returning to something akin to normalcy, which in reality is a
continuing disaster, the basic problems of which are unlikely to be overcome.
One can just as rightly doubt
that the latest allied offensive in Afghanistan will bring the long-awaited peace.
Analysts expect a protracted conflict and stress that the same mistakes which
led to the failure of all previous conquerors in this cemetery of superpowers
are still being made.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
The fact that next door, the
ever-more dictatorial state of Iran plays with the nuclear option while trying
to divert attention with increasingly bizarre diplomatic behavior does nothing
to advance political stability.
No less serious are China's difficulties
fulfilling its self-claimed role as the new superpower of the 21st century,
with its failure to allow democratic reforms, for example, or to finally allow the
exchange rate of its currency to float freely in order to prevent the formation of a new
bubble - even before the repercussions of the last bubble bursting are halfway digested.
This leads one unavoidably to
the subject of Greece, a nation that has descended from the rank of "cradle of
European civilization" to the E.U.'s "cooker of books" - with the result that the
whole of Europe has to accept the bill for this deceit (not to mention the deceits of the
E.U. itself). But Greece is only the smallest of the stinking fish in the Euro-Pond.
It will be much more interesting to see how Spain overcomes its real-estate
But when you're completely
engrossed in front of the TV by the athletes in Vancouver, it's easy to forget this entire
mess. In ancient Greece (didn't we just talk about them?), the Olympics were a
time when all armed conflicts were laid to rest. Today it's the time when one
can look away from the madness of the world without feeling guilty. It is not
really the same - but we've become more modest over the last 2,000 years.
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