Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympics


Looks like we'll be stuck inside today. The snow is still falling, falling, falling. Last night I thought we might escape, because we'd only had lots of wet slush and not much accumulation. But that slush did indeed turn to falling snow during the night, and I had to push it all out of the way to get out the door this morning with the dogs. Fortunately, Dave and I went to the grocery store yesterday and we are almost absurdly over-provisioned.

One thing we won't be doing is watching any of the Olympics. Is anyone watching? Have any of you been talking about the games or hearing buzz from coworkers, friends or neighbors? Dave says none of his teacher friends have mentioned them, and I know only a few people who are paying attention.

I may be wrong, but I think the media gets more excited about the Olympics than the vast majority of America. Yesterday I saw that the Today show sent its whole crew to Vancouver -- even Gene Shalit, for God's sake. What an expense! And do viewers really care that much about curling and luge-ing?

I'm numb to the summer Olympics, too, but the winter games are especially mystifying to me, since I have no cultural connection to any of the sports being played. I grew up in Florida. Skating, hockey, skiing -- I did none of these things. (Well, I've been on water skis, but not snow skis.)

I'm not as glum about the Olympics as Christopher Hitchens, who wrote recently in Newsweek that they fuel an unhealthy competitive nationalism. I don't think they're exactly harmful. But I think they're somewhat outmoded. Nowadays the people of the world interact globally on a daily basis -- the novelty and necessity of coming together for sporting events just isn't the same.

What do you think?

(Photo: Cheekz street art in Tribeca. This piece has been hanging around for years. I'm not quite that grumpy about the Olympics, but maybe about the snow.)

3 comments:

Utahdog! said...

I watch. I dig Curling a lot. I also like Hockey, mens and womens, if the matchup is right. A good number of my friends watch the Olympics.

I don't dig the skiing and snowboard stuff at all. It all seems so contrived. Skating weirds me out.

I like Skeleton and Luge and Bobsled, but since the Georgian guy died, you can't find much live coverage.

Kristen and I were at a sports bar for lunch today and we were watching the Chinese Curling team beat up on the Swiss. Good Stuff!

Barbara said...

I haven't the slightest interest, although my husband seems to have it on a lot (from the noise I hear in the background).

At one point years ago the competition was so strong that Tanya Harding tried to eliminate Nancy Kerrigan. But fortunately there seems to be none of that this time around and it's just one big happy Olympic family with medals being handed out every day (or so it would seem from someone who isn't watching).

And did I hear they are doing it AGAIN in 2012 somewhere on the Baltic Sea? Maybe we should just put all that money into something constructive like rebuilding a tiny piece of Haiti, Afghanistan, or Iraq. I suppose that sounds sort of unpatriotic, yes?

Meanwhile hope your snow tapers off and life can get back to normal soon.

David said...

I don't watch either.

When will there be an olympic cooking competition! :-)