Mind games


I am the first to confess I am not the biggest sports fan on the planet. I am not even the biggest sports fan in my office. Truth be told i fail to see the point of musclebound fools running around a field/court/track while chasing a ball/shuttlecock/nothing whatsoever. To me the only reasons for running swiftly would involve fleeing from a knife-wielding maniac or getting tickets for the Backstreet Boys version of La Boheme. Nonetheless, I usually make a little time every few years to watch the Olympics and pretend the world has actually come together even for such a spurious reason as sport. This Olympics has been something of a letdown and only partly because the local rights were obtained by TV 6 which carried a bad signal from NBC and dreadful commentary from a CMC team that must have been plucked from a remedial broadcast school somewhere.


More than that, though, I have come to realize that despite all the smoke and mirrors of the Opening Ceremony and the pretense that sports is somehow aloof from the realities of life the games are something of a shameful event. Here we had an Olympics held in a country that has a dreadful record of human rights and we are all supposed to pretend that things are hunky dory. I cannot and will not forget the number of dissidents China has locked up, its treatment of the Tibet issue and its shameless contempt for international law as witnessed by its collaboration with the authorities in Sudan. Patting them on the back and saying “what a well coordinated show” hardly serves any useful purpose. Even beyond that the Beijing Olympics lacked anything resembling the exuberance of previous games. The danger of hosting the games in a totalitarian state is that the fun factor is excised and all you are left with is a display of pyrotechnic efficiency. Can’t blame the Chinese completely  though, they are just being themselves it is the IOC that is to blame for ignoring the obvious and pretending all is great while heading back to Zurich or wherever with their lucre jingling in their pockets


As a Caribbean native I am happy the region has won so many medals especially given our small population but i find it hard to cheer too much for Jamaica. Firstly, logic tells me that other people running fast is no reflection on me so it doesn’t make an iota of difference how fast they run as my running will stay the same. The concept of a nation celebrating because a sports team has achieved something will never click in my brain. Is it supposed to mean that if Jamaica or ..i dunno..Sweden had a national run-off Jamaica would win? I doubt it. Even if they did what difference would it make in the scheme of things? I am also aware that Jamaica’s dismal record of human rights especially when it comes to gay people is hardly worth celebrating. Like China I am not willing to get all starry eyed because they won a sprint or  two and forget the reality of what a percentage of their population has to face every day. It was only a couple of years ago that they won this unenviable title


Yes, it is nice to stop and think about the nebulous notion of a brotherhood of man but in my book it should never be at the expense of reality. I am, however, willing to entertain the idea that i am just out of step with 99.9% of humanity.


2 Comments to “Mind games”

  1. Yeh, you’re on to something there. I’m surprised there weren’t more demos. Ah well, London one next… I think I’ll ensure I’m out of the country for that one! 😉

  2. Hmmm.. methinks it’s time to swoop down and force you to attend Sentimentality Class 101.

    While I do agree with you 100% about China, and 90% [in principle] about Jamaica, come on – it’s the Olympics! From a purely childish view I am tickled to see some black athletes from the poor, impoverished, second-class “third world” open some whoopass on those elite, “first world”-ers. Hah! Makes no difference in the scheme of things as far as the earth rotating on it’s axis, but certainly amplifies my personal smugness.

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