Confession time: I don’t really care about the Olympics. The last time I was interested in the games was 1984 when my parents took me to watch synchronized swimming and water polo in L.A. It was then I realized such things might be better viewed on the tele. I think the athletes are pretty badass and all but the festivities, medal counting, and parade of nations make me wanna switch the channel. Nationalism kind of freaks me out in general, but when it is sanctioned and applauded it feels creepy, like Nazi creepy. Especially coming from an American. Hell, all the Americans want to watch is America competing. I thought the Olympics were about unity and friendship between nations. If that’s the case America is in epic fail mode.
First off, NBC botched the opening ceremonies by choosing not to broadcast the tribute to England’s terror victims. Why? Because they tailor what they broadcast to US audiences. I don’t get it. Does NBC think we only care about terror attacks in the states, or has NBC decided to be Big Brother and shield us from things we “shouldn’t” see? Either way it was a big mistake. And it makes the US look unsympathetic and callous. For me it kind of feels like America is the popular football player who graduated high school ten years ago but still goes to high school parties, buys the beer and hits on the young girls. It’s a little embarrassing to watch, but we don’t do a thing about it. USA! USA!
And speaking of callous… how about those awesome commentators? No wonder Americans are so uninformed! If the majority of folks get their news from TV, then a bunch of folks are walking around with wrong information. I actually heard a commentator say “Czechoslovakia” on national television. If you don’t see the problem in that then that is part of the problem. America is just one place in a really big world made up of all sorts of people not necessarily like “us”. And that’s a good thing. One way of showing respect for other countries is to, at the very least, be able to get the name of said country right. And what about Romney? Can you imagine what we would be saying if The Queen of England came over here and started criticizing things? What a buffoon.
In the end I guess there is nothing inherently wrong with The Olympics, just the way we handle it every four years. Perhaps some TV stations could cover some events even when the US team is not playing. I know we think we are the greatest country in the world, but I have a feeling that the REAL greatest country in the world know the names of other countries, know where other countries are located on a map, and show respect for the victims of violence in other countries. It’s time America started acting like a grown-up country. And we start by showing grace, composure and flexibility every single day, not by total medals won every four years.