Handicapped Media

Pistorius looks like he’ll win some gold.  I can’t imagine the hope he gives to someone who has lost a limb.   I love watching him, and you can see all the work he has done.  He deserves to be there and I don’t know how anyone considers the loss of both your lower legs as having an advantage.  I hope he wins big.  Encourage more “handicapped” to try out for the games.

In fact, why are there TWO Olympics, one Special, one not so much?  Why are they separate?  There may be things some to change, like adding wheelchair basketball, wheelchair racing.  I’m sure there are a lot of practical reasons for keeping them separate, but it stinks of “ism” to me.  Like racism, only keeping separate but equal for the Un Normal ones?  Not sure if it’s a word, but I suggest we use disabledism.

Have you ever seen the Special Olympics on national TV?  I haven’t, but I don’t watch much of the Regular (?) Olympics.  The separatism of “our” world and “theirs.”  Why don’t we hear about these Little Darlings of America?

Did I ever mention how I hate the media.  If you think you are in control of your life, think again.  The media (CNN) dictates what you see, when you see it, and whether or not it is “clean” enough for you to see it.  Big Brother might be watching me, But who’s got an eye on them?

The media make or break a person, not their PR.  It just depends on if “the powers that be” like them or not.  The media can convict a black man of murder, even though there is blonde hair at the crime scene.

The media (CNN/Times) decide which stories to report.  Based on what they “think” we are interested in seeing.  So what’s tonight’s lead story?  Man murders woman, or hundreds killed in Syria?  NO.  Kim Kardashian just launched a new color nail polish.  That is their lead story.

I could go on, and I did, but I tried to add a graphic and had to revert to a previous saved version and had totally forgotten all the great stuff I said.  Rats.  You, dear bloggers, would have liked it too.

Olympic Heroes

Since we want to make our athletes into heroes, why don’t we replace them with soldiers for the next Olympics.  And not just our soldiers, but police officers, fire fighters.  Get rid of politicians, we won’t need them any more.

The Olympics could be somewhat redesigned with the typical Marine-like exercises.  Soldiers with a full pack doing the parallel bars wouldn’t work, but I’d like to see one of them slogging through 100 meters of mud.  Let’s see Phelps do that.  Instead of throwing a shot putt they’ll throw grenades.  We could watch team sports like Mortar Teams, see which team can load their M120 fastest and hit the target dead on.  Instead of skeet shooting…no I won’t go there.  We wouldn’t have to change the shooting “games” I guess.  I think you get the idea here.

The army that wins the most gold is declare “Ruling Country of the World” for four years.  The country that wins the most silver medals is elected Vice Country of the World, and so on, with bronze winners acting as cabinet members.  These would truly be heroes then.  No more false politicians and mud-filled campaign ads, just women in fatigues running the marathon in mud in full combat gear.  She’s my hero.  I wouldn’t do what she is doing.  I couldn’t do what she is doing, not even if I was her age.

I’m not sure about other countries, I imagine it is similar everywhere, but we Americans tend to hero-ise people at a drop of the hat.  The gymnast you never heard of before is suddenly “America’s Little Sweetheart.”  She would get a special award; Most Congenial Competitor, and a $1 million singing contract (because that’s her second dream).

Those smaller and poorer countries will be allowed to “team up” with other similar-size countries, to give them a better edge, plus we will educate them and feed them McDonalds while they compete.  These “less talented” of the competitors will serve like America’s senators and congressional reps.

Think about it, a truly exciting Olympics every four years.  Every four years a new Ruling Country to step in and try to take over the rest of the world, only to be overturned when they lose the same event at the next Olympics.

I would do one other thing.  Why are female swimmers wear trunkinis, but the beach volleyball players wear bikinis?  I would make all the women competing in water sports to wear a traditional one piece suit, not the TankiniTrunks they’re wearing this year.  I would allow the beach volleyball players to continue wearing the bikinis.  Sometimes it’s not worth bucking the “system.”

Oh, one last thing.  The New Olympics will be shown on all the major television networks around the world 24 hours a day for the entire 14 day period.  It would ensure two things: each of us would get to see every minute of every event we want, and we would experience National Pride in our Heroes watching them perform, getting the “behind the athlete” stories, you know, humanize them.

The New Olympics will replace war and elections!  Who’s with me??

Patriotism

 

I don’t understand national pride; it’s the same as patriotism, sort of.  I especially don’t understand national pride in relation to the Olympics.  Each of these teams from different countries come together in a host country bent on bankrupting the ticket buying public, to compete against each other.  I’m supposed to cheer the Americans, obviously.  Why the Americans?  Because it wouldn’t do for me to cheer for the French.

I don’t understand why I am supposed to cheer on the athletes just because they are American.  I don’t know them.  How can I possibly feel any pride in their achievement?  The competitors are doing it for themselves, whether they say it in so many words or not.  I don’t mean to imply the athletes don’t deserve the praise.  They do.  Most have trained their entire lives for this once chance to say to everyone, “I’m best at my chosen sport today.”  And bully for them.  I pat them collectively  on the back.  I await the appearance of athletes faces on my breakfast cereal.  Certainly, they have done something that I never would have had the dedication to do.  I admire the determination of these atheletes.   To me, though, they appear to have a quite lopsided life, a little too heavy on work, and not enough on fun for my taste.

I don’t understand why I would be proud of Michael Phelps for getting a medal.  How does his winning a race make America a better place?  If he swims enough races will world hunger come to a halt?  If he wins enough medals, will we have world peace?  What if he medals (is that a verb?) in every event (yeah, not likely, but go with me here)?  Will that reverse climate change???

I know I don’t have a competitive bone in my body.  I don’t care to win.  I never wanted to be the best.  Never tried to be number one at anything, especially a sport.  I grew up with mostly girls and an inattentive dad.  My brothers never taught me to throw a ball.  My sisters did not teach me how to ride a bike.  What I learned, I taught myself.  Suffice to say I am no athlete, yet am I not just as worthy of praise as any of our medal winners?  Yet somehow I’m supposed to experience their joy as some sort of pride in my nationality.

Americans have no real nationality, do they?  I mean we’re just a jumble of the rest of the world.  We’re every one of us a mixture of races and nationalities, the only thing to draw us together is our “Americanism” which I would be hard pressed to describe.  While I was in the Navy and stood each morning as the flag was raised I experienced a chill up my spine every time I saluted it.  That is the closest thing to what national pride feels like; cold chill on your spine, a metaphysical shiver and a sense of belonging.

Patriotism I always felt came from ordinary people doing extraordinary things, like the US military bringing peace through war to countries that really weren’t involved in a war before we arrived.  Spending your twenties in the Asian deserts or spending them at a gym, are both extraordinary things to do.  Olympic atheletes are hardly ordinary people–I wouldn’t spend every waking hour training, eating nothing but yogurt and whole grains for four years.  That is not an ordinary person.  Neither would I spend 3 tours in Afghanistan (just because I was in the military doesn’t make me pro war).  That is not what ordinary people do.

As for my national pride, I bow to the military.  Now and in the past.  Not for what they do, but because they are willing to do it.  Though some were probably as naive as me, when I enlisted in the Navy in 1978.  Out involvement in Vietnam was recent memory and there were no wars on the near horizon.  I was not going to face anything more distressing than being away from loved ones for an extended period.  I had nothing to worry about.  I had no difficult orders to carry out, and couldn’t have if provided the opportunity. 

My idea of the Olympics is very different from the way it currently opperates.  I’d enter the top military groups of each country and have them compete.  If Russia wins the trampoline jumping, yay for them.  But if America loses on the solo synchronized swimmer there’s going to be hell to pay and we’ll be shipped en masse to Afghanistan.  Some real consequences, handled by people willing to take lives in their hands.  The country with the most medals is considered King Country for the next four years and all other countries pay tribute in gold and spices.  The country with no wins is relegated to being removed from their homeland for a desert island in the Burmuda Triangle.    

Maybe other people have multiple levels of national pride, and I just don’t see it wide enough. I do tend to over-simplify, but I think it’s compensation for other people trying very hard to make life complicated.