Seeing the Olympians Through the Political Haze
By Rob Kall
As I watch the Olympics, and see the gleaming, smiling faces of gold medalists at the moment they see they've won-- as they discover they 've touched the sky, reaching their ultimate dreams, it reminds me of how good things can be, how clean and pure the happiness that comes out of passionate commitment, hard work and the courage to believe in ones self.
It 's a sweet, brief respite from thinking about the vile threat to the USA and the world that looms heavier and heavier as the right wing forces of darkness consolidate their control of the media, the courts, congress, and regulations that really deregulate and decrease or eliminate the liabilities and responsibilities of megacorporations.
At the Olympics we see integrity and honesty, fairness and earnest hard work. Youthful passions devoted to excellence and the finest quality.
On the political front we see ugly, dirty smear campaigns that aim to win by bashing the competitor. In the Olympics, we see competitors earnestly hugging each other in congratulations.
We see gold medallists humbly, thoughtfully listening to their national anthems, usually not smiling, but glowing inside, probably awed by the reality of the moment, dazed by the implications for their future, relieved that the pressure is off, that the medal is forever a part of their lives.
We see tanks get closer in Najaf, and almost never see the faces of our brave young (and old) soldiers-- recruits, reservists, back-door-draftees-- nor do we see their medals or their coffins. But we do see their bravery when we see them in hospitals, missing one or two limbs, blinded, yet courageous, hopeful, putting a bright face on wounds and injuries that will forever be a part of their lives.
Then George Bush appears in an ad. He 's sitting there with ever silent Laura, promising to keep going after terrorists, to keep fighting. He doesn 't talk about how every time he makes a promise to improve or help some group, he ends up stabbing them in the back, taking away funding. He 's done it with education, the environment, soldiers in action, veterans... the worst thing that can happen to a group or field is for Bush to promise to help it. That 's usually a sure sign he 'll cut funding, gut regulations and let them down.
When the Olympians, who have often spent the better part of their young lives, make a mistake-- slip, fall, stumble, fail to nail a landing, make that third flip, spin, twirl, etc., their team-mates and coaches are still there to support them, to high five them on, to hug them and be there for them. Even the losers show respect for the victors. They set such a wonderful example of how people can treat each other.
Then we have the swift boat veterans who never worked with John Kerry. We have toxic right wing, mysoginist talk radio jocks who love to beat up on women, Hillary and Teresa, in particular.
The good news is we can choose what we watch and listen to. Me, I chose to spend a littler time each day listening to the toxic despicable right wing media so I know how they are poisoning the minds of their media-addicted brainwashed listeners. That way, when I encounter a dittohead who is, in my opinion addicted and brainwashed, I can tell, within a few seconds, that he (and it 's usually a male) auditorially injects on a daily basis hour after hour of toxic brain excrement into what 's left of his mind.
This year, we see more bikini clad beach volleyball Olympians than ever. The networks, the toxic hypodermics that spew right wing hate and machismo, are using sex to sell the olympics. It 's not only un-necessary, it 's demeaning. I have nothing against the volleyball athletes. But all I 've seen in my channel surfing is female competitors. Surely the male volleyball Olympians are equally entertaining.
IN a few days, the Olympics will be over, at least until winter 2006. We 'll be back to sweating out the election, the vote count, the corruption of voter rolls, the lies, attacks, constant drumming of the right wing echo chamber, which most dittohead right wing talk radio listeners don 't even know what it is. Might as well take a cool dip in the clean, fresh wholesomeness of the Olympics. Yes, there is nationalism associated with them. Yes, NBC is sexualizing them. But in spite of the efforts by nations and media, the young people who participate offer us a breath of fresh air-- of innocence, straightforwardness and honesty that is refreshing and uplifting. Like some of the swimmers who keep their heads underwater the last few strokes of the race, we might consider making sure we take some breaths of fresh Olympic air while it 's to be had.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is publisher of progressive news and opinion website www.opednews.com. He plays racquetball, a terrible game of basketball, a fair chinese-grip game of ping pong, downhill skis double diamond runs and fishes for bass, mostly in the Delaware river. He is also organizer of cutting edge meetings that bring together world leaders, such as the Winter Brain Meeting and the StoryCon Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached. Archive with Over 100 other articles by Rob Kall