The Olympics

THE OLYMPICS….There’s some world class complaining about the Olympics going on over at Crooked Timber. Join in!

I can’t say that I really sympathize much with Brian Weatherson’s inability to figure out when Australians will be on the air ? dammit, Brian, this is America! ? but I have to say that the galactically slick TV packaging of the Olympics we get these days has pretty much turned me off from watching it at all. There’s really no sense of genuine sport anymore; it’s like watching a highlight reel. What’s worse, since they often only show heats in which Americans have done well, it’s a highlight reel where you frequently have a pretty good idea how it’s going to turn out.

Part of the essential ambience of watching a sporting event, I think, is seeing the whole thing, even the boring bits where nothing much is happening. When you edit a 4-hour event down to 30 minutes of pure action, it may be exciting but it just isn’t sports anymore. It’s a video game.

Alternatively, of course, you could be like Max Boot and decide the Olympics are no fun because it’s not us vs. the commies anymore. Those neocons really miss the Cold War, don’t they?