The Rio Olympics have now been in the rear-view mirror for over a week. That’s enough time to make an assessment–or, perhaps, a reassessment–of the Games from a dispassionate distance in time: still recent enough to have a clear remembrance of the event, but with enough days passed to gaze at the thing with a less biased eye.
Neymar and the Brazilian fans: a gold medal made of joy.
Certainly, going into the Games, I would have had to cop to a heavy bias against the Olympics–a position I made perfectly clear in my pre-event assessment in this space.
However, I did at a certain point overcome my skepticism enough to start watching some of the events. And in doing so, I found myself confronted again and again by the most powerful refutation of every damnation one can muster against the modern Olympic movement: joy.
Continue reading The Head And The Heart, Olympics Edition
Insane in the Bolt Brain
Did you watch Usain Bolt win his third straight 100 meter gold medal on Sunday? If you did, you’re not alone. Probably half the humans on Earth, at least, were watching that race and utterly captivated by Bolt’s relatively easy victory.
Usain Bolt blows everyone away.
That third consecutive gold in the Olympics’ showcase track event is indeed a monumental achievement, historic in its impressiveness and unprecedendted nature. However–there’s always a ‘however’–some of the reaction to Bolt’s win has been a little over the top. For example: Usain Bolt’s claim as greatest athlete ever.
Perhaps that statement merely represents an overenthusiastic headline writer. But…greatest athlete ever? Greatest athlete? Ever? Please, folks–put down the bong and clear your heads. Even in an era where the latest thing is always the greatest thing, this claim is wildly over the top.
Continue reading Insane In The Bolt Brain
A curious item came to us this past week: a jaguar that was being used in an Olympics-related event in Brazil was shot and killed after it escaped its enclosure and was perceived to be a threat to human life.
Juma the Brazilian jaguar: not a fan of these Olympics
As always happens with these sorts of incidents, there was immediate outrage over the animal’s death. Almost certainly justified outrage, I should note; again, as always, these incidents are the products of animals just doing what they do, being what they are. It was the stupidity and arrogance of the handlers that created a fatal situation.
However, the outrage may have been misplaced in this instance, in the sense that there’s a far more dangerous and predatory beast currently stalking Brazil–and any number of other locations around the world–and a little preventative action on that monster is probably much more appropriate than shooting a big cat.
In other words, it’s time to shoot the real beast: the Olympics itself.
Continue reading Shoot The Real Beast