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The revealtion that we have each coughed up £400 for the Olympics rather startled me. And I wondered if it was 'worth it'.
There are those who think its been paradise all the way and those who wring their hands at the stupidity of it all.
I take a sort of middle ground; A folly with a spiritual caveat if you will.
Outside of survival and procreation, is not all other human activity superfluous?
What were the stories and dances around the tribal fire but a way of bringing meaning to our spare time?
And what is a game, but life shrunk and caged by its rules into something manageable in which to celebrate its basic story?
In our abstracted society, so far from natural, direct survival motivations, we are forced to synthesise these basic needs into something we call culture.
The ritual is ridiculous.
And the London Olympics can be seen as nothing more than smashing a champagne bottle on the side of a sinking ship.
Isn’t all life like that?
We’re all gonna die one day.
The future is only as bright as the particular place you want to see ahead.
Beyond the gold medal lies the grave.
So here’s a glass raised to the Olympics. And the mysterious contradiction at the heart of the human psyche that means a global forum for the competitive instinct can ignite empathy between us with its divisive flame.
Maybe it is that underneath all the cries and the face paint, we are subconsciously sharing the knowledge that it is the taking part in the flux of life that really matters.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; August 11th, 2012 at 07:37 AM.
"Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors and talk of wills:
And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?"
I get the sentiment, but damn...y'all must be great at parties.
As the ego shrinks, so the spirit expands.
Your poems reminds me of Sailing To Byzantium.
Ive really enjoyed that bonkers horse race through all the landscaped jumps, the BMW racing, Jessica Ennis and the boxing. Nicola Adams and Tony Agogo smashing it!
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; August 11th, 2012 at 01:23 PM.
I love Yeats, but that was from Richard II... however, perhaps considering Chris's Olympic theme, this is more appropriate:
"Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust."
I'll see you at the bar...
I love the Olympics. I love the idea that you work for 4 years towards one thing and then win or lose, you're a part of something greater. Of course, that Team GB is doing rather well is just the icing on the cake. My husband has learnt an appreciation of dressage or dancing horses as he calls it, and I love dipping in to see sports that are never shown at any other time. Handball is very boring. More cycling during the rest of the year would be nice.
I'm not big on watching other people do stuff. Except, for some reason, slalom skiing. It's kind of hypnotic and every once in a while someone falls over in a spectacular fashion.
The wonderful footage of Charlotte Dujardin upon her horse after her event as the result was announced:
Silhoutted completely alone against the tall trees as the roar of the crowd reached her; the horse sent sidling away from us by the sheer volume, Charlotte’s confused expression, the realisation, the hand to the mouth. It lasted only seconds before the people and the cameras came into picture, but it was one of the most beguiling and intoxicating moments to watch – Dujardin in a paradise garden.
And wasn't today's cross country cycling great!
I'm not from the UK, but in all honesty this is the same thing with any sport really. There's no actual point to any of it. Trophies mean little to nothing. For the U.S. something like "Oh your team for your state won the Superbowl, ah that's nice. You kind of had nothing to do with it at all, you weren't on the team or did anything for them and how it serves as a point of pride is beyond me. But that's cool I guess".
To some people however sports is their life. I guess who am I to talk though I waste tons of my time drawing, or playing videos games which also serve no purpose to anyone but myself .
Ahhh.... dammit..... getting into one of those why do anything at all states lol.
"I don't know. Understand this: for 100% of my life so far, I found watching sport – any sport – marginally less interesting than watching cardboard exist.
Now my eyeballs are eating it up, even while my brain fails to make sense of it. Take the swimming. I have no idea why there are so many different flavours: 50m, 200m, 400m, 800m, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle, relay, marathons, medleys … there's everything bar an event called Swimming While Thinking About Fleetwood Mac. At the 1900 Paris Olympics there was a 200m obstacle course, in which swimmers "had to climb over a pole, then climb over a row of boats, and then swim under another row of boats". That was virtually the only thing missing from these Games. I've seen endless hours of swimming. By choice. You could leave it on in the background. It was like having a fish tank full of mysterious water people in the corner of the room. Made me feel like a god tinkering in his shed, glancing at his pets now and then. Oddly comforting. And everything in the velodrome looks great too. It's Battle of the Planets on wheels, and could only be improved with laser turrets or full compulsory nudity, or both."
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; August 11th, 2012 at 02:16 PM.
I'm ambivalent toward the Olympics. The opening ceremony was fun, and although it was rather nice to see the National Health Service being honoured I was thinking all through that segment of how that money could be used to actually help the underfunded NHS now being celebrated! Strange ironies at play...
I can't help thinking that the Olympics should still be including the arts as it once did, where architecture, sculpture, music, painting and literature were also rewarded alongside physicality:
The thing that I don't like about the Olympics is that it is supposed to be the best in the world, but really what it is, is the best of those who can afford to compete. I used to work out with some of the top Tae Kwon Do guys in the states, under a very well respected Olympic coach. Everyone has to pay for all of the gear, the travel, and the tournement entry fees out of there own pocket on top of the $100+ a month for the class fees. Sure these guys were good, but sadly I've known a lot of better martial artists who couldn't afford to make it.
As for the Olympics, I never used to care for them. Then I started working out last summer and since then I've gained a whole new admiration for sport in general. I'm more than happy to watch pretty much any sport...except for tennis. For some reason it bores me to tears even though everyone's got biceps you can see from across the ocean.
Probably my favourite thing about watching the athletes is they make everything look incredibly easy. Then the cameras rush down to the finish line to get an interview with the winner and you can see everyone is burnt toast from the effort. They're working just as hard as the average joe, except they're breaking world records while doing it. It makes me feel better about looking like trash whenever I finish working out.
Okay, maybe not "just as hard", but they're certainly not out on a easy morning stroll.
Check out my sketchbook! Socially acceptable opportunity to yell at a teenage girl!
We have art, they have sports. It's just nice to see some sort of global unity even if only for one or two weeks.
For less than $7 per person we went to Mars during the Olympics yet got lots of gold anyways.
It was worth it.
"Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
I live about 10 minutes from the Olympic Stadium, and before it started I couldn't care less about the whole thing, not even enough to watch the opening ceremony.
But then something happened. I started seeing some of the athletes out in the area, in the Tube on my way to work and in the shopping center. That's when it hit me. History was being made right in my backyard, those same athletes came from all over the world to become the best at what they do, and I couldn't even motivate myself to make a simple drawing. Ffffuuuuuu..
Oh well, at least it was inspiring, and in the end I couldn't help but get excited about Mo Farah and Bolt's performances.
It's also who can afford the best 'performance enhancers' - i.e those more complex steroid stacks that can get around the dope testing. When you gather together the best genetically gifted athletes who train all year round, the thing that starts to separate the winner from the loser is probably down to the quality of the drugs they're using.The thing that I don't like about the Olympics is that it is supposed to be the best in the world, but really what it is, is the best of those who can afford to compete. I used to work out with some of the top Tae Kwon Do guys in the states, under a very well respected Olympic coach. Everyone has to pay for all of the gear, the travel, and the tournement entry fees out of there own pocket on top of the $100+ a month for the class fees. Sure these guys were good, but sadly I've known a lot of better martial artists who couldn't afford to make it.
If the London Olymics was a drug-induced fantasy, that closing ceremony was us coming off the ceiling. God, it was pants.
Though I have to say I like the idea of getting people from all over the world in London and forcing them to stand in the shape of a union jack.
I had a problem with the way the torch was extinguished.
Rather than let the moment speak for itself... they did not trust it. They tried to hype it with music and lights and dancing and a naff phoenix because they assumed we couldn't hope for ourselves. And in so doing unconsciously wrote down to our despair rather than up to out bravery. Such is their vulgar hubris.
So they pissed a soundtrack over something real because they did not believe that a flame dying in silent darkness could embody our human commonality. That the dying of a light did not signify the reason we rejoice when we can, when we briefly hold two fingers up at the approaching train of our mortality and know it doesn’t matter.
Well I like the Spice Girls and Eric Idle totally stole the show. It sure went on for too long.
Yes, I was dreading the Spice Girls, but they were one of the best things in it along with Eric Idle.
The Ugandan National Anthem was kinda fun... Like a slowed down, less whistly version of Z Cars.
I was also praying that Boris Johnson didn't set fire to the Olympic flag...
i bet there were a lot of bottles of wee on that pitch after..
great games though, loads of fun.