was at a bar the other night, a tony place downtown that
mixes the people who do theater with the people who pay
to see it. It's a place where you can eavesdrop on lots
of animated conversations and see girls light up stogies
after 10PM. However, this time it was different. Everyone,
the well-dressed big-diamond folk, the computer geek foursomes,
the hot and heavy kids, even the lushes had totally contorted
their bodies trying to glimpse the boob tube. What on earth
was going on? Earthquake in San Fran? School shooting? Maybe
some genius assassinated the V.P. and murdered G.W.?
Nope. The Olympics.
Still, I was surprised by how engrossed these folks really
seemed. What's so amazing about a doped up sinewy length
of she-male running from nowhere to nowhere? And in Australia?
Hate the Olympics
I'll never understand it. It's not like there's any life-or-death
drama to it, like gladiators or bull fights. It's a silly
contest to see who's lucky stars sided with their obsessive-compulsive
disorders on a given day. I'd prefer a Little League game
down the street, quite frankly. But you people, you seem
to like it. Is it the pomp and circumstance? The alleged
fostering of peace amongst nations? The excuse for virulent
nationalism? Or just the gold-silver-bronze may-the-best-man-get-the-most-endorsements
glory of it all?
These Olympians, they spend every minute of every day in
their self-obsessed little routines, eating, breathing,
sleeping for one purpose only.....themselves. Talk about
ego-mania. Sure, they couch it in laudable language, like,
"I wanna be a role model for children everywhere...I wanna
bring home the gold for AMERICA." Bullshit. Try "I wanna
think about nothing but my body and its needs and its optimum
condition so I won't have to think about anything else."
It's addiction, baby. Coached by mantras of "Focus, focus,
My dad breeds Olympians. I was up for the crown of thorns
for a while in high school. It wasn't that I wanted to devote
my life to skiing, it just took over. And wasted four years
of my life. Then it took over my brother's life, and now
it's got baby brother seeing the doctor for MRI's cuz his
pelvic bone's been fucked up by too much running. He's 18!
You fuckin' need a healthy pelvic bone at age 18!
I do think it's laudable to be an athlete, and to do it
to the best of your ability, but not to the detriment of
every other aspect of your life! It's too self-obsessed.
Too focused. The definition of unhealthy. I'd approve of
the Olympics much more if Olympians actually worked real
jobs, had healthy families AND managed to be incredibly
strong, graceful, and FAST.
The mother of my ex-boyfriend, who raised a couple Olympic-caliber
athletes, described the pressure like this.
"It's insane. It's all-the-time. You could be at the top
of your game, and then sleep wrong on your wrist, get a
cold at the wrong time, or have the real world come knocking
and you're out for six months, four years, or forever! It's
a ton of pressure."
Meanwhile, her son, my ex-, has moved to Bend, where he
skies, runs, or bikes for eight or more hours a day. In
his spare time he goes door-to-door begging for money so
he can continue to lead his busy life of self-obsessed insanity.
He likes it, and it looks like he might make the 2002 team,
but I know sometimes he regrets it, and wonders what else
he could have done with the last four years of his life.
But of course, in a corporate world, gold medals and Wheaties
box covers are the pinnacle of achievement, and worth laying
waste to thousands of young lives.
I just don't get it.