As I’ve mentioned in this space several times, I hate the Olympics. It’s nothing but an orgy of nationalism, spiced with hypocrisy about “international brotherhood” and the glory of athleticism, all geared primarily toward raking in huge shovelsful of money. And even if you want to merely admire the athleticism on display, ask yourself (particularly concerning the sports whose excellence requires constant and expensive training from a very young age), as Kurt Vonnegut did about an Olympic swimmer character’s father, “what kind of man turns his own daughter into an outboard motor?”
And pity the city that’s privileged to host the Olympics – or rather, pity its residents, who’ll find their poorer component shoved into the nearest dumpster in order to erect pointless stadia, rent jacked up to the sky, and police only too eager to put the hurt on in the name of public relations. And of course this year we have the spectacle of China – who should probably just deal with its human rights problems by compelling its political prisoners to breathe its air: I mean, when they all keel over, that’s not abuse, is it?
Anyway, further ammunition, courtesy of David Byrne’s blog: turns out the whole concept of the torch relay is yet another contribution of those pioneers of large-scale performance art: the Nazis.