The Ugly American
Watching the Winter Olympics opening ceremony last night gave me a small shiver of hope- at least some of the people of the world can get together and have a go at something other than warfare or explotation. I grant that there is as much politics and behind the scenes manuvering as in any human endeavor, but at least some people are connecting in a small way with others from around the world. The pageantry, especially the choreography, is a little (!) on the hyper side, but that too is ok, this ceremony is really a dress-up party for the world (...loved those Mongolian hats!)
At the end, in honor of the great Italian tradition of Opera, the greatest living Italian Opera Star, Pavarotti, sang Verdi, arguably the father of modern Italy.
Viewers in the United States got to listen to Bob Costas talk over the first several bars of Mr. Pavarotti's performance. This wasn't an accidental oversight- the show was (like most of the Olympics) taped (NBC evidently thinks US citizens can't handle real-time events- or that it can sell more commercials) and STILL Bob thought we should hear him prattle on instead of this musical giant. A master, singing in his home country, with hundreds of years of tradition behind him. Proving once again that Americans just don't get it. An ugly American- crass, mercenary, and self absorbed to the point of idiocy, real classy, Bob, real classy...