Until now I've refrained from posting about the Olympics; it has always left me with ambivalent feelings and even more so this year. A big part of this distaste lies with the American media's handling of the events, particularly with the analysis and the "personalities" who fill the gaps. It is getting better, at least Bob Costas didn't yak over the opening song this time (as he did to Pavarotti singing Verdi in Italy!) although perhaps he should have- to let us know that it was being lip-synced. Icelandic blogger Alda has an excellent post on the subject, as does Sharon Spotbottom, expressed in a most unique fashion.
The elephant in the room, or rather the dragon, is China itself. Equally complicit is the United States, its trading partner and economic bedfellow. The stink of money, money made at any cost, clouds these games. The apt spectacle of a smog-shrouded Olympic Stadium gave a graphic proof of the results of this unfettered economic expansionism. The bizarre murder of one of the biggest supporters of US Volleyball cast a chill over that competition- not saying that it was anything other than a random act of violence, but it wouldn't surprise if it wasn't. There is just too much money and power at stake.
Which is how we got into this quandary, I suppose. The Olympic ideal may never have been as utopian as it seems, but the seed of that idea has grown into some very strange fruit, indeed.