Friday, August 8

Oh how I HATE it when politicians presume to speak for me ...

… Because, more often than not, they don't.
Here’s the latest example, the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, speaking to Australian athletes in China yesterday, razzing them up for the dreaded ‘Limpics.
I have one simple message to you," he told the team. "On every day, at every event and at every turn, the entire Australian nation is behind you - every man, woman and child”.
Bullshit Mr Rudd, I for one won't be.
The whole thing bores me to tears. I simply don’t care about a bunch of fit young folk running, jumping, swimming, throwing and buggered-if-I-know-what-else, as fast, hard, bla, bla, bla, as they can*.
I won’t be watching. I don’t care how many medals they, or any other team, win or what sacrifices they made to get there or what "heroes" they are. I’ll be reading a book and gritting my teeth with ill-concealed rage whenever it’s on the TV (contrary to popular belief I don’t always win the television wars at our house).
It's sport people, not life and death, not tragedy, not comedy, not drama, and it's just not important.
Please, just let it all be over soon.

*this is not to say I wish any of them ill, I just don’t want to see or hear any of it, grumble.


Pink Granite said...

This particular Olympics is of minimal interest to me.

But I have to say that if Mr. Brown has "Team Handball" on at any time, pretend it's not the Olympics and check it out. I used to play Team Handball in high school and it is a zippy, wildly under-appreciated sport!

From what I can sort out on-line, neither Australia nor the U.S. made it in to 2008 games.
Good luck making it through the next two- plus weeks!
- Lee

Matsby said...

I'm with you. I couldn't care less about the running and jumping...

And I also HATE when politicians say such phoney overdramatic BS like that.

e said...

Well, whether you enjoy sports or not, I think that the reason people are so drawn to the Olympics is because what it takes to get there is almost superhuman. Focus, dedication, committment, hard work beyond what most of us can even imagine. Whether it's sports, curing cancer, space travel, legislation that makes a difference, it's all the same thing: certain achievements take us past who we normally know ourselves to be and on to who we could be at our very best and with no circumstances or concerns getting in our way. That is something most of us strive for but rarely achieve. I for one am not fanatic about sports, but I still admire the athletes.

Also consider that physical achievement is just as important to our humanity as other achievements. The ancient Greeks, out of whose culture and political system grew Western civilization, prized physical achievement. In fact, that's where the Olympics began. After all, we are our bodies (our brains are part of our bodies, too), so dismissing sports as not important is like saying art is not important. If sports is not important to you, personally, that is perfectly reasonable, in the same way that art might not be important to this or that person.

From a personal perspective, I think sports are very important. I fall apart if I can't exercise regularly. I'm not good at it, but I need it for my well being, which includes my emotional well being. My moods are even when I exercise, and they fluctuate wildly when I don't. That's sports.

The other thing about sports is that it is play. Play is very important for us human beings: it's where we try things out with nothing at stake other than the outcome of the game. So, for example, we get to practice teamwork in some of our sports. A lot of men (because they do more team sports than women as a rule) will tell you that they learned to relate to each other as teammates in the sports they played. The idea of playing full out each time, regardless of the outcome in a previous game is, I think, a very valuable tool in daily life: rather than give up after being unsuccessful once or twice, keep playing, try different strategies, learn from your mistakes. Very useful.

Another thing about sports is practice. We think it's normal and acceptable to practice and get better at sports, but in life, we tend to think that either we do things perfectly, or not at all. We are stopped because somehow we think that we should know how to do things from the get-go, which is just not possible. It's easier, I think, to apply the concept of practice to other areas of life when you do it in tennis, swimming, etc.

Anyway, I do go on, don't I? Sorry, it's just that I can see so many life lessons in sports and in the Olympics, I can't help myself.

Thanks for the thought-provoking post, and I hope I haven't added to your general irritation about the Olympics. :o)

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Lee – Team handball, hmm, let me think. It’s a game, it involves team playing and balls. No, nope, it wouldn’t hold my interest for more than a nano-second.
Mr Gatsby –I’m glad there’s at least 1 other like me & a bloke too, that’s very refreshing.
E – I can see your point, I recognise the athletes have to work hard & sacrifice (focus, dedication, commitment, bla) but they do it because they WANT to. All power to them, I hope it makes them happy but don’t expect me to watch, or care, or attend hero-worshiping victory parades. It’s still sport, games. It’s not curing cancer or fighting for justice or making lives better. It’s elite athletes competing against each other for personal glory, coming first, winning medals.
I’ve noticed from your blog you enjoy exercise, and if it makes you feel good that’s excellent. Organised exercise just makes me hot, sweaty and very, very grumpy. I hate it, have always hated it, drove my PE (Phys Ed) teachers insane by refusing to compete. I didn’t need to win and I didn’t care if I didn’t. Clearly team sport wasn’t and isn’t my thing. I just wanted to be left alone with my book. One of Mr Brown’s biggest disappointment is I won’t (can’t, crap hand/eye coordination) play catch with him.
Play, hmmm, will no, I don’t play games (scarred for life by a sister who cared WAY too much about winning Trivial Pursuit/Monopoly/any other board or card game). And, as I pointed out above, I just don’t care about winning so was never any good at the whole team games thing either. Play doesn’t have to be sports or games, play comes in many different guises - lucky for me!
The point of the post was sport is fine, but it’s not important and I find the whole Australian worship of sport and athletes sick making. Sportspeople get voted Australian of the Year here, they get elected as local politicians, they are called “heros” simply on the basis that they were very, very good at playing a particular game. It just doesn’t wash with me.
Phew, fingers tired now, must rest ;)

Urban Koda said...

I was kind of hoping that having a less than mediocre fan in the land of Oz was going to help Team USA's chances...

Way to kill that one for me Gatsby!

Ms Brown Mouse said...

UK - I think team USA always beats us in the count, you don't need my help!