Saturday, February 08, 2014

Carrying a torch for the Olympics

This is nothing serious, but I am missing live access to the Sochi Winter Olympics --- especially the opening ceremonies; among the few downsides to disconnect (other than Web-based replays and live streaming) from television. Permanent damage is unlikely, however.

There was a good deal of talk earlier about boycotts, based upon the Putin administration's various anti-LGBT policies. I can understand that, but Olympic boycotts rarely have worked out well. And it all seemed a little disingenuous when you consider the situation in, let's say, Texas --- or Kansas.

I mean how much difference is there, really, between prevailing attitudes in the Russian Duma and the Kansas Legislature on issues like this --- under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownshirt?

Besides, all the publicity has served to highlight the outburst of Russian homophobia --- and directed attention toward some of the subtle and not-so-subtle reactions among athletes and others against it.

The big concern, of course, is the safety of everyone who is in Sochi for the big event in light of terrorist threats and the degree of ethnic, cultural and political unrest in the host country.

I know it's unpatriotic, but you sometimes wonder, too, if all the money invested in the games could be more usefully spent elsewhere. I'd be content with two permanent Olympic venues --- Greece, where it all began for example, for the summer games; Canada --- nice folks, those Canadians --- for the winter games.

Still, I've got to admit that I'm still carrying a torch (metaphorically, of course) for the Olympics.

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