Bah. Harmony. • 9 August 2008 • The SnowBlog
I wish I could remember exactly the logical granny-knot my teachers used to tie themselves in when explaining what's so great about the Olympic Games. There was something about nations setting aside their petty differences and their pointless vying in order to scrabble for national glory in a range of slightly exotic sports - although it was never clear to me that they couldn't do both at the same time (or even the latter as a seamless extension of the former). And then there was something about how great it was to watch amateurs competing for once, instead of people who had dedicated their lives and careers to the sport. Of course that stipulation has now gone and achieving appropriate amateur status is as simple as saying 'I want to win a medal'. Anyway, why am I being such a sourpuss? Probably because I've always been rubbish at sport and find it boring to look at - as well as suspecting it's a brilliant trick to distract 90% of military age men from marching on Whitehall and/or the CBI and demanding a few changes. The one pleasure I do get out of the games is wondering what would happen to the viewing figures if - as in the original games - contestants competed in the nude. Are straight men now so homophobic that they couldn't watch naked blokes doing anything just in case someone thought they were ogling? Probably. Some viewers would drop out; others would tune in for the first time. It's probably worth trying it once just to see. Perhaps in East London in 2012.