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Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Modest Proposal for Global Detente and International Sanity

The Olympic opening ceremonies seem every time to hit new heights of absurdity, frippery, and just plain sadness.  Especially absurd is listening to the announcers telling us what something or other "symbolizes."  Look, you can tell me that a flaming rollerblader represents "passion" all you like, but at the end of the day he's still just a flaming rollerblader to me.  Since pretty well anything can represent anything in the world of symbolism, that means someone chose to put that flaming rollerblader on stage before the whole world.  It ain't about symbolizing passion, folks: someone just wanted to feature a flaming rollerblader.  And they say we don't need an International Criminal Court. 

I must add that although these opening ceremonies, and the opening in Athens, do seem to suggest a simple correspondence between Olympic opening ceremonies and Eurotrashery, that doesn't turn out the be the case.  Does anyone remember Salt Lake City, and the little boy chased around the skating rink by indecipherable styrofoam-wearing characters? 

I think the fundamental problem is not regional; it's that any nation of the world sufficiently civilized to participate in these events apparently has lost the art of choreographing massive opening ceremonies with either skill, dignity, or both.  And that's why I propose we henceforth turn over the job of organizing opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympics to...North Korea.  As a non-freedom-loving state, North Korea still has the skill of coordinating mass crowd displays well in hand.  As a militaristic nation, it won't sacrifice its dignity: tasteful yellow kerchiefs all around, and no plastic-bubble-wearing disco-dancers.  And the fact that the world needs and asks for its help might just be the ice-breaker we need to bring North Korea to the table as a member of the council of nations.  Consider this a serious proposal, and remember -- the alternative may be global thermonuclear war and, worse,  more flaming rollerbladers.

Posted by Paul Horwitz on February 11, 2006 at 12:31 AM in Culture | Permalink


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Paul Horwitz wants to give some new countries a chance at managing the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Flaming rollerbladers indeed. [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 11, 2006 5:30:49 PM


Gee, it seems that the concepts fun, beauty, dedicated effort and peaceful international competition are just too frivolous for our doomed world.

C'mon buddy, lighten up. Aren't we allowed to be inspired by the work and dedication of highly accomplished athletes (yes even skateboarders)?

Is this world so dismal that we can't be inspired by truly beautiful performances that almost NONE of us could accomplish?

Sure the media types can go overboard in their rhetoric, but that doesn't invalidate the efforts of the athletes (even the skateboarders).

Posted by: Eclectic Floridian | Feb 13, 2006 11:43:16 AM

Thank you, Leni Riefenstahl.

Posted by: m | Feb 11, 2006 12:27:32 PM

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