Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympics and nationalism

Again I apologize for the lack of blogging. One of the down sides to living on a boat in using a wi-fi subscription service whose owners have little incentive for good customer service.

I've gotten a couple comments on a previous post questioning my dislike for the Olympics. Flatly put, I find the Olympics a bit creepy. I find something very Orwellian in the fact that I am expected to look up to and celebrate certain athletes just because they happen to be born in the same country as me.

I know you can say the same thing about professional the NHL, but I find this less extreme. You are still allowed to be a fan a hockey team that is from a different city than yours (though it is not encouraged). You are also allowed to not be a hockey fan. Where as with the Olympics "I don't like fencing" doesn't seem to be an adequate excuse for not watching.

Lastly, people have the ridiculous idea that your nations performance in the Olympics is somehow a measure of how good your country is doing. This is not a standard that we have in hockey, and I am grateful.

On this note, Paul Krugman has an excellent column today about the threat the nationalism poses to globalisation. It is important to remember that the Olympics only serves to make this worse despite whatever people say about it being a "celebration of world peace"

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