Thursday, 21 August 2008

May the Games Begin....

My Dearest Darlings, you cannot have failed to notice that the Olympics are currently taking place in Beijing, the planet’s greatest sports people are given a mighty platform to display their immense skill on a world stage, mammoth crowds cheer their country men and women to bronze, silver and gold, though as the games draw to a close in China and the spotlight falls on London to host the next global celebration your not so humble servant is troubled.

It is heart-warming to see humankind come together for a cause that is not one of war or conflict and even I your goddess of alienation am moved by this orgy of cooperation. Though during the pageantry of the opening ceremony I was left with a question, how is sport able to bring humanity together in such a way?

It occurred to me that it is the absence of thought that guarantees sport its dominant position in your pitiful society. I accept that to become a world class Olympian takes dedication, skill, drive, ambition and certainly a modicum of intelligence and I am certainly in awe of the aspirant few who excel in any field.

Though as countless sporting clichés sprout from the mouths of the Olympians and journalists gush over team GB as if they have saved a life or discovered the cure for cancer. I am inclined to question the wider cultural issue. Where is an equivalent platform for thought, philosophy and innovation, for debate, discussion and the exploration of human existence?

The answer of course is culture! Rich and fertile ground for thought and consideration. Museums, galleries, libraries and theatres are the stadia of thought. Though as London prepares to host the 2012 Olympics immense funds are being pilfered from these cultural havens set aside for the few remaining citizens that are determined to think.

Global broadcast networks set aside valuable air time for various sportspeople’s achievements whilst the same networks persistently ignore cultural highlights that occur away from the lense of popular culture. Writers are ignored, cultural programming is demoted to late night scheduling and contemporary artists are derided, argument and debate focuses on the question of ‘what art is?’ rather than its possible qualities. As a result the population is left illiterate and dumbfounded by anything other than sport, and celebrity culture. Caught up in the minutiae of existence you scuttle around focused on the tiniest of details rather than look at the purpose of your lives from David Beckham’s hair cut to Michael Phelps breakfast you do anything other than contemplate the meaning of life.

Of course I do not intend to deride all sporting activity, fitness is part of a full and productive life though one should not need to “give it 110%” of your time and energy as so many Olympians predictably proclaim.

The Olympic committee may defend themselves by claiming that sporting activity acts as inspiration for the world and there is no doubt that the setting of goals is a healthy activity though it’s highly likely that the majority of you reading this are sat staring at a screen as you have been sat staring at various screens all day, from your mobile to your TV to your Laptop, constant staring and sitting is not an Olympic sport, it is a guaranteed way to waste away your physical self as well as your rapidly diminishing mental aptitudes.

So as sport is intended to inspire physical activity what is there to inspire mental agility? Sadly less and less as your governments are intent on an ‘either/or’ solution though perhaps the billions spent on war and conflict would be a better pot to pilfer?

Much Love as Always the ridiculously wise Ms Coco LaVerne x