Friday, February 7, 2014

Sochi, So Much

I don't know about you, but I am having trouble connecting with this 2014 Winter Olympics Games. For starters, it's the Winter Olympics, a mix of sports that I have rarely seen and even more rarely participated in (Skiing? A mini-breakdown a la 2004 in comparison to 2012's zip line fiasco - yikes). Plus, there is all that snow. Considering the snow, the conditions, the situation and the months (miss you Ben, Rita, Granny, and Jessica), I am just not up for much winter fun. In fact, driving along snow clotted roads in subzero temperatures, Winter Fun seems a cruel jock or an impossible dream. Where is spring? Where is life?

Then there are the human rights issues, specific to these games, the gay rights involved in the whole matter. How can the whole world unite for a time of apparent peace, equality, and fellowship, when its populations's queers are pushed to the margins or encouraged to not participate (tragically, brutally encouraged to no longer live by some). It would be one thing if Russia seemed unaccustomed to its gay cousins, like an elderly grandmother chuckling about men she once knew who were 'light in the loafers,' rather than clearly against them, like a Nazi regime despising its Semitic roots. How can I support such superstars as Maria Sharapova, a female tennis star and almost by default a gay icon, embracing Sochi as home without addressing the anti-gay messages sent by its capitol. Maria, do you think many of your hetero fans give a hoot about your candy project, Sugar-pova?

Am I simply unpatriotic or uninterested? To be honest, I don't care how anyone performs on their blades, boards or luges, and a considerable part of me hopes to watch usually underrepresented countries like Iceland, Norway, Greenland, even Canada dominate this Olympics as opposed to the American deluge usually experienced in the summer olympics (best believe I still rooting for the Williams' sisters in singles and doubles come 2016). The winter olympics most interesting star, Johnny Weir has been excluded in part because of his desire to work outside the sport, but also the very evident distaste for gays in the Sochi air. Where are the Tara Lipinskis, Nancy Kerrigans, Tanya Hardings, and Brian Boitanos? Surya Bonaly and her illegal backflips, a Josephine Baker (or possibly more accurate Grace Jones) on ice?

To add fire or confusion (you decide) to the matter, I currently do not have cable television. Instead, my viewing pleasures consist of what I can find on Netflix and Hulu. This puts me slightly removed from popular culture and What Is Happening This Minute, but at the same time, if it has anything to do with Kimye, baby Northwest, Teen Mom, The Bachelor, or Joe Boehner's tan I am not interested.

A Winter Olympics I'd like to see? The pot holes filled on Washington Street. Sidewalks shoveled and cleaned so pedestrians don't have to dangerously wander into oncoming traffic. Donations of warm clothing and food to the needy. An increase in the availability of Bourbon at any given hour as it proves the only remedy for the cold temps.

It's highly unlikely I should find myself viewing much of these Olympics unless I should find myself at a bar or friend's house broadcasting the breakdown. And while I commend the athletes, the true meaning of sportsmanship, and the coming together of nations, no energy will be spent on my part watching nor celebrating these Olympics.

Instead, let us devout that viewers' energy to discourses on our cities and towns, to human rights, to getting along, to understanding and celebrating (not tolerating - I hate that term) each other and our differences, and most importantly to driving safely on these shitty snowy roads! Am I being cold? Tise the Season.

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