Oh, I missed the Olympics already!

Life after the Olympics sucks--it's like recovering from a grape juice binge! The hangover is mainly in our stomach and we feel pathetic, like suffering for a sin we didn’t really commit.

To say the truth, however, for us insomniacs, those two Olympic weeks were like an oasis in the long, dull summer nights! We could sit in front of the TV, and while doing everything else--from reading, writing, chatting on Facebook with distantly-placed friends – another good thing about Facebook is that those “friends” are not near – dozing or crunching on one too many snacks, we could have the Olympics playing and pretend we were supporting our athletes (when in reality we were killing time until the new day would crack between the curtains, the unmistakable signal that it’s time to go to bed).

After the Olympics, the feeling of emptiness, of an abrupt loss, was so overwhelming that I even started questioning my own manhood! I was missing fellow Greek American NBC host Bob Costas, his English cut and gaily-colored suits, so much that I had to be in love with him! Bob Costas was fun to watch during his late night or early morning interviews providing the TV volume was all the way down: fun to watch but unbearable to hear! There is only so much stupidity one can take from his favorite sportscaster and Costas’ becomes an overdose after the first five minutes!

To think that I have to wait another four years for my Olympic “serenade” is completely unnerving--not to mention that Brazil’s time isn’t that different from ours--meaning no more late night Olympics, perhaps, which gives me another reason to emigrate to a distant time zone, somewhere west of the Pacific, which becomes the absolute East, and in a risky metaphor-- where the ultra right and the ultra left in Greek politics meet and share the spoils of the disaster about to happen!

Leaving politics aside, Greeks in Greece proper, and many all over the world, went out of their way to bash the British for their opening Olympic …Gaymes ceremony. Going even further, they compared that fiesta with the Athenian one, eight years ago, which according to their narrow-mindedness set the standards for all Olympic opening ceremonies to be measured by! The British didn't seem to have that in mind, they just did their thing and it's up to us to like it or not like it. Au contraire, in Greece by an unwritten decree, you are not allowed to say that the 2004 ceremony was a stupid, carnival-like extravaganza on the basis of fake premises! And those outside the country, who voiced their dislike, were immediately branded anti-Hellenes! So much for political culture and national confidence in the birth place of democracy …

What's wrong with MR BEAN, JAMES BOND, DAVID BECKAM, MARY POPPINS AND THE BRITISH PUBLIC HEALTH CARE SYSTEM? Besides, all those are more relevant to today's English reality than "our" ancient glory” to today's Greece! It is we who are deceiving ourselves in the hope that we might deceive the others as well!

To make things worse, Zack Rogue, the president of the so-called International Olympic Committee, a cold-blooded, money-making machine that guards its “Olympic” copyrights with the same zeal that Senator Kerry’s wife guards her ketchup recipe (and her age), said during his speech that in a sense, Olympic Games had returned to their home by being hosted in London. That was the drop that filled the glass of our indignant compatriots! How did he dare to say that something as Greek as the Olympics went home to London! (The Parthenon Marbles are still there--but, I forgot: they were stolen by the British who bribed the Ottomans that owned them then.)

Rogue, an unbearably cold, boring, square minded French-speaking Belgian, said the truth as we don’t like to hear it! The Olympic Games that we have today, and most of the sports since they were …resurrected--were shaped and codified in England and other Northern European countries by the aristocracy that had the time and money to spend in sports! The same goes with the way they conceived and romanticized Hellenic antiquity. It’s their creation and naturally in their image, we just went along--as in so many other things. We, as modern Greeks, have very naively copied and adopted that image for ourselves, creating a faux reality that has brought a number of complexes and illusions on our national character. And the same burden has been carried to a great extent by our Diaspora brethren whether we like it or not.

The London Olympics Opening Ceremony was successful (not in terms of aesthetics, necessarily), because it reflected what England is and has been; it didn’t try to prove anything. The Athens ceremony, on the other hand, was out of place and tune, because in trying to reaffirm false impressions in an insanely megalomaniac show-off way, it proved as fake as …the new Acropolis Museum! (I wanted to say “as fake as someone’s that I know, boobs,” but the Acropolis Museum is more dramatic and less pleasant in sight, so it worked better. Besides, this way the wrath of (our cultural) …dogs will surely fall on me, hahahaha!)


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