Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Shockingly, the Olympics are going to go on despite an epidemic

For The Gold
Small note from what might be the most repre- sentative event of our entire unhappy and unholy year of deaths to visionaries, rampant murder and an election cycle that's making an untold number of people hide under the bed while vomiting... the World Health Organization says the Rio Olympics should go on as planned, because millions of people bringing home the Zika virus to their own areas and spreading it through is totes adorable. Or Something.

Maybe the idea is that we need to make sure there's a seriously large market for future Zika drugs. Or that there is already a cure, but it's crazy expensive and only goes to the rich, who are, of course, the ones who might fly in to see the Olympics in the first place. But more likely, it's the media needing to sell the Games, because the Games are a big Tee Vee show in the middle of the endless summer, and what's another few million people and their permanently damaged babies among friends.

Every Olympics is, of course, a disaster; even the best-run and least-terrible to the local area is a fraud giveaway that's over the top. But this one, to a country in terrible straits, already dealing with a major land grab from the recent World Cup, just seems cruel to the point of British comedy. I never thought I'd see a sports fan be more compromised than what NFL people have to deal with, or maybe a boxing or UFC person who has to pretend that head trauma isn't an inevitability.

But the idea that the athletes who are among the world's best in a host of less popular sports are going to have to compete in places that no sane person should want to be in... and that to see it live, others will have to put themselves at risk for a disease with no current cure?

My mind is boggled. And appalled, then surprised, then disgusted by my capacity to be surprised...

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