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Olympics don’t belong in universe


The 2004 Summer Olympic Games open August 13 in Athens, Greece, and frankly, who cares? The Olympics are so pre-21st-century, they're like record players.

            Among the things keeping this archaic athletic competition alive are the fortunes spent on corporate sponsorship, TV broadcast rights, and International Olympic Committee members, whose penchant for personal financial gain is legendary. More on those aspects later.

Sixty-eight years ago, Adolf Hitler used the 1936 Berlin summer games to showcase his ideal society and its athletic superiority to the world. But 23-year-old US track star Jesse Owens embarrassed Hitler when he won four gold medals in one day. Owens helped prove the ridiculousness of a genetically superior race.

            Today it's nice to know that we all view ourselves as members of the human species --- no one person, or one nation, greater than the other. We're much more enlightened, having discarded man-made social constructions, such as nations and races, for the family of mankind. Pre-21st-century peoples created those labels with the intention to divide and exclude, and we now realize how silly those labels were.

            I'm being facetious, of course, though I do believe those labels are silly and mythical. Naturally, people mistake my philosophy for political correctness. But I'm at least a generation ahead of political correctness, which is still focused on celebrating diversity. I have so accepted the human species' diversity that I've stopped talking about it. I'm where PC aims to be.

For at least three years, I considered myself Milky-Wayan, part of a group of beings from across this great galaxy. It was sometimes lonely. People I ran into preferred to be Caucasian, African-American, Irish, German, or Hispanic, among other man-made, socially constructed divisions. I pointed out that they were Milky-Wayan too, and they wanted no part of it.

            I recently mentioned to my friend's dad that I was Milky-Wayan. He replied that he was Universian. I had never thought of that. Evidently, by being Milky-Wayan, I was unwittingly excluding the rest of the universe's beings. And that's just not me.

            So now I'm Universian and it feels so right.

            Being Universian isn't any more preposterous than being Caucasian or African-American. Those are man-made, socially constructed divisions. Likewise, man-made, socially constructed nations compete during the Olympic Games. And though the games are supposed to unite Earth through international athletic competition, they actually divide. They perpetuate the myth of nations and races and their imaginary differences --- often the same ingredients used as excuses for war.

Yet, the world falls for the Olympic Games every two years. The International Olympic Committee lures thousands of the planet's greatest amateur athletes to a particular place for a couple of weeks to represent their nations. The competition draws immense global interest. And because the performers usually don't get paid, and there is a reliance on an enormous number of volunteers just happy to be part of the global event, there is more money for the organizers.

            Man, what a great idea! The Olympics try to advance the "Olympic" ideals: "Promoting peace and friendship of all the people of the world, through the noble competition of sport," while at the same time, making a killing for organizers.

            To be fair, the Athens organizers, according to the Athens 2004 website, cut the sponsoring categories from 40 to 21, apparently to emphasize "the quality rather than the quantity of sponsorships in order to control the commercial aspect of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and add value to the sponsorship." But before you break out your wallet to supplement the shortfall, know that, "with only 21 local sponsoring categories, Athens 2004 has already broken all previous sponsorship records, thereby more than covering the projected sponsorship revenues."

            Oh, thank heavens!

            Well, now that I've written that last line, it has occurred to me that the heavens are only a part of the universe, which means I'm excluding the rest of it.

            I obviously need Universian sensitivity training. But what if that's only offered in Andromeda? That's 2.97 million light years away. I would never make it in time.