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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics in Advertising

Okay, so I'm an unapologetic knee-jerk, 1960's/'70's liberal, but wouldn't it be wonderful and inspiring, and peaceful if once, just once, in the history of television, the American public could view the Olympic Games without a single commercial? Uninterrupted action, Yea!

This blog is not about dissing the corps that buy these games' supporting ads. because I understand the financial requirements needed to televise a huge production such as the Olympics. But, here's my suggestion to the corps: Forget the profits! Do the games pro-bono. In the long run, what do you really lose that you can't make up in any number of ways later? And please don't tell me that you're in such dire financial straights that loss of Olympic income will bust you.

Be it ever so humble, here's my rationale for a commercial free Olympics. First, I'm reasonably sure that there are no convincing stats out there that prove corporations' sales increase during or immediately after an Olympics Games. So, in terms of bottom line, are the companies getting their bang for their buck? I doubt it. Second, the corps that own the TV stations may or may not make a profit, iffy at best. Third, it looks to me that the only folks in econ-land improving their bottom-line are the advertising companies. Since I've always felt the advertising industry works on the principal of The Emperor's New Clothes, it wouldn't bother me if their bottom-line suffered through a brief Olympic Games diet.

The Olympic Games only last for a short period of time and then everybody, corps, television, advertisers, could get back to the business of making money, and we viewers, alas, would return to pressing our MUTE buttons during those pathetic beer commercials. But, oh, how pleasant it would be to look back on a glorious, a magnificent, an improbable dream-come-true, commercial-free Olympics.

Just the thought of it makes me shiver with excitement.

As the Olympics begin this week, did you know that in ancient Greece, the competing athletes would hire poets to write victory odes for them should they win?  And that poets attending the games would set up stalls from which they would declaim poems honoring the games?

Here's a funny poem about the Games, by Australian poet, Graeme King

I ran into the stadium, and heard the mighty roar;
the crowd was on is feet and going wild,
no sign of all the field, they were a mile behind and more.
I looked into the audience and smiled.

I ran the final lap and saw those five Olympic rings,
the flame was burning brightly in the sky,
the track was like a cloud, it felt as though I ran on wings,
the people cheered as I went running by.

I turned the final corner, one more straight to win the gold,
the finish line a hundred yards away.
Right from the start I'd grabbed the lead, and kept a stranglehold,
the others couldn't catch, not today.

The Marathon - a test of athlete's tolerance to pain,
so may hours of torture now was past,
I'd buried all the hurt down somewhere deep inside my brain,
and now I'd reap my just rewards at last.

I broke the tape, the world went mad, I couldn't hear a thing,
the cheering washed across me like a sea,
I'd done what I set out to do: a winner in Beijing,
the referee was beckoning to me.

H shook my hand and said, "I know this may sound rather mean,
the field and you was just like cheese and chalk;
if only you had looked behind, perhaps you may have seen
this was the Forty Kilometre WALK.

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