Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Olympics epilogue

Ok, it’s DNC time, so only one last post about the greatest sports spectacle on the face of the earth (read that with the booming Moses voice, if you like).

 

The games were great.  I love the Olympics.  I love the spectacle.  I love the stories (even if coverage of those stories is weak, at best).

 

But something still haunts me from the Olympics…  it came in the opening ceremony, and it’s a single word.

 

“Harmony”

 

It’s not because I don’t like harmony.  Multiple parts working together in concert is an amazing thing to see.  With harmony generally comes peace, even if the peacefulness is rooted in friendly competition.

 

But that word…  harmony…  as it was presented and BY WHOM it was presented still haunts me.

 

Where there is no freedom, there is no harmony.

 

Where peace is imposed, there is no harmony.

 

If you have peace at the end of a gun barrel, or under the lash of a whip, there is no harmony.

 

Peace and harmony can look like many things, but peace and harmony is not necessarily the absence of strife.  (Segue to election coverage now…)

We’re going through an election right now, which is a truly unique type of civil war.  We schedule it, every 4 years, and come out and rip the other side a new one, but within the division and strife (usually) all parties are pulling for the same American ideal.  We haven’t had a full scale shooting war in 150 years over political differences.  Sure, you can consider gang violence and various militia groups as “dissidents” or “insurrectionists” or even the more honest (though, with more noble connotation) “rebels”, but none of those sparked a prairie fire.  We have freedom, and within that freedom we are able to voice dissent, and within that dissent is true harmony—many strings, many notes, one theme.

(Back to the Olympics…)

In China, the only “harmony” I saw was a symbol on the stadium floor.  An empty currency with no backing.

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