The Miles Franklin Blog is renowned for
the COMRADERIE of its writers, readers, and contributors.
It has rejuvenated my career, unquestionably making a
difference in countless lives. The content is transmitted over the
web, enabling its message to spread round the world. And for that, we
should ALL be proud of what is being accomplished.
the topics involved are not upbeat, so at times it can be depressing. That is
why David Schectman and I try to mix up the
monotony of GLOBAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE and INEVITABLE HYPERINFLATION with
positive stories of life experience, inspiration, and hope.
And for those that don’t believe me, look it up; this is my fifth
“positive RANT” of July alone, following “THE GREATER GOOD”,
“SLEEP OF THE
JUST,” and “WIDE WORLD OF
latter piece, I wrote of the inspiration generated by observing
superhuman mental and physical feats – although watching John Schmidt
play championship level pool would certainly fit that description as well. I
am always hoping to find new demonstrations of human strength to empower myself,
several of which came across my path at last month’s Freedom Fest.
Aside from watching John play pool, and watching Leslie Manookian’s
Greater Good documentary, my wife and I watched Cirque de Soleil,
perhaps the most magical entertainment creation of the past century.
of course, there’s the Olympic Games, which billions
are watching from the four corners of the globe. I can’t say
I’m thrilled about London being awarded the right to generate such
exorbitant profits, after its government and banks spent the
past decade – or heck, centuries – raping and pillaging
the world’s population, and resources. That said, when it comes to the
purity of the games themselves, it matter not where they are played.
always despised the Games’ commercialization, starting with
sending professional athletes like the U.S. Basketball “Dream
Team” to compete with amateurs. I realize it has always been a
“chicken and egg” situation, as once one nation sends
professionals, the others feel compelled to do so as well. However, the true
spirit of the games is embodied by talent, work ethic, and the drive
to excel – with no hidden political or economic agendas. Fortunately,
most Olympic sports do not offer rewarding financial careers afterwards, so
that spirit still remains in many events.
why I so thoroughly enjoy less “commercial” sports, like
volleyball, field hockey, and wrestling – and shun “cash
cows” like basketball and tennis (although I’ll NEVER miss a good
golf match). And already – in just the first two days – I have
found myself compelled by the spirit of competition, representing
“ALL THAT’S GOOD” in mankind. Yesterday, for example, I
watched 16-year old American Ariel Hsing nearly
beat the 24-year old, second seeded table tennis player in the
Olympics, Chinese champion Li Xiaoxia, losing by
the very tight score of 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9…
Hsing just misses on big upset
I watched the usual drama that is the all-around gymnastics competition,
featuring skill sets akin to the best of Cirque de Soleil’s top
performers. The strength, hand/eye co-ordination, and balance
of seemingly impossible tasks like the Pommel Horse, uneven bars, and
rings are a sight to behold, leaving me in awe of how many years
of training it takes to reach such proficiency. Throw in the fact that most
Olympic athletes are self-financed – with little potential gain
beyond a gold medal – and you can see why the Olympic games never fail
to maintain their allure.
erroneously accused me of being “anti-American” when I noted that
I would have trouble rooting for a basketball team consisting of LeBron
James, Kobe Bryant, and other top professionals against overmatched foes from
Serbia, Lithuania, and Tunisia. But that is NOT my true feeling – aside
from basketball, of course. My issue has nothing to do with the athletes –
and frankly, I have no issue with LeBron James accepting an invitation to
compete. My issue is with governments that seek to replace the spirit of
competition with political and economic agendas – and oftentimes, egos
(would it surprise you that the UK has more athletes participating than ANY
other country, including the U.S. and China?)…
athletes: the 2012 Games full list visualized
In the end,
the “balance of power” of the pros and cons of the Olympics
weighs towards “ALL THAT’S GOOD” in mankind. Sometimes life
imitates art – as in Sylvester Stallone’s famous speech to the
Russian Premier in Rocky IV…
Rocky IV Speech
sometimes, life simply IS art.
YOURSELF, and do it NOW!