- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Olympic spirit
"What is happening to the Olympics globally is a large scale version of what happened to the Olympics in the communist world during the Cold War.
"Communism is predicated on this phony ethos built around equality, worker solidarity and cooperation. Communists were not allowed to acknowledge any ethos that celebrated and thus regulated individual striving and accomplishment. So when communist officials found themselves competing with the rest of the world, they cheated on a massive scale, pumping their athletes full of steroids, lying to their own athletes. They had no moral system that had anything to do with reality. So, untethered, they behaved disgracefully.
"I was embarrassed during the last Olympics when an American relay team celebrated a victory by preening for the cameras. That is what is happening. As the official ideology of the games has emphasized cooperation the standards of sportsmanship have actually declined. Those runners had not been inculcated with the ethos of honorable competition. Nobody ever shared with them the sort of message that Tom Landry shared with his Dallas Cowboys when they expressed a desire to dance in the end zone after touchdowns. 'We're the Dallas Cowboys,' Landry said. 'We should act like we've been in the end zone before.'"
David Brooks, writing on "Olympic Farce," Friday in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weekly standard.com

'You're over'
"When I see my sister with the baby, she's so in love, and I just think that's a unique and special kind of love. But I think it's really silly to be 43 and look around and be like, 'Oh, I want to have kids.' because the fact is, most doctors will tell you, 'Your eggs are old! You're over!' I wouldn't respect myself if I suddenly changed my mind at 43. It's like, No. It doesn't work that way.
"We have this fantasy of some guy coming along, and he's going to be so madly in love he's just dying to marry you. But if you talk to most men, most men will tell you: No man wants to get married. We all think it's our right as human beings to be loved by somebody, and I don't think that's necessarily true. You can love people, but it seems a little immature to me to think just because you're a human being somebody's going to love you back."
Candace Bushnell, author of "Sex and the City," interviewed by Ariel Levy in the Feb. 11 issue of New York

Rollerboring
"Part of the problem with 'Rollerball' is that director [John] McTiernan doesn't seem to know what kind of movie this is supposed to be. There's an actioner with a small phalanx of stuntmen, a sports movie, an escape tale, some watery intrigue, a Slipknot video, a Mountain Dew commercial and a costume picture all vying for his, and our, attention.
"It's not like anyone paying eight or nine bucks to watch something titled 'Rollerball' would get caught off guard by flashy trash, but flashy trash should be entertaining. This isn't, probably because McTiernan botches what is certainly the center of the movie by massacring the action. The shaky camerawork, low angles and quick edits never allow for a sense of the sport: He wants to put you in the game, not show you how it's played. There's very little athletic poetry or even teamwork.
"The new 'Rollerball' wants to thrill us with all sorts of flashy cinematography, some extreme thrill rides and a victorious hero who smashes a singular villain and walks away with the girl. It might be a better movie if it just stayed on the track and threw some tough punches."
Jeff Stark, writing on "Rollerball," Tuesday in Salon at www.salon.com


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