Friday, May 21, 2004

The sludge, on cue, is oozing to the surface as the Athens Games creep into view.

We have dirty athletes. We have scared athletes. We have transsexual athletes.

We have security concerns in Athens. We have the BALCO investigation. We have a list of questionable associations and a fat check to BALCO lurking in the vicinity of Marion Jones.

We have the drug-induced suspension of sprinter Kelli White, who now wants to aid the fight in cleaning up the sport.

We have the chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee trying to distance the organization from the mealy-mouthed bow to anti-America global opinion last week.

And we have the corruption, graft and shamelessness of the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC remains in the business of promoting world peace, saving the whale and curing the common cold, so long as all the right parties receive the proper financial inducements on the sly.

The IOC makes Vince McMahon’s operation look noble in comparison.

At least McMahon is upfront with his sleaze, free of pretense and artifice.

The IOC pretends to be what it is not and is left to beg our indulgence.

The IOC takes good U.S. corporate dollars and then criticizes the commercialism of the affair.

There would be no Olympic Games if U.S. corporations turned off their money spigot.

The depth of the hypocrisy goes with the rest of the ugliness.

Other than a handful of competitions, the events are steeped in the mystery of performance-enhancing substances and laboratory technicians working on both sides of the drug fence.

Yet we are under orders to go along with the sham because of the greater good, though we are not sure what the greater good is.

If much of the rest of the globe resents America and there is a sentiment that our athletes must appear pious, that is one more reason to detest what the Olympic Games really represent.

The Olympic Games no longer are relevant and hardly worthy of our support.

They provide a forum to slam America. We often go along with the slam, if only to show our global citizenship and sophistication, which is right out of the CNN playbook.

It is all kind of nauseating, ever predictable, even the raising anew of the “Ugly American” at the appropriate moment.

Are there no Ugly Spaniards, or are they just Cowering Spaniards nowadays, hiding in a corner of their modest apartment flats, peeking out only to see if the streets are clear of Osama bin Laden’s scumbags?

The tub of lard formerly known as Michael Moore reflects the twisted sentiment of the Olympics so well, and he is one of ours.

By the way, why is he still on these shores? Can someone answer that?

Let’s say you don’t like your neighborhood. You move, right?

Give Johnny Depp credit. Like the tub of lard formerly known as Michael Moore, Depp no longer could tolerate America, despite the vast wealth it had provided him, so he moved to the south of France. Good. Great.

Alec Baldwin promised to leave the country, too, but so far has failed to keep his word.

It would be great if the tub of lard formerly known as Michael Moore were solicited to light the Olympic flame in August and just stayed over there. Given his deteriorating physical condition, however, he probably would be only a 50-50 bet to survive the climbing of the stadium steps.

This is the Olympics. This is the ideal.

Now we get Yasser Arafat appealing to his bomb-packing nut cases not to strike the Athens Games.

Yet this is the same murderer who cannot seem to control his nut cases around Israelis going about their workaday business.

Of course, in the spirit of brotherhood and cooperation, Greek officials will work with the Palestinians on this important security matter. They might as well work with the animals who beheaded Nicholas Berg.

You can ship the spirit, the IOC and the so-called Olympic movement to an out-of-the-way landfill.

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