Disclaimer: I just re-read this and want to make sure you all know that I wrote it in a hurry and I actually have a ton of work to do today, so if it doesn't make a lick of sense to you, feel free to ignore the man behind the curtain. Thanks.
Most blogs I read post well researched entries. Blogger-boy has a point he wants to make and he goes out and relentlessly finds documents to back up his point and then provides massive linkage to those documents. Even Jim, "I'm not a fucking journalist" Wright, backs up his opinions while reminding us repeatedly that he's stating opinion and you can disagree, but here's why you're a moron, just look at the link, dammit!
I'm not like that. I've got no time to be researching this. Besides, I want to talk about an impression I've gotten, and I don't need any stinking facts.
While watching the Olympics the last couple of nights, I've come away with an impression. I have absolutely nothing to back this up and I'll even provide some info that contradicts my impression, but I've got it nonetheless, so live with it. (Be forewarned; this isn't exactly earth-shattering stuff I'm about to get into).
Anyway, when you watch the coverage, you'll see a Chinese team that looks distinctly Chinese. The Japanese teams look very Japanese. Same with the Koreans. (I actually learned years ago how to tell them apart because insinuating that someone might be Korean when they're really of Japanese descent is a grave insult. Reconcilliation has still got a long way to go from what I've seen.) When I watched the opening ceremonies, I recall being surprised when I saw a white face among the African teams. To carry this further, the Russians look noticeably Slavic and the French look noticeably snooty. Yeah, you can just tell. The Italians look like they're about to replace their government for the 5000th time since the end of WWII.
What do the Americans look like? Everybody else! If you watched the Men's Gymnastics competition last night, you saw two or three white guys. You saw one Chinese guy. You saw one kid who's father immigrated from Russia. And you saw Raj, the Indian kid. (At one point, NBC had the mics trained on these kids pumping each other up and if you listened, you'd have heard Raj spewing jingoistic twaddle in his best Surfer-dude lingo and not a hint of Apu. Yeah, one generation in and this kid's got it down pat.)
(To contradict everything I'm saying, I'll admit that the Women's Swim Team is about as white and blonde as you can get, and the Men's Swim Team does have one black guy, but I've only seen him once in a relay. I'm sure more variety will show up as the games go on, but stick with me kids...I said this was all about impression.)
So moving on to the impression I got, at one point they were showing some of the medal ceremonies that have happened so far. (Of course, there was an American on the top step for each one, but there were some other nationalities represented.) I was kind of stopped in my tracks when it dawned on me that there wasn't a single face in evidence that I'd find out of place on a Manhattan street any day of the week. I'm know there are parts of the country where some of those faces would, at the very least, be noticed, but not in the America I live in. And I started to just watch faces and try to ignore what color uniform anybody had on.
Their elation at a good performance looks exactly the same. They're high-fiving and chest bumping just like any kid from Kansas. Ignore the uniform and they all look like Americans!
I like that. And just to prove that I'm as much of a Nationalistic ass as the next guy, an utterly contradictory thought occurs to me. Only the American team can say that all the other teams look just like us. How's that for exclusivity in your inclusiveness.
And feel free to tell me I'm completely wrong, but don't try to refute my facts since I haven't provided any. See? There's a method to my madness.