Friday Rant: Go Rio! And American Sentimentalism

Olympics rings Chicago is out of the Oly 2016 bid and I'm glad. I'm happy about it for a couple of reasons.

1) Of all the countries in the bidding, Brazil hasn't hosted the Olympics, and who doesn't want to go to Rio, even if it's through their flat screens? And at this very moment it was announced that Rio got it, so yay.

2) I hated the little I heard on the news about how the Obamas campaigned for it. Yes, this is an impulsive off-the-cuff response to radio news bits. But there were a couple statements that made me cringe at the self-centered and sentimental nature of American expression.

Apparently, NPR news said that Michelle O's  empassioned plea to the committee included the fact that sports were really important to her as a child and that her father would throw the baseball around with her and it was so special blah blah blah.

Isn't that a bit embarrassing to think that the First Lady imagines that the European members of the Olympic Committee will flip the switch to put the Games in Chicago because of her chidhood attachment with sports?

Next up was Obama saying "Nothing would make me happier than [something like walking out with his wife and daughters to the Olympics in his home town.]" Really? Nothing?

The Olympics over a lower unemployment rate? A repairing economy? A healthcare reform plan that has bipartisanship backing? (Maybe that's like wishing for life on Mars). The Olympics trumps the happiness that would come with ending this ridiculous middle east post-9/11 roving war we've been fighting?

I know, it's just a figure of speech.

But on this day, Friday October 2, it struck me how much our American culture focuses on the sentimental self-focused here's-what-it-means-to-me-as-it-pertains-to-my-personal-life appeal to campaign for whatever the going cause or interest is.

It would have been nice to hear our First Couple talk more about what Chicago could have offered the athletes and citizens of the world at large, rather than what it would do for the Obamas. That would have shown great hostmanship.

But then that's just my 2c on a blistery fall day in Seattle.

Go Rio!