Kissy-Face Detente Aside, Ivan, We Enjoy Beating You

National Center Executive Director David Almasi is a fan of the article “Wimpy U.S. Olympic Committee Tells Athens-Bound Athletes: Curb Your Enthusiasm” by James Lileks.

A few quotes follow, but we recommend the whole thing:

The United States Olympic Committee has requested that our athletes curb their enthusiasm, since we are, you know, uh, hated…

Earlier this year the U.S. Olympic soccer team was having a qualifying match in Mexico; they were up against Canada; and they won. The United States won, whereupon the crowd started chanting “Osama! Osama!”

Seventeen Mexicans died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Twenty-four Canadians died in the Sept. 11 attacks. You remember that big apology from Vicente Fox, don’t you? No?

The Olympics are supposed to be above politics, but that’s nonsense… When the United States beat the Soviets at hockey in 1980, the political overtones were explicit: Kissy-face detente aside, Ivan, we enjoy beating you. We really do…

Sudan, which is ethnically cleansing its Christian blacks, could hoist its flag. China, whose treatment of Tibet birthed a million indignant bumper stickers, can run around with the flag held high. Russia can flatten Grozny, and its athletes can be assured of huzzahs and applause.

It’s not that these governments are better than the United States. What counts is that they are not the United States…

Blogging fans will recognize that James Lileks is more than a columnist. He also runs a truly exquisite blog. I don’t use the word “exquisite” (defined by Webster’s as: “carefully selected or sought out; hence, of distinguishing and surpassing quality; exceedingly nice; delightfully excellent; giving rare satisfaction; as, exquisite workmanship”) lightly.

My favorite Lileks posts are the ones about Gnat. Oh, and do buy the dang book. I did. It’s great.

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