Last night, August 5, 2016, opening ceremonies for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro showed the greed and lack of world view at its most extreme by NBC. Texting a friend in Hong Kong who asked me if I was watching, I had to tell him it would be hours away here in California. Since he is 15 hours ahead of me, I was surprised that he was already watching as Rio is just four time zones ahead of California.
|Opening ceremony fireworks at Rio Olympics|
7:30 pm finally arrived just as my Hong Kong friend sent photos from his TV showing the fireworks that ended the opening ceremony. Then we waited ... and waited through about 45 minutes of commercials, profiles of some athletes ... an opening that didn't start in this country, or at least in California for 45 more minutes.
I found myself drifting off because the only continuity you could count on was the ads ... and a not very inspired group either. Finally, around 11 p.m. when they had only gotten to "F" of the parade of national teams, I went to bed. I mean how many times can you stand a few minutes, if that, of events and hearing we will be right back. Ah, NBC a moment is not 5 minutes of ads. Be honest and just say, "We interrupt these commercials to bring you a quick clip of the games!" What's next, corporate logos tattooed on the athletes?
|Ancient Olympia, home of the Olympic Games|
The original Olympics, in honor of the god Zeus, were held over 2,000 years ago with the intention of defusing the interminable fighting of the various Greek city states. (You know, kinda like what we are witnessing between the Republican and Democratic parties today). They may have invented democracy but maybe too much of a good thing is, well, too much! However, all fighting was stopped and athletes from every city state came to Olympia to compete in sports we would recognize today. It was meant to be a competition of individuals who received in victory merely a laurel wreath and the accolades of all, regardless of where they came from. Now there's a concept in a time where nation medal counts are shown over and over again, daily.
|The first Olympics in modern times - Athens, Greece in 1896|
|Rio's trifecta of issues - Protests, Zika, Mosquitos|
Recently Forbes Magazine had an article discussing the crippling costs of the modern Olympics. In the recent era only Barcelona and Los Angeles came out even or even showed a profit. The reason? Both cities were able and used facilities that they already had. China's estimated cost to host the Summer Olympics is said to have been $40 billion dollars. Just to maintain the famous "bird nest" stadium today costs over $1.5 million dollars a year. Photos show portions of it that have failed and fallen away! Forbes solution was to have cities compete for individual events ... swimming in one city that has the necessary facilities, track another, pollution free harbors for boating events, etc. However, the games are "supposed" to bring the world together in one place and following the Forbes formula would defeat that. The costs to a country today though, begs the question, can the host really afford the costs? If they do, at what cost? Doesn't this just smack of design ... how we design events in our lives?
Enjoy the games but you might want to keep the knitting, wood carving and other hobbies you can do in front of the TV nearby or in your lap. It looks like you will have plenty of time to work on them. At least you won't have to worry about getting more chips, a beer or a trip to the potty and miss something!
Thank you for reading my blog. We design our lives and often for others as well. Please check out earlier blogs ... all address the way our lives are designed!