Letters to the Editor,
The Daily Yomiuri,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8243
“Tokyo aims again for Olympics” (July 18, 2011) did not explain the merits and virtues of sport. Instead we were regaled with sentiments about country and recovery from disaster. That’s because the Olympic Games are first and foremost a business. They represent money and prestige. The Olympic Games are one big advertisement.
The media will certainly not fail to slather us with the usual propaganda from a prayer book of sport liturgy filled with ill-conceived notions so embedded - like ticks and lice - that they need constant attention, like weeding a garden.
I like sports. I like to kick and throw a ball around. But as soon as you turn those activities into organized team events, where people play against one another according to rules for the purpose of acquiring points in order to defeat one’s opponents, then you lose me. Where is the fun in any of that?
Mandatory physical education at school is possibly the very worst idea in a long, sad history of bad schooling ideas. Rather than imbuing young people with a knowledge and commitment to a “healthy lifestyle” what it often does is produce people who hate sports with every fiber of their being, and despise the coaches who make sports training their vocation. The Olympics do not make the world a better place. They celebrate those who have trained and mastered the skill of crushing their opponents and then gloating over them - something which has a sad utility in the world, but it is not a civilized virtue.
When I hear phrases like “physical education,” “Olympics,” “World Cup,” “Superbowl,” or “World Series” I immediately think “stupid,” then “human rights crime.” Or, maybe it’s just me.