Hey, the London Olympics are coming up.
Ah, the Olympics. Two weeks during which I am enthralled by sports that I haven’t thought about even once in the previous 206. And won’t, for the next 206.
The Beijing Olympics in ’08 were a lot of fun. I did a post back then about some of the, y’know, peripheral matters surrounding those Games. I’m sure you won’t see that kind of thing in London. Smog? ‘Protest pens’ and ‘permits’ that make people vanish? Look-the-other-way-ism at the host country’s rule violations (alleged)? Nah. Not in Britain, pip-pip cheerio. Besides, British politicians almost never remind me of classic comedy routines.
Of course, non-totalitarian hosts have problems too. It’s rainy in London this time of year. Do you suppose athletes will have to apologize for carrying umbrellas?
And then there’s all that pesky classic-liberal ‘freedom’ stuff, which sometimes leads to people doing stuff you’d rather they wouldn’t.
For example, Britain’s been having some budget problems lately. And they’ve been trying to cut spending in response. And they have public sector unions. And some of those unions are suggesting that they could go on strike during the Games to protest the austerity measures.
Now a brief digression: is going on strike to protest budget cuts really a good idea? Seriously: “Hey guys, you want to go on strike? If you don’t show up for work, then we don’t have to pay you! That’ll make these budget cuts a whole lot easier to manage! Here we were all afraid we weren’t going to make our numbers and then you guys go and pull a stunt like this, reduce our costs all on your own even though nobody even asked you to, well we’re gonna be able to get that spending down now, no problem. Thanks a lot guys, we really appreciate you taking one for the team like that. I’m feeling a lot of love here, right now.“
Okay, I know that’s not how it really works. Still, you didn’t see this kind of problem come up in Beijing, right? On the other hand, performers in London’s opening ceremonies probably aren’t being told to wear diapers to cut down on the bathroom breaks.