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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ceremonies and Games

The opening of the Olympics was pretty spectacular. Great masses of dancers and drummers performing as one, lots of electronics and fireworks of course, more than a nod to China's rich history and traditions, in fact an unabashed tribute to its painting and dance and literature - one cannot imagine anything more foreign to the quiet life in Maine. Humans are capable of such incredible spectacle, benign and otherwise, that I wonder sometimes why the quiet life has to be desirable in the first place. Why can't we turn our talents for organization and the peaceful arts to consistent use?

The Games that follow will seldom display the philosophy and beauty of last night. They will feature individual competition - back to war in a way. It will be exciting, intense but limited. Perhaps it's symbolic that while I watched the Ceremonies in Massachusetts, I'll watch the Games in Maine, where individual endeavor seems much more natural.

The $300 million was gone in 2 hours. Let the games begin. And then let them end.

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