Friday, August 10, 2012

Coming Down to the Wire

Well, everyone, we're almost at the Olympic Closing Ceremonies. I don't have much this Friday, because I'm trying to finish up my fibery projects. I've completed one, and have another two in process ... so I'll have purty stuff to show off next week.
In the meantime, a few commenters from last week were impressed with South Africa's Oscar Pistorius (as am I). As he and his teammates get ready for their surprise 4x400 final, Pistorius' advantaged/disadvantaged status reminds me of that excellent Kurt Vonnegut short story, Harrison Bergeron. Vonnegut's opening gambit sets the scene beautifully:

"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General."

A thought: would you want to live in Vonnegut's dystopic world? Do you think Pistorius has an advantage? I love how this athlete has made all of us pause to consider the nature of fairness ... and how he has brought out the best spirit in his competitors.

Take that, o ladies of badminton.

Do make certain you head on over to Andrea's blog to check out what everyone else is doing this week. To not do so would definitely be unfair.


  1. I've been disappointed with Olympic coverage this year. I am so sick of badmitton, beach volleyball and diving. I want to see Track and Field and only get snippets. They start coverage late at night (at least in my time zone) as I'm going to bed.

    Your quote is perfect. I don't think about the Olympics or these athletes with their sponsors, I think about the athletes that just participated in the US Transplant Games (here in Michigan this year) who have all recieved organ transplants or are living donors. Each and every one of them were at a point that they were going to die yet received the Gift of Life and are now athletes. The Sportsmanship, the positive attitude and the love of life just gives one the chills. Everyone is a winner even if they don't get the Gold because they are alive, moving and loving life. Yeah, take that Badmitton.

  2. There is no absolute equal and it's human nature, or nature itself, to be different. That's my take.

    Oscar Pistorius is an incredible athlete, no matter he has advantage or disadvantage. it's not easy to be in his shoes, per se.

  3. I personally don't think that amputees have a competitive advantage just because of the prosthesis.

    Some prosthesis are certainly better than others. But if it were an outright advantage, more double amputees would be competing at Oscar's level.

    The prosthesis do give an advantage in that the world now knows who he is. How many of us know the names of the other 3 guys on his relay team?

    Hopefully, by people knowing Oscar's name, they will learn that the Paralympics are not the Special Olympics... That life with a disability does not have to mean a disabled life. How many of us are now excited to see the Paralympics now? (They start 3 weeks from today.) How many of us are curious about other amputee sprinters? Blind sprinters? Paraplegic and Quadriplegic athletes?

    Ooops, kinda got on a soap box there. Clearly it's a subject I'm passionate about.

    Happy Fiber Arts Friday. :-)

  4. I can't imagine a world where we wouldn't even have this dialog if we were all the same. We've come far in accepting and celebrating our differences, but there is always more to do.
    I think Oscar and all the athletes are amazing. It takes something special to get to the Olympics no matter who you are.

    Thanks for the great quote.

  5. I remember reading that short story in school - I've always loved dystopian stories, if only as a reminder of real society's problems and successes.