Summary: Olympics Subtly Lure Tots Into Paganism's Embrace
Over the past decade and a half or thereabouts, I have published occasional columns pointing out that there is more going on in terms of worldview at the Olympic games than good sportsmanship and keeping a stoic outlook no matter how disappointed one might be at the outcome of a particular event. These worldviews often come closest to public light in commemorations surrounding the games such as the opening or closing ceremonies.
For example, in an audio commentary I noted the blatant paganism at the 2006 games in Greece where the ancient gods were not so much depicted as curiosities of mankind’s religious history with the possibility of a few moral axioms derivable occasionally from these myths when approached as literature. Rather, adoration of these entities was approached as a viable system of belief around which humanity could draw ongoing sustain inspiration moving the world towards cultural unification.
For the most part, such ideological manipulation was aimed largely at a generalized audience irrespective of age. Now it seems Olympic organizers may have more carefully targeted their indoctrination efforts towards children.
During each Olympiad, mascots are created as appealing embodiments of each unique set of games. For example, the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles were represented by Sam the Olympian, a bald eagle clad in red, white, and blue which alluded to Uncle Sam and the highest ideals of the American people.
It has been a quarter of a century since then and the practice continues. It is doubtful, though, parents with a lick of sense about them will be as enthusiastic about what is being pushed now as adorable imaginative companions.
The first outrage is really more economic than anything else. Though cluttered over with all the nauseating sentiments about international cooperation and competition being the focal point of the games, ultimately under the banner of these spectacles, significant amounts of money changes hands.
No doubt, nice checks went to the firms and/or artists creating the mascots of the Vancouver games. What the artists this time deserve are gold metals for the least amount work possible going into the artistic rendering of an Olympiad’s mascots.
For example, Sam the Olympian was rendered with the skill, precision, and appeal for which 20th century Disney characters were noted and adored for by the public. One does not need to go into a lengthy backstory to figure out what Sam the Eagle is and what he stands for.
This is not the case of the mascots of the Vancouver winter Olympics. In fact, the firm that designed the characters should have been paid no more for these rendering than one would a doodler in a high school art class. In the high school art class I was enrolled in, one would have received a grade not much above passing had one handed in something looking as ridiculous and simplistic.
What becomes really questionable, however, is in regards to what the mascots represent. The following comes not from conservative or even Christian fundamentalist conspiracy theorists, but rather from the Wikipedia entry for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paraolympic Games mascots.
Of the trio, the most realistic is a Sasquatch named “Quatchi”. That isn’t too bad as for decades as the Sasquatch or Bigfoot has been a cryptozoological celebrity of the Pacific Northwest.
However, it today’s world, it’s never enough to let characters be huggable and adorable in and of themselves. Why waste an opportunity to manipulate young minds away from the values decent parents are trying to inoculate into their children?
Those that look closer at Quatchi will notice that there is a tattoo on his bicep. With over a third of the population mutilated and defaced in this fashion, do children of the world really need additional peer pressure as to this questionable form of bodily ornamentation?
The free spirit who are of a live-and-let-live mindset regarding every questionable practice with the exception of questioning the live-and-let-live mindset will respond, "Why are you fuddiduddies making such a production out of a simple tattoo that no one is going to notice?"
Oh really? If the bio-graffiti was not going to be noticed by spectators, the why did the artist take the time to add this particular design element? It takes so long to produce a finished artistic work that has to go through multiple editorial reviews that it is doubtful that any detail would be overlooked. And if the marking is not there for any particular reason, then why does it need to be there at all?
However, a tattoo strategically placed upon a mascot is not the only aspect about these characters designed to subconsciously lead Western children away from the values of their forefathers. For even though the games are presented as belonging to the world, only Westerners of a multiculturalist inclination would be deluded into thinking that Westerners wouldn’t be the only ones with enough leisure time to soak up the ambiance of the games as well as enough disposable income for all of the assorted trinkets pushed at spectators. After all, though they might excel at warm weather sports such as running, sub-Saharan Africans aren't exactly renowned for their alacrity to ice and snow.