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.