When you are forced to wait four years for something, you have the right to expect it to be pretty fucking awesome. If you couldn't have sex for four years--say you were me in high school--you would be really, really, looking forward to having sex with practically any human being on the planet.
The Winter Olympics happen every four years, but just like my first sexual experiences, they're not as good as you imagined they would be, there's a whole lot of confusing stuff going on, and it isn't very much fun to watch on TV. Also, a lot of it happens on a skating rink.
The weirdest thing about the Winter Olympics is that for such a massively televised, supposedly important sporting event, it's remarkably boring to watch. The skiers go down the same hill over and over, the lugers and skeleton-ers (?) shoot down the same icy chute, the speed skaters aren't fun to watch unless they are all on the ice at the same time...it says something about the Winter Games that the most exciting part is women's figure skating, which hardly anyone cares about during non-Olympic years. And let's not even mention the too-boring-to-mention events like curling, the biathalon, and women's ice hockey.
Having weird, boring things on television isn't a big deal—it happens all the time on public access—but the Olympics aren't just boring TV, they're boring TV that take billions of dollars to produce. For instance, there's the cost of importing snow to Vancouver, which only sounds like an unfunny joke. There's the cost of building all of those massive, useless-unless-you're-hosting-the-Olympics sporting complexes and arenas (remember what a problem this turned out to be for Athens?). Then there's the cost of
That is a lot of money, and unlike professional sports very little of it goes to the athletes, who if they're lucky become famous and get rich off endorsements and if they're unlucky they get seriously injured or die because their sports are dangerous. And none of it goes to the locals, who resent the whole mess.
But why don't we look on the bright side? Well, unlike the 1936, 1968, and 2008 Olympics, these Games aren't helping to support an authoritarian government or the open massacre of civilians. So, hey, that's awesome. And it's unlikely that there will be any more deaths or any more judging corruption scandals. And no doubt the women's figure skating outfits will be dazzling and make a large number of men ask themselves, “How old is she? Does this make me a pedophile?” Although, on second thought, that last item might not be a positive.
The Winter Olympics defy logic. They obviously just exist to counterbalance the Summer Olympics, which may have started as a good, if somewhat naive, idea but turned into another battlefield for the Cold War, which is now over—and that means that the Winter Olympics are the offshoot of a weird undertaking that doesn't have any purpose any more, except to alert the public that speed skating still exists. And, of course, to sell Coca Cola and McDonald's products, which are extremely delicious.
Some people, of course, hate McDonald's, and these people really don't like the Olympics. They do like Rage Against the Machine, however: