Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference in the title; I grant you it’s an obscure one. But sometimes that’s how my brain works. It finds parallels and patterns in very small things. That’s one of the things that makes me good at what I do as an editor. It also made me really good at spotting plagiarism when I taught. After reading a just a few writing samples from each student, I could tell whether they had given me something they hadn’t written themselves. I always wished I could quantify that a little better, but I think it’s just a quirk of memory, a brain pattern that happened to prove useful at the time.
Next mental leap: I find interesting the human need to discriminate. We always seem to be impressively quick to decide that others are less than we are, and to point it out loudly to anyone else who will listen. What brings this to mind right now is the Olympics. Numerous people I pay attention to on Twitter seem to be of the opinion that telling others that they are choosing not to follow the Olympics because of political disagreement with Russia will have some effect on the politics of Russia. I find this both delusional and laughable (and I honestly do not mean offense to these people, otherwise I would name them).
First, I for one feel no compunction to boycott the Olympics just because someone else chooses to. But maybe I’m the weird one there. I have enjoyed watching the Olympics since I was a small child, not because I wanted to be an Olympian, but just because it’s a global spectacle. And also because most of the sports don’t get a lot of air time otherwise. In other words, I have my own motivations in the matter, so “me too” isn’t really going to happen. Secondly, I say laughable because I find it very hard to believe that the United States is anywhere near as much an ideological leader as a nation as we Americans seem to think. Other than financial issues, my guess is that Russia as a nation doesn’t give a damn what Americans think. And on financial issues, we Americans have pretty well proven that we don’t let politics interfere with our burning desire to make or save money. If this were not the case, we’d have run the largest retailer in the country out of business long ago based on their buying practices.
People need to have the freedom to say what they think, and they need to be allowed to be wrong from time to time. It’s up to us to hear it, think about it, and choose for ourselves. I’m going to watch the Olympics, even if a certain network’s sports director is a bit of a douche. That’s his choice too.
So I guess I found a topic. I wasn’t sure if I could wing it effectively. I guess I was testing myself here; I’m still working my way up to writing. Thanks for putting up with it, anyway.