Sunday, August 24, 2008

National Hubris

Every Olympics I remember we measured our success by the number of gold medals. And we were always first. This time we measured it by the total number of medals and it's easy to see why. I remember an old joke concerning the United States-Soviet Union rivalry of years gone by. A Soviet and an American had a race and the American won. In the Soviet Union it would have been reported that the Soviet racer came in second and the American came in second to last. What does it say about a country that cannot tolerate anything less than being first?

Update: I've since learned we haven't always led in gold medals. I stand by my point, however.

1 comment:

Bujiatang said...

because if we Americans (not those Americans to the south or north), thought too hard about the state of the nation, we might also notice that we aren't exporting like we used to, or manufacturing like we used to, or producing valuable minerals like we used to. And that when Russia was criticized for invading Georgia the price of Gold, Platinum, and Rhodium plummeted.

But lets keep things in perspective. We have more medals than every one else. And that still counts.


Actually this worries me a lot. not the medals thing, but the metals thing. I think it means something we don't like to think seriously about.