March 22, 2010

The Titanic Games

I was recently in Vancouver, Canada coincidentally at the same time as the Winter Olympic Games, and it occurred to me that the name Olympic Games is completely inaccurate and even dishonest. Let me explain.

One of Ernst Jünger's key symbols to characterize our post-enlightenment world is that of the titans from Greek mythology. His (and his brother Friedrich Georg Jünger's) idea is that we are living in a titanic world, in which the old gods have been defeated or have retreated out of human reach. Where there are no gods, the titans step in to fill the gap and exercise their powers.

Although an anarch takes no sides in the eternal struggle and alternation of titans and gods in world history, he should always understand the world he is living in, in order to best manage his relationship with it. This is part of his commandment to "Know the rules".

For an anarch, it is thus absurd to see the words "Olympic Games" used, especially when their organizers try to maintain an association with the ethics and spirit of the original Olympic Games. No, our modern games should rightly be called the Titanic Games, not only because we live in a titanic world, but because almost everything about these games in titanic in spirit.

Our Titanic Games are not about the spirit of peace, human excellence and companionship. Titans are literally  "overstretchers" and so their games are above all about achieving extremes of performance at all costs: a new world record is the absolute prize, even more than a gold; performance-enhancing technology is as much a part of the games as human achievement (doping as much as equipment and training technologies); all performances are analyzed on the spot with quantitative criteria and statistics; and even their Opening Ceremonies are flashy spectacles of technological power rather than artistic measure.

In Vancouver, it was only in the ice dance competition that I could detect any remnant of the Olympic Games.

No comments: