Four years ago I found that when I was to avoid coverage of the Summer Olympics, it was good for my peace of mind. The Olympics story has taken on more than its share of negative vibes over the years, with endemic corruption, drugs, and the exploitation of thousands of unpaid athletes. At the center of it all there is a “village” that anywhere else would be described as condirions of poverty. It all heppens for the sake of an event that, seen through a financial lens, is the biggest American reality TV special of all time. This year one can add repression, a crisis of democracy, and a dangerous epidemic to the TV lens’s sordid backdrop. And so this time I plan to go farther to isolate myself from the Olympics. Since Olympics coverage forms a sort of media flood in the United States, I plan to largely avoid both news and social media during the hours when the competition and TV broadcasts may be occurring — and yes, I do realize that is about 19 hours per day. I will catch up on events, and this blog, in September.
While I am on the subject I would like to take a moment to offer a suggestion to anyone in the United States who has been waiting for an opportune time to cancel their TV subscriptions. There couldn’t be a better time to unplug the TV than right now. Not only will you be spared the worst of the Olympics coverage, but as a bonus you will miss much of the even more sordid political season that follows. Meanwhile, the roughly $1.50 per month that you have been contributing to the Republican political machine by way of your TV subscription and the Fox News channel can be put to better use just at the moment when America’s political future may depend on it. You might think you will miss TV, but you won’t; I had the same trepidation 10 years and 1 month ago when I shut off my cable subscription, but I would never go back.