the Olympics? If you answered yes, allow me to high-five you; if you answered no, I am puzzled by you!
Watching the Olympics has inspired me. It has inspired me to sit on the couch and watch more Olympics, and then think about all the ways I am unlike the athletes I see -- tumbling through the air, gliding in the water at superhuman speeds, doing strokes with delicate names like the butterfly but which should actually be called the splash-as-much-as-possible-and-look-insane stroke, but nobody asked me, did they. These athletes are tireless and inspiring and amazing, and I'm fascinated!
But maybe there's a selfish reason for it all. Maybe it's because watching somebody do something amazing makes me feel that much more amazing by proxy -- even though I have nothing whatsoever to do with the amazing-ness.
Don't believe me? Take all those TV commercials.
TV commercials, if you've noticed, played during the Olympics suffer from delusions of grandeur. They feature really deep-voiced narrators talking about "greatness" and "commitment" and "doing your best" and usually there's some slow-mo black-and-white movie playing of a girl on the uneven bars, and you think to yourself, "Wow, this is so inspiring!" and a tear comes to your eye.
Then the actual logo for the brand comes onto the screen and you're like, "Oh. Kellogg's cereal." Because nothing says "world champion" like a crunchy flake of corn.
Point being? Kellogg's think's it's great because it can meditate on greatness.
And you know what? I get it.
Allow me to submit an analogy.
I read Us Weekly magazine every time I go on any type of hamster-wheel cardio machine. Why? Because looking at celebrities in skin-tight sheath-dresses weirdly makes me feel better about myself, as opposed to worse. It's counter-intuitive, isn't it? On a subterranean level I genuinely believe Jennifer Aniston's discipline and suffering will somehow get absorbed into me by osmosis, and I will henceforth be able to resist all manner of cheeseburger and creamy pasta dish the minute I step off the elliptical.
See, I don't resent her; I pretend I am her.
And the same goes for the Olympics. Michael Phelps has 22 medals, and so do I. We're a pretty great team, aren't we? Yeah, we work hard.
So it is time I thanked these prodigiously talented athletes for making me -- the girl with the clicker sitting on her ass on the couch, chewing licorice, munching corn chips -- feel like I'm a part of something great, all while doing nothing whatsoever to actualize it.
Isn't this, after all, the true essence of being American? In that case, Olympic Team U.S.A. -- with all their hard work, tireless effort, doing rather than dreaming -- could learn a lot from me.