As we in recent days are being bombarded with Olympic images on the tube/social media, with the glorification of physically-pushed/exhausted "winners," and of "the most medal-winning" nations, I have a modest proposal for the next Olympics for NBC's sport broadcasts to the world:
1. Included in the next Olympics program, there should be a non-competition, in a lovely park/garden (preferably with fountains), of persons just promenading, enjoying gentle physical movement at leisurely pace suiting their age/inclinations.
2. The conversation of these peripatetics, if they would so allow to be named, could be gently (may I repeat the word "gentle," as an adverb) recorded/filmed (without brain-busting soundbites), touching on subjects beyond "I've been working out since age five;" "I'm so grateful to my coach for getting the best out of me;" "My single-parent Mom made it possible for me to be a gold-winner." The peripatetics might, like ancient philosophers, talk about such things as truth and the meaning of life -- or, to spice things up a bit, their favorite culinary delights.
3. Advertisements, in this segment of the Olympics (the Olympics did begin in TV-ad-free ancient Greece, from which the peripatetics also originated) would be omitted, a welcome (to some) reprieve from corporations pushing their wares (you name them) through athletes/athletics. The peripatetics would not endorse any brand, but simply be themselves, by sharing their ideas/impressions as they gently walk.
4. There would, of course, be no planned awards ceremony in the peripatetics' event, but those taking part in its promenade (held, as I said, in a lovely garden, preferably with fountains), would be provided with a free Kindle version of Plato's dialogues if Kindle does in fact provide this service at no charge.
5. Speaking of Plato, may I say the peripatetic event would be followed by -- or should I say continued -- by a symposium, where the promenaders would share, in a moderate fashion, luscious food and drink (not ordered from McDonalds-junk-clown-crap), with them continuing their conversations. Would press be allowed? Ask the idiosyncratic peripatetics.
6. Then, after the symposium, the peripatetics, to refresh themselves and engage in gentle exercise, would go for what was once known as a "constitutional," a pleasant walk that helps gentle digestion and gentle social interaction.
7. At an early evening hour, the peripatetics would retire to their quarters, have another glass of wine, speculate on the meaning of life, go to sleep and dream.
8. The next morning, the peripatetics would again go for a walk, only to be assaulted (surprise!) by an aggressive NBC rep, with a screeching voice like chalk on a blackboard, knocking at their door and shouting: HEY GUYS YOU'VE WON EVERYTHING BUT A GOLD MEDAL! THEY LOVE YOU ON TEE-VEE/TWITTER/FACEBOOK!"
9. Then, the peripatetics, energized by their sudden fame, would agree to be "anchor guests" on NBC sports news. They would appear on sound-bite talk shows, talking about Plato, with the obligatory commercial breaks screaming about "Get Your Plate-OH -- the best calorie-free snack in the world, used by the sexy Olympics peripatetics."
10. At the White House, the peripatetics would get an honorary gold medal from our no-nonsense president, who would say: "I know you guys don't want medals, but you deserve them. God bless America." And the peripatetics, smiling, would flash their gold medals to the whole of America, showing rotten teeth they cannot afford to get fixed in the Land of the Free.
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