THE BLOG
09/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Enemies on the Ground, Lovers on the Court

You'd think that beyond the showiness of it all, the Olympics would at least be a place for countries to fight out their age-old grudges. You'd think that, for example, when Georgia's beach volleyball team took on Russia's yesterday there would've been some seriously angry and vengeful spiking, which would have made it interesting to watch. You'd think so, but you'd be wrong. Georgia's team wasn't even from Georgia. They were from freaking Brazil. This prompted one of the players from the Russian team to tell the New York Times, "If they were Georgian it certainly would be interesting... But they are not. They don't know who is the president of Georgia, I am sure." Uh, exactly. Isn't the whole point of the Olympics for nations to compete against one another -- with members of their own country?

Imagine climbing up the stairs to your partially bombed-out apartment from some basement in Gori and turning on your television. Here are the self-ceremoniously named Brazilians, Saka and Rtvelo (put them together and what does that spell--"Georgia" in Georgian!) And what are these two world representatives of Georgia doing? They are--what's this--hugging their Russian opponents. What? The elderly in Tbilisi must've been adjusting their TVs and telling their next of kin to bring their other glasses to them. The horror!

Too bad the world can't wage wars in this way. The US could outsource our military from, say, Sweden. We could send a bunch of Swedish soldiers to our place of contention and they could kind of look around and say to each other, "Yeah, you know, I never really had a problem with [name of country]." "Hmm, me neither. Do we still bomb them then? Wanna build some houses instead since we're here?"