We are now a few days into the 2012 Olympics in London. (Actually, it’s not all in London, but I’d be surprised if most people outside the country realise that.) I just watched the first gold being won by Great Britain and once again something struck me: the hyperbole.
I could go on about how the Olympics is not what it used to be (and sound old), but I won’t. What is (and has) driving me nuts is the hype. Hype usually drives me nuts, but this is hype about what is supposed to be an amateur sporting event! What are we doing?!
The worst infraction I’ve encountered is the use of the word “historic.” Last week, every time I walked past a TV with commentary on the Olympics, someone was describing something as historic. Someone described it as a historic event when Sir Bruce Forsythe (an old game show host for those unaware) did a stint carrying the Olympic flame. What? How is that “historic”? And today’s medal win was “historic” because it was the first time Britain has managed to get a gold in women’s rowing. Huh? (Don’t get me wrong, these girls did fantastically well. They wiped the floor (lake) with the opposition. They deserve all the kudos they can get. But “historic”?)
Historic is 9/11. Historic is the elimination of smallpox. Historic is the moon landing or even the arrival of intelligent aliens (should that ever happen). Historic is not an old comedian running with a burning stick. Hype-culture is killing my enthusiasm for just about everything and I think it may be atrophying people’s brains.
Say No to the HyperbOlympics!