Category Archives: fatuous activities

Olympic vice

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 17.06.35If, writes Dalrymple, the games

were amateur, if the competitors were schoolteachers or dustmen who, after work, went down to some dingy sports field to practise their putting-the-shot or other fatuous activity, I would be in favour of rather than against them. The standard of performance would be incomparably lower, but the level of humanity would be correspondingly higher.

But this, Dalrymple points out, is a silly utopian dream.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 17.11.29Even before the Berlin Olympics, the games were a window on political pathology. Dalrymple’s mother

saw Hitler at the Olympic stadium,

and Dalrymple remembers

seeing the Olympic flame borne aloft past me in Amalfi in 1960, by which time the games had long been a deeply vicious spectacle.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 17.09.36Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 17.10.29