FAST forward twenty-six years to 2012, Larkin’s line would come to me in a Forum letter I had banged out to the local papers, late in the night of August 12, after I had read, earlier that evening, a piece by Dr. Lee Wei Ling, headlined “Why I’m Against the Olympics,” published two days after the London Olympics concluded.
It was a huge, half-page affair that touched on the disappointment of losing, frowned upon the “boycotts, doping, bribery and terrorism,” and excoriated “the huge sums of money spent, with little or no concrete improvement to human welfare.” The idea of the Games as a circus, a “most prestigious” one at that, figured midway before ramping up into an attack at the very spirit and value of sports. Her arguments, like a diatribe against sportsmen, splattered at us like cud. Alas, most of us poor readers weren’t cows: there was no gustatory pleasure to be had from her cynical, bitter bombardment. Continue reading