behind the curtain

08/08/08 – pretty cool eh? Of course, it is just a made-up number, an arbitrary system to mark the days. There are plenty of other calendars where today is not special at all. It all depends on your point of view.

The Olympics opening ceremony was a beautiful spectacle, and there are many admirable ideas buried in the core of the games. Of course, everything is politics. The clothes the athletes wear, who carries the flag, who bears the torch, what diplomats turn up, who lights the flame – these are all political decisions designed to make an impact, to say something about each country’s agenda.

And while I admired the colour and the pomp, as a writer I watched the storytelling and noticed the voids where stories were omitted. The careful arrangement of screens to allow for entertainment without the inconvenience of reality.

But, no one invites guests into their home and proceeds to discuss the skeletons in the closet under the stairs. Even if the guests can hear them rattling the doorknob. The newcomers sip their tea, compliment the fancy biscuits, comment on the pretty drapes, and ignore the sounds of past murders. Because, the guests have chains about their ankles that clank and scrape, and the occupants of the house don’t mention them either.

This is what civilised people do when we get together. We pretend.

Afterward, when the visitors leave, we relax, eat plain bread, and go back to beating each other up behind closed doors.

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