Who am I? I'm...

My photo
Gonna met all muh friends Gonna have ourself a ball Gonna tell my friends Gonna tell them all That I'm a wild one Ooh yeah I'm a wild one Gotta break it loose Gonna keep 'em movin' wild Gonna keep a swingin' baby I'm a real wild child I'm a real wild one An' I like a wild fun In a world gone crazy Everything seems hazy I'm a wild one Ooh yeah I'm a wild one I'm a wild one I'm a wild one I'm a wild one Oh baby I'm a wild one ~~IggyPop

A HUGE mountain out of a grain of sand

As I casually perused the litany of noteworthy news feeds this afternoon, I thought I would burst a few thousand veins when I happened upon an article regarding an Olympian. The past two weeks, I have meticulously stayed away from ANYTHING Olympic related. Gotta love that delayed feed tape crap NBC decided was best for us (personally, part of the Olympics IS having to get up at ungodly hours to watch your most anticipated events – I digress). It's bad enough one cannot read through their messages on Facebook, lest a certain friend proclaim the day's winner. Ahem.

Back to this article. It seems as though there are citizens of this great country of ours taking issue with one runner's choice to hoist two flags during an after race celebration. One being the flag of the United States, the other that of Mexico. Fasten your seat belts folks, this isn't going where you think. Oh no... it isn't the white bread folk of America, nor is it the multi-grain bread folk raising the ruckus. Nope, it's the normal everyday folk in addition to runmymouthformoneywriting Mexican folks raisin the ruckus. Um... WUT? That's right, it is the people who share a heritage with this young man (Leo Manzano) that are complaining that he should have chosen but ONE flag to fly, ONE country to represent in his quest for gold. Forget that Leo was the first American to win a men's medal in the mile since '68 – that would be silver, by the way, and absolutely nothing to sneeze about.

A few quotes from one of those runmymouthformoneywriting Mexican folk (Ruben Navarette) for you to digest:

“Why would he carry a flag of the country his parents left when he was 4 years old? “

“What am I missing? Where were the Italian-American athletes waving the Italian flag, or the Irish-Americans waving the Irish flag? I didn't see that. “

“That's funny. I only saw one set of letters on his jersey: USA. “

Then there's this one, sore thumb, quote that hit me in the gut.. HARD:

“But the last thing the Olympics is about is the individual.

It's about being part of a team -- the U.S. Olympic team. It's about national pride, not ego. Manzano wasn't there to compete for himself but to represent his country. All he had to do was decide which country that was. He chose not to choose.”

Quite right, Mr. Navarette. Leo Manzano DID run for the United States. And he won SILVER – a first since '68 for this wonderful country of ours. He represented his team quite mightily out there on that track. I cannot say for certain, but I imagine they are quite proud of Leo right about now. As we should all be. This is the point in this discourse where our thoughts take totally separate paths. You seem to think that he was being egotistical, representing ONLY himself when he draped that American flag behind him and grabbed a Mexico flag for the ride along. I see the situation as his choice to INCLUDE his heritage in this celebration. Remember, it is HIS choice. Not mine, NOT yours, not the media's... HIS. That the other athletes representing the United States along with those representing others have not made this choice, makes not one wit of difference. While the Olympics are a TEAM sporting event, they are also chock full of individual events. The individual trains for this penultimate race, the individual runs this penultimate race, the individual finishes this penultimate race... all the while representing their respective countries. This might be a great time for me to bring up the subject of Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary dogging their OWN team mate in the press ( a golden no-no for any person who has ever been an athlete) and your lack of full on criticism on that particular subject. However, I will not. It would further degrade my point.

Mr. Navarette, and others, seem to have jumped the shark on this one. One cannot.. as Mr. Navarette so aptly put it in his own penned article for CNN - “But when you're an Olympic athlete, you don't get to have your cake and eat it, too. ” Though I think people totally miss the point on this. There is no difference between those Olympic athletes and anyone else in this country. Simply put, if you are going to hold Leo Manzano to the standard of making the choice of ONE country to represent, then flippin live that by EXAMPLE. Do not insist that this country print ALL government forms in English AND Spanish so that those sharing your heritage who refuse to assimilate or “represent” this country can make claims against it. Do not make this country continue to flood the educational arena with extra funds to hold classes in Spanish so that those sharing your heritage who refuse to assimilate by teaching their children the base language of the land – can assure their child learn in their native language. I will stop with these examples, lest those thousands of veins pop.

My view of this whole fiasco? It's two-fold. You are either in it, or you are not. In my book – Leo Manzano represented MY country in a fantastic manner. I'm proud of him, proud of his accomplishment and proud that he wore the uniform of my country. I'm equally proud of athletes such as Kirani James and Oscar Pistorius – for their having represented billions of people OUTSIDE of their countries through their behavior before, during and after their competitions. As long as I live, I do not think I will ever forget the image of Kirani James handily winning a semifinal race and immediately approaching Mr. Pistorius. He exchanged name aprons and proceeded to HOLD PISTORUS' name apron to the crowd in praise of the bravery and spirit of this athlete from another country. In short, I don't care what flippin flag you compete under in these Olympic games. I cheer them all, I'm proud of them all (well, okay, there are a few – need I mention badminton badness?) for having competed at a level I could never attain and doing so with a flair of sportsmanship the likes of the world could learn quite a few things from. If you wanna carry an American, French, Dutch and German flag as you celebrate your medal... Have at it.. won't hear me bitchin.

THAT, Mr. runmymouthformoneywriting Navarette is what the Olympics is ALL about. It isn't about the individual countries pride. Hell, it isn't about national pride. It is about the coming together of some of the best athletes in the universe and the display of sportsmanship that should be revered.

'nough said...

Muddled scratchings

will you be a thought
      a memory
           a smile
or will time march on
      as the winds of the plain
           the stars in the sky
it marches on
           or without
                you tagging along
ever forward
           no halting
be what you can
      where you are
           when it happens
truth to self
      in the now
           in the here
for they
           have life
marching on
           or without
                you tagging along