Ollie's modern life
This month, Ollie Peart sets out his vision for a new world order, in which all conflicts are settled in the arena. But not in a Mad Max way.
Saturday 28 August 2021
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Ones to Watch
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Once every four years I really, really get into kayaking, taekwondo, table tennis, weight lifting, and horse disco (or dressage or whatever it’s called).
It’s why I fucking love the Olympics. Twice a decade, I get to sit down and watch sports which, either side of the games, I couldn’t give two shits about.
I love how representatives of the whole world – or at least what feels like the whole world – gather together in one place just to arse about. Yeah yeah, sports people take what they do very seriously, but let’s face it, sport is just playing, no matter how serious you are about it. I can never get over the fact that someone said “shall we dick about playing games once every four years?” and as a global community we all went “yeah, go on then”. That’s just cool.
I know there have been a bunch of political wranglings and dodgy dealings going on behind the veil of sport, but when you get so many countries in one place at one time, there is bound to be some kind of controversy, so I try to let that slide.
But the Olympics are still brilliant. Somehow, we have collectively agreed on rules, regulations, pitch sizes, ball widths and net heights for sports both new and old, then agreed how they should be scored, measured, weighed and decided. What’s more, for the most part, when the result comes in, we’re all in agreement that all is above board. Tech giants can’t even decide on a standardised charger for fuck’s sake.
This coming together of global powers and relative fairness of the games, has given me an idea.
When I watch the Olympics, I have a utopian wet dream, in which the world sorts out our differences by playing ping pong, or beach volleyball. If one country wants access to another country’s natural resources or to oust their dastardly dictator, they play for it.
I’m not 100% sure how it would work, but I’m gonna have a stab at figuring it out just now, in the hope that future generations will iron out the kinks and use this beer magazine as the blueprint for society when building new colonies on Venus.
Here are the rules.
If you want to ‘invade’ a country, for whatever reason, you get absolutely no say whatsoever in the sport you’ll compete in. That’s just unfair. The US would just try and invade countries with basketball or American football; not cool if all your country is good at is fencing. So the country getting attacked gets to decide.
Any funds raised from TV rights to showcase the event will go straight into a global fund which will be used for cool stuff like feeding people and giving everyone access to clean water. Over 800 million people don’t have access to safe water and almost 700 million are starving so it only seems fair.
Anyone found to be profiteering directly from the event will be loaded in to Jeff Bezos’ dick ship and launched into space. In a bad way. If his ship isn’t available, we’ll use Branson’s or Musk’s.
Also the leaders of both countries will have to engage in a ceremonial arm wrestling match. This won’t be the decider; this is just for fun. Putin would snap Biden’s arm off I expect. Still, there’d be no consequence if he did, it’d just be a good night out for all concerned.
Shall we dick about playing games once every four years?
What the referee, judges or officials decide is gospel. Their decision cannot be overturned, even if it’s made in error. I appreciate this puts those people in a very vulnerable position but hey, I’m trying to build a better world.
The loser must accept the result and concede. All conquests must be done peacefully.
There. Fixed it. Replace war with sport and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a better world.
Of course, this will never happen. Ever. But the Olympics do shine a light on a modern absurdity which should be abolished without delay. Borders. As far as I can tell the only reason for having countries is so you have someone to support at the Olympics or in the World Cup. For every other reason, they are completely pointless. The affinity some people feel to colours on a piece of cloth can be enough for them to kill in its name. Seriously? What?
Now imagine a world with no borders. None at all. You’d have no one kicking off about immigration, because there wouldn’t be any. No one would be fighting over oil, or gold or food because, well, it would all just be, the world’s. There’d be no need for my ‘sport war’ idea, revenue from which would help feed and water the poor, because everyone would have equal access to all of the world’s resources.
It sounds silly because so many of us have bound ourselves to our nationality. But your nationality, just like everyone else’s, is just an idea, and nothing more. Let’s give nationalities a ceremonial role when we compete in events like the Olympic games.
When all the countries come together at the Olympics, for a brief few weeks it can feel like the world is borderless. Everyone is welcomed and any conflict is laid to rest. Sure, flags are waved in support, and love for a country is on full display, but so too is respect and admiration from everyone else. We’re all in the same boat, trying to do the same thing - win.
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