A little known fact: There are approximately 58,000 self storage facilities in the world. Of those, 52,000 are in America.
What does this mean? Americans have more crap than anyone in the world. This is, in my estimation, the most telling statistic when it comes to encapsulating the American way of life. And the American way of life, for better or worse, has come to dominate the sentiment surrounding these Olympic games.
An interesting editorial
in the New York Times
today outlines the way technology has enhanced the Olympics -- both the way they're watched and the way they're played.
This is an absolutely true observation, but it's only half the story. As advanced as we've become in our coverage of and training for the Olympics, we're still quite archaic in the good guy/bad guy shrouding that goes on in the media coverage of individual events.
Sure, everyone wants their country to win every event -- it's a matter of pride. But everywhere you turn, someone's boiling the Olympics down to Their Way of Life vs. Our Way of Life.
In many ways, NBC's coverage would make you think that there are really only two countries in the Olympics -- us and China. And therefore, it's a constant barrage of good guys (us) versus bad guys (them). And while it's admittedly the sexiest story line of the games, is that what they're really about?
China's risen to become an insanely important world power -- that's undeniable. And their way of life is, in so many ways, different than ours. We have certain freedoms that we take for granted -- like the ability to visit the Huffington Post
on the Internet. But announcers seem intent on pointing these things out -- these little quirks that makes their way of life different -- and they fault the athletes for the foibles of their country and cast them as the bad guy.
Then again, in a time when so many Americans are down in the dumps about their country, it sure is sweet to watch Michael Phelps dominate. Especially when he's representing something more than America -- like self storage.