Saturday, August 9, 2008
The 2008 Parade of Nations
If there is one thing I loved about the 2008 Olympic ceremony, it was the Parade of Nations. For those who are unfamiliar, the Parade of Nations is when each and every nation participating in the Olympics enters the arena with each of its athletes and "parades" around the arena.
Each group of athletes is dressed in clothing that often represents the culture of that nation. And each group puts forth the flag of their nation in the very front of their group.
Before the parade takes place, a "show" is provided by the host country and this year's was awesome. China did a fantastic job of creating some effects like no other Olympics before with lots of visualization and symbolism.
But, the Parade of Nations, in my opinion, takes the cake.
Here we live in a world where there is political conflict, physical conflict, and ideological conflict everyday and, in fact, all of which is taking place as the Parade of Nations itself takes place. Yet, despite any of the conflict going on in the world among nations, the Parade of Nations at the Olympics goes on with peaceful co-existence, among all nations present.
All politics were cast aside. All conflicts cast aside. Only nations represented by seemingly proud citizens existed. And though some received more applause then others, none were booed. Each were treated with the same basic level of respect. Each were equal in that they represented a different culture and a different preference of choice for different parts of the same world.
There was a nation that did not allow woman to participate. There was a nation that provided health care for its citizens. There was a nation that only allowed woman who were related to those who ran the nation. There was a nation that did not allow gun ownership by its citizens. There was a nation that did allow gun ownership by its citizens.
There was a nation linked to terrorism. There was a nation that believed in free speech. There was a nation that did not believe in free speech. There was a nation that taxed it's citizens very heavily. There was a nation that did not tax it's citizens very heavily. There was a nation ruled by a queen. There was a nation ruled by a democracy. There was a nation ruled by a republic. There was a nation ruled by a military dictatorship.
...And much more.
Yet, they were all there at the same time, simultaneously, in harmony, representing the multitudes of differences we have around the world and the multitudes of choices we make, however good or bad any of us thinks those choices are.
They - the Parade of Nations - displayed an existence of multiple differences and how all of those differences can exist at once.
Because of this, the Parade of Nations, for all its intents and purposes, is an example of freedom. If it were a country, it would be a free country.
Posted by Intentional Fallacy at 1:05 PM