Apr 22, 2012

How Olympic Athletes Are Made




July 12 kicks off the London 2012 Olympic Games, and manufacturing company Procter & Gamble put together one of the most touching commercials to advertise it I've seen in a long time. You know why I started watching my TV shows on the internet via hulu and netflix rather than on traditional cable television? Sarah McLachlan. You know what I'm talking about. There's only so many times Workaholics can have the light brevity atmosphere ruined by "In the Arms of an Angel" before I decide I've had enough. But this commercial was really amazing. Brilliantly shot, directed, acted, and made me look at Olympic athletes as people rather than just machines or commodities to use up and throw out once they've served their purpose.

If anybody really dug the music used in the commercial, it's Ludovico Einaudi's "Divenire".

But one thing certainly bothered me about the commercial. There must have been a share of Olympic athletes who made an entire nation proud but were only brought up by a single father, or maybe a supportive aunt and uncle, or loving grandparents. Maybe some who grew up with no supportive elders at all, who really just pushed themselves and had a lot of guidance from a coach or teacher. Some have criticized the commercial for pandering to women because they're the ones likely to purchasing Proctor & Gamble products, but I'll look at the commercial with a less cynical sense and believe it's really about all the role models and legal/parental guardians. Mothers shouldn't just get all the credit for going through the process of giving birth. There are a lot of great mothers out there, and I'm thankful to have one of them, but there are also a lot of deadbeat moms out there. So here's comedian Bill Burr with a somewhat misogynistic but hilarious stand-up that I can use as my vehicle for cynicism about just giving all mothers in general 100% of the credit.

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