Americans bitch about almost anything. I’ve probably heard more outrage over the divorce of Katy Perry and Russell “Looks Like A Foot Smells” Brand than I’ve heard over the government killings in Syria. Hell, I bet more tears were shed over J. Lo’s departure from American Idol than… No, I won’t go there.
But, the most recent complaint that I’ve caught myself complaining about is this “issue” with the US Olympic team’s Chinese-made uniforms. Let us never mind the fact that the blazer and beret combo bring me back to the Olympic Games of 1936, and I’m not thinking about the U.S. team that attended that year.
Sieg heil, anyone? (Editor’s Note: Don’t go there!)
Look, it’s an election year. If this were, say, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and it were a Ralph Lauren-like company manufacturing uniforms in China, it wouldn’t be an issue. You know, like when it happened in 2010 during the Vancouver Olympics. Do you remember it?
Yeah, me neither.
The Olympics is a biannual event meant to demonstrate a nation’s superiority, both athletically and economically. But, what would we be saying to the world if we actually made those uniforms right here at home? I’d guess that we’d be saying that the United States is so awesome at making cloths that we choose to export our work whenever we can to, um, preserve the awesome? You know, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, right?
Or, in other words, we’d be lying to the world.
When you think about it, wouldn’t these uniforms be an accurate representation of the United States as a whole? By outfitting our athletes with Chinese-made cloths, we have taken a snapshot of what it means to be an American. We are importers more than exporters. We are buyers instead of sellers. We are all wearers of Chinese-made clothes, and, until we stop bitching about dumb shit like the outfits of our Olympic team, it will always be that way.
Perhaps if this “outrage” were sparked during a non-election year, we could start a more serious conversation about the state of our production as a country. Perhaps if this weren’t an election year, we could actually try to solve our domestic problems with serious facts and figures as opposed to silly and trite bits of trivia. But, it’s not and that means we won’t be having that serious discussion outside of sound bites any time soon. Once this election and these Olympic games are over, we’ll go back to being the chief exporters of complaints and the major importers of zero solutions.
You know, just the way we like it.