Where’s the Hustle?

The organizers behind Los Angeles’s latest Olympics run seem content with standing still.

If you hate the Olympics, does that make you a spoilsport? It’s a serious question, more or less. The quadrennial brouhaha of the Games—the hyperventilating announcers; the niche competitions; the faintly (or not so faintly) Riefenstahl-esque choreography of the opening ceremonies; the now-only-occasionally amateur athletes, most of them doomed to a uniquely fleeting species of fame which, after years of strenuous effort, all but demands the most mercenary selling-out simply to break even; the show of global camaraderie, ringing more and more depressingly hollow with every passing invasion and drone strike and foundering migrant flotilla—all of it, set to soaring John Williams fanfare, is so easy to dislike that it seems almost facile to do anything but embrace it. Like Christmas, or dogs in funny outfits, your opinion doesn’t really count for much anyway. There will just be more of them.

Even if you do like the Olympics (such people exist, evidently), certain unpleasant realities must be confronted. “Former host cities still struggle with the debts they incurred,” t…

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