Still distracted - gloriously so - by the Olympics.
Isn't it nice to take a cool break from this rhetorically and climatologically overheated summer by watching (mostly) pure competition that is for no other reward than to be the first, or the fastest, or the farthest? How refreshing to stop caring - or pretending to care - about whether Mitt Romney will release his tax returns or if Barack Obama really tried hard enough. How much nicer to be captivated by the exuberantly competitive Misty and Kerry, the Italian fencers screaming so fiercely in victory, those gorgeous (male and female) sprinters, or the dentally-challenged Andy Murray finally vanquishing his Centre Court nemesis.
This year we've been subjected to an increasingly insistent drumbeat of despair about the Dire State of Our Nation, and lectured by what The American People Want, or Need, or Deserve. I know we're supposed to take it seriously but the apocalyptic rhetoric is just exhausting. Wouldn't it be nice if it all mattered as much - or really, as little - as the outcome of this great Japan-USA women's soccer match? Sure I want the USA to win, but what I really like is watching them run their guts out and leave it all on the field for nothing more than a medal and some glory. In one sense, it doesn't matter who wins, as long as the effort and the match are worth it.
I have to stop and watch this match now.