At the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, the Olympic flag was carried in by people representing the “five” continents of the world and the three ideals of the Olympic movement – sport (well, yes) culture (huh?), and the environment (you’ve got to be kidding).
I mean, it’s pretty hard to imagine that every time an Olympic contestant puts on his jockstrap, he’s supposed to be doing good for “the environment.” It’s still harder to imagine that it’s for the sake of “the environment” that people turn mountains into ski resorts and bulldoze homes to build Olympic stadiums.
But I suppose it had to happen. Half the world worships sports; the other half worships “the environment.” So why not do what the ancient world did whenever it found that it had too many gods (Zeus and Jupiter, Athena and Minerva) – simply interpret them as essentially the same thing? Then, to add a peculiarly modern touch, you can throw in “culture”; i.e. whatever’s too dumb to call by any other name.