Monday, September 01, 2008

Alvaro Vargas-Llosa on Olympic individualistm

As dispiriting as certain aspects of the Beijing Olympics were (though it's hard to deny it was quite a show), Alvaro Vargas Llosa, son of the great Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, a sometime not-so-successful politician (though he's an admirable political writer) found some encouraging signs of individualism-cum-internationalism to admire. He cited Becky Hammon, "as American as they come, winning a bronze medal witht eh Russian women's basketball team; Liang Chow, the Chinese coach of the U.S.women's gymnastics team, embracing his pupil Shawn Johnson, who won a gold medal for her performance on the balance beam after defeating a Chinese competitor; and Kobe Bryant, ther NBA star, speaking to European TV crews in Italian and Spanish."

All these, Vargas Llosa contends, were "heir to America's grandest tradition: the right to the pursuit of happiness," and affirmed that "individual sovereignty ... is a space that no collective force should violate."

Alvaro, whom I met some seven years ago in a location I was asked not to reveal, has developed into one of our more valuable individualist writers, spewing good sense at least once a week at The New Republic, which has a weakness for individualists who write really well.

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