CHICAGO — As NBC’s pre-taped coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics closing ceremony wrapped up the games Sunday evening, millions of Americans caught up on current affairs only to realize that truly awful things have been happening throughout the world while their attention was focused on people sliding on ice and snow.
“My god, what is going on in the world?” asked Helen Coots, a local school teacher. Coots was finally able to close several Olympics-related tabs on her web browser and open up NYTimes.com just to browse headlines without paying for a subscription. “Why did all those people die? That’s just outrageous.”
Various social networking services resumed delivering articles adorned with click-bait titles all pointing to gruesome human deaths in faraway places. At press time, “The 10 Best Mass Casualty Events You Missed During the Winter Olympics,” “These Images from Kiev Are Literally Burning Hot,” and “5 Silver Linings of the California Droughts” have together earned Buzzfeed more than $500,000 in advertising revenue.
“We were able to compile various reaction GIFs and lists on the winter games during the past couple weeks and it’s been great for content in addition to our normal pop culture material,” Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith said Sunday evening. “Now that the Olympics are over, there’s demand to catch up on everything else, and we intend to meet that demand.”
With attention shifting away from Sochi, most Russians have noted the return of normalcy, as the daily routines of ignoring Pussy Riot and pushing gays back into the closet settles back to its normal pace.
“The Olympics were a good way to not think about the bad parts of living in Russia,” said Igor Dimitrov, a student from Moscow. “I have to go now, I need to post a car crash video on the Internet.”
Elsewhere, the end of the Olympics signified much darker realizations.
“I thought the whole point of the Olympics was to bring world peace?” said a confused man on his iPhone while waiting for his order at a Starbucks. “Couldn’t they just wait a couple weeks to start something this depressing?”