Friday, August 08, 2008


Why I'm Boycotting the 2008 Summer Olympics

by Jes

I'm not one to tell people what to think or what to do, but that won't stop me from expressing some prickly opinions that will rub some the wrong way, nor will it stop me from trying to change the way people look or think about a particular issue.

Something that has irked me for some time is the Olympic(tm) Games. Ever since Vancouver was awarded (cursed) the 2010 Winter Olympics, we've seen just how disgusting this whole process is.

Make no mistake about it, the Olympics are not about the athletes. The athletes simply provide the cheap entertainment and public front for the money generating merchandise machine that few people truly profit from.

The athletes? Most of them have to scrape by with part-time jobs at Home Depot or the like, with very few getting those lucrative endorsement deals.

Who truly profits? The large corporations, TV stations, developers, wealthy sponsors, and cronies will run the Olympic mafia. Few athletes ever make all that much money, and many of them have to put off more lucrative careers to train in their chosen sport.

As we've seen in Vancouver, the government has spared no expense in dolling out millions of dollars on pork projects that profit very little real value to the people of BC. Millions for an Olympic skating oval? What good will it be after the Games are done? Oh, we can train more Olympic athletes. Lovely. Meanwhile, the downtown Eastside of Vancouver remains one of the most depressing places on Earth.

Now, let's talk about China, that fabulous producer of cheap lead-tainted toys and about 95% of the products we buy.

When the mafia awarded China the 2008 games, it was due to the fact that China promised to clean up its act in the arena of human rights. The IOC figured that putting China in the spotlight would force the Chinese Communist Party to improve living conditions and such in China.

Have things improved? Not really.
  • Tibet still remains under the strong thumb of China, with the Dalai Lama called a 'terrorist'. Really.
  • The pollution in Beijing is so awful that many athletes pulled out of the games, worrying more about their long-term health than a shiny medal.
  • Chinese secret police pose as Tibetan Monks or members of other interest groups to make those groups look bad. Classy.
  • Freedom of the press rarely exists, and has not gotten better.
  • Darfur, anyone?

  • I know, I know ... Canada is far from perfect on the Human Rights issue, but we've long passed the point where we execute people and harvest their organs because they choose to follow a religion not approved by the majority.

    I also know that I sound like a radical of some sort, but I don't take this as a partisan issue. The Olympic Games simply costs us peons millions of dollars and gives us nothing but a 2-week party and lots of expensive bills to pay on shiny new buildings nobody needs. Just ask the people of Athens what a poor investment the Olympic Games really is. People of any political stripe should be able to see that they are getting the short end of the stick.

    There isn't really much us peons can do if we're not into protesting, so do the next best thing and simply don't watch. It's not as if the Summer Olympics is all that thrilling, and you ought to be outside enjoying the sun. If the Olympics got low ratings, it might send a message, albeit a small one, that people are rather tired of the over-hyped Olympic machine.

    Of course, I know that won't happen, so go back to being reamed by the mafia if you so desire.

    If you want to learn more, visit these sites.

    ** On the hockey side of things, the Canes are giving Jeff O'Neill a tryout. I opine on that bit of news over at FanHouse.

    Yeah, I'll get back to hockey when there is something worth blogging about!

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    I'm not huge on the summer games, but will watch any events where Czechs have strong competitors. That starts tomorrow with cycling, although it's early enough in my timezone that I might not wake up in time... Plus, watching road race cycling is boring as hell...

    As for Jeff O'Neill - It's just like Petr Nedved trying out for the Rangers, except Nedved at least played (and quite well) in Prague last season. At least Nedved is open about wanting to start in a third or fourth line role... I'm O'Neill has loftier expectations since he scored 30+ goals in a single season. Even if that season was eons ago...
    For one time, I agree with you politically...

    Anyway, I moved to Atlanta several months after they were awarded the games. For the first few years, you couldn't wipe the smiles from peoples' faces. (Of course, the success of the Braves also had something to do with it.) However, by 1995, the attitude was, "Let's get these damn games started, already."

    The last few days before the opening ceremonies, smiles returned. Hundreds of thousands turned out along the torch route, including me. Things went well the first few days of the games until Eric Rudolph had to show up, and now that night has left a permanent mark against the games and the city of Atlanta.
    Score one gold for the Czechs, in 10m rifle shooting. Woman on top of it (Katerina Emmons)!! Czech girls ROCK!
    I'm so glad Toronto failed to get the Games. I'd have to leave the city.

    Seriously, what's the legacy payoff for politicos on the Olympics? It's like scoring 20 convention centres or arenas for them. Of course, they are never actually worth it.

    The graft and corruption that goes with the games is ridiculous.
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