Face it, folks, the Olympics have become a farce. Sure, they were a good idea at the time. I would even go so far as to say that they were a brilliant idea. Getting all the nations of the world together for a gigantic play date was sheer genius. The hosting nation got to strut its stuff and show off to the rest of the world. Everyone’s top young athletes got to compete in the world’s arena and make friends with their fellow competitors. This was meant to foster international friendship and understanding and prevent the scourge of war. Maybe the inventors of the idea were a little naive and idealistic, but it was still a damned good idea.
The Olympics had its ups and downs; it’s good moments and its bad moments. The event even kicked off some great careers. Johnny Weissmuller the movie’s greatest Tarzan started off as an Olympic swimmer. Basil “Sherlock Holmes” Rathbone was an Olympic fencer, and who can forget Muhammad Ali, who will always be “Champ” in my heart? There was the obscenity which was the 1936 Berlin Olympics and their was the tragedy which was the 1972 Berlin Olympics. Who can forget the poetry on Ice that was Dorothy Hamill? Then, of course, there was the Jamaican Bobsled Team. Those guys would have been hilarious if they hadn’t gotten hurt.
Today, The International NeoConservative Conspiracy has taken over the Olympic Games and infected them with the same lack of ethics and need for greed that caused the mortgage meltdown. Olympic athletes are no longer amateurs competing against other amateurs. They are now paid professionals working for a paycheck. Originally Olympic sponsors were limited in the amount of support they could give an athlete, and cash bonuses for gold medals would have disqualified a competitor. Today it is simply part of the pay package. I remember that it had been a scandal when professional tennis players turned back to the amateurs so they could compete in the Olympics. Today there is no boundary between amateurs and professionals. When U.S Olympians wear the Nike logo rather than the American flag, we know that the United States has totally whored itself to the multinational corporations.
It would seem that the entire Olympic committee has sold its collective soul to Satan. Not only has the committee allowed multinational corporations like Nike to buy Olympic Athletes like they were junk bonds, but they have totally scrapped any pretense at supporting human rights. The selection of Beijing as the Olympics host city is an affront to civilized people everywhere. I watched China’s Olympic preparations with amazement and horror. 100,000 Chinese citizens were evicted and left homeless in the construction of the Olympic Stadium, and those who would advocate for the homeless were arrested and are being held incommunicado until after the Olympics are over. The indigent were chased out of Beijing with no means of support. People’s pets were killed before their owner’s eyes to assure Beijing’s reputation as a “clean” city.
As shocking as all this is, nothing tops the Chinese Girls Olympics Team. Those poor girls are taken away from their parents as if they were Labrador Retriever Puppies. They are then isolated and forced to train in gymnastics like they were animals in a Siegfried and Roy act. They are not given any education. They are not allowed contact with their families. They are not allowed to play, or do anything except train in gymnastics. Ringling Brothers treats their animal acts with more humanity than China treats its girls gymnastics team. This is what the Olympics have been reduced to; child labor as shocking as anything that happens in a Nike factory.
Sometimes the spirit of the true Olympics come through, such as when the women of the Georgian and Russian sharp shooting teams hugging as an antiwar statement. I choose to see that as an omen of hope for the world, but not for the Olympics. The Olympics have been reduced to treating little girls like they were a trained dog act. The Olympics are no longer about human rights. Forget about fostering international understanding. The Olympics are about selling Coca-Cola, and furthering Chinese economic imperialism. Boycott the Olympics folks. Boycott Olympic sponsors. Say no to child exploitation and child labor, don’t drink Coke and don’t wear Nike.
It is absolutely amazing how similar Chinese society is to our own here in America. I cannot believe that when I was a kid, I was actually raised to be afraid of our dearest friends and trading partners in the far east. Now that the “bamboo curtain” has fallen and Chinese goods are freely available at your local Wal-Mart, I am wondering what the hell all the fuss was about. Take Mao for example. Back in my day we pictured Mao with horns and a tail, but the truth is that he was simply a senile old man who sat as a figure-head. In that respect, he was no different than Reagan.
For example, take the rumors that China frowns on free speech. China respects free speech just as much as America does. Why China even has Free Speech Zones in the Beijing parks just as we have free speech zones in front of the Democratic Convention in Denver. Visitors to Beijing can enjoy the excitement and the pageant of the Olympics without having to be bothered by the people whose homes had been torn down to build the stadium. Democrats in Denver can go about the important business of government without having to be bothered with the the voices of the governed. So really, are the Chinese really that much different than we are?
True, the Chinese do tend to arrest the people who try to use their free speech zones, but so do we. The difference is that the Chinese tend to arrest their dissidents before the police start a riot. Here the police incite the riots first. So really, the Chinese are so much more civilized about it. I can remember my son being traumatized when we witnessed the police riot at the KPFA arrests in Berkeley in 1999. We saw a 50 something year old woman of our acquaintance being hit in the head by a police stick. Chinese children are not subjected to that kind of trauma. The Chinese method doesn’t have the public violence. The violence is hidden behind closed doors where children can’t see it, unless it is children who have been arrested.
The Chinese understand that appearances are everything. If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. This is why the free speech zones are so far away from the Olympic Stadium. If the thousands of visitors and athletes don’t see dissidents than the dissidents don’t exist. What can be simpler? Google certainly understands this. They are the ones who designed the censorship filters that the Chinese use on their Internet service. Yahoo understands that it only takes one loud mouth dissident to screw up the world’s denial. That’s why they are so eager to turn private Internet usage records over to China as well as the United States.
So let’s be honest. The Olympics are not about human rights; they are about appearances. What does it matter that the Chinese Gymnastics team are all underage? The important thing is that they looked good. So what if a prettier older girl lip-synced to the voice of another little girl. She looked good. So what if the fireworks were computer generated? They made Beijing look good. China is telling the world that they are ready to do business just like America. Never mind that they made thousands homeless to build the Olympic Stadium. How is that any different than the thousands who had been made homeless in the Bay Area for the Internet boom? China has joined the Capitalist world. They are just like us now.
You have to hand it to the boys in Beijing, they’ve got capitalism down to a science. Nothing shows this better than the Olympics. I tell you, nothing is more exciting than watching China strut their stuff and show the world the Chinese Capitalist spirit that made Wal-Mart America’s #1 retail outlet. Yes indeed, China is proving to the world that it has left Mao-Tse-Tung in the dirt of history and has embraced the God-beloved principles of Capitalism. Before you know it, the Assembly of God Church will become the state mandated religion, Budweiser will be the state approved beverage of choice, and school children will have the choice between a Whopper or a Chicken Sandwich for lunch just like here in America. The Chinese truly understand that Capitalism is more than just making choices, it’s about making the right choices.
As a salesman I understand all about right choices. I help my customers make the right choices all the time, and of course the right choices happen to be whatever I am selling at the moment. That’s Capitalism, folks. The Chinese understand this better than anyone else in the world and that is why they have a police force to make sure that their citizens make the right choices. So when the Chinese realize the value of opening the eternal truth of Jesus Christ to their consumers, they will make sure that all Chinese citizens will be escorted to the church of the state’s choice by armed guards. Eventually the churches will be there to tell the citizens what the right choices are and they can start downsizing their police force.
Being good salespeople, the Chinese government understands that it is all about appearances. You have to emphasize the positive aspects of your products because the customer will not buy anything if there is a down side. Would Tiffany’s of New York be selling diamond engagement rings to the rich and famous of New York if they were honest about the conditions in South African diamond mines? Of course not. The biggest stumbling block to any sale is a customer’s conscience; so you never show anything about your product to make the consumer feel bad about buying it.
Forget about international good will, the joy of honest competition, or making friends between national borders. Those are just the selling points. Nazi Germany understood that when they showed the world the glitzy and glamorous face of fascism as they goose-stepped the swastika before the world. The Chinese are doing the same thing, and like the Nazis before them, they using every modern technique to enhance the bright and shiny face they want to show to the world. Hitler used motion pictures and radio, which was cutting edge back in 1932. The Chinese are using computer animation and lip-syncing. It comes down to the same thing.
Don’t believe all this crap about the rest of the world not knowing about the human rights violations that happened in Germany during the Nazi regime. The world knew about them. There were tons of Jewish refugees pouring into Palestine. Sigmund Freud was not exactly reticent about the Brown Shirts who invaded his office and forced him to leave Germany for England. There were thousands of German intellectuals, both Jewish and Gentile, who simply vanished from the international community with scientific and learned papers unread and lost. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were well aware of the Nazi human rights violations and did business with Germany anyway. As a matter of fact, Ford and his buddy Prescott Bush helped fund the human rights violations.
Today we all know about the Chinese human rights violations, but we are reliving the same history that we had with the Nazis. We are going on with the Olympics as if there weren’t thousands of Tibetan refugees right here in the United States. Oh no, how could the Chinese be aiding the genocide in Darfur when they have such an adorable little girl lip-syncing their national anthem? Never mind that you are aiding the repressive regime in Burma, it’s the Olympics.
So why didn’t the United States withdraw our athletes when the Chinese refused a visa to a Darfur activist? Maybe its because we might refuse a visa to an Afghanistan activist someday. Maybe its for the same reason that we sent our athletes to Nazi Germany in 1932. Profits before people is the American way as well as the Chinese way, and we became as bad as the Nazis the moment we invaded Afghanistan. Yet we go along with the farce because if we examine the Chinese too closely we might find the exact same sins amongst ourselves.