The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Well, this is going to be boring

This blog has long maintained an editorial policy of fairness and impartiality, not to mention the use of pseudonyms, but recently we have been coerced into convinced to publish a series of political and social rants essays by a famous author and publisher who, as part of the bargain, agrees to attribution. This is the first.

Clearly, the Olympics exist to sell advertising (same-same the Superbowl). While the claim is that they provide revenue and investment for the cities that host the games, a look at the actual effects shows that to be a blatant lie. Facilities for the games have been widely treated as excuses for slum clearance and displacement of urban populations, and the structures, once the games are over, become decaying reminders of squandered public funds. The games also claim to offer talented amateurs a path to glory and recognition. The facts suggest otherwise. And the idea that the Olympics are somehow a way of achieving peaceful communication among diverse peoples -- well, as the cliche' goes, how's that working out for you? Diverse peoples are at each others' throats just as much as they ever were, whether the diversity is ethnic, religious, political, or gender-based.

So no, the Olympics are a corporation whose product is publicity. They would not exist, at least in their current form, unless corporations with their own products to sell provided sponsorship. And that brings us to a recommendation.

As you have probably heard (unless you're deaf and blind), the upcoming Winter Olympics are planned for the city of Sochi, in Russia. That's Russia, the one with the sub-human social agenda, a country almost if not quite as widely-despised by everyone as we are (albeit for different reasons). Russia's frankly insane laws concerning homosexuality have caused people to poke at the International Olympic Committee, suggesting a change of venue to someplace with a more enlightened outlook -- Texas, for example; Russia makes Houston look like Stockholm. However, the IOC, like the German General Staff in 1914, says it's too late to make a change. The fact that one of the IOC's goals is to "Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement" appears not to be operative, as the Nixon administration once said. For reference, here's their fundamental principle Number 4:

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of
practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which
requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

Despite this, on the strength of an assurance from Russia that they were just kidding and everything's going to be just fine, the IOC is adamant.

So what's to be done, if anything, to get them to think again? Probably nothing. The Olympics will go on, in Russia, and civil rights be damned. But here's a notion. Contact the IOC and your own national Olympic committee, plus the network that will be broadcasting the games, plus the major corporate sponsors that sign up, and promise them that if the event is held in Russia:
  • You will not attend
  • You will not watch or listen to broadcasts of the games
  • You will not purchase products of sponsors (e.g., McDonald's and Coke)
  • If you own stock in those companies, consider selling it (and tell them that)
  • If you own shares of a mutual fund that invests in sponsors, contact the fund's manager and complain
  • And, if you were thinking of it, you will no longer donate to any Olympic fund or appeal
In summary, you'll do what an individual can do to reduce the value of their product. And then, most importantly, keep those promises.
Write to: International Olympic Committee Lausanne, Switzerland.
USOC: United States Olympic Committee US Olympic Complex Colorado Spring, Colorado
Coke and McDonald's linked above
Other sponsors
by Joe McConnell