When in Doubt: Boycott!

There’s been a lot of debate on CBC about boycotting the Beijing Olympics because of the human rights violations. Some people think that you should keep politics and the athletics separate. I think if you’re going to boycott or protest the Olympics in Beijing then you have to do the same to the Vancouver Olympics because we have human rights violations right here in our fair city, not to mention all the other problems that have nothing to do with the Olympics (except for the fact that money is being spent on games when all the while we have pressing social & medical issues that need the funding more; bread & circuses and all that). It’s the same thing with any Olympics, anywhere. I boycott the Olympics for a completely different reason: they’re dull and incredibly annoying.

4 Replies to “When in Doubt: Boycott!”

  1. I was disappointed when the athletes began their pre-emptive whining when it was even hinted that they should consider boycotting the Olympics, either as a nation or individuals.

    “It wouldn’t do anything – it didn’t for Moscow.”

    A statement, particularly one that is carried in the world news, always makes a different. It’s true, it may not alter the course of things radically, but it always counts.

    “Keep politics and sport separate.”

    If these athletes weren’t government subsidized, training in facilities built with government money, I’d almost go for that.

    But you have to consider the spirit of the Olympics – it’s a celebration of human achievement (or human spirit, if you prefer) and peaceful international relations. To not even consider dropping out (and I say this as I didn’t see a lot of long, drawn-out soul searching in these press-conferences-within-a-day) is a kick in the nuts to both goals.

    I realize that these people devote years to a what amounts to a single shot at the Olympics – but the greater the sacrifice, the greater the statement.

    And this is when it’s most important that someone make a stand like this. Thanks to trade relations with China, our government (few governments for that matter) are going to say peep. And you and I are single voices in the void, saying what we can, as loud as we can, any hoping for the best. But the athletes – they can do what we can’t and our government won’t. Get in front of a camera and condemn human rights violations.

    Athletes always say they’re competing to represent Canada. So, what happened to representing Canada’s ethics and ideals? Nothing, because they say that Gold medal is for Canada, but it’s pretty clear that it’s actually for them.

    Dead monks can go fuck themselves apparently.

    And yeah, I’m with you Toren – the Vancouver Olympics is government money being funneled to a small number of influential entities. The fact that they’re building re-doing an entire highway for German tourists can get to the cross-country competitions, but the government wants to pull the funding for safe injection sites, is pretty much a dead giveaway.

  2. The Olympics are a giveaway for local corporations, plain and simple. That’s why the organizers are always local businessmen, who expect to benefit from the tourism and government funded construction that is always necessary.

    I agree with you about boycotting China’s Olympics. They’re one of the most repressive regimes in the world, just as repressive as the USSR ever was, but because they’re willing to do business with the West, the USA and Canada are pretending otherwise. It’s disgusting. For cheap clothing and shoes, we’re willing to watch while journalists and political activists are imprisoned and killed.

    However, I don’t agree that Vancouver’s Olympics are anywhere near morally equivalent to China’s. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of them–I’m not. We’re spending an enormous amount of money that’s ending up in the pockets of local developers, construction and engineering firms. Coincidentally, the same business interests that put together the Olympic bid.

  3. I’m boycotting but only because they won’t allow whiffle golf to be admitted as an olympic sport…

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