A couple of months ago I committed the one thing you’re not supposed to do when you write about politics: I used the old Nazi comparison on the Sochi Olympics—as in this reminds me of the ’36 games.
Because it does… There was no way any western country had the jam… including Canada… And so our team is trundling off ready to play by Putin’s neofacist rules while we all sit by. Did anyone really think anything else would happen that would be better than ’36?
As described by the NYT then:
“Many American newspaper editors and anti-Nazi groups, led by Jeremiah Mahoney, president of the Amateur Athletic Union, were unwilling to be duped by Nazi Germany’s hollow pledges and lies regarding German Jewish athletes. But Avery Brundage maneuvered the Amateur Athletic Union to a close vote in favor of sending an American team to Berlin, and, in the end, Mahoney’s boycott effort failed.”
Turning back to the Russian Winter Olympics, a boycott seems like a non-starter, for both good and bad reasons. And like the rest of you, I don’t have any more vodka to pour out. So what now?
Not only does it look like Russia will get away with staging a Potemkin Village Games that hides the terror of its anti-LGBT laws behind two weeks of winter fun and tourism promotion, it shows the lack of coherent options for protest in the face of the power of the Olympic movement.
But surely there are some answers rolling around in the mass of sponsorships, human rights, media cartels and reportage and state representation? Surely, there is something effective that can be done to shine a light on this new emerging fascist state?
That effort failed in 1936. It shouldn’t be allowed to fail this time.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted (I would say sorry, but my family tells me I’ve used my allotted sorries for the hour). As many of you know, my condition has been declining steadily these past few months. I will post a longer update on my health soon. In the meantime, thank you all once again for the many well wishes. They really keep me going, and I hope to give you a few more posts yet.