There's nothing like an Olympics in your little burg to make the
authorities heel to. Back in the old days, the world press that
descended on their soil was alone enough to make even the most inhuman tyrants temporarily cease and desist their brutal tactics. Before and during the Berlin Olympics of 1936, Adolph Hitler personally ordered a moratorium
on the roundup of gays and systemic crackdown on Jews. While the
international media was still in Berlin that summer, local residents remarked seeing a dramatic decline in the quantity of anti-Semitic posters.
Now there's something even more precious at stake: Corporate bucks.
Beijing had proved in spades during the 2008 summer Olympics that even
the last Communist superpower on earth was too capitalistically
pragmatic to resist the lure of corporate cash. London was so rotten
with corruption at the last summer games the several corporate sponsors
had rent a cops scouring the streets of the West and East Ends looking
for signs of local mercantile disobedience, their edicts and orders
carrying with it the full force of the law as Parliament had already
secured the rights of the Games' corporate sponsors way back in 2006.
And of course the international press and public opinion still carries
enough weight so that every city and nation hosting an Olympics brutally
cracks down on anything that could be considered negative. They come
off looking like a negligent sweatshop owner handing out the safety
goggles and putting up warning signs just before an insurance or OSHA
inspection and it fools no one.
Vladimir Putin, Russia's
President, in many ways is worse than Adolph Hitler who, as previously
stated, gave Berlin's gays and Jews a little breather as long as the
scribblers were in his capital city. Putin's and his Duma's unbelievably
repressive crackdown on Russia's LGBT population came long in advance
of the Sochi Games and it may perhaps all be a PR stunt to mask the fact
that the Sochi Winter Games is, at $51,000,000,000, the most corrupt Olympics of all time
In fact, Sochi cost more than all the previous Winter Games combined
and part of that is due to the Russian government, and Putin, handing
out cost-plus, no-bid contracts to some of Putin's buddies in the
private sector (One company alone got $21,000,000,000 in contracts.).
Right about now, Mitt Romney, the Mormon savior of the 2002 Salt Lake
City Winter Games, is licking his chops and flagellating himself for
being a piker by conspicuous relief.
The paranoia over a
faux pas is so great that another private corporation, no doubt run by
another buddy of Chancellor Putin, has been hired to round up and kill
every stray dog in Sochi, prompting Keith Olbermann
to make a brief comeback of his pompously snarky ways to talk about it
from his ESPN desk. Yes, they're rounding up countless thousands of
stray dogs and likely cats, as well as many pets that have mysteriously
gone missing because Putin is endlessly paranoid about a dog straying on
the field during tonight's Opening ceremonies.
And now Putin is warning those who might have other, more humanistic ideas that the Olympics is not the place
to talk about LGBT rights or the lack thereof.
Bullshit. When federal governments so ruthlessly crack down on human
and animal rights in advance of an Olympics, you're automatically
getting politics involved so everything is fair game. The repression and
insidiousness is so rampant, the Russian state automatically hacks
and/or uploads malware on the laptops and cell phones of every single
visitor to Sochi literally within minutes. NBC News recently proved that
and the US State Department has issued an advisory warning Americans to
remove their cell phone batteries.
The IOC and USOC are so
shockingly and staggeringly corrupt and inefficient they spout lies and
propaganda as effectively as the Soviet and Fascist states of old,
mouthing platitudes about how gay people will not be persecuted and that
dogs are not, in fact, being rounded up or shot with poison darts and
fed poisoned meat. The Games themselves are a glittering, glorified
afterthought with athletic competition and international amity and
brotherhood piously preached about. But what makes every Olympics turn
around these days is money, money, money, with sponsored athletes being
forced to mention their corporate sponsors (such as Verizon) or violate
This level of brutality has made even a
weak-kneed, Go-Along-To-Get-Along milksop like Barack Obama withhold his
presence from the Opening ceremonies tonight and to send in his place a
delegation made up of Billie Jean King and two other LGBT athletes. This
will do little for LGBT rights and will only rachet up the tensions
that already exist between our failing empire and Russia's emerging but
still-insecure place in the global community. But at least it's
The bottom line is world leaders will do nothing
to, excuse the expression, queer this three week-long boondoggle when
there's so much money on the line. The IOC and USOC are made up of
wet-legged corporate sock puppets and the corporations are certainly not
going to incur the wrath of a power-mad madman who still thinks that
gay people will molest little Russian children.
As usual, it
will fall to individual LGBT and LGBT-friendly athletes to embarrass
Putin and his oppressive regime infinitely more than had Pussy Riot.
That will be the only thing worth watching for during an Olympics
already infested with millionaire athletes craving a little more glory,
endlessly avaricious corporations and 30,000 soldiers just quivering to
shoot the first person who looks as if they'd ever gone to a Broadway
musical. In the midst of all the canned, artificial, delayed commentary,
the endless commercials, the heartless dog safari that will rage behind
the scenes and the rampant homophobia, the only thing that will be
worth watching is to see who has the balls to stand up and make Putin as
red in the face as Jesse Owens did to Adolph Hitler.
Every four years the American corporate MSM appoint at least one darling of the American delegation or another and to make him or her
the face of the Olympics to better sell the temporary brand. It remains
to be seen if they'll have the guts to make the first person to
publicly embarrass Putin on the medal stand at their expense of their medal and dorm room in the Olympic village this quadrennial darling.
Who will be the next John Carlos and Tommie Smith
? I cannot wait to find out. How about you?