? Questions Of Olympic Proportion ?


How can we expect, even demand, that the Russians provide suitable housing and toilets for the Sochi Olympics, when we do not even require our own government to honestly deal with significantly more pressing issues?

What of political surveillance of our own citizens?  What about the witch hunting of whistle-blowers who would advise us of our politicians’ depravities and deviances? What about the ongoing covert imperial wars we wage against nation after nation, and tribe upon tribe, all paid for by our own tax dollars?  What about drone assassinations and the death of innocents, those we execute across the globe, all anonymously, without reprisal and without repentance?

What about our own complicity in this Spectacle of global humiliation (a.k.a. globalization)… acting self-righteously and preeminently as enforcer of unilateral moral edicts and a planned cultural monopoly (monotony)?  When do we get off of our high horse and recognize that the demands we make of this world, and the monoculture we stridently promote – unabashedly and uncompromisingly – is destructive not only of human cultural variation, but of life on this planet for all species… ultimately unsustainable and radically self-regarding?

Why do we insist upon finding fault with others – with the Other/Alterity – and yet refuse to look at the grave fault-lines running richly through our own psychotically obsessive cultural hegemony?  Why can we not see through the propaganda of our own Madison Avenue approach to domestic or geopolitics, the emptying spectacle of our mockery-democracy, or even the chimerical and hysterical proclamations of our freedom?

Why do we care about Colorado Superbowls (of football or marijuana), yet not concern ourselves with the growing black-boot security apparatus of the State, the subtle reversal of our previously ‘inverted totalitarianism’… now righting itself, and baring its vicious and bloodied teeth?  When do we demand the ouster of the entire Congress of the United States as well as the deposing of our present butler-in-chief and his lackeys to some third-world prison cell?

How can you be concerned, nay outraged, over the shooting of stray dogs at the Olympic village in Sochi, and yet not even feign concern for the lives of innocent women and children you are killing in Afghanistan or Pakistan with your drones?  How can you continue to vilify the Other (Russia, Iran, etc), while refusing to admit the villainous within you and in your midst?  How can you wake each morning, look in the mirror or check your Facebook page and continue to live comfortably without reconsidering your complicity in this entire charade, this Spectacle?  How do you keep living your life, as is?  How can Americans, and their fast-emerging commercial aliases peppered around the globe, continue to endorse the imperial economic and militaristic policies of a resource-gutting, egotistically managed, self-consumed lifestyle?

How can we continue to support the curriculum of the West as it manifests its own bankruptcy? How can you dance, if you still do not know how to walk?  How can you eat, if you don’t know where to find food?  How can you ask the world to stand and deliver, if all you know how to do is take?

When will the fairy dust be stripped from our eyelids, so that while “now we see but through a glass darkly,” then we will see things face to face?  Let the games begin… err, continue.

18 Responses to ? Questions Of Olympic Proportion ?

  1. the Heretick says:

    all good questions. i have no answers. maybe because the same messianic certainty of the world religions has leeched into our secular world-view. or because life is so much easier when we ignore the damage done to the life sustaining eco-system, (interesting that the word processing program wants eco-system capitalized) another subtle sign of cultural conditioning.
    there are many things that don’t make sense, shipping goods around the world chasing the lowest wage while citizens in every country don’t make enough to live on, only makes sense to the owners of this world.

    flying athletes in made up games around the world in jet airplanes is another. if govts. are so concerned about the environment, the why not transport these people in sailing ships? or luxury liners? if you asked, 90% of these people would reply by rote that they believe in AGW, and support sustainable tech; except when it comes to their Nike contract, pushing products made in sweatshops, and purchased by poor people in ghettos who live off the state. yes, i know that statement is painted with a broad brush, a stereotype, so sue me. how do you talk about these subjects w/o using generalities? which is another tactic used by many to quash debate, generalities are fine if used to further an argument one agrees with, and specifics are used the same way.

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

    what a load of crap. how many people bobsled to work? what does Shaun White’s half-pipe have to do with the price of tea in China? other than that’s where the junk he’s pushing is made? hockey, fine. cross country skiing, ok. people may actually ski to work some places. the luge? please.

    as in all totalitarian states the appearance of happiness and fair play must be maintained while the masses are robbed blind. who was it said, “slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work?” yup, it goes on every day, put on a happy face while your personal finances and the world around you is falling apart. human society has grown so complex, it’s near impossible to deal with, let alone write about.

  2. Malthus says:

    “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter
    It would be good to adhere to the charter in everyday life and situations. Of course we do not look at life in a humanistic point of view. Its more like its mine and you and everyone else leave it along no matter what your needs are. I believe that totalitarian points of view started with the concept of ownership.

  3. It’s easy. It pays. (until if doesn’t.)


  4. Disaffected says:

    I’ve always thought the Olympics, especially the modern professionalized version, were pretty ridiculous. The idea of earning medals “for the motherland” in this day and age of universal global capitalism is just absurd on the face of it. WHD’s right, it’s all about TV and advertising revenues these days. Won’t miss them a bit. Gonna wean myself a little further (hopefully completely) off football this year too. Didn’t follow it all that closely last year until the playoffs, and they weren’t anything I couldn’t do without either.

  5. FIDO says:

    We are unlikely to answer those embarassing questions…. such as Why America practices euthenasia on its disabled population ( obama care ) and why America continues to kill innocent railroaded prisoners.

    Where where are you tonight
    why did you leave me here all alone
    I searched the world yonder and thought I found true love.
    You found another and pthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !! you were gone ……

    Hee Haw !!!!!
    Ol’ Buck was right on
    Why we live in a whole world of plenty when so many have nothing to eat….

  6. Disaffected says:

    The Olympics also fuel the idea of a hierarchy of fittest humans just as the capitalist system does. The glorious winners earn honors for god and country and go on display on the podium of glory, height ranked by level of achievement of course, afterward to be showered with riches and tribute in recognition of their achievements. The rest of the losers, presumably despondent for their loss of face, are anonymously praised for competing and sent on their way; consigned to the dustbin of history, yet invited to try, try again to become a glorious winner next time. It all directly mirrors the capitalist system where we’re told we’re all in competition with one another to win the ultimate glory: fame, fortune, and adulation; while the losers are tempered by the cruel fires of poverty, so that they might one day become winners too. Should they fail in their efforts, too fucking bad. Nature has had the final say and who are we to second guess her? What a wonderful system!

    • the Heretick says:

      the entire dialectic is bogus. tptb will give up anything and everything except their power and privilege. there is one narrative for public consumption, and another which is the reality of the situation.

      it’s two, count them, two realities in one!

      • Disaffected says:

        Haven’t seen that one in awhile, although I’ll occasionally use the reference indirectly when talking about something else. I’ll bet the youngsters have no idea what I’m talking about.

  7. the Heretick says:

    i must warn all readers up front that i may trample some sacred cows with the following, but i believ it addresses the question of the original post.

    “What about drone assassinations and the death of innocents, those we execute across the globe, all anonymously, without reprisal and without repentance?”


    the US is truly looking more and more like something out of a dystopian novel.
    the people are just as dysfunctional s the government.
    both of the headlines above reflect life not under a republican administration, but under the democratic party. yes, of course conventional wisdom is that the right is more radical, but anymore i wonder if that is really true.

    our country cannot live two lives for much longer, eventually the rift between propaganda and reality will become too great. let’s look at the drone killings. leaving aside that corps. are spread all over the globe, leave moral considerations aside. there is a way under the law, clear constitutional law, to address “terrorists” operating out of foreign countries, and that is to declare war, for our country to follow our law and for congress to declare war. when dealing with people with such a highly developed sense of honor, how can they respect us when we have none?
    all according to traditional standards mind you.

    why doesn’t the US declare war? moral considerations? laughable. profits? fear that declaring war will cause the Ummah to fight the US en masse? i have one theory, a war would require a draft, a real draft, and this draft under current social policy would require all be drafted, no deferments, women, college kids, everyone. our finely honed sense of social justice would brook no other course, equal protection and all that, just one point. better to have the poverty draft.

    which brings us to prison overcrowding. the people are so poor, so lacking in vision and hope, of course the prisons are overflowing. we have drug laws that put people away for growing a plant in the ground, and this we call freedom. what a joke.

    i am a child of the sixties, wore bell bottoms, grew my hair long, peace and free love, but the older i get the more i wonder. there were some things we were taught that made sense. you didn’t do murder, that was wrong, you only fight wars when you have to. you lived your life with a conscience, the golden rule. it seems to me that morality has become something to be used to achieve one’s own ends, whatever that may be.

    the question put forth by the media is whether US citizens should be killed, scant consideration is given to the rights of citizens of other countries, at least of countries who do not have the means to resist. how cowardly. law and logic are twisted to suit our own narcissistic ends. a declaration of war, an actual war would at least be honest, it would show the aggression for what it is, and we don’t want that; we prefer to hide the consequences of our actions behind reasonable sounding lies, just as we prefer to lock up our societies failures in prison where we don’t have to see them.

  8. the Heretick says:

    i will try this again. the question has now become one of whether the executive branch can assassinate american citizens abroad.


    it is easier for the govt. to manage the public perception of “surgical strikes” than it is to ask Congress for a declaration of war. not to support war, but it’s one and the same.

  9. kulturcritic says:

    Wrap this shit up in a flag, salute it, and sing a hymn to the emperor. Boy, we do think our shit don’t stink!


    • Disaffected says:

      Sad to see how readily we’ve embraced inverted totalitarianism. But the Bush bunch embraced the most basic political concept of all and it paid off in spades: appeal to people’s fears and they’ll follow you anywhere. Viewed from our current perspective, one can only marvel at 9-11 as a political masterstroke.

  10. Disaffected says:

    Much to do being made this morning about the fact that while the American east coast and south is buried in snowfall, Sochi and the Winter Olympic games are anything but. Ahhh, but that’s normal right? Found this excellent video yesterday by Nate Hagens, formerly of the Oil Drum, while I was malingering. Enjoy.

    • kulturcritic says:

      And of course, Geneva NY where my NY home is located is having Siberian cold temps; while here in Barnaul we are relatively warmer than usual.

      • Disaffected says:

        And we in the US Mountain West remain locked in a springlike pattern. Looks like no winter of any consequence this year for us.

    • Disaffected says:

      In a similar vein, Gail Tverberg, an actuary and peak oil researcher, hammers the same points on her blog Our Finite World. Both probably inspired/informed much of Kunstler’s work and recent blog commentary as well regarding the fed and all of our current economic stupidity, although if they’re right, Bernanke’s efforts were likely the only arrow left in the quiver for an industrial society that is fresh out of real world options. One of Hagen’s comments is particularly telling at about the 18:00 and 26:00 marks above. Current debt-based financing, based on nothing more than whimsical funny money and faith that somehow things will keep going the way “they always have,” are actually pulling forward, aka “stealing from our children,” production of actual resources that simply won’t be there tomorrow. In that sense, current debt is even more damning, in that it’s 1.) foolishly using debt to steal resources from tomorrow, just like it always does, but 2.) is knowingly being used to pull forward resources that knowledgeable observers know simply doesn’t exist, especially at the prices they think it will! See the current great shale oil and tar sands fiascoes.

      So, long story short, I think ol’ Jimmy K is probably onto something after all with all of his recent histrionics about the Fed and financial legerdemain in general. And we really are in a world of shit regarding peak oil, which will first be manifested painfully in our economies far ahead of the time we actually run out. Gail is calling 2015(ish) the time frame for the next economic meltdown, and I think most of us here on this board probably sense that that’s about right. Hagens is a little more optimistic about the aftermath than I am, but then again he’s a professional speaker with economic skin in the game. Either way, looks more and more like we’ve got some very interesting times ahead in our immediate future!

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