Wednesday, March 26, 2008

And the crowd goes wild

And we're back. You're reading the Fundy Post Worldwide World of Sport World, the world's first written sport broadcast, in the world. And not just that, but we are the first sport broadcast to target the "don't care about sport" demographic. And remember, we may be crap but at least we are not sponsored by Hyundai.

First up, the Olympics. And New Zealand athletes have come out with some hard-hitting comments about the situation in Tibet. Here's rower Mahe Drysdale:
I'm focussing on my sport. The way I look at it, China is hosting a tournament ... I don't want to get into the politics of it. I don't necessarily agree with what China is doing but Americans are doing bad things as well. It's not what I'm about."
"Americans are doing bad things as well ..." a thoughtful analysis of world events, I think you'll all agree. And here's sailor Dan Slater to show that New Zealand punches above its weight not just in the sporting arena but in the bar-room brawl of world opinion:
I'm going to compete, be an athlete. Whatever is going on politically is beyond my control. I've spent a long time getting to this point. Me saying my two cents worth won't solve anything. What are we going to do? We're four million people down here. China's a huge nation, they own half the world. We rely on China for all the trade that goes on. You've got to be careful about what you say and do. I don't think we're big enough to make a stance.
Quite right. And in 1492, the Chinese built a fleet of huge ships and discovered New Zealand. They are that huge. Really. Who are we to complain about what they do in some other country that they invaded and colonised?

But then, should we be so indignant about what China is doing? They have done some bad things in Tibet but the Tibetans are not playing cricket here. They are attacking other citizens of Lhasa. What should the Chinese authorities do when members of one part of the population are attacking the others?

And what should the left do? The organising, protesting left, that is. Should they care about Tibet? No, of course not; all that matters is the bad things that Americans do. Its all about Iraq and Palestine, Cuba and Venezuela. ¡Scorchio!

But then again, politics is game of at least two halves, possibly three or more. Who are we to tell sportspeople they should not be doing their sport because we have a problem with the country they are doing it in? Perhaps it is up to the readers at home to choose not to watch the Olympics and opt instead for a slim volume of poetry or some atonal music. Perhaps we should also stop buying all that cheap crap China produces and buy more expensive stuff made at home, if we can find it.

So there we have it. Funny old game innit?


Anonymous said...

Clearly is it not for poor, helpless athletes from poor, helpless New Zealand to take a stand on human rights or anything difficult and confusing like that. They have the inalienable right, of course, to entertain people with their unusual capacity for jumping over things or rowing boats or whatever, and to advance their careers!

By the same token, we can't go jeopardising the rights of businesspeople to conduct business in a country where money is plentiful and sweatshops are legal.

That's the thing about boycotts. They're always so cursed expensive. If only there were a way to boycott the games (and in so doing, express our moderate irritation with the Chinese authorities regarding that whole geocide in Tibet thing) without actually boycotting China and all that nice cheap plastic stuff that they make. Say, didn't that nice French man with the attractive wife suggest that we could just boycott the opening ceremony...? Why, that's a fantastic idea! It's not like sport-related protests by stupid, idealistic New Zealanders could ever actually *change* anything, anyway...

Anonymous said...

But Paul, politics isn't a game of any halves. it is a zero sum game, nobody wins but the politicians and then only temporarily.

Besides the sport of politics has its own special and highly jealous cadre of priests who communicate it to the great unwashed. You, a mere blogger, should not anger the great and good of this priesthood by treading on their toes, oh no.

Unknown said...

Here's the Fast Show.

Morgan Davie said...

And what should the left do? The organising, protesting left, that is. Should they care about Tibet? No, of course not; all that matters is the bad things that Americans do.

wtf? I look at the emails I've been getting from Avaaz; the last three were all related to Tibet, including one on Mar 20 calling for 1 million signers to the petition for dialogue. (I just checked; they're only 2500 shy, six days later.)

I mean, Avaaz pretty much *is* the organised protesting left these days, right?

Apart from that wtf moment: yeah, kinda. but as I blogged last week, there's a sampling bias to athletes talking about the politics of the Chinese olympics - the ones who might want to make a stand aren't going to advertise it in advance, unless they're foolish, or Mark Todd.

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