Monday, March 31, 2008

What to do about the Olympics?

There has been debate about boycotting the Olympics this year because the venue is Beijing and China's human rights record is abysmal - something highlighted by its occupation of Tibet and the cultural, religious, and political repression of the Tibetans.

The Chinese are currently claiming that the Dalai Lama wants to hurt the Olympics. Al-Jazeera reports:
The newspapers described a series of alleged violent incidents over the past nearly 50 years in an attempt to convince readers that vows by the Dalai Lama of non-violence were "a lie from beginning to end".

The Dalai Lama has called the accusation "baseless", asserting that he supports China's hosting of the summer Games.
As Fox Noise likes to say: we report, you decide. My readers may evaluate the conflicting accounts of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government.

The ancient Olympics were a time when athletes from various Greek city states could gather under the sacred truce of the games and compete in peace. That ideal is part of the modern vision of the Olympics - a time when politics and nationalism can be set aside for friendly competition toward the goals "Citius, Altius, Fortius" - Swifter, Higher, Stronger. The reality, we all know, is not quite so pure as national pride and commercialism are known to play an obvious part in all of it. Still, we want to believe and we love seeing athletes accomplish amazing feats.

No one wants to punish athletes who have spent years of their lives working toward a goal that can only be realized once every four years.

So a movement has begun to attend the Olympics and make a silent but eloquent expression. Wear or carry the color orange. You can check it out here.

I have seen news of this in several places and Pseudopiskie's post reminded me to share it here.

I would love to see Beijing blanketed in orange this summer.
--the BB

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