Wednesday, August 6, 2008

DOH-mer Of The Week- Who Was That Masked Man?

We quickly approach the gathering of nations, blanketed beneath the cover of goodwill, unity, and healthy sport. From many countries they come to represent a single Olympiad. And though the Olympic games are always a gamble with success or failure, it took a real DOH-mer to choose Beijing as the host site for 2008.

Healthy sport? Not a f**king chance. The Olympic motto is “Swifter, Higher, stronger”, but in terms of the Beijing games, this is descriptive of the toxins filling the air of the city. Olympic athletes are already bothered , before competition even begins. Some have chosen to arrive late, to avoid training in a toxic cloud. Some are choosing not to participate in opening ceremonies, to lessen the poison intake, or attend those ceremonies wearing masks. Wearing a mask? Isn’t that slapping the face of the host government that invited the world in? We don’t readily know the faces of most Olympic athletes, until competition begins. And we sure as hell won’t know the faces parading opening ceremonies, if protective coverings leave them hidden.

The Chinese government makes the claim that particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfer dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide have decreased 13.8% in Beijing’s air since winning the Olympic bid. But of course, this is the same Chinese government that will say, “What political protests are you speaking of?” You didn’t really believe Baghdad Bob was the world’s only liar, did you? The Chinese claim was debunked by an American Scientist, saying the statistical gains were achieved by simply moving their measuring materials to less polluted areas of the city. That's a pretty slick move, and could have been effective, if they hid the sh*t cloud behind a mountain.

And how dare some people say it’s no different than Los Angeles hosting the Olympics in 1984? Any Angelinos you see wearing masks are probably fresh off rhinoplasty, and not fearing lung disease. That's an apples and oranges comparison, and I'm offended enough to trash your city in an this one. I don't speak any of the Chinese dialects, so I'm not sure what they named the Beijing mascot, but somehow I believe the English translation would be "Smoggy".

Aside from the smoke filled skies, what about the politics? Why would you allow an Olympiad to be held in a political war zone? If Beijing can host this year, The Gaza strip should bid on the next one. Truth of the matter is, violent protests don’t decrease with the world’s media coming to town. They increase to the point where they light a fire under your ass. You want the world to know your struggles? Blow some sh*t up or start clubbing someone, then wait for the government to react in their usual manner, with the cameras rolling. Paint your signs and stage your sit ins, and wait for the government to violently disburse the crowd. If they refrain from violence and rallies increase, you win. If they use violence in front of a worldwide audience, you win again, so f*ck it.

The point is, none of the Beijing events are new, so what would prompt someone to give them the bid? Is it an experiment to see if doping athletes can sprint towards world records with oxygen tanks weighing them down? Or maybe it’s to show us that that the "shot put" isn’t just an Olympic event, but it’s also a way of expressing opinion on the Beijing streets. It’s a bad place at a bad time. And for making this decision, I have to give the IOC a DOH-mer. You're not giving us an Olympiad. You're giving us "Survivor-Beijing".

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