Boycotting the Olympics Was Never Easier

Categories: Sports
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Fuck it Dude. Let's go bowling...
Back in 2012, my esteemed colleague Anna Roth and I wrote a back-and-forth regarding the Olympics. She loves 'em. And I do not

More specifically, I described the Olympics as "a spectacle of sports people don't care to watch aimed at people who don't care to watch sports." And, furthermore, "It manages to cut the baby squarely in half, alienating those with real knowledge of the sport and whipping casual or non-fans into a frenzy over athletes plucked from obscurity who will be cruelly displaced from the spotlight as the nation's attention span for decathletes or middling hockey players wanes."

None of that has changed. That's the Olympics' permanent exhibit, so to speak. This time around, however, the spectacle has transcended from bothersome to loathsome. Because, via the Sochi Games, we're presented with a repressive kleptocracy's grotesque pageant. Atop Olympic-level corruption and graft is also the bizarre specter of Ahmadinejad-class  institutionalized gay-bashing.

It would be bad enough if the Vladimir Putin Olympiad didn't blow through $51 billion -- nearly eight times the already sky-high cost of putting on the event in Vancouver.

The Olympics has a long and shameful history of cravenness in the face of evil; the stirring opening ceremony you'll watch today was originally a Hitlerian set piece.

But there are moral compromises to be made every day. Tune in to watch college football, after all, and you're participating in a system in which young men, tempted by a chance at unlikely riches, are induced to wreck their minds and bodies, sans compensation, by ostensible educational institutions that cut them loose, uneducated, when their time is up.

It's sick. It's a perversion. But we are weak. And we want to watch.

To be blunt: Olympic sports, especially Winter Olympic sports, are not as compelling -- and certainly not a part of the fabric of American life. Choosing to forgo watching them is easy; it's like boycotting tuna for people who don't particularly care for canned fish.

This is the easiest Olympics to ignore yet. It's a pretense for corrupt oligarchs to pilfer obscene amounts of taxpayer money from a nation with no shortage of human suffering. The bizarre element of homophobia and repression is the rancid cherry atop a wretched sundae.

Alas. It'd be fun to watch the hockey.


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11 comments
Debbie DeArmon
Debbie DeArmon

Don't take your anger out on the athletes. They deserve our support.

Steve Tidd
Steve Tidd

I'm reading some of these comments and some of you are laughable. The athletes don't get to choose where the Olympics are held. All countries and all governments have done bad things to good people and animals. ( including us ) Why boycott the games because of Putin policies?? If you think the games are boring, that's one thing. I boycott ice skating and curling 'cause they suck. But to let politics and social issues into it is kind of silly.

Patti Radigan
Patti Radigan

Aware in NY, and I remember the1980 boycott. Some athletes only have that one shot so I WILL watch, GO TEAM USA!!!

Patrick Carroll
Patrick Carroll

The Olympics have always been used by politicians. By Hitler in 1936--Triumph of the Will, anyone? And they have always been corrupt. Mitt Romney got his cred from saving the Salt Lake City Olympics from becoming a Sochi-like debacle. So I don't know why this Olympics should be any different.

Hella Gay
Hella Gay

I'm sure I can speak for all the LGBT's all over the world when I say we're all be watching and anxiously waiting for someone to win gold, pull out a rainbow flag and wave it in their fuckin faces!

Iain Lowis
Iain Lowis

Sorry but you have no idea what you're talking about. This Olympics is a pretty big deal with controversy both in and out of the games.

Khanh Nguyen
Khanh Nguyen

Probably only in SF, I'm not sure other cities/states are as aware.

Claudia Blomberg
Claudia Blomberg

I love sport but I don't watch them. I don't support criminals.

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