Sunday, April 06, 2008

Major Weather

Global warming has London in its strangely icy grip today - or, as I'd
prefer to think, the weather gods are making clear what they think of the
farcical parading of the Olympic torch through the capital. Either way,
this major weather should put a damper on things - including,
unfortunately, the promised protests. No doubt the ghastly parade will go
smoothly - the authorities are worryingly good at this sort of thing,
especially if it involves closing down stretches of London on behalf of a
totalitarian regime and squashing protest (unless it takes the more
acceptable form of Kill the filthy kuffar, Behead the unbeliever, etc).
Sadly, though, Gordon Brown will almost certainly have abandoned his plan
of anointing himself liberally in olive oil and donning a knee-length Doric
chiton for the torch presentation. It's touch and go, too, whether Andrew
'perpetual' Motion will have his Pindaric Ode ready on time (he hadn't
reached that chapter in Teach Yourself Poetry when the call came).
Meanwhile, hairless king of the swimming pool Duncan Goodhew, a prefectly
decent fellow, was to be heard yesterday justifying his decision to carry
the torch. We must, he pointed out, be careful to separate the Olympic
ideal from politics. It was all about, he continued without apparent
effort, Equity (that's why everyone's given a gold medal) and Fair Play
(hence no drugs testing), both of which are values closely associated with
Democracy (which, when I last checked, was a political idea -albeit one
with little application to the current Olympic hosts). Olympic sponsors
Samsung, on the other hand, assure us that the torch relay is all about
Peace and Unity. That'll be Peace as in Solitudinem faciunt pacem
appellant, and Unity as in Ein Volk, Ein Reich...
Never mind, the snow in the suburbs was very beautiful.

(Sorry, technical problems here at NigeCorp, hence no links, etc)


  1. Nige, I will have none of this , or this I will have none of.
    As Leni showed us volk in her home movie, you can't beat a good torching, and those nice men in their pointy hats would agree.
    Just leave all of those non-aligned people alone to deliver the flaming brand to the chinkies.

    PS was that Bryans lead in to his ST mag article or his Baggins birthday party moment?

    Flycatchers arrived today complete with two inches of snow

  2. Flycatchers! Now that is enviable...
    No idea about the ST -managed to avoid the papers so far, but that sounds intriguing...

  3. Your mention of olympics had me putting on my remembering head whilst sorting out some fleece tops for the flycatchers.
    The wife of my Norwegian friend was PR manager for Norway Telecom (later Telenor) at the time of the Lillehammer winter olympics, as one of the sponsors she was heavily involved with the olympic committee. The stories she told us I could not repeat here, they are libellous in the extreme, involving the highest level of officials / Japanese TV companies / misc famous named sponsors etc etc.
    She said that at a series of preliminary meetings she had to leave the room to vomit she was so disgusted.

    If that is the olympic culture, and I doubt it has changed, what chance does sport have of being an icon of democracy ?

  4. My old friend Connie Huq ran into a spot of trouble, maybe she replaced the torch that was snatched from her hands with one she made earlier...

  5. Nige, you are so funny when you're grumpy. I nominate you for a Thurber Award!

  6. Just watched the "closing ceremony" at the Ho Tui Arena
    Phrases like "wet fart in a babies nappy" trip lightly off the tonque. Since when has it been legal for a bunch of foreign heavies to run unchecked through our capital city on a Sunday afternoon.

  7. Hi Nige,

    For the time being, I am in support of the Beijing Olympics.

    Just yesterday, the Dalai Lama again urged support of the Olympics, here: Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to All Tibetans. Here is the Beijing Olympics item:

    8. The hosting of the Olympic games this year is a matter of great pride to the 1.2 billion Chinese people. I have from the very beginning supported the holding of these Games in Beijing. My position on this remains unchanged. I feel the Tibetans should not cause any hindrance to the Games. It is the legitimate right of every Tibetan to struggle for their freedoms and rights. On the other hand, it will be futile and not helpful to anyone if we do something that will create hatred in the minds of the Chinese people. On the contrary, we need to foster trust and respect in our hearts in order to create a harmonious society, as this cannot be built on the basis of force and intimidation.

    I was happy to hear that Vanessa Mae carried the torch. For our young athletes around the world, this is the dream they have been working hard for and deserve, and for most of them this means working hard, doing all we have ever asked of them, for all their lives. We cannot in good conscience take it away from them. No good can come of a boycott. And thus, it is for the ego-benefit of the boycotters only. The main point of leverage the games have on the Chinese government is the focus. That spotlight should be followed by constructive, not destructive, actions.


  8. The Tibetans would like the freedom to live their own way in their own country. Not exactly unreasonable is it? Instead they've had 50 years of rapine and plunder inflicted on them. If you judge our government by its deeds, not its words, then our government seems to think this is just fine and dandy. Disagree? On today's evidence (not shown on Chinese television, naturally) they'll send Inspector Plod to have a decidedly physical "word" with you.

    The Olympics - everything, the whole catastrophe in any country that hosts them - make me sick. All attempts to reform or alter them seem to get nowhere. Instead, every four years, the same gang of Olympic officials - smiling well-padded men of affairs who always look as if they are patting their pockets to make sure the douceur is really in there - pop back up like a nightmarish illness. Just my 2 cents, but we'd all be the better if the whole bandwagon was driven off a cliff and we started again.

  9. Mark, you 2 cents are gold dust

  10. Hi Mark,

    smiling well-padded men of affairs who always look as if they are patting their pockets to make sure the douceur is really in there

    These men are everywhere, not only in the Olympics organizations. We would have to start the whole world over again on your logic, if we used your eloquence.

    Don't do it. All you'll get is a story you will tell to serve yourself. If change comes about, it will have nothing to do with the Olympics being boycotted. Nothing, and this could serve to multiply the problems. In fact, if you wanted to hinder the cause, boycotting should be an integral part of any diabolically clever plan.

    Use the Olympic gatherings as a forum to protest the Chinese powers that be, but not to protest the Olympic games as such. Please distinguish the two. Leverage will come to the Chinese government via the dissemination of information, such as about the massacres if possible, the weakening of propaganda--but not from the Olympic committee, not from these well-padded men.

    A boycott is only useful when the boycotters agree to buy the product after the terms have been met. A boycott is meaningless, if there is nothing to buy following the organized boycott action. Most importantly: boycotting the Olympics is different from boycotting China.

    It's China that needs to hear the message loud and clear, not the Olympic committees. It's the Chinese government through the Chinese people, man. In such perspective, who cares on this point about the well-padded men? They will not change China.



  11. Hi to you too Rus:

    That spotlight should be followed by constructive, not destructive, actions.

    Which brings to mind the late, great W.F. Buckley Jr. who, in railing against the abominable phrase "constructive criticism", said something like: "The naysayer to 'Let us go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky' need not propose a visit to MacDonald's instead."