Sunday, August 11, 2013

Martin and Stephen

With apologies to Three Dog Night, I've never been to Sochi and will, in all likelihood, not get there for the 2014 Winter Olympics.  

They've been busy little bees in the Russian Federation legislatively in recent months, putting the finishing touches on a ban of "propaganda of non-traditional family values" that would make the crypto-fascists of the James Dobson Fan Club envious with the righteous indignation of The Lord As They Perceive Him

There are widespread reports this law is being treated by the thugs and scum of Russian society as a license to kill those different from themselves. 

Stephen Fry, a very talented man in a number of disciplines, makes one of the most eloquent cases you will ever read for why he wishes his nation, Great Britain, to return to greatness and boycott the Sochi Olympics of 2014 as it should have boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

So far, there are no takers. Not in Britain, not in the United States who led a principled boycott against the Moscow Games of 1980 and certainly not by the International Association of Athletics Federations.  

As an American who twice voted for Barack Obama, I am frustrated to tears by his ambivalence and hesitation on boycotting the 2014 Solchi Olympics. The situation in the 'former Soviet Union' is not nuanced and garbed in a thousand shades of grey. Bad people are hurting and killing people who have done nothing to merit being hunted and persecuted except to be.  

Maybe we just don't pay attention or are no longer concerned about that which we choose to forget. If that's the case for you in either circumstance, I would say I'm sorry if this is the uncomfortable or boring part of today's screed, except I'm not.

The world turned its back as the National Socialists unleashed their reign of terror and imposed the Endlosung  (Final Solution) on a helpless and hapless citizenry by singling out undesirables one minority at a time. Nevertheless and keenly aware of what was happening, the world held its nose and participated in the Olympics in Germany. That certainly worked out well for everyone didn't it?  Shame on us! 

This time around it may have more to do with the hundreds of billions, with a B, of dollars spent in advertising by multi-national corporations than with the moral repugnance any one (or more than one) nation or or its athletes feels. 

Am I suggesting if McDonalds, Budweiser, Archer-Daniels Midland and a dozen other behemoth uber-national combines in restraint of humanity no longer saw the Solchi Olympics as an attractive marketing platform, the games would move? 

Yes I am, because yes they would. But will they? In all likelihood, no. Because it's easy to do nothing and hard to do something, to do anything, especially for some nameless and faceless person half way across the globe. 

Until everyone, every single human being, is free to be whomever they were and are destined to be, NO ONE is free and the Hate Crimes Putin's regime not only countenances but encourages are sins that will and must weigh on us all. 

Instead, we get along by going along. You today, me tomorrow. All we can do is wait on the tolling of John Donne's Bell, knowing the toll we won't hear is for ourselves.
-bill kenny  

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