The Rio Olympics: The Usual Unpalatable Truths.

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The Rio Olympics are taking place in the middle of a carefully orchestrated domestic political coup against the Brazilian Workers Party, a coup that the world media, including the Brazilian media itself, have singularly refused to comment on. This is the same Brazilian monopolistic media empire that openly supported the military coup way back in 1964.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 September 2016 14:21 )

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The Paralympics: What it Means to be Human

Jackie Ashley, writing in The Guardian, 13/8/12 tells part of the story of what the Paralympics means today. On the one hand it means a far greater acceptance that people with disabilities, both physical and learning disabilities, are just people with the very same complex natures and the very same aspirations as the non-disabled . They are people first and foremost, who just happen through birth or accident, to have a specific disability to contend with. Those that excel at sport are exactly like those Olympians we witnessed over the past few weeks – outstanding athletes who push themselves to the extremities of human possibilities and sometimes beyond. In fact, I wish it were logistically possible to integrate the Paralympics totally into the main Olympic programme, not necessarily in the same events, but in the same overall programme. One day that may indeed be possible and that will complete a journey for the world at large. The journey I speak of is not specifically related to disability. No, the journey I refer to is the celebration of human diversity.

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The London Olympics: 10 Things We Have Learnt

1. The excellent preparation, construction and delivery of the London Olympics stand in stark contrast to the shambolic attempts of the government to get Britain out of recession.

2.  No major sporting or cultural event in the world can now take place without the tainted money of the big corporations.

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BBC Olympic Coverage: Crass National Chauvinism

There are many ways you could describe the BBC’s coverage of the Olympics, crass; unimaginative, myopic, blinkered, shallow or just plain predictable. For me, while all those adjectives apply, more than all that, their coverage has to be described as sickenly chauvinistic. Since when has the BBC taken upon itself to be the national cheer-leader for Team GB, whether on the sporting fields or in any other endeavour? Was there not once a time when the BBC made at least a half-hearted pretence at being an impartial broadcaster?  I must have imagined that, for any viewer not from the British Isles, and many who are recent arrivals, must be appalled at the hysterical one-sidedness of their Olympic coverage, virtually ignoring the honest or heroic exploits of the other two hundred odd nations.

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Olympic Opening Ceremony: National kidology

I’m probably in a minority of one but I think Danny Boyle got the whole opening ceremony thing wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, many parts of his presentation were bordering on the magnificent, particularly the imagery of those dark satanic mills. I still see those towering, bleak, industrial-scale chimneys vividly looming ever upwards, and the emerging industrial proletariat resplendent in its new found misery. And who can forget the forging of the fifth Olympic circle right in front of our eyes. And the childhood fantasies produced by Boyle, the dreams and the nightmares, was something a little bit special. Yes, there were some parts which were somewhat banal and others that were just plain idiotic, like the concept of a pre-industrial rural idyll, but overall it was a most impressive spectacle. All of us can pick minor faults, but it had what most nations would singularly fail to achieve – a sense of national self-deprecation and it is for that that Mr Boyle should be most heartily congratulated for. Which other national head of state would have engaged in such a piece of spoofery.  While, I despise the monarchy and everything it stands for, on this one occasion, it’s a well done to Mrs Windsor.

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