So, I do try not to be too political or preachy on here – but at the end of the day, as my lovely wife will point out when my rants become slightly too intense, that is what this is for. So, like any good slightly too sure that my beliefs are the right ones person, I will rant here – but I do apologize in advance.
“Yes, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.” ~Master Yoda, Episode V Emipre Strikes Back
Look, I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I get that the XXII Winter Games are underway in Sochi, and I do get that no matter how much I yelled and screamed, they were never going to not be there. That is not the way life works, and blahity blah blah blah I know, I get it, I hear you, I acknowledge the logical and exact arguments and facts. With the disclaimer out of the way –
What the hell. Seriously….SERIOUSLY? How exactly did that decision happen? Flashback to 119thIOC Session – July 2007 – Guatemala City: Um, I dunno. Let’s not give it to someone who has had it dude, that is so last century…Well man, I don’t know. We need to decide because there are 13 fun zones in Guatemala City I want to explore…Well, does it matter, just pull a name out of a hat…But we want it to seem more important than that…So who are the surviving bids again? UMMMMMM – I dunno, bubba you want to check that out for us?…Oh um, Sochi, Russia; Pyeongchang, South Korea or Salzburg, Austria – And here I interject not a what the hell but a WTF – did you get the bids from your asses, but hey what do I know, I excelled at English and History in school, not political sway and geography, so back to the decision making process – Well, we have to knock it down to two before we can go sight see, so let’s vote. Okay, by overwhelming numbers, Salzburg, Austria is OUTSKI. Yeah, it is a HUGE gem of culture and history. It is even know and has been voted as one of the best-preserved cities. It is FREAKING gorgeous, and gave us Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, not to mention was some of the set for “The Sound of Music.” – Another side note, Original Sound of Music here people, don’t talk to me about any LIVE Carrie Underwood Version – However, Salzburg is just, I dunno, too boring. They will most likely be able to handle the different cultures and beliefs that come with having athletes from ALL OVER THE FREAKING WORLD there for 2 weeks – they are a huge tourist city, no, no, no. They are way too capable. DUDE I KNOW – Russia, they seem like they are totally caught up and over dissolving the USSR and losing the Cold War. Lets reward their often 18th century mindsets, and the fact that they still think that every poor decision they have ever made as a nation is just damn liberal westerners misinterpreting their close minded and hateful views with international attention – totally where the 2014 Olympics are! Pass the blunt, because we must obviously be very, VERY high.
Then, Putin took office (for an unprecedented and possibly illegal 3rd longer term) in 2012. He went from officer in the freaking KGB to politician. He took over when Yeltsin resigned in 1999, and became President in 2000, holding the position for 2 consecutive 4 year terms. In 2008, he was made Prime Minister and in 2011, under a new law extending the Presidency to 6 years, he ran again – though there were protests, he won in 2012 and will be in power until 2018. Though many feel that Putin has done many good things domestically (especially financially) for Russia, he has been plagued with scandal since 2000 with the Kursksubmarine incident, to allegations of fraud, to the 2002 Moscow theater hostage incident to the Beslan school hostage crisis – hmm, many hostage incidents I see – to being marked by most outside countries and organizations as decidedly undemocratic and very dictator like. With his new term, Putin has made strict anti-LGBTQA laws, faced many protests and shown an alarming alliance between the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church – an unseen alliance level since the days of Russian communism.
Oh and lets please not forget that currently, Russia’s relationship with America is at an all time low since the F***ING COLD WAR. For the first time since 1960, the US pulled out of a summit in response to Russia granting asylum to Edward Snowden. The US feels Russian is guarding nations that are controlled by terrorists or anti-American governments – Syria, Iran, Cuba…and Russia proudly “protects” them from US interference. When Putin and the Russian government confirmed that their new anti-homosexual “propaganda” (really just anti-gay) laws would in fact be in effect for the Olympics, and that they would in fact apply to all domestic and foreign athletes, media and tourists, they seemed to be upset that us damn western nations had an issue with their internal issues – because we like you know not just LGBTQA rights so much as BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL – and seemed to react like a toddler who was just told that you cannot in fact go through life stomping your feet and inconveniencing all around you because you don’t like it. Also, let’s give a hand for the IOC and the way they reacted…that they will completely support Russia in this and will punish any athletes that politically act out against these anti-gay laws, as that is not what the Olympics is about.
So the athletes can’t be political but can be subject to another countries unjust law. Um Okay. Well you live in the land of the oblivious, say hi to Santa, and let me know how Elvis is at his next live concert. Morons.
This is where the IOC is sending the 2014 Winter Olympic Athletes. Excellent. Hey, for the summer Olympics can we just forego the ceremony and give them all guns and say ready SHOOT. Come on. Nothing may happen. I get that. There may not be one violent incident. I will say though that a non incident is not a victory here. I can honestly say that anyone who had to make the choice between not competing in the Olympics – a possibly once in a life time experience – or going and competing in Sochi will not feel that a non incident was a victory. There are LGBTQ athletes that had to make hard choices, there are LGBTQ allies that had to weigh a decision that never should have been forced upon them. Well done IOC – way to not politicize the games – wait, I forgot, the host city can apparently politicize the games; by not listening to concerns from other countries and participating athletes, by siding with the host country the IOC can politicize the games; by making the choice to support the host city or not the tourists can politicize the games – the only people the IOC can and as they say will punish for politicizing the games are the athletes. The people who are the reason that the IOC have a freaking position at all. The people why tourists go to host cities. The athletes. So to what I am sure will be very few if any athletes that make that stand, you amaze me. You win a medal or not you are the champions to me. I stand next to you on the podium with my metaphorical fist raised as well, as if we were Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. To the athletes who just go and perform and live out their lifelong dream – I salute you too. I support every athlete who puts it all out there on their respective course, whether it is snow, ice or anything. I wish you all the luck, I hope you all perform how you want to and I pray to all that I hold as holy (so, Joss Whedon, Star Wars, George Lucas, TBBT, paging Dr. Sheldon Cooper) that every single athlete returns home safely, and whether a medal holder or not, with the knowledge that they are an Olympian and that is a selective and awesome club to be in.
So yeah. That is my rant. Will I boycott the Olympics – to be honest I don’t know. I will boycott a good portion of them, but again, my theory is similar to the one I have always held on the “War on Terrorism.” I don’t support the invasion of countries for nonexistent WMD. I do not support the war. But I damn well support the troops. I do NOT, and I cannot stress it enough NOT, support Russia. I think Putin and his Kremlin gremlins, and his alliance with the Orthodox Church are our generations Hitler and the Third Reich. I think this is mimicking 1936 in so many ways I want to hit people over the head with their history books. I think that the IOC is full of political, spineless morons. I feel that not enough people will speak out or step up. I do however support the athletes. Every single one of them. So a full on boycott, I don’t know. Even if I watch, I will not watch silently. I will step up and protest the only way a person on a different continent who is a no body can. I will blog. I will talk. I will be the little activist I have learned to be in my 31 years on this earth. I will do so with the arrogance and security only a lifelong American can. And I will be proud, every time I do. Because I will not sit silently by. I will shout every time you come for someone else – I will be the one there to shout you down every time. I may not be able to change the world myself but I sure as hell will not silently let it pass. So to my friends and family and whatever poor slobs got sucked into this train wreck of a rant and couldn’t get away – I support whatever opinion you have on boycotting or not. Don’t worry – I will be here to tell you what I think for those of you who care. And for those who don’t.