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Fear & Frostbite at the [Upcoming Sochi Olympic Games]

The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
pussy-riot.jpg


These young women are the members of Pussy Riot, the punk rock band that staged a whimsical protest of Vladimir Putin's policies and were subsequently jailed for it. That photograph is pre-trial; the women were trucked off to Siberia and slammed into isolated rat cellars, as is the way of it when it comes to the Russian justice system. It looks like they're going to be released by a special amnesty measured drafted by Putin (alongside some Greenpeace protesters that were given the same treatment for obstructing some oil rig work): Big Brother cares so deeply for them, you see. He hates to have to hurt them like that... hopefully they won't force Him to do it to them again.

Violence against the LGBT community in Russia is ongoing, ranging from neo-Nazi gangs using social media sites to lure gay teenagers to discrete locations, where the teenagers are tortured and sometimes killed on camera, to more 'old school' things like thugs pulling-up in front of gay clubs / bars and just shooting-up the place (or trying to gas all of the occupants). Of course, the Kremlin is very quick to point-out that these acts of violence are not state sanctioned - but why would they need to be? Putin's cult of personality & the chilling effect of Moscow's selective policing has made a KGB-like entity irrelevant: any burglary or terrorism can now be corwdsourced instead.

It's quite brilliant, so long as you're willing to eat the cost of domestic stability; no intrigue, no way to directly blame the Kremlin for human rights abuses (because Siberia doesn't count, of course, for some reason), to spy game or direct expenses for keeping a state within a state operational. Just have the police turn their head wherever is most convenient.


Russia has cancelled most of it's foreign adoption programs citing fears that gay-friendly countries might corrupt their orphans, leaving perhaps thousands of children to suffer without hop in Russian orphanages, it's browbeat the Ukraine into breaking-off partnership with the EU (this is an ongoing crisis that may yet see a positive resolution, but I'm not hopeful) and there are murmurings of possible embassy closures.


I've had enough of this crap:

If there is even a single stripe of courage left in the soft-spined politics of the west, the Sochi games should absolutely be cancelled, and it should be said very loudly and very clearly why these games were cancelled. I understand that this will hurt athletes, but look at what we're going to be glamorizing if we turn a blind eye to this. It was bad enough to hold the games in mainland China even after seeing the appalling conditions present at the rehearsals - but at least the Chinese government is putting some effort into trying to clean-up it's act. Russia is the same as it's always been - a place dominated by politics of fear.

If the IOC can't find it within itself to either move the game to a different city (probably too short notice at this point) or cancel them outright for this year, then fuck them. I'll become a very vehemently anti-Olympics person. You can't have an organization that claims to represent the interests of international community & human diversity and have it hosting celebrations in a country that is violently opposed to either of those values.

Not today, motherfucker

Posts

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    So is it these violations in particular that are an issue for you? Because they were held in China, and they have some god awful human rights violation issues going on, among other things. If you are offended by how the russia govt acts, and not china's and dont think it is worth boycotting already, I think I just need more info on your reasoning.(It's a good op). If its "lets concentrate on the now and what we can do", then fair enough.

    The IOC really just seems to be a bunch of shitbirds in general, and worth avoiding the olympics all together based on their organization.

    edit: Is there a boycott train starting already? I'm not the most well read when it comes to current EU countries, butI would assume some european countries are already rattling boycott sabers on this? Or is the olympics too much of a PR/nationalistic/pride thing to avoid?

    Would a better effect to be to show up, make them spend insane amounts of money, and then hand them their own shit in every event? And in every interview afterwards talk about the host countries politics being awful?(This last part isn't realistic I suppose)

    double edit: Man I have to stop posting in the morning, this whole thing is a mess and barely legible. Many of the posts below mine outline the points I was trying to make, so much better than I did.

    DiannaoChong on
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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    OP raises some legitimate concerns and issues. I feel like some of the concerns and issues are exaggerated as well, but don't feel like getting into the specifics of Russia vs. other countries. I'll just leave it said that while some nations are better and some are worse, it's pretty much glass houses all the way down - which doesn't excuse Russia's abuses by a long shot, but makes me wonder why the Olympics are the line in the sand.

    As was already noted the IOC is full of corrupt shitheads, and has been for quite some time. Hell, when it comes to exploiting athletes for their own gain, I think the IOC is about the only group that's worse than the NCAA - and that's saying something.

    The one thing I'll ask is this - what do people remember about the 1936 Berlin Olympics? Do people remember it as an affirmation of Nazi German's superiority? No...they remember Jesse Owens kicking the shit out of the 'ubermensch' on their home field. The true history is a bit more complex than that narrative, but to me gay / lesbian athletes standing on the podium taking gold is far more of a statement than expecting them to give up something they have worked and trained for - in most cases literally all their life - for a boycott.

    Let the individual athletes choose, and if they go or if they boycott, it's their choice.

    DiannaoChongLostNinjaFrankiedarling
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    I'm not convinced Olympic Boycotts work either--the 1980 Olympics did nothing to diminish the prestige of the Soviet Union ultimately (it actually greatly increased prestige), despite a rather prolific boycott. Same for the 1984 games with its weaker Eastern Bloc boycott. Mostly it served to demonstrate the laughable state of the Olympics and particularly the "Goodwill Games" alternative, which I guess is a valid goal in its own right.

    The inconsistency doesn't help either. Boycott the Sochi Games because of a punk band's arrest and anti-gay criminal code implementation? All right. But why weren't we calling for trade sanctions against the Yeltsin Government in the 1990s when they used police to persecute Russia's homosexual population? Instead, we praised the man who used tanks to solve a constitutional crisis trying to curtail his expanded powers because we liked him. Legalized homophobia is a good cause for the boycott, but what about the widespread harassment and even arrest of, say, members of the Russian Communist Party by the current government? Tough shit for them, I suppose?

    I guess you cay say, "Well, better late than never," but that doesn't do much to fix the widely inconsistent stance. It seems we're quite fine with Russia firing tank shells at communist parliamentarians or arresting communist agitators against the current government--quite literally political prisoners. It erodes our ability to take a meaningful stance against anti-GLBT actions that are happening simultaneously. I can't really say what the solution is--except that I wonder if political boycotts work at all nowadays. I can't see a multi-nation boycott of United States commercial and cultural interests would have stopped the Second Gulf War either.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    Uncle_BalsamicFrankiedarling
  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    External pressure often has the side effect of increasing the popularity of the regime its targeted at. The government you're targeting gains a new international enemy to focus the population on.

    The very people you're trying to help bring down the regime become outright traitors to the country instead of dissidents or deviants.

    Not sure how true it will be in this case though, of course. An Olympic boycott isn't considered very serious is it?

    Jephery on
    }
    "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see!".
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Well, the weak objections to the Second Gulf War internationally certainly helped the Bush government if anything.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Whatever you do has to be done in such a way that the Putin government is delegitimized in the eyes of the Russians.

    It doesn't matter what the international community thinks or does if at home he is more popular than ever.

    I don't really know enough about Russian politics to figure out what the best thing to do that would be.

    Jephery on
    }
    "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see!".
    DiannaoChong
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    If that's the case, 'the West' has failed overwhelmingly. Which is not to say Putin is super-popular--among some important groups of society, he is far more popular than both his predecessor Yeltsin and many of his most likely rivals outside of United Russia, but that's a very low bar to leap over--but that the opinion seems to be that genuine criticism of him comes from domestic actors, and that international criticism of him is more wrong than right. I've heard the case from Russian acquaintances that the government's own blunders and poor judgement have done more to de-legitimize United Russia and Putin himself than international outlets could hope to, since they blew so much of their credibility on either trivial bullshit or things the population as a whole overwhelmingly supported. On average, Russians have unprecedented access to international media (in large part because of the internet and international broadcasting), while simultaneously, the perceived trustworthyness of said media has declined substantially (particularly in the wake of the Snowden scandal). Not everyone is that way, of course, but more than enough are that it effects the body politic.

    Which isn't too surprising. When was the last time Americans responded well to international critiques of their leadership? During the Bush years, people--including important people, like members of congress--who despised the president could frequently be counted on to swing to his defense the moment that officials or media in China or France said something if criticism of him. There was a brief moment at the beginning of the Obama government where people were more concerned with how he appeared to world audience, but that's long since passed.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    As I said in the last LGBT thread or maybe it was a chat thread . . .

    The best course of action would be to have LGBT athletes and straight athletes that support gay rights, go and kick the Russians' asses in every event they participate in. Find ways to rub in in faces of Putin, his crony allies and other shitbirds without alienating people that aren't being shitbirds. Really, the only people that should be considering boycotting the upcoming winter Olympics, should be individuals that have no part to play in them (aka the person that is purely a spectator). I'm pretty sure the pure spectator is where the Russians hope to recoup some money, so don't let them see any windfalls, plenty of less awful places to take a trip to, that are more deserving of that money.

    Steam ID
    battletag: Millin#1360
    QuidSynthesisLostNinja
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Mill wrote: »
    As I said in the last LGBT thread or maybe it was a chat thread . . .

    The best course of action would be to have LGBT athletes and straight athletes that support gay rights, go and kick the Russians' asses in every event they participate in. Find ways to rub in in faces of Putin, his crony allies and other shitbirds without alienating people that aren't being shitbirds. Really, the only people that should be considering boycotting the upcoming winter Olympics, should be individuals that have no part to play in them (aka the person that is purely a spectator). I'm pretty sure the pure spectator is where the Russians hope to recoup some money, so don't let them see any windfalls, plenty of less awful places to take a trip to, that are more deserving of that money.

    I agree with this sentiment. Everyone remembers Jesse Owens trouncing Aryans at the olympics. I know I couldn't tell anyone jack about who didn't compete and I very much doubt many people could.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Mill wrote: »
    As I said in the last LGBT thread or maybe it was a chat thread . . .

    The best course of action would be to have LGBT athletes and straight athletes that support gay rights, go and kick the Russians' asses in every event they participate in. Find ways to rub in in faces of Putin, his crony allies and other shitbirds without alienating people that aren't being shitbirds. Really, the only people that should be considering boycotting the upcoming winter Olympics, should be individuals that have no part to play in them (aka the person that is purely a spectator). I'm pretty sure the pure spectator is where the Russians hope to recoup some money, so don't let them see any windfalls, plenty of less awful places to take a trip to, that are more deserving of that money.

    It's better than a boycott probably. Thinking about it, I would have been more in favor of French athletes kicking the asses of Americans at Athens and rubbing their faces in it than a few weak-wristed protests at the EU podium that did nothing. At least that would stick in their memories. Best of luck to them.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    I have to agree with the above sentiments that the best response is for all athletes gay and straight to go and beat Russia all while proclaiming their support for equality. A boycott might send a message, but it will end up just hurting the athletes who can't compete more than anything, and I would hate to see someone who trained their whole life for what amounts to one maybe two shots at the Olympics lose their opportunity.

    camo_sig2.png
    XBox Live: LostNinja05
  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    With luck the thing will be a costly mess plagued by scandals, unfinished and poorly made venues, and perhaps even a successful sabotage or two that don't harm anyone. They are 500 % over budget and Putin's KGB friends have done a pretty poor job, and maybe the weather will be really warm and make the thing a lot more embarrassing.

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    With luck the thing will be a costly mess plagued by scandals, unfinished and poorly made venues, and perhaps even a successful sabotage or two that don't harm anyone. They are 500 % over budget and Putin's KGB friends have done a pretty poor job, and maybe the weather will be really warm and make the thing a lot more embarrassing.

    This seems to happen at every olympics, remember the game fixing the chinese teams were doing in badminton to get favorable matchups? The ref finally came over and said "play a real fucking game you fuckwits" and threatened to throw both teams out. Or the age of china's gymnasts in the China games. Noone ever remembers the controversies really, or gives a shit about them enough for it to become a thing.

    steam_sig.png
    Synthesis
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    With luck the thing will be a costly mess plagued by scandals, unfinished and poorly made venues, and perhaps even a successful sabotage or two that don't harm anyone. They are 500 % over budget and Putin's KGB friends have done a pretty poor job, and maybe the weather will be really warm and make the thing a lot more embarrassing.

    This seems to happen at every olympics, remember the game fixing the chinese teams were doing in badminton to get favorable matchups? The ref finally came over and said "play a real fucking game you fuckwits" and threatened to throw both teams out. Or the age of china's gymnasts in the China games. Noone ever remembers the controversies really, or gives a shit about them enough for it to become a thing.

    It's same for overtly political gestures--all those people who go "I only wish the Olympics were actually about the athleticism and sportsmanship, instead of grandstanding." Conveniently forgetting the games themselves foster as much international spirit and friendship as the political dick-waving competition they've devolved to; that is, until they realize it's a cause they care about.

    Look at the Black Power Salutes in 1968--forget the chorus of boos, Americans were livid about those, death-threats-to-their-families livid. Both athletes had their careers go in a pretty severe downward spiral, and it took a good 40 years for people to recognize what they'd done. As though Racial Terrorism in the United States wasn't a valid cause to protest as any at the Olympics.

    Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself, but I'm not optimistic.



    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Absalon wrote: »
    With luck the thing will be a costly mess plagued by scandals, unfinished and poorly made venues, and perhaps even a successful sabotage or two that don't harm anyone. They are 500 % over budget and Putin's KGB friends have done a pretty poor job, and maybe the weather will be really warm and make the thing a lot more embarrassing.

    This seems to happen at every olympics, remember the game fixing the chinese teams were doing in badminton to get favorable matchups? The ref finally came over and said "play a real fucking game you fuckwits" and threatened to throw both teams out. Or the age of china's gymnasts in the China games. Noone ever remembers the controversies really, or gives a shit about them enough for it to become a thing.

    It's same for overtly political gestures--all those people who go "I only wish the Olympics were actually about the athleticism and sportsmanship, instead of grandstanding." Conveniently forgetting the games themselves foster as much international spirit and friendship as the political dick-waving competition they've devolved to; that is, until they realize it's a cause they care about.

    Look at the Black Power Salutes in 1968--forget the chorus of boos, Americans were livid about those, death-threats-to-their-families livid. Both athletes had their careers go in a pretty severe downward spiral, and it took a good 40 years for people to recognize what they'd done. As though Racial Terrorism in the United States wasn't a valid cause to protest as any at the Olympics.

    Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself, but I'm not optimistic.


    There's been quite a bit of talk about this subject in the Hockey world because of the You Can Play program, and the upcoming NHL participation in the Olympics(something they always treat as a big up in the air decision)

    The other thing about the 1968 Olympics is there were black US athletes who refused to participate as protest. No cheating, name 2.
    No, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr don't count as 2 separate people

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