The Olympics – show of the mighty, by the mighty, for the mighty
Posted on August 2nd, 2012

by Mario Perera, Kadawata

 The Olympics is in full swing. The USA is on top. Some other European nations and some assimilated nations are still visible on the screen though running somewhere behind. Those nations, courteously called “ƒ”¹…”developing nations’, and the irremediable third world nations are also there, more as tourists and awed onlookers. They will return priding themselves at having been there. The more reasoning might still be consoled by the saying of Pierre de Coubertin that what is important is to participate. Yet one cannot hide ones head in the sand like ostriches do. The Olympics is for winners, for it is they that take it all. For the losers it is oblivion. The only show of defiance is from China, a country that never conformed to American and Anglo-European norms.

The Olympics as history and legend has it originated in Greece. It was then by the Greeks and for the Greeks. They were in their time masters of the world, first militarily and later culturally. Their principal concern was the beauty and power of the human form. They were glorifiers of “ƒ”¹…”beauty’ as an ideal to be implanted on earth. That beauty was already there, there from the beginning, in a world apart as taught by Plato “”…” in a world of ideas. The striving of man was to live that ideal in his life. So the arts in their multifarious forms, among which sport, bonded the two worlds together.

In Roman times, it was more the concept of “ƒ”¹…”show’ and “ƒ”¹…”spectacle’ that reigned. It did not matter how everything else fared as long as the show enthralled its audience. The “ƒ”¹…”show’ was used as opium by the emperors to ensure the contentment of the people. That show took the form of brutal force. Gladiators, mainly from conquered countries, fought each other to entertain the crowds. They began killing each other after a self introduction to the Emperor. Morituri te salutant, they said. “We who are about to die salute you”. They were the nameless, just identified as “ƒ”¹…”they who were about to die’. Puny humans were pitted against wild beasts and torn asunder and devoured before the hungry ecstatic eyes of the multitude.

Then came the dark ages when the barbarians, Goths and Visigoths and others swept over Europe. Then Christianity took over and ushered in the middle ages. That was the period when the Catholic faith engulfed Europe. That period induced a “ƒ”¹…”show’ of another form as symbolized by the inquisition. The world had previously been lit by the fires of yearning for beauty, and the yearning to watch the spilling of blood. Now fires would be lit with humans as torches in glory of God. So was the light of faith maintained. Giordano Bruno was one such human torch.

Then the show spilled over the native European countries with fleets consisting of men armed to the teeth foisting their religion and culture on unarmed nations who had not gone through anything akin to the industrial revolution which turned raw materials into steel weapons of mass destruction. Simultaneously these war mongering nations began warring with each other, and the world was presented with another show. In France the tumbrils or death carts rumbled along the cobbled streets carrying thousands to the place of execution flooded with onlookers waiting to see heads fall and blood spurting from the decapitated human trunks.

Then came the world wars which were akin to the Roman coliseum enclosing the whole world. The Second World War was preceded by the Berlin Olympics. There the motivation was to show white Aryan super power. The German Aryan nation wanted the whole world to witness its domination. But black American Jesse Owens spoilt the show! Previously the black boxer Joe Lewis had pummeled his German opponent, the champion of the “ƒ”¹…”Third Reich’, Max Schmelling into senselessness with just three blows.

From then on the world wars continued and the coliseum ideal persisted. Just think of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and now Syria. The show of riches and military power never ended. The slogan is “ƒ”¹…”grab the gold’ whether in the form of “ƒ”¹…”black’ gold or any other raw materials that ensure their dominance. The cover up was democracy and human rights above all.

That show continues to this day. All the world institutions established by the perpetrators, especially the UNO smack of that ideal, of domination, giving a new twist to Plato’s ideal world. That world is one of money and weaponry; riches and power. Like the Roman coliseum, established as the opium of the crowds, so also the Olympic Games, is nothing else but a show of riches and power of the world dominating blocks.

The Olympics, the spectacle, the show is their get together to divide the spoils in the form of gold and silver and bronze thrown in for good measure. Gold and silver were always what they were after. It was gold and silver that constituted their platforms of power. In fact whatever the substance, black, brown or other (think of our cinnamon and tea which bore that epithet), that gave them power and wealth was called gold. It is instructive to remember the plaint of the Africans to the white missionaries as regards the “ƒ”¹…”fake gold’ offered as a tool of exchange for the real one: earlier we had our land and you the Bible. Now we have the Bible and you our land. Similar exchanges have taken place to the advantage of the giver and the detriment of the taker. Such was the “ƒ”¹…”gift’ of “ƒ”¹…”democracy’, and the weather beaten, much exploited concept of “ƒ”¹…”human rights’, both tainted with the prejudices of the giver and transformed into instruments of domination of the taker. Yes free to elect”¦those whom they want elected as seen in the mad rush for regime change. As for human rights, it is a sword to smite those who go against their will.

As regards the athletic prowess demonstrated during the games, what the adoring and fascinated onlookers lose sight of is the tremendous riches that go into preparing Olympic champions who walk away with the gold and the silver especially. Four years separate one such spectacle from another. Millions of dollars go into the training and maintenance of every single such champion. The Olympics is a platform built on gold, a spectacle to show where that gold lies, and who walks away with it. What chance has athletes of countries whose governments live on loans, and obtain loans to pay off loans, and can only set apart a pittance for their upkeep? All has been taken away from them in exchange for the fake gold (tainted beliefs and practices) that they are expected to treasure. Indeed it is not only by bread that poor countries are expected to live but by every word the rich and the powerful proffer.

As long as the gold is in the hands of the dominating power blocks, the Olympic gold will be theirs practically by right, and will return to them. That is the “raison d’ƒÆ’†’ªtre” of the world show that is the Olympics. It is open to all, yes, to the “ƒ”¹…”developing, the underdeveloped and the never to be developed’ to witness the power display of those bathing in gold, and return humbled, eyes and mouths gaping with awe, reverence and wonderment, and still more subservient to bear the yoke of that domination.

 

 

16 Responses to “The Olympics – show of the mighty, by the mighty, for the mighty”

  1. bathgediya Says:

    Medal Count and GDP go hand in hand.

  2. aloy Says:

    This is nothing but bitter grapes. Would we have said so if our own Karu went on to win a gold or silver. Look at S. Korea;they are in the third place. Fifty years ago any troublesome place in SL would have been called ‘Korea’. Even today there is one such place quite close to my house near Town Hall. It is our politician of all hues who put us where we are, not the other powerful countries.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    My prediction

    USA – 37 gold
    China – 33 gold
    UK
    Russia
    Australia
    South Korea

    If GDP has anything to do with medal count, India should be among the top five!! Japan should also end up in the top five!! USA and China are sports powerhouses today replacing poor Soviet Union.

  4. aloy Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Unfortunately you are wrong here. Our GDP is almost double that of India’s. Our politicians say they will raise it to $ 4000. Let us wait and see.

  5. AnuD Says:

    USA has a higher medal count because, the Olympic committee disqualified the whole Badminton or Table tennis team and some other teams to justify that disqualification. Their explanation was match fixing.

    But, everyone knows match fixing is common. For example, even in the last Olympic they had heard Iran losing games on purpose in order to avoid the Israel opponents in the next turn.

    Developed countries allow players from other countries to represent them simply to avoid other problems that are faced by the athletes. there is no ban on that.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Aloy,

    Unfortunately you are wrong again.

    “Our GDP is almost double that of India’s.”

    NO WAY!

    India’s GDP is more than 40 times of SL!

    GDP per capita, SL is higher than India. (That is why Tkallathonis come to SL FROM India.)

    Highest GDP per capita is in Qatar, Luxemberg, Norway, Singapore, Macau – no medals (or very very few).

    When Soviet Union was there it swept the medal table but had a relatively poor GDP. And GDP percapita less than most of its rivals.

    BTW watch for SL women’s 400m runner Sonali Merril (from California) tomorrow. She may not qualify for the next round but it is GREAT to represent SL.

    GO SONALI!

    Our swimmers DID qualify for the next round though they were not world class. Well done. No other south Asian country could do that. We are proud of them.

    LTTE rehabilitated shooter was not sent after all. He might shoot the people instead!! :))

  7. aloy Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Actually I was refering to the GDP per capita that gives a measure of living standard of people in a country. Ours for 2011 is $ 2877 while that of India is 1389. India’s GDP is in trillions but ranked 140th in living index accoding to Wikipedia. Sorry for the mishap.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Aloy,

    You are right. But I have my doubts there is such a HUGE difference in per capita.

    That explains the Kallathoni trail.

    $1389———–>$2877——————>$6000———————> $35,0000
    INDIA————>SL———————>MALAYSIA—————–> AUSTRALIA

  9. Dham Says:

    Kallathoni trail ! very true!

    Tiger trail is other way around, except it stops at Sri Lanka. Kallathoni trail also stops at Sri Lanka 99%. 1% proceed to higher GDP’s.
    Malayan Tigers have the highest GDP in the world ( when taken as a group).

  10. aloy Says:

    Australia in a continent with vast resources and needs empire builders. They welcome people from our country with open arms. We must not be jealous about it and provide all assistant for those who wish to get there. Afterall it is good life they are trying to achieve. They will come back to SL when ever they can.
    Singapore is another financial empire being built slowly. All multinational big companies have their operational centres there.
    However both Singapore (US$ 50100 ppp) and Australia are not doing well at the Olympics

  11. Dham Says:

    “They welcome people from our country with open arms.”

    Who told you ? LTTE ?

  12. aloy Says:

    Dham,
    I am telling this.
    There were many Sri Lankan families that tried to migrate to Au from where I am working legally. Many of them were our friends and they did not succeed. Then all of a sudden they vanished. Later we heard they got asylem in Au. They are all gainfully employed there now. It was only one ethnic group who got it. Is it not invitation with open arms?.

  13. Dham Says:

    “It was only one ethnic group who got it” explains it.

  14. Dham Says:

    gainfully employed in toilet cleaning ?

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mario has written a passionate article calling for fair play in the world regarding not only ideals in Sports but also in fiscal matters. Have the Greek ideals of seeking beauty of the human form and the grace of movement in sports been cast aside for a more crude and brutal goal of wealth & power, whatever the means to achieve that goal ?. Have the Olympics too succumbed to the new ways ? Will it remain that way or has Nature a way of circumventing such low goals ?

    When we witness the Track & Field events at the Olympics being dominated by lean, tall Blacks, we see that Nature has endowed such people with the ability to excel in such sports. Runner Bolt from Jamaica has done the 100 m. dash under 10 secs. a number of times. The Jamaican Blacks are born runners and have won the sprints in a number of Olympics in the past. Is Nature herself the great equaliser ?

    We in Sri Lanka must ask ourselves what we excel in, and excel in that we must. It may not be in sports, but in other ways. Excel we must, for our own sake. It may not be the GDP that matters, but good Health, Happiness and Wisdom in all human matters. GDP is there to serve humanity, not the other way around.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    Standing aside from the Idealism for a while, we can still admire the Olympic Games, enjoy the excitement of the performances, pageantry and togetherness without anger or malice. The athletes themselves mostly perform for their countries, their families, themselves, and partly for the adoration from the fans & audience. To witness the sheer joy in the winners is something to share and good to behold ….

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