Rio Olympics an orgy of corruption and commercialism – why I don’t care

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I don’t really care that we lost the 7s.

Congrats to the Seven Sisters for winning silver (not losing gold as it has been reported).

But to be honest, I am over the Olympics. Not just this one. All of them.

I remember watching the Olympics at school on crisp dark early mornings. That sense of pride as our teams marched out and competed against countries you rarely ever saw any other time. The excitement, the watered down milo, the standing and singing the anthem if we won. It was like a young nat training camp.

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But over the years the entire thing has just managed to become increasingly corrupt and over commercialised. Less a competition for excellence, more a competition for your constant attention to sell you crap.

With Russia mass cheating, and the violence netted out to the local population  who protested and the grotesque pollution it’s all causing – this Olympics seems more damaged than ever before.

The ridiculous increase in nonsense sports that have been added (handball, come on – handball?) makes a mockery of the concept of excellence.

At this rate, Pokemon Go is likely to be in the next Olympics.

This Olympics takes place during the immersion and explosion of social media so rather than a focus on the excellence, we have inane look-a-like competitions, side love stories, agonising injuries, parents well wishes, photos of people crying when they don’t win, etc, etc, etc.

It’s almost as if the results and wins are the least important part of the Olympics, which is ridiculous because the Olympics are supposed to be about excellence in a narrow field of human physical ability. Who can run the fastest, jump the furthest, throw the longest, lift the most, bounce across a room with ease, swim the fastest – these are the measures of physical and individual excellence. All the human interest garbage is a soap opera for the bored  and privileged masses.

I hate to be the killjoy here but the planet is melting, major democracies are being ripped apart by inequality and the plutocracy only grows ever more larger. A corrupt sporting event that succeeds only in devouring attention by broadening the range of Sports down to tiddlywinks doesn’t deserve the attention it feasts upon.

 

 

36 COMMENTS

  1. Where is Key for the grinning look at me, fingers down the throat photo op’s as we had to endure for the rugby? (That’s if you endured the rugby of course).

    Is it because we are doing poorly? He doesn’t do poor does he?

  2. Haven’t watched any of this one; didn’t watch any of the last one, nor any of the one before that, nor the one before that -other than a little of the opening ceremony.

    There is now more than enough corruption, lies, drug use, corporate mind-control and general propaganda in the town where I live for me go looking for more by tuning in a digital device to commercialised sport.

    Of course corporatized/commercialised sport now plays a very important role in keeping the general populace dumbed-down and believing in the system – Roman-style bread and circuses- as the system progresses towards financial meltdown, environmental collapse and social mayhem.

  3. Thank you Martyn for your contribution, I am glad to see there are others who feel the games are an obscenity these days with so much war, poverty, intern camps, corruption, you name it going on worldwide. I have just been watching a programme on Aljazeera about the massive cost which burdens cities which host the Olympic Games and how many cities are now not submitting applications to host the games going into the future. How they are debt burdened for years after hosting the games and just don’t want to go down that path anymore. Plus, there is so much doping going on now that athletes cannot guarantee they will be competing against clean athletes anymore either and the dope is getting more sophisticated and harder to discover with drug testing. Like everything homo sapiens does he just craps all over it and ruins it. Greed wrecks anything nice and decent. Scrap the games and put the money to better use feeding starving children and cleaning out the corruption that pervades our every day lives.

  4. Ha ! My thoughts exactly. Great Post @ Martyn Bradbury.

    Humanity’s being consumed by the Demon Dollar. The toxic bi-product of that ; of narcissism and sociopathy, is seeping into every crack and corner of every culture everywhere. And the hallowed citadels of that infection are the twinkle sparkle Banks on any street corner in any city on every island and continent everywhere.
    We’ve fucked it up as a species. We’ve gone into a dead end, an evolutionary cul-de-sac and that particular branch is withering and dying and will fall off the trunk.
    The question is, will we fall with the dead and dying or will we continue down a different branch of our evolutionary path? It seems to me, that we’re at the Rubicon. This is it. The time is now.
    And what does your instinct say to you when you’re pressed for an answer when faced with such a thing? My instinct tells me to move to the country, build shelter and grow a vegetable garden then live with the wee beasties in harmony. Is that our future? Because this is fucked. This ego/wankery. This vile, grasping bullshit. Cheating, therefore abandoning your morals and values to win. Win what? What do we ‘ win’? Shame and dishonour? That’s a very fucking odd thing to want to win is it not?

    • Though I agree with you as far as ‘We’ve fucked it up as a species’ goes, unfortunately we ‘crossed the Rubicon decades ago’, and now the problem is that industrial humans caught up in the insane culture of bigger-is-better and I-want-more consumerism have done so much damage to the Earth it is unlikely ANYONE will survive much beyond 2040, whether they contributed to the planetary meltdown or not.

      Just look at atmospheric CO2, which is at a record high and increasing by increasing amounts:

      https://www.co2.earth/co2-acceleration

      We’re already in the extreme danger zone and we have maniacs in charge who still insist on converting even more fossil fuel into life-threatening carbon dioxide.

      The Olympic Games symbolises the continuing (and continuous) orgy of stupidity that characterises modern industrial culture….basically squandering resources and increasing the pace of the environmental collapse because we still can (we still have access to large quantities of liquid fuels derived from oil).

      One consolation: the next Olympic Games will be the last (if it gets staged at all). The current financial-economic-political system will not last another 8 years.

  5. But.. but.. but .. it’s another chance for us to punch above our weight (admirably being blown apart daily ! ).I can’t even watch “Escape to the country” whilst the Games are on.

    • Watch “Escape to the Country” – at least you get to see some beautiful UK countryside, and let’s face it the UK do beautiful countryside like no other. It never ceases to amaze me that they can have these lovely little hamlets and villages and yet be so close to large cities. Areas of Outstanding Beauty seem to abound all over the UK and their National Parks are kept pristine plus they have architecture which doesn’t jar the senses. They have managed to keep their sprawling metropolitan areas distinctly separate from their lovely countryside – we could learn from them. The Olympics doesn’t compare.

  6. I can’t even work out how to watch them if you don’t have Sky or don’t watch Prime in the early hours! They have destroyed the Olympics as it is now so commercial that when you go to see it online, you can’t find any video links… how do younger people watch it on a screen?

    Also all the ‘new’ more commercial sports like Golf, now they are talking about chucking out some of the old sports so we can watch the new sports they deem more commercial …

    Actually you can watch golf any day of the week, I actually would prefer to see the less commercial sports seldom covered in the media on a day to day basis that you only see at the olympics …

    It’s actually quite similar to TV, some dumbos decide that something is more popular and commercial and then low and behold dumb it all down and find that people don’t want to watch at all…

  7. I have it on good authority (as an elderly lady, I consulted my cat) that John Key has cancelled his flights to Rio. He was due to be on the podium with the All Black 7’s, then later to lead them in the winning haka at the edge of the field and then off to clean some clinkers in the AB7s changing shed (if they had podiumed).

    The Association of Consumers and Taxpayers (represented by See-More, Seymour and Jamie Whyte) have said that such a PM visit (if the AB7’s had won) would have been great for trade, dairy prices, the exchange rate, interest rates, lowering Co2 emissions and would have reinvigorated the flag debate and would therefore have been “money well spent”.

    Some kiwis are still sporting that defeated Lockwood flag at the games (I have spotted these flags at the games 8 times already) – no wonder Kwi athletes are confused. These Lockwoodies, as they are called, would have been pleased to see the PM stripped off to the waist for the AB7s haka, with a Lockwood lapel pin piercing through his nipple. Sadly the AB7’s deliberately lost, so they wouldn’t have to share their dressing room with the “skinny white, try-hard guy”.

    We need an Olympic gold, but FGS, don’t let the PM know we’ve getting one. The athletes have trained too hard, to have their moment of glory, ruined by a try-hard PM trying to bask in the reflected glow from the prowess of talented people, other than Judith Collins and Steven Joyce, of course.

      • We couldn’t agree less.

        When ACT gets back into coalition again after the election, super-annuitants like Winnie and other NZ First voters can expect to see some big changes in line with making a more streamlined economy.

        • That sounds like threatening people online See-More? The Harmful Digital Communications Act could be used to make you retract that implied threat to Winnie’s free speech.

        • Oh yeah, “stream lined”, the magic word of neoliberals, same as “liberalise”, all meaning fewer or no rules for business and increasingly also government departments using ever more outsourced services, to short change and rip off people en masse.

  8. “I remember watching the Olympics at school on crisp dark early mornings. That sense of pride as our teams marched out and competed against countries you rarely ever saw any other time. The excitement, the watered down milo, the standing and singing the anthem if we won. It was like a young nat training camp.”

    ME TOO BRO’

    BUT ONCE THEY MADE IT A BUSSINESS MONEY MAKING VENTURE AND COMMECIALISED THE EVENT, THE DESTUCTION BEGAN.

    NOW NEVER WATCH IT AT ALL.- YAWN.

  9. “At this rate, Pokemon Go is likely to be in the next Olympics.” Classic 🙂 !!
    Gotta’ agree with Martyn, the Olympics has been a preposterous celebration of greed, dick-waving and obscene profit-taking for a long time now. The “who dares wins” attitude to performance enhancing drugs rife in many of the “sports” contradicts all it purports to represent. Like rugby, reality TV etc. it gives people who don’t think something to chat about I suppose.

  10. Worst Olympics we have ever seen, and they will instead blame Russia for it as they use as scapegoat every time, and a total waste of time and money when we don’t have money to burn here, simply irresponsible display of empire building on the backs of the poor.

  11. When I was in my teens I used to love watching the Olympic games, and then I still had some interest in sports more generally.

    This has waned and now almost vanished from my attention sphere, as I have also become completely disillusioned with the modern day “sports fests” and competitions the media loves to indulge in and present us so much about.

    Drug cheats are much more wide spread than what we are made to believe, and the recent banning of many Russian athletes and some other sportspeople is just something that is focused on a tip of the iceberg. There have already been a few incidents of cheating that were detected and exposed at the Rio Olympics, and they will not be the last ones, involving athletes and competitors from a number of countries.

    Sports is now big business, the games are also managed behind the scenes with the collaboration of large and not so large corporations, and screenings of events are also fine-tuned with the demands and requirements set by media companies in certain countries, wanting to cater for their clientele back home (in the US, Europe, East Asia, Australia), and at the same time push endless commercial advertising, to earn more profits.

    I was turned off watching some of the opening ceremony, as on Prime TV they had about 5 to 8 minutes live screening, and then 3 to 5 minutes commercials, interrupting the event. It was shocking viewing quality.

    We have now also many professional, high calibre, well paid, some wealthy sports stars compete, who make a living from their competing, and promoting also sports gear, nutrition products and so forth, which is a significant departure from what the Olympics used to be, as the games where any athlete and any amateur could compete. Yes, professional sports-persons were not known at the early games in the antiquities, and until a few decades ago they were also banned at the modern games.

    Then we have countries and cities compete for hosting the games, usually vastly exceeding their budgets, and going into deep debt, costing the present and future generations heaps to pay off, while the benefits of hosting the events do mostly not pay what was expected.

    Hence some cities and even countries risk their economic well-being and setting wrong priorities. Rio is a prime example for this, as Brazil is now in deep recession, Rio de Janeiro is already “broke”, cannot pay its public servants, and the poor in the favelas have NO benefits from the games at all, they are even shut out, and not allowed to “pester” the tourists, some of whom pay huge exorbitant, and “rip off” prices for accommodation, food and transport.

    What a nonsense all this has become, we should have an event only every 4 years held in the original place, in Greece, and re-use facilities, thus making them economical there. Also should professionals not be allowed to compete, the games should be returned to their origins.

    For the rest I consider we need to set caps to what professional sports people can earn, same as we need to set for Executives running corporations. The Olympics and over commercialised sports we now have show exactly what is wrong with our world.

    I feel sad that still too many take all this serious, or consider it worthwhile entertainment, and feed the frenzy. It is time for some re-thinking, and to also focus on more important matters, like our social and economic direction for the future.

    Then we have climate change issues, which the event holders in Rio wanted to high-light. But what they presented is nothing but token gestures, hypocrisy and a perversion of ideas and policies. But then they are not alone, being “green” is now more “label” and “image” stuff than anything of substance.

    Appearance and appearing to do something seem more important than actually doing something significant and substantial. What a sick joke it all is, our world as it is.

  12. “The ridiculous increase in nonsense sports that have been added (handball, come on – handball?) makes a mockery of the concept of excellence.”

    You will be surprised that in Europe hand-ball is nearly as popular as soccer or football in many countries. It has a longer history and highly competitive leagues and competitions are run there.

    But others in other parts of the globe will consider “Rugby” as being a “strange” and “fringe” kind of game.

  13. What olympics.

    I thought it was just another a scam about hounding Russia with another flimsy pretext.

    Professional sport and big money is never representational. Forget it.

    More damage to the world with air travel, senseless consumption, destruction of natural landscape all amounting to greater burden to following generations – if they indeed survive with such stupid ancestors.

  14. Lots of food for thought there. The article and comments, particularly the long one from Mike of Auckland. Good reading.

  15. “the grotesque pollution it’s all causing”

    The Baia de Guanabara has been grotesquely polluted for years. Do you mean carbon dioxide from everyone flying there?

  16. “With Russia mass cheating,”

    There hasn’t been mass cheating by Russia: that’s propaganda.See this:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/russian-olympic-doping-scandal-mclaren-report-sexed-up-implicated-clean-athletes/5539743

    And this:

    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/11/a-rush-to-judgment-on-russian-doping/

    There are other articles on this topic on both sites. The treatment of Russian athletes before and during the Games – along with the pompous pronouncements of that idiot Philip Craven over the paralympics – has been shameful.

  17. Hey Martyn, generally good piece which I total agree with but could you please check the construction of your plurals. You’ve got two, yes two, clangers in there. Stories, democracies – please.

  18. Hey Martyn, good article which I totally agree with but could you please check your plural constructions – stories and democracies.

  19. Ditto, Martyn…

    Our household couldn’t care less about the Olympics. It has become a crass, hyper-commercialised exercise; money is the one true objective; and organised drug-cheating (such as the Russians) have turned it into a mockery.

    The ghosts of the Ancient Greeks must be howling in fury at what we have wrought their once-beautiful games. But, like much of everything touched by the hand of modern humans, it has become corrupted and rotten.

    It is fitting that the Games were held in Rio. The juxtaposition of the Games’ corruption and raw sewrage in the nearby harbour is a fitting one indeed.

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