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  1.  (1689.21)
    Pics from the front, as it were....

    Torch
  2.  (1689.22)
    @KitsuneCaligari

    Thanks for taking those - and giving the link to flickr.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008
     (1689.23)
    <blockquote><strong><a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/">Olympic torch heading to San Francisco airport for closing ceremony</a></strong>
    Throngs of protesters caused a change in the route of the Olympic torch in San Francisco today. The planned closing ceremonies at Justin Herman Plaza were canceled and the torch headed toward San Francisco International Airport.</blockquote>
    <strong>
    @KitsuneCaligari</strong> Thanks for the photos.

    - Z
  3.  (1689.24)
    While what the Chinese have done there is horrible, I find the attitudes of the western Tibetan protest movement to be problematic as well. They've built up this idea of Tibet that doesn't have much relation to the real world, into this kind of magical buddist wonderland. Tibet has never been what you call a pleasent place, being essentially the asian equivalent of the appalachians only with monks instead of snake handly preachers and the period when it was under self rule wasn't exactly an example of shining freedom.

    Really, the best thing that could happen to Tibet is for the old, hardline guard in China who have a particular interest in keeping their foot on the throat of tibet to die out and be discredited and the west to treat Tibet like any other oppressed country so China.
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      CommentAuthorindysleaze
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2008
     (1689.25)
    The arrogance/naïvety of the IOC is stunning in its extremity - to claim that the Olympics is not a political spectacle, or believe that it isn't (I'd suspect the former), is ridiculous. Did they really think that people were going to just accept that the most oppressive regime on the planet could hold a propaganda exercise while continuing to occupy and brutalise a sovereign nation? The slum clearances and crackdowns on freedoms are reminiscent of Argentina in 1978 for the World Cup - the only difference now being that the world has opened significantly and these things cannot happen surreptitiously. Let's hope that the peopel of Buenos Aires remember it well and turn out in force to disrupt the torch on its next leg...
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2008 edited
     (1689.26)
    @Simon,

    To his credit, the Dalai Lama has acknowledged that the old feudal system sucked. I think he's gone as far as saying that the Chinese did the Tibetans a favor by occupying the country.

    For that matter he's not even pushing for independence - he's said he'd be satisfied with the same status as Hong Kong has as a Special Administrative Region.
    • CommentAuthorSimon Jones
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2008 edited
     (1689.27)
    Yeah. I don't have an issue with the Dalai Lama. It's the western free Tibet movement that I find so incredibly problematic, both from it's lack of a grasp of political and historic realities and the turning of Tibet into this mystical other that'd be filled with magical tibetans, frolicking wild and free, if only it wasn't for the chinese.
  4.  (1689.28)
    The Olympics are about money, pure and simple.

    I live in a city, Chicago, that is currently on the hunt for the 2016 games. The oceans of money being tossed around here, just in the pitch phase is stunning. The firm I work for landed one of the largest contracts in our history just doing some promotional signage for the Olympic committee. Most of our projects are in the high 6 and low seven figure range.

    The plan here is to turn huge tracts of land on the near south side (economically under-developed) into the Olympic village, which will then become condos and "mixed income" housing. The reality is, it's a land grab by the city and developers friendly with our Imperial Mayor that's going to make huge fortunes for the already exceedingly wealthy. A pretty tiny handful of people are going to be helped by this while tens of millions go to the usual hands in the usual pockets.

    The machine, which ain't what it used to be but still soldiers on, has been salivating for this for years. They talk about prestige and egalitarianism and la-di-da, but you get them behind closed doors and these people can't shut up about the "multiple revenue streams" the Olympics promise.

    China wants the propaganda victory, they want the money too. This illusion of bortherhood through sport is nonsense.

    Cyman:
    I think if the US gets the Olympics again (likely Chicago) unless there is a sea change in US perception abroad we will see any number of protests.

    Personally, if they bring that bullshit nonsense to my city I'm taking a month's vacation.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2008
     (1689.29)
    I agree with you 100%. I understand what you're saying now. Hopefully by 2016 Amuhrica is doing a little better perceptionwise.

    My city is hosting the American team's trials this summer and I wish I had taken less vacation time earlier this [school]year. The whole process is rather Hellish. Hellquivalent even.

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