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I don’t care about the Olympics

Except insofar as I wish Paris had won the bid.  They would then be saddled with this financial and security monstrosity which will exclude all other news for the next few weeks and is always relentlessly upbeat.  Indeed, I read a rather amusing comment somewhere suggesting that hosting the Olympics is not so much like being the Queen at a garden party at the Palace and more like John Hurt in ‘Alien’


But I was rather saddened at the ongoing censorship creeping into modern life in general and the Olympics in this particular case.  A rather yummy Greek lady called Voula Papachristou spends some of her time practicing the hop, step and jump for some reason.  She was until recently Greece’s representative in this event.


But according to this report


She’s got her self in some trouble for some remarks on Twitter*.  I don’t speak Greek or ever look at Twitter so I am relying on the report for this one, but apparently they claim she mocked African immigrants and expressing support for the Golden Dawn, a fringe but legal party of the right.  Well the Greek Olympic committee didn’t see the funny side and they have kicked her out for the rather woolly catch-all of going against the Olympic spirit**


So I got to wondering, if she has criticised a current hate group like say bankers and expressed support for a left of centre social democratic party, would she still be persona non-grata? 


I don’t think so. 


So, much as I dislike collectivist politics of which race is one of the more primitive strains, I do hope she was more or less a non-runner in terms of medal chances and is deliberately doing this for the publicity rather than another person who holds unfashionable views and is being punished accordingly.   




* Why anyone uses Twitter escapes me, it just seems to get people into trouble

** Missiles on the roof, endless aggressive sponsorship, zil lanes, mad but failing security, total car bans except for the few, lunatic cost over-runs, all tickety-boo but criticise the Greek PM’s stance on immigration and you are in a world of pain apparently.


  1. Schrodinger's Dog says:


    You pretty much read my mind. I do feel sorry for Ms. Papachristou. Her dreams of being an olympian and all the training she must have put in to that end
    are now for nothing.

    And you’re right: when a centre-left politician turns-out to have previously been a member of the far left, it’s dismissed as nothing more than a youthful indiscretion. But it’s not like that for centre-right politicians and the far right, is it?

    And I loved the John Hurt quote.

  2. zack says:

    I don’t mind the *idea* of the olympics – an event were the best athletes in the world come together and compete; I love the idea in fact. How it is handled (the corruption, insistence on building new and expensive white-elephants, etc) on the other hand, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Putting those shenanigans aside, I still enjoy watching the events themselves – just don’t want them in my city.

    Also, as an aside – I HATE how fascists (like the Golden Dawn) are labeled ‘right wing’ or ‘conservative’. There is NOTHING conservative about them – fascists are just one of many different flavors of socialism/communism. Their goal is not recreate some idealized past, or preserve some wonderful features of society – their goal is overturn the existing system and replace it with some collectivist dictatorship. Of course, language is just one of the (many) fields that we need to fight on.

  3. Sam Duncan says:

    So, expressing admiration for a bunch of (alleged) fascists goes against the spirit of state-funded teams* of carefully selected athletes competing to prove the superiority of their nations?

    Is there a medal for cognitive dissonance?

    *Many things annoy me (you may have noticed) but few things make my blood boil more than hearing some self-important git introduced on the radio as the “Director of British Athletics/Rowing/Bowls/Tiddlywinks/Bulldog“. Old Benito would have been proud.

  4. Laird says:

    So the Olympics punished support for (alleged) fascists but won’t permit any nod to the memory of the victims of actual terrorists?

    Interesting, but hardly surprising.

  5. Edward Lud says:

    Re. Africans, the Games are rather like German rocket scientists after the war: are our Africans better than their Africans. Except of course in those contests where the Africans can’t afford to compete.

    I shall be interested to see how many from the Somali, Congolese et al teams never, ahem, , get on their flights home.

  6. Edward Lud says:

    Btw, has anyone else noticed parallels with Speer and Riefenstahl (sic?) In the advertising (eg by adidas) surrounding the games, and in the choreography of, in particular, the opening ceremony. I know Hitler comparisons are often juvenile and counter-productive, and yet….

    Am I being a tinfoil hatter?

  7. Roue le Jour says:

    Edward Lud,

    Triumph of the Won’t?

  8. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    “Am I being a tinfoil hatter?”

    Not at all. The iconography of the Olympic torch was introduced in…1936. It makes me cringe when I see the cheering crowds. Get people thoughlessly worked up like that and you could have your own Krystallnacht in a hearbeat.

  9. Barman says:

    Talking of censorship…

    I was arguing with somebody (who, you Barman?) a couple of weeks ago about the outrageous waste of money which is the limp dicks. To prove my point I searched Google for ‘Barcelona Olympic legacy’ or some such and got dozens of hits showing reports of the unused and dilapidated facilities.

    Arguing with somebody else today (who, you Barman?) and did the same search. This time only glowing reports of how wonderful the legacy has been/will be.

    I either did something very strangely different this time or the results have been censored.

  10. zack says:

    Barman: results have been censored

    Not necessarily *censored*; there is such a thing as google bombing – a concerted effort to link certain content to certain phrases. The whole takes advantage of how googles relevancy algorithms work. The most famous example is when liberals linked ‘utter failure’ to the white house autobiography of george w. bush. Google has taken steps to correct this, but it still happens from time to time. In theory, a bunch of articles talking about how great the legacy of the olympics will be/has been will have alot of impact on the results.

  11. Eddie Willers says:

    George Orwell nailed it in his 1944 article for ‘Trubune’

    “It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.”

    Substitute ‘racism’ and you arrive at 2012 where making a tasteless joke is meaninglessly labeled in the same way Orwell identified.

  12. NickM says:

    Well, I guess it’s down to the Greek Olympic Whatever to decide on whatever terms they wish to select and racism really doesn’t go down well at an intrinsically global event. It is not censorship. OK if she’d been “John Terry-ed” through the courts you have a point. But she wasn’t. She was essentially barred from a job for something that would cause me not to employ someone either. Both would be customer-facing roles and if someone publically espouses racism (are there many Africans moving to Greece anyway? Unless they’re debt-collectors they’re seriously silly). And Golden Dawn are a vile bunch. If the Greeks don’t want an openly racist person under their flag then fine for them. An Olympic athlete is a de-facto representative of their country.

    Now whether that is right is another matter. Personally I have always wondered why they compete under national flags anyway.

  13. Edward Lud says:

    SAoT, interesting on the torch, thank you. And I don’t see your prognostication, if hat’s the word I want, as wildly improbable either.

    Roue le Jour, if only there were any crumbs of comfort to be had! I’m afraid the frenzy I perceive almost all around me fills me with despair for the future of liberty.

  14. Sam Duncan says:

    I’m not sure that’s quite right about the torch. My understanding is that it’s been around, if not from the very beginning, certainly since quite early on. But the relay from Olympia (including the idea that the flame is the very one that burns supposedly eternally in Greece, as if that meant anything) and the extravagant opening ceremony definitely date from 1936, and both were very much part of the Nazis’ attempt to link what they saw as the world’s modern empires – the Reich, Mussolini’s Italy, Japan, and, unfortunately, Britain – with the classical empires of antiquity.

  15. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    “She was essentially barred from a job for something that would cause me not to employ someone either”

    NickM ~ a more relevant question is would you sack them for the tweets? She was of course ‘employed’ already.

  16. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    Sam, from wikipedia (yes I know but it was the only source I could find)

  17. NickM says:

    Given tweets are public and if you are a public figure then…

  18. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    NickM ~ I don’t totally understand tweets, I thought you had to follow someone to get the tweets and its only if they then get reported that they become public? Perhaps this is what you meant.

    So in essence, you would sack someone for holding political views you don’t approve of if they were in some way a public figure like a minor athlete?

    I would not. This is the dichotomy between us?

  19. Lynne says:

    I’m going into hibernation. Wake me when Ripley curls up with her cat.

  20. microdave says:

    “I’m going into hibernation.”

    Me too…. Considering that there are hundreds of TV & radio channels available now, is it too much to ask that at least ONE of them could have been given over to programmes and news specifically excluding any mention of the Olympics?

  21. Lynne says:

    Apparently not, microdave.

    Sadly we’ll be lacking the silver lining of Captain Haddock’s take on the whole tedious affair. It would have been both viciously scathing and highly amusing.

  22. microdave says:

    Yes, indeed. I’ve put together a special tribute edition of “Friday Funnies” with some of his comments and the things that inspired them. It should be going up at Max Farquarlater today.

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