Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Build the revolution, not muscle!

Back to London in time for the Olympic track and field programme. No offence to the cyclists, sailors, swimmers and shooters (I’ll return to the beach volleyball bum smackers on another occasion), but this is what really got the Greeks going to Mount Olympus two and a half millennia ago and it’s still the main attraction for spectators in 2008.

Not for Alex Callinicos of Socialist Worker, though, I notice. ‘Two weeks of corporate sponsored flag waving in honour of a bunch of muscle-bound dullards’ is how he describes the Olympics in the latest edition of his paper.

Actually, the Olympic flag waving is one of the few places in modern sport where the corporates are still kept at a polite distance. Strange though it may seem given the levels of sponsorship that do go into the Games, no corporate logos, images or advertising are permitted inside the venues or anywhere near the winners’ podiums.

Be that as it may, since when was being a ‘muscle-bound dullard’ worthy of the critical condemnation of one of the chief theoreticians of 21st-century Trotskyism? Did Callinicos have a traumatic childhood experience with bodybuilders in his native Zimbabwe? Is the SWP about to launch an Anti-Muscle League (interesting people only to apply)?

4 comments:

Paulie said...

You read Socialist Worker? Has your IQ evaporated?

Red Jen said...

NOBODY reads SW. SW is for SELLING comrade. Red-education camp for you my boy.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the track and field events, and about the Socialist Worker for that matter. But any ancient Greek who went to Mount Olympus would have missed them by many miles. Mount Olympus, where the 12 chief Greek gods used to live, is in northern Greece, about 100km south-west of Thessaloniki. Ancient Olympia, where the Games were celebrated from 776 BC until 393 AD -- an astonishing eleven and a half centuries -- exists to this day in the Western Peloponnese, about 50km south of the port of Patras. There it was that the Olympic flame (which caused so much trouble around the world this summer) was lit from the rays of the sun, concentrated by a parabolic mirror, on 24 March 2008.

Steve Platt said...

Oops, maybe that explains why I'm not an Olympian - went to the wrong venue ...