32 1 min 14 yrs

Well I for one am going to Boycott the Chinese Olympics. even if my country doesn’t.  China’s complicity in Darfur and aggression in Tibet render the Games a tragic propoganda facade.   The Mahons boycott may not cause the Masters of China to tremble, but at least I’ll feel better.  Avoiding the opening ceremonies alone isn’t enough. 

One chap a while back argued against a boycott of an earlier Olympics.  He said, "The sportive, knightly battle awakens the best human characteristics.  It doesn’t seperate but unites the combatants in understanding and respect.  It also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace.  That’s why the Olympic flame should never die".

The chap spoke in 1938, his name was Adolf Hitler.

China either reforms now under international pressure, or we blow out the flame. 

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  1. OK, I’m with you on this (even though that speech sounded like the one John Belushi gave just before the final scene in "Animal House").


  2. China clearly has no idea of how to react to the
    Tibet situation.

    The Chinese government would like to slowly extirpate the Tibetans, but the Tibetans won’t be passive supporters of their own destruction.

    Beijing would love to machine gun all the monks and activists, but the world won’t stand for that.

    The Chinese Communist government is up against a mostly pacifist and deeply spiritual opponent now, one with deep worldwide support.

    Nothing in China’s long history, nothing in the training of its military has prepared them for

    Good luck, Tibet, good luck Darfur. I’m boycotting too!

  3. Count me in. I won’t watch it, read about it or talk about it. This is an opportunity for the blogsphere to make a real difference. Governments and the MSM are invested in the thing. Let’s see what a peoples movement can do.

  4. Henry,

    Just to be clear on your 6:20 PM, you are calling for a secondary boycott against all of the sponsors of the Beijing Olympics. Is that correct?

    There’s a good piece in the Wall Street Journal on this, which includes the comment:
    "The last thing [the sponsors] want is another Tiananmen tank incident."

  5. I get the feeling that this boycott could be huge thing in Europe, America, and everywhere else.

    And some of the best "boycotters" will be the tourists and athletes who show up in Beijing for the Games and make a gesture while in the stadium, or in town.

    Oh my God, is China going to wish that it never won the Games. Be careful what you wish for, baby.

  6. Fellow Boycotters: I hope to create at least an Alice’s Restaurant level protest. May it snowball. I will not watch the Olympics on tv, I will avoid any sponsors (God please don’t let Budweiser sponsor the Olympics), and I’ll advocate for a total boycott whenever the opportunity arises.

    I will also join the personal cult of any athlete who says they won’t go even if our government allows them.

  7. Mahons,

    Bad News = Budweiser is a sponsor (see Henry’s link and this)

    Good News = Alice’s Restaurant (in the words of Arlo Guthrie)

    You know,
    if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
    they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
    they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
    And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
    singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
    organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
    fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
    walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

  8. Phantom,

    Also, lay off the Tsingtao.

    [Note: The above and below were written from my time machine.]

    There are actually 3 beers sponsoring the 2008 Olympics:


  9. Alan

    I drink less and less Budweiser the more familiar I become with the fine products of the Samuel Adams brewery–and locally, the Brooklyn and Six Points breweries!

    Anheuser Busch is a major investor in Tsingtao! ( which you were referring to? )

    Hmm. you really do have a time machine.

    I drank Yanjing when in China. Not horrible, but not so great.

  10. from next Sunday’s NY Times

    You may have to register to see this, but registration and viewing most content is free, and well worth your while.

    This article will ramp this issue up a couple of notches in the US.

  11. Well, coke just lost a sale.

    (Obviously though none of us can hope to match the impact of the Mahons boycott of Budweiser, which has set off a panic in the markets and caused executives at Anheuser Busch to hurl themselves from the 20th floor window)

  12. Mahons

    Does this mean when you stumble out of the pub, you are going to go for a kebab rather than the local Chinese takeaway ?

  13. A full boycott of coke may be hard to sustain. But when they bring out their Olympic logo cans we should reject them. If the Olympic link becomes a merchandising liability they will know they backed a loser.

  14. Mahons , may I join you in boycotting the Beijing Olympics , and may I invite you to join me in boycotting the London Olympics in 2012 .

  15. I understand the sentiment, and I agree with the intent, but boycott the Olympics!?!?!

    What a joke. .. a boycott will only punish athletes who have trained for years to qualify.

    The business we do with China is HUGE. The Olympics is just a side show. Nothing will be accomplished.

    I think it would be smarter to start asking the question:

    Why is it that Tibet’s status is largely ignored by the Western news outlets, compared to the obsession with Palestine?

  16. I can answer that question easily, Patty! The obsession with the illusory state of "Palestine" is because it’s all the fault of those dirty filthy JOOOOOOOOS, whereas China/Tibet relations are merely a dispute brought on by the lovely, forward-thinking communist leaders of Utopian (ahem) "People’s Republic Of" China.
    Peace be upon Karl Marx’s grave and all that.

    Remember: Jews = bad. Chinese Communism = good. There are no equivalences to be made along the way, Comrade. (PUKE!)

  17. Boycotting all the remaining Olympic games is easy for me.

    If you live in America, they’re impossible to watch. The televised games here focus only on American athletes, and there is an overabundance of "human interest" detritus about which athlete overcame a hangnail and which athlete’s mother scrimped and saved so that little Joey could buy a hockey uniform. The feeling among the network execs here is that women won’t watch the events unless a little saccharine is mixed in with the America-against-the-world bullshit.

    I don’t watch it because it’s completely unwatchable. I’ve heard of people in Vermont and places like that who try to get the feed from the Canadian networks so that they can see more than just the Americans play.

    But if these games can be used to force some change in Tibet and Darfur–I’m cool with that.

  18. The Phantom: Totally agree with your 2nd paragraph.

    Regarding boycott as "change agent" with China – pure fantasy. You can’t honestly think that the Chinese are going to be influenced because some Westerners decide not to watch some athletic games? Especially when all other business with China – real business – continues on as usual?

    Might as well hold hands and wish for peace.

  19. Patty

    History unfolds in its own time but in the end it was ordinary people took down the Berlin Wall.

    Since then it has been the conventional wisdom the political freedom and economic freedom go together. Well, China has invented a new model and it is catching on.

    One striking recent study by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank, shows that the economies of politically unfree nations have grown faster than those of politically free nations over the past decade, often through forceful use of business and financial power. A recent report by the global monitoring organization Freedom House found that "a group of market-oriented autocracies" were an important force in an overall decline in world freedom.

    Autocratic capitalism is a form of totalitarianism that won’t collapse the way the command economies did.

  20. Patty,

    "Regarding boycott as "change agent" with China – pure fantasy."

    You have it backwards. It’s is not that boycotting the olympics will likely change what’s happening. It is rather that pretending it is just another olympics will help to legitimise and reinforce it.

    "Might as well hold hands and wish for peace."

    Like those monks? Better than playing games and wishing for peace.

  21. Great comment Frank.

    I say boycott the bastards. Even if it does no good, it’s the right thing to do.

  22. "One striking recent study by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank, shows that the economies of politically unfree nations have grown faster than those of politically free nations over the past decade. "

    I suspect that this is simply because they are starting from a lower base and simply reversing the insane policies they had a few years ago can bring massive improvements.

  23. Some of us are speaking of different types of boycotts.

    I very much want the games to take place–as I think some of the most effective types of civil disobedience and demonstration will be done by athletes and attendees at the events.For all the world to see.

    Plus there will be an excellent tension leading up to the big event. And China cannot bludgeon as many people as they might like with that bright light shining on them.

  24. Frank: "You have it backwards. It’s is not that boycotting the olympics will likely change what’s happening. It is rather that pretending it is just another olympics will help to legitimise and reinforce it."

    I see your point. (pigs fly!) No, seriously…delegitimizing the positive PR that China seeks could be worthy. Thank you for explaining in language I actually understand.

    I guess my point is that I don’t want the athletes to be "punished" – especially for ineffective and symbolic reasons.

    I know a Polish swimmer who was forced to "boycott" the 1984 Olympics with the Soviets – I don’t think that boycott did anything one way or the other. But the swimmers career ended without the games.

    And I don’t think the Black Power salutes of 1972 (?) did anything of substance anywhere.

    In many ways, I think a boycott of the Olympic games is like a boycott of the Oscar awards – that is to say, a moment of "glory" for the boycotter and nothing else.

  25. Patty: We tend to give too much glory to our athletes. A boycott wouldn’t punish them, it would give them an opportunity to sacrifice for the good of mankind. They should embrace it.

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