||Issue No. 236||03 September 2004|
Interview: True Matilda
Politics: State of Play
Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Unions: Rhodes Scholars
National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
International: People Power
Economics: A Bit Rich
History: Mine Shafts
Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Organising: Building a Wave
Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Culture: The Word On The Street
The Locker Room
Co-operating At All Costs
All Good Except You
Letters to the Editor
All Good Except You
I became profoundly sad when I skimmed your piece in Workers Online summarising the Olympics. We've been around this discussion several times before and I think I recalled you appearing to soften your aggression towards the Sydney Games after you returned and saw how uplifted we all were. It seems you've regressed.
I regret I've only been to two Olympics - Munich and Sydney - because they are two of the most uplifting fortnights of my life. Just to be around positive, fit, young and healthy people, who by the end of it look changed for the better, is a great feeling. It is also where these people first meet and interact with similar types from cultures that we insular Australians usually don't come across. As an internationalist I think that can only be good.
It is the sporting media that fixate on nationalism and channel readers onto the league tables of medals. I can remember when there was far less concentration on this. Of course some parts of the non-sporting media will still grasp at negatives like the women rowers but avoid the shining faces of successful and non-successful competitors. To me, the sight of Hicchem El Gouroug wide-eyed in wonder at his achievement at last, followed by him kissing his own baby and finally in unashamed tears getting his medal was the peak. Why not write about that rather than the ordinary tabloid rubbish?
The Greeks have withstood years of barely concealed racism from journalists about their ability to get the thing on. In Athens today there will be five million positive people surrounded by sublime sporting architecture and the serenity that comes when you know that you and your comrades have achieved something wonderful. Just like we felt four years ago, when until the flame got to Sydney, we were deluged with negativity from the Fairfax press about costs, trains, chaos, corruption, drugs etc. etc. Beijing will be next to cop it for another three and three quarter years.
So endeth the diatribe. I know you saw the light (ever-so-reluctantly) after you witnessed the effect on Sydney so I am ever-hopeful. I trust you will come to believe that us ordinary people do like to hear and read about great things happening and don't really get improved as people by an unrelenting bilge of negative reporting.
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