The Olympics: Celebration Capitalism + The Fire This Time
First program: Jules Boykoff - The Olympics: Celebration Capitalism
The Olympics are perhaps the crown jewels of sports. The pomp and circumstance, the pageantry and international competition make the games special. They began over 2,700 years ago in Olympia, Greece. They were held in honor of Zeus, king of the gods. Today, the gods are fame, fortune, and national pride. The Olympics are a multi-billion dollar extravaganza. Behind the spectacle of athletic prowess and the patina of global harmony, brass-knuckle politics and brute economics reign. One hears of public-private partnerships in financing the games but it is often the public holding the bag when costs skyrocket, as they often do. The 2016 Summer Games will be in Rio. Brazilians are already protesting against the projected expense. But right now world media attention is on the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia where gold medals may place second to security issues.
Second program: Harry Edwards - The Fire This Time
"People are practical," Howard Zinn said. "They want change but feel powerless, alone. They do not want to be the blade of grass that sticks up above the others and is cut down. They wait for a sign from someone else who will make that first move. And at certain times in history there are certain intrepid people who take the risk that if they make that first move others will follow quickly enough to prevent their being cut down. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
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