I said to myself today that I want to believe in the American Dream this summer. Just this once, I don’t want to be a part of the cynical crowd. A misery chick among the vacuous consumers believing everything they are told. Kill the sardonic switch just this once and ponder that at this moment— the lives of strangers are taking part at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. And we, including this poor bloke of a wannabe sportswriter, will be watching the games from the receiving end of a TV screen from whatever hole they are in.
It was French Dominican writer, educator, and priest Henri Didon who first expressed these words: Citius – Altius – Fortius. It became the official Olympic motto in 1924. The Latin phrase means Faster-Higher-Stronger. It is a symbol that expresses the determination to reach the heights of greatness in the likes never seen before. It is not only the envisionment of athleticism but the dogmatically moral aspirations that these extraordinary humans embark on their respective journeys to unknown hosting cities around the world seeking a gold medal of excellence. Every four years, men and women proudly boast patriotism for their nation’s code of arms as these champions (best in their sport) become the flagships of pride and honor.
The Olympics are also a symbol of its time. A primary cornerstone for whatever is happening around the world at that time. 2016 is no different, my friend. The noble savagery that is the American Dream corrupted career politicians to now harangue us pedestrians with a volatile lease on life. Our world is a different world. A stranger world even transfixed by madmen in corporate apparel and speechless at the sight of this cheap, tawdry, mean-spirited interpretation of an American Dream that never existed. The Obamas will vacate the White House in January after eight years in office and with the potential replacements faring worse on account of their televised perversion and corruption of national and global politics, these Olympics will be a temporary escapist drug for billions of the viewers around the world. We will undoubtedly watch hopefuls rise above their own sordid country’s baggage and flip the script.
Certain Olympics are marred by the touchstones that make the genetic makeup of the country hosting the spectacle. The participants indubitably join in on the show’s charade. This next man needs no introduction at all. He is the pop culture attache of horror and evil personified. He is no longer a human that once lived but a cliched stereotype appointed to an oppressive figure in someone’s ill-conceived version of life. Truly impressive for a man with a Charlie Chaplin mustache and a love for Clark Gable and Snow White.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became the chancellor of Germany and turned a fractured democracy, penniless from the First World War, into a full-blown one-party dictatorship. Just now, I saw a vision of Donald Trump and his blowhards twirling their invisible staches contemplating how they can take a play out of Hitler’s handbook. Let’s return to Hitler, shall we?
Hitler quickly rose to power with an Aryan Nation manifesto fit for a demigod whose army of Nazi soldiers chanted “Heil” whenever the stern man’s image appeared. Corrupted police rounded up the usual suspects, any suspicious creature that wasn’t blonde and blue-eyed. These political opponents were wrongfully detained and taken to concentration camps. The Third Reich carefully orchestrated a masterful campaign that exterminated and exiled the country’s one-half million Jews in all aspects of German lifestyle and culture. In 1936, for two weeks only, Hitler and his pickup brigade geared for the Berlin Olympics. Hoping to impress foreign traders around the world, Hitler mandated a brief relaxation in the holocaust, barring any signs of segregation. For those two weeks, female vanguard filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl reluctantly accepted the job to film her most remembered film, Olympia. Riefenstahl visited Greece and, together with Greek photographer, Nelly’s shot the inaugural torch relay. Olympia became one of the most successful propagandist films of all time, noted for its technical achievements in effects and cinematography. Riefenstahl was one of the first directors to film tracking shots in a documentary. She also opted for slow motion effect, beautiful underwater diving footage, panoramic aerial shots, and fast action tracking.
For his contribution, Hitler’s Berlin Olympics proved to have been a resounding success for him and his Third Reich. Coincidentally, he was the one to have inaugurated the tradition of having a lone runner bearing the torch that commences the opening ceremony. In true fashion, the most historic moment of the Berlin Games was the momentous victory of track and field superstar legend Jesse Owens. Owens did not look like the prototypical Hitler poster child. Owen was an athletic African-American man from Oakville, Alabama. He made history when he won four gold medals and set three world records, including in the 4x100m relay for which would not be broken for another 20 years. To make matters worse for Hitler, Owens became a national treasure in Germany, debunking Hitler’s theory that Caucasians are at the forefront of natural selection. Joke’s on Hitler. The many faced gods proved to have a touch of ironic humor when they planned this. Until this day, Hitler’s ideology image is best forgotten by the country he held hostage while Owens is immortalized in Berlin where they celebrate the icon with a street named after him.
Speaking of being held hostage, I’m going to jump ship from Berlin 1936 to Munich 1972 where the world over watched in horror as eleven Israeli team members and a German police officer were taken hostage and later executed by Palestinian terrorist group Black September. Founded in 1970, BSO originated when King Hussein of Jordan declared war in response to a coup d’etat to seize control over his kingdom. The results were cataclysmic— the revolt caused the deaths or diaspora of thousands of Palestinians in Jordan. The events occurred on September 16, 1970. Most of the recruits were dissidents of the Fatah led by Abu Ali Ayad but by July 23, 1971, he was executed by Jordanian forces under Prime Minister Wasfi-al-Tal. The poor bastard was said to be tortured to death. Seeing how Isis and Al Qaeda operates, I’ll take a good gander and say this guy had exactly the same percentage rate of survival as JFK did when they blew his brains out on that fateful Dallas parade.
By the time of the Munich massacre, Yasser Arafat already had full control of the Fatah. Now is the time to realize that we are onto something. The Olympics committee seem clueless in how they select their hosting countries. They figure a certain place is exotic enough to get people to watch. Ratings, they say? Can’t be that bad, they say? Yeah, not unless you want a public beheading at the behest of NBC, don’t go to a war zone and expect to come out of there alive. Hitler held back because he was a famewhore but Arafat did whatever his heart contented him to do and that’s admirable. Of course, the deaths were screwed up but he wasn’t in the business of caring. He was a little dic-tator who got poisoned a little too late. The insurgence terrorist group, Black September, led their most infamous operation with the murder of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Just to be cool with god or whoever they thought they prayed to, their operation’s covert names were Ikrit and Biram, Palestinian villages where Palestinian residents were massacred or exiled in 1948 by the Israeli terrorist group Haganah. This sounds a lot like two idiot kids who could not get along so they killed each other’s favorite toy to make a statement. Yes, because two wrongs make a right. I suppose after the dust settled there came peace, love, and chicken grease. Guess again. Operation Bayonet was underway and by 1979, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir led the execution of Black September members. Among their casualties was the influential face-leader Ali Hassan Salameh, the Red Prince and flamboyant son of Arafat.
All this is teaching us is that if you want to be famous, religious, and not talented, become a terrorist. Sure you’ll be dead by the end of your jihad and your family’s name will be eviscerated but at that moment, it’s very lucrative. During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Eric Robert Rudolph detonated the bombs outside an abortion clinic in close proximity to the Centennial Olympic Park. A handyman by trade, Rudolph’s illogical motivation was because he felt what he considered to be the government’s sanctioning of “abortion on demand or without apology.” Try to wrap your heads around this one, folks. Unlike the political upheavals that were in full effect in Berlin and Munich, our dear ol’ American pal, most likely an uber fundamental starch white conservative Republican, Eric Rudolph detonated bombs that injured and killed people because Georgia and Alabama decided to legalize abortion. Let us digest that stupidity for a second. Why are Americans so goddamn concerned about what goes down in my fallopian tubes and inside my uterus. It’s none of their business and not a very good reason to kill people.That fetus is not your fetus, just like that baby isn’t yours! Same scenario.
Once you get down to it, the Olympics is a product of its time. Even now in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, we watch all the razzle dazzle pageantry that is displayed. It is meant to be a feast for the eyes, but it is a simulacrum of Rio de Janeiro. We’ve been lied to because nobody wants to see that “paradise” for what it is: A dirty crime and drug infested impoverished third world country where its people are literally living in fucking mudslinging squalor. What these Olympics represent is to love the stench of decadence and materialism we have grown accustomed to. In recent months, we have heard how the government began “relocating” the poor that live in the neighboring cities by the stadium and you have to stop and wonder how these people sleep at night. Rio is probably one of the last places on planet Earth to facilitate something as gargantuan as the “OLYMPICS,” we did it anyways. It’s our version of the truth, justice, and the American way to flaunt our paper wealth to people. Congratulations Switzerland (the official headquarters of the Olympics for those who won’t go on Google), you free education wheeling neutral blondes. You guys are just as much of selfish pricks as the Americans are. We are in the company we keep.