Thursday, April 17, 2008


Today is Thursday, 17 April 2008.

I saw the Olympic Torch when it passed through New York City in 1996, on its way to Atlanta.

My office then overlooked Water Street, just south of Wall. I was on the second floor, so the view was excellent. I pondered: how many who saw the torch relay that day realized it wasn’t a creation of the ancient Greeks: the concept was a concoction by a Nazi functionary, Herr Doktor Carl Diem (General Secretary of the Organizing Committee for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin), subsequently brought to life by Hitler’s favorite film director, Leni Riefenstahl.

Yes, the same lovely Leni who directed the infamous Triumph of the Will, chronicling the annual Nazi Party rally at Nuremberg in 1936, a technical masterpiece in the worshipful service of absolute evil. Her 1938 film Olympia was the first to document an Olympics. As usual, Leni out-Wagners Wagner: the kitschy beginning shows the torch being ignited in an ancient Greek temple, then carried in relays to Berlin and into the presence of the Fuhrer.

As Edward Rothstein points out in his The New York Times essay cited below, the route to Berlin begins in Greece, and then passes through Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Austria, thus reversing the course of conquest on which Nazi Germany would embark three years later. [1] (The 1940 Summer Olympics were scheduled for Tokyo, then cancelled by the war. It was Hitler’s intention graciously to allow the racially-inferior Tokyo games to occur, but, as Hitler told Albert Speer (Hitler’s favourite architect and Nazi Minister of Armaments): “…thereafter, they [the Summer Olympic Games] will take place in Germany for all time to come”.

It’s tres approps, then, that the 2008 Summer Olympics are being hosted by the People’s Republic of China, which has been engaged in a ferocious criminal occupation of Tibet since 1950. After all, the 1980 Summer Olympics were held in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the year after the latter criminally invaded Afghanistan (and not to mention Eastern Europe). And, after all, the 1984 Summer Olympics were hosted by the United States of America, then engaged in a criminal attempt to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, as well as criminally propping up homicidal military dictatorships all over Central and South America.

As the official P.R.C. torch relay site puts it: “Light the Passion, Share the Dream”. [2]

Light. Passion. Share. Dream.






On this date in 1961, an “army” (some sadly-deluded 1,511 anti-Castro Cuban exiles) created, financed, and controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The survivors surrendered on 21 April.

American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder was born on this date in 1897. His works include what may be the finest USA play, Our Town, (and The Skin of Our Teeth not far behind) and the great novel Theophilus North.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So - the Olympic Torch is a symbol of Nazi impreialism? I think by now most people have co-opted the torch as a symbol of goodwill and sportsmaship as it relates to the Olympic Games, which are an attempt to unify the world every couple of years.

And the point of parallelling countries which have hosted the games while instigating unadvised aggression? Is this supposed to make a point of some sort? Is it that any "aggressor" country not be allowed to host the games? Let us know how that could be achieved.

You have graced us with another "hang our heads in shame" blog commentary. Thanks.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous la_libertine said...

There are LOTS of similarities between the Beijing games an the Berlin games - frankly eerie,ugly similarities. And on top of the human rights violations, Beijing's pollution is so effin' bad it makes LA's air seem clean! The participating athletes may well come back with all kinds of respiratory problems. At any rate, the committee should ave its collective ass kicked for choosing Beijing as host city in the first place.

1:36 AM  

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