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Archive for the ‘games’


The last stretch 81

Posted on April 06, 2018 by

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They think you’re stupid 64

Posted on January 21, 2013 by

(We suspect this might become a regular series.) We try not to take any notice of the often-ludicrous propaganda churned out by the official “Better Together” campaign, but today’s was too utterly ridiculous to ignore. We’re not going to deface our nice pages with the image, though you can see it here if you want to without giving them any hits.

The graphic claimed, mind-bogglingly, that the award of ÂŁ2.3bn in grants to good causes in Scotland by the National Lottery since its advent in 1993 was “another reason we are better together”, as if the figure represented some great largesse towards Scotland on the part of the UK. This, as any reader with an IQ higher than the number on a lottery ball will immediately realise, is such a monumental and obvious misrepresentation of how the lottery works that we can only concur with the Twitter user who enquired “When will the glue-sniffing stop at BT strategy HQ?”

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Weekend: The Olympic Rallies 40

Posted on July 21, 2012 by

When watching the Olympics over the coming couple of weeks, it’s probably not likely that you’ll be pondering the massive spending that goes into the defence and security industry as a result of such events. Yet in both superficial and deeper senses, it now represents the primary purpose of the Games, with sport merely the disguise under which the true agenda is smuggled past the unsuspecting public.

The precedent for this phenomenon was set over 70 years ago, by the event which would go on to become the template on which all subsequent Games were based. We refer, of course, to the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Nazi Germany.

On the 13th of May 1931, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 1936 Summer Olympics to Berlin. The choice was intended to signal Germany’s return to the world community and its rehabilitation after the defeat and humiliation of World War I. However, two years after the award was made Adolf Hitler seized power, and spurred on by his Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels he set about making the games a showcase for Nazi Germany.

The intention was simple – set up the games to portray the new Germany in the best light possible. The Games were to be a place to play down plans for territorial expansion, and would be exploited to instead bedazzle foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany. The opportunity to portray an image of how the Nazis wanted to be seen, with the world watching and listening, was too good to pass up, and so political will was deployed behind the Games, with Hitler himself becoming an ardent supporter.

Plans to boycott the Games in response to the maltreatment of Jews and non-whites already apparent under the regime were discussed in the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands, but were short-lived. The outcry was more vociferous in America, but the President of the American Olympic Committee at the time, Avery Brundage, declined to back a boycott, on the now-familiar grounds that “The Olympic Games belong to the athletes and not to the politicians”. Little did he know what the Nazis had in store.

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Weekend essay: the Janus-faced Olympics 20

Posted on June 30, 2012 by

There seems to be a disconnect for many Scots between how they feel about the London Olympics and how they’ll act when the Games are on. Many will bemoan the cost, lost opportunities, lack of access or significant national legacy, but will simultaneously be cheering on the athletes in Team GB. Is it a form of Olympic schizophrenia that we should despise the Games and yet love them at the same time?

Schizophrenia isn’t, of course, really the correct term to use for this phenomenon. It’s a mental disorder characterised by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. Despite the etymology of the term from the Greek roots, schizophrenia does not imply a “split mind” and it is not the same as Dissociative Identity Disorder – also known as “multiple personality disorder” or “split personality” – despite often being confused with it in the public’s perception.

So perhaps it’s more accurate to say that myself, and many others, suffer from a form of Olympic split personality disorder. But what is it that causes this affliction? In order to find out, we need to look at the history of London 2012.

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The Coin Dozer Gospel 4

Posted on April 06, 2011 by

Readers of a spiritual or elderly bent may be aware of the parable of the Deck Of Cards. (You can listen to a splendidly reverby take of Wink Martindale’s definitive version by clicking this convenient link here.)

But you don’t have to go back to the 1950s for a similarly instructive metaphor for the contemporary age. Because the iOS game Coin Dozer serves, if you don’t want to carry around a bulky copy of Das Kapital, as a bible of the modern capitalist world. Shut up, it’s not bollocks.

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