Captain Sasha May 1st, 2011
Marco Evers of Der Speigel commented that the recent wedding of the British royals, Prince William and Kate Middleton is overhyped and a joke. Which is understandable, considering that the the concept of monarchy or a royalty has no place in the 21st century political world. However, Mr. Evers failed to take the sentiments of the average Briton to account for the hype around the wedding.
Broadcast of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding from The Royal Channel
For the average British, the royal family is a source of pride. The world outside Britain sees the UK as a country on the wane, an island off the coast of Europe that has very little power and influence to cause any international ripples. Moreover, the UK is going through a severe economic crisis, with very little hope for the near future. In such a situation, the royal family acts as an inspiration to the Britons, that the British heritage is not all lost, that there is still something to feel patriotic about. The festivities of the wedding is also a much needed distraction from the economic and political mess that the country is in.
Yes, the British royal wedding is overhyped, if you count that the British royal family means nothing to us. But a joke, no. Not for the British people.
Aby April 13th, 2008
The charged political atmosphere in the torch relays of the Beijing Olympics of 2008 should cause the founder of modern international Olympics, the French nobleman Pierre Fredy roll in his grave. The sporting event revived with ideals of promoting peace, harmony and international cultural exchange has eventually grown to turn to to a background of violent political events. Over the last 70 years, there have been several instances where propaganda machinery tried to hijack the Olympics to their political games. However it is significant in the history of Olympics that a pre-sport event such as the Torch relay was mired in so much violent poltical protests, that the security for the torch is much as that a top foreign dignary from a hostile country would require.
Violent anti-China protests at London in April 6, 2008. Note the exaggeration of numbers by the protesters
The Beijing Olympics of 2008 has been turned into political theater for several reasons, right from a percieved threat of a rising China to the issue of Tibetan independance. The loudest protests in UK, US and France have been for the reason that one can be most self-righteous and moralistic about, the cause of Tibet’s freedom. One wonders, had London or San Francisco hosted the 2008 Olympics, would there have been as much widespread and violent protests? We are talking in context of the Anglo-US invasion of Iraq, of course. For those among us who are experienced in media bias and public attention trends in these countries, the answer is already obvious…
A violent anti-Iraq War protest in an Olympic event hosted by UK or US would most likely have been met with nationalistic outrage. The media and public would have had a field day with frenzied disgusts at the protesters with statements like, “How could they politicise an international sporting event like that?”. While the Chinese crackdown on Tibet killed a few hundreds of Tibetan protesters, the civilian death toll of the Iraq War (since 2003) is over 0.6 million and counting. In comparision to China’s crackdown on the Tibet revolution, the human rights abuses of Iraqis by US forces is much more perverted and brutal in nature. Yet the plight of the Iraqi people is far less likely to be a cause for concern, especially in an Olympic ‘run up’ event.
In contrast to the protests in London or San Francisco, the torch relay in the Tanzanian capital Dar Es Salaam met with a warm welcome and cheers from the local people. There were no ‘free Tibet’ protests or attempts to snatch the torch from the people as reported by BBC Afrique. BBC also reports that the torch passed a 20 km run through Muscat, Oman in the Persian Gulf without incident. It seems the violent protests against Beijing Olympics are limited only to a few countries, particularly the Anglo-US group of nations. This leaves us a question to ponder about, is the West European and American protests against Beijing Olympics a self-righteous expression of popular brewing anti-China sentiments? More on that in the coming articles….