Monday, March 31, 2008

The Troubled, Tainted Torch

The Olympic Torch, lit from the Olympic flame, commemorates mankind's acquisition of fire as a gift from the Greek God Prometheus, who stole the same from Zeus. Prometheus angered Zeus by tricking him into selecting a lesser offering from mankind. Zeus, realizing the deception, hid the fire to make it difficult for man to survive and prosper, until it was taken by Prometheus.

Over the years since the Olympics began in ancient Greece until its modern adaptation, the fire symbolized unity in prosperity for mankind. It also meant lighting the path to what is just and what is right, with the torch carrier being referred to as the bearer of the truth. Eleven women take part in igniting the flame representing the roles of priestesses in the ceremony.

In the 2008 Olympics, the torch is troubled. It arrived at the venue amidst tight security which denied even the Chinese citizens the privilege of seeing it land on their soil and witnessing the glory of this once in a lifetime event. The arrival was limited to a few thousand handpicked guests. In their effort to avoid the embarrassment of having to contain protests that would be seen worldwide, the Chinese officials have also succeeded in taking the flame away from the path of justice; and have dimmed the hopes of a people crying for their homeland and way of life. The torch is being hidden from the quest for truth, and used to illuminate a lavishly pretentious vision to conceal the inhumanity resulting from an insatiable obsession with dominance.

Politics, power play, manipulation and treachery have no place in an event such as the Olympics. Yet throughout the years since the1936 Berlin Olympics, the ugliness of these manifestations continue to grow in scope and scale. Even the men and women who dedicate themselves for their country's honor are unwittingly used in these events. Some are pressured into the idea that winning is the ultimate goal, not sportsmanship; and getting there at all costs predisposes doing things that are outside of legal methods, which further tarnishes the meaning of the games.

One can only imagine the kind of pressure that Chinese athletes endure as the Olympics draws near. Losing can create a psychological trauma they may never recover from, or may be eternally punished for, in some form or another. The flame must burn freely, and carried openly. It is the torch of truth, justice, fairness, and freedom. If the Chinese cannot carry these out, they do not deserve to receive the Olympic torch, nor touch it with their tainted hands.

Prometheus was punished by Zeus for the theft. He was tied to a rock where vultures ate his regenerating liver for eons until he was rescued by Heracles. He went through this ordeal and sacrifice for the benefit of man. Had he known this was how man would respect his gift and treat his suffering, he probably would have let mankind live in the dark forever.



Anonymous said...

Hi my friend, I'm a big fan of the Olympics, I stay glued to them all day long and never ger bored.
I think that this time it's going to be a bit different and perhaps a bit more exciting. But with it in China, ya never know.

Stay well

Allan Cockerill said...

Excellent post Durano!

We even had the Chinese government offering to send troops to Australia last week to help control protesters...?

Would have caused more than a little kerfuffle if the Rudd government had agreed let me tell you!


Zhu said...

I'm totally against boycotting the Olympics and wished like you that political tricks weren't part of this year's games...

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi DD2,

Nice photo you're using now. :-)

Yes, we will all be glued to the Games, but I really wish that the real winners are proclaimed ALL THE TIME! No more of this controversial calls and points that reek of political considerations.

Most importantly, all issues preceding the Games must be resolved or at least be in the process of being resolved openly and truthfully.

Let the true spirit of the Olympics prevail! That's my call. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Allan,

Why would they send troops, to pinpoint who the protesters are and return to them later on? No Way!

I like that term "Kerfuffle", I can only understand it in the context of your statement to mean complication or trouble? Interesting term.

Thanks Allan for dropping by. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

I wish politics was not part of any honest human endeavor or activity! Peace is derailed by politics, development too. Economics most of all. Must this be used in sportsmanship too? It's too much.

I just wish these could be a really good event and that all such impediments be addressed appropriately and on even terms.
Have a nice day! :-) --Durano, done!