Dutch brass band may play ‘YMCA’ at Winter Olympics


This video, recorded during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy, says about itself:

Dutch party band named “Small beer” [Kleintje Pils] is performing in Turin during the Olympic Games. In this case with the 10000m speed skating, a traditional Dutch part of the Winter Olympics. As you can see, the atmosphere is fantastic.

From Associated Press:

Dutch brass band may play ‘YMCA’ at Sochi oval

By RAF CASERT and MIKE CORDER

Jan. 21, 2014 12:22 PM EST

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch brass band that always performs at Olympic speed skating ovals is considering playing a popular gay song — “Y.M.C.A.” — at the Sochi Winter Olympics to show its support for gay rights.

This is called Village People – YMCA OFFICIAL Music Video 1978.

It remains to be seen how Russian and Olympic authorities would react should the Kleintje Pils band play a song widely considered to be a gay anthem. A ban on information about “nontraditional sexual relations” signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin has provoked widespread international outrage from critics who believe it discriminates against gays.

Band leader Ruud Bakker told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Kleintje Pils could mix the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” in its sing-along repertoire as “a signal.” But he added that the band didn’t want to antagonize organizers or turn its performances into a “political game.”

“We will see if we can get one or two songs into the selection, knowing that in the Netherlands it will be seen as a signal we are thinking of them (gays),” Bakker said.

The band, which keeps speed skating crowds rocking during ice resurfacing breaks at Olympic competitions, is best known for its stirring rendition of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and Queen’s “We are the Champions.” Usually they get the thousands of fans of all nationalities to dance along as they walk around the big oval with the permission of organizers. Mixing in a political message would be a new move.

The band performed “Y.M.C.A.” at the 2002 Salt Lake City games but has not played it since then. It has also practiced some Russian songs for the Sochi Olympics, which run Feb. 7-23.

This is a music video of the Russian song Kalinka. Dutch brass bands have played this song before at speed skating events.

Indirect moves by athletes to show support for gays have already caused controversy in Russia. At last August’s world athletics championships in Moscow, Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro sported rainbow colors on her nails. In the final, however, Green Tregaro went with red nails after track officials said her earlier gesture might violate the meet’s code of conduct.

Ms Green Tegaro was very lucky that Avery Brundage from the USA was not sports boss any more. Brundage would surely have punished her, not only for ‘gay’ rainbow fingernails, but for ‘communist’ red fingernails as well …

Reminding me a bit about when Turkish far Right nationalists complained that a Turkish workers’ organisation met in a building with red bricks, so was supposedly “communist” … err … what is the colour of the Turkish flag again? Reminding me again of the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s John Birch Paranoid Blues):

This music video is called John Birch Paranoid Blues (Live at Town Hall 1963).

Avery Brundage did not mind nazi salutes during the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics. But he did mind Black Power salutes, by athletes protesting against discrimination, very much, and had those athletes punished.

As this blog wrote earlier:

In 1936, the Olympic games were in Berlin, in Hitler‘s nazi Germany.

Sports officials like Avery Brundage in the USA were very much against athletes or spectators protesting against anti-Semitism, concentration camps, or other atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich. Such protests, they said, would be “political”. And Olympics, and sports in general, should be “non-political”. Meanwhile, there were nazi swastikas everywhere at Olympic venues. Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl made the official Olympic movie. Not only German athletes and sports bureaucrats, also many foreign athletes and sports bureaucrats did nazi salutes. All that was not political in the mindset of Avery Brundage and his ilk.

In 1968, Olympics again. In Mexico City.

This blog noted:

On October 16, 1968, the medals ceremony at the Mexico Olympics was converted into a symbolic demonstration of the struggle against oppression.

US black sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos, respectively first and third in the men’s 200 metres, defiantly raised clenched fist salutes as the American national anthem played.

Their stand in support of civil rights and against racism reverberated internationally.

The photograph of their protest has become one of the most recognised images in the world, after that of the first moon landing.

The unexpected silver medalist, 26-year-old Australian Peter Norman, wore a button of the “Olympic Project for Human Rights”—a civil rights protest movement set up by black athlete Harry Edwards before the Games—in support of his two fellow athletes.

These three athletes were punished harshly for daring to be ‘political’. While Avery Brundage, of 1936 Hitler Olympics infamy, was still Olympics big boss. Not political at all [sarcasm off].

Meanwhile, Olympics and other major sports events, like football World Cups, have become very entangled with corporate sponsors.

I hope to see many people like Tommy Smith, John Carlos and Peter Norman in Sochi.

Eight U.S. states have policies similar to Russia’s ban on gay ‘propaganda’: here.

Fukushima disaster, a leak again


This video, recorded in Japan, is called Fukushima: Tepco admits contaminated water has leaked into the Pacific.

From AFP news agency today:

New leak at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant: TEPCO

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said the highly radioactive water had leaked at the Fukushima No. 1 plant from a different storage tank to the one where a similar leak was found in August, Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported.

It was not clear how much water had leaked from the 450-ton tank. TEPCO said it had determined that contaminated water had accumulated within barriers around the tank, and may have flowed past the barriers.

The barriers were installed to block water from spreading when a leak occurs in the storage tanks at the plant, which was heavily damaged by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

In August, some 300 tons of toxic water was discovered to have leaked from a separate tank, with part of it believed to have flowed into the Pacific Ocean.

Concerns have grown over TEPCO’s handling of radioactive water at Fukushima since the August leak was discovered, with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month ordering the operator to set a timeline to fix the leaks.

Four tonnes of radioactive water spilled in Fukushima: here.

Former Japanese leader declares opposition to nuclear power — The New York Times: here.

Abe seeks help to end Fukushima water crisis — The Japan Times: here.

Sockeye salmon sushi: Japanese Prime Minister issues international plea for help containing radiation leaks — The Huffington Post: here.

Fukushima might make 2020 Tokyo Olympics impossible’; Interview with Robert Jacobs: here.

Six workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have been exposed to radioactive water. The incident happened after one of them mistakenly removed a pipe connected to a water treatment system at the facility. Several tonnes of contaminated water was released, some of which doused the employees: here.

Radiation levels near Japan’s damaged Fukushima reactor hit two-year high — Reuters: here.

Fukushima: Cover-ups, incompetence and blatant lies are all part the corporate culture that presided over the present radioactive leaks, writes BLAKE DEPPE: here.