YMCA played at Sochi Winter Olympics, video


This Dutch television video, recorded in the speed skating stadium at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, says about itself:

15 Feb 2014

After President Putin hugged the bi-sexual 3Km speedskating gold medalist Ireen Wüst to show the Russian “man/woman in the street” that all people whether hetero or homo or bi are equal, the music band “small beer” [Kleintje Pils] played purposely the overtly gay YMCA song during the 1500m speed skating in Sochi.

How US Evangelicals Helped Create Russia’s Anti-Gay Movement: here.

If Vanessa-Mae lost a bit of dignity in the slalom, she gained a lot of respect. Competing for gold is only part of what the Olympics is about – the violinist showed Sochi how coming last can also be a triumph: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Band plays YMCA at Sochi Olympic skating


This video from the Winter Olympics in Canada says about itself:

Dutch speed skating band Kleintje Pils during the Men’s 500m in Vancouver 2010.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Musical protest by Kleintje Pils

Saturday, February 15, 2014 15:21

The Dutch brass band Kleintje Pils ["Small Beer"] has played the song YMCA in Sochi during a break while the ice was cleaned during the 1,500 meter speed skating. This was intended as a protest against the anti-LGBTQ law in Russia.

“We too know the terrible images of anti-gay hatred in Russia and other countries,” said the Oompah band. “We cannot be silent about that.” The song, a 1970s hit by the Village People, is associated with the gay movement.

Kleintje Pils has had contact with Victor Willis, the composer of YMCA. “He wrote it to connect people with each other and that is also what Kleintje Pils stands for,” says the band.

A Dutch radio interview with the band about this is here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Northern hawk-owl and two Olympic medals in Zwolle, the Netherlands


This is a video about the northern hawk-owl in Zwolle, the Netherlands, on 28 January 2014.

The northern hawk-owl, present in Zwolle since November 2013, is still there. Today, it sat on the viaduct near the railway.

Talking about Zwolle city: today, at the Sochi Winter Olympics, two twin brothers from Zwolle won medals. Michel Mulder became Olympic champion in 500 meter speed skating. His brother Ronald Mulder won the bronze medal. Jan Smeekens, also from the Netherlands, was in second place, just one hundredth of a second behind Michel Mulder.

This is a video about Michel Mulder from December last year, when he skated a 500 meter world record for lowland speed skating tracks.

Enhanced by Zemanta

YMCA played at Sochi Olympics


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

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Russians themselves play YMCA

Saturday, February 8, 2014 15:46

It was the idea of ​​[Dutch gay comedian] Paul de Leeuw: let the party band “Small beer” [Kleintje Pils] play ‘gay song’ YMCA during the speed skating in Sochi as a protest against the anti-LGBTQ law in Russia. It is not known whether the Russians knew about that call and whether they agreed with such a playful protest, but the fact is that the song sounded from the loudspeakers this afternoon in Sochi.

During a break in the while machines cleaned the ice of the Adler Arena, people could hear The Village People which is seen worldwide as a ‘gay’ song.

Kleintje Pils will be going to Sochi next week.

Women’s fight to join the Olympics, sport by sport: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sochi Olympics, homophobia and snow


Democracy Now! in the USA says about this video today:

“Celebration Capitalism & the Olympics”: Global Protests Mark Opening of Sochi Games

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent more than $50 billion on the Winter Games in Sochi, making this the most expensive Olympics in history. In the lead-up to the games, Russia has faced worldwide criticism and calls for boycotts, especially after it passed a law in June banning the spread of so-called “gay propaganda” to children. With the games just two days away, we host a roundtable with four guests: Dave Zirin, sports columnist for The Nation magazine and author of “Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down”; Samantha Retrosi, a luge athlete who competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics; historian and former U.S. Olympic soccer player, Jules Boykoff, who is author of “Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games“; and Helen Lenskyj, author of several books on the Olympics, including “Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry” and the forthcoming book, “Sexual Diversity and the Sochi 2014 Olympics: No More Rainbows.”

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

DAVE ZIRIN: Second, I had a flashback this morning to getting a call from Amy in 2010, when she was detained at the Canadian border, going across for a different event, and the Vancouver Olympics were happening. Do you remember that?

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, I do.

DAVE ZIRIN: And they said to Amy, they said, “Are you here to talk about the Olympics?” And Amy said, “I am now.” And it’s just to point out that these issues we’re talking about are at every Olympics, and there’s no doubt that they’re getting amplified in Russia, partially because of the conflicts between the United States and Russia, but it’s also true that what’s happening in Russia is particularly bad, even by Olympic standards.

And that leads, really, to your question. I mean, the U.S. delegation involves three openly LGBT athletes—Billie Jean King, Caitlin Cahow, Brian Boitano—and then gold medalist Bonnie Blair. Now, what’s so interesting about this is that this is the first time since 2000 that nobody from the president or the vice president’s family has been part of the delegation. This is very clearly a thumb in the eye to Vladimir Putin by President Barack Obama. And I’m sure there a lot of people in the LGBT community and amongst allies who are happy that this is happening. It’s a strong stance for LGBT rights.

But I think people should also be very wary of it, for two reasons. First of all, we have a lot of problems in this country with regards to LGBT rights. I mean, for example, there are 29 states in this country you can still fire someone on the basis of their sexuality, and in eight states in this country there are what are called “no promo homo” laws, which are very similar to the Russian laws, where you cannot propagate homosexuality or anything of the sort. So, that’s the first thing. So it’s like we have to clean our own house.

The second thing, which is really important, is the only question that matters is: Will LGBT athletes in Russia be better or worse off after the cameras have gone home? And by sending over the delegation, one of the things that does is that it allows the IOC—and, by the way, they’re already doing this—and Putin to present the LGBT movement in Russia as a tool of the United States, and it actually opens them up for further repression.

AMY GOODMAN: Legendary tennis star Billie Jean King recently appeared on CBS This Morning and talked about going to Russia as a member of the official U.S. delegation, about the origins of Olympic Rule number 50, which bars athletes from engaging in any type of political demonstration at the games.

BILLIE JEAN KING: It probably came from the fact when John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their arms about civil rights, human rights, back in ’68, I think the rule [inaudible] was written after that, Rule 50.

VINITA NAIR: Because it bans all political demonstration.

BILLIE JEAN KING: It bans—they’re not supposed to protest or demonstrate. And if they do, they can have their medals stripped, and they can be sent home. But I also think people—some of the athletes will probably have their say.

The full transcript is here.

Winter Olympics 2014: Norway’s Health Minister to take his husband to Paralympics: here.

A People’s History of LGBTI Olympians: here.

The President of the Sochi Olympic Committee has just confirmed that the two wild orcas captured by White Sphere will not be displayed during the Sochi Olympics: here.

Everything you wanted to know about that hideously anti-gay law passed in Arizona last night: here.

Former Bush strategist equates Arizona’s anti-gay Christians to Islamic terrorists: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.