21st Century Wire
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is undoubtedly the most politicized Games since the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
First came the Saudi and Chechen threats to unleash terrorist attacks on the Games — international racketeering and blackmail at its worst, putting Russia security services on their highest security alert ever in Sochi. Shockingly, the international (aka western) community was completely silent over this affair, not least of all because it involved staunch US and British oil vendor and ally Saudi Arabia.
Contrast that with this week’s big international statement of outrage over Russia’s supposed ‘anti-gay’ laws — punctuated by an American TV commentator dressing in drag in front of a world-wide audience.
As far as American audiences are concerned, chatter surrounding the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics has been overtaken by Johnny Weir, a gay ex-Olympic figure skater, now working for NBC Sports.
While liberal-leaning media outlets like Gawker are very excited by this latest news, and waving their hands in the air with excitement, while other critics are questioning whether or not this flavour of international protest has any genuine provenance beyond its ‘human rights’ sound bites. Gawker heaps on the praise:
“Weir has appeared on television in at least two different outfits so far this weekend, and both have been incredible. Above we see a white blazer over a white sheer v-neck shirt with a dramatic gold necklace pulled straight from your grandmother’s closet. (Or Lil B’s. One of the two.)
And below we see a black blazer over a white Oxford with black lines scribbled on it and a massive gold-and-pearl ring, which actually seems understated by his standards.”
How did we get to this point – where broadcasters are cross-dressing and twitters mobs are railing against the nation of Russia? Clue: it has more to do with scoring political points in the west than it does ‘human rights’ in the east…
Most people are aware that there exists a controversy regarding Russia and the LGBT lobby, but few in the media, or in the “celebrity community” have done a very good job explaining exactly how this all started.
The big bee in the bonnet is said to be Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda Law’, which was passed this last summer. The legislation bans the spreading of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to underage minors. It’s worth noting the law passed in the Duma 436-0, sort of a majority, if you like.
During the same period, the Duma also approved a new law to guard against “offending religious feelings”, which has received international attention due to the trial of anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot. The band have since become the new darlings of the globalist music circuit, recently appearing alongside Madonna at Amnesty International’s “Human Rights” concert. What people are quick to forget, however, is how Pussy Riot actually ended up in their cold Russian jail cell in the first place — for simulating sex acts and defacing the altar at a sacred Christian Orthodox cathedral — Russia’s equivalent of London’s Westminster Abbey, or the National Cathedral in Washington DC. If any artist or band did what they did in the UK or US, it’s pretty much a given that they’d have ended up in a jail cell – just as Pussy Riot did.
Anyway, back to Sochi…
Judging by the amount of media attention LGBT and ‘human rights’ activists are getting in the US and the UK, you’d think that Russia would have passed a law banning homosexuality, just like those laws currently on the books of Washington’s ‘special friend’ Saudi Arabia, or like in many of Britain’s Commonwealth countries.
Alas, there are no such laws on the books in Russia, but let’s not let that get in the way of a good old globalist colour revolution, especially when so many celebrities are interested in getting involved…
The West’s liberal crusade over the ‘gay issue’ in Russia has become a trendy dog pile, with activists and celebrities all too eager to jump on top, but based on many of the comments made in the media thus far, it’s pretty obvious that most have not actually examined the argument in any depth. Liberal media outlets are going all-out on this issue, determined to somehow brow-beat the Russian state so that it’s supposedly “in line with western values”.
You could look at it another way — after Russia and Putin humiliated the White House and its allies over the west’s attempt to jump-start a major war in Syria, in order to exact revenge on the Russian Bear, the west has forsaken their cruise missiles and cluster-bombs for a big pink boa and a set of furry handcuffs. Seriously though, even at a casual glance, all of this looks like a multi-pronged attack to undermine Russia on many levels; not just politically, but also economically too.
The public wave of anti-Russian sentiment seems to be working, with numerous campaigns online to target Olympic sponsors, as well as anything Russian.
London’s Guardian website is even running an online seminar entitled, ‘Learn how to protest against anti-gay laws in Russian during the Winter Olympics‘. It goes on, “Learn this handy Russian phrase in time for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and join Derren Brown, Stephen Fry, Paloma Faith, Rupert Everett, Neil Gaiman, and other celebrities in telling the world you don’t support Russia’s anti-gay laws”.
“Do something and make a difference — upload your attempts to Twitter #russianrainbowflag”.
Horray, horray! Western celebrities have come to the rescue! Isn’t it wonderful? Well, not everyone seems to think so…
Other commentators have tried to inject some soberness back into an international discussion that, because of a few mindless celebrity bandwagon jumpers, has become completely hysterical. Even Guardian journalist Marc Bennetts has spotted the problem with America and Europe’s international LGBT media circus:
“While western opponents of the Kremlin’s law may have noble intentions, their criticism has far too often been both hysterical and hypocritical. Condemnation has also at times resembled hate speech, as in Hugh Laurie’s recent suggestion that Russians have nothing whatsoever of value to offer the world. Laurie’s outburst was mild, however, compared to statements by Stephen Fry and Jay Leno, who have both likened the Kremlin’s law to Nazi persecution of Jews.”
Aside from the obvious Russia-baiting, why has the US and British establishments targeted this particular Olympics for politicization? It’s classic divide and rule – at home, not away. American conservatives are offended because in their eyes, the red, white and blue has been over-shadowed by the ‘rainbow’ American flag. Liberals love the controversy because they believe that it’s exposing ‘the plight of gays in Russia’. In reality, neither is correct.
Firstly, it’s probably worth pointing out that almost every Olympic athlete, attendee and TV viewer is interested in the sports first and foremost, and are not particularly interested in what designer woman’s blazer is being worn by Weir. Many spectators may even be offended by Weir hijacking the event for his own politicized agenda — and in a free country, that would be their right too. It’s more likely that NBC’s Johnny Weir is leveraging the opportunity to extract some celebrity and political capital through his public exhibitionism. Indeed, what passes for ‘activism’ these days seems to be anything that can be uploaded onto YouTube or Instagram. As today’s chief metrics for celebrity, Weir’s likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter have enjoyed a significant spike following his unusual performance, which is likely to be followed by various and sundry sponsorship offers to capitalise on the new found fame. In the old days, this would be referred to a ‘publicity stunt’, but somehow that term has been eviscerated by the new 24/7 reality culture where politics and protests are throw-away items, used to plot one’s journey up the ladder of fame and fortune.
The danger here is that the over-the-top, emotive and shrinking intellectual quality of the US-Euro LGBT approach to this issue may have already backfired. The end result: making the west look bad internationally. Bennetts adds here:
“They play straight into the hands of the Kremlin-run media, whose raison d’etre is increasingly founded on its gleeful willingness to highlight western inconsistencies. The new legislation is certainly not, as US-based gay rights activists have claimed, “one of the most draconian anti-gay laws on the planet”.”
The problem with the LGBT ‘Gay Protest’ against Russia is that it’s simply disingenuous. When celebrities enter into any political debate, an intellectual reduction of facts and arguments is almost certain to take place.
British celebrity Stephen Fry (photo, above) is probably the most guilty on this front, with his sensational lie that gay people are being beaten to death “while police stand idly by”. Fry’s polemic is not so much disingenuous as it is dangerous. As the self-styled ‘King of Social Media’, Fry knows better than most how a statement like that can whip up the activist mobs online. It seems that celebrities like Fry can only express their views in 164 characters – which some may argue is totally appropriate for the audience they cater to these days.
Unfortunately, the western public, much less the LGBT ‘community’, rarely know any better than to question such a fantastic statement coming out of the mouth of a god-like celebrity. This fact has become a sort of Achilles heal for us in the west – an over reliance on celebrities for ‘reassurance’ on various political issues (we’ll save that for another debate).
Western media, LGBT activists and celebrities have also been egged-on by Obama’s White House and others – for the simple reason that their efforts dovetail with US foreign policy and European Union foreign policy to both undermine and contain Russia’s influence, particularly in relation to the Ukraine and Syria. For those celebrities reading this article, you might want to refer to the Washington DC globalist think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where you can learn how your own ‘activist’ campaign in Sochi falls under the general banner of advancing ‘Russophobia’ and what DC think tanks refer to as a policy of ‘neocontainment’ for Russia.
ON that note, Bennetts rightly concludes:
“If Putin is indeed waging war on Russia’s LGBT community, then why has he not followed the example of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, which has just introduced a new law that stipulates jail sentences of up to 14 years for gay people? Or India, the world’s largest democracy, where the supreme court recently reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex? If he wants to get really harsh, of course, Putin could look to Saudi Arabia, whose habit of executing homosexuals has done little to break up what Barack Obama has called the “long history of friendship” between Washington and Riyadh. This, of course, is the same Obama who has“no patience” for Russia’s gay propaganda law.”
Overall, this not-so-well-thought-out ‘protest’ at the Winter Olympics will damage America and Europe’s credibility because political leaders did not read the fine print, and instead, fell over backwards for a half-baked argument in order to curry a few votes in the next election. That seems to be the way with everything in politics these days — from WMD’s to global warming.
Sure, gay rights and human rights are tremendously important, but perhaps on this occasion — the LGBT lobby has chosen both the wrong target, as well as the wrong venue. The whole point of the Olympic Games is to be nonpolitical and not used as a political crow bar to advance a lobby or a government’s political agenda. To do so really kills this event, and what it is meant to be for the international community. Watching Johnny Weir make a show of himself is an embarrassment to what used to be the ultimate in international goodwill.
So Johnny Weir can enjoy his new sponsorship contracts, and Obama can enjoy this week’s rainbow bounce. Both are erected on top of a false premise.
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