Archive for June 11th, 2008
Yes, as the title of this posting hints at, I am boycotting this year’s Summer Games. And not because of China’s attitudes toward the disabled. Communist regimes are always going to have their vision of a perfect world, and their vision of what the people in that perfect world look like. No matter how skewed those visions may be. Boycotting a Summer Games will not send the message that people with that type of attitude need to hear. It is already too much a part of the sociology of the regime.
For much the same reason, I will not be boycotting the Olympics because of the situation between China and Tibet. That is a political drama that goes back a long time and the loss of revenue at a sporting event will not change that. Even if it is the grandest sporting stage in the world, the Olympics.
And let me make it clear that it is not the people that are the problem it is the political regime. However, the regime is run by people, and, though I may be over-simplifying, people need to change themselves.
No, I am not even boycotting because of the recent scandal involving the Chinese gov’t involved in hacking the U.S. gov’t's computers. Nope, not even that will put such a fire in my belly as to make me boycott the Olympics!
And lastly I am not preparing to boycott if Oscar Pistorius, the amputee who was recently given the OK to attempt to qualify for the Olympics, does not make the South African team.
I am boycotting it for the same reason I do pretty much every four years. I am not interested in track and field events now, and I don’t plan on suddenly becoming interested during the Games. Sure there are other events, like Basketball, but with that, either my country, the U.S. either destroys and humiliates the competition, which is not what the games should be about, or if they don’t people get upset that we didn’t live up to the standard we were supposed to. You can’t win and I am boycotting.
In case you are wondering, the Part II in the title refers to this, a story I wrote in January lamenting my sense that there are not many famous musicians with disabilities. I was recently reminded of it when I came across a story on disaboom.com about Tobias Forrest and his band, Cityzen. Forrest is a quadriplegic, but was not when he first started his band. He was paralyzed during a diving accident. It was very refreshing to read that he continued to rock after the accident, especially after reading that immediately after the accident, he was on a ventilator to breathe.
Having four band mates who are committed to the same vision as he is helps a lot too. They carry him up on stage at almost every gig since most of the venues don’t have a ramp up to the stage and the ADA apparently does not apply to access to the stage.
Said Forrest about his accident, “I did a little drowning, I did a little dying, but I said Heaven can wait. I didn’t lose my sense of humor.” Sounds like a song lyric. Sounds like a great way to live. But as far as I can tell, he doesn’t sing about his accident, or his disability. It is the usual sex, alcohol, partying, etc. You know the drill. But I honestly think that he can inspire kids in wheelchairs to think, and to believe that they can rock if they want to.
Cityzen’s music itself is interesting. This link will take you to a sampling of their music, which is not bad with the exception of a goofy song called “White Rapper”. Their guitarists infuse the music with funk and blues. I can’t place who Forrest’s voice sounds like, but it’s not bad.