It’s not often you feel so proud of the Bavarians. But this week, the chest couldn’t help but swell for those prosperous pork-fuelled Catholics in their amusing clothing. Who knows why they decided to ban the Olympic rings from casting a shadow over their majestic snowy peaks and their magnificent ancient capital? Maybe it wasn’t actually a protest against the IOC’s snivelling collusion with the fascist anti-gay laws being introduced in Russia. Maybe it wasn’t an expression of outrage at the obscene, punitive contracts that the IOC imposes on its host countries (every parasite needs a host, and the IOC always keeps its hosts in a nice, sado-masochistic double-bind with its Host City Contract: total tax freedom and the suppression of all competition from local businesses against its global sponsors.) Maybe it wasn’t because Munich’s bid for the 2022 Winter Games had been cravenly exploited by local politicians to capitalize on the cheap publicity. Maybe it wasn’t even meant as a slap in the face for the new German IOC President Thomas Bach, only two months into his job after a career dogged by corruption accusations.
It could just have been that the Bavarians were suddenly overcome with numbing ennui at the thought of more fucking skiing, or they were stricken with clinical depression en masse at the thought of having to mount a multi-million-dollar figure-skating show. Or they could have realized that one of the most prosperous cities in Europe doesn’t actually need any more infrastructure development. “What are we going to do with a new fucking bobsleigh track?”
Whatever the reason, it takes a special kind of mulishness to resist the hypnotic effect of those coloured rings, and it was lovely to see the Bavarians decide that, actually no, we don’t need all that shit. Let them do it in Oslo, or North Korea, or wherever the IOC feels more comfortable. Because with every passing corruption scandal and revelation of outrageous exploitation, it becomes more and more obvious that as long as major international sports events are run by unaccountable swarming-locust corporations, they will only find a home in places where the people have no voice. More Democracy Now!