Events around the Sports Games are needed that will delight and benefit everyone in the true Olympic Spirit, although they may not come within the present Olympic regulations. Suggestions below include ideas for an Arms Race, OzOlympics as SkillOlympics, and International Yogi events as in a 'Tibetan' competition reported on Internet. Improvements in the Medal Tables are suggested.

Media coverage can be itself more competitive, to accord with the Olympic ideal and to please our present government policy. These media events can be held anytime, including before or after any Sports Olympics, so that tourists are encouraged to Olymptrip all over Australia. Events need not be on the official calendar.

  1. OzOlympics Ideas
  2. Olympic Medals including Medals for the Media
  3. EcOlympics
  4. WishOlympics Bedtime story for Australian politicians to read to the children
  5. 5a Olympics Quiz from the Internet
    5b Olympic Questions from Sydney
  6. SkillOlympics and NationOlympics
  7. Ethics of Olympics
  8. Olympic Language#language
  9. Melbourne State Library & Melbourne's CulturalOzOlympics

Events around the Sports Games are needed that will delight and benefit everyone in the true Olympic Spirit, although they may not come within the present Olympic regulations. Suggestions below include ideas for an Arms Race, OzOlympics as SkillOlympics, and International Yogi events as in a 'Tibetan' competition reported on Internet.

Improvements in the Medal Tables are suggested.

Media coverage can be itself more competitive, to accord with the Olympic ideal and to please our present government policy. These media events can be held anytime, including before or after any Sports Olympics, so that tourists are encouraged to Olymptrip all over Australia. Events need not be on the official calendar.

New Events

Suggestions have been made for new events, such as Darts, Snooker and Foot-in-Mouth. Others include:

  • The Arms Race, using arms rather than legs.
  • How Silly Can You Get . HOSCYG sports. To have a laugh occasionally.

Useful sports. Such as

  • Headfreighting - with a jar on your head.
  • Safe-driving, with obstacles such as bicycles, straw pedestrians, cars zooming in out of intersections without warning, red lights, slippery sections, speed humps, and a speed limit of 60k
  • Generating electricity by bicycle or windlass.

See also SkillOlympics

Improved Medal Tables

1. The Table of Gold

A Table of Gold set next to every final Olympic Medals Table would show how much each country and sponsors spent on training hopeful elites for those Olympics - Institutes of Sport, training athletes from childhood, specialist coaches and psychologists, medications for sports injuries, etc.

These sums would not include what a country spent on sports open for the whole population to take part in for their health and enjoyment, so this table would not penalise countries with large populations. Some countries might concentrate all their Olympic funding on a few sports, but from an international point of view it is good if every country, however small, has a speciality which gives it a chance to hold up its head in this great international geffuffle.

The usual Table of Medals and the new Table of Gold would at present almost match - although not quite. The more gold a nation spends, the more Gold it gets.

National Cost per Medal. The Medal Table would also have a third column, to show how much each country effectively spent per medal on producing its elite Olympic Team.

The Improved Olympic Medals Table

Medal Table for each country

Gold Table of how much each country spent on its Olympic athletes

Cost per medal for each country

The Goldest Medal

Goldest Medals for the Honour of Nations could be awarded at the finale of the Olympic Games.

Records could be established, each calculated as per 100,000 population.

At Atlanta in 1996 for example, it was the International Year for Prevention of Poverty so the Goldest Medals could have been awarded to the countries for

  • Fewest homeless people. Fewest substandard homes or shanties
  • Lowest proportion of forests denuded
  • Most desert reclaimed. Most trees planted and surviving two years
  • Highest literacy - able to read a newspaper and say what features are about. Able to write a letter to a newspaper about something good or bad
  • Fewest people with high incomes more than twenty times the minimum wage, or where there is no minimum wage, fewers with more than twenty times the poorest female factory worker.
  • Fewest total people killed in armed riots, massacres or wars.
  • Fewest murders, fewest robberies, fewest rapes, Fewest people in prison
  • Least sales of arms to other countries
  • Least political/economic censorship
  • Best care of children/the elderly/handicapped/mentally ill
  • Highest business standards of honesty, reliability, efficiency quality of products and conditions for workers. Highest worker standards of honesty, reliability, efficiency and quality of product
  • Highest political standards of honesty and openness of information
  • Least Gross Unnecessary Suffering (there is an index available for this for this)
  • Highest Quality of Life (there is an index available for this)
  • Greatest International Co-operation and Generosity (this needs to be honoured).

And so on.

The Goldest Medal total assessments could be related to GNP of each country. The greater the disparity between Goldest Medal and GNP, the greater the shame for the nation.


Medals for the Media at the Sydney Olympics

Media Medals are 1.Gilt 2. Tinsel. 3. Brazen.

Every country should have competitive, not monopoly reporting of events, with tat least two media rights-holders for each medium.

One media rights-holder's presentation should emphasise the original spirit of the Olympic Games:

  • Delight in watching the world's top athletes performing
  • Applauding the gameness of those who come last as well as first their international character,
  • The pride in local athletes matched with pride in all other countries' achievements
  • The chance to learn about other nations of the world.

Its straightforward, informative coverage of events would recognise

  • That most viewers of Olympics are not knowledgeable about all sports.
  • The commentaries would make clear what each event and sport is about, which countries compete in the final event, all who win medals, and their countries.
  • Finishes would be shown with great clarity.
  • Advertising, if absolutely financially necessary, would be kept to well-separated blocks with straightforward ads that would not increase a blooming buzzing confusion.

The second media rights-holder would follow present trends

  • to turn the Olympics into a mishmash of pulp-sensationalism, greed, monomania, jingoism, winning as the sole aim, constant advertising intrusion, and increased expectations that athletes should be trained from childhood like Janissaries to risk lifelong injuries for 'national glory'.
  • Filming is edited into hundredth-second images to prevent comprehensible sequential viewing of any event.
  • It will be hard to find out about any other countries' competitors on screen or page.
  • Miniflags in various tricolours hide coyly in corners and nations have unexplained labels such as ESP MAR, SUI and AUT.
  • Reporters in this mode increase the high ratio of negative, vicious and aggressive emotive words to any happy and cheerful vocabulary. (There were 71% negative to 29% positive terms in one analysis of a four-page 1996 Olympic Sports supplement in a Melbourne newspaper).
  • Self-loading automatic word-processing would deliver buckshot sentences that hits the paper without narrative sequencing or connections. Like Hemingway. Like Bunnyshit.

Then the breathtaking competition would be to find out which mode the Great Viewing and Reading Public turned out to prefer to view and read in each country. Could the first rights-holder gain the bigger audience? Or should there be a Senate inquiry into the Dumbing of Australia if the second media presentations won our viewers and readers?

At issue is the prospect that if every nation gives coverage almost entirely to the exploits of their own nationals - then what price our Australian glory if only Australians are going to know about it? Is Sports Glory simply to distract Australians from our failures to perform and achieve as a nation in other areas of life?

Ideas for Medals for participating Nations

For lowest rates of:

  • Preventable illnesses
  • Needless deaths, including suicide, infanticide, and abortion, that need not have occurred
  • Population growth (reduction is needed at present)
  • Addiction to the various types of drugs
  • Sums lost on gambling
  • Mass stupidity - and interesting 'event' to calculate! But possible to investigate.

For highest rates/ numbers of

  • Job security combined with efficient work behavious (constant anxiety is not good for people)
  • Happiness of farmers - without them we all starve
  • Sustainable agriculture, production and energy
  • Constructive hobbies, clubs and community organisations
  • Distinctive sites attractive to tourists (and to residents) - to encourage people to treasure and improve their heritage
  • Distinctive cultural events

6. SkillOlympics

Contests in useful skills for modern life

The problem. Modern Olympic sports have limitations that make them in one way obsolete. They focus on the skills of the warrior and hunter - the running and leaping and throwing and hitting, the records for going fast and high and far and hard, and for teams like hunting bands.

Towards solutions
  • TV can make great spectator sport out of many skills needed for modern life, not just by ancient Greeks. SkillOlympics would be marvellous TV. A television camera can pick up every detail of the skills of a movement, play it slow, edit a sequence and summarise it, and show people racing neck and neck who may not even be in the same stadium or studio.

    Panels of judges can rate subjective features like quality of product and grace of movement, and a common final judgement is blazoned at the touch of a computer key.
  • Spectators can enjoy the thrills of the contest - and find themselves learning the skills too.
  • Almost any skill can be developed for Skill-Olympics if a club can organise to arrange an event. Weed-pulling, cartooning, dishwashing against machines, monster jigsaws, tree-climbing, counter-checkout, window-display with materials given, impromptu verse, recitation, gift-wrapping, ditch-digging, toddler-training, DIY carpentry, carpet cleaning - and at the end of the event, your home or workplace can be far better than it was before!

    Some of the old Greek Olympian contests in poetry and drama and music were dropped when Olympics were revived because modern Olympics could focus only on what can be seen from a distance, dramatically, by enormous audiences, and required scores that can be objectively measured or timed. But since they can now be shown in detail by television cameras and judged by television panels, these ancient competitions could also be reinstated as international SkillOlympic events.
  • SkillOlympics are less injurious.
  • Years spent training for SkillOlympics are not wasted even for the losers, while even for the victors. SportsOlympics competitors, losers and winners, can devote their youth to going up and down or to and fro or round and round (e.g. 35,000 kilometres by paddle since Barcelona regarded as 'wasted' by a kayak competitor who 'only got bronze).
  • Everyone can have a chance to compete in a SkillOlympics, because such a wider variety of talent can be encouraged, not just physical abilities that are limited to the few who are constitutionally outstanding.
  • Non-sexist. In many skills in SkillOlympics men and women can compete together without discrimination. In SportsOlympics, men and women have to compete separately in almost all events, because record-making women cannot reach the standard of the record-breaking men. This is because in early societies men evolved as the hunter warriors, valuing great physical strength and speed for sudden intense exertion, but women as gardener-gatherers needed endurance and patience for constant toil. So for young girls and women, outdoor games and sports have been intrinsically enjoyable non-competitive pastimes, whereas they have been tests of manhood for primitive male egos.
  • No doping and other such scandals that bedevil Sports Olympics. They would hardly help in a SkillOlympics. Nobody need risk their future health by drugging up - which is likely only to slug up their skills.
  • SkillOlympics need not be limited to international competition in the same event. Each country can bring entrants for its own cultural special skill - such as carving in wood or stone, graffiti, boomerangs, basket-making, cuisine, origami, elaborate hair-dressing, embroidered jackets, inventing novelties, calligraphy, yodeling, singing lullabies, telling stories.
  • SkillOlympics can further attract tourists by encouraging picturesque local skills and culture - which will benefit the host town for a generation.
  • Any little place can start up its SkillOlympics. It does not need vast and varied stadia, as long as there can be a TV audience somewhere in the world whenever the events are staged.



Medals for -

• Lowest rates of preventable illnesses

• Lowest rates of suicide, infanticide, abortion and other deaths that should not have to occur

• Highest rates of job security (constant anxiety is not good for people)

• Happiest farmers - without them we all starve

• Most sustainable agriculture, production and energy

• Lowest rates of addictions to drugs of various types

• Lowest sums spent on gambling

• Highest rates of constructive hobbies and similar clubs and community organisations

• Highest number of distinctive sites attractive to tourists (and to residents) - to encourage people to treasure and improve their heritage

• Highest number of distinctive cultural events

• Lowest rates of population growth (needed at present)

• Least mass stupidity - an interesting 'event' to calculate! But possible to investigate


EcOlympics could be a TV Reality Show. Well, it could be.

It is about two things - Living with Least Waste, and Having a Good Time. One without the other is a miserable state of affairs.

We have SportsOlympics, and there could be SkillOlympics - and there could be EcOlympics.

SportOlympics is to see who are the champions who can go fastest, highest, longest - and other physical measures of speed and strength.

SkillOlympics is to see who are the champions in a wide range of useful skills. People watching them can pick up those skills too.

EcoLympics is to see who are the champions at living with least waste while having a Good Time.

How to run an EcOlympics.

• The call goes out that this Reality Show is going to select finalists in say, nine months. Anyone can enter. At the end of the nine months, entrants send in their estimated scores on 20 measures of Living with Least Waste and two pages explaining how they do this and still have a Good Time, plus pictures if they like. Twenty finalists are selected as having both high scores and representing as wide a range of life-styles as possible, in ages, household composition, culture, size of income, and where they live.

• Each finalist is videotaped on a day of their choosing, to show how they are achieving Least Waste. This will be edited down to 25 minutes for TV. Each finalist can choose the ten measures out of 20 measures of Least Waste they would like to be scored on in the final show.

• The series will be shown over eleven weeks, with a studio audience, and if possible, entrants live on stage to answer questions after their segment is shown on screen.

• Half the studio audience rates the entrants' segment of Reality TV on their 10 chosen measures of Least Waste, with ratings out of a possible top score of ten, and the other half rates them on an index of Having a Good Time. Each entrant's summed Least Waste measures is then multiplied by their Good Time score, to get a final score. So someone who scored a total of 100 on the Least Waste measure but only 5 on the Good Time score would have a final score of 500. Someone who scored 50 on the Least Waste measure but 10 on the Good Time score would also have a final score of 500. So it is important that the winner's way of living Least Waste is shown to be good fun, not a way that inflicts misery and incites rebellion.


1. How much rubbish goes out to landfill each week

2. How much food gets thrown out/composted without being eaten.

3. How much water your household averages each day (taken from water bills, then divided by number in the household with garden regarded as an extra member) Four sub-measures, from the four quarterly bills at different seasons, are divided by four to get the total household measure.

4. How much electricity your household averages each day. Score reached by the same way, but take account whether the household also has gas.

5. Do you compost household and garden waste that can be composed?

6. Do you get healthy exercise in housework or garden?

7. Do you recycle bottles, plastic and papers?

8. Do you re-use plastic bags until they are tatty (when they can then be used for the rubbish) rather than always getting new ones?

9. Do you re-use grey water from bathroom and laundry?

10. When you have finished with clothes, do they go anywhere for re-use or recycling, rather than in the bin?

11. Do you mend clothes and other things when they can be mended, rather than throwing them out?

12. Do you use disposables only when they are really needed (eg disposable nappies only used when travelling or similar situations when they are a godsend)

13. Do you use a car only when you cannot reasonably go any other way, or when you have to carry heavy things?

14. Do you have special 'non-waste' practices of your own that you can suggest to others too?

15. Do you re-use one-sided scrap paper and other paper when possible?

16. Does your family/household swop around children's clothes or pass on clothes to other members of the family, and enjoy remembering who wore them first?

17. When buying, do you check whether goods are mendable or durable?

18. Do you have recipes to use left-overs, so they are usually not wasted?

19. Do you pass on things you no longer want or need, but that are still useable- to other people or op-shops - rather than putting them in the bin or out to the hard-rubbish collection.

20. Do you have an energy-saving home as far as possible? (eg with any solar-heating, passive energy design, etc.)


4. The WishOlympics

Bedtime story for Australian Politicians to Read to Children

Once upon a time there were three fairies - a small fairy who lived in a microscope, a middle-sized fairy who lived in a many-coloured glass bottle, and a very large fairy who lived in a sunset cloud. They liked giving people wishes, to see what they would do with them.

One day, they had had very bad luck with their wish-giving. One man had wished for a sausage while he thought about what he wanted, but then wished to send it back because it was a frankfurt and then used his last wish to get a salami sausage instead. So that was his three wishes gone, just to get one salami sausage. A little girl spent all her wishes on fizzy and lollies, and her father had spent all his wishes on doctors and dentists to make her better.

Then Tinia, the micro-fairy, had an idea. "I am bored with giving wishes that people spend on gold and jewels and pretty hair and sausages. Let's ask several people to make their wish at once. Then we will give the wish to the person who makes the best wish. "

Media, the bottled fairy, thought this was a good idea too. She soon had the idea all worked out. "We could have a Wishiad, or WishOlympics," she said. "We will be the judges in a panel, like they do in skating contests on television. We three magic folk will each have a set of cards with numbers going from one to ten. After each Human makes a wish we will hold up our cards with the number of points for each wish. We will give points out of ten. Then the wisher with the highest total of points will get their wish granted."

Tellastar, the space fairy, sent the news around the world. Of course, hundreds of people wanted to be in the WishOlympics, and thousands wanted to watch the show. The three Fairies put up a great mist-woven tent on the edge of the great grey desert by the sea. Soon there were long queues to the door.

Most of the people were wishing they were higher up in the queue and nearer to the door to get in. What was their surprise to find suddenly that they were all back at home. The fairies had disqualified them at once, as not being good enough wishers. Too Washed out even for Watching Wishing.

Many of the other people were wishing they could think of a good enough wish to be winning wishers. The fairies did not think much of that wish, either, and soon they were back home too. Too Wishy-washy to be Winning Wishers.

Some fellers were grumbling already, because they wanted the wishes, but they did not like fairies. " It is not cool to think of getting wishes granted by fairies that live in dew-drops and bottles and goldy-pink clouds! Well, wishers can't be choosers, we suppose. But we wish the the fairies were respectable monsters, or vampires, so we would not feel so silly. "

The three fairies thought that was the silliest wish of the lot.

"Humans are always criticising other people for things they cannot help being. It's what we do that matters, not what we look like. Just because we have rainbow wings and golden hair and skin like rose-petals is no reason to say we ought to look like old boots with legs on their soles."

The fairies sent the fellers straight back home, with red stripes on their necks, and footprints on the back of their T-shirts. When people saw them, they cried, "You've been bitten by a vampire!" "You've been trodden on by a monster!" The fellers did not know what to think - or what to wish either. But of course, it did not matter what they wished.

After that, there were not so many people in the queue. There were only about five thousand. They all fitted into the seats for the audience inside the tent. The seats ran around a big circus ring, where friendly animals like coyotes and possums were making music to keep them amused. The fairies had a big box near the front.

"I hope the animals get well paid for all this music they are doing for us," thought Miss Sprim. Instantly, there she was, standing in the middle of the ring, on a small circle labelled First-Wisher. The fairies were holding up their number cards - 7, 8, and 9. Miss Sprim had scored 24 for her Wish, without even realising she had made it. Her number went up on a giant scoreboard near the roof.

"I hope I can do better than that," thought Mr Muckletoes. Instantly, out he stood, on circle number Two. The number cards went up - 0, 0, 0.

He wished he could disappear back into the audience, but no luck, he had to wait until all four people in his heat had made their wish.

"I wish my turn would come quickly," thought Shaun Wayne Jason. Suddenly found himself standing on circle number Three. His score went up, 0,0,0, no better than Mr Muckletoes.

"I hope Miss Sprim wins - she looks as if she needs something to cheer up her poor pale face," thought Norm MacPopolos. Instantly out there he was, standing on circle number Four, and his score was 10,10,10.

And his wish was granted! Miss Sprim won her wish.

And Norm MacPopolos won his wish too.

The afternoon went wonderfully. The winners included Bobby, who wished the great grey desert could blossom again - and it did.

Coriander wishes there were no more wars - and there never were.

Jimsha wished nobody would ever be poor again - and nobody ever was.

Timiliki wished the doctors would find out how to cure everyone who was sick, but Mr Smith won with a better wish than that - that people would not get sick anyway.

Even a little tortoise won one of the contests. Everyone cheered him, but he was so shy he crawled slowly away under one of the stands, starting very very slowly to wish the wish he had won with - but he was so slow he never finished it - and nobody now remembers what it was.

The fairies were getting very tired and bored. Some of those big wishes were very hard indeed, even for fairies. When it was nearly time to stop, one of the last contestants was Sally, and she wished there would be another WishOlympics soon. But suddenly, there on circle two was the tiniest fairy, and she was wishing there would not be another WishOlympics for quite a while, as she was so tired.

This made a problem for the other two fairies. How could they judge this one? Suddenly Media had an idea. And there she was, standing on circle number three.

And her wish was that everyone would be able to judge their wishes well enough themselves before they made them. And then the fairies would not have such a hard time trying to judge them, because only very good wishes would be made.

Suddenly there was a great rush of bat's wings. And there, swooping down like a pterodactyl on circle number four, was the Fairy Horrabil. And she made a terrabil wish, fixing everyone with her magic spells. "I wish that I will be the judge of all the WishOlympics from now on!" Heh, heh, I will only grant the really bad wishes! she thought to herself.

Nobody had expected the Bad Fairy to come with her magic spells. They had no counter-spells ready. The strong spell worked on everybody in the tent, and up on the screen came the scores, slowly, sadly, sent up by her magic spells. 10. 10.10. The Fairy Horrabil was going to win, and her wishes would be worse and worse.

She was going to judge all the Wisholympics from now on! And she was so Horrabil that she would only grant the really bad wishes! Like turning jelly-lollies into slugs, and turning flowers into broccoli, and making everybody in the world get hay fever.

Everyone else in the tent started wishing like mad, to try to stop her being able to make wishes and grant wishes - but none of them worked.

The tent collapsed - the first bad wish was working.

The tent was wobbling up and down as people tried to crawl out from under and go home. What a sad end to a happy day! The fairies fled.

The witch sat there, happily, holding on to the tent pole, which she was about to turn into a monster broomstick.

Suddenly she began to feel a bit funny. What was happening?

She began to feel really funny. She was beginning to smile! What was wrong? or what was right? She began to laugh.

The little tortoise who had hidden under the stand, too slow to make his own wish, was suddenly jolted into making a really great marvellous wonderful wish - even better than the wish he had won with.

The little tortoise wished what? He had wished that "The the Fairy Horrabil would turn herself into the Fairy Honorabil instead" .

And there was the new Fairy Honorabil, sitting there, happily, holding on to the tent-pole, which she was about to turn into an even better tent that expanded from the pole like an umbrella from its stick, in a thousand colours with a thousand lights dancing on them like stars.

The Fairy Honarabil loved holding WishOlympics, so the other fairies never need get tired - and all the wishes that were won were well worth wishing.

Now you make your wish, and you too may be given a number, to say how good your wish is. If you are lucky, your wish may come true, one day.

5a Questions from Visitors to Games in Australia

Here are some of the classic questions that were asked of the Sydney Olympic Committee via their Web site, and answers suppled where appropriate.
Translated for use of future Commonwealth Games

Q: I have never seen it rain in Australia on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: Upwards, out of the ground,

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends on how much beer you've consumed...

Q: Which direction should I drive - Perth to Darwin or Darwin to Perth - to avoid driving with the sun in my eyes? (Germany)
A: Excellent question, considering that the Games are being held in Melbourne.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Melbourne - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, so you'll need to started now to get there in time.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: And accomplish what?

Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stofd porpoise. (Italy)
A: I'm not touching this one.

Q: Are there any ATMs in Australia? Can u send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why bother? Use your fingers like the rest of us.

Q: Do tents exist in Australia? (Germany)
A: Yes, but only in sporting supply stores, peoples' garages, and most national parks...

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes. Gay nightclubs.

Q: Do u celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Yes. At Christmas.

Q: Can I drive to the Great Barrier Reef? (Germany)
A: Sure, if your vehicle is amphibious.

Q: Can u give me some information about hippo racing in Australia?(USA)
A: What's this guy smoking, and where do I get some?

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: I luv this one...there are no rattlesnakes in Australia.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face North and u should be about right.

Q: Can u send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Americans have considerable trouble distinguishing between Austria and Australia.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)

Q: Are there places in Australia where you can make love outdoors?(Italy)
A: Yes. Outdoors.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

5b Olympic Quiz questions from the internet

What jumps higher than Whoever it was? The foreign debt

What clears more than an American hurdler? A Queensland farmer.

What gyrates more than a discus-thrower? A politician.

What tumbles more than a Romanian gymnast? Manipulated share prices.

What cycles round more than a bike-rider? The same old policies

What screams more than an Olympics crowd? The murdered land.

What glitters more than an Olympics closing ceremony? Fools' gold.

What lifts more than a Bulgarian weight-lifter? A duststorm in a food-bowl.

What drives more furiously than a racing-car? The money-market

(Your turn)

What hypes more than a Olympics sports commentator?
What costs us more than training Olympics stars?
What matters more than gold medals?


7 Ethics of Olympics

Reflections in a stream of consciousness (That is to say, a very rough draft)

1. Olympics and Shipwrecks

A Greek ship hit the front page. It shipwrecked on a rock while the crew was watching soccer. Australia has been watching Australia winning Gold Medals at the Olympics, while drifting further to the rocks. Other Gold Medals are lost overboard..

While the Olympics played, the Australian dollar goes dramaticly low. This means that our country, its land and its businesses are cheaper than ever to be bought by overseas interests. The government has no way of stopping the sales and take-overs. Another major icon, Penfolds, risks being sold overseas. Over 90% of the corporat component of our food processing sector is now in foreign hands. Even FOOD !As our manufactures are shut down, and we have to import what we cannot make, imports cost us more because of our low dollar.

Our foreign debt goes higher than ever.

The big corporats of the World Trade Organisation continue their campaigns to open all countries to their economic domination by 'free' trade.

The share price of Telstra goes down so that big buyers will be able to make a bonanza from the second sale, as our great public asset is sold far below its value.

Does all this matter? Yes. A country dominated from overseas and heavily in debt must inevitably submit to overseas demands, as happens to the 'undevelopd' countries. The demand on Australia will be to become the toxic waste dump of the world. And we will not be able to stop it.

The enormous Olympic flame burning on in the dark was a fine and splendid spectacle - but it was a pity that it was so literally a symbol and an exampl of how we are wasting our resources.

2. Sacrifices to the wrong god

The President of the Olympics left his dying wife to attend to Olympic duties which others could have taken over. She died alone, and then he returnd from the funeral to continue to be in the Olympic spotlight. Was this a noble sacrifice of personal duties for greater ones? Or did it symbolise the sacrifice of other people?

"I have had three operations in the last five months. But the sacrifices have been worth it." The sportswoman got a Gold Medal - but the abdominal injuries may be permanent. And many other stars made similar remarks about their injuries. There could be a list of Olympic injuries and operations. We cannot make a list of the drugs.

Insted of being predominantly the fresh young faces we have been used to seeing in Olympic events, what a high proportion of older athletes with ravaged anxious faces. Yet they were still only in their late twenties or thirties. - I will not forget the face of the Chinese diver who must have made a milion dives. He lookd tragic.

3. 'Pleasing by a fine excess'

'Nothing too much' Ancient Greek advice

The best things carried to Excess are wrong: Charles Churchill

Wasteful and ridiculous excess: Shakespeare

It is a reproach to religion and government to suffer so much poverty and excess William Penn 1693.

The Olympics are great as a brief excess. Everybody can turn away from the locusts and the saltpans and cheer everything in sight that is ephemeral, trivial, dramatic, schmalz and full of laughs and tears, all within the bounds of an arena. The Olympics are about excess - but they are also ruind by excess. The ethics of Olympics are to contain that excess. The excesses are when 'the Olympic spirit' is in fact, killed. The hype, the 'all-time greats'.

Here are the beautiful, the young, the bodies that are strong and fast and lithe and brave. The Olympic flame was carried round the world - what joy and enthusiasm and frendship went with it.

A good binge is a brief excess. Dionysius has his fling. But if Dionysius keeps on flinging, the noise and hassl become discordant, and there will be vomiting.

There are Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. There are also Black Pits and Rotten Pits and Crazed Pits. See what may wallow in the Pits, as if Dante had put them there.

  • Calculations of Nice Big Earners
  • Sweeteners that are bribes
  • The slave-trade of the Gladiators, whose lives can be slavery from their early childhood
  • Forcing women to be too much like men, without breasts, often without periods, in trying to do what men do better, instead of trying to do what they can do as well or better - and the men competing on these too. If women and men cannot be in the same event, what does that say about the true equality of the sexes.

    If there are no events in which women do better than men, what does that say about the nature of the Olympics and what it misses out on? The world is not whole without the skills and grace and compassion of the feminin, the yang with the yin - and in applauding only the masculin, it becomes grosser and more aggressiv, because men are not whole human beings without skills and grace and compassion from the feminin in their own natures.
  • The diversion of money, effort and the best of our youth away from the serious needs of our countries. Australia and Romania starred because of the enormous amounts of their limited wealth that they devoted to sport - far out of proportion. As if they imagin winning a Gold Medal is all that matters.

4. The unequals

In order to get the umpth of human skills, we have the umpth of tecnology added to them. So its not really just the human skills.

Only rich or distorted-perspectiv countries can pay for the training conditions for so many events today. The black man wins where the cost is least - such as running - but even there the training costs are becoming very great on human flesh and money.

But Olympics archery is not with a simple bow and arrow, nor is shooting just with a gun - the equipment is high tecnology. High tecnology also are the fancy suits, the fancy shoes - the fancy drugs. The ancient Greek Olympic athletes competed quite naked.

Gold, silver, bronze - traditionally there are ethical subtexts about all these greedy, meretricious and hard metals. It is interesting that in the histories of Herodotus, that early Greek historian, he always took care to note when one of the players in his history had also been a winner of an Olympic prize. Laurel wreath, do you wither, after hundreds of years?

9. Making the Melbourne Commonwealth Games
into a Cultural Bonanza: A Dream that did not happen

Victorian State Library and Commonwealth Games OzOlympics

(trying to get a name for a web-site that would be trapped by every search engine)

  • Revive and advance Melbourne as the Great MIND CENTRE
  • Letting the world know about the Melbourne State Library!
  • Letting Melbourne know about the Melbourne State Library as Melbourne's Better-than-Disney-Mind-Land
  • Having a lot of fun and not being stuffy - to reach a wider audience and rescue them from depression and boredom and other social ills - preventing social ills by much better alternatives - better forms of Ecstasy and Gambling and Escape and Dreaming and . . .
  • Getting a bit of Commonwealth Games Funds for preparing for SkilOlympics.
  • Making the most to carry the State Library messages on other Websites, radio, TV, email lists, links, talkback radio, indymedia, etc etc
  • Lotsa comedy programs with fun and satire, extended beyond the imediat audiences
  • Enlisting young people to realise their potential and possibilities above their ears
  • Enlisting artists, singers, graffitists etc to always include something about State Library and OzOlympics in everything they do - get kids writing songs and poems for Education Age or Education Sun or their own Open Days or whatever. The Education Foundation etc can be induced to put in a line here and there.
  • The Temple of Learning! ! something can be made of that. during the Games or annually there can be a Delphic service or something in the forecourt, with a tripod, and oracle sitting on it, and people wearing laurel chaplets and people who have grown long white beards for the occasion, and a few totems, runic stones, Rosetti stones, hieroglyphics etc spaced along the pillars. The City Fathers can have vellum scrolls made of vinyl, and there can be processions of gymnasts in little pleated tunics or swirling draperies, all balancing books on their heads.
  • And a take-off of all Melbourne icons except the sacrosanct Shrine would be great at the Games themselves.

    e.g. the three silly metal gents in Swanston St could have books attached to them, Bourke & Wills can have an added message that they didnt access the State Library to save themselves
  • A3 or A4 pictures of facades at Federation Square could be used for children to write in each fractured shape the name of a book they had read or author that they knew, and aim to fill in the whole picture by . . .
  • And extra 'clock' added outside Flinders Street Station with the Message Time is Running Out for the State Library, and another one on the Flinders Street side that has a hand pointing to how long until the State Library SkilOlympics at the Commonwealth Games.
  • The Games Opening Ceremony in fact could include in a processional a phalanx of these athletes balancing books on their heads.
  • There could be a plaque that can be seen outside the glass walls of the foyer, with names/fotos of Famous People who Needed This Library.

4. SOME SKILOLYMPIC COMPETITIONS - which would look good televised:

  • A competition between students set to find things out from books and from the Web - who gets the bestest info, as well as soonest. Differences between speed and quality
  • Speed in locating weird books (or set books) on the search computers
  • Finding something nobody else knows about in the State Library
  • The Golden List is put up, and everyone can email in their favorit fiction and nonfiction books to this long long list which is eventually compiled and put up.
  • Repainting old street banners - each school or school gang can repaint one banner with something illustrating Melbourne, Victoria or Australia that can be found in the library - or Melbourne - but NOT in tourist shops yet.
  • All Games processions include State Library and OzOlympics linked dress-ups with BookWorms, Scholars, Antiquities, and a truck-full of Genuine Australian Writers. (May Day this year could also include a State Library procession all done up, not straggling.)
  • Silly slogans can appear anywhere, eg backs of cars, eg 'If you cant read this, go to . .'
  • Someone with pots of money, such as a CEO given a Golden Handshake, can donate so that all sports medal winners at the games can choose a book about something in Australia from A bookseller's Exhibition Catalog and there is TV publicity about what each winner chooses, to fill in spaces instead of all that sloppy interviewing about nothing. The book has a suitable plaque, which can include the CEO's name, but also other Stuff. Sports medallists who do not speak English can select a book of pictures, or - as is often possible nowadays - in their own language.
  • Ideas about what can be on the Commonwealth Games OzOlympics to create a precedent for future games - (which will always remember Melbourne as Starting the idea) - plenty are available, and many more can be linked to State and local libraries, including reverts to the original Greek Olympics which included awards for oratory and recitation, plays, songs etc. And see http://www.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/

How to: First very rough ideas for practically non-cost operations if interested geeks, nerds, guys, weeds, swots etc can be found to join in. Starting now means that publicity now and ongoing can help get the State Library improvements that you want. And at least these ideas can stop people being stuffy.

1. WEBSITE: NAME. Victorian State Library and Commonwealth Games OzOlympics (trying to get a name for a web-site that would be trapped by every search engine!) Short title on URL - what you like. This website can still include home-page and other pages dedicated to the State Library, but people can trip into the pages while looking at others.

2. Server VicNet Run by - only someone who can put the stuff up and add a few pics and cartoons. Needs no expensive jazzing up. Links - all sorts of, going from a home page.

Heading - cartoon of the strip of pavement that has State Library sinking into Cerberus, with several learned heads and Kilroy also sinking alongside. (Sketch available)

Pics of various wondrous aspects of State Library past and present, and cartoons - the old Melbourne Punch must have had some. and our local artists can do more.

I have a pic can be improved showing Deskilling in Libraries, with the de-skilled laborer turning old library books into papier mache, with sign 'Get your Paper Bricks from the State Library' Also people sheltering from flak under books and newspapers to show that Books and Print do have their uses.

'The issue of the day carries other issues on its back' You can make sure that every issue of the day carries the State Library on its back, including the Commonwealth Games.

The Language of SportsOlympics

There was so much emotional language used in reporting the Atlanta Olympics, that it was amazing that journalists could keep it up so long . In a four-page newspaper feature reporting a days' Atlanta Olympics. Over 70% of the emotional language was negative. Only 29% was positive, with a ratio of 260:106. Much of the negative language was incompatible with Olympic ideals - such as:

, agony, angry, bitchiest, blaming, cried and cried, despair, devastation, disaster, feral, grief, heart of a national broke, heartbreaking, haven't done their best, inconsolable, intolerable, loathe, rabid gorilla, merciless, shoot the lights out, sobbing away, strangled, tears, tribulations, whip, grim, harshly, bit of mongrel, vicious kick, raging, strike you down, aggressive pressure, ruthless

Some reporters put far too much emphasis on ruthlessness, aggression and no mercy, and even made criticisms if'harmony had replaced success as team motto ' or that 'there were no biting words' after a defeat.

If reporters felt bound to be emotional, they could at least seek some sort of balance, and let their outlook on life include more of:

ecstatic, adorable, beaming, sweet, carefree, grinning, cheeky, bounced, joyful, delight, smiles, cheered, graceful, generous, shone, honest, marvellous, happy, generous, gentle, polite, perfectly, compassionately, team harmony, enthusiastic