Thursday, October 01, 2009

Olympian Challenges

From local Chicago news outlets on the bigger issues of the 2016 Chicago Olympic bid. First from the Chicago Sun-Times:

We admit to having mixed emotions. Professionally, it would of course be a very good thing. Newspapers and their brethren thrive on huge stories, so it's little wonder that the local media have climbed aboard the 2016 bandwagon. For seven years, we would have an opportunity to examine the Olympic process up close and personal, and the result would be plentiful and fascinating story angles involving local news, business and sports. The media would be a big part of the story, which is why you read so many glowing accounts about the wonders of the Olympic experience: If you're in the media, you get to go to the events, meet the athletes, talk to the visiting fans. You're invited to the party, so naturally it seems like a wonderful thing.

Of course, if you're an Average Joe, forget about it. The tickets are much too pricey and difficult to acquire. You'll end up watching it all on TV, same as you will if the games are awarded to Rio. If you live in Chicago, you will have to put up with countless inconveniences, the shutdown of streets and lakefront facilities, the tedious traffic jams and the misplaced priorities. And, as a taxpayer, you will be on the hook for any and all cost overruns, as rubber-stamped by the cheerleading City Council.

Local history tells us it's the movers-and-shakers, the power-brokers, who will cash in on the Chicago Olympics. Mayor Daley's legacy will be ensured, and those with clout will reap rich rewards. Now, are all those who are engineering Chicago's Olympic bid in it for themselves? Of course not. The vast majority are upstanding, civic-minded individuals who are absolutely convinced they are acting in the city's best interests. They may well be right. But it's debatable how much the general populace will benefit, in terms of new jobs, new construction, increased tourism. Who knows what the economy will look like seven years from now? Chicago as a whole likely will gain some tangible lasting benefits, some invaluable enhancement of its image, but at this point, that's difficult to quantify.

And from the Chicago Tribune:

But the city -- whose mayor is hoping once again to cast it in the best light for the 2016 Olympics -- has a dark side. Despite its dazzling profile and the self-congratulation attendant to an Olympic bid, Chicago can never truly be a world-class city until it figures out how to save its children.

Consider this: The Black Star Project, an advocacy group that mentors and tutors black and Latino students, has counted 53 children and teens under 18 who have been killed in Chicago from Sept. 2, 2008, to Sept. 2, 2009.

"Since the Iraq war started in 2003, we've lost 10 soldiers who resided in this city, and that's awful," said Phillip Jackson, executive director of Black Star. "But during that same time, we've lost about 300 of our children. So you tell me: Is this not a war?"

The Tribune article goes on about the efforts put forth to gain the money pot of an Olympic event being held there and asks for a similar effort be made for the endless Columbine loads of deaths Chicago faces year after year after year after year after year...

Some how, some way, this Olympic bid, whether it succeeds or fails must be used to beat this corrupt government over the head until it actually makes real progress in bringing real change to this unbearable situation. Ignoring it between brief moments of half-measures has got to stop. Enriching the 'haves' with Olympic pork for maintaining the status quo of the 'have nots' continuing to die in the streets while just trying to go to school is unacceptable.

And honestly, if all we can do is maintain that status quo, does any body in Chicago or this State deserve any Olympian perks? Hell no.

6 comments:

Coyote said...

I'm with you on this one Glock. Chicago should fix it's own problems before getting the Olympic honor. Frankly, I'm surprized to see the papers recognizing this. If it were to get the honor, however, it would certainly bring to light the corruption & crime of the city - on a global standpoint, which one could argue would bring change to the city. Bejing had to publicly change its perception regarding handicapped people to accomidate handicapped spectators (Chinese culture treated them as inferior citizens).

Personally I'm pulling for Rio - but then again I have a soft spot in my heart for the BRIC nations and underdogs in general.

Coyote said...

Although...

..Would you really consider Rio De Janero less corrupt or less violent than Chicago?

Glock21 said...

I honestly don't know. Doesn't really help Chicago's case if they are... just hurts theirs too.

Coyote said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_murder_rate

Coyote said...

...ahem...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/LT_BRAZIL_VIOLENCE?SITE=WIMIL&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT?referrer=digg

Glock21 said...

You're still just making a case against Rio, not for Chicago.

In better news:

"The mayor has talked about youth violence virtually every day since returning from the city's failed bid for the 2016 Games in Copenhagen."