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  1. Ellie says

    I suppose it all depends on your point of view. When I watch the athletes wrap themselves in flags (or flag replicas), I cringe. Perhaps that’s because I’m older than dirt and remember learning in school what was proper and not acceptable, regarding our nation’s flag. That was in the old days, before a shiny lapel pin was the proof of patriotism.

  2. dobby says

    The whole team wore hot pink uniforms. Why are they singling out Gabby? I thought the uniforms looked great.

  3. dingojack says

    Meanwhile, an Australian boxer got a good talking to for wearing a tee-shirt with an Aboriginal flag on it.
    Apparently it’s not permitted to wear a symbol of political or racial division in the Olympocs. Shame, since it’s been recognised as an official flag by legislation in Australia (guess the IOC lost the memo).

    Dingo

  4. says

    Echoing what Ellie @1 said, FOXNews apparently doesn’t actually know (or care) about what the Flag Code says about respect for the flag wrt athletic uniforms:

    (j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.

    And for people saying that a flag design that isn’t the actual Stars & Stripes is not breaking the flag code, they’re wrong:

    The words ‘flag, standard, colors, or ensign’, as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

    Finally, although people could say that these rules technically don’t extend to civilians, the Flag Code’s section on “Respect for the Flag” explicitly states what is not respect, including the use of a flag as a uniform.

    This whole cheapened, flag-pin-sporting, shallow excuse for patriotism is something that you’d expect to see in a dictatorship. Implying that people aren’t patriotic because they aren’t wrapping themselves in a piece of cloth is just ludicrous; implying that this form of logic is correct ties that ludicrous idea to blind nationalism.

  5. says

    Gabby is black. Therefore Fox had to find something, anything, to dim her star. If not her uniform, then a dimple, the number of eyelashes, how often she blinked, or waved.
    Fox is a racist organization,pure and simple,and damn them.

  6. Michael Heath says

    To reverendrodney’s point . . .

    To make sure conservatives are clear their criticism of Gabby Douglas is in fact racist, they’ve been criticizing her hair. I watched her compete prior to their criticism and remembered nothing worth criticizing; I watched some video aftwards just to see what ammunition they were using – none.

    After this criticism came out Ms. Douglas’ teammates all wore their hair in the same style in at least one subsequent event. It would have been nice if all the Olympic athletes who had enough to hair to mimic her style didn’t do the same.

  7. Moggie says

    The support of the crowd can give a boost to an athlete. For this reason, I think the American Olympic uniform ought to incorporate a maple leaf in the design.

  8. dan4 says

    @9: Idiot, the guy criticizing Gabby in the Fox video is black himself. Serious “playing the race card” fail.

  9. John Hinkle says

    God, the number of hours an Olympic level athlete has to expend to get there, and then Fox has this dipshit on spewing rubbish about our athletes exhibiting “soft anti-Americanalism” whatever the fuck???

    Fuck all of them.

  10. coleopteron says

    @#12

    Idiot, the guy criticizing Gabby in the Fox video is black himself. Serious “playing the race card” fail.

    Sadly, society works in such a way that – not only can prejudice be consequence-free – but people can often be socialised into prejudiced thinking against their own disenfranchised group. Serious sociology fail.

  11. Michael Heath says

    dan4,

    You’re projecting your own behavior onto someone who deserves no such pejorative like the one you hurl at reverendrodney here. As coleopteron points out, Fox News’ set-up on this interview, coupled to other rhetoric they’ve used against Ms. Douglas, provides compelling circumstantial evidence Fox is purposefully deploying a classic approach to promoting racism.

  12. dan4 says

    Conservatives, generally speaking, virtually had an orgasm over Rio de Janeiro being picked as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics over Chicago. I wonder if Webb feels THAT, as well, is an example of “soft anti-Americanism.”

  13. says

    Thing is, this is total logic fail to begin with. Representing your country in the Olympics or another major international event like the World Cup is up there with serving in the military as one of the most patriotic things you can possibly do.

  14. says

    Representing your country in the Olympics or another major international event like the World Cup is up there with serving in the military as one of the most patriotic things you can possibly do.

    …making it clear once again that “patriotic” does not mean “acting for the betterment of one’s country.”

  15. says

    Yes, Fox News, let’s go ahead and ignore the fact that the Olympics have the potential to allow countries to come together and rise above their divisions so we can make it look like Betsy Ross vomited all over our athletes.

    You know who else I imagine they hate? The Department of Defense. The Army Combat Uniform only has a single small flag on the left sleeve pocket, while the Marines and Air Force don’t have flags of any kind. Nor do any of the dress uniforms.

  16. says

    Additionally, I somewhat take issue with this:


    …making it clear once again that “patriotic” does not mean “acting for the betterment of one’s country.”

    Unless you left out a “necessarily” in that sentence, I think you’re taking your (justified) dislike of the jingoism of the right to perhaps something of an extreme. Even if you disagree with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military is just a tool. For every instance of those conflicts, you’ve got earthquake relief efforts in Haiti and hurricane relief efforts in multiple locations. You’ve also got peacekeeping operations and legitimate self-defense applications during World War II. People join the military to serve their country, and place their trust in the American government that they’ll be used to do so. If you want to ensure that they are used to the betterment of their country, that’s something you should discuss with your congressional representatives.

    As for athletics, don’t you think that having positive examples of physical activities, even if it’s in the short term, provides young people with an example of what a commitment to their physical health can do? I would argue that with the massive obesity epidemic in this country that would be to the betterment of one’s country.

    This doesn’t discount other kinds of service (which are often disgustingly dismissed by the reactionary right). But to discount these acts of service completely out of hand is equally wrong.

  17. KG says

    As for athletics, don’t you think that having positive examples of physical activities, even if it’s in the short term, provides young people with an example of what a commitment to their physical health can do? – YankeeCynic

    No. The overwhelming majority of young people could never reach the standard necessary to compete in the Olympics even if they spent all their time on physical activities. Sport should be about having fun, not the brain-dead nationalism, success-worship and corporate power that characterise the Olympics.

    I’m British. The Olympics have cost £9bn, at a time when spending on health is being brutally slashed, and terminally sick people are having their benefits removed after being told they are “fit for work”. And if I hear the phrase “team GB” once more, I’ll vomit.

  18. Die Anyway says

    This guy must not be watching the same Olympics. Coverage that I’m watching. Everybody is draping themselves in American flags and talking about how proud they are to be representing America. In fact it almost seems rehearsed… Like the American Olympics committee reminded them to do and say that kind of stuff at every opportunity. It barely out does the ones who credit God for their victory. Flags and God everywhere, what is Fox complaining about?

  19. says

    Ellie, #1

    I suppose it all depends on your point of view. When I watch the athletes wrap themselves in flags (or flag replicas), I cringe.

    Amen to that.

  20. uncephalized says

    As for athletics, don’t you think that having positive examples of physical activities, even if it’s in the short term, provides young people with an example of what a commitment to their physical health can do? I would argue that with the massive obesity epidemic in this country that would be to the betterment of one’s country.

    Not really. The level of performance required to get to the Olympics is not synonymous with “health”. Especially for women, who often have to attain levels of leanness that stops their menstrual cycle just to be competitive, but also for men, forcing your body into that kind of elite performance is not actually very good for you–it really takes a toll on the body after a while.

    We should be encouraging young people to go outside and move their bodies, but the obsession with perfection and insane competition easily has as many drawbacks as advantages.

    Not to mention, of course, that athletic competition is a pure luxury–it provides no lasting benefit to society and is essentially nothing but entertainment. Spending billions of dollars on it is pretty wasteful.

  21. says

    Gretchen:

    To be clear, I was talking about symbolism. On that list are quite a number of other things; it’s just that the military is probably the first thing a Fox viewer is going to think of.

  22. davem says

    I’ve got no problem about athletes wrapping themselves in their flags after a victory. After all, it’s their country that they’re representing, it’s their country that provided their big break, and it’s their countrymen cheering them on, and being cheered by their performances. Jeez, you guys are a bunch of miserable gits.

    The thing that made me cringe in that interview was the mention of ‘exceptionalism’. That does stink.

  23. says

    davem:

    No one is saying they can’t. All anyone here is saying is that giving them crap because they’re supposedly not doing it enough is stupid.

  24. Rip Steakface says

    Not to mention, of course, that athletic competition is a pure luxury–it provides no lasting benefit to society and is essentially nothing but entertainment. Spending billions of dollars on it is pretty wasteful.

    I suppose, then, it’s pretty wasteful to spend billions annually on film, television, books, video games, music and non-academic parts of the Internet, since they add nothing to society.

    Seriously, let entertainment have its place.

  25. Michael Heath says

    davem @ 26 writes:

    I’ve got no problem about athletes wrapping themselves in their flags after a victory. After all, it’s their country that they’re representing, it’s their country that provided their big break, and it’s their countrymen cheering them on, and being cheered by their performances. Jeez, you guys are a bunch of miserable gits.

    Brian X responds:

    No one is saying they can’t. All anyone here is saying is that giving them crap because they’re supposedly not doing it enough is stupid.

    Your second assertion is not true.

    @ 1:

    When I watch the athletes wrap themselves in flags (or flag replicas), I cringe.

    @ 2:

    When fascism comes to America it will come wrapped in an American flag holding a bible

    @ 8:

    Less olympic nationalism, please. It ought to be about the athletes.

    @ 23 responding to @ 1 (blockquoting exactly what I do from @ 1):

    Amen to that.

    So davem’s opinion is at least arguable.

  26. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    @9: Idiot, the guy criticizing Gabby in the Fox video is black himself. Serious “playing the race card” fail.

    Are you saying black people can’t be racist?

  27. says

    Michael Heath #29:

    Are you sure you didn’t get what I said backwards? As for #2, that describes what Fox is trying to do, which is what I’m saying is stupid.

  28. Michael Heath says

    davem @ 26 writes:

    I’ve got no problem about athletes wrapping themselves in their flags after a victory. After all, it’s their country that they’re representing, it’s their country that provided their big break, and it’s their countrymen cheering them on, and being cheered by their performances. Jeez, you guys are a bunch of miserable gits.

    BrianX @ 27 responds:

    No one is saying they [Olympic athletes?] can’t. All anyone here is saying is that giving them [Olympic athletes?] crap because they’re supposedly not doing it enough is stupid.
    [Heath adds content in brackets]

    I rebutted BrianX’s second assertion @ 29 by pointing out all four posters criticizing athletes figuratively or literally wrapping themselves in the flag.

    BrianX responds to my rebuttal:

    Are you sure you didn’t get what I said backwards? As for #2, that describes what Fox is trying to do, which is what I’m saying is stupid.

    I can’t get from davem referencing the behavior of Olympic athletes, to your directly responding to his post about athletes, to now, your claim your previous post wasn’t about athletes but Fox News’ behavior, which was never raised by either davem or you.

  29. says

    …Yeah, I think you’ve got me backwards. This person on Fox is complaining that the athletes are being insufficiently patriotic because they aren’t flagsturbating enough. That’s what’s stupid.

  30. says

    Fux Gnus wouldn’t last a day without something utterly pointless and un-measurable to moan about. Flag pins, not enough flags on the uniforms, not enough praying, “values”, blah, blah, blah.

    I try to laugh and point at the nonsense, but too many of my family members actually believe that what’s spewed on that network is “news”.

  31. says

    “People join the military to serve their country, and place their trust in the American government that they’ll be used to do so.”

    No qualifier in there, either.

    SOME people join the military for the reason you suggest. Many of them, including my next door neighbor (who re-enlisted after several years out of ranks), did if for the pay and benefits. He took a chance of being sent to Afghanihell (which fate he narrowly avoided as his unit–which is currently being beat up in the Afghan/Pakistan border area–was over its manning requirement) so that he could get the drill pay and, if he went to Afghanistan, the combat pay, tax-free, that accrues to that billet.

    Economics/finances are one of the major reasons a lot of young people join the military. They can’t get jobs with decent benefits (including educational financial assistance) in the world, so they join up.

    That is not to say that pure patriotism and a desire to “give something back” is not a motivating factor; it is not even close to being the only one.

    As for the jingoism displayed at the Olympics, it’s always disheartening to see what looks to be an orchestrated “moment”. The spontaneous display–and there are certainly a number of them–are fine.

    What I saw occur after many of the events that I watched, (FUCK, btw, NBC) appeared to be genuine, with athletes embracing one another and congratulating/commisserating as was appropriate in that moment.

    I watched the Men’s 10 M platform diving finals last evening and Quing Bo seemed utterly lost for a few moments after losing out on the gold. I did not see his final round of dives but he KILLED in the semis and I thought he was a lock.

    I have heard a LOT of comments from people saying that the Chinese MUST win a gold medal in order to be anything other than a failure in the eyes of their countrymen. I think that such comments are fucking ridiculous. People are people, I don’t give a rat’s ass where an athlete is from or what his government is like. If one is competing fairly and wins, his winning is a personal victory. If his* victory is used as a political tool by him OR his government, that’s a shame; the competitor’s victory is personal.

    * or her’s

  32. dingojack says

    Demo – except in team events, of course.
    Dingo
    —–
    * Reading Mickey Mouse Olympics by Robert Sheckley[?] at a young age gave a healthy contempt for this supposedly ‘amateur’ competition.

  33. says

    Not to mention, of course, that athletic competition is a pure luxury–it provides no lasting benefit to society and is essentially nothing but entertainment. Spending billions of dollars on it is pretty wasteful.

    What the hell is wrong with entertainment? Ultimately, all economic wealth has the purpose of either making us healthier and safer, or entertaining us in some way (or killing another nation’s people, but let’s write that one off as truly wasteful). We are not some country of drones were everyone lives like a Spartan and wears grey lest we get distracted from some higher, inscrutable societal purpose. We make money to have fun.

    Last I checked, little or no taxpayer money is used to support American Olympic athletes, the money ultimately comes from people who like watching them. (Channeled through corporate sponsors who want to trade on their popularity.) This is how things should be. If you don’t like it, it’s no skin off your back.

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