March 2, 2010

Those ominous parallels again

Filed under: Cancon, Sports, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 07:53

I originally just added this as a comment on this post, but it appears to have a bit more life in it.

Gil LeBreton made this pithy observation in his column about the Vancouver Olympics on the 28th of February:

After a spirited torch relay ignited pride in every corner of the country, the Olympic Games began and quickly galvanized the nation.

Flags were everywhere. The country’s national symbol hung from windows and was worn on nearly everyone’s clothing.

Fervent crowds cheered every victory by the host nation.

But enough about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

I thought it was amusing, so I just added it to the comment thread, but I guess I wasn’t the only one to notice Mr. LeBreton’s insight:

So true. The parallels between Berlin 1936 and Vancouver 2010 are clear, if you just pay attention.

Not everyone has the perspicacity to discern the neo-Nazi threat north of America’s borders. Fortunately, Mr. LeBreton does. Because he’s more observant than most. He makes the cognitive connections others miss:

“For 17 days we were barraged with Canadian flags, rode buses and trains with people in sweatshirts and jerseys adorned with Canadian maple leafs, and were serenaded at venues by Canadian spectators, lustily cheering for Canadian athletes.”

My God. It’s spine-chilling.

The rest of the world was lulled into complacency and Olympic fever. But the Star-Telegram’s crack reporter wasn’t fooled by the crafty Canucks. Their display of patriotism reminded him of something. Something terrifying.

“I didn’t attend the ’36 Olympics, but I’ve seen the pictures. Swastikas everywhere.”

You see? Maple leaf flag equals swastika. Damn you, Canada.

He’s so right. Connect the dots! Look it up, sheeple!


  1. Ok, I looked it up. When you are going to pile on Ghost of a Flea and Mesopotamia West?

    Check out these items from February 12, 2010. These guys called it long before Gil LeBreton.



    When you have a moment, Nicholas, can you post a photo of the “camp” located just down the street from your home? One look at that bit of civic architecture should leave no doubts in anyone’s mind as to where Canada is headed.

    Comment by Lickmuffin — March 2, 2010 @ 11:51

  2. You mean this one: http://quotulatiousness.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Jonshwitz.jpg

    Comment by Nicholas — March 2, 2010 @ 11:59

  3. That’s the one. I see that someone has stolen the sign over the gate.

    Comment by Lickmuffin — March 2, 2010 @ 12:08

  4. Also, that last link you posted, to Mesopotamia West? Did you notice the blogger also has a self-published book available called “Daughters of Slaves”? The brief description at Lulu makes it sound either like an ultra-feminist “men are scum” diatribe or a “men naturally are superior” diatribe. Either way, certainly not mainstream views . . .

    Comment by Nicholas — March 2, 2010 @ 12:12

  5. Did not notice the book. To be honest, I though Mesopotamia West was Ghost of a Flea writing under an assumed name — writing in drag, as it were, perhaps.

    I don’t get the “men are scum”/”men are naturally superior” either-or vibe from the Lulu synopsis. I get more of a “trying to be like Freakonomics with some uncomfortable ideas” sort of vibe, but not what you describe.

    But tell me — since when is “men are scum” not a mainstream view? You’ve not been on a university campus in some time, methinks.

    Comment by Lickmuffin — March 2, 2010 @ 12:40

  6. But tell me — since when is “men are scum” not a mainstream view? You’ve not been on a university campus in some time, methinks.

    Hmmm. When I took Victor on a campus tour last year, the tour guide was actively trying to persuade the prospective students on the tour to sign up for her program: Women’s Studies. All the students were male, so there were no takers.

    Comment by Nicholas — March 2, 2010 @ 12:47

  7. Mesopotamia West is overstating things, a little. So, Speer used searchlights to create a visual effect. VANOC used searchlights for visual effects. The world has changed since 1936. Now we no longer have to rely on eyeball-targeting of naval and aerial weapons, which is what searchlights were originally for. Now their sole purpose is to create visual effects. So, everybody that uses searchlights = Albert Speer. Fine.

    Know what else the Nazis used for propaganda purposes? Automobiles, specifically the Volkswagen. Everybody that drives a VW or Porsche = Albert Speer. What about bands and drum corps? Everybody that ever played in a high school or college bugle/drum corps = Albert Speer, too. I hear Hitler was fond of neoclassical and Baroque architecture, too. Everybody that lives or works in a neoclassical or Baroque building = Albert Speer.

    The Nazis were masterful manipulators of human emotions, and they used every trick in the PR and propaganda book to reinforce their message. But I don’t expect humanity to abandon every single visual, architectural or mechanical device that had its origins or even fullest expression in Nazi Germany. Contra McLuhan, the medium is not the message. People don’t turn into Nazis because they saw a dozen searchlights in a row. They turn into Nazis because they agree with the Nazi philosophy, and may or may not be impressed with the visual or emotional theatrics that accompany it.

    Comment by Chris Taylor — March 2, 2010 @ 18:50

  8. In other words, it is magical thinking.

    Comment by Chris Taylor — March 2, 2010 @ 18:54

  9. In other words, it is magical thinking.

    So, business as usual, then? 😉

    Comment by Nicholas — March 3, 2010 @ 10:33

  10. I understand why people get antsy about this stuff; mimicry of something that achieved its zenith during the Nazi era can be off-putting. The Nazis propagandised literally everything, including benign things like daycare. Nobody’s suggesting parents shouldn’t have the option of using daycare facilities, just because the Nazis elevated it to the status of a federal program. The medium itself is not racist; it’s the context in which it is used. Context matters. Strip away the context, rely only on surface similarities, and the interpretation is meaningless.

    Comment by Chris Taylor — March 3, 2010 @ 18:39

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