Thursday, April 24, 2008

torching the wooly jumpers

I’ve been in a quandary about the torch relay. I was tempted to go to Canberra to show my face as an Australian who does not support China’s actions against the Tibetan people. But it is more complex than that.

I’m not into sport (that is perhaps an understatement, I loathe most sport and I’d rather poke my eyes out than watch it) but I do respect that others don’t feel the same way. I do know people who’ve taken part in previous Olympic torch relays and it has been one of their lifetime highlights. Do I have a right to bugger it up for them? Do they have a right to put their ego ahead of doing the right thing?

So how do I show my distaste for a country at a time that it wants to shine internationally?

A few weeks ago, while pondering this question I came up with the answer. Til the Olympics are over – I will attempt to boycott all goods made in China. No discretionary spending dollars to be spent on products originating from that vast, manufacturing land.

Two weeks down the track I’ve discovered that finding a stylish winter sweater is quite a challenge. Brands like David Lawrence outsource all it’s garment making to China and still charge a premium for its products.

I know it is a futile protest. There is absolutely no point in telling a young shop assistant why you are leaving a store empty handed after turning their clothes inside out to inspect the labels. Not buying a jumper isn’t going to bring freedom to the Tibetans, nor prevent another Falun Gong follower becoming an unwilling organ donor.

Yes it is just another symbolic act, like the Earth Hour that I have previously mocked.

And at the end of the day I am still angered over China’s horrendous history of human rights atrocities.

I have lost respect for a government that makes a public display of telling China it doesn’t approve of it’s recent actions but instead of stopping the torch relay, forks out over $2 million of taxpayers dollars to allow it to go ahead. (Oh, and the blue-tracksuited Chinese security thugs will stay on the bus, right Kevin).

And I’m still not fond of sport.

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Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

that horrible photo sums up China for me.
and those hideous women? swimmers from a few years back.
the Olympics are disgusting in every way.
all the swimmers have chlorine poisoning.
the torch-relay is just promo and costs the host community a shitload of money.
There are no tickets available to Chinese stadiums for the parents of Australian competitors.
its all disgusting.

7:50 pm  
Anonymous not boyfriend said...

There are great non-Chinese jumpers, that also carbon neutral, available at a very select store in Melbourne's glamorous Sydney Road, Brunswick. Its called Savers!

Do ya feel the pre-love?

9:01 am  
Blogger Lene Andersen said...

Yep. What you said.

Also, your email address on my Wedn post bounced, so am including what I wanted to say in your comment box. Which was to thank you for sharing the story of your brother's death. Everyone I've ever spoken to who have been present at a death call it a privilege and an honour. Generally not something our death-phobic culture understands and that's a real pity.

10:37 am  
Blogger Justine said...

hi :)
Pussy Cat Black - all local, all good, 3 Edward St Brunswick (only a short stroll from Savers)
and cafe3A next door does a good breakfast while you're at it

6:36 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Justine - your back! Your blog fell off the end of the blogosphere almost a year ago. Are you back in melbourne?

8:22 am  
Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

yes Justine has re-appeared.
I was wondering what happened to JutsaBlog.

I must apologise for that chlorine-poisoning remark, having just read your newer post about the man who has a 5am alarm for swimming.

8:16 pm  

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