Saturday, July 09, 2005

NYC 2012 --- Reality Intrudes ...
New York has lost it's bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012. Many here are disappointed (particulalry the politicians and the developers), but quite frankly, most New Yorkers could give a sow's ear about the Olympics at all. It's not like it's fun anymore now that the Soviet Union is gone.

To begin with, the bid was clearly camoflague -- the real purpose was to get a multi-use stadium built on the West Side of Manhattan. Michael Bloomberg may be a fantastic businessman, but you can't sell 8 million-plus New Yorkers a load of bullshit. New Yorkers would have been quite happy with a West Side stadium (except the wussy Yuppies who are busy gentrifying adjoining Hell's Kitchen) but they would never accept a lie as a reason for bringing it into being. Finally, why would the city go a head and build a stadium when Ground Zero has next to no construction going on at all? Shouldn't there be some priorities around here?

Speaking of Ground Zero, it's become even more of a politcally correct nightmare than one could ever have imagined, but I'll get to this another time.

Quite frankly, speaking as a native New Yorker, who the hell wanted several million (more) tourists and French syncrhonized swimmers around here anyway? Especially when the cost of "hosting" them would far exceed any economic activity they generated, which is usually what happens when the Olympics come to town. And in a city like New York, which is practically controlled by it's labor unions, it would have been sheer political suicide to let Local 3 of the Electrician's Union hold the city hostage with cost overruns for the sake of completing the "Olympic Village"/high-priced Trump-style condos after the fact.

Now, we're not saying we don't want a new stadium or construction or tourists around here, because we do, if only for the jobs and money such things bring in. However, I think it would have been better if the mayor had found another location for it: perhaps at Turtle Bay where there's a stinking cesspool of foreigners in need of eviction at the UN. New Yorkers would readily accept that compromise.

But the Mayor was adamant until it was nearly too late, merely switching to plan B (new Yankee stadium, new Shea Stadium) at the very last minute. In the meantime, the IOC had already decided that New York had less of a chance than Madrid, but only slightly more than Moscow, eventually choosing London, which has now, as we all know, been attacked by terrorists.

New York was never a serious contender anyway. The IOC would never sit still for the massive 9/11 memorial ceremonies that would take place during the Olympic Games, in effect, showing the Olympics up, and the IOC is not all that amenable to America anyway in today's political climate. The Republican Party may choose New York in a show of solidarity, but the IOC won't -- not when a number of the athletes competing will be from Muslim countries. The thinking is that Americans are obsessed with 9/11, and New Yorkers only moreso (of course we are!), and we could only be expected to boo the Muslims and burn them at the stake if we could get our hands on them. In that regard, London was a fine, aleternate choice.

In the light of the events two days ago, however, I wonder what the IOC is thinking now.

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