Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Medals or Bullets: possible fates in fiction vs. reality

While many readers of my last two novels have asked for a third companion piece about the later lives of Reid Conniff and Everett Forrester, I have yet to write so much as a sentence of such a project. But with historic and contemporary events reflecting what could be parts of their lives, the ideas keep forming like distant clouds. And by noticing current events, the fate disabled character Everett could be become one of either athletic glory or fatality from the end of a police gun.

First the Paralympics return, following the Rio, Brazil Olympics. Already, controversies have begun.
The Brazilian edition of Vogue magazine published photos of two soap opera stars that had been Photoshopped to make them look like amputees.

In ads for the Rio Paralympics, able-bodied models were hired, and then their limbs were Photoshopped to make them resemble amputees. This MetroNews article explains.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rio Olympics - Gay Dismissal & Hetero Privilege in Athletics Media

With many expected controversies at the 2016 Rio Olympics, now underway, and nearly 50 competitors being openly gay, lesbian and transgender, I longed for the days when I penned my weekly Sports Complex column, first locally in the Bay Area Reporter, then syndicated for the last three of its ten years. Consider this an emeritus column.

First, we have the city itself, which was massively unprepared for the thousands of visiting athletes and fans. Not only were dormitories documented as having broken toilets and sinks, the outdoor waterways used for competition remain a filthy pollution-strewn mess. One kayaker got knocked over in the water after running into a floating sofa.

Nevertheless, the glamour of Opening Ceremonies became the focus, not the massive poverty just blocks outside the arena. And as anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account knows, Tongan flag-bearer and Taikwondo athlete Pita Taufatofua wowed the world with his handsome shirtless oiled-up chest, flirty eyebrow nudge, and traditional skirted garb.