Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cuban thoughts...

As far as I know, American companies are forbidden from doing business in Cuba's brutal dictatorship regime... and the only two items that can be imported from the prison island are books and art.

So... tonight as I watch (on TeleMundo) the graceful and powerful Cuban female beach volleyball team of Estevez and Crespo fight the equally powerful and graceful German team of Pau and Pohl, I notice that the Communist nation's bikini bathing suits sport the Adidas logo.

Why is Adidas sponsoring a Cuban team? (Update: Because they are a German company I am told)

Cuba is an imprisoned nation whose government segregates HIV+ people, and that has "cured" gay people by lobotomizing them, and that has a government that is one of the worst offenders of human rights in the world?

Is that what Adidas wants its name associated with? A gay-bashing, lobotomizing, HIV-segregating, human rights-violating, old-style Communist dictatorship?

And how does an American company (Adidas is American-owned... right???) get to do business with the Castro brothers' bloodstained regime? (Update: Because they are a German company I am told)

Shame on you Adidas...

Opportunity for young female photographers

As part of its 80th anniversary celebration, the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) of the Organization of American States (OAS), in coordination with the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA), invites all 11 to 14 year old girls from OAS Member States to participate in the Photography Contest “When I Grow Up…”

This competition aims to capture the vision young girls have about their future: their dreams, their personal and professional ambitions, and what they imagine that their world will be like when they reach adulthood. Through their photographs, the girls will reflect the evolving changes in gender stereotypes due to women’s empowerment. Moreover, they will illustrate how the new generations assess the progress achieved by women regarding their role in society and what is still to be achieved by young women such as themselves when they grow up…
Click here for terms and more information about the contest.

Opening Ceremonies Blues

I watched the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies last night, and while admiring the spectacular artistry and synchronization of 2008 humans on the field doing all sorts of unbelievable things, slowly this sort of mental connectivity to the Berlin Olympics from decades ago began to emerge.

When the Chinese soldiers goose-stepped to raise the Chinese flag, and the Chinese children representing the 50-odd ethnic groups in China began singing the Chinese national anthem while doing a curious arm salute to the anthem, at least for me the Olympic connection between Nazi Germany and Communist China was cemented in an odd way.

By the time that the ceremonies got to the part where China, perhaps one of the world's worst human rights offenders, and a nation who is destroying its own environment at a brisk pace, does the bit on the future of the planet, global warming, peace, etc. I was a way beyond skeptical about the heavy handed, sometimes hypocrythical messaging of the opening ceremonies.

Let's just get the competitions going, shall we?