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Thread: Tomas Verner vilified

  1. #31
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    To me, protesting a trip made by a relatively obscure private citizen for a non-political purpose seems a little beside the point. It seems like the protesters should instead be writing to the Czech government to recall their ambassador, or circulating petitions for increased trade sanctions or something.
    This is just your perspective and it seems quite different from some of the Czechs who protested against Tomas.

    Nice that you can feel free to express yourself on this and other topics without fear of being beaten and hauled off to a detention camp. Rights that many of us take for granted did not exist for decades in the Czech Republic and don't exist in N. Korea.

    FYI, Tomas is not an "obscure private citizen" in his home country but a fairly well known sporting figure.

    Although I don't have a problem with Tomas skating in N. Korea I do understand why others could. That is the difference between us.

    I remember the fur activists getting on Johnny before the Olympics. It seemed kind of silly and although I don't wear fur it doesn't bother me if others choose too. But that's just me. Others are free to feel differently and in an open society are able to voice dissent.

    Personally I think the world is better off when people are free to protest. Or free to disagree with the protesters.

    Heads of state in most countries have to consider their actions more carefully due to a free press and various organizations that watch out for human rights and even animal rights.

    If presidents and prime ministers are fair game for journalists and protest groups then it seems fair that sporting figures should be too. Even skaters

  2. #32
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    Poor Tomas. I have been so preoccupied with the tragedy in Japan that I have now just visited this thread and read the article.
    Since this is not the political forum of the board I will not comment on that subject. I just wanted to give Tomas a shout out of support.

  3. #33
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    There seem to be two different discussions going on here. I can understand why the Czechs might hate the Russians. I understand why the Armenians hate the Turks. I am not too sure how the Spartans feel about the Athenians. It would have seemed natural if there had been a big dust-up on the issue of, "How dare Tomas Verner skate in the 2005 World Championships in Moscow, capital of our historic persecutors. Have you forgotten 1968?"

    But that didn't happen. No one had a problem with that.

    Now for the second issue. Is it good or bad for athletes and entertainers to perform in countries that have repressive governments? There is a difference of opinion. Some people say it does no harm and conceivably might do some good in the long run. Others feel so strongly the other way that they shout obscenities at any such any such athlete/entertainer. To me, it would be more relevant to pour condemnation on Kim Jong Il than on Tomas Verner.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    The North American natives certainly never curse at any artist, athlete, and entertainer choosing to perform in the U.S. and Canada, desite genidcides, land grabs and occupations, biological warfares and child and sex abuses commited against them, as well as all the signed treaties and agreements dishonoured. And meeting the Pope is still regarded as a privilege rather than a damnable act despite decades of pedaphile crimes by Catholic priests tolerated and covered up by the Vatican.
    Not by me. I cannot post my opinion on a family friendly board, however. The first part of your post, however, is straw man.

    The Japanese committed unspeakable cruelties against the Chinese but today the Chinese fans mob the Japanese skating and pop superstars. Somehow Russia, China, Japan, and the USA are able to be friendly trading partners despite historical animosities.

    Or should the long historical and continuing warfares with mutual vilifications going on in some parts of the world be the model for the state of Homo Sapiens? Should holding on to decades old hurt and misplaced vengeful sensitivities be more respected than establishing relationships among equal human beings of today's generation? Should oppressed people be shunned when it's been shown over and over that reaching out and connecting, opening their eyes and minds, and letting them know of support and caring from more fortunate fellow human beings lead them towards their liberation more than military actions, sanctions, and condemnation of their nation and people?
    Interesting. Do you think Verner's actions do this? Do you think despite two decades of famine or near famine existence for the North Koreans was somehow allieviated, either in mind or body, by the actions of a figure skater (who people are apologizing for because he acted in ignorance, and shouldn't have to know these things).

    Is being non-political and connecting with oppressed people through sharing a beloved and beautiful sport more reproachable and unforgivable than spewing hateful obscenities at a young talented skater who has done nothing but honouring his country?
    Is skating in honour of one of the most brutal leaders of our time the equivalent of having done nothing? Is there such a thing as a genuinely non-political act when you do it for a man that has destroyed a country and terrorized his neighbours?

    I'll say this: if I had done was Verner did, there is no doubt in my mind that my parents would disown me (no, I'm not Korean) - knowing the horrors Kim has inflicted on his own people and the destruction of his nation (and the resemblance to my parents own country), it would be a question of how fast. In the end the big difference is past actions vs present ones.
    Last edited by ImaginaryPogue; 03-18-2011 at 07:42 AM.

  5. #35
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    would be a better option than blah-blah.

  6. #36
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Nice that you can feel free to express yourself on this and other topics without fear of being beaten and hauled off to a detention camp...
    I think you are beating up on a straw man here. Everyone agrees that the right to protest is a good thing and that being beaten up and hauled off to a detention camp is bad.

    Some people are protesting Verner's actions as ill-advised. Others are protesting the protesters' reactions as uncivil Still others are protesting that position. It's all good.

  7. #37
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think you are beating up on a straw man here. Everyone agrees that the right to protest is a good thing and that being beaten up and hauled off to a detention camp is bad.

    Some people are protesting Verner's actions as ill-advised. Others are protesting the protesters' reactions as uncivil Still others are protesting that position. It's all good.
    Yes, I agree with this.
    I agree with Pogue's last statement:

    "In the end the big difference is past actions vs present ones."

    There is a quote that goes something like this:

    "Those who forget the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them in the future".

    True or false?

    Some can call it "straw" or anything else that wants to hide from history and excuse and forget the actions of brutally repressive regimes past or current.

    This was not a protest against Korean people or Russian people but about a current repressive regime.

    Like I said I don't have anything against Tomas for skating in N. Korea. Personally, I would never want to perform in that country under it's current regime anymore than I would accept a few quick bucks to do anything associated with or for Khadafi.
    But that is just me.

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