The stories that enrage and sustain us.
 
rage \ respite
edition 09
the stories that enrage and sustain us.
@plant_ting
rage
How far are we willing to go for the glory? Are we willing to risk lives for the gold? Take a deadly virus to the podium? The Tokyo Olympics kick off this weekend as the world falls into the grips of a Delta-driven wave, and the majority of Australians are enduring lockdown today.

As the country was grappling with a fourth wave of cases in May, Japan extended their emergency powers. Alongside this crisis, the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun released survey results that found that
more than 80% of Japanese people were opposed to hosting the games this summer. And this number was rising.

Nevertheless, the International Olympic Committee persisted, even as one woman tried to extinguish the olympic torch with a super soaker and people with signs reading 'Olympics kill the poor' took to the streets. The IOC's position was clear, they were going to pull the wool over the world's eyes.

The Olympics are a highly sought-after event for a hosting nation. Queensland's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
touched down in Tokyo this week to secure Brisbane's bid for the 2032 run, "it's worth about $14 billion and I would hope, by 2032, we would be back to a normal society of freedom … it would create over 100,000 jobs," said the Premier.

But the story is different in Japan this year. Nowhere in the world is back to a "normal society of freedom" yet, and Japan's cases are rising. No international spectators will be present and as such, Japan will not benefit economically from the tourism boom that comes with hosting a global event.

John Coates, an IOC vice-president who is leading the preparations
told reporters in May, “all the measures we are undertaking will ensure a safe Games regardless of whether there is a state of emergency or not... provided that we can protect the Japanese public, the most important thing is giving athletes a chance to compete." But with less than 22% of people in Japan fully vaccinated, and with 90,000 athletes, officials and journalists arriving from around the world this month, the IOC are delusional. People are scared. The most important thing isn't, as Coates said, that athletes get to compete. It's that people don't get sick and die.

With just days to go, the Athlete's Village is in panic mode. Athletes from around the world are returning positive test results, and their teammates are in isolation nervous that they won't be able to compete at the event that they crossed the seas and braved a pandemic for.

When the cauldron is lit this weekend, we will be reminded that the corrupt, profit-driven organisations that run international sport always get the gold.

respite
Primetime media in Australia is whiter than white bread; from the breakfast TV couches, to the evening bulletins, with the commercial networks as the worst offenders. It's only in the past few years that we've started to see more diverse reporters on the ABC, trailing behind SBS who has been paving the way for decades.

But this month, a fantastic and long overdue move was made by the ABC. The public broadcaster
has appointed Tony Armstrong as the daily News Breakfast sports reporter, replacing Paul Kennedy after 13 years in the chair. Armstrong is a 31-year-old Barranbinya man who hopes by being a regular presence on TV he can prove that “non-Anglo people can do the job. And there’s plenty out there doing remarkable stuff.”

Armstrong began his career as an AFL player, where he played for the Adelaide Crows, Sydney Swans and Collingwood over a period of seven years. Playing just 35 games in that time, he acknowledged that he wasn't "really doing that well".

But, he says that this failure has set him up for his next path,  "It’s a bit of a superpower – not being scared to fail, because I’ve already done that. I’ve done it, you know, I’ve kind of finished footy and felt like crap and failed at it but I’m fine, right?"

So in 2019, Armstrong became the first Indigenous person to commentate live footy on commercial radio, for Triple M; and co-hosted the AFL Indigenous footy program Yokayi Footy. “I’m definitely better at talking about footy than I was playing it,” he says.

Now, the host finds himself up at 3.30am for the 6am broadcast, and he's being inundated with online marriage proposals and
serenading TikToks. And while Armstrong isn't letting his new-found fame go to his head, the joy and impact of his presence on primetime TV won't go unnoticed.
ritual
A ballad about sexting, singing about white men in white cloaks, an ode to content and a serenade or two for Jeff Bezos and his pandemic profiteering, this is the multi-talented Bo Burnham's latest comedy special Inside. Created in his granny flat throughout 2020, Burnham writes, performs, directs and edits an ode to life inside.

Unbelievable, hilarious, disturbing, distressing, it's everything we could expect from a show about the year that was. The opening lines of one song are word for word my state of being from 2020 (and tbh, 2021 too): "The world is changing. The planet's heating up. What the fuck is going on?"



This newsletter is created on the unceded lands of the Bidjigal and Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I pay my respects to their elders past and present.
A newsletter by Georgia Gibson.
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