Friday, September 17, 2010

C’mon, time to rebrand your life!

Sport today seems obsessed with image, repackaging, pursuing profit. What ever happened to the sportsmanly spirit of Bobby Moore and the England 1966 World Cup squad?

John Pilger
New Statesman

City of dreams

In India, a similar rebranding is under way for next month's Commonwealth Games. In the country that has most of the world's malnourished children, the capital, Delhi, has been rebranded a "world-class city" at a cost of $2.5bn. A school for 180 slum children has been bulldozed so that a vast estate of luxury apartments can be built for visiting athletes.

“They told us we were a security threat so we had to go," said the head teacher. "All my children were crying." It is one of many demolitions; over 100,000 families have been evicted to make way for "security zones" around the Games and facilities that will mostly benefit India's small but powerful managerial and technocratic class which, besotted with all things corporate, prefers not to be reminded that 77 per cent of its compatriots are dirt poor.

Corporate sport has enriched Rupert Murdoch, corrupted cricket and much of football, subverted numerous other games, and appropriated the Olympics and similar spectacles.

Its language is that of business schools, PR companies, consultancies and banks. Its "philosophy" is that everything is for sale and monopoly rules. Just wear the logo, pump your fist and bellow, "C'mon!""

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