A few days ago, the American sprinter Justin Gatlin won the Gold medal in the Final of the 100 Metres competition at the World Athletics Championship by beating, amongst others the much feted Usain Bolt of Jamaica.And thereby hangs a tale.
Of Bread and Circuses. The rulers of ancient Rome understood the importance of state sponsored mass popular entertainment and the role they and it played in the maintenance of the dominant ideology’s hegemony over civil society.
Centuries later and the commodification and fetishisation of such entertainments-divertissements has become inextricably fused with the structure and superstructure of contemporary capitalist society.
The content of daily MSM discourse would in many ways seem severely depleted were sports in particular to feature less intensively and prominently as they do now.
Amid all the pressing issues and problems confronting us, those of economics ,various wars and politics the MSM has found time and space to highlight a single event in the World athletics Championships 2017 being held in London.
The BBC, the supposed virtuous paragon of impartiality and journalistic objectivity has gorged itself on the spectacle and aftermath of that 100 Metres Final that Gatlin won.
BBC commentators and journalists and expert pundits,once upon a time when reporting from sporting events ,would do just that. Report, giving vivid descriptions of the action they were witnessing for the benefit of listeners and viewers whilst pundits /experts would add relevant event related analyses.
Alas, we are now in the Age of the Moral Philosopher-Commentator and the Prosecuting Attorney-Pundit. We are also under the jumped up,tin pot strutting tyranny of Sporting regulatory and administrative organising Bodies who’ve taken on a quasi-governmental role with ideological/theological views on morality.
Gatlin defeating Bolt was all about a twice ” convicted ” drugs cheat ( Gatlin ) de facto stealing the predetermined and rightful glory from Bolt who was running his last individual 100 metres race. The crowded stadium in London booed Gatlin prior to the running of that Final race, booed him after he’d won and a day later booed him again at the event’s medal ceremony.
So much for the oft mythologised and misunderstood legacy of Jesse Owens , that other American Negro sprinter who so controversially won a Gold medal in a hostile stadium environment amid official host country media hostility.
It is practically only ever mentioned as a footnote, that Gatlin was dealt with by due process of the disciplinary protocols and mechanisms available to and accepted by all in World athletics.
Gatlin was banned, he served his ban and was readmitted to participate in competition according to due process. And the moral jihadists ( mainly other current and former GB athletes of various disciplines ) led by the Grand Ayatollah of the IAAF, Lord Coe explicitly espoused their contempt for due process and the name and reputation of,an innocent law abiding person by the name of Justin Gatlin.