The Great Gordino Newsletter – May 1st 2012
I hope all is well with you.
The end of April 2012 saw a whole load of Shakespeare in the media, because he was born and died in that period all those hundreds of years ago.
It was also St.George’s Day, to mark the patron saint of England, but unlike say St.Patrick’s Day, the English version is not celebrated much. I think that’s partly because the English flag has been somewhat hijacked by racists and other extremists.
It’s also in part due to the history of the British Empire, with the result that it’s simply seen as bad form to have overtly loud proclamations about being English.
I did see an article that argued that since St.George’s Day had almost faded into oblivion, we should celebrate Shakespeare, having a Shakespeare day instead. The argument is that he is a better representative of Englishness than St.George, who wasn’t English in the first place.
Personally I think Shakespeare is a numpty – he’s the one I blame for failing my last acting audition. Left to my own choice, I wanted to do a scene from panto “Oh boys and girls, I can’t hear you! Look, there’s Widow Twanky’s bloomers, ooeer!” but OH NO, I had to do Shakespeare.
Left to my own choice, I wanted to do a Henry Higgins scene from My Fair Lady, ”Oh WHY can’t the English teach their children how to speak?” but OH NO, I had to do Shakespeare.
I only bring that up because I’m not in any way bitter or twisted about the whole thing.
Someone else on my radar this week who may or may not be a numpty is Dwain Chambers.
Chambers is a British sprinter who was caught using drugs. He received a two year ban, but on top of that had to contend with the British Olympic Association’s decision to give lifetime Olympic bans to anyone caught using drugs.
Having served his ‘normal’ ban, he tried to get to the Beijing Olympics, using an argument that the BOA ban was restricting his rights to work. That was thrown out, and Chambers continued to appear on the track outside the Olympic arena, to mixed reactions from the sport.
As London 2012 loomed on the horizon, Chambers has been trying again to get his ban lifted, and this time has the backing of the world sports doping body. The BOA stood their ground, but lost their case in the international arbitration for sport courts.
That means that if he runs the qualifying time he will be in the games.
There are 2 ways of looking at this story.
The first is that Chambers has been treated unfairly in comparison to any other drug user. That he has admitted his offence, served his time, and should now be allowed to try again.
He also paid back a huge load of prize money he had won while using drugs, something rarely done by other users, and he is now modelling himself as a role model to stop young athletes from going down the road he went down.
The other side of the coin said that he was a cheat in a sport that has been brought to the edge of ruin by cheats. Many athletes argue that if he hadn’t been caught, he would still be cheating today by using drugs, and that the BOA was right to have a lifetime ban.
Yes, it’s a harsh punishment, but that’s the point – it’s supposed to be a deterrent, because the consequence is as harsh as it can be for an athlete. As the saying goes, ‘if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.’
It may seem easy to think that the lifetime ban was a good thing, and if only everyone else did the same. Unfortunately, not everyone else *does* do the same, and that’s the problem – it means that Chambers has definitely been treated more harshly than athletes from the USA for example.
Another option would be that Chambers takes it on his own head to retire from the sport, but that doesn’t seem to be on the cards!
Can you guess what the underlying word is behind this week’s newsletter?
Act with integrity, take responsibility for your own actions. Don’t blame a writer who’s been dead for hundreds of years for an audition failure, and if you have the choice between cheating and not cheating, well I know which one I choose.
Ok, that’s it for this week, let me have your views on whether Dwain Chambers should be in the Olympics or not, or if you’re not a sports fan, how about that numpty they call Shakespeare?
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,