No Boycott Here

Let’s get this part straight, right up front. I dig the Dalai Lama. His brand of Buddhism is straight up, pure, as far as I can tell. I even heard him speak, or one of his top guys once in Denver. I wore the red string around my neck or wrist or wherever it was. Even lost my girlfriend at the time to our spiritual advisor who’d turned us on to the Dalai’s appearance, then ran around holding on to ‘her’ hand before the last little spiritual retreat we had up in Keystone. Greg, his name, he smoked cigarettes, I remember, the only spiritually impure activity that he admitted to. Besides probably boinking my girlfriend, a lovely spiritual seeker who was seeking enlightenment from the big huge male totem, it appeared.

Anyway, now that Tibet is blowing again, in trouble with the big Feds from Beijing, we hear from the usual Hollywood suspects prescribing all kinds of solutions for the trouble. I love it when the Hollywood crowd gives us a conscience. An easy checklist we can follow to ease our worldwide political pain.

It usually involves asking someone else to make the sacrifice.

This time they’re calling on athletes. Right. They’re the ones who train and compete just about their entire lives for the opportunity to represent their countries, themselves and their sports on the world’s biggest stage. Just give it up for old Tibet, ‘cause Hollywood says so.

No, Mia Farrow, Quincy Jones, Steven Speilberg, Ang Lee. Why don’t you give up your career, the proceeds from your next movie? Call on America to boycott your next project instead of asking athletes worldwide to give up their quest.

Athletes can’t just pick up the phone and get a studio deal or a movie script to shoot with a major star packaged up from CAA. Ever been to an Olympic Trial, say, in Track and Field? Ever seen what athletes go through, four or five days of races, heats, competitions, to get on the team that wears the colors of the USA, to march in the opening ceremony among thousands of beautiful athletes in native garb from every corner of the world?

Give it up for Tibet, Mia? This is their one shot, lady, their one chance to compete at this level. They don’t get a lifetime pass from a couple of movies that lets you cash it in at the bank for the rest of your days, make a phone call and get a part, a script for ‘older women’ that the old Hollywood gals all say is so missing in today’s film industry. These athletes get their one time ‘part’ the old fashioned way. They win it.

So you want peace in Tibet? Free the monks? Then boycott your own projects, Hollywood. Give up yours, and stop asking the athletes to give up theirs.

Like I said, I dig the Dalai. But I’m not giving up mine, and I’m sure not hoping athletes give up theirs.

Hollywood, it’s time to look in the mirror. Send a film crew over there, do a documentary. Cover the games in that grand style we used to see in the older games, from Rome and Tokyo. Do it in great detail, use the industry to show us. But don’t ask us to give up what is meaningful to us, to close a door on athletic achievement. Close the door on your own projects, if you want to boycott. Or use the industry to focus our attention. Just don’t send Al Gore or Michael Moore. Send someone who isn’t trying so hard to impress us. Someone who won’t try and cash in a trip to Tibet or Beijing for an Academy Award. Send a film student crew, an AFI project team. Make us feel good about what you’re doing, and try and not turn it into a celeb-fest with Angelina or Brad or Mia or Richard Gere grabbing headlines instead of carefully showing us the way.

Me? I’m digging into Olympic preliminaries, getting ready for the trials and the competitions and the games.

Maybe I’ll take a movie DVD and light it on fire and dump it over the back deck. My own protest against Hollywood.

Let the Games begin.

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