Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Olympics, All Greek To Me

We continue our Olympics theme this week in the blog. In case you missed the last post, check it out. If time is tight, at least watch the 1 minute clip of Jesse Owens winning the 100m in the 1936 Berlin games. Hitler is quite upset. Sweet!

Today, we are suggesting some lighter fare - as the videos take you way back to ancient Greece, the place where the Olympic Games started in the ninth century, BC. First up, Popeye in Greek Mirthology. Popeye is trying to get his nephews, Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye and Poopeye to put away their ice cream and eat some spinich. So Popeye tells a story about ancient Greece. Popeye plays Hercules, and Bluto comes in to challenge Hercules, because Bluto thinks he's the strongest by far. Oddly enough, Popeye is into garlic for most of the cartoon, before he gets slammed by a Bluto punch that throws him into a spinach patch. And in a surprise ending, the nephews bolt the table, leave their spinach on the plate and get some ice cream from the ice cream man, played by Bluto. So Bluto wins this round, well kind of.

Another fun cartoon with that ancient Greek flavor is It's a Greek life. This classic toon features a Centaur who is a cobbler, and he needs to fix up Mercury's sandals. Oooops, I need to stay Greek - that would be Hermes' sandals.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Olympics Furor Redux

Once again, there's trouble brewing in the Olympic games, as a bunch of people are using the festivities to promote their own agenda or in this case, a complaint against the Chinese for human rights violations. Now, rest assured we are all for human rights. My problem is looking at the event from the standpoint of an athletic competitor. (why back in 1968... when i competed in the Mexico games.... just kidding. I am not an athlete anywhere approaching that caliber, not that there's anything wrong with that either). Anyway... i can imagine myself as an athlete, ok.... and darn it, if i worked all those years, i would like a shot to compete at that level without all the other political nonsense. Go do that somewhere else... who picked this venue anyway?

But historically, the Olympics were often the center of social and political issues coming home to roost. In 1936 Berlin, Germany we have our first modern day problem as the games are filled with Olympic Furor. Big problem... as the master of ceremonies is Der Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler himself. He was planning to use the games to spotlight how supposedly terrific those Arian fellas were. Germany had some of the best sprinters on the scene and were favorites in the 100m dash. Hitler came to watch the event but was so disappointed with the outcome, he left the stadium. You see this terrific young American named Jesse Owens popped on the scene and dashed to victory. Check out the movie Olympia, part one and two, directed by an amazing women named Leni Riefenstahl. She was also the one responsible for many of the most insidious and nasty propoganda films of the Nazi era, but she was never tried or convicted as a war criminal, always maintaining she was just a filmmaker. In any event, all this makes Olympia a very interesting movie.

We'll continue this blog topic during the week and add more interesting Olympic Games related video clips. Until then, check out the 1936 Olympic Games, and see for yourself that everything old is new again.