A promotional campaign linked to the 2014 Winter Olympics is stirring debate in Russia because of its use of allegedly "fascist" imagery.
Russian Winter Olympics Billboards: Not complying with "Negro Fascism"
The campaign employs images of blue-eyed, blond sportsmen and women which have been described by critics as "neo-Hitlerite" and "like something from a Leni Riefenstahl film".
Images of an Aryan-looking snowboarder and an ice-skater gazing into the middle distance dominate giant billboards in Moscow and feature on the cover of brochures to advertise Gorky Gorod, an elite housing complex being built at Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi on Russia's Black Sea coast. The complex is a private-public partnership which will be the Olympic media village at the 2014 Games.
"Without doubt the authors of this advertising were inspired by Nazi art," said Ekaterina Degot, a well-known art historian and former curator at the State Tretyakov Gallery.
When the billboards were put up, the Russian art collective Voina, itself known for its controversial painting of a 65-metre penis on a drawbridge in St Petersburg, tweeted: "On Pushkinskaya Square opposite Gap, there is a huge advertisement, openly fascist in style, for elite housing in Sochi.
Degot and others said the style and pose of the subjects in the images was heavily suggestive of Nazi art which stresses racial purity and superiority.
The Guardian has learned that the images of the sportsmen were produced by Doping-Pong, a St Petersburg-based design company which uses a swastika as one of its online "banners".
One of the company's recent projects is a series of erotic photographs of two young women, one called a "fa" (fascist), the other an "antifa" (anti-fascist activist), who grapple with each other in a wrestling ring and tear off each other's clothes. The "fa" appears to win the fight and triumphantly wraps herself in a Nazi flag.
Doping-Pong also works closely with Katya Zashtopik, a Russian artist in her 20s who is known for her sympathies with the ultra-right, and who uses the online avatar Dopingirl.
On 20 April, Adolf Hitler's birthday, she published a yellow "smiley" on her blog embellished with a toothbrush moustache and a slick of black hair. The caption read: "Happy Birthday."
Dima Mishenin, one of the designers at Doping-Pong, denied a report that Zashtopik was personally involved with producing the Gorky Gorod images. "It's our work, not hers," he said.
Mishenin claimed he had no sympathy with far-right ideas, but said he believed "the Olympic aesthetic starts in Berlin in 1936 and is created by Leni Riefenstahl".
He added: "For me this is about the aesthetics of beauty."
NBA fans know that LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is making his first NBA Finals appearance of his career. To celebrate this event, Nike is launching ‘We Are All Witnesses’ integrating marketing campaign that pays tribute to James and acknowledges the legions of fans worldwide who are 'witnessing' his greatness, power, athleticism and beautiful style of play.
Introduced in November 2005 via the unveiling of a 110-foot high by 212-foot wide billboard in Cleveland, the Witness campaign built its crescendo very fast with every win of the Cleveland Cavaliers until they made the NBA Finals.
With the NBA Championship series beginning last Wednesday, Jun 6, the new execution of the Witness campaign was unveiled with a 30-second television spot during the first quarter.
The television commercial, which was shot in black and white features a highlight of James in the 2007 NBA Playoffs and set to the song "I Shall Be Released" sung by the soulful Marion Williams (original track by Bob Dylan).
The new execution also includes a print ad featuring a photo of James from the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals and the iconic line "We Are All Witnesses". The black and white ad will appear in Sports Illustrated, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon Journal this week.
This is clear at the world-class level in men’s track and field. Blacks of West African ancestry monopolize the 100-meter dash, accounting for all but one of the 200 fastest times in history. They're almost as good at 200m, not quite as overpowering at 400m, and only modestly competitive at 800m. They aren't world class at any longer lengths, although a black Brazilian did once run a fast marathon in the 1990s. (Brazilian blacks appear to average more East African ancestry than American and West Indian blacks.)
|BRA approved, "Negro Fascism" in sports|
Former USC linebackers, and potential No.1 NFL Draft picks Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing created a Facebook group called "White Nation," which among other things advocated the "arrest [of] black babies before they become criminals," according to Profootballtalk.com.
It was all a joke, an unnamed administration source previously told the Daily Trojan. Apparently, the joke arose from the fact that Matthews, Cushing, and other white teammates were dubbed "White Nation" by one or more non-white USC players, according to the report.
It's unknown whether and to what extent Matthews and/or Cushing have been grilled about the incident during pre-draft interviews. But if the Niners deemed it appropriate to ask Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford about the divorce of his parents, it's more than fair game for NFL teams to revisit the issue with Matthews and/or Cushing in order to confirm that it really was a joke — and then to attempt to discern the humor in it, Profootballtalk.com reported.
Update: Forgot about this scene from Rocky IV. It won't embed, so enjoy it here.