Name that Propaganda … is the US Olympic Uniform Stance ‘Anti-Olympic’?

If you missed out on the whole kerfuffle around the Olympic Uniforms let me sum it up quickly. Basically, like pretty every other garment you can buy in stores in the US, designer Ralph Lauren produced the uniforms in China. In an election year play politicians saw a chance to show their patriotism and commitment to home-grown jobs by making elaborate demands that future Olympic uniforms be manufactured in the US.

Personally looking at the image above I am more taken aback at the authoritarian pose in the picture. Rather than serving as a tribute to our Olympians, the pose reminds me of political/military propaganda. And have no clue what to think about the beret! But that is just me … well, actually, not. We discussed the picture at GearFest and I am not alone in those opinions.

In the bigger picture one has to look at the context of US politicians freaking out about globalization and the realities of how things are done in 2012. In fact one editorial did just that – take a quick read:

The fury over the U.S. Olympic uniforms is just another example of the fierce, and sometimes ridiculous, political fighting going on the Capitol Hill in the year of election, which is dominated by economic growth and job creation.

By criticizing Ralph Lauren for outsourcing jobs, the politicians attempted to reap political gains by portraying themselves as a champion of insourcing U.S. jobs so as to attract greater support among U.S. voters …

The Olympic Spirit, which has nothing to do with politics, chants mutual understanding and fair play, so tagging the uniforms with politics by those U.S. politicians exposes narrow nationalism and ignorance, and violates the original Olympic Spirit.

It is a rather insightful insight and is right on point. The election-year impact shouldn’t be dismissed either since the same issue came up in 2008. Most won’t remember it thought since we were busy with too many other national crises- real and manufactured.

Wondering where that editorial came from? China’s state-run news agency Xinhua. It doesn’t read like some hysterical propoganda seeking to strike fear and consternation, but rather like a well-reasoned analysis – something sorely missing from our own politicians and news analysts on this issue.

The reality is that there is a minimal textile industry left in the US. Ralph Lauren makes their clothers in China, as does pretty much every brand. Politicians wearing Ralph Lauren suits and nice ties to formal state affairs where THEY represent the US should be aware that, when they do, they are wearing clothes manufactured in China or some other country that is not the US.

What do you think about ANY of this – the uniforms, the berets, the political response and the Chinese editorial?

Source: TheAtlanticWire

Categories: Rants and Raves

4 replies

  1. It looks like the French Yacht Club team…

  2. What I find sad, is that with all of the problems this country is facing, our politicians find time to waste with such trivial matters.

  3. It is pretty militaristic… I think they could have a lot more fun with them, since they’re just for the opening and closing ceremonies anyway. And why is that poor girl wearing bobby socks and that ridiculous “tie” thing? That tie thing is right from a military uniform, and not something that any woman should ever have to wear.

    As for the made in China kerfluffle, while I’d love to see fewer jobs exported, if my iPad, iPhone and whatnot all say that they were made in China, and Steve Jobs made it pretty darn clear that THOSE jobs were never coming back to the USA, and yet there are people waiting in line for those items, myself included, it would be pretty darn hypocritical to be upset about where the clothes were made.

    As a citizen, sure I’d like to be able to point to more things as having been “Made in the USA” and that used to mean something – quality of the product, and the heart of the people who made them. But we’ve become a nation of people who won’t or can’t work for minimum wage, or work for years at the same company as it grows and you work your way up the ladder. We’re all about instant gratification, and our too many very young people think that they should be making 100K+ as soon as they graduate and don’t want anything else and don’t have the desire to start at the entry level anymore. With that attitude, where are the multitudes of workers that will sit at a sewing machine for 10 hours a day for 10 years, and not make a worker’s comp claim for carpal tunnel, and then go on disability for the next 30 years? They aren’t in the US, that’s for sure! I wish that they were. I wish that manufacturing jobs would be back here, and that we could export Made in the USA products as proudly as we once did. Instead, we pay farmers not to grow crops, and we’ve regulated and priced the cost of doing business for businesses right out of the country. So, until the politicians (who by the way, earn a pension after spending 2 years in congress) decide to make it easier for businesses we aren’t going to see a return of those jobs. We just can’t compete!

    As a side note, I beg any industry that has outsourced their customer service departments to India or the Philippines to reconsider. You’re losing business daily, and lowering your standards to the point where we don’t care enough about your business or the services you offer. The US can run call centers and quite effectively and cost efficiently, PLEASE RECONSIDER!