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  • #251612
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    I’m surprised Izawa isn’t as horrible as I expected him to be. Given his background and his age, eleventh is fairly respectable.

    And pictures on the GP2 Series website show that he is backed by Honda and their Formula Dream project (which I thought had folded years ago).

    #251196
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    How the hell do you roll on a one-kilometer stage, most of which is in a narrow tunnel?

    #251395
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    If Daly makes it into GP2, then the selection of teams with seats on offer means that his only real hope is to try and beat Alexander Rossi to attract American sponsors.

    #249858
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    If Classic Mode returns – and after its inclusion in F1 2013, it pretty much has to – then I would like to see a better range of circuits. The ones Codemasters chose for F1 2013 were not really representative of the era they were trying to capture. They should go for Imola and Buenos Aires (the version used in the 1980s, not the 1990s) and Watkins Glen and the Osterreichring (which I always used to call the ‘Ostrich-ring’).

    #248561
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    #242462
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    @andae23 – I think you are jumping to conclusions. Losing the government backing us a blow, but it does not completely kill Cecotto’s chances. Look at Mitch Evans – his entire career is funded by one man, somebody Giltrap.

    #242459
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    DHL is Abt’s personal sponsor. And Sony is believed to be talking with McLaren, not Force India.

    #248500
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    I don’t know. It’s conceivable that he would – whatever his ability, he is the most-prominent Venezuelan driver. With everyone losing their backing, all it will take is one private citizen with more money than sense for him to geta seat.

    #248536
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    That last sentence says it all, really. I find that attitude of “I do not agree with it, so it does not deserve my respect” to be shameful.

    You clearly have no understanding of what culture is. It is a set of collective ideals held by a group of pepole that are shaped by our values, attitudes and beliefs. Values are qualities that we consider to be worthy of being held up as ideal. Attitudes are our approach to these qualities, whether we value them or not. Beliefs are certain fundamental ideas that we consider to be true. Values, attitudes and beliefs work together and often reflect one another. They are shaped over time. Russia’s attitude towards homosexuality stems from the peoples’ relationship with the Orthodox church, which, as the name makes clear, is orthodox.

    An often-overlooked argument surrounding rights is the idea of responsibilities. For every right, there is a corresponding responsibility. For example, you have the right to free speech – but you have the responsibility not to shout “fire!” in a crowded theatre unless there is a fire. Sure, you are exercising your right to free speech, but at the same time, you will likely cause a stampede that will result in death and/or injury, and “I was exercising my right to free speech” is no defence. In your case, you have the right to say that there is no need to respect Russian culture, but when you wake up and the painkillers wear off, you have the responsibility to admit that you probably had it coming.

    It is pretty obvious that you have never met anyone from Russia and that you have no grasp of their culture.

    #242457
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    Throwing drivers in the deep end and pulling the carpet out from under them as soon as they falter is Red Bull’s m.o.

    #248534
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    Tell that to the athletes the IOC stripped of their medals in 1968. Race relations was a major issue at the time. The two athletes made a racially-motivated statement on the podium. The IOC was not impressed.

    One of our snowboarders is openly gay, and it is amusing to watch the media trying to bait her into saying something inflammatory. The journalists get very frustrated when she downplays the issue, saying she does not feel uncomfortable at all.

    I appreciate that gay athletes should be allowed to compete without fear of prejudice. But I think it is downright wrong to demand that two hundred and fifty million (or more) people put aside their culture for the sake of a handful of athletes. We are not talking about some prevailing cultural trend here – Russia’s conservative attitude stems from its relationship with the Orthodox church, which has existed for hundreds of years. It is a fundamental part of their cultural identity.

    At the London Olympics, one of our swimmers was tipped to win, but came second. When he got on the podium, he sulked. I felt humiliated by it. The reason I bring this up is because a lot of my Russian friends felt the same way when those two athletes kissed on the podium at the athletics championship. So we are not talking about a handful of people feeling mild discomfort about the idea of homosexuality, but outrage and humiliation on the world stage.

    Like I said, there are no sports where being gay is an advantage. Most people who are gay do not feel the need to draw attention to it at every opportunity. They have no distinguishing features that immediately mark them as being gay. They are simply being asked not to embarrass their hosts by drawing attention to it inappropriately.

    #248532
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    There is a time and a place for that discussion: in a classroom as a part of a state-approved curriculum, or as a frank discussion between parent and child. On the street or on the podium at Sochi is *not* appropriate.

    #248529
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    I did not say that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I just said that while gay people should not be made to feel uncomfortable for the sake of Russia’s happiness, Russian people should not be made to feel uncomfortable for the sake of the gay community’s happiness. It never ceases to amaze me that people will defend a minority and think nothing of trampling on the majority, then rationalise it by claiming that if they support the majority, then the minority will get trampled.

    But thank you for zeroing in on just one part of my argument and neglecting the three key points:

    1) The laws forbid people from advertising homosexuality to minors. Homosexuality has no legal status in Russia, and minors are under the legal age of consent. You do not walk down the street talking to children about being gay; this law simply criminalises it.

    2) The IOC forbids athletes from making political statements. In 1968, they stripped two competitors of their medals for the infamous “black power” salute. Hell, Muhammad Ali threw away his gold medal after he was refused service at a bar after he won it, and the IOC refused to replace it for over thirty years. Putin introduced these laws for similar reasons – two women kissed on the podium at an athletic event, which caused uproar in Russia because it exposed children to something that was seen as perverse.

    3) Being gay does not make you a better competitor, trainer, supporter, spectator or media presenter.

    This is not moral or cultural relativism. This is me pointing out that you cannot fully satisfy either side without stepping on the other’s toes. If the gay community wants everyone to recognise their right to be married, then is it too much to ask that the gay community recognises that not everyone is going to be okay with that?

    #248557
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    It’s easy to lose time in Sweden – all you have to do is hit a snow bank the wrong way, which is exactly what Ogier did. There is a picture of it on WRC.com.

    #248527
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    Everyone has criticised the laws as homophobic, but there is a cultural dimension at work here. Russia is extremely conservative, and homosexuality is barely tolerated, much less accepted. The Kremlin evidently feels that there is the potential for national embarrassment if someone decided to make a statement.

    You will note that the biggest critics of the laws come from the most progressive nations, who do not seem to realise that other countries have their own cultural values. At their heart, the laws essentially make it illegal to discuss homosexuality to anyone under the legal age of consent. The IOC expressly forbids athletes from making political statements, so it should not be a problem. Personally, I find it more horrifying that people think it is okay to demand that a nation suspend its cultural values (Russia has close ties to the Orthodox Church) while the world watches on so that a handful of athletes and supporters can feel more comfortable. There is nothing in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that grants the right to freedom of sexual orientation, and being gay is not going to make an athlete any more or less competitive. While people who are gay should be free to walk around without fear of prejudice, it should not come at the cost if embarrassing an entire nation in front of the world.

    To me, this whole thistinks of one nation trying to force its own set of ideals onto another.

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