18 August 2008

China and the Olympics


It's just fantastic what we hear from Beijing during these Olympic Games. I personally would like to know who the fuck is "Chinese Taipei"? Why can't our craven media call them Taiwan? Why do we have to sit through hearing athletes from "The People's Republic of Korea" and "Korea" when everyone knows these countries as North and South Korea? Why does our idiot team of TV commentators then insist on calling the Czech Republic "Czechoslovakia"? Why not call Georgia the "Soviet Union"? Or would this be just too wrong?

But this post is about putting the boot into China.

First of all, we heard that the footage of the fireworks for the Olympic broadcasts from the opening ceremony were faked. Nice. China, the land that invented fireworks couldn't be arsed to do it properly themselves.

Then, we heard that not only was there a good reason why seven year old Lin Miaoke, the little cherub who won over our hearts with her rendition of "Ode To The Motherland", appeared to be miming: She didn't even sing the tune that she was miming to. Another seven year old named Yang Peiyi had recorded the song for Lin to mime to. But, because her adult teeth were starting to come through, she simply wasn't photogenic enough for the Chinese.

Now, we hear that all the kids representing the ethnic minorities of China were, in yet another instance of Beijing pissing all over the rest of the country, Han Chinese. The Han are, of course, the ethnic majority.

Let's put this in perspective. It's 2012 and London is hosting the games. Imagine if they decide to have a bunch of kids from all over the country, and the little tyke representing some Welsh coalminer's daughter turns out to be someone named Trace from Essex. The resulting riots would end the Olympic movement for good.

Of course, we're not going to see riots in China. Oh no, the limitations on all the foreign journos have put paid to that. We're not going to see Tibetans, Uighurs, or any of the other Chinese minority peoples protesting. China is still a vastly communist country when it comes to law and order, even if it isn't much anymore from an economic perspective.

Wang Wei, the Executive VP of the Beijing games organising committee is on record as having accused the foreign media of "nitpicking" over these, and other controversies which have dogged the games so far. While Wang's refreshingly un-Chinese touch of 'tude is to be admired, one can't help but notice the question that it begs: Exactly how big does a controversy need to be to raise it above the status of petty "nitpicking"?

8 comments:

Greg said...

If 40 years of Cold War taught us anything, it's that the amount of human rights and democracy in a country is inversely proportional to the length of its name.

Hell, a quick search shows that some dude's crunched the numbers!

On that principle, I'm surprised we've not been hearing about the "Happy Double-plus-good Joyous Workers' Paradise of the Harmonious Entire Korean People's Undivided Republic" etc.

Still, I'd love to have been a fly on the wall for the six-way, multi-month negotiations that settled on "Chinese Taipei". Imagine the reams of butcher's paper they must have gone through thrashing out alternatives.

I believe the Chinese opening gambit in discussions was "Essential Chinese Rocky Outcrop Blighted with Lackey Splittist Imperialist Running Dogs" but they quickly fell back to "People's Offshore Manufacturing Plant T-1" or "T-1" for short.

Akusai said...

I have to give some credit to Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw here in the U.S. Last weekend, they were filming in Tianamen Square discussing Brokaw's first trip to China in the 70s and how much the country had changed. Brokaw was quite obviously reading from a script over footage of that trip and the Tianamen Square massacre.

They went back live to Tianamen Square, where small groups of Chinese folks were walking around in the background, apparently associating freely in the place where less than 20 years ago people were murdered for protesting. Brian Williams said something like "And look here today: people walking around freely."

Then Brokaw says, his voice full of cynicism, "Don't think that wasn't scripted."

Williams replies with "Yes, it is kind of hard to miss the American television cameras all over the Square."

It was pretty cool.

Dikkii said...

Greg, that link was outstanding.

Me, I've always wondered why it is that any country calling itself the Democratic Republic of X is always - without exception - exceedingly undemocratic.

Intentional irony perhaps?

Dikkii said...

G'day Akusai.

That story is outstanding. I'm surprised that the Chinese authorities even allowed this, although with the Olympics on, they're possibly extending some leeway to the foreign media. Expect this to stop the day after the Closing Ceremony.

Plonka said...

China is as China does. Undoubtedly their losers will be sent to the organ banks, as donors...

Dikkii said...

Welcome back Plonka. It has been a while.

Plonka said...

Did you miss my cynical drivel...?

Dikkii said...

Cynical? Maybe.

Drivel? Almost certainly not. Yes, you have been missed.