I haven’t watched the Olympics for years, mostly because I’m just not a sports-watchin’ kinda guy. Well, except maybe for a few minutes of gymnastics, wrestling, or diving…hey, I can’t deny my homoness. Otherwise, I don’t feel drawn to it in the least.
Having them hosted in Beijing this year, however, makes things a lot more interesting. Of course the control-freak Chinese government is censoring reporters and humanitarian websites, bugging taxi cabs, displacing citizens to make room for stadiums and such, walling off homes and businesses to make things prettier, and making dissidents “disappear” to quell any anti-government voices. And yet, their official Olympics website boldly claims “One World, One Dream.” Sure, one dream…as long as it passes through those government filters.
A major player in the Beijing Olympics is Nature: ocean-clogging green algae blooms (check out this fascinating photo gallery), sweltering heat, and uncooperative weather are mixing it up a bit, leading the government to such desperate measures as cloud-seeding. Well, you can’t say they’re aren’t creative.
And let’s not forget the horrific, lung-destroying air pollution (I mean “mist”, as China officials called it) causing many triathletes to resort to wearing masks to protect themselves while they’re running around out in the stuff. It’s hilarious to watch their officials feed us bullshit about how the pollution really isn’t that bad. But just imagine how much worse it would be if they hadn’t pulled a million cars off the road and shut down dozens of factories around the city! They are getting a lot of praise for their efforts, and you’d think they would take this as a sign that they need to clean up their act, but the air will be back to its green, soupy self immediately after the games end. Nothing will change.