The churchies are seeing red (ha, get it?) because Chinese officials have confiscated 300 Bibles from a group which was planning to distribute them. You know, I could go either way on this one. On one hand, these people simply can’t go anywhere or do anything without trying to suck people into their religion, and it’s amusing that they’re shocked — shocked! — when something like this happens. On the other hand, this is China we’re talking about, folks. Freedom of speech/religion and human rights are not high on the Chinese government’s To Do list. Kinda like here in the U.S. And in the UK…boy are those people screwed. Anyway. I’ll bet these guys knew exactly what would happen if they brought 300 Bibles into the country, though — sounds like a good way to get it in the news so they could point and yell “Religious persecution!” Maybe it worked?
In other non-Olympic-sports-related news, according to a post over on Boing-Boing, Olympic cops are walking around the various facilities taping over logos for any products not associated with an Olympic sponsor. It’s true that the sports world is all about money and marketing, but this one surprises even me! It’s official: these people are fuckin’ crazy.
Wow, the Chinese Olympics folks are trying as hard as they can to make things look more perfecter than ever!
The opening ceremony appears to have been more than meets the eye. First we heard about how some of the fireworks were faked for television, supposedly because they didn’t want to shoot real fireworks up around the circling helicopters. I guess I can accept that, especially if they looked good. Which they supposedly did (I haven’t watched it yet).
Now we’re hearing that the little girl singing in the opening ceremony wasn’t singing at all…it was a far-less-cute girl backstage, a girl who had everything going for her except her face so she was shoved aside just before showtime:
…The show’s musical designer felt forced to set the record straight. He gave an interview to Beijing radio saying the real singer was a seven-year-old girl who had won a gruelling competition to perform the anthem, a patriotic song called “Hymn to the Motherland”.
At the last moment a member of the Chinese politburo who was watching a rehearsal pronounced that the winner, a girl called Yang Peiyi, might have a perfect voice but was unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth.
So, on the night, while a pre-recording of Yang Peiyi singing was played, Lin Miaoke, who has already featured in television advertisements, was seen but not heard.
You can just hear the Chinese government loudspeakers: ALL MUST BE PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL FOR OLYMPIC TEEVEE SHOW! PAY NO ATTENTION TO FAKE THIS OR UGLY THAT! ALL IS WELL AND GOOD AND CITY IS CLEAN AND AIR IS NICE AND WATER IS NOT GREEN AND UGLY HOUSES ARE NOT SEEN AND FIREWORKS ARE REAL!
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.