China: Broken, Then Glued Together Badly

So, in a completely startling and unexpected move from a totalitarian government, China has decided that the 7-year-old singer of a communist anthem wasn’t representative of the ‘flawless’ image the country wanted to present to the world. So, a cuter girl lip-synched to the song. Plus, the fireworks show that enthralled TV viewers around the world… not so much ‘real’ as ‘computer generated’, so as to bypass the obscuring smog.

As far as the little girl goes, how is she not representative of China? Isn’t she…Chinese? The photos I’ve seen show a cute little imp, certainly not up to the Chinese-equivalent-of-JonBenet standard they were obviously looking for, but a cute kid. The ruling elite of the Chinese Communist Party (the China Cabinet?) obviously didn’t think so. The fireworks, well… Let’s hope they can computer-generate some fresh lungs for the athletes before too long.

So far, the 1936 Olympische Spiel (oops) 2008 Olympics hasn’t exactly grabbed me, but the dog-and-pony show that has accompanied it has been fascinating. Brutal repression of dissenting ideas, the carefully stage-managed performance of the citizens, the thinly (or not) concealed ideology, the smug sense of superiority…

If Nazi Germany had  access to computers, the parallel would be perfect.  Given that they didn’t (thank goodness), it’s just fun to watch the Chinese government work from the same playbook. It’s enough to make anyone with any historical knowledge feel like Bill Belichick.

Nothing I hate worse than summer reruns.

5 thoughts on “China: Broken, Then Glued Together Badly

  1. “thinly concealed idealogy”, “smug sense of superiority”, man, it seems like Canada might have won the Olympic bid after all, in spite of Mel Lastman’s best efforts!

    Flash, it’s all spam and glitz -> fake fireworks, toddler Milli Vanilli, included.

    That said, the bit I saw of the opening ceremony – 2008 tai chi dudes performing together was nothing short of breathtaking. Unless, of course, they just hired Weta to replicate the Helm’s Deep attack. Then, not so much.


  2. I think you’re seeing what you want to see. I think people from any country on Earth could have pulled those smarmy marketing moves. Can you IMAGINE the sort of propaganda we’d be subjected to right now if the Olympics were in Toronto? *shudder* Wow, suddenly I feel a lot better about the world.


  3. The spectacle itself is irrelevant to me – I never even watched it, honestly. It’s what’s behind the scenes and how it is reported that I have an interest in. When the lip-synching performance of a 10-year-old becomes the story rather than the athletic competition, it’s a sad commentary on what the media considers relevant.

    Me included, I guess, if I can refer to myself even in jest as ‘media’.:)


  4. I’ll agree with the others – it’s not like we wouldn’t have been seeing the same sort of over-the-top pagentry if Toronto had gotten it. Personally, I could have cared less – it’s all a necessary evil one suffers through until you can hear those 3 words men love to hear – Women’s Beach Volleyball….


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