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.