|August 13, 2008|
|China's 'Oh So Perfect' Olympics Rub Many the Wrong Way|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|China is rubbing many people (okay, me) the wrong way with its clumsy effort to stage an “oh so perfect” Olympics. The desperate effort of the People’s Republic to buff its image was outed today via three news nuggets. |
First, National Public Radio reported that the dramatic opening ceremony, which received stellar reviews and was watched by 70M Americans on NBC, was a fraud.
“Millions of people thought they were watching live fireworks as part of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It turns out, some of those vivid fireworks were computer graphics created by a team of hundreds of Chinese visual-effects specialists who worked nearly a year to pull it off,” reported NPR.
The Chinese visual geniuses even factored in a "camera-shake" to make it appear that the footage was shot from a helicopter.
It’s a sad commentary when the Chinese have to resort to fireworks fakery, especially since China invented them during the Han Dynasty (206-220 B.C.).
Second, the BBC reports
“...the pretty girl who won national fame after singing at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was only miming. Wearing a red dress and pigtails, Lin Miaoke charmed a worldwide audience with a rendition of ‘Ode to the Motherland.”
Unfortunately, the singer was seven-year-old Yang Peiyi. She was not allowed to appear because she is not as “flawless” as nine-year-old Lin. The show’s musical director told the Beeb the “switcheroo” was made in the best interests of the country.
Third, the BBC reports though China claims all events have been sold out, there are “heaps” of empty seats. China is putting volunteers, decked out in yellow shirts, into those seats to "improve the atmosphere." They are organized into cheerleading squads, and root for all competitors.
China needs to lighten up. It faces real problems such as environmental devastation (Mother Jones has a nice collection of photos on its website depicting the carnage wrought by China’s all-out industrial push), repression, poverty and human rights abuses. It shouldn’t fret over nonsense like the appearance of a little girl singing Ode to the Motherland, a favorite ditty of Chairman Mao. The Chairman was not a big fan of personal appearances in the workers' paradise.
This blogger wonders if Hill & Knowlton played any role in these mini-disasters.
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