Random Thoughts: Beijing Olympics 2008

The Beijing Olympic Games finally concluded last sunday. Finally sound like such a heavy words, because like most of these moments, when it’s over, it always seem having passed too fast.

A few words can be considered to be intrisecate part of the 29th Modern Olympic Games:

  • Beauty.
  • Record-making.
  • Polemic.

– China’s representatives were trying really hard to make it as less polemic as possible, especially with all that talk about this being a world wide sporting event, so it shouldn’t be stage for political dispute.

For the games which used as main line, “One World, One Dream”, it’s stupid  to ignore all the discrepancies out there. Treating the games as a detached parallel world, is not only wrong, but it goes completely against the “world as one” spirit from the games.  It’s not giving it a blind eye that things will disappear. It doesn’t make China more democratic, or any less deserving criticizing their take on human rights and freedom of speech.

It was a major cultural event for all “Hua Ren” descendants, but just like Football World Cup, shouldn’t be immune to scrutiny.

– For a closing ceremony filled with singers from mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, what was South Korean Rain doing in there? It was just weird. For people who wasn’t paying attention, or for clueless western commentators, who were calling him Chinese. Just weird. Onto this, wonder what Stephen Colbert though about Rain infiltration into that.

They did make an effort to be as welcome as possible, and despite not being one, they did gather the “Hua Ren” as one. Anyone caught all the fuss about Dalai Lama in France right before, the end of the games?

The following video was definitely one of these major investment to make the major cities attractive. Still so much was still left untold.

But I was really frustrated by the lack of use of songs from the Olympics official soundtrack in the ceremonies, especially LeeHom Wang’s theme titled “One World One Dream”. I know it completely goes into denial with with some things I’ve questioned here, but I’d love to watch him perform it live.

– Something that really bothered me from Brazilian media coverage, was how much they were trying to do those quirky pieces about Chinese culture and food.  They do brushed onto how many ethinicities were in the whole mainland China, but just kept treating all Chinese as all the same.  And at the same time they were talking about the almost freedom in Beijing, not much were said about how people was living in completely in quite different conditions in different part of the country. It was fake. Like Nicole Kidman’s face full with botox.

– I wans’t at home when the Women Volley Ball Gold Medal Final was going on, for reasons I’ll clear in my next post. I think Volley Ball has always been my favorite game to watch (both in-doors and beach versions), I was never an eager follower, but I do like to watch it whenever I had a chance. I was able to catch the final points from that game live, which might have been some of the most exciting minutes from these Olympics. I was ecstatic that the girls won the game.  I came home really wanting to watch the whole game, but I never planned into it.  There’s no TiVo over here yet. I used to use a lot of pre-programming recording from my Video Cassete, but since the remote control broke, I kinda just stopped using it, and anything I missed, most of it I could track it online. And a copy of the game available at torrents sites, made it quite practical.

It was funny to watch it with the other side – the other side in case the US team, sometimes is hard not to cheer for the country I grew up in -, commentating on the game.  At least they are a lot less troublesome and much more subdued compared a certain Mr. Galvão Bueno, from Brazilian Globo network, and they at least were commentating the game, and not pointless things that he just keeps throwing histerically to the public. I’m so glad that there’s cable at home.  But I pity who were watching through NBC, for some much cuts in the game. You people do miss a lot of passes for the sake of the sponsors.

– I was so glad to hear the mandarin accent from the announcer during the cerimonies. Untainted clear mandarin. That’s so rare nowadays. That’s what used to be the Beijing accent, long gone. The current one can be so heavy sometimes, to the point of being too annoying. Schollars used to say that Taipei, used to have the best clear mandarin. That was back in early 80s. Now, also mostly gone.  There used to be a day, when actors couldn’t speak proper mandarin in night-time dramas, they were just dubbed over (they still still do it from Family Taiwanese dramas, for actors who can’t speak Taiwanese properly). Especially when they invited actors from Hong Kong, who have heavy accented mandarin, or back in the 80s, almost none mandarin at all.

Now teenage girls follow actors who can’t even speak properly, they’re mandarin are so bad, that is hard to believe they actually grew up locally. You can find one of these “actors” in the pic at right (top one, if you must ask). These guys as role models, are as disturbing as Bella (hope you don’t know who I’m talking about) being a role model for how teenage girls should behave.

I’ll be back next, with some nice stories from my lastest work trip.


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