Beijing Olympics are finally over

So the 2008 Olympics are finally over and I can once again turn my TV on without running the risk of accidentally giving the Chinese government the time of day.

When China won the Olympic Games bid, this was seen as a great thing for the emerging nation. An opportunity for China to be proud in hosting a major international event, and an opportunity for greater openness, with western media covering such a prestigious sporting event. Except China chose to barbarically interfere with the Olympics and turn them into a mockery. Not only has their government been involved in scandals involving the competitors themselves (faking the passport of one competitor, and even manipulating the appearance of the opening ceremony itself), but their censors have been hard at work ensuring information control at all times. Western journalists were largely complicit.

This is not openness. This is a paranoid delusional government using every opportunity to retain its grip, completely disregarding the promises that had been made to the outside world concerning “openness”. And all this at a time when Tibet has suddenly become a bad word for much of the western media in their news program[me]s. Since I was unable to do anything about this in person, I decided the least that I could do was to not endorse the games themselves in any fashion. By not watching them on TV one is not exposing oneself to the advertiser’s messages, nor condoning the actions of the Chinese government itself. I don’t wish any harm against the athletes themselves, although I have a special place in my heart for the few of them who dropped out on principle.

Anyway, now it’s over people will finally stop asking me if I’m enjoying watching the Olympics. Maybe next time…maybe.


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