Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wrap-up of the 100-days-till-Olympics celebration

This really should've been posted 40-some days ago, but I was looking at YouTube tonight and came across a couple of interesting videos that bear sharing, even without a time element.

This first one I watched hoping to catch a glimpse of myself in the crowd. Alas, no luck. But listen to the issues this British reporter talks about and pay particular attention to his report on the Tibet protesters. Don't those stories feel like some relic of the past? Thus is the news cycle for you, coming and going in flashes. When's the last Western news report you've seen on Tibet? Or the words "Olympic boycott"? (No, Sharon Stone doesn't count.) They've practically disappeared from our dialogue.

And it's telling how the reporter says that "pollution" has been bumped off the front pages, because in much the same way, the Wenchuan earthquake bumped Tibet off the front. More and more, China's been able to dictate the storylines in this lead-up to the Olympics, this from a government that has plenty of experience dictating what can and can't be said. It should be noted that the Chinese people are more than slightly complicit in self-censorship, with netizens circling the cybersphere like sharks or modernized Red Guard ("online lynch mob," as the Shanghaiist puts it) ready to pounce at the first whiff of blood.

Then again, pollution has slowly but surely been making a comeback, which leads me to wonder: in the two months before the Opening Ceremonies, because two months is a long time, is Tibet going to resurface as an issue? And if not Tibet, then something equally damaging to China's reputation, like reports of anger and protests out of Sichuan?

I'm betting yes. But we'll see.

And a bonus video for you, the Heart of Beijing premiere of "Beijing Welcomes You," the official song of the 100-day countdown (sort of like the official cheer, I guess).

For you guys (and gals, I suppose) out there, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the attractiveness of the first girl who comes on screen? 11, 18, or 55?

POSTSCRIPT: Blogger has been unblocked. Now we introduce our newest office pool: how many days until Blogger gets blocked?


Greg said...

First girl: 18. 3rd or 4th with sunglasses and Adidas shirt: 55. I've seen her sing on tv, she's really good actually. I think its a she...

The Tao said...

haha... maybe there's been some confusion. I wasn't talking shirt size.

btw, if anyone knows the name of that first gal -- cause I'm too lazy to look it up -- pass it along and I'll dedicate a thousand-some-word blog to her hit songs...