Monday, August 25, 2008

This guy is a real China correspondent?

This article, from BBC's James Reynolds, is so incredibly bad that I'm going to give it its own post in the hopes that five days later, or whatever, I can revisit this and make sense of it. Why anyone would start a post-Closing Ceremony post like this --

It's over.

In a state which has no God, the Olympics has been a religion - together with its own cathedrals, rituals, and sacred flames. Everyone in China was meant to be a worshipper. If you didn't believe in the Games, you were dismissed as a heretic.

-- is utterly beyond me. Only someone who has absolutely no idea what's happening in Beijing -- who hasn't bothered talking to locals, many of whom say the Olympics are a hassle and are in fact not burned at any stake -- can write something like that. If a blogger off the block said that, no one would bother. Reynolds, on the other hand, works for BBC, which makes this article utterly appalling.

It gets stranger from there... a cataloging of national leaders ("The King and Queen of Sweden sat a bit further back - democratically wearing their official Olympic accreditation round their necks") followed by this observation:

The biggest cheer of the entire night came when David Beckham rose up from the 2012 bus (if ever China decides to hold elections, Beckham might have a reasonable chance of getting a seat on the Chinese Politburo).

Uh... really, James Reynolds, were you actually there? Or did you catch it on the tube from your favorite English pub?

And then this: "Then came the final moment of a decade of work. The Olympic flame (always known here as the 'sacred flame') was put out."

"Sacred flame" is a Chinese thing, huh? It's not called the sacred flame because, say, that's what it's always been called, from the days it was lit by a High Priestess in Athens?

The reaction to the post has been, well... invisible. As of 9:18 p.m. Beijing time, there have been 67 comments -- this is over a two-day period -- and all of them look like this:

Xujun Eberlein, a notable blogger and author, linked to Reynolds's abomination from her blog, Inside-Out China, with four words: "This one is hilarious."

One way of putting it, I guess.

How does Reynolds's blog post end? Oh but with a bang! Never mind ridiculous and ill-conceived...

A billion people will now have to find something else to believe in.

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