Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Just a thought...

What can we expect this year in Peking? Assuming the Olympic Torch actually arrives there.

Frankly, I don't remember such ruckus in my lifetime. And while I wholeheartedly enjoy the theater being played out city by city during the bearing of the Torch, I can't help but wonder what will occur during the actual opening ceremonies.

In China, itself, of course, nothing will happen. They will go on as usual. The authorities will, no doubt, efficiently (and maybe brutally) squelch any embarrassment and inconvenience caused by any honest dissent.

Elsewhere, though, the protests will probably intensify.

We've had Olympics in totalitarian countries before, lots of them. However, insufficient media coverage always worked to minimize any protests and their subsequent retaliation.

Coverage is now continuous and copious. The hosting country and its repressive policies will be laid bare for all the world to see. There is no place to hide this time around.

And that will be the best reason of all for having the Olympics in China. One might almost forget that its all about sports.

pb
Little Pond

6 comments:

Karen of Scottsdale said...

Very interesting and thoughtful perspective. BTW: Hitler is the one who instigated the city by city torch run.

Dreaming again said...

There is plenty of beauty in China for them to cover to make it about the sports.

This is all reminding me of the USSR olympics. The one we bowed out of ....

Ugh

pb said...

I don't remember much about the USSR Olympics, except that we didn't win anything. Natch.

The worst mistake would be to forbid coverage. No matter what happens, we cover them, and report any attempt by the government to prevent the media from doing so.

The Olympics may actually get a big shot in the arm from all this. But they will never be the same.

Guess I just remember a time when controversy wasn't a part of it all. Was I just too young?

Charles-A. Rovira said...

The Olympics is about commercial sponsorships and money.

As long as the CokaColas' and Nikes' of the world aren't embarrassed to have anything to do with 'em (and people have the ability to rationalize holocausts, never mind a repressive regime,) we're not going to do anything about them.

Sucks, but inevitable.

Letsb hope all this protesting and agita doesn't lead too many people to prison (sorry, re-education camp.)

Dreaming again said...

We didnt' win anything in the USSR olympics because we didn't get to go. I don't remember if they responded by not sending atheltes to the LA olympics or if it was just in certain sports that they did (so the competetion still wasn't full out competition)

Our olympiads were all prepared to go, and the cold war was so cold ...that our government decided it wasn't safe ... or politcally correct or something ...and didn't send our athelets.

I'm thinking it was the 1984 winter olympics?

pb said...

That was the 1980 Summer Olympics.

What a mistake that was. We shouldn't get on a high horse and boycott anything that highlights international cooperation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-led_boycott_of_the_1980_Summer_Olympics