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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A hooray of broken promises

With less than one week to go, we are now witnessing Beijing at its finest. With a total mockery of the incompetent I.O.C. and a hooray of broken promises, Beijing has truly outdone its predecessors. It has achieved the impossible, combining nationalism, political hypocrisy, landscape transformation and dissidents purge, all within a mere span of seven years. The unprecedented nationalism, parallel to Hitler and his 1936 Olympics parade, surfaced during the international leg of the Olympics torch rely, when pro-Tibet supporters clashed fiercely with die-hard Chinese patriots in an attempt to disrupt the rely. The torch incident, together with the continuous foreign media criticisms of China, spawns a new generation of nationalists, perceiving China to be amongst hostile powers, when it is in fact not. China's political hypocrisy, illustrated over its attempt to impose sovereignty on both Tibet and Taiwan during the rely, further contradicts its promise not to politicize the game. Its unique landscape transformation of a million projects over Beijing, similar to how the Communists Russia pulled off its 1980 extravaganza, is yet another superficial showcase boasting at how great P.R.C. is, when it is in reality riddled with corruption, scandal, unjust, oppression and exploitation, so to benefit the elite few. Finally, the decades of comprehensive dissident purging campaign and limited political freedom will for sure guarantee an effective, yet smooth, running game. Seriously, with missiles overcasting on the sky above the Olympic venues, networks of surveillance cameras scanning the city, hidden microphones eavesdropping on unsuspected tourists, thousands of undercover police officers searching thousands of cars and trucks entering the city, what can possibly go wrong? Especially when Red Guard lookalike civilians have been called on to defend the motherland, the odds of going wrong is nearly as infinitesimally small.

Despite the hooray of broken promises, is the "true" Olympics spirit still in existence ? When you consider the overwhelming commercialization of the Game and the fight over who wins what, the spirit is long gone even before the Game begins. Olympics is no longer a celebration of the human body and form, but a vehicle for the multinationals to mass disseminate their products and a lucrative tourism opportunity for the hosting country. In the end, isn't a profitable bottom line and personal wealth the final goal to attain to?

Why China Has the Torch? That is a good question. Let us hope the hooray of broken promises will one day be amended, so the people of China may enjoy the true meaning of Olympic Games - that of freedom, equality, and unequivocal human rights.

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