What is this handbasket we’re in, and where is it going?

Another hurdle in place…

…for the free dissemination of thoughts and events.

As the 29th Olympiad draws ever nearer (only about two more days now ’til the opening ceremony, thus the fun, of the Chinese Olympics begins), the Chinese are beginning to get weird. Ok, not beginning to. They’ve been batshit crazy for a while now. Anyone who’s followed the Olympics, or read any of the hosts of blogs covering Chinese weirdness in conjunction with these Olympics, knows that China has been drawing a lot of criticism for their handling of the games thus far.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us, but China’s Public Security Bureau is requiring hotels in the Beijing area (and presumably throughout the nation) to install surveillance technology in hotels to monitor and block specific kinds of Internet traffic. Should these hotels refuse, they’ve been warned of the “severe retaliation” China will be forced to take.

Apparently when China promised, back in 2001, that the news media would have “complete freedom to report,” that promise did not apply to China’s wheelings and dealings in general, but specifically to the games themselves (which we’ll see about, particularly if there are any protests mixed into this year’s Olympiad).

The U.S. State Department has gone as far as to circulate a fact sheet to American tourists stating that “they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations” in China. Which should go without saying. That’s like visiting Ireland and expecting it not to rain.

A lot of people around the world, in a misguided sense of right vs. wrong, have taken it upon themselves to boycott the Olympics this year by not watching the games. This is pointless. I can’t agree with or abide by China’s stance on Tibet or Darfur – don’t get me wrong. However, it’s a safe bet that China will do a better job screwing themselves over with these Olympics than anyone else could ever do through protest – so you may as well watch all the fireworks.

And even if the games go off without a hitch (haha, mirite? (urrite!)), should Chinese athletes fail to take home gold medals, China will lose great face. Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun and all that, not out of the prowess of your divers, anyway. It’s going to be a hilarious and entertaining, if not disturbing, month of August.


August 5, 2008 - Posted by | Chinese Olympics, Sports

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