Friday, 8 August 2008

The One That Will Be Watching Today. . .

I don't care about drug abusing athletes, an irrelevant football tournament (Christ, even the Court of Arbitration for Sport agree), or swimmers. I really don't care about fencing, rhythmic gymnastics and squash. As for Tae-Kown Do, skeet shooting and the modern pentathlon, well . . .

I do care about the ordinary Chinese people who have been swept off the streets in case they cause a scene, or had their houses swept away to build the infrastructure - in an attempt to show what a nice open place China really is, if you'd mind awfully not talking to that peasant, taking photos there or talking about that.

I do mind that competitors who are trusted to flog us breakfast cereals and running shoes aren't trusted to comment on 'political points.' What? Like the right not to be pulled out of your house at stupid o'clock and sent to a 're-education camp' for suggesting things like it isn't nice to beat seven shades of shit out of Tibetan Monks or complaining that you need a visa to travel around your own fucking country. That's not politics, that's just being able to live like a normal human being.

I find it amusing that the IOC are bemused that the free and uncensored internet access promised to the press corps by the Chinese government has turned out to be not as free and uncensored as everyone had hoped. What did they expect? What are they going to do? Take the games away a week before they are due to start?

This talk about the games opening China up is bollocks. You think ZNL are obsessed with control? Well, the Chinese government will stop at nothing, nothing, to ensure that absolutely everything goes their way. In London in four years we'll no doubt see the same practices employed in the name of 'security reasons' as the organisers work closely with the team in China, that will probably make these games a huge success.

Al-Beeb's Newsnight last night had an interesting peice with a reporter (Rupert W-H if my memory serves) trolling around the countryside, it showed how thin the veneer of civilisation was, it was straight out of 1984, and utterly terrifying. Try and catch it on i-player, (it's not yet up as I write this the next morning. Perhaps it is undergoing a re-edit?) it was a damn sight better than the cringe inducing puff-peice peddled on The Culture Show the other evening.

Way to go George W, bravely criticising China's human rights record from Thailand. Perhaps you'd mind stopping the execution* of educationally sub-normal (and normally poor and/or black) citizens, and apologise for your brother's cyncial dis-enfranchising of hundreds of poor and/or black voters.

However, I will be watching the opening ceremony, mainly because I love squirming on the sofa as the commentators (Huw Edwards and Hazel Irvine today) try to make some sense of the utter, utter bollocks going on in front of them, reading from a script with cod artistic symbollism that would make a student writing a GCSE English poetry essay blush.

'. . . and now dozens of small children, all dressed in scarlet, dance about in a representation of the blood escaping the anus of the Emperor Minge after a particularly bad attack of piles in the 8th Century. . .'

Wouldn't miss it for the world.

*I am well aware that many Libertarians are pro-death penalty. I am right against it. Ignoring the whole 'let him have it' and 'what if the jury are wrong' debate, I just feel that the death penalty is vengence rather than justice. The taking of a life in revenge would send me to prison as an individual, doing it as a society does not legitimise it.

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