Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pompless Circumstances

I've really thought this one over...whether or not to watch the Olympics at all this year. I've always been a sucker for the pomp and circumstance of the opening and closing ceremonies. I've enjoyed the opening ceremonies mostly, because not only did it give the host country a chance to welcome the world, it gave the country a chance to say, "Hey, this is who we are". The country's culture and history are woven artistically through a cavalcade of light and sound and color...some countries were more deft at this than others. But with China's rich history and culture, the opening ceremonies should be one of the better ones.

But, can I watch with a sense of awe? Can I watch without thinking of Yang Chunlin. He passed around a petition in 2007, one that did not look favorably on the Olympics coming to China, and is now in prison for voicing an opinion. Or Hu Jia, a blogger, who compared the upcoming Olympics to the ones held in 1936 in analogy I had made in a past post some time ago. Difference is, Jia is in jail, while I am sitting here, asking myself if I am going to watch the Olympics.

Maybe I answered my own question. I may watch an event or two, but not the ceremonies. I guess no matter where, no matter who is the host country, the ceremonies do smack at promotion, if I want to don my cynic's glasses and see them in that light. But in this case, it's blatant propaganda, and I don't need cynicism to see that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to watch the games, but I don't think they should have been awarded to China in the first place.