April 9, 2008

  • It's a constant source of astonishment how people who ought to know better, don't.

    Have you read where the Olympic torch "closing" ceremony (by which presumably is meant it leaves these shores), which had been scheduled to be held in San Francisco, has been canceled and will be held in an undisclosed location, due to the vehement protests?

    What chucklehead thought San Francisco would be a good place for that, anyway? 

    With its large Chinese population?  Many of whom are doubtless not terribly fond of what used to be colloquially referred to as Red China?

    Shades of having something headed to Cuba being on display in Miami. 

    Don't you know the Olympic committee is developing ulcers over the upcoming Summer Games?  Let's see.  The Chinese government is rounding up those they consider to be dissidents (and it doesn't take much to qualify) and chucking 'em into jail for several months; there has been violence over there due to the situation with the Dalai Lama; the air quality is still appalling, to the extent at least a couple of high profile (in their respective sports, in any case) have said they're skipping these games; construction is not completed, etc. etc. etc.

    And now the Olympic torch darn near triggers riots wherever it goes.

    Gee, are we having fun yet?

Comments (5)

  • I'm still debating whether I'm even going to watch the Olympics... but, then again, I have never had a problem watching them when countries that support legal abortion host them.

  • Well, I suppose the decision was made long ago that SF would be good because of its strong identification with Chinese heritage, before the Tibet stuff reheated and the specter of protests arose. With the complacent way most of the West has been acting about China's other abuses for decades, the IOC could be forgiven for not thinking there would be a lot of stink over it. And, not ALL Chinese Americans are anti-PRC, so the fact that there's a large Chinese population in SF wouldn't necessarily indicate a bad reception. Some percentage of any ethnic population will always choose cultural identification over principles of justice. The IOC just guessed wrong about which way it would go, probably because too many of them come from countries where they don't get things like Western ideals of freedom.

    I even have my suspicions about those so-called "Muslim extremists" who were supposedly going to blow up (or was it kidnap?) foreign visitors at the Olympics. Is it quite possible there are such people? Sure. But it's about equally possible that the Chinese gov't decided to round up a few people without just cause in order to send the message that disfavored groups had better keep a VERY low profile come August. It's bad when you have your doubts that a charge of Muslim terrorist plotting might be trumped up.

  • Chuckleheads indeed.  But I would call on my New England heritage and call the IOC, who chose China in the first place, clamheads.  A variation is chowderheads.  Either is acceptable and they are interchangeable.

  • What slew me was the Norwegian IOC official who cheerfully said that, because no one was hurt amid all the violence, that was a "very good outcome'!

  • Wow, Eleanor, that WAS chowderheaded. Sometimes I wonder if these guys can hear themselves when they talk.

    Something else I thought about re: that Muslim thing. I'm still perfectly willing to believe that there were real, live, terrorists who were really planning real, live bad things.

    But just consider this: suppose you were a tyrannical government that wanted to send a message to all the various dissident groups in your country that they'd better not mess with your PR during the biggest international event of your modern history. Of all the dissident groups in your country that you could persecute to create an example for the others, which group would be least likely to garner sympathy from the West? If you guessed "Muslim extremists," you just won the grand prize on "Pentamom's Name That Communist Conspiracy Theory!"

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