Posts Tagged 2008 Olympics

2008 Summer Olympics : B for Bland (and Beijing)

Finally got a chance to watch the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony performance. Initial verdict, good. Final verdict, er.

Yes, it’s great to have strength in numbers, which China very dutifully demonstrates. The presentation in itself isn’t bad, it’s just uninspiring and easily leads to boredom. There’s only so many times you can “oh” and “ah” at the mass swarm of bodies before you also notice how there’s is always, always a singular figure in the middle like some kind of God of Creation, handily demonstrating China’s belief in benevolent dictatorship. I kid, of course. Maybe.

As my fellow watchers eloquently summed up, there’s just nothing spectacular about it. Nothing that really imprints itself into your memory.

It’s also bit tiring to see China constantly replay its past successes instead of moving towards a bright international future. Can we stop having the RED CHINA IS BEST CHINA business? The entire opening ceremony was nonstop political thrusts of advertisement leading to an explosive orgasmic finale. That was a poor use of metaphor, yes.

Incidentally, did you know that ancient China invented the compass, gunpowder, paper, and printing? If you didn’t, and perhaps wasn’t sure, China will be sure to beat that into the ground for you. As good a time as any to give a hearty, “screw you Korea,” I guess, what with the recent debacle.

It could be that I just look at the Olympic Games in a different light these days because the Tourism – AKA, cultural geography – course I took focused more on the financial and political aspects of them. There’s just a bit too much controversy swirling around the People’s Republic right now that it’s a bit uncomfortable to partake in its national celebration (and that’s what the Olympics are, don’t BS about international cooperation).

Anyways. The fireworks display was great – I guess declaring, ‘WE INVENTED GUNPOWDER!’ is a tad unwise when everything else was geared towards fluffy-bunny-and-doves humanitarian peace – Tibet must be pulling its hair at this point. The Olympics rings on a hanging mesh was a novel idea as well. The two giant LED screens were possibly the best aspect, and they were involved in every presentation.

Overall, the opening ceremony was average. Some parts are very spectacular – the, eh, wall-running and lighting the flame was a great climax, and despite taking dynasties to get there, is indeed worth the wait – but most not quite so. Variety would have been nice.

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