The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Governments In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones …
August 8, 2008, 8:36 am
Filed under: Comment

Beijing 2008 Olympic Cupcake Photo: CleverCupCakes

So today is the opening of the Olympics …

There’s lots of talk about the games having lost its spirit and now being nothing more than a money focused corporation/event … but that’s nothing new, it’s been like that for decades and if you read Andrew Jennings absolutely brilliant book, The New Lords Of The Rings you’ll get all the seedy details of how the Olympic committee operate.

Infact the rumour is that the Olympics were going to be going to be held in China in 2000 – due to pressure from global corporate sponsors who were demanding new markets of opportunity being opened up for them – however a little incident called Tiananmen Square occurred and plans were hastily switched to making Sydney the winning bid.

And I particularly like all this talk about China being polluted.

You think that has just happened?

Of course not … it’s been like that for years and years and years … so to see athletes and sporting organisations suddenly start claiming that is something new is a joke. They make it sound like they’ve never been exposed to any pollution in their lives and that’s obviously a complete load of bollocks.

I’m not denying the air quality sucks [literally, it sucks the life out of you] but don’t blame China – who are doing everything in their power to improve it, at least temporarily – blame the Olympic committee and corporate sponsors who pushed for this.

So to the American athletes who turned up with their black face masks on, maybe they should place the logos of Coke and Macca’s all over them given they were just two of the key American companies who pushed for a Chinese Olympics.

This will be a great games … an absolutely great games.

Why?

Well make no mistake, this isn’t about China wanting to show the World it is a country that wants to belong, this is about China showing the World it will be the dominant player – and nothing will stand in its way in doing that.

Will that mean all sorts of dubious shenanigans taking place to keep the illusion alive?

Yep … and that is not acceptable … but you also have to remember all countries have practiced ‘illusion strategies’ … fuck, Sydney even took all the homeless off the streets when the Pope visited last week.

Think about it, a man who preaches we should love all people holds an event where the very people who need the most help are picked up and taken away. Nice.

Don’t get me wrong, China has many issues … and they cannot and should not be ignored or swept under the carpet … but it is a wonderful country with wonderful, warm and fascinating people, so we should all watch today’s opening ceremony because not only will it be spectacular, it will signal the dawn of a new phase in the planets evolution – Civilization 3.0 – and I for one don’t think that’s as scary a proposition as so many scared [but for selfish reasons] Western politicians would like us to believe.

UPDATE

I don’t know if this proves what I said in this post or not, but I had to put this clip of the ‘opening’ of the opening ceremony because it just blows my mind …

… and if anyone can tell me where I can find the ‘firework footsteps’, I’d be very grateful.


26 Comments so far
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I understand what you’re saying Robert and there’s incredible levels of hypocrisy going on, but I just want to clarify you are not saying issues like human rights or journalistic freedom should be accepted as ‘China’s way’ are you?

Good post though, you raise a lot of points that I think many of us have felt but not been able to articulate.

Comment by Pete

Of course I’m not – there are many terrible things that go on there that I would love to see stop – but I hate how certain Western politicians have tried to paint 1.4 billion people as evil.

The fact is, there are terrible things going on all over the World, and it can’t be a coincidence that many Governments only voice their concerns when they feel the ramifications [or benefits] for them are high.

The US went into Iraq for oil and many Governments talk about China’s ‘issues’ because they are petrified about their super-fast growth and influence.

That’s not meant to sound like I am downplaying issues like human right … I am just saying the motivations for alot of this anti-Beijing Olympics seems to be coming from political fear/smear rather than a genuine desire to stop some of the fundamental wrongs.

History is littered with examples of human right issues – and some not that far back in history – yet so many Governments were happy to turn a blind eye to that. I just say their motivations are transparent and the people of China – as Charles said – deserve this, because they’ve been through a lot and this is their chance to feel proud, even if their Governments motivations are also to stoke the flames of fear in the Western corporations and political parties.

Charles? Anything you want to add?

Agree, disagree?

Comment by Rob

Great post, mate. I sense among the Chinese that they feel their destiny playing out – one that has been relegated/put on hold for the last 200 years (i.e far too long).

Speaking of “illusion strategies”…not too long ago, U.S. policymakers were vociferously opposed to investments by cash-rich Chinese, Middle Eastern, Russian and Singaporean sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in iconic U.S. companies. They claimed these investments lacked transparency and hurt “strategic U.S. national interests”, etc. A senior SWF executive I spoke to believes it has more to do with the U.S. not coping well with its hegemony being chipped away by rising nations such as China. Now, that the U.S. economy is in a bad state, they’ve significantly toned down their rhetoric and quietly welcomed investments made by SWFs in troubled U.S. firms such as Merill Lynch and Citibank. Without the massive injection of capital from these SWFs, these companies might have collapsed.

Comment by Mark

Great point Mark …

I’ve always believed Government policy should be focused more on what they won’t do rather than what they will do … however given democracy ultimately means you are voting in your own personal best interests rather than the good of the country, you can see why so many Governments resort to ‘cutting corners’ or ‘changing decisions’ just to stand a chance of keeping up with demand/keeping in power.

The bit that bothers me is that all too often the people the Government really hear – at least till election time is coming up – is the rich and influential so many of the decisions they make are for their benefit rather than the masses.

Look at the banking issue going on. The banks have a huge level of responsibility for that situation but are they getting any real judicial punishment?

Nope … and that’s because the Governments know they have the countries balls in their hand so if they fuck them, they will get fucked over ten times worse.

Marcus has written an interesting post about Obama’s ‘Hope’ strategy [www.bealwaysopening.com/2008/08/yes-we-could/]

I reckon the reason it is striking such a chord is because the masses are fed up of feeling optimism is only for those fortunate to be from the right geography, industry and culture [to name but a few]

They believe [and lets remember, the American culture is built on the premise of work hard and you will prosper – which is definitely not true anymore because in many cases, the hardest working are the least prosperous] hope/optimism should exist for all, not just the already fortunate … and they’re right … however it’s also economically important because where hope and optimism exists, positive progress happens.

In some respects all this financial horror is positive because it might help everyone have a ‘readjustment of perspectives’ and stop this continual more-more-more attitude, but I doubt it, especially when my industry will whore itself for every single dollar.

Of course Obama could be talking shit [he is a politician] but his language is a breath of fresh air to a World becoming increasingly split into divisions of absolte poverty, struggling, disgustingly rich.

Comment by Rob

“…because in many cases, the hardest working are the least prosperous.” How true.

Comment by Mark

Too early for full reply…

But with Pete provisos you are spot fucking on.

China needs to change, but Bush criticizing their human rights on the day a Guantanamo Bay trial is decided is hypocritical beyond belief.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I am sure you can guess which of my colleagues suggested I visit your blog, so imagine my surprise when I was greeted by a post about paedophiles. Fortunately for you both I decided to log on again and found this excellent post.

You raise many interesting points and your subsequent commentary is also very informative. I feel you may be being rather simplisitic in some of your observations but then this is not meant to be an article appearing in the Economist.

It is very refreshing to read someone talk positively about the people of China rather than focusing on the issues of the ruling party. This Olympics will be a wonderful event and people of China deserve it. I get very frustrated when people assume I am advocating China’s human rights record simply for being excited about what China will present to the World.

I may well return to this blog.

Comment by Paul Charles

Hello Paul, what a nice surprise and thank you for your comments and feedback. Maybe you can tell me the bits you feel are simplistic when I see you. I’m not disagreeing with you – infact I couldn’t agree with you more – I’d just be interested in hearing your perspective.

To be honest I’m impressed you even bothered to venture back after seeing my paedophile post … but I’m glad you did because it saves me from another telling off from George šŸ™‚

Comment by Rob

and this isn’t the first time that olympics have happened in places with crap going on – you think athens wasn’t polluted? you think mexico was a great place to be at the time? how about berlin or even munich – fuck, athletes got killed and taken hostage there! the olympic games are fraught with controversy and mess because people are fraught with controversy and mess. the minute you try to exert an overpowering commercial interest over that is where you get your warped sense of morals. and when you try to have one person, or one nation speak on behalf of the entire world is when you dally in arrogance and hypocrisy. but then again, some of us are well-known for our arrogance and hypocrisy.

Comment by lauren

Nice points Lauren – especially about Mexico, Berlin and Munich but my attention has been drawn to the fact you’re writing totally in lowercase letters which is only going to feed Andy’s delusion that you are infact, infatuated with him.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now back to the point, I don’t want my serious commentator thinking this blog is just about peado’s and pills that turn your shit, gold šŸ™‚

Where is Charles? I want his perspective – he is better placed than any of us regarding how China is feeling/thinking/acting.

Comment by Rob

i AM andy.

[seriously, in my defence, i’ve been writing in lowercaps since the first time i commented on your blog,
http://robcampbell.wordpress.com/2007/01/22/sausages-kick-bacons-arse/
so andy can continue his delusion without me]

Comment by lauren

oh, and charles is probably on the streets, causing a ruckus and taking photos of the peeps watching the ceremony.

Comment by lauren

The fact you knew what your your first ever comment was [and found it] scares me incredibly.

You are a freak woman, a lovely, clever, beautiful freak!

Now go compare opening ceremonies and prepare for the deluge of Aussie papers saying “OURS WAS BETTER” šŸ™‚

Night …

Comment by Rob

Blimey. You’ve caught me out. I was heading to the Olympic Stadium and completely forgot that I’d left my camera battery charging. Anyway I’m back at my Tiananmen Sq pad and heading out shortly but before I go I’d like to chip in.

First of, we are facing civilisation 3.0 because the West decided to lose its emphasis on quality and threw all its chips into a model that China is fully built on. Its called volume. As the West put the emphasis on wealth creation as the only really important thing that matters China dispensed with Marxism and started to play the game. As the worlds most populous nation (and market) it will win that game. Period.

We shouldn’t be surprised. We moved away from a family unit and quality of life structure to one that just did things faster and bigger. I suspect the stock markets were where we threw the towel in and said it doesn’t matter about quality.

In it’s own way Communism was always about quality not quantity or wealth creation but of course human nature denied that particular direction any life and so here we are confronted with the next 300 million peasants in China who will be moving to the cities in the clamour for more wealth creation over the next 20 years and as a market it will not only feed itself but fiscally dominate others. The boot is on the other foot now and any attempts to view history or civilisation from a Western (occidental) perspective is an utter waste of time.

The quicker the West starts to view the world with Oriental glasses the quicker it will understand how to survive and integrate it’s institutions into the emerging world order.

As the planet begins to face some of the most pressing issues from unfettered neoliberal capitalism my dangerous emerging thought is that in the interests of actually getting stuff done outside of a slow moving United Nations initiative that it requires a little strength and dare I say it top down leadership. China is much more poised to take this position than the self serving bureaucracy and fat cat wallets of Washington and Wall Street. Now of course it’s a lot more complex than all that but the reality is that its China’s game and its one that we probably invented with the never ending pursuit of wealth creation for wealth creations sake (you can’t take it to the grave you fools) and of course that’s a model built on volumetrics that China wins hands down, but my other dangerous thought is that Asia is fundamentally a two tier society with remarkably little social unrest.

Maybe we in the West haven’t found a model that integrates everyone and actually gets stuff done. Instead every bleating sponger and XR3i driver gets to meddle in the higher aims of society and thus preventing anything from being achieved. That’s not going to happen in Asia.

Right I’m off out to cause some trouble on Tiananmen. But one last point which is the guy who set up the China Olympics is called Juan Antonio Samaranch. He’s as slimey as it gets with business interests in China despite being the Chair of the Olympic committee when the decision was made and the whole of China kisses his ass.

Comment by Charles Frith

i’m done with copying andy with my lowercase stuff, decided to start copying doddsy and got all pedantic on your arse.

and, about opening ceremonies, well apart from the obvious nikki webster girl on a rope thingy, the chinese ceremony obviously whips out arses. no further comparison necessary šŸ™‚

Comment by lauren

In 1900, they also had clay pigeon shooting but with live pigeons – the winner killed 21!!

And Charles is on his leccy nike causing trouble in the square – or that’s what he just claimed on the phone.

Comment by John

And lauren lower case, I find your reference to whipping out arses to be rather alarming.

Comment by John

you so want me lauren but then youre only human šŸ™‚

ignore pauls comment calling your post simplistic, he doesnt realise you dont know any other way and its good. for you

Comment by andy@cynic

as i said campbell, your post was good but ive just read charlie boys comment and his is miles better but then hes practically one of them isnt he šŸ™‚

the chinese really pulled off tonight, spectacular show with amazing use of colour, light and technology. personally i thought the firework footprints were the most fucking outrageous thing ive seen in a long time, then there was the painting by dancing, a fucking new twist in the painting by numbers shit if i ever saw one.

see what you mean about telling the world theyre ready to take over again, there was subtext all over the fucking place or at least thats what i ended up thinking after you planted that seed in my mind. bastard.

the chinese people should be very fucking proud of what theyve pulled off and the western governments should be very fucking scared. they didnt do an opening ceremony showing all the things theyve invented that we now rely on for nothing. or is that you and your brainwashing again campbell. seriously, you should be in the cia not fucking advertising

i noticed the iraq team got a big fucking cheer, thats all we need, 1.4 billion chinese deciding to take their side. bush must be crapping his fucking pants

Comment by andy@cynic

So you liked it then Andy šŸ™‚

When I read your first comment I thought you were using less offensive language because Paul has popped by on this blog … and I was preparing to call you Mr Crawly … but given your next post was back to offensive-word-heaven, I will put it down to you being lost in the Olympic spirit.

I thought it was wonderful, and I too loved the fireworks and painting-by-dance, but the opening scene with all the drummers was a sight to behold.

I also thought the use of projection on the stadium roof was inspired – especially the ‘waterfall bit’ – though when the ‘earth’ started to rise from the floor, it did cross my mind it might of been a nuclear bomb … only to find it was something worse, it was Sarah Brightman!!!

Thanks for your brilliant comment Charles, I couldn’t agree with you more and I love how you say communism was originally about quality, a concept that is seemingly being consigned to history by more and more companies who should know better. Are you listening Apple? Are you listening Bazza? Plastic covers? Your company has never been an advocate of using a material like that purely for price – or should I say you’ve never been an advocate of that type of material and then openly admitting it is because you want to lower the price/quality to achieve sales volume. It’s like Led Zep launching a single for the charts for fucks sake … or worse, a dance single.

Watching the ceremony made me feel really proud … I don’t mean that in a condescending way, but as a person who genuinely calls this region ‘home’ – which somehow made me feel more connected to proceedings than I ever would if I’d been living in the West.

This part of the World is amazing. Sure it can be as frustrating as all fuck, but it is brilliant, interesting and energetic and I hate that it is not getting a fraction of the respect it deserves from most Western countries, companies or people. I guess they’ll be learning the hard way about the East’s potential and ambition.

In all seriousness … I know the opening ceremony cost more than any other in history, and probably won’t ever be matched in my lifetime [can you imagine how the British 2012 Olympic Committee felt watching it, poor bastards] … but this is what the World needs more of – celebration of culture and creativity and optimism – because it really can help us all feel better about life and the World and maybe [at least from an average persons viewpoint] it even helps us be closer and more understanding to others … and I bet you it still comes in at a fraction of the price of unneeded, unwarranted wars.

Finally, spare a thought for Singapore. It’s their birthday tonight and apprentely for weeks they’ve been promoting it’s going to be an extravaganza. Infact someone even wrote into the paper to say they had been at the rehersal and couldn’t imagine a better celebration anywhere in the World – and it would soon be recognised as a massive tourist attraction.

Putting aside the fact this will be the 43rd year Singapore has celebrated it’s independence and that the person who wrote in is obviously a myopic fool who has never travelled anywhere outside of Singapore’s borders – I have a sneaky suspicion last night might be a teensy-bit better than what happens at the City State tonight. That’s no insult – it will be great – but going up the night after the China opening ceremony is like S-Club 7 headlining at The Beatles reunion.

Comment by Rob

No, this won’t be a great games. It’ll be a fucking shambles. A dirty Olympics awarded to a country that have failed to fulfill the promises they made in their ‘bid’ to host the event.

It’s not the fault of the general public of China of course, but how anyone can celebrate this fucking disgusting theatre is beyond me.

THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED TO TAKE OUT THE ‘C’ WORD – MY MUM COMES HERE YOU KNOW šŸ™‚ – EVERYTHING ELSE IS AS WAS WRITTEN

Comment by pisspoorenglish

Hi there PissPoorEnglish … you are entitled to your opinion however I am entitled to respond.

I agree totally that the Olympic Committee are, in the main, a terrible organisation who practice little of what they preach through their Olympic charter[I say that in my post] … and I agree that in certain elements, the Chinese Government may have not totally fulfilled what they previously had agreed to in their bid submission [though sadly many countries/companies in Asia act in this way [though many other countries are just as bad] so that should not be a sudden surprise to anyone, even if the organisers continually sought reassurances from Chinese officials] … however putting politics aside [which I appreciate is hard to do and probably immoral to do] I disagree this won’t be a great games … it will … and it’s a fantastic moment for the 1.4 billion Chinese who – as I and you said – are generally innocent to what is going on and have also endured incredible horrors recently.

However – and this is very important – the overwhelming majority of China are proud of what they and their country and doing and achieving and the Olympics reflects that. Many view negative comments emanating from the West about them with anger. Sure, this is because in many cases they don’t know the whole story but the West has to be careful not to condescend an entire nation which I’m afraid it does on many occasions – often through ignorance or simply based on media commentary.

Like Paul Charles said – I do not want to be judged as advocating the wrongs that the Chinese ruling party do for simply being happy for China and it’s peoples by these games – just like I am sure you don’t want to be seen advocating Bush and his human rights issues by simply enjoying a Hollywood movie and wearing NIKE clothes every now and then.

To say the games will be a shambles is just wrong and I’d like to hear how/why you can say that. I’m not doing this to pick a fight, but talk like that needs to be explained – if only for my own personal interest.

Thanks for popping by and I hope you understand my response in the manner it is meant, it is not meant to be a personal attack, just a comment to yours.

Comment by Robert

I’m not sure this is on topic though that’s never stopped anyone here, but I was given pause for thought by a presentation given by Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World.

He made the point that human rights is a very tricky area and that every country is prone to hypocrisy when condemning others on this basis. I have no idea if he’s right or wrong but his assertion that over 90% of the Chinese population (being Han Chinese) support their government’s actions in Tibet certainly got me thinking about the nature of democracy and the gargantuan task of trying to change the opinion of 1.3 billion people to another worldview.

Comment by John

are you that fucking sad dodds that you visit campbells blog on a sunday. jesus fucking christ, i knew things were bad but didnt realise youre that screwed.

despite that you raise a good point because if the west want china to embrace democracy they have to realise that could lead to very little fucking change in what they do and what the majority think and then where would that leave them? putting them on a new axis of fucking evil? a new fucking cold war?

i know where pisspoor is coming from (great fucking moniker that) but he or she seems to be on a tangent with their argument a fucking protractor couldnt figure out which is why they should be on this blog more often even if campbell starts throwing out smartass analogies to prove his point. i fucking hate it when he does that. well im not a sad fuck so im off to greet mr campbell who is bound to be tired from his first class fucking virgin flight. poor little spoilt fucking lamb

Comment by andy@cynic

The sermon was boring.

Comment by John

Shit-stirrer … that is directed to Andy, not John, but he’s just as bad šŸ™‚

[I take it the sermon you mention John is from your previous comment, rather than a complaint about your local vicar]

Comment by Rob




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