Monday, July 21, 2008

DC Train of Thought: The Official Beijing 2008 Olympics Celebration Station, Part Three!

It’s been a bit longer than anticipated since the last update, because I thought I’d give the Yangtze River Dolphin a few extra days to claim the spot of Beijing 2008 Poster Child. By the lack of response I can only conclude that the baiji are too busy hanging out with the 11th Panchen Lama to accept the role- bourgeois oppressors, the both of them!

The last month has seen continued coverage of the run-up to the Games. Getting a tourist visa is still far harder than it should be, resulting in empty hotels and restaurants in Beijing. The Communist Party of China is continuing its crackdown on dissent and activism of any kind, including the arrests of several dissidents just hours away from a dinner with visiting American politicians. One of the biggest threats to the Games is the possibility of an attack by the East Turkistan Independence Movement, and the Chinese have responded accordingly by executing several Uyghurs without enduring the whole ordeal of ‘obtaining evidence and having a trial.’ Finally, a round of negotiations between Beijing and representatives of the Dalai Lama has ended without major progress. Progress is bound to be pretty hard when one of the parties won’t even be honest about where the real borders of Tibet lie- traditionally Tibetan lands have been absorbed into Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai, and Yunnan provinces, and the CPC isn’t even allowing discussion of these areas to be brought to the table. I’m not sure how they explain the existence of places like Labrang Monastery in areas which they claim have “always been part of China,” but I guess that’s the difference between me and the CPC Propaganda/Nonsense Department.

But this entry isn’t for the poster child; this one is for the poster. Whatever they end up choosing, the Chinese are going to want a stunning backdrop to show the beauty of Beijing skies. I’d like to nominate this photo by Atlantic columnist and blogger James Fallows, taken from this article:

A series of pictures in his blog show that for most of the last 4 months the weather has been fairly similar. Not a touch of smog in the sky! I can’t make out what the actual building in the center is, but that might just be because of the blinding lens flare emanating from the sun. Hell, the whole picture is so bright and sunny I feel like I should wear sunglasses whenever I look at it.

I’ll be posting the resulting Official Beijing 2008 Poster soon.


  1. That picture is disgusting. The less enthused I get about these Olympics, the more excited I am about how well covered they'll be on this site.

    Question: Does an athlete use the spotlight to make a political statement? And if yes, how does the government react?

    My guess is yes, somebody will have a Tibetan flag or some other protest symbol, but I really have no clue how the Chinese government would react to something like that with the spotlight fully on.

    honestly, I'm like 10 times more excited about the possibility of some sort of protest on the world stage than the Olympics themselves. Beiging 2008! WOOO!

  2. Right after I posted my comment I saw this.\