Well, today is the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Beijing, and most everyone is just happy and joyful and whatnot.
I’ll pass, thanks.
China is doing all it can to show that it can be a good host and a member of the modern, civilized world.
And, as is typical of communist dictatorships, failing miserably.
They’ve reneged on their promise of minimal restrictions on internet access for the athletes and the press.
They’ve been caught planting microphones in tons of cabs.
Their promises to clean up the air in and around Beijing went over like the proverbial lead balloon. (Well, considering the amount of lead and other toxins in the air, maybe not so proverbial.)
They’ve evicted thousands from their homes to make room for the Games, and hauled off those who dare protest their shabby treatment.
They’ve banned at least one past medal winner from participating in the opening ceremonies because he had the temerity to not like the ongoing genocide in Darfur — and point out China’s actions and interests in allowing it to go on.
As I am accustomed to, I find myself in the minority in loathing these developments. President Bush is in China to attend the opening ceremonies. Senator Obama was so repulsed by it all, he bought a bunch of advertising for the coverage. Senator McCain was so appalled by Senator Obama’s actions that he decided to buy even more ads than Obama did.
My only consolation is that there is a certain historical trend that I like. Whenever the Olympic games are held in a tyrannical regime, it seems to be a harbinger of the fall of that tyranny within a decade. It happened in Berlin, Germany in 1936. It happened in Moscow in 1980. And it happened in Sarajevo in 1984.
It’d be nice to think that the communist tyrants of China will be relegated to the dung heap of history with a decade or so. But I fear that it’s just a statistical artifact, a quirk of fate.
But one can only hope.