Saturday, August 02, 2008
But fear not, after a couple of days I will be back with lots of LOLCats, poetry, pictures of flowers, and recitations on the glory of life.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
, and how they have changed through the years. From Big Country, to Raging Bull, to Oldboy, this lesson in editing and pacing does a fine job of exploring the highs and lows of filmed fisticuffs.
"The committee's delegates expressed widespread hope that a seven-year buildup to the 2008 Games would accelerate openness in China and facilitate improvement in its record on human rights.
''I think the message was that the I.O.C. wanted to open a country that represents one-quarter of mankind and had never organized the Games before,'' Jacques Rogge, an influential delegate from Belgium, said."
And according to François Carrard, the executive director of the I.O.C.:
"Bet on the fact that in the coming seven years, openness, progress and development in many areas will be such that the situation will be improved. We are taking the bet that seven years from now we will see many changes."
Luckily, someone with a clue provided a sensible view of things:
"''There is a feeling that the Olympic Games promote world peace and humanitarian causes and can impact social change immediately,'' said Kevin Wamsley, a history professor and director of the International Center for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario. ''History shows the Games have not done these kinds of things. I don't think we saw any less racism in the U.S. because the Olympics were in Atlanta.''"
We all knew this was going to happen, right? Did anyone really think the Chinese would welcome the world with open arms? That their citizens would have new-found rights and freedoms after being sprinkled with freedom-dust from the Five Circled Fairy of Olympic Goodness? Sadly no, as we live in the real world.
So it comes as no surprise that China now has a new and improved local snitch squad, 400,000 strong.
And as for the IOC's fine words about freedom and openness? Well put me in gumboots and call me a duck. Turns out they were lying.
"A deal between the International Olympic Committee and China will allow the communist country to block journalists from sensitive websites during the Beijing Games in August."
From the same article, we have comedy worthy of Baghdad Bob. You see, Amnesty International put out a report on the terrible job China has done fulfilling their promise to improve human rights. Well....
"The report from Amnesty International, released just 10 days ahead of the opening ceremonies, says China's human rights record has actually worsened as the Games approach.
It says China has failed to live up to its promise to allow greater media freedom.
On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao rejected the report, saying that Amnesty is biased and people "those who know China will not agree with this report."Of course the funny part is that Amnesty's web site is blocked in China, so that "those who know China" and are in China, won't get to decide for themselves.
The Chinese don't care about human rights. Giving them the Games was never going to change that.