The Beijing Olympics 2008 will long be remembered. However, I rather feel it is going to be remembered for the wrong things. The Beijing Olympics will be remembered for what it was not: truthful.
Firstly, we learnt that the "fireworks" on the opening night, were little more than a computer operator's imagination. Now, we have learnt that the girl who "sang" the opening ceremony was just a pretty replacement for the girl who actually sang. The Beijing Olympics 2008 is becoming known not for its spectacle, but for its lies and deceptions.
It seems clear that the Communist party Politburo wishes to present an image of a perfect China to the world. China is to be a country where fireworks obey their every command and explode in perfect dashes of colour. China is to be a country where the best singers in the land also happen to be the prettiest. China is a country which wins more medals than anyone else (it remains to be seen whether and how that one will be achieved.)
Sadly, China is not what China wishes to appear to be. China is a large, repressed, overly-controlled state in which the individual suffers a curtailment of basic freedoms. It is not a state to be admired or envied. It is something else, something darker. China is a model which the rest of the world should learn from - in a negative sense - that is, it is a lesson in how not to be.
We all know what China is (unless we are believers in propaganda, without thinking about it). However, it is instructive to take a look at what China has prevented itself from being seen to be.
What if China had allowed the actual 7 year old girl singer to sing at the Olympics? What effect would it have had on world opinion and the view of China if they had allowed the "buck-toothed" young girl to sing? Think about it for a moment.
I don't know your understanding - but I know this: the view of China would have been ENHANCED had they allowed the actual singer to sing in the stadium. Now, why do I say that China's reputation would have been better with a buck-toothed singer than with a pretty little model-like girl? Well, it is simple. Had China shown the buck-toothed girl with the wonderful voice, they would have been sending a global message that China values talent above superficial issues such as appearance. They would have been telling the world that China is a deep nation, with deep values, not swayed by trivialities. They would have sent a message that China had matured as a nation and was not moved by inconsequentialities. However, what they did instead was hide the girl whose voice was singing because she just wasn't pretty enough - and replace her with a pretty girl who PRETENDED to sing. China preferred a superficial lie to a deeper truth. China has thus revealed itself as many things: trivial, dishonest, short-sighted, stupid (for not knowing how damaging such deception would be) and deceitful. China has shown itself, once again, to be a nation that should not and cannot be admired or respected.
Yang Peiyi, 7, the buck-toothed girl with the beautiful voice was an opportunity for China to show itself to be a great nation, supportive of its people, proud of their gifts. It would have been far better for China to show such a girl to the world - an honest face of China, if you like - than to have set-up a calculated lie to deceive the world. The lie was a simple one: that China, statistically, has so many great singers that they can afford to choose a pretty one, too. Clearly, that is not so. Out of thousands of auditionees, they could not find one who was both a good enough singer and pretty enough (in their view) to go on TV. Thus we can conclude that China is not overflowing with talent in such areas - if it were, it would not have been difficult to find a girl both talented and cute in 1.4 billion people. So, China has shown us, by their effortful lie, that China is not as burdened with talents as one might suppose. Many things are revealed by their action.
China has lost a great opportunity to show itself as a great nation. It is, instead, revealing itself, step by step, as a place that just cannot stop lying - even when the spotlight of the world is on its every move.
I cannot help but feel sorry for the little girl who almost became a star. Her voice has been heard by billions - but I do not even know her face. Instead, the stand-in, without enough talent to be allowed to sing, made it to the front page of the New York Times. So, a girl whose only talent we are aware of is that she is quite pretty (but not very), and with an ability to lip synch becomes world famous - but the best girl singer China could find remains unknown. That is a tragedy of a kind that may destroy the little girl's life. Imagine if she never succeeds as a singer (if that is what she wants to be). Imagine how much regret she will feel at being side-lined at the Olympics, despite being the voice of it? She has been set-up for a regretful life - and all because China is too shallow to allow a less than pretty girl be seen by the world.
The other girl's life, too, promises to be a tragedy of a different kind. She has become famous for something she is not and cannot do. Her fame is a lie that will follow her for the rest of her life. That, too, is not much fun.
So, two girl's lives have been sacrificed for the greater glory of the People's Republic of China. In doing so, however, China has sacrificed something else, too: the best opportunity they have had in decades for cultivating a positive world opinion of one of the world's least free places.
Here is something for you to dwell on. It takes great courage for anyone who knows the truth of what China is doing regarding the Olympics to come out and tell that truth. One such courageous person is Chen Qigang, general music designer for the Olympics - for it was he who revealed that Yang Peiyi, 7, had been sidelined for Lia Miaoke, 9, on account of her "buck-teeth". The question is how many lies and deceptions will we never find out about because no-one is courageous enough to come out about them?
There is an irony in that the Olympics are always talking about uncovering the doping and cheating of athletes - well, how about the different kind of cheating that the organizers themselves are engaged in? So far, two deceptions have been revealed...how many more are there unknown to us?
As for buck-toothed Yang Peiyi, did no-one think that all she needed was a good dentist, not a stand-in? It seems that even with a rumoured 40 billion dollar Olympic budget they couldn't spare the change needed to correct Yang Peiyi's teeth and spare China from the shame of another world renowned lie. Or maybe they don't have any good dentists in China, either (along with no pretty and talented singers!)
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html
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Labels: Beijing Olympics 2008, Chen Qigang, deceptions, Lia Miaoke, lies, People's Republic of China, PRC, the memory of the world, the nature of China, why China will never be admired, Yang Peiyi