4 years ago, BeiJing took so much time making itself look pretty. It was its moment to shine in front of the international community.
“You Americans look down on us—you think of us as low-educated and savage. I hope the Olympics can change all that.”
Well, the BeiJing 2008 Olympics sure made people think twice about talking bad about China! That is, until the baby milk scandal came about… Then, that’s when everyone who was enamored with how much you’ve changed, suddenly realized again, that it was all cosmetic.
… A quick comparison of the two most recent Summer Olympic songs shows the stark difference in the two approaches.
Say what you will about Muse’s Survival – I’ll wait till the laughter dies down. One thing it can’t be accused of is being about Britain. The official video accompanying it makes this even more radically clear, as images of Britain don’t even appear. The video and song are about sport – the pain, the heartache, the glory, the determination, the abject tears of loss and startled triumph of victory. It’s in English, obviously, and has an implied link to Britain. It hopes that through recognition of the commonly shared experiences of pain, glory and all the rest, the viewer will (a) watch the Olympics and boost ad revenue, (b) understand that you and Britain share the human experience of sport in common, and that Britain’s representation of it is awesome.
Nothing could be more the opposite of this than the video for ‘Beijing Welcomes You’. Most obvious is the fact that it has almost nothing to do with sport, being entirely about China. It is essentially an ode to the belief that China is a great marvel to see, that you will enjoy being its guest,that everyone runs around in cheongsam writing poems, and that the air quality is totally fine, trust us, it’s cool, we’ve taken care of it.
Now that your city is completely flooded, because despite all the cosmetics, you didn’t bother to upgrade your infrastructure, what are you going to do? It’s ok 西朝鮮, your brothers off in 北朝鮮 are dealing with the same flood issues too. Of course, they are indeed significantly poorer than their brethren in the West though. Oh, I guess I should cut them some slack, since even an advanced nation like the US has its fair share of floods too. However, with all this water, you may want to rethink your plans to divert the water from the south, so those BeiJing residents can use. Besides, at least this go around, when people were in danger of drowning, there were people that went out of their way to save people, and you didn’t really hear anything about people saving others and in turn being abandoned, so that’s a plus. Although, while we’re on that subject, I think that family that was saved, shouldn’t have been. In fact, I think their parents should have dumped them in the trash can a long time ago, because if anyone deserves it, it’s a group of a-holes who don’t even bother to help the person that saved your life. Too harsh? Well, I could have just said, “Yeah, that whole family should have been aborted!”
But hey, China! Fly your flag proud! By China, I mean the People’s Republic! Not that other one….