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Poll
Question: Watching the Olympics in Beijing?
Yes - 5 (18.5%)
No - 16 (59.3%)
Some - 3 (11.1%)
Other - 3 (11.1%)
Total Voters: 27

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Author Topic: Watching the Olympics in Beijing?  (Read 13348 times)
Melamphoros
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« Reply #15: August 02, 2008, 10:29:54 pm »

I loathe the human rights abuses, the lack of political pluralism, and the absence of sound environmental stewardship as practiced by the current Chinese Communist Party.

However, I equally loathe our own ruling class. People who make great show of saluting the flag, gutted this nation's industrial base. They forced our workers to compete with peasants willing to work for pennies per hour, under conditions outlawed 100 years ago in the USA. The lesson they've taught us, is that our own business and political leaders love the dollar more than they ever loved America.

The Chinese Communist Party is collectively guilty of many things, but nobody on Earth has empowered it more than the United States of America. And we won't even get into my own nation's many misdeeds.

Every country has skeletons in its closet, some more obvious than others.  However, the human rights violations are much more pronounced in China.  With the US, the big corporations and the politicians they're paying are the culprits.  And hopefully, the next administration would change that.

However, since China is communist there is very little chance that anything there would change anytime soon.

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I'm torn, because the spirit of the Olympic Games is supposed to be beyond politics. The point is that all our nations can compete peacefully, on the athletic fields...not on the battlefields. The Olympic Games seem especially important now, with the world so much more interconnected than it used to be. All of us live on the brink of extinction.

IMO, there is very little a silly sports competition can do to improve the lives of everyone on Earth.  When they're over with, people are still people.  We all compete over resources, we all have ideological differences and we all are doomed to stay within the cycle that has been in place since the dawn of history.

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I also wish that the concerned parties had allowed an actual priestess of Hera (there are many!) to send the first Olympic torch runner on his way, instead of hiring a Greek actress to do the job.

And don't forget about those horrible mascots.  Given how the Greek Government treats followers of the old ways, I'm not surprised
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« Reply #16: August 02, 2008, 10:34:28 pm »

However, since China is communist there is very little chance that anything there would change anytime soon.

For the record, the fact that China is communist has very little to do with the Chinese tolerance for human rights abuses. Sadly, for most of it long history the Chinese government has ruled the lower classes harshly and not tolerated much dissent. The current leadership of Imperial China just calls itself communist (and actually was communist under Mao -- but that was a long ago flash in the pan).
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« Reply #17: August 02, 2008, 10:36:02 pm »

The current leadership of Imperial China just calls itself communist (and actually was communist under Mao -- but that was a long ago flash in the pan).

Yeah...their current style of government puts me more in mind of fascism than (true Marxist) Communism.
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Melamphoros
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« Reply #18: August 02, 2008, 10:46:00 pm »

For the record, the fact that China is communist has very little to do with the Chinese tolerance for human rights abuses. Sadly, for most of it long history the Chinese government has ruled the lower classes harshly and not tolerated much dissent. The current leadership of Imperial China just calls itself communist (and actually was communist under Mao -- but that was a long ago flash in the pan).

Eastern history is not my strong suit, thanks for correcting me on that one Smiley

So it is cultural differences and China's refusal to "Westernize" that's the root of this?
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« Reply #19: August 02, 2008, 11:01:48 pm »

They forced our workers to compete with peasants willing to work for pennies per hour, under conditions outlawed 100 years ago in the USA.

What makes you think the 'peasants' are willing?

Chinese "peasants" are people too, and often don't get any choice in whether or not they're willing to work for pennies an hour. If the choice is to work for pennies or to starve on the streets, what would you choose?

I object to calling people 'peasants' instead of people, especially in this day and age. It dehumanises them and sends out the implication that they are somehow less than 'people'. In this case it gave me the impression that you consider people who cannot find employment under better conditions to be worth less than an American worker. It smacks of class discrimination which is still rife in many countries, where a certain 'class' of people are thought to be worth less than others (Women in some countries, rich vs. poor, etc). Which in my opinion is utter BS. I hope I am incorrect in your intentions when that comment was made at any rate.
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« Reply #20: August 02, 2008, 11:10:15 pm »

I know a lot of people who usually watch the Olympics don't plan on watching this summer because they're in Beijing. What about you?

Although I get 'over' the olympics pretty quickly (endless coverage will do that to a person Wink) I usually try to tune in for some of the horseriding, gymnastics and a few other interesting events.

This year I'm not even remotely interested. In fact, even the lead up to the olympics has been a lot quieter than in previous years it seems. Maybe it's because of where I'm living, but it just doesn't seem as... "in-your-face" as usual either here. Which in some ways says a lot.

I won't be tuning in this year on principle.
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« Reply #21: August 02, 2008, 11:41:49 pm »


I've been having cravings for regular Coke.  I love my Mountain Dew, don't get me wrong, but I need more variation in my choices of caffeine sources.

Right!  And when you want Coke, Pepsi just won't do (too damn sweet, and not acidic enough; when I drink cola, I want my teeth to feel cleaner afterwards. Grin)

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VWs are too small to fit my legs in so I wouldn't even bother (then again, so are a lot of cars).  Plus, they're just plain ugly.

I think they're retro-sexy*, but I like the Subarus for the same reason. Smiley

*Except the new version of the Beetle; those are ugly. Tongue
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« Reply #22: August 02, 2008, 11:45:13 pm »

*Except the new version of the Beetle; those are ugly. Tongue

The Beetles were what I was thinking of.  I'm sure VW has cars that look nice, but the Beetles are just fugly.

Yes, I hate the way they look so much that I upgraded it on the ugliness scale.
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« Reply #23: August 02, 2008, 11:56:38 pm »


The Beetles were what I was thinking of.  I'm sure VW has cars that look nice, but the Beetles are just fugly.

Yes, I hate the way they look so much that I upgraded it on the ugliness scale.

The Jetta SportWagan is a sweet little station wagon...although the Subaru Outback is a little nicer.

But yes, the new Beetles are totally fugly, esp. when compared to the original.

Actually, there's a kind of wagon that I really love, and I just can't remember what it is at the mo... damn.
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« Reply #24: August 03, 2008, 01:47:46 am »

I know a lot of people who usually watch the Olympics don't plan on watching this summer because they're in Beijing. What about you?

I don't watch the Olympics anyway.  I've always found them boring.  I'm more of an Xgames type myself, though I haven't had the chance to watch them in years.

As to the human rights violations.  I think that being in opposition to the Chinese government shouldn't mean punishing all those excellent athletes after all of the hard work they've done in preparation for this.  Also it shouldn't mean punishing the Chinese people, the ones whose rights are being violated in the first place.
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« Reply #25: August 03, 2008, 08:12:15 am »

What makes you think the 'peasants' are willing?

Chinese "peasants" are people too, and often don't get any choice in whether or not they're willing to work for pennies an hour. If the choice is to work for pennies or to starve on the streets, what would you choose?


* snip *


It smacks of class discrimination which is still rife in many countries, where a certain 'class' of people are thought to be worth less than others (Women in some countries, rich vs. poor, etc). Which in my opinion is utter BS. I hope I am incorrect in your intentions when that comment was made at any rate.


The word "peasant" indicates someone who is so desperately poor that they will be "willing" to work for almost any wage offered. It's a descriptive term, which differentiates these people from Australians or Americans or Europeans. It doesn't make them worth less as human beings, but it does make them an easily-exploited source of cheap labor. Cheap labor that has already eroded the standard of living in the West, and will continue to do so for the rest of your lifetime.

I can't blame the Chinese people for seizing an opportunity that presents itself. However, American political leaders have an obligation to look out for the interests of American workers. Their priority should be to put the economic well-being of American workers first.

If that strikes you as classist, I can't help that. I stand by my position.
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« Reply #26: August 03, 2008, 08:36:00 am »

IMO, there is very little a silly sports competition can do to improve the lives of everyone on Earth.  When they're over with, people are still people.  We all compete over resources, we all have ideological differences and we all are doomed to stay within the cycle that has been in place since the dawn of history.


Bloody human conflict over resources, and ideological diversity, will both endure as long as humanity does. However, symbols are important. Acheivements which have symbolic value are also important.

This was the reason behind both the original Olympic Games, and their late 19th century revival (or perhaps more accurately, re-imagining).

When we as humans become so focused on consuming things, that we don't even dare to dream of accomplishing what seems impossible, we will become less.
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« Reply #27: August 03, 2008, 11:20:17 am »

I know a lot of people who usually watch the Olympics don't plan on watching this summer because they're in Beijing. What about you?
I haven't decided. 

The Olympics have been really important to me since I was a little girl, but I'm really soured on them this year - for obvious reasons.  I don't actually think that my boycotting them will serve any purpose, and I feel for the atheletes participating, but I can't get excited about them this year.  I'm probably skip them but it makes me very sad. 

Not as sad as the fact that Chinese human rights violations have actually increased in every area measured by Amnesty International during the period since Beijing was chosen for the Olympics.  But still sad.
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« Reply #28: August 03, 2008, 08:57:49 pm »

Although I get 'over' the olympics pretty quickly (endless coverage will do that to a person Wink) I usually try to tune in for some of the horseriding, gymnastics and a few other interesting events.

This year I'm not even remotely interested. In fact, even the lead up to the olympics has been a lot quieter than in previous years it seems. Maybe it's because of where I'm living, but it just doesn't seem as... "in-your-face" as usual either here. Which in some ways says a lot.

I won't be tuning in this year on principle.

Come to think of it, I haven't really seen much of a leadup to it either.  Although it is possible that the cause of it is all of the political turmoil.I mean, I haven't even seen much in the lines of Olympics related promos and the like.  They probably don't want people blackballing the stations that are doing the advertising and the like over this.

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« Reply #29: August 03, 2008, 09:01:06 pm »

I haven't decided. 

The Olympics have been really important to me since I was a little girl, but I'm really soured on them this year - for obvious reasons.  I don't actually think that my boycotting them will serve any purpose, and I feel for the atheletes participating, but I can't get excited about them this year.  I'm probably skip them but it makes me very sad. 

Not as sad as the fact that Chinese human rights violations have actually increased in every area measured by Amnesty International during the period since Beijing was chosen for the Olympics.  But still sad.

I wonder, does the Chinese government realize that by trying to make themselves look better, they are actually making themselves look much worse?
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