I have been fuming about the Olympics in Beijing for a long time now. Now it’s here, and the controversy has died down in favor of Olympics mania, and I still don’t know what to think.
Human rights abuses such as the oppression of dissidents, inhuman working conditions for factory workers, and the funding and selling of weapons to the Sudanese that they’ve used in the Darfur genocide have been treated not only by the Chinese government, but by many in China as well as in the Chinese diaspora abroad, as pesky questions that have no bearing on whether China should host the Olympics. In my mind, though (and this is biased, since I was in Beijing as a child in 1989 and saw firsthand the frustration so many there felt with their government), the People’s Republic is going to get tons of positive press from this visit. As it’s been said before, this in many ways mirrors Hitler’s Berlin Olympics, in that a country whose government commits unspeakable evil (yes, I said it–EVIL!) is allowed to host an internationally important cultural and political event. Even George W. Bush, who had to give the token Republican “but Communists still suck!” speech when he arrived, still sodded off on his duties and plans to watch a bunch of the matches.
Well, fuck, I don’t even know what to say. In a sane world, right about now, Al Gore or somebody even better (maybe far better–fuck NAFTA, you screaming international business whore!) would be President and abstaining from the Olympics due to China’s cynical treatment of its own people and the world abroad. Instead, though, we have a world where China owns our government’s debts and our old factories lie dormant (or turned into lofts) because we’ve sold out our working class’s ability to make a decent wage manufacturing goods at a fair wage to malnourished kids in Guangzhou Province! China’s got us by the balls, their hold upon our economic well-being as firm and dangerous as the hold communist Russia held on international peace. We DARE not fuck with China’s Olympics, because we are in no position to make bargains with the nation that we owe so much to, literally.
Not only do we owe China economically–but we can’t even be a beacon of Democracy in a world where we’ve instigated so much senseless bloodshed and pain recently. Where is the America that rebuilt Western Germany after its people tried to destroy us? Where is the America that conquered its racial inequalities (okay, well, at least on some level) through determined and fantastically successful application of ingenious methods formerly only used by Ghandi? Where is the America that reinvented pop culture time and time again, who pioneered the forms of entertainment such as movies, television, and YouTube? We all fucking suck, and should be ashamed.
And so should China. You’re ripping your newfound success off the backs of your poor, and you’re harvesting the organs of religious wackos the way Americans drill for useless oil.
Fuck the Beijing Olympics.