So, possibly this wasn’t quite the right year for a Bejing Olympics. Maybe we should wait until after the oppressive, restrictive, truth-optional government falls this time, unlike the ’36 olympics (and 1980, for that matter). Much like the debacle that will be the 2010 South Africa World Cup, it’s probably not a good idea to have a nationalist competition in a country with Freudian “nationalism issues.”

On the bright side, this is the first time in decades that the Olympic torch relay has garnered more than passing notice by any media and won more than B-reel footage to fill the gaps between the Iraq war, financial meltdown, and the foreclosed house owners not knowing whether to evict the tenants to avoid vandalism or to encourage them to stay to keep the value of the house from plummeting.

Londoners took to the streets for a game of “snatch the torch”, followed by having governmental inquiry as to why Chinese special forces were allowed to manhandle British police and dignitaries just because they were within 10 feet of the magic “Bunsen burner of peace”. Then Parisians took a break from burning their own city to the ground to try the novelty of putting out flames as it was jogged/driven through town.

San Francisco, in a true American media-savvy style, went all in by preparing its protests ahead of time, so that the news footage would draw out more protesters on the actual “torch day”. Also, celebrating their city full of athletically-fit crackpots, three protesters climbed “Big Red” to fly protest parachutes over the city.

I guess pissing off people who hope one day to climb big rocks in the country you’re subjugating leads to more interesting displays, at least.

It will be interesting to see if San Francisco gives a warmer welcome to the Chinese military than they do to the U.S. military…

The current tally stood, last I saw it, as:

  • French Government considering boycotting the opening ceremony.
  • US considering boycott of opening ceremony. Congressmen calling for boycott of opening ceremony and games.
  • English government is conflicted over whether to boycott, since they’ve supported the Chinese too much already.
  • Chinese Government, due to its crystal clear transparency and always reporting of the truth, proclaims that everything is peachy and “passionate crowds” are welcoming the torch along the route.

They must be referring to their army squad and the driver of the “extinguished torch bus”.

Update:
There’s a great game of “find the torch” going on in San Francisco as I’m writing this. Pro-China and anti-China groups were shouting at each other all morning, separated only by a mutual hatred of cooties (and the SF riot police). After a quick opening ceremony, the torch was put on a mystery bus and driven around in secret throughout downtown, trying specifically to avoid being noticed.

Resorting to a “secret parade” can only be topped by… a secret closing ceremony!
via KPIX San Francisco (CBS):

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the planned closing ceremony for the Olympic torch at the San Francisco Bay waterfront was canceled Wednesday afternoon and another one would take place at an undisclosed location. [emph mine -ai]

PS: Fascism

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