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Aug 12

An imperfect perfection

Written by DJ on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 at 9:03 am
Filed under:media, News | Tags:, , , , , ,
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Note: an update is inserted at the end.

The Beijing Olympics opening ceremony was, by most accounts, a brilliantly choreographed and spectacularly executed performance worth of a gold medal of its own. There were a fair number of notable highlights, and many journalists certainly were not shy from exhausting all the synonyms of the word “stunning” in the thesaurus in describing those scenes.

High on many Chinese viewers’ list of the most moving moments, however, is one that might not be easily appreciated by foreign audiences. Early in the process, China’s national flag was brought into the Bird’s Nest and raised while an young girl in a red dress stood singing “Hymn to the Motherland”. This song is perhaps best explained as the equivalent of “God Bless America” and is similarly considered an unofficial national anthem by many. The simple lyric line

歌唱我们亲爱的祖国,从今走向繁荣富强。 “We sing to our beloved motherland, on her way towards prosperity and strength.”

captures the hope and pride of so many Chinese for so long in merely 17 characters.

That young girl, 林妙可 Lin Miaoke, was only 9 years old and instantly became a star in the eyes of a very large number of the Chinese viewers. Her performance and demeanor were highly praised in the media and on the net. Many felt the sweetest smile on this young girl coupled with her angelic voice was just perfect!

Now it seems it was a bit too perfect. The singing of the song is now reported to have been performed by another 7 years old girl named 杨沛宜 Yang Peiyi, whose photo is shown below.

The following is a translated transcript of a radio interview of 陈其钢 Chen Qigang, chief music director of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. I first read the original Chinese transcript at China News Digest.

Chen Qigang: The director requested first and foremost adorable kids, and we identified about 10 children accordingly. We then listened to the singing of those kids, and not all of them had good enough voice to perform. The request from the director was that, first the appearance must be good, and of those, the one with the best voice and ability to sing should be picked. We went through a few such candidates through the process and they helped our music creation effort tremendously.

The first kid was about 10 years old. She contributed the most towards the preparation stage of this part of the performance. All the early practice runs were based on her recorded singing. But the director felt she was not the best visual for the scene. She was considered somewhat older than envisioned, a bit adolescent that is. So regrettably she was dropped. We then focused on searching through younger kids. The age criteria was to find someone about 7 years old. A number of them were selected, including both Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi.

We went to the Central Broadcasting Radio Station to make recordings. It was felt afterward that Lin Miaoke’s voice wasn’t exactly suitable in terms of tone control, range and depth. In the end, we decided that Yang Peiyi should be the one to provide the voice. We thought it was in the national interest to put the one with the best appearance and expression on the stage. Lin Miaoke was a very good choice for this role. But in terms of the music, we all felt that Yang Peiyi had the flawless voice.

Interviewer: So the one appearing in front the camera was Lin Miaoke and the song came from Yang Peiyi?

Chen Qigang: That’s right. It was a last minute, tough decision. We went through multiple practices and reviews. We played Lin Miaoke’s recording during one joint practice. Many reviewers, particularly someone in the Political Bureau of the Central Committee [of the CCP], made comments that it must be changed. We had no choice.

Interviewer: This is the first time for us to hear this story.

Chen Qigang: We have a responsibility to explain this to the Chinese viewers. I think the viewers should be able to understand that, in the national interest, for the perception of the country, it was an extremely important and serious matter to present the flag [in the best possible manner]. We made a decision, which I think was fair to both Lin and Yang. We felt the coupling of a perfect voice with the best appearance produced the most optimal result. From Lin Miaoke’s point of view, she might not even have realized it. We had two recordings from both of them and they didn’t sound very different.

I am, to put it mildly, less than impressed by this arrangement. For now, I will try to criticize in a positive manner:

  1. This frank admission proactive but clumsy discussion of the matter by Chen should help Yang Peiyi receive the credit and appreciation rightfully due to her.
  2. I hope neither girls would be harmed, psychologically, by this experience in anyway.
  3. At least this matter is now freely revealed instead of being treated as a national secret.
  4. I can’t wait for the day when those in the power would no longer view such concerns and justify such tactics in the name of “national interest”.

[UPDATE]

It now seems that organizers and directors of the ceremony never intended to deny the credit to Yang Peiyi for her (potential) role in the flag entrance scene. The official Beijing Olympics opening ceremony program guide was scanned and posted on the net. (H/T spring2007 for pointing it out in a comment) The picture below is the page showing the credit for the performance. The highlighted section is as follows:

演唱: A 杨沛宜, B 林妙可, C 雷茈昕
Singing: (A) Yang Peiyi, (B) Lin Miaoke, (C) Lei Cixin

So Yang Peiyi is actually listed ahead of Lin Miaoke in the credit. I wonder if the third girl on the list, Lei Cixin, is the 10-year old Chen Qigang referred to in the interview.

The usage of pre-recorded singing in the performance was known and supported by the broadcasters and should really be a non-issue. The appropriateness of having Lin Miaoke performing whiling playing Yang Peiyi’s recording is of course debatable. But I now fault the organizers a bit less than I did initially because the new information suggests that these girls were not treated in the way I feared. I am still concerned for their psychological well being, but that’s largely because of those journalists who seem so eager reminding Yang Peiyi that she was perceived “ugly” and calling Lin Miaoke a fake.


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202 Responses to “An imperfect perfection”

  1. voxon Says:

    Yes , it is true.
    We all Chinese are shocked by the news.
    Such an unfair thing, incredible!

    the news can be found:
    http://www.chinanews.com.cn/olympic/news/2008/08-12/1344466.shtml

  2. Joel Says:

    Why should that be shocking anyone remotely familiar with Mainland culture? It doesn’t surprise me at all.

    This reminds me of when the flower lady tries to put perfume and sparkle sprinkles on the roses I buy for my wife, or how our Chinese friends prefer the Disney-fied Great Wall that were built during their lifetimes to the crumbling, less-restored portions.

    In China, it’s form over function; image over substance; appearance over reality. In China, sometimes it feels like appearance is so important that it practically becomes reality.

    This is one of those cultural aspects that can easily rub me as a foreigner the wrong way. I’m not saying that we don’t do fake stuff in North America (there’s plenty: just consider all the cosmetic surgery and photoshopping that goes into entertainment and advertising media, nevermind the image-spinning of the federal election), but Chinese culture really does take it to a whole new level.

    For example, I would be genuinely more impressed with an imperfect-but-real performance, rather than a fake but “perfect-appearing” performance. The former has meaning, the latter is just a meaningless commercial, not matter how good it appears.

  3. DJ Says:

    Joel,

    My first reaction was how cruel it was to both girls. I am not so sure if Yang Peiyi realizes that she was deemed not adorable enough and that her chance to shine was denied. But she surely will some day, won’t she? And for Lin Miaoke, what would be her reaction to learn that it wasn’t her voice? Would she be labeled as someone undeserving the honor? My heart aches for both.

  4. Chops Says:

    Hope Peiyi knows she’s still cute and nothing’s wrong with her appearance.

    Btw, the grass was’nt as green as it seemed -
    ‘The spray painting used to turn the brown grass into emerald green in some of the major streets in Beijing, which is being evaluated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspectors, is harmless to the environment and human body, Beijing’s Olympic bidding officials declared Wednesday.

    “The greening liquid we used to beautify the city were imported from the United States and have been given a green light by the U. S. Environment Protection Center,” said Jiang Xiaoyu, vice- president of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bidding Committee ( BOBICO).

    “It does no harm to the environment and human body,” he said.

    The employment of a green-increasing liquid to brighten up the city is not the creation or invention of Beijing, Jiang said. It has been widely used in many of the metropolis all over the world.

    “We have been importing the ‘Ever Green’ brand greening liquid since 1998 from the United States,” he said.’

    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/english/200102/22/eng20010222_63078.html

  5. Spelunker Says:

    五星红旗迎风扇扬,
    杨沛宜歌声多响亮;
    歌唱我们, 可爱的祖国
    还踢比利时的腹腔

    越过天坛,越过鸟巢,
    跨过游泳中心水立方
    宽畅美丽林妙可,
    是我们亲爱的假象,
    我们爱娉婷,我们爱假象!
    我们上电视就不要失望!

    五星红旗迎风扇扬,
    杨沛宜歌声多响亮!
    歌唱我们可爱的祖国,
    因为林妙可较漂亮!
    世界看我们可爱祖国,
    瞧着丫头牙口漂亮!

  6. Chops Says:

    China bans child singer with crooked teeth from singing at opening ceremony

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article4512250.ece

  7. FOARP Says:

    @DJ –

    ” 1. This frank admission by Chen should help Yang Peiyi receive the credit and appreciation rightfully due to her.
    2. I hope neither girls would be harmed, psychologically, by this experience in anyway.
    3. At least this matter is now freely revealed instead of being treated as a national secret.
    4. I can’t wait for the day when those in the power would no longer view such concerns and justify such tactics in the name of “national interest”.

    My feelings on it exactly. It was a show, so some elements of trickery are to be expected – that’s what a show is, but this swapping around of young girls because one of them is ‘ugly’ is just plain wrong. The use of bussed-in ‘cheer squads’ to fill empty seats seems excessive as well, especially when I am sure that there are many genuine fans outside the stadiums who would love to get in.

    In case you think me too critical of the whole thing, well, I am pretty critical of it. I do not love Hu Jintao (for that matter I do not love George Bush, Nicholas Sarkozy or Vladimir Putin either), so an event which seemed to be mainly about manufacturing good PR for his government was not to my tastes. I thought the firework-footsteps were pretty cool, but they looked fake, it was only the final explosion above the stadium that made me think that they might not have been, but I guess fireworks and helicopters don’t mix. As for the rest of it, the Chinese national anthem, the singing of Chinese patriotic songs, leaves me as cold as I’m sure a good round of ‘Rule Britannia’ would leave the average Chinese person.

  8. ericxhj Says:

    杨沛宜 is cute enough to make an appearance… certainly culturally acceptable to make this arrangement.. but it’s really not necessary, west media call it a scandal now…

  9. Chops Says:

    This also brings to mind, actress Zhang Ziyi was accused of lip-synching during China’s Spring Festival gala broadcast live in February.

    Times uk – China bans child with crooked teeth from singing at opening
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article4512250.ece

  10. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Why is this a surprise? It was obviously not her singing. I said so at the time. The lip synch was clearly out.

  11. Hemulen Says:

    Chen Qigang, the musical designer, said in defense of the miming:

    “We have a responsibility to face the audience of the whole country, and to be open with this explanation,” he said. “We should all understand it like this: it is a question of the national interest. It is a question of the image of our national music, our national culture.”

    Yes, but what culture? This brings us back to the earlier discussion as to whether there were fascist elements in the opening ceremony. Intolerance of weakness and imperfection is integral element of a fascist culture. Fascism extols the masculine, muscular and collectivist people of perfect supermen that put the interest of the nation above all else (高于一切). Many people have already pointed out that Zhang Yimou’s ceremony was almost devoid of women, except for the flag raising part, and now we know that this part had been faked to show even more perfection.And where was Jin Jing or any other handicapped person for that matter? It is very difficult to imagine China allowing a handicapped person to represent the whole nation or the Olympic idea, just like Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic fire back in 1996.

  12. robert Says:

    To be honest, this doesn’t really bother me at all, and I think there is too much of an over analysis here. I remember seeing the footstep shaped fireworks marching towards the Bird’s Nest. I also remember thinking at the time that those fireworks looked computer generated. It turns out that I was right. But does it matter or does it mean anything? No, not really. It’s just all part of the show. I don’t read anything into it.

  13. Hemulen Says:

    Sorry about the confusing italics in the last paragraph.

    Anyway, another element of fascism is eugenics:

    Yao’s grandfather, one of Shanghai’s tallest men, was discovered too late for basketball but his son, the 205cm Yao Zhiyuan, soon found himself dragged into the sports system.

    There he was paired off with the 182cm Fang Fengdi, China’s women’s captain who had been a feared Red Guard during the murderous Cultural Revolution.

    The two were encouraged to marry in a system with undertones of eugenics, the controversial gene-pool manipulation espoused by the Nazis and previously trumpeted by Beijing.
    http://tinyurl.com/5d6kk6

  14. JXie Says:

    Hemulen, your biggest problem is taking all kind of garbage in without critical thinking. If Yao Ming was bred in a eugenic system, why they had only one? If his parents’ marriage was to only produce tall babies for the country, why do they still sit side by side watching their son play in Houston, with that of calm 执子之手,与子偕老 kind of traditional Chinese love? China has a lot of 7-footers because they breed or because their nutrition is getting better? You know, Yi Jianlian is like 20 cm taller than his father…

  15. MutantJedi Says:

    It was a show. Did you also know that the performers didn’t actually fly? It is true. For safety reasons, they used wires!

    I agree with DJ about concern about how the girls feel. I am glad both girls are getting credit. I hope they look at it as what the director liked as opposed to didn’t like.

    Joel, an “imperfect-but-real” performance would have been shredded cruelly by all flavors of media.

    Hemulen, you are fascinated by fascists, aren’t you?
    Muhammad Ali isn’t a handicapped person. He is a great boxer and sportsman. Odd you would label him as “handicapped”. Less than perfect is he? Perhaps that was your own little fascist peaking out, eh?

  16. Hongkonger Says:

    – MutantJedi

    Love your retort! Brilliant!!

    “It was a show. Did you also know that the performers didn’t actually fly? It is true. For safety reasons, they used wires!” –LOL —!!!!! :- )

  17. FOARP Says:

    @Hemulen – There was a centre for eugenics not far from where I lived in Nanjing, that at least was what the sign on the wall proclaimed it to be, in both English and Chinese (although it could have been a double mistranslation on my part and theirs, and it was an old sign), there was also a sign forbidding photography – otherwise I’d have a picture of it. I have no idea what went on inside – and I do not imagine for one minute that it was anything very shocking. Such ‘paring’ is encouraged for Chinese athletes through measures like having the mens/womens teams tour together etc., this too is nothing strange, most people marry someone of a similar profession. Does this kind of ‘paring’ actually produce great athletes? I don’t know.

    @Mutantjedi –

    “an “imperfect-but-real” performance would have been shredded cruelly by all flavors of media.”

    I doubt that most of the British media would have had anything cruel to say about a girl with gappy teeth, HK and Taiwan media perhaps – from what little I’ve read in them. At any rate, now the media are all having a go at spotting all the fake notes in the opening ceremony – was the wind really blowing hard enough to make the flags stand out straight like they were? Did they rig the ticket sales to favour certain people? etc. etc.

    No doubt all of this is in turn going to be answered by charges of being ‘biased’, ‘anti-China’ and ‘unpatriotic’ – what a depressing prospect.

  18. sunbin Says:

    A simple solution would be to put both girls on stage, and adjust the volume so that yang’s overwhelms lin’s.
    what a shame, those retarded bureaucrats.

  19. Hemulen Says:

    @MutantJedi

    Muhammad Ali isn’t a handicapped person.

    He has Parkinsons syndrome and was visibly affected by declining motor functions it when he lit the Olympic fire in 1996.

  20. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    If Yao Ming was bred in a eugenic system, why they had only one?

    This is not a “if”, he was bred in a eugenic system back in 1980. Why only one? Eugenics is a very primitive – and unethical – practice.

  21. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    MutantJedi # 15

    Well said. The show is about “experience” in the audience, not “reality” in the performers. People go to shows for experience, fun, not reality.

    JXie #14

    You told the truth. Tall people tend to marry tall people, simply because it looks odd for a 7 foot woman to marry a 5 foot guy, or the other way round to a lesser degree. Basketball players tend to marry basketball players simply because of opportunity and exposure, just like I married a college graduate and my brother (who did not go to college because he could not pass the entrance exams) married a high school graduate. He had no access to college women in his mate-selection age. This phenomenon is called self-selection. Yao Ming married tall basket-baller Ye Li. Are they bound by a desire to create tall babies for China? Do you think Yao Ming and Ye Li has a loveless marriage? Pure ignorance!!! The “eugenics” claim is purely ignorant and unenlightened. To borrow a phrase a shanghai lady used to comment me in my last visit to the city, 乡屋宁来撒咳 (乡下人进上海),totally ignorant.

  22. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    DJ,

    Great video. You got me into a tearful emotional eruption early in the morning. The song was so elegant and moving. It opens the flood gate to memories of a very cool childhood. Both girls are heroes. Yang Peiyi will remember that evening her entire live, with her voice soaring in the stadium, piercing the hearts of millions all over the world.

    Zhang Yimou certainly did not totally ignore the history of Modern China (PRC) in his show. I think he could make the PRC flavor stronger. I read from EWSN translation that some Chinese netizens believe Chairman Mao and “the East is Red (东方红, 太阳升)” should be in the show. I am not sure whether those elements would make a good show that but there is certainly no need for us Chinese to shy away from any part of our history.

  23. Hemulen Says:

    @BXBQ

    China is always right.

  24. Jane Says:

    Sad, sad, sad… I would’ve been okay if they had her lip-sync, Pavarotti did the same thing at the Turin winter Olympics, but to use another person’s voice because physically the other little girl is not “perfect”? So what message are they saying to the Para-Olympians? They are “imperfect” people who do not deserve to be on stage?

    In their pursuit for “perfection”, they have lost their humanity. Shame on whoever decided on this… this is way more embarrassing than having the “imperfect” Peiyi singing the song. Go Peiyi!

  25. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    Hemulen # 23

    China is NOT always right. But the eugenics claim about Yao Ming is simply wrong according to very basic scientific understanding. Intelligent and nerdy people tend to marry other intelligent and nerdy people and have kids with each other. This is no because anybody (the state) is trying to breed babies with high IQ and nerdiness. This is because the prepay and nerdy guys and gals tend to end up in the same places in their mate-selection age and run into each other, i.e. colleges study halls, libraries and classrooms. The same logic applies to tall basketball players. Yao Ming and Ye Li grew up together in a sports school in Shanghai. What a moving love story 青梅竹马, 白头皆老.

  26. wuming - wumaodang Says:

    @BXBQ

    Since the show was not a chronology of Chinese history, it will be crass to put any contemporary political figure in it. Furthermore, if any political personage should be included, it should be Deng Xiaoping. China is what it is today, is to a large degree due to these two persons, Mao in the mostly negative sense, and Deng in the overwhelmingly positive sense.

    I think that by any standard, Mao had made China weaker than it would have been. The only positive thing about the first 3 decades of PRC is that Mao’s continuous revolution has permanently immunized China from those sorts of ideological struggles.

    On the other hand, everything that made us proud of China today has its root in Deng’s ideas and actions. This pragmatic and optimistic China was set on its path twice by Deng Xiaoping, first in 1977 and then again in 1992.

  27. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    Jane,

    “…because physically the other little girl is not “perfect”? So what message are they saying to the Para-Olympians?”

    I agree with your sentiment of accepting people with disabilities as they are, to value and respect them to the same degree as anyone else. However, there is a fundamental difference between Peiyi and the Para-Olympians. I am sure Peiyi’s parents will get her teeth fixed with braces. You cannot take the same type of “remedy” measures on the Para-Olympians.

    Now having thought about it I feel it totally unnecessary to use Miaoke’s appearance and Peiyi’s voice. They should have stood side by side on the platform and sing together, probably holding hands.

  28. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    Muming-Wumaodang,

    I have a different take on Mao. But I agree with you that political figures would look out of place in the opening ceremony. The ceremony should be a show of cultural history, instead of political history. Politicizing the Olympics has been one of the mistakes many people have made, including me.

  29. Hemulen Says:

    @BXBQ

    But the eugenics claim about Yao Ming is simply wrong according to very basic scientific understanding.

    Scientific understanding? To claim that science can explain individual marriages is not scientific, it’s “scientistic,” that is “the view that natural science has authority over all other interpretations of life.” If you don’t accept the claim that Yao Ming was eugenically bred, just say so, don’t introduce a new layer to the argument that has nothing to do with the original claim. If people married just married “their own kind”, governments such as the Chinese and Singaporean would see no need to promote eugenic marriages. However, introduce the idea of individual agency or romantic love, and a lot of things can happen that do not accord with the purposes of eugenic policies. Which is why some government promote eugenic marriages and sometimes practice forcible abortions and euthanasia. We know that the PRC does practice eugenics and that is the reason why it is plausible that Yao Ming is the product of an eugenics program. We can argue whether this is the case with Yao, but don’t dismiss the eugenic claims out of hand.

  30. Nimrod Says:

    Hemulen, give it up already. You aren’t convincing anyone that China and Singapore “breed” people. If a mother tells her university educated daughter to find a boy with a university degree, she would be a participant in the “eugenics breeding program” and a “fascist mother” according to you. What a joke.

  31. Nimrod Says:

    By the way, guys, while DJ has it exactly right that this is a case of stupid bureaucrats not showing enough common sense towards young children, which I’m concerned about, did anybody notice that the UK-led badmouthing blitzkrieg of the last few days has a completely different focus, which is to play up the sinister stereotype that the Chinese are the makers of fakes, so don’t be impressed with them counterfeit artists? I’m sorry to say, but it seems somebody in London is very worried about the prospects of London 2012, enough to resort to this tactic.

    What losers. FOARP, any thoughts? ;)

  32. JXie Says:

    First, here is the glaring logical fallacy: If Yao’s parents had been put together to breed the next tall athletes by the state, the state surely would have had the power to bend the one-child policy to let them have multiple kids to improve the odds and get the better result.

    Human civilizations have practiced some basic eugenics such as discouraging incest, long before Nazi ever existed. Only when Nazi went to the extreme and instituted racially based eugenics, eugenics become an unsalvageably bad word. A hypothetical question on the morality, if genetic study is advanced to that the odds of a potentially deformed baby of would-be parents can be precisely calculated, is it moral or amoral to inform them? It seems like the morality of “the West” today is asking a reverse neo-nihilism question, what deformation?

  33. Jane Says:

    BXBQ,

    Precisely. If a little girl is unworthy of being on stage just because she has crooked teeth, then what does that say to paraolympians who have physical impairments that cannot be easily “fixed”!!!! I can’t believe the music director has the audacity to say that it was in the national interest. He needs a reality and moral check! He has truly tarnished an otherwise inspirational opening ceremony. It would have been so endearing having little Peiyi, with her imperfect teeth and all, to appear on stage!

  34. CLC Says:

    @Hemulen

    “To claim that science can explain individual marriages is not scientific…”

    Not quite. Science can explain a lot more than you give it credit for. See this.

  35. wuming - wumaodang Says:

    Let’s assume that the producers were wise enough to let Peiyi to appear on the stage, shouldn’t they still have prerecorded the song and let her lip-sync? To put the pressure of singing in front of several billion people live on the shoulders of a 7 year-old is much crueler, isn’t it?

    A compromise solution is to let a group of girls sing together live. But that would not have the effect they tried to achieve. Like in the footprint case, Zhang Yimou and his assistants were too ambitious and too perfectionist for their own good.

    Anyway, now vultures are circling around this juicy bit of conspiracy. For those who are masochistic enough, take look at China Digital Time, Xiao Qiang has whipped them into a frenzy.

  36. wuming - wumaodang Says:

    Well, my mistake, Peiyi is 10 years old, but the same argument stands

  37. Charles Liu Says:

    “ban” is such a harsh, judgemental statement by Western media like Times UK.

    If anyone has ever been to a Disneyland parade, trust me the various character performers all lip sync to one track that is not their own.

    The most one can conclude factually is it’s a bit “Disneyland” (and what is wrong with that?) Rest is all conspiracy. Maybe the little girl is just happy to have her singing broadcasted to the world, but that’s too nice of a picture for a Chinese girl isn’t it?

    Or any Chinese for that matter.

  38. Charles Liu Says:

    Hate to follow the “conspiracy” angle already presented, but as a tax payer I think our foreign policy implement via the National Endowment for Democracy is a losing proposition and waste of my money.

    http://www.ned.org/publications/staffDocs/GreveTestimony012099.html

    China News Digest is funded by the NED – see item 4 of “practical, direct support through material and technical assistance” NED provides that usually alienates the Chinese and elicit nationalist backlash, not to mention garnering support for the CCP.

  39. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    Charles Liu
    Thanks for the info; interesting world.

  40. Hongkonger Says:

    @Charles Liu, ” it’s a bit “Disneyland”

    You are absolutely right – That duet Chinese/English song on top of the globe, “We are family,” sounded exactly like many Disney songs – I could see practically see blue birds, chipmunks, Bambee, Cinderella, Cinderella and the Hi-ho gang frolicking with those globe-trotters.

  41. FOARP Says:

    @Nimrod – I simply do not know what you mean by ‘UK led’, they were simply the first to report it, probably because of the 8-hour time difference. The information came from Chinese sources – and you can’t say they’re not newsworthy.

    @Charles Liu – ‘ban’ is exactly what happened – not so? The person who was judgemental was whoever barred her from singing the track – The Times merely gave it coverage.

    Guys, this thread is really disappointing. Even when the decisions being criticised are something that everyone can agree were stupid certain people here still have to come with the “foreign media bias/anti-China conspiracy” line. The decision to bar a little girl from the opening ceremony because her teeth were crooked was dumb and sends the wrong message – end of story.

  42. Hongkonger Says:

    PpppLeeaSSSSe,

    Hepburn’s singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, who also did the singing
    for Natalie Wood in WEST SIDE STORY and Deborah Kerr in THE KING AND I.
    (Marni Nixon also appeared in person as Sister Sophia in THE SOUND OF MUSIC.)
    re Audrey Hepburn in MY FAIR LADY. She does indeed
    sing snippets here and there, apparently Hepburn made attempt to “prove” that
    she could do all the singing, but without convincing producers.

    IT”s SHOW business Folks!

  43. Daniel Says:

    That’s prety cruel. On the other hand, for some odd reason, I wasn’t shocked that this could happen considering how superificial human beings in general can be.

    On a totally seperate line, media bias is real and obvious however I think the majority of news outlets, whatever their ideological leanings may be, this type of story still stands as something negative no matter how you looked at it.
    Actually, to mention something somewhat related, I went on some online sports forums (US) and interacted with several people around my area and the impression I got was they were a bit tired of negative coverage of China surrounding the Olympics. There were plenty who mentioned their grudge against the government and such but overall it’s not creating any new anti-China sentiment than what was already there. In fact, there was a little increase in negative opinions towards media coverage of China in general.
    So, you all can chill for a bit about whatever “goals” the media biases are “trying” to achieve and focus on this particular incident, if you all want to.

  44. DJ Says:

    Charles Liu,

    Thanks for the info on NED’s funding of CND. I am not surprised to learn so.

    I have viewed through a video clip of the whole interview, of which this transcript is a portion, on the net to confirm its veracity. In this case, CND provided an accurate transcript of the interview and I am thankful for that. (Translation is always tough but transcribing is probably tougher.)

  45. wuming - wumaodang Says:

    @Hongkonger

    You got ahead of me on the same idea. But I will post mine anyway:

    Remember the movie “My Fair Lady”, when Julie Andrew was deemed not pretty enough and she was replaced by Audre Hepburn? A third person sang all the songs but one and Audre lip-sync’ed.

    Well, you say, all singing in the movie musicals were dubbed. But isn’t this the same situation? Since, as I have argued, they have to dub the voice anyway, so they choose the cutest girl for it.

    I guess the western sensibility has evolved, and Zhang Yimou didn’t get the memo.

  46. Hongkonger Says:

    “I guess the western sensibility has evolved, and Zhang Yimou didn’t get the memo.”

    Ha ha, and see what happened….they had Richard Gere singing and dancing — horrible! And what’s her name (Ton Cruises’ ex wife) singing in Moulin Rouge – bloody hell!

  47. Kris Says:

    @Hongkonger
    So are you equating the Olympic opening to Hollywood movies? Apples and Oranges.

    @wuming – wumaodang
    Report says Peiyi is 7 years old and Lin Miaoke is 9 years old.

    It really is sad. I mean placing more importance on looks than on any other human quality is not exclusive to the Chinese. But this latest incident yet again exemplifies how everything about this Olympics is just a charade.

    The Chinese may have this Olympics gift wrapped in a nice, shiny pretty box, but underneath it is a pathetic, downright evil disregard for humanity. Another perfect example is the countless number of Chinese people that were literally kicked out into the street so the government could destroy their homes in order to make room for their nice new high-tech facilities.

    But, why would they feel obligated to do otherwise when the rest of the world goes along with it? Hey, as long as we got 1.5 billion new customers buying Cokes and Big Macs, what do we care about what kind atrocities go on over there?

  48. wukong Says:

    @Charles

    Thanks for pointing out the 7 year old Yang wasn’t “banned” as UK media has headlined.

    Not only she wasn’t “banned”, in fact, she “got in”! If anybody bothers to read the thread article, it clearly said they were going to go with Lin and her track, but decided to change to Yang’s sound track at last minute per wish(order) of some political big shot.

    She was only a contender and she wasn’t going to be used, now at least she’s part of the most amazing performance in Olympic history!

  49. Hongkonger Says:

    Oh, dear the prophet is awake from his dream and is ready to pronounce judgement..hash, take heed lest you will be damned for spewing jests & humor on Holy ground!
    No, Kris, I am not equating anything. I am talking about common practices in show business.
    OMG, “The Chinese may have this Olympics gift wrapped in a nice, shiny pretty box, but underneath it is a pathetic, downright evil disregard for humanity. Another perfect example …”
    Lighten up, boy.

  50. Kris Says:

    @Wukong
    The interview clearly states that they have chosen Yang Peiyi voice over Lin Miaoke. But decided to use Lin Miaoke because she met the criteria of their “Chinese poster child look”

  51. Kris Says:

    @Hongkoner
    Everything I said was the truth…. and that’s what you have to say about it?

    Oh please! ::rolleyes::

  52. wuming - wumaodang Says:

    OK, I did not get around to say this. I do think what the officials did in the lip sync case was stupid. Too often some of the old communist habits rear their ugly heads, and humanities get buried under the pile of ideological doctrines. We can only count on the resilience of these two little girls and their families to get them through this.

    @Kris,

    I am afraid this is going to be waste of your and mine time, but let me give it one more try and then give it up for good. Have you heard of “Eminent Domain”? i.e. a legal way to “literally kicked (people) out into the street so the government could destroy their homes in order to make room for their nice new high-tech facilities”? So it must be that Chinese has not codify the action into a law that makes their actions “pathetic, downright evil disregard for humanity.” Families who were “kicked out” were offered generous compensations, and many held out for more generous ones. I personally have friend who were in the same situation. If you are not a libertarian who think “Eminent Domain” is unconstitutional, you need to work out this contradiction as an American patriot.

  53. Hongkonger Says:

    Thank you kindly for “the truth.”

    “Oh please! ::rolleyes::”

    Did anyone ever tell you you look cute when you do that?

    No, seriously, I really have nothing more to say. Cheers :-)

  54. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    It seems that everyone has regarded Peiyi as the victim. There is another way to look at this situation that gives us the image of two heros collaborating with each other to achieve a common goal – representing China.

    Both girls made contributions and sacrificed at the same time for this common goal. Miaoke contributed her appearance and behavioral performance and sacrificed a show of her singing. Peiyi contributed her singing talent but sacrificed her appearance and behavior performance. That episode of the opening ceremony was a seamless collaborative effort between Miaoke and Peiyi. They should both take credit and pride in the success of the ceremony. Neither one is a victim. The controversy arises from a conflict between collectivism and individualism.

  55. wukong Says:

    @kris

    I wonder exactly *what* interview are you reading? are you sure you aren’t pulling a switch yourself with some imaginary interview you did with an imaginary “big evil China”?

    Here’s the part form dealing with the switch form the thread starter:

    “Chen Qigang: That’s right. It was a last minute, tough decision. We went through multiple practices and reviews. We played Lin Miaoke’s recording during one joint practice. Many reviewers, particularly someone in the Political Bureau of the Central Committee [of the CCP], made comments that it must be changed. We had no choice.”

    And the Politburo directive happened at the last rehearsals before the big opening, when it’s decide to forgo Lin’s voice and use Yang’s instead. Lin was designated to be on stage already, that only problem was some bigshot decided her voice shouldn’t.

    So please kindly tell me, where did you read Yang was ever going to be on stage? don’t tell me it’s Epoch Times!

    NYT has more details:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/sports/olympics/13beijing.html

    In his radio interview, Mr. Chen said that a member of the ruling Communist Party’s powerful Politburo, whom he did not identify, attended one of the last rehearsals, along with numerous other officials, and demanded that Miaoke’s voice “must change.”

    In fact, Yang was rather happy about the whole thing:

    On Monday, Peiyi appeared on China Central Television, or CCTV, the state network. “I’m O.K. with it,” she told her interviewer, even performing a song. “My voice was used in the performance. I think that’s enough.”

  56. Nimrod Says:

    FOARP, the UK media broke the most headlines not just on this story of the “fake” singer, but on the “fake” fireworks, and the “fake” spectators. There is an obscene eagerness here. Sure, the Chinese stories came first, but as I said, they have a completely different angle than what those articles in English were pursuing — read them: they have one aim and one aim only, which is to put down the ceremony as “fake” by invoking the common stereotype of cheap imitation Chinese goods. One article even came right out with what they wished were true, and I am not making this headline up: “China faked awesome Olympic opening ceremony”. (Edit: I see they’ve put quotes around “faked” since I last checked.) I can feel the editors at UK papers fuming at the admittedly gratuitous suggestion by NBC host Bob Costas that London 2012 would have nothing on this show. I sympathize, but this is a gross over-reaction and petty.

  57. wukong Says:

    Zhang and his crew are from film industry, I guess from their point of view, Miaoke is the talented actress and Peiyi is the talented singer. It’s natural to mash the photogenic Lin with the soundtrack of Yang to get the perfect picture. Hollywood and Madison Avenue have been doing it for ages.

    Personally I think it’s rather unnecessary. I’ve listened to Miaoke’s song’s on her Sina blog, she has a very cute voice, but artistically maybe a bit too “adolescent” for Zhang’s vision.

  58. Allan Says:

    We can all do something to undo this injustice. Now that this gotten the attention of major news broadcasters all over the world, China has a publicity crisis that they must handle. This isn’t just about some CGI fireworks.. this has to do with the lives of two innocent children.

    Join the Facebook petition to Zhang yimou to have Yang perform live at the Closing Ceremony. Her talent deserves not to be recognized in retrospect, but through the brilliance of a live performance.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22582899666&refurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fs.php%3Fref%3Dsearch%26init%3Dq%26q%3DYang%2BPeiyi%2B

  59. MoneyBall Says:

    I dont understand this, lip syncing is news?
    ever saw that movie ” the sound of music”?
    for god sake this is a show, not a singing contest!
    everything of that show is fake, incase you dont know, those little men didnt disapear they just turned off the leds on their bodies, and Lining didnt didnt fly either.
    Jesus you ppl really have nothing better to do, do ya?

  60. MoneyBall Says:

    @Allan

    “We can all do something to undo this injustice. Now that this gotten the attention of major news broadcasters all over the world, China has a publicity crisis that they must handle. This isn’t just about some CGI fireworks.. this has to do with the lives of two innocent children.”

    Are you fucking kidding me? Did your dog just die?

  61. wuming - wumaodang Says:

    I have jumped the gun in condemning the officials for the “switch”. After more careful reading, now I am persuaded by the innocence of the situation. However, such a picture is much too nuanced to persuade those circling vultures.

  62. Nimrod Says:

    wuming – wumaodang,

    Exactly my thoughts. There is nothing sinister going on at all, just a stupid bureaucrat who could have been more creative and human. That’s all. The serious damage of the “vultures”, on the other hand, is in propagating the counterfeit image of China and Chinese and in putting down the artistic creativity and executional brilliance of an original Chinese product. Read between the lines and catch what’s actually going on, guys.

  63. wukong Says:

    @Allan:

    I listen to Miaoke’s voice on her own blog, I now realized she’s a talented singer in her own right, it’s just her voice is a tiny bit “older” on the childish cutesy level, so her soundtrack got yanked! Only because she’s 9 and little Peiyi is 7!

    This is ageism and discrimination! I suggest you started a new group to boycott Yang and support Lin!
    There is nothing wrong for being 2 year older!

    LOL

    btw, I am not kidding.

  64. wukong Says:

    sorry for double posting but I don’t know how to edit my own post (or if that’s possible)

    more evidence of “ageism” for facegroupie Allan:

    from NYT:

    He said about 10 children were chosen who “had a good image and who can sing well.” Initially, a 10-year-old girl was selected “whose voice was really good.” This girl held the role for most of the rehearsals — until Mr. Zhang decided she was too old.

    Then, Mr. Chen said, the desired age of the singer was lowered and several young girls, including Miaoke and Peiyi, were taken to the Central People’s Radio Station in Beijing

    Now I really want to know who is that 10 year old girl with “good image” and nice voice, she’s the really victim here.

  65. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    Read up. Most eugenics programs in the West were not race-based, but sought to “enhance” the gene pool by preventing people branded as “inferiors” from procreating. Many of these programs were continued after the war until the 60s or so. The lives of thousands of people were runied throughb these programs and onl;y recently have the press started to publicize these stories. I see no evidence whatsoever that the Chinese eugenics program is any different from these Western counterparts.

    @CLC

    Not quite. Science can explain a lot more than you give it credit for.

    Can’t read the link. I don’t dismiss science, but I dismiss BXBQ’s argument which smacked of scientism. I have no problem with scientists analyzing the marriage patterns of various populations. But scientists should not be in charge of making public policy or telling who should marry whom. We’ve been there before.

  66. Charles Liu Says:

    Right, instead of good news “little girl’s golden voice contributed to opening ceremoney”, it’s Millie-Manilly “baned from openening ceremoney” ugly bad news – when it’s China.

    The fact is the little girl in red dress is a character. I really don’t remember her name being introduced before her performance. Neither the girl who appeared or the girl who sang were famous performers; they were part of the ten thousand cast members who performed the opening ceremoney.

    Sorry guys, just calling a spade a spade.

  67. Charles Liu Says:

    Oh wait, the Moon Goddess who flew around were using wires! And her wig is actually hair from some ugly farm girl in Wuhang! Somebody tip off CND, and fly farm girl around in closing ceremoney please!

  68. xiaolin Says:

    I think that the Chinese government is being stupendiously cruel to both of these little girls. I have read some of the comments, and I agree with almost everybody. I especially agree with bianxiangbianqiao, both girls are the victims. Miaoke has a beautiful voice, so they should’ve let her sing even though she didn’t have the little cutesy type of voice. She is also extremely cute, so she should’ve been proud. As for Peiyi, she is a beautiful little girl and she has an angelic voice. I think that her teeth are cute and they show that no one is perfect. China should have been focusing on that rather than a “perfect” preformance. A lot of people have commented that both girls should have sang together. I completely agree. How cute would it have been to have two adorable little girls sing and stand together holding hands? It sould show that China supports friendship and both girls would have the chance of a lifetime to shine. I don’t think any one of the little girls should be blamed. It’s the Government who’s at fault. If anybody wants to add something to my comment, or say that you disagree, please do so, but just dont be rude to me or be rascist. Thank you. I hope that people will read this and understand my point of view.

  69. Chicken Says:

    This is Olympics. No Drugs or Steriod. May all the best or gived people shine.

    There is a great song “Ode to the Motherland”, it will be sang by best singer, Yang Peiyi. (No Double please)

    Olympic Spirit -> Come Clean……..

  70. xiaolin Says:

    Hemulun

    China is not always right, in fact it is constantly wrong. What’s wrong with that though? All countries make mistakes. I think that we should celebrate our differences. I think that the media isn’t taking the best view of this either. They are making that little girl miaoke seem like a bad girl who stole someone elses chance. All I’m saying is, NO ONE IS PERFECT!!!!

  71. xiaolin Says:

    Chicken

    Who ever said that Peiyi was the best singer? Mioake had a lovely voice, the organisers didn’t like it beacause it wasn’t cute or young enough. Please dont judge that harshly. I think that both girls could become stars.

  72. Nimrod Says:

    This is a non-story to begin with. It would be a minor footnote in some local columnist’s or humorist’s sidebar column if it happened here, possibly beginning with “And did you know…” or “It’s interesting that…”. I can’t believe it’s gotten as much ink as it already has. And I can’t comprehend how it can be considered a national PR issue at all, except in the small minds of sour grapes, anti-China bashers, and their idiotic Chinese groupies. Craptacularly ridiculous. Calm down.

  73. Chicken Says:

    Chen Qigang, the ceremony’s musical director.

  74. rocking offkey Says:

    Some interesting observation here:
    1. This is done by someone who lived in France for more than 10 years (the music director).
    2. There are people out there who cares about crooked thooth.

  75. Charles Liu Says:

    Xiaolin, China is not always right, nor is it always evil.

  76. Hongkonger Says:

    Folks,

    Let’s just “meet” LING Miao Ke and all your antagonism will melt away…

    林妙可《歌唱祖国》一夜成名

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9Dgs6fC414&NR=1

  77. FOARP Says:

    Okay, this is the point at which this blog reaches self parody:

    1) Charles Liu has already linked this to the NED, and searched around for an equivalent in the US – because apparently everything that has ever been done in China has ever done has already been done in the US, and everything detrimental to the Chinese government’s image is connected to the NED.

    2) It has already been said that there is a conspiracy by the UK/western media in general – nothing to do with the fact that the morning news in China comes out at a convenient time for them to put it in their late edition – oh, and it’s caused by jealousy. For the information of anyone who thinks we are smarting here in the UK, the main sentiment of the people who thought about this was ‘well, I guess that just added a few billion more pounds to the cost of 2012′. Seriously – people here in the UK don’t care about the 2012 Olympics, and I would be ashamed if the government here decided to waste the time of thousands of British soldiers by having them take part in such a display. We really don’t want the government to spend the amount of money they’ve been talking about.

    3) The decision has been half-blamed on France, as if it mattered at all where the director came from.

    4) The word ‘fascism’ has been mentioned

    Seriously, when is Buxi coming back?

  78. Charles Liu Says:

    HKer @76, Really, if anyone should feel slighted it should be Ling Mianke, not Yang Peiyi. Bascially she’s told she’s just a pretty face that can’t sing.

    From the comments it appears Times UK’s “banned” thing is BS. Yang was never supposed to perform, but some CCP official that’s equivlant of a producer replaced Ling’s soundtrack with Yangs. In essence Yang’s signing “made it in” on the last minute.

    She should be happy. But how does the naysayers protray this? They make it into some “crooked teeth girl banned from opening ceremoney” ugly news when the facts show otherwize.

    If government-sponsored media like Xinhua should be discounted, shouldn’t the same logic appy to government-sponsored media like CND?

  79. MutantJedi Says:

    lol FOARP :)

    Indeed. I miss Buxi too. I hope he and his family are having an excellent time.

  80. MutantJedi Says:

    Both the girls are very lovely and charming. I feel that they should each be proud of their contribution to the opening ceremonies. Well done girls!

  81. Charles Liu Says:

    MJ, if you Baidu the two girls names, you’ll see Chinese netters are saying stuff like “remember Lin Miaoke, don’t forget Yang Pieyi”, “Yang Peiyi’s behind-the-scene contribution admirable”, etc.

    Leave it to us laowai, expats, self-appointed China experts to make an agenda out of it. I for one am ashamed to have lost track of the fact both girls did a great job.

  82. Spelunker Says:

    My song, “Ode to the Stepmotherland” is the greatest. (See post #5) I hope Yang Peiyi sings it one day.

    According to New York Times: “On Monday, Peiyi appeared on China Central Television, or CCTV, the state network. “I’m O.K. with it,” she told her interviewer, even performing a song. “My voice was used in the performance. I think that’s enough.”

    Yeah, right. What do you expect the poor litle girl to say when interviewed on CCTV? “I’m not OK with it. Why couldn’t I share the stage with Lin Miaoke and perform a duet with Xiao Lin holding a muted microphone? Why didn’t any of you tofu brains in the Politburo think of that? Huh? 宽畅美丽林妙可,
    是我们亲爱的假象!!! I’ve had it with these pathetic CCTV interviews; that’s enough!”

  83. CLC Says:

    Imagethief’s take on this

  84. Hongkonger Says:

    “What do you expect the poor litle girl ”

    Poor little girl????? Peiyi is a super talented young singer with a pretty face. Lin Miaoke is a talented young singer performer with a pretty face. There are millions of pretty talented little girls with lovely voices all over the world, but only these two got to share a moment in Olympic history together. Bravo, Miao Ke and Pei Yi.

  85. BMY Says:

    @Moneyball #60 “Are you fucking kidding me? Did your dog just die?”

    I like to read some of your well thought comments but I think some of your wording might have weaken your points.

    cheers

  86. Spelunker Says:

    Where was Yang Peiyi during this “moment of Olympic history” on August 8, 2008? Was she in a soundproof windowless bunker beneath the Bird’s Nest? I didn’t even know who she was until August 12, when the conscience of the chief music director Chen Qigang was exposed in the ensuing revelation.

    Here’s your Hong Kong 50 cents. Go buy yourself a 菠萝饱.

  87. BMY Says:

    @Spelunker,

    you might not have been following this blog for a long time. simply labeling someone who disagree with you is not a very good technique for a meaningful debate if we would like to have one.

  88. DJ Says:

    Spelunker,

    So you are back. Let me just reproduce a comment I left for you at Imagethief in response to this following line in your comment there:

    Now that the world knows Lin Miaoke is a fake; that makes two little girls who have to live with the shame.

    You have posted this parody song at [Imagethief], at my post, at Shanghaiist, and who knows where else. What is your point? If you want to criticize the people behind this arrangement or China at large, go ahead. But why are you attacking these two sweet and talented girls? What did they do wrong to deserve your scorn?

  89. MoneyBall Says:

    @BMY,

    well thought comment? lol, in general my well thought comment is not for free, specially not for stupid people.

  90. Hongkonger Says:

    Sights and sounds, dude. Sights and sounds make up the whole spectrum of Performing arts. Pei Yi’s voice was there. Neither of them were given credit. No one knew who the girl in red was, until CCTV tracked her down.Oh, incidently, the chief music director Chen Qigang was giving credit out of pride during the interview – not as you sinisterly implied as being” found out”,/ “exposed”.

    Thanks for the 菠萝饱,Spelunker. Do I get another 50 cents for Nai Cha (Milk tea)?

  91. rocking offkey Says:

    @FOARP Says:
    3) The decision has been half-blamed on France, as if it mattered at all where the director came from.

    Where did you get that from?
    If you are referring to post 74, well, it was just a observation. It was interesting, to me at least, that someone who lived in a western country would go along with this decision without any problem. It may show his Chinese mindset , or it may show his director mind set. Who knows, but it’s interesting to note.

    Note to yourself: Please do not stretch and accuse of someone who do not say what you fabricated. Much appreciated. It’s a defensive in defensiveness.

  92. BMY Says:

    @FOARP #77 “The word ‘fascism’ has been mentioned”

    I think hemulen started about ‘fascism’ talking on this thread and you and him mentioned “Nazi” on the other thread regarding those “childcare’s salute” . others just disagree.

  93. BMY Says:

    sorry. I mean “children salute ” not too sure where the “childcare” comes from

  94. Hemulen Says:

    …”children’s salute”? It’s the pioneer salute, copied from the Soviet Union.

  95. BMY Says:

    yes, it might be the pioneer salute but it is the fact that it is only practiced by children in China.

  96. Spelunker Says:

    The parody song does not attack the two girls. It makes fun of the ridiculous reasoning offered by officials for choosing Lin Miaoke to go on stage and smile instead of Yang Peiyi. The song is in defense of Yang Peiyi, and states that Lin Miaoke is indeed very good looking. My comment about shame is not directed at what either girl should feel as they are both innocent victims of the shameful way they were treated.

    For those who can not read Chinese, I present this tidbit of language instruction: the Chinese word for “good-looking” literally means “good to look at” (好看hao kan)and the opposite word’s literal translation is “difficult to look at” (难看nan kan)

    Now we examine the truth about who got credit for singing, which may be difficult for Hongkonger and DJ to look at. On the day after the ceremony, none other than Zhang Yimou himself heaped a Tai Mountain load of praise on Lin Miaoke for her singing. China Daily posted a forum about Lin Miaoke titled “Tiny Singer Wins Heart of Nation”, which now only exists in Google’s cache:

    http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:tF3jatp6CtIJ:bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/viewthread.php%3Fgid%3D2%26tid%3D613098+%22Zhang+yimou%22+favorite+%22Lin+Miaoke%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us

    Here is Zhang Yimou’s statement about Lin Miaoke at the press conference after the ceremony, which you can still see on China’s official Olympic website as my comment is being typed:

    http://en.beijing2008.cn/live/pressconference/mpc/n214518507_1.shtml

    Zhang Yimou: “Let me add some supplementary comments. The girl in red is named Lin Miaoke, a 9-year-old kid. She is selected among many girls. She is a lovely girl and she sings well. We decided later on to invite the kids wearing costumes of 56 nationalities. We also wanted to add a special piece, asking the 9-year-old girl to sing a familiar song ‘Ode to the Motherland’. We changed the rhythm of the song to make it in line with the atmosphere.”

    There was no mention of Yang Peiyi, whose face is just as pretty as Lin Miaoke’s according to Hongkonger, or her talented voice.

    Updated score:
    Spelunker 2
    Those who dare to challenge Spelunker 0
    Enjoy your nai cha. You might want to blow the top of it as it’s still steaming hot!
    Cheers!

  97. Smith Says:

    the opening was very nice, very impressive!!!

    But how many time did we get cheated?

    Not the girl we see who sang

    And computer made image of the footprint broadcast at the TV instead of real view.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/2534499/Beijing-Olympic-2008-opening-ceremony-giant-firework-footprints-faked.html

  98. snow Says:

    BXBQ,

    “I am not sure whether those elements would make a good show that but there is certainly no need for us Chinese to shy away from any part of our history.”

    Well said. We had glorious history of thousands of years to boast back in the 1900s already. But what makes difference for China is what we Chinese have done in the fateful century since the 1900s. The world sees and knows that. Shy away from this part of history is not only unfair to historical facts and all those who gave themselves selflessly to a stronger China today but also an indication of lack of confidence. The Americans surely weren’t shy away from displaying their Western frontier spirit and tradition in the opening ceremony from 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

  99. snow Says:

    To those who take the issues of the girls’ performance and computerized foot steps too seriously I say please stop talking nonsense.

    The opening ceremony is a show and illusionary in nature; any approach/technique is legitimately allowed to create an artistic illusion, an illusion evocative of meaning and significance.

  100. Wahaha Says:

    Spelunker,

    No offense, I am not clear about your point.

    It was predetermined that 杨沛宜 would sing but wouldnt show up in front of audience, are you saying that Zhang Yimou should confess right after opening ceremony ?

    BTW, how do you explain 陈其钢’s comment :”我们有责任面对中国的听众,中国的观众做这样一个解释” two days later ? Why did he confess without any pressure ?

    Obviously, 陈其钢 was one of those who decided to use the fake voice

  101. Wahaha Says:

    Here is something very shocking :

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/aug/12/olympics2008.china1

    ….

    The switch may reflect underlying cultural preferences as well as the incredible attention paid to Olympic preparations.

    Research by Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, has suggested that the “beauty premium” in parts of China is far more pronounced than in the west for women.

    Dr Hamermesh’s work shows that ugly people earn below the average income while beautiful people earn more. In Britain, attractive women enjoy a +1% premium. But in Shanghai, the figure was +10%.

    ____________________________

    So, Spelunker, unless you can give a reasonable explanation why 陈其钢 confessed volunteerily two days later, I dont see how the credit to Yang was denied.

    BTW, I agree the move was wrong and make no sense.

  102. Spelunker Says:

    Please sit down, Wahaha. Here; have a bottle of water.

    1. It was predetermined that Yang Peiyi would sing at the ceremony. Lin Miaoke was a last minute substitution based upon a Politburo member’s hasty decision. I believe Zhang Yimou should have chosen his words carefully at the press conference knowing that it wasn’t Lin Miaoke’s voice that performed. Perhaps he could have simply commented on her charming smile.

    2. Chen Qigang is explaining the choice of Lin Miaoke as it was told to him by the Politburo member.
    Indeed it is not until after the Politburo member’s intervention that if becomes a matter of national interest.
    “这是为了国家利益” Do you really believe that Lao Chen is going to argue with a Politburo member?
    He is simply parroting what the Politburo member told him. Wahaha, you wanna cracker? (To go with your water, of course.)

    I notice you gave me some Chinese quotations to read in your post. Here are some choice Chinese quotes for you about this matter from your own fellow countrymen (and women!):

    陈其钢我鄙视你,你这是自己搬石头匝自己的脚,而且伤到了许许多多人的心。你真有面子——作假是为了严肃?作假是为了对的起祖国?对的起全国人民?是因为领导的压力?当你当时却没反驳也无作为,你伤了全世界人民的心。

    不是说不可以用形象好的孩子在前面 声音好的孩子在后面 而是把这一简单的一个举动上升到国家利益的地步 那是侮辱所有来看这个节目的人的智慧 更是对我们的孩子的侮辱

    导演有病吧!弄得现在所有国家的新闻都已经开始骂中国了!说中国只会生产假货!这人有没有素质啊就当导演,没有能力就别当。 我看了那两个小朋友的照片,真没觉得穿红衣服的就好到哪里去! 是不是她家里人又买断了关系,让她上去表演的。。。说实话,中国找漂亮小女孩多的是,她也算不上漂亮的。她家里人还让他跑着来瞎胡闹!!! 闹得现在全世界都骂中国。

    我觉得杨沛宜多可爱的,和林秒可不同,当时我就感觉林喵客太做作。可能是拍戏太多的缘故,没有小女孩的纯真。

    就像开幕式表演的木偶戏一样。

    我觉得非常愚蠢,跟愚蠢的是要把这个秘密说出来!如果知道这件事包不住的话,当初就不要这样做,很愚蠢的做法。

    我认为这件事太过份了,是对两个小朋友的羞辱,我所有的朋友看过杨沛宜以后都觉得她非常可爱,小孩子本来就没有什么漂亮不漂亮了,她们与生俱来的灵动是最能打动人的,这样的假唱只有大人才想的出来,还美其名曰是为了祖国的利益,真的就是真的,假的就是假的,如果有那个得冠军的运动员体委觉的其形象不好,就派一个选美冠军上台去帮他奖吧,这件事之后我不会记得那个红衣女孩,我只会记得杨沛宜。

    太失望了~~真没想到是这样的情况,杨沛宜也很可爱,导演有什么资格说人家形象不好啊?
    我想大多数的中国人都希望看到杨沛宜站在台上演唱!

    真的是太恶心了,竟然在全世界人民面前假唱。这就是我们的音乐文化吗?

    作假,中国人什么时候能改掉这个毛病!几十亿人面前啊!无语了!

    啊!怎么会这样? 突然觉得杨小朋友的妈妈会很伤心……

    为我们的孩子生活在这样一个社会感到担忧!!!

    http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_55c219d10100a9fg.htm

  103. pamhogeweide Says:

    I’m up late chasing deadlines, but before I hit it I just had to come see what all the commotion is about.

    Oh.

    I’m suddenly having a total Milli Vanilli flashback.

    Ghost writers, lip syncers, dubbed voice-overs, stand-ins, stunt doubles, body doubles, on and on it goes. The show that is.

    Bravo to both girls for amazing performances. Thank God they are both getting well-deserved recognition for what they contributed to the show.

    @HongKonger #90 who said,

    Sights and sounds, dude.

    Yep. That says it all.

  104. Wahaha Says:

    Spelunker,

    1) I didnt try to find excuse, what was done was wrong ( I said that in my previous post).

    2) You didnt give me the reason why Lao Cheng confessed voluteerily,( which doesnt make sense to me.)

    3) What decision do you think the Politburo member made ? Put on Yang’s voice or put Yang’s in front of audience ? What was the decision before then ?

  105. Wahaha Says:

    Spelunker,

    Let us reread,

    “…我们专门到中央广播电台给她们录音。录了音以后觉得林妙可的声音并不是十分合适,因为她在根本的音程控制啊,声音的宽度、高度各个方面都不是非常合适。最后我们从声音上决定用的是杨沛宜。….”

    “….我们听过一次林妙可的录音,在现场放的,是在联排的时候。然后有各方面的人,尤其是中央政治局的领导,在听的时候,给我们提出了意见,说必须要改变。…”

    Where was “the last minute decision” mentioned ?

    “…..尤其是国旗入场,这件事情是非常重大,非常严肃的一件事情。然后我们做了这样一个选择。…”

    So it was Zhang yimou and Lao cheng made the decision, the Politburo member said Lin Miaoke’s voice couldnt be used.

    So who should be blamed and what is your point ?

  106. FOARP Says:

    The decision to drop the girl just because of her teeth and keep her voice was dumb, but stuff like this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/aug/13/olympics2008.chinathemedia

    is exactly the kind of thing that DOES reflect badly on the Chinese government, their promises of allowing open reporting, and on the decision to grant the Olympics to Beijing.

  107. Wahaha Says:

    @FOARP,

    I am sure people from middle east would love to protest in 2012 or 2016.

    Just tell me, how will they be treated ?

  108. Wahaha Says:

    So FOARP,

    That is how we chinese think : the only purpose of those so called human right fighters was to make trouble. If they tried to make chinese government look bad, they failed miserably. The only thing they accomplished is making some people who love masturbation feel good. They will get no sympathy from Chinese,

  109. Spelunker Says:

    People from the Middle East visiting London will be given equal access to Chinese Wahaha water for 50 pence per bottle.

  110. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahaha – Go to the east end of London and you will see protests galore, and I’m sure that protest will be allowed near the stadiums. Anyway, you seem to have completely missed my point – I think the protesters are doing something which is at best ineffectual and at worst counter-productive by trying to do this in China – but the way the journalists were treated was completely inexcusable, and I hope that the Beijing police issue a full apology for man-handling, detaining, and issuing false allegations against someone who was just trying to cover the protest.

  111. Wahaha Says:

    Spelunker ,

    Why do you keep trying to give a bottle of water ?

    I just present my opinion : Zhang took this opening ceremony as a movie, and went too far. That is what I believed.

    What is your point ? I still dont get your point.

  112. Wahaha Says:

    @FOARP,

    You are sure people can protest near stadium.

    I never saw a protest in US by palestinians, so dont pretend that West is open for protest.

  113. Allan Says:

    @ MoneyBall

    did you shit in your pants again, good sir?

  114. Gabby Says:

    @ MoneyBall

    Edited by Admin to remove foul language. As I have noted, this blog is not for childish insults. I will not go back to edit/delte every such comments, but future offense will not be tolerated.

    if you honestly think there is nothing wrong with this whole situation then your sense of reality is seriously warped. people like you are the reason why society is so screwed up today.

  115. sun bin Says:

    (i saw this from other blog comments :) )

    Zhang and Chen are to be blamed because they have been inconsistent.
    They should either keep Lin Miaoke, or …
    they should haveput Liu Huan behind the scene as well, FOR THE INTERESTS OF THE NATION.

  116. FOARP Says:

    @Wahaha – I personally have seen protests in every part of London. I have also seen protests at sporting events, on university campuses, outside military bases and in the streets, on every subject from student loans to fox hunting to nuclear disarmament to the monarchy to Palestine to the war in Iraq to gay marriage to (yes) Tibet. What is your point?

    The treatment of the ITN journalist was unacceptable, the Beijing police department should apologise.

  117. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Going back to the original post, I can certainly agree with point #4. Sometimes, people don’t need to protest to make the CCP look bad. They seem capable of doing a bang-up job of that all by themselves, without external intervention. This little singer-stand-in thing exemplifies that.

    However, this goes back to my whole point all along. Yes, the opening ceremonies was a good show. But it is just that…a show…replete with suspension wires, “footprint” CGI, and Milli Vanilli v2008. Which is why I never understood the furor about people boycotting the ceremonies themselves. It has nothing to do with sport; it is merely a spectacle. So if the refrain is that people shouldn’t politicize the Olympics as it is a sporting event, then the opening song and dance is almost unrelated.

  118. Wahaha Says:

    @FORAP,

    Dont mention those meaningless protest, I am talking about protest against government’s policy.

  119. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wahaha:
    so a protest is only “meaningful” if you say it is?

  120. Wahaha Says:

    A protest is only “meaningful” if it is against key government policys.

  121. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahaha – You’re joking right? Try the huge anti-war protests, or the protests by the countryside alliance, or the anti-nuclear protests, or the miner’s strike, or the poll tax protests, or the anti-globalisation protests. Better still, try actually learning about British history before making incredibly erroneous statements about what the British government does and does not accept in the way of protests.

    And anyway, the point I was trying to make was about the journalists.

  122. Wahaha Says:

    @FOARP,

    That was Tony Blair’s decision. The vast majority of people never support the war, lot of politicans didnt like the war; like in America, lot of politicans didnt like the war.

    If there are so many chinese who dont like some policy made by government, government wont stop either.

  123. Wahaha Says:

    BTW, there are also lot of protest in China. the difference is in China, there was no formal organization to organize the protest.

  124. FOARP Says:

    @Wahaha – I know, I’ve seen three of them.

  125. Wahaha Says:

    @FOARP,

    Let us face the fact, most protests were about the money, ok? not for political goal.

    The protest in Beijing is for politics, not money.

  126. FOARP Says:

    @Wahaha – Look, I really hope you are not offended by me saying this, but wouldn’t it be better if you did a little fact-check before you cut in with the whole ‘but the west is the same’ argument? You see, you could have easily found out examples of where the UK government has placed certain restrictions on the right to protest simply by looking up ‘UK human rights’ on Wikipedia – but would that excuse what the Beijing police did? Likewise, yes, protests are allowed to go ahead in China, but we all know what happens when a demonstration is organised to ask for greater political freedom – is it worth pointing out that people may demonstrate so long as they do not actually organise themselves?

  127. Wahaha Says:

    @FOARP,

    No, I am not offended.

    Ok, here is my point :

    The elected politicians are not necessary the ones who control the government.

    When you talk about freedom, you have to check who really control the government. If the elected control the government, then your protest is right on target; if you just protest against some attoneys, then your protest is meaningless.

    In democratic countries, governments are not controled by elected. I dont know the situation in UK, but clearly in the similar system in India, Riches controled the government, not the elected. If that is case, the freedom of protest doesnt mean much, as you are just protesting against the attorneys of riches. You dont like this attorney ? fine, I give you another one, still dont like him ? ok, here is another one. THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE ALL THE FREEDOM.

    In an authoritarian system, protest IS protest against the ones who control the government, who have the power in making decisions.

  128. Hemulen Says:

    @BMY

    yes, it might be the pioneer salute but it is the fact that it is only practiced by children in China.

    You know better than that. An image from Cuba:

    http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00Yv3ZaakOcPl/610x.jpg

  129. Spelunker Says:

    As always, Spelunker gets the last laugh:

    Chen Qigang, a French national, told AP Television News he felt compelled to “to come out with the truth.” Peiyi was “a magnificent singer” who “doesn’t deserve to be hidden,” he said, declining to comment further.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gRqqWAq6hXaag3Is87o6xMzH40CwD92HIGK00

    Also in the same article is this statement from Lin Miaoke’s honorable father:

    Miaoke’s father, Lin Hui, said both girls are cute but he agreed that Peiyi’s voice was “a bit better” than his daughter’s. He said both girls played important roles, but the organizers should have made clear who was singing. “Letting everybody know is a must,” he told the AP.

  130. Wukailong Says:

    @Wahaha: “When you talk about freedom, you have to check who really control the government.”

    We need to separate freedom and the ability to control the government. I’m certainly less able to have any say over governing in Sweden these days since a lot of it is done from the EU headquarters these days, but I don’t feel less free which regards to the Swedish authorities.

    Perhaps we should have a concept of negative freedom (ability to go about our business) and positive freedom (ability to influence and have a say in governance). The latter is a question where democracies and the world as a whole needs to develop.

    The negative freedom has increased a lot in China under the last 30 years; positive freedom has probably increased only a little in the world as a whole.

  131. Old Tales Retold Says:

    Great points by Wukailong.

    I was a little confused about Wahaha’s comment number #112 about protests by Palestinians in the U.S., as I joined a fairly large pro-Palestinian march in Washington in 2002, right after Israel had flattened the Jenin refugee camp (they said there were over 100,000 people at the protest, if I recall correctly, though organizers always tend to inflate figures).

    And I don’t think it’s accurate to write off all elected politicians in India as lawyers for the rich; many politicians, particularly the Maoist wing of the Communist Party of India, are very pro-poor. Some, like the normal, old, boring non-Maoist Communist Party politicians have managed to keep the Congress Party in check on important issues.

    Nonetheless, I think Wahaha’s thoughts about the relative power of protests in authoritarian versus liberal democratic states are right on point.

    I’ve often marveled at how a protest in China almost always draws a response, often a positive response for most of the protesters (though not the leaders, if they can be found), whereas people can have all the protests they want about fundamental issues in the U.S. and get nowhere. Authoritarians HAVE to respond. In a way, having politicians that are made to respond to a whole range of different issues and can be voted up or down on them (and can be saved because of their support for one of them) diffuses the pressure. A media that softens issues helps, too (in China, in contrast, the media often avoids issues, making them stronger).

    It makes me want to dig out my Chomsky book again.

  132. Old Tales Retold Says:

    Oops, what I meant by “leaders” in terms of protests was the leaders of the protests. They are often arrested or hassled, while the others reap benefits.

  133. BMY Says:

    @hemulen #128

    I meant ” in China, it is only practiced by children” Cuba or N Korean or Vietnamese children do that salute or not have nothing to do with the children in the ceremony we are talking about and my point is still there

    I think you knew what I was saying

  134. Wahaha Says:

    WuKaiLong and OTR,

    Sorry that I didnt express my opinion clear, allow me to rephrase that :

    Each country, under any system, has a group of people who control the direction and future of the country, their dominacy cannot be questioned by the people of the question, that is, they will not allow anyone to jerpardize their positions in the country.

    If they made mistakes, they will not let people attack them directly, usually they will make adjustment to correct the mistake or minimize the damages caused by their mistakes. People are allowed to give constructive suggestions and opinions, but wont be allowed to question the ability of them or take power away from them.

    In authoritarian country, it is obvious cuz of the monoply of power. Now in a democratic country, or udner a “one person, one vote” system, people assume they are voting for the people who are going to control the country. I disagree. I think the richest people control the country, not the elected.

    In USA, corporations and wall street control the country, as Jack Cafferty pointed out in his bestseller “It’s going to be ugly.” If you think Sino-US relation, you can see the policy is controled by the corporations of military equipments ( who want to sell weapon to Taiwan) and other companys like WalMarts, Cisco, Google.

    In India, Riches and high class control the country. This becomes so clear when India’s billionaire Ambani built a 2 billion dollor home in Mumbai, which has 12 million people living in slums. Without the control of politicians and media, he wouldve dared to build a home like that in one of the poorest countries in the world.

    I know little about GB, but with the continuation of political system , I dont see much different from 100 years ago. Correct me if I am wrong, Britain was controled by the nobles and richest one hundred years ago. What have changed ?

    So in a word, when people in a democratic countries protests against government, they present no danger to the ones who control the direction and destiny of the country, rather they are protesting against the attorneys of those “elite”.

    As the government is controled by riches, the government will not be able to work for ordinary people unless the policy makes riches happy, like SEZ in China.(that doesnt mean the elected dont care ordinary people, but they dont have the power to get their plan passed in parliment or congress.) If people are not happy with the government, they can replace with another one. As the election campaign need lot of money, the riches still have the full control of the new government. You are not happy with this prime minister ? ok, let us replace this one with a new one who needs tons of money to get elected, who needs the media contoled by the riches. You can bash the government, you can call out your president, but you cant offend the richest who control the policy.

    After hundreds of years of stuggle, finally in 1960s, ordinary people in West earned their right and freedom OF PROTECTING THEMSELVES. But they still wont be able to put any pressure on riches, like now the crisis of gas price, no pressue on Oil company. Those riches still control the country.

    In India, people have the right to protect themselves, which is cool, but riches have no interests to scrafice their profits. As no body is willing to scrafice or “wait for his turn”, nothing can be done or the government is extremely inefficient..

  135. Spelunker Says:

    I guess Zhang Yimou did not read the program, otherwise he would not have heaped a 泰山 full of praise on Lin Miaoke at the next day’s press conference. Of course the opening ceremony program is only distributed to the lucky birds who attend the opening ceremony at the Nest, so that’s a tiny fraction of the “One World” who saw Lin Miaoke’s “One Dream”. I suppose Lei Cixin’s parents are going to be disappointed that their daughter’s photo is not circulating around global media. Shouldn’t we know what “C” girl Lei Cixin looked like since we didn’t hear her voice either but she was listed in the program as a singer (演唱)?

    吃饱了吗? The fake fireworks and fake singing are only appetizers. I can’t wait until Fool’s Mountain serves us the main entree from this Chinese fake buffet of buffoonery: a post about the alleged fake passports of Chinese gold medal gymnasts He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan, and Yang Yilin!

    http://sports.sina.com.cn/o/p/2007-11-03/22383268989.shtml

    http://olympics.scmp.com/Article.aspx?id=1928&section=latestnews

  136. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahaha – All the answers to your questions are out there. A hundred years ago Britain was a democracy in which only property owning men (about a third of the adult population) could vote, what changed was the emergence of the Labour movement and women’s suffrage. In 1918 the vote was finally extended to all adults over a certain age. I do not share your opinion of democracy, I have seen my country transformed through changes of governance made through the ballot box. You say that democracy cannot touch the rich, but in 1945 Britain elected a government that nationalised large parts of British industry and placed them under government control – the same thing has happened in many democracies, India included.

    My advice is that you should go and study a bit more history.

  137. BMY Says:

    @Spelunker

    Thanks for keeps bring up the news everyone know. keep up your good work.
    everything is fake in China and to be shameful as a Chinese. You are happier ?

  138. Charles Liu Says:

    BMY, not only that, we should be ashamed that we’re not more outraged. Is Lin/Yang/Lei the only victims here? Heck no:

    - While the Moon Goddess flew around, we forgot about her wig made with hair from bunch of fat ugly farm girls in Wuhan. They should not be denied the opportunity to appear, and they weren’t even given credit in the program guide. If Hu Jintao doesn’t fly them around during the closing ceremoney may God strike him down.

    - What’s more shocking is the 8000 PLA drummers were playing dog-skin drums. Thou the city is forbidden from serving “Fragrant Meat”, the enchiladas have been exteremely “Popular”. Somebody call PETA!

  139. Chops Says:

    ‘Liu Yan, who was to perform the solo dance “Silk Road” in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games, is now lying in hospital, paralyzed.

    She fell from a three meter high platform during rehearsals in the evening of July 27 after the vehicle carrying the platform moved without warning.’

    http://www.china.org.cn/olympics/news/2008-08/13/content_16210345.htm

    ‘The organizers of the opening ceremonies initially asked witnesses and friends not to disclose the tragedy ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games last Friday, according to people who have visited Ms. Liu in the hospital.

    Zhang Yimou, the show’s artistic director and one of the country’s leading film directors, expressed deep sadness and regret following a visit Monday to Ms. Liu’s hospital room. “I feel sorry for Liu Yan, my heart is full of regrets,” he said. “I’m deeply sorry. Liu Yan is a heroine. She sacrificed a lot for the Olympics, for me, for the opening ceremony.”…’

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/sports/olympics/15dancer.html

  140. Hongkonger Says:

    I agree with Wahahaha. In the long run, these untouchable parasites, the shifty aristocratic King-makers, selectors of Presidents always get what they want. Democracy is the greatest pacifier ever adopted by the smart tyrants.

    It’s true that under the Labour government of the period 1945 to 1951, Great Britain nationalized a number of important industries, including coal, steel, and transportation. Nationalization are settled by adjudication, with the expropriated parties obtaining compensation for their former properties, if only in part.

    For example the “big four” railway companies were transport providers across all modes providing integrated movement of both goods and passengers. The BTC was divided up into separate “Executives”.
    The Executives took control of the railway, London Transport (buses and trams as well as the underground), docks, canals and road transport. Included in this were the railway company ferries, hotels as well as Thomas Cook travel agents, Pickfords hauliers (both part of the Hayes Wharf group) and others.

    However, in practice each of the executives ran its own operation with any notion of integration falling by the wayside. This made it fairly straightforward for the 1951 Conservative government to de-nationalise most of British Road Services.

    Privatization, the reverse process, soon become widespread. Great Britain sold off many of its public companies, such as British Telecom. (e.g. France sold 65 state-owned companies in 1988.)
    Housing has also been privatized on a large scale in Britain, and privatization has been proposed for public housing in the United States. Underdeveloped nations, too, have begun to privatize.
    In the United States, the term has also been broadly applied to the contracting out of the management of public schools, prisons, airports, sanitation services, and a variety of other government-owned institutions, especially at the state and local levels.

  141. Hongkonger Says:

    OPs, sorry, forgot to give reference to the above:
    http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Nationalised+industries

  142. Chops Says:

    @admin,
    My previous post did’nt appear, so I’m posting again.

    ‘Liu Yan, who was to perform the solo dance “Silk Road” in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games, is now lying in hospital, paralyzed.

    She fell from a three meter high platform during rehearsals in the evening of July 27 after the vehicle carrying the platform moved without warning….’

    http://www.china.org.cn/olympics/news/2008-08/13/content_16210345.htm

    ‘The organizers of the opening ceremony initially asked witnesses and friends not to disclose the tragedy ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games last Friday, according to people who have visited Ms. Liu in the hospital.

    Zhang Yimou, the show’s artistic director and one of the country’s leading film directors, expressed deep sadness and regret following a visit Monday to Ms. Liu’s hospital room. “I feel sorry for Liu Yan, my heart is full of regrets,” he said. “I’m deeply sorry. Liu Yan is a heroine. She sacrificed a lot for the Olympics, for me, for the opening ceremony.”…’

    (insert http: + //www.) nytimes.com/2008/08/15/sports/olympics/15dancer.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  143. BMY Says:

    my heart is with Liu Yan and her family. Hope she has a chance to recover.

  144. Kong Says:

    “I’m not going to feel sorry for myself. I fell at the Olympics, but I will be back to create beauty for the world in one way or another,” said Liu Yan.

    May the world see Liu Yan dance for China again. Get well soon, Liu Yan, one of China’s many unsung Olympic heroes and heroines.

  145. Hemulen Says:

    @BMY

    I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. If the pioneer salute has evolved from a party-political salute to a national children’s salute, that makes it look even worse in the eyes of many people in the world. The Nazi salute was originally only a salute within the National Socialist movement, but later evolved into a national “German salute.” And the whole rhetoric about putting “the interest of the nation above all else” and the flag symbolizing the “blood of the national martyrs” could have been taken out of a National Socialist textbook. Yes, there were much more to the Nazis than just salutes, but the point here is to what extent it is ethical to educate small kids in a ideology that inculcates absolute obedience to the nation, and encourages them to participate in militaristic rituals.

    Here we have a government that proudly prohibits Uighurs under the age of 18 to attend the Id Kah Mosque and young Tibetans to become monks, making an argument against “religious indoctrination.” Then, the next moment, kids are herded into a formerly Communist youth movement with all kinds of baggage that has now evolved into a Han-centric National Youth movement where 8 years olds are told about the ultimate sacrifice. Is this the image China wants to project to the world?

    FOARP or me are not the first people in the world to draw these parallels, here is some info for your edification:

    http://histclo.com/youth/youth/org/pio/pioneerg.htm

  146. FOARP Says:

    @Hermulen – By “formerly” I presume you mean “formally”, the movement has never stopped being communist.

  147. Old Tales Retold Says:

    @ Hongkonger, FOARP, and Wahaha,

    I suppose I fall somewhere in between the arguments on this one.

    I don’t think elected politicians are merely decoration for moneyed interests in most places. They have their own sphere, which lives in a sort of dynamic interplay with the corporations and with the bureaucracy—you can see this in how certain CEOs lose out when a new party comes into power and others win, how the bureaucracy’s top is skimmed off but a base of lower-level bureaucrats remain, etc.

    That said, Wahaha is right that it is frustratingly difficult to directly advance a particular good in a democratic system, especially in the face of opposition from economic elites. My point earlier was that it might actually be MORE difficult in an open political system than in a more brittle, authoritarian system, as the authoritarian system has fewer means of diverting anger. But it is difficult wherever.

    I imagine the only time you can really make headway against the rich—whether in an authoritarian state or a liberal democracy— is in a time of crisis, when they have to make concessions to appease our anger, such as the elite did during the New Deal in the U.S., though some plotted to kill Roosevelt (I’m not as clear on FOARP’s British example). A “concession” implies that the elite have not ceded their position—but that they are also under enough pressure to no longer be able to just back a new, similar politician (merely switching the players, as Wahaha describes) and can’t manufacture diversions. Often, elected officials are conduits for this pressure.

    Are people fooling themselves when they protest against their governments in democratic countries? I don’t think so… that it’s their only option. I wish they could do more.

    Maybe I’m not being clear here; my brain’s a little addled today. Thoughts?

  148. admin Says:

    @Spelunker

    a post about the alleged fake passports of Chinese gold medal gymnasts He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan, and Yang Yilin!

    Let me show you the buffet table. We already have not only one, but two posts on this topic
    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/08/13/bella-caroli-china-cheated-with-underage-gymnasts/
    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/08/14/chines-gymnasts-age-controversy-part-2/

    Bon Appetit!

  149. admin Says:

    @Chops

    Sorry about that. Your previous post was caught by our spam filter. It is now recovered.

    For all readers, if your comments do not appear. You may 1) post a short note to alert me or our editors. 2) repost without hyperlinks (we allow 5 links per comment but sometimes one or two links can trigger the spam filter). 3) email webmaster@foolsmountain.com if need help in posting a comment. Thank you.

  150. wuming Says:

    On DJ’s update, where he quoted a Reuter’s article saying that the lip-sync decision was known and supported by the broadcasters. While we are yet to figure out who are these broadcasters, it is clear that the producers intended whoever on stage to lip-sync the performance from the start. Putting the pressure of a solo live performance in front of such a large audience on the shoulders of a 7 or 9 year-old girl would have been very cruel.

    Now we are left with two questions:

    1. Should Zhang and Chen get themselves into this scenario at all? My believe is that the main target of this part of the show was the Chinese audience. It meant to tug our heart strings. The song was from the socialist era, washed off its revolutionary colors, that entire performance was the condensation of pure patriotic (nationalist?) sentiment. We were supposed to tear, and as far as I know, we all did.

    2. The second is DJ’s question: should they have let Peiyi lip-sync’ed to her own recording instead? On this I still stick to my original argument that Miaoke’s relative maturity and acting experience presented to Chen a perfect choice. They wanted somebody looked as young as possible and still be able to hold up on stage, and Miaoke looked young and has been acting for three years.

  151. Wahaha Says:

    @FOARP,

    I think you feel offended, my apology.

    In you post, if you replace “Wahaha”and “you” with “Westerners”, “Britain history” with “Chinese history”, that is exactly how Chinese feel about the bombards by west media.

    You wouldnt feel offended if I was a British, would you ?

    ____________________________

    About system, I admit my ignorance about Britain. As India has the same political system as in Britain, I paid more attention to what has been going on in India, which has similar situation in China. The major flaw is its ineffectiveness and it has largest amount of “Black money” in Swiss bank, about 15 times that by China, by 2006 numbers.

    As India riches and nobles control India, I dont know why Britain is different. I think Britain was controled by the husbands of those pretty ladys who wear expensive hats while watching horse racing.

    ________________________________

    OTR,

    I think the example by you is more a fight among billionaires and millionaires, like fight between Baseball team owners and players’ union, a fight between billionaires and millionaires. You can surely find examples that are exceptional, but overall I think my point is right that America is controled by corporations.

    You are right that crisis is the time when system is seriously tested. I dont know if the current system in China can survive an economic crisis, I am sure CCP is aware of what happened to Suharto in Indonesia. The system in West will survive any crisis as long as the country has very few poor people and people in West enjoy much better life than other countries like China.

    I said before, democracy is built on wealth and education, the only way to test democratic system is when the country has lot of poor people, which America will face in 20 to 30 years.

  152. Old Tales Retold Says:

    @ Wahaha,

    I don’t dispute the power of corporations. I suppose my model for understanding a government—any government—is further from Marx & Engels’ conception of the state as just a grand superstructure for the economic base (to simplify their argument) and closer to Gramsci’s thinking, wherein economic facts, including especially class relations, are of utmost importance but politics can constitute a power in its own right.

    I would argue that democracy is often advanced precisely during crisis points. It may be that a “stable” democracy is easiest to achieve during rises in prosperity and education and harmonious international relations, as Huntington and the rest of those guys back in the day argued, but it is crises that provide the initiative—political crises and economic crises—for the very beginnings of reforms. For example, Taiwan is often thought to have pursued democracy as essentially a political reaction to its sudden loss of recognition by the U.S. and others (as a way of regaining respect and recognition from the world), i.e. it pursued reforms in response to a crises, not because its GDP per capita had reached a certain point.

    I also don’t know (of course) whether the current system in China would survive an economic crisis. I hope I’ll never have to know. The same goes for America’s economic troubles ahead.

    Hopefully, far-sighted citizens and politicians (and, I suppose, economic elites, though I say this grudgingly) will make the necessary reforms now rather than when they are pushed to. History doesn’t give me a lot of hope for this, though.

  153. FOARP Says:

    @Wahahaha – That is why I always at least try to check my facts before posting. If I occasionally just post from memory and make a mistake, I always try to accept proof that what I have written is wrong. Yes, I agree that a lot of commentators do not actually know that much about Chinese history – the simpletons who have been going on about the opening ceremony of the Olympics being an example of China’s ‘collectivism’ in the past week being a prime example. As James Fallows pointed out, the people taking part in the displays were mainly soldiers – ‘collectivism’ is exactly what you would expect of the military of all but the most hapless countries. In fact China’s history has been one in which there have been long periods of disorder and division, and this is part of the reason why people prefer a strong government.

    What I was trying to say was – the influence of the rich was never as big as the desire of politicians to win support by extending the franchise, this is the reason why Britain steadily went from being a country in which very few people had the vote (say, one man in five at the time of the American war of independence) to a country in which all men and women except prisoners and the insane were allowed to vote. This represented a mechanism for change, one that steadily gave the adult population of the UK a measure of control over their own lives which they had not had before. In my own lifetime we have seen the end of the nationalised industries and the resurgence of the British economy, to the point where it out-performed all the other G7 nations last year and has given us the highest GDP per capita of any large nation in the EU. This would not have happened had not the British people voted for a party which promised reforms – despite the fact that these reforms were very painful indeed. This is the reason why I am not a cynic when it comes to democracy (although, there is plenty to be cynical about).

    Now, I don’t think that China should simply copy our system – the system of parliamentary democracy in the UK took seven hundred years to develop, and is still far from perfect – but I do think that China would benefit in the long term from having a proper mechanism for change. At any rate, it is the Chinese people who must decide what form this mechanism should take.

    You often bring up the subject of India – and as far as my Indian friends tell me, at least some of what you say is true – the influence of the Gandhi/Nehru line is far too strong, corruption is endemic, ethnic divisions remain. But most of this was equally true of the British Raj, as well as during the 1975-1977 emergency, when elections were suspended. It must be said also that despite these constraints India has seen rapid growth since economic reforms not un-similar to Deng Xiaoping’s ‘reform and opening’ were brought in during the 90′s. My advice is you should bring this up on an Indian website and see what they say, as their system really is quite different to that of the UK.

    @HKer – More than 30 years separated the election of Clement Atlee and the election of Margaret Thatcher – I think it is a bit of a stretch to say ‘soon’. I brought up the post-war nationalisation as an example of where democracy actually went against the interests of the corporations, thus showing that democratic governments can be more than simply the agents of the rich. Now, I personally think that nationalisation was a disaster for the British economy, and is what made us the ‘sick man of Europe’ for most of the second half of the last century, but it does demonstrate my point.

  154. Hongkonger Says:

    The Attlee era, perhaps constituted Labour’s finest hour. This was a period that went some way towards satisfying wartime demands for a New Jerusalem: the economy recovered from the ravages of war while avoiding a return to mass unemployment, and simultaneously ministers never wavered in their determination to fulfil the Beveridge promise of social protection ‘from the cradle to the grave’.

    But then in the summer of 1950 when the American- Korean War broke out, London’s decision to send British troops to combat Communist forces in North Korea smacked of subservience to American wishes. More seriously, the rearmament required spending cutbacks on the home front, which eventually gave ammunitions for left-wing critics. Ever wonder why the immediate post-war years were marked by a betrayal of socialist idealism and by wasted opportunities. The rich true ruling class had taken the ‘time-off’,’ to let the nationalised industries to be rebuilt on Government budgets. Despite public backing as evident in 1945 to introduce wholesale socialist change, Labour opted for cautious reformism; WHY???? Why did Labour fail to break down entrenched class barriers? Because it never intended to.
    Again, even after UK finally repaid USA for war loans in 2006, 60 years later, the authorisation of launching UK’s own Trident Nuclear Missiles remains in the US Adminstration?
    Why 50 odd years ago, the Attlee government ‘disillusioned its own militants’ by achieving only modest reform, so providing a ‘springboard for the rich to take off into the profiteers’ paradise of the 1950s’? As the saying goes, NOTHING in politics happened by chance – there you go, the rich has the means and the time, the man and brain powers (Thinktanks). Wealth / money is power, and that is the only fuel that powers the political machines. As for the mobs, the masses, or grass-citizen; no matter whom you back, root or vote, if your status remain lowly and honest, you should at least be aware you have very little or no say at all in affecting politics – the game for the rich and powerful; sorry, exculsive members only.

  155. Hongkonger Says:

    I AM SO SORRY, folks – I realize I am totally off Topic…I shall not post again on British politics again on this threat. My apologies. Cheers.

  156. Wahaha Says:

    @FOARP,

    The Clement Atlee’s government and Margaret Thatcher’s government were elected when Britain’s economy was in deep trouble. #147 by OTR explained such situation in which ruling “elite” didnt have choice, they must do something to gain the control of the country, as Deng clearly sensed the urgency in late 1970s. So I am sorry to say that your example cant convince me, (I am not saying your example cant convince others)

    But what knowledge do I possess to question the political system in Britain that has existed for over 500 years ? little. All I want is Westerners respect Chinese’s choice of the way for their future, and you show that respect. For that, you earn my respect, and I think you earn the respect of lot of Chinese.

    ___________________________________________

    OTR,

    If you think I am a die-hard anti-democracy, this is not true. I just dont think democratic system is as good as lot of people in developed countries believe, and authoritarian system is as bad as many people believe. A lot of problems now in US were not problems caused by government, in my opinion, it is “ordinary people” who cause the problems but try to blame their own misery on government. I certainly dont doubt that lot of elected in west government try hard to help people. But it is very naive to say “he will not work people as he was not elected by people” and “He will work for people cuz he was elected by peope”.

    The big problem for authoritarian government is its legitmacy.

    The big problem for democratic government is “people are never wrong.”

  157. Grant Clayton Says:

    I don’t speak Chinese, but I am learning to.I know that translating Chinese is no easy task.
    Therefore I wondered if news that happened in Chinese was properly reported in English.
    I put a transcript of Chen’s interview through my favorite online Chinese translation device (mdbg.net)
    and got a different viewpoint on the whole affair.
    Yang PeiYi is not ugly.
    The story I get is that Yang PeiYi’s looks were never the issue.
    It was her stage presence.
    Chen QiGang uses the words
    内心 nèi xīn heart / innermost being
    感觉 gǎn jué feeling
    表情 biǎo qíng (facial) expression / to express one’s feelings / expression
    to describe what the panel was looking for.
    They felt that she did not show those features as well as Lin MiaoKe (an experienced actress) did.
    It is very reasonable to assume that a 7 year old that might be singing for 4 billion people may shown some nerves or shyness.
    Zhang YiMou is a brilliant movie director, that takes great pride in his visual presentation.
    To him the “image” was more important than the sound.It was a “show” not a concert.
    The singer had to show emotions. (especially pride, I assume)
    Lin MiaoKe was the best of the finalists at exhibiting the required emotion while singing.
    The group then chose to add the best sound to the best image, to get the best overall product.
    (双簧 shuāng huáng a form or theatrical double act, popular since Qing times,
    with one player seated stage front and acting out the poem or song of the second player hidden at the back)
    They all agreed that Yang PeiYi had the best sound.

    Chen never mentioned her teeth or her “looks” (other than that she was one of 10 finalists in a group that had to be “first and foremost adorable kids,” )
    Yang PeiYi’s teeth were never an issue until somebody focused on them as a possible reason
    why her “image” was brought into question.

    http://my.cnd.org/modules/wfsection/print.php?articleid=20335
    http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php

    as a side note, i get a kick out of how the girls’ names translate
    Though Lin Miao Ke was “wonderful, certainly”
    Yang Pei Yi was “abundantly suitable” to perform as well

  158. DJ Says:

    Grant Clayton,

    Spot on!

  159. Daniel Says:

    I wished people would have investigated much clearer into the story as all “professional journalists” should do. Thankfully, there are people out there who can do that.

  160. Hongkonger Says:

    Grant Clayton, Great comment. Thank you so much for getting it right.

  161. baoziboy Says:

    The proof in the pudding will be if the original singer (the one they recorded then more than likely digitally sweetened and retuned up in a studio) actually appears on tv, forget the closing ceremony. Will she ever get to release a cd? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    London’s ceremony will cane Beijing’s, not by numbers, nationalism or how many, but by how individually unique we all are, how international the games should be and by high quality ‘live’ performances.

    Mind you, Beijing will be far too busy spending the next 4 years filling the tv with the usual xenophobic “we are all victims, but underneath superior to everyone else” crap. 5000 years of history, summed up by a head count of necklaces. LOL

    Mustn’t be too nasty though, at least their football teams found the stadiums.

  162. Spelunker Says:

    Put this is your translation machine pipe and smoke it!

    奥运开幕式捧红了独唱《歌唱祖国》的9岁小女孩林妙可,这几天来她成了最红的明星,成为各大媒体报道的对象,昨天开幕式的音乐总监陈其钢接受采访时说到《歌唱祖国》的演唱者并非林妙可,而是7岁的小女孩杨沛宜,陈其钢透露,由于杨沛宜正在发牙齿,让林妙可上台主要是因为考虑到对外形象,是为了国家利益。

    http://cache.baidu.com/c?m=9d78d513d9d437ae4f9c9f697b17c0106a4381132ba1d30208a38449e3732a465011e7ac51220775a3d27d1716d94e4b9e862104311456c48cc9f85dadbe855b2f9f2644676a855663d10edfca5153b734d71ab7a043a1fcb22592ddcfce8f0412dd53727985f38e5b1714bd3ead4b2ca5fbdb13441e0dbae73a60e259752b95214aab44f9fd3268008af2dc5e5bc35bd37611e0f573ef60&p=9757c15b91934ea518be9b7d15&user=baidu

    Allow me to be of some assistance: 在发牙齿 = developing teeth

  163. 正在发牙齿 Says:

    Spot on, Spelunker!

  164. baoziboy Says:

    Translation pipe, not required.

    “在发牙齿 = developing teeth” could also use that one for a certain country’s gymnasts.

  165. admin Says:

    @Spelunker/正在发牙齿

    This is blog is not a place to play childish games. Your two comments were only 3 minutes apart and posted from the same IP address (74.x.x.119). Care to explain?

    Chen’s interview is linked in our posts (both video and transcripts) for everyone to see. There is no point to post a second hand account, and a fake cheerleader will not boost your credibility.

    By the way, this trick is nothing new. Fu Jieshi/Ma Bole/Hong/Cao Cao has done this before. See
    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/06/25/true-pride-time-magazine/

  166. Spelunker Says:

    正在发牙齿 is my little nine year old brother. He hopped on the computer when I went to answer the phone (just the dentist’s office confirming my appointment). His original post said “Thpot on, Thpelunker” but in a moment of maturity he changed it to something a tad less childish.

  167. TommyBahamas Says:

    演唱: A 杨沛宜, B 林妙可, C 雷茈昕
    Singing: (A) Yang Peiyi, (B) Lin Miaoke, (C) Lei Cixin
    So Yang Peiyi is actually listed ahead of Lin Miaoke in the credit. The usage of pre-recorded singing in the performance was known and supported by the broadcasters and should really be a non-issue. I am still concerned for their psychological well being, but that’s largely because of those journalists who seem so eager reminding Yang Peiyi that she was perceived “ugly” and calling Lin Miaoke a fake.

    Damn those lying conniving Children-targeting low-life journalists !

  168. baoziboy Says:

    Did the program also credit someone for “computer generated firework footprints”?? i mean someone worked for a year on that one. How about Beijing ball bearing school No.491 for “the nationalities children”??

    Go Go Mime-a!!!!!!!!

  169. Spelunker Says:

    My uncle played junior varsity football during his senior year of high school. He had no football experience but the coach let him participate in practice and stand on the sidelines during the game. At the high school reunion 20 years later, he brought an old football program to the picnic and showed it to the pretty girls who had ignored him in high school. Of course the ladies didn’t recall that he did not play in any varsity games, but when he told them that he was a football player they believed he was one of the star wide receivers.
    What does this story have to do with Yang Peiyi? So much is being made about her name appearing in the program, but this fact is not important because the opening ceremony program was only distributed to people inside the Bird’s Nest on August 8. When people in the stadium saw Lin Miaoke appearing to sing alone, do you believe they really checked their program to see which of the three names might belong to her? The day after the ceremony Zhang Yimou turned Lin Miaoke into a worldwide overnight sensation by praising her singing, but did not mention that the voice belonged to somebody else or that reporters should “check the ceremony’s program”. It was the day after this press conference that the world learned the identity of Yang Peiyi through the ensuing controversy after Chen Qigang’s revelation. Unfortunately that is how we came to know Yang Peiyi and the “opening ceremony program inclusion” argument isn’t worth the paper that the program was printed on.

    Therefore all the inhabitant’s of the mountain known as Fool’s should keep this in mind the next time they think mentioning Yang Peiyi’s name in the program might pacify those who still claim she was treated unfairly.

  170. Chops Says:

    Perhaps the third unsung heroine “Lei Cixin” is simply happy to have her name credited.

  171. TK Says:

    Fake?so what!The opening ceremony is perfect. Jealous?sounds like that .I’m very proud of the ceremony also proud my country.

  172. Pete Briquette Says:

    Storm in a tea cup. Much ado about nothing.

    Personally, I’m disappointed that they didn’t go further with the whole CGI thing. They should have had Chairman Mao lighting the cauldron, with Deng Xiaoping as the little fellow marching beside Yao Ming. Why did they neglect this part of Chinese history? After all, it doesn’t matter if it’s a black cat or white cat, so long as (a) it’s not Hello Kitty, and (b) it wins the Mens 100 meters…

    Looking forward to London 2012, when the entire crowd will be replaced by supporters from the FA Cup Final, and Diana will rise again to wave at the participating nations.

  173. TommyBahamas Says:

    This country is trying to promote peace and harmony, not drive a wedge in the international community. Thank goodness no political figures were highlighted, that would have stirred up bad feelings, unwanted emotions, not to mention boring in a great coming out party.

    Not only do I agree with TK’s statement above : “Fake?so what!The opening ceremony is perfect. Jealous?sounds like that .I’m very proud of the ceremony also proud my country, ” but as an art and performing arts enthusiast, I also agree with Peter Briquette’s conclusion on western media’s actions as “Much Ado about NOTHING” One has to be pretty ignorant of the practices, tradition and culture of performing arts to even react to something like what’s been discussed here.
    I am certain Yang Peiyi, Lin Miaoke, Lei Cixin are scratching their heads wondering why silly gorwn-ups are complaining about a perfect show. Now, that’s something these girls need to be shielded from – stupidity.

  174. Chicken Says:

    Extracted from Online news :-

    http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20080824-83944.html

    Lip-synched girl at Games ‘depressed, confused’

    BEIJING–The girl who sang a song lip-synched by another girl at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, has become depressed, according to her teacher.

    Yang Peiyi, 7, of Beijing, sang a patriotic song at the Aug. 8 ceremony, but it was Lin Miaoke, 9, also of the city, who appeared in front of the audience.

    The ceremony’s music director later revealed Lin’s performance had been lip-synched.

    Yang “seems hurt and depressed,” the teacher wrote on her blog, adding that the young singer was somewhere “far away” because her parents do not want her to have to deal with more media attention over the incident.

    According to the blog, on the night of Aug. 18 Yang watched a TV show in which Lin appeared.

    The show’s host did not explain that it was Yang’s singing that was heard during the Opening Ceremony.

    Yang went to bed after the show ended, looking depressed and without saying a word.

    The following morning, teeth marks could be seen on her arm, suggesting that she had bitten herself.

    The teacher says she thinks Yang is at a loss to understand why she keeps having to be hidden from the public. “Don’t hurt her any more,” the teacher said in the blog.

    (Aug 24, 2008)

  175. Nimrod Says:

    Joel wrote:

    “In China, it’s form over function; image over substance; appearance over reality. In China, sometimes it feels like appearance is so important that it practically becomes reality.

    For example, I would be genuinely more impressed with an imperfect-but-real performance, rather than a fake but “perfect-appearing” performance. The former has meaning, the latter is just a meaningless commercial, not matter how good it appears.”
    +++++
    I just thought of something brought up by this comment. At a high level, life’s culture and art are similar in that they both evolve through different stages of human development. You know, at first people were no good at depicting reality due to lack of skill or technology, so they settle for caricatures. Then they improved and strove to reproduce reality. Once they succeeded so well in that, people moved to abstractions, self-expression, and other non-objective stuff.

    I really think the type of culture goes with the state of development. China is still trying to perfect many things. Only when you’ve been able to perfect everything and it gets boring, does perfection become “meaningless”. To Chinese people, perfection (along with betterment) still carries great meaning.

  176. Heavensent Says:

    @all the critics and those that put too much emphasis on it
    I know it’s a little late for my two cents. I did not read the whole thread as I normally do before responding, but I didn’t really feel the need to waste my time reading all the nonsense in criticising the event.
    First of all the Olympic ceromony was for entertainment purpose. There was nothing wrong with the ceremony nor any of the two talented young girls, what IS WRONG is the assumtion and high expectations of the critics. If the critic’s criticism holds any weight then every movie that use stuntmans or doubles should be criticise. These critics should shoulder the responsibility should any physcological trauma these young girls experience. I have no doubt in my mind that the performance was not intended in any way to embarrass these little girls.

  177. Ksenia Says:

    “I always had the feenlig than Chinese put more emphasis in appearance that in substance….In the ‘west’ it is rather the other way around. More importance to substance. Rituals do not play such a important role here. At least in recent history.”I have to STRONGLY disagree with you. The West concentrates more on substance?…rather than appearances? We in the U.S. concentrate so much on aesthetics and on beauty. We are a society driven by the visually pleasing; where cosmetic surgery and treatments are second-nature. Our television and movies are filled with mindless reality shows and programs that have been stolen from other countries because we can’t think of anything original…I DO NOT disagree that the China’s obsession with perfection has led to poor choices, but you have to understand: this is their one chance for glory and celebration. The stand-in singing girl was definitely wrong, the fireworks I thought were not that big of a deal. The point is the event actually DID occur, but a computer generated version was used instead due to visibility. In the states, a majority of our programming is edited beyond recognition. Scenes are added an manipulated all the time due to filming schedules and plot needs. And yet millions tune in every night to watch Laguna Beach and the Hills, where everything is scripted and re-shot from every angle. But that’s a conversation in itself. in the end, fireworks: not a big deal. The little girl bad move. Back on topic…Being Chinese-American I am immersed in both worlds. I have seen China drift away from being an influential and culturally beautiful nation, synonymous for its ingenuity, attention to detail and priceless contributions to our society. Now, they are a nation plagued with issues and negative stigmas. From its numerous failings regarding human rights, decency as well has the countless global recalls of its faulty and sometimes deadly products…If you look at our history, it seems that for the Chinese, our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness: the innate ability to see opportunities and the determination to do what it takes to succeed…whatever it takes.

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