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Author Topic: Summer Olympics 2008: Beijing
MrSquicky
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I was wondering, do the people behind the Olympics in China think that getting caught faking and cheating things makes them look bad? The Mili Vanili and CGI fireworks, the obviously underage gymnasts, the paid "yellow shirts", do they think that getting caught doing these things detracts from the perfection they are striving for? Or is that just a U.S. perspective?

I don't any illusion that these things are beyond the U.S. (the gymnast thing, maybe), but we'd feel embarassed about it. I honestly don't know how the Chinese (or, for that matter, much of the rest of the world) sees it.

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Samprimary
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When we complain about it, Xinhua markets it as bitchy Americans trying to bring down Chinese pride with ludicrous assertions and hostile nitpicking.

The poppet civilians then largely fall in line behind that.

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BlackBlade
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Mr Squicky: I don't think anybody here KNOWS any of the Chinese folks behind the Olympics in China. [Wink]

I can't really composes my thoughts well enough to give a good answer. I wouldn't say the Chinese just don't care about fake appearances and cheating. I guess part of it might be that when something of immense importance comes up, the Chinese are not beyond double dealing and corner cutting if it means they can achieve it.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I honestly don't know how the Chinese (or, for that matter, much of the rest of the world) sees it.

Again, it depends on what you mean by "the Chinese." [Smile]

If you're talking to the organizers and the politiburo, then I don't think that they're embarrassed and they honestly think that the fireworks and the lp-sync are ok. After all, they didn't get "caught", they announced the two things themselves in the Beijing Times and on Beijing Public Radio, respectively. I think the getting "caught" part is more of a Western spin on what happened. They certainly wanted to downplay it, but if they wanted to hide it there are better ways than going on mass media and announcing it.

Nonetheless, if you look at a sampling of blog posts and forum posts on sites that specialise in translation like Global Voices
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/08/12/china-faking-the-olympic-opening-ceremony-at-what-expense/
or EastSouthWestNorth which doesn't have a dedicated section, but does have many translated posts, then netizens in China do not really react any different or less critically then here.
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm

Of course the state media would be silent on the issue (of a controversy).

The paid spectators to fill up the stands of less popular events, I don't think Chinese people would have a problem with that. I have no idea about how the gymnast thing is seen, but I'll post something if I see something.

_________

On another note, there was a dedicated Daily Show on some of the controversies surrounding the Olympics and China on Wednesday (I watch a day behind on the Comedy Central Website). So if you're interested, go on Hulu, Comedy Central, the Daily Show website, or so forth.
It was fairly amusing.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
The poppet civilians then largely fall in line behind that.

Yes, because they censored people's brains and not as commonly reported, their media [Roll Eyes]
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I'm getting a funny feeling about Phelps in this 100 fly. I know he is on a roll, and he doesn't know how to lose, but there is this guy Cavic and Ian Crocker. Now I still blame Crocker for choking on the relay four years ago. I hear talk about a sore throat or a cough, but what I saw in Athens was a relay choke. It happens. It happened to him. He knows it. I know it. I half wonder is he is going to take it out on Phelps in the 100 fly. I think Phelps is going to get beaten tonight.

My favorite race is coming up, though, in the 400 medley relay. I love our guys. I love all the guys. They are such big, awkward kids. I hope they let Hansen swim it. But most of all, I hope some big sponsor has the foresight to script an ad where an exasperated Shawn Johnson is in a classroom giving a "How to talk to the media" tutorial to our open-mouthed swimming lugs. God bless them.

Now to women's soccer. My cousin is busy giving birthing a beautiful girl so my stock is staying in the states, but how about that Heather O'Reilly. She is my favorite play-maker on the team, I think it's because she is so quick and smart with her touches. She a nice soccer build, boxy, hard to get around, it's easy to forget that she can dance with the ball with the best of them. She is also decisive in a way that augments her surprising quickness.

[ August 15, 2008, 11:47 AM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Kwea
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I don't think Phelps will lose, although if he loses anything it should be this race. There is simply no room for error, and it isn't long enough to make up distance if you fall behind. Also, the field is really strong this year.

I swam fly in high school, although nowhere near any of these guys level of course, and the 100 is a brutal race with no room for error. It is just over too quick for corrections.

I also think the sheer number of races he has swum is starting to hit him pretty hard. He looked pretty wiped at the end of his last race. It isn't just the quick turnaround, although that doesn't help.....it is all the qualifying rounds as well.

[ August 15, 2008, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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Blayne Bradley
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THE CLAM!
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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
But most of all, I hope some big sponsor has the foresight to script an ad where an exasperated Shawn Johnson is in a classroom giving a "How to talk to the media" tutorial to our open-mouthed swimming lugs. God bless them.

Kerri Walsh could also give a couple of those sessions. Or, you know, anyone articulate.
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Risuena
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It's also entirely possible that the swimmers are articulate, they're just so surprised that someone is actually talking to them and not Phelps that they don't know what to say. Has NBC even noticed that there are other swimmers?
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I'm sure the swimmers are bright and articulate. More importantly, they seem decent. They just weren't chosen for their poise; they were chosen because they can get from one side of the pool to the other, and back again, faster than the other guy. And I like them that way. Whereas the female gymnasts have to think about presentation and the appearance of aplomb, the swimmers have only one goal. I love watching the swimmers joke around with each other. It's endearing. I love our guys, and I hope they don't change a bit. There is something about Weber-Gale that I don't like, but he is the outlier.

Then you have guys like Joey Cheek and Gary Hall Jr. who carry that same spirit into humanitarian causes, it's really something. I think I'd like Natalie Coughlin more if I didn't get the sense that she was using this as a stepping stone to her broadcasting career. There is something affected about her, or guarded or simple, who knows.

I still stand by my ad with Shawn Johnson in a small classroom ordering Locthe to spit out his gum while saying, "Aaron Peirsol, you have four gold medals, when are you going to stop saying 'Dude.'"

Misty May & Kerri Walsh are too much. They are funny, talented, driven, folksy, bright and pretty. Class acts, the lot of them.

[ August 15, 2008, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Shanna
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Did anyone just see that Phelps race??? One one-hundredth of a second!! I'm starting to believe that he's really a robot, a waterproof robot with some guy in the stands pushing buttons on a remote.

His mother's reaction was hysterical!

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I do like being wrong. I will gladly clap it up for Michael Phelps.
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Lyrhawn
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Yeah that was pretty funny. The guy in front of her looked like he got punched in the stomach too.

That was just amazing. One one hundredth. I didn't think he could do it, I thought Cavic had it, but he came on strong at the end. Even in the last second I thought Cavic had it, and especially when Phelps too that last stroke I didn't see how he could get his hands around again but somehow he did.

Crocker missed a medal by one one-hundreth of a second. Crazy, crazy.

Did anyone see this? Bela Karyoli's reaction to the final moments of Nastia Liukin's floor routine. It's utterly hysterical. Watch Bob Costas too.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:

Did anyone see this? Bela Karyoli's reaction to the final moments of Nastia Liukin's floor routine. It's utterly hysterical. Watch Bob Costas too.

I thought Bela was endearing.
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Carrie
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That was just crazy. I was shaking my head, thinking So much for eight..., and he goes and gets it.

Morgan Freeman is a liar. Michael Phelps IS part-dolphin. [Smile]

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pooka
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I'm not sure if it applies to all Chinese, but I know in the case of my father and his father, lying about your age to get an advantage is no big deal in China. It's like going over the speed limit by 7 mph. I don't know if we'll ever know exactly how old my father is, and I believe his father came up 3 or 5 years younger on his records, because he fudged it to get into a military academy.

Then there was my aunt's second husband who turned out to be 10 years older than he initially claimed. That was rather pushing it. They are no longer married for reasons which the age had bearing on.

And for the lip-synching, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has done that (though not during the 2002 games, it was for some other venue.) People lip sync in the Macy's thanksgiving parade. It's a pretty typical strategy for pageant organizers.

I don't know what the yellow shirt deal is, and I was angered by the intial attempts to fix the women's gymnastics all-around, but it wound up okay.

I was initially skeptical of Phelps, but the sheer pace at which he's winning these medals is impressive to me. Even if he is doping, he's doing an amazing job of holding his junk.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Carrie:
That was just crazy. I was shaking my head, thinking So much for eight..., and he goes and gets it.

Morgan Freeman is a liar. Michael Phelps IS part-dolphin. [Smile]

Gah! I can't find any video of this race.
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Lyrhawn
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nbcolympics.com, go to video, open up the viewer and click swimming in the drop down menu, it's the 100M Fly Finals. Should be in there.

pooka -

I think one of the main reasons why Phelps has volunteered to do the expanded volunteer dope testing program is to remove all doubt as to his ability. He's going through every step required, and several that aren't, in order to prove that it's him and him alone doing this, and I believe him.

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Lyrhawn
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Anyone catch this?

Swedish wrestler lays his bronze on the mat and storms away from medals ceremony in protest.

They're saying he threw it down, but he set it down, if that makes any difference, I saw the video. He was mad at a bit of officiating where he says he beat the eventual gold medal winner in a semifinals match.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
The poppet civilians then largely fall in line behind that.

Yes, because they censored people's brains and not as commonly reported, their media [Roll Eyes]
Agitprop, when successful, is a great way to do just this.

For many chinese, the state 'pride' account supersedes critical thinking.

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Mucus
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I may note that you've already changed from "largely" to "many." When you're talking about Chinese people with 1.3+ billion people, practically any behaviour can be measured in "many" without being representative (e.g. There are "many" Chinese Catholics.)

I mostly question "largely" since when you downgrade your claim to "many", hell, you could say many Americans let Fox News and associated pundits supersede critical thinking.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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The Shot
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Belle
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Great pictures, Irami! Thanks for posting.
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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Anyone catch this?

Swedish wrestler lays his bronze on the mat and storms away from medals ceremony in protest.

They're saying he threw it down, but he set it down, if that makes any difference, I saw the video. He was mad at a bit of officiating where he says he beat the eventual gold medal winner in a semifinals match.

He got stripped of his medal, perhaps unsurprisingly.
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Lyrhawn
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I guess it is a little unsurprising, but I disagree with the IOC that it was a political demonstration. I'm sketchier on the fair play part, because if he's right and he did get robbed, then it wasn't exactly fair play on their part was it?

But I think with something like the Olympics, you have to take the officiating in stride with the sport. I think that's true of any sport really, but with the Olympics especially I think there's more of a demand to just suck it up and take what you get, even if you feel like you deserved more. He could have lodged a formal protest afterwards.

I can understand his anger (to a degree) at what he felt he was being robbed of, but I think he could have expressed it much better.

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Nick
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I can't believe he won 8, that's crazy!
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Lyrhawn
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Crazy awesome.
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ketchupqueen
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Okay, I'm a page behind, but on not singing the national anthem-- maybe they don't like it. I've never been a big fan. [Wink] Or maybe they are too overwhelmed to sing. I'd imagine in those circumstances, I would be belting my heart out-- but I'm from a loud, singing, talking family. My husband would probably be grinning ear to ear but NOT singing-- he comes from a family where emotions are kept closer inside and when overwhelmed they tend to go silent, not explode like we do in my family.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I may note that you've already changed from "largely" to "many." When you're talking about Chinese people with 1.3+ billion people, practically any behaviour can be measured in "many" without being representative (e.g. There are "many" Chinese Catholics.)

I mostly question "largely" since when you downgrade your claim to "many", hell, you could say many Americans let Fox News and associated pundits supersede critical thinking.

Then let's go back to 'largely' since I have no intent on 'downgrading my claim.'

What I'm talking about is something that the CCP does and that tends to work for them. We've had ample evidence since the tibet riots/torch ceremony protests.

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Lyrhawn
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The Williams sisters took gold in women's tennis doubles.

Women's gymnastics saw the vault and floor this morning and men saw pommel horse and floor. I didn't read the results yet (okay, I accidentally saw floor, and the US women are at least getting two medals), I want to watch the replay later tonight. I don't know why they aren't showing it live now, I want to watch!

My brother's fiancee's brother rowed in the medal finals this morning and came in 5th place, so no medal [Frown] .

It was heartbreaking to watch the Men's 50M Rifle finals. Emmons, whose wife has won two medals for the Czech Republic, one of them gold in the Women's 50M, did almost exactly what he did four years ago. In Athens he had the Gold, all he had to do was basically hit the target, and he shot the wrong target and lost. This time around, he was up 4 points, which is a huge number in rifle shooting, but he pretty much missed the target on the last shot and ended up out of the medals by a point. That has to be gut wrenching, especially only being one shot away from his and hers matching gold medals.

Most of my favorite events are either done or winding down, but there are some track and field events that I'm looking forward to.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I have a hard time believing Bolt is clean, but if he is... [Eek!]

How about our girl Dara? [Big Grin] She is a delight.

I feel a little bit bad for Nastia Lukin. We like our American heroes to be hayseeds, and there just isn't an "aw shucks" bone in her body. You did a big thing well, Nastia. [Kiss] [The Wave]

Look at all these smileys, I get Olympic fever every four years. [Party]

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Nick
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I still have the image in my head when the men won the freestyle relay by .08 seconds. They really did look like the movie 300. [Smile]
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Belle
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I don't feel bad for Nastia at all, I find her so pleasant and wonderfully gracious that she is a true American hero and someone I would be proud for my daughter to look up to.

The problem with people's perceptions of Nastia is that she is so focused during competition, she never has the bright, cheery smile that Mary Lou had and Shawn has when she competes. Yet, I don't hold it against her, because some people have to be that way to channel all their energy into their competition.

Off the floor, in more relaxed situations, she's delightful.

But, people like Shawn better because she's cute, and has a big smile, and does crazy stunt gymnastics rather than elegant, controlled, beautifully artistic gymnastics. It's a shame that some people feel that way, because while I appreciate and admire both young women for their skill, poise, and genuine personalities, I think Nastia is often short-changed.

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amira tharani
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I think, of the two, I like Nastia's style more - my personal preference is for the graceful and artistic, rather than the powerful. Unfortunately I haven't heard either of them do interviews, because they haven't made it to the BBC.
Talking of gymnastics... Britain won an olympic gymnastics medal for the first time in history today. Louis Smith took a bronze in the pommel horse with the same score as the man who took silver (I don't know how they differentiated between them, I assume the other guy beat him in qualifying). I don't think British gymnastics has the setup to produce a Nastia Lukin or a Shawn Johnson, but Smith is a great prospect for 2012. I'm looking forward to Beth Tweddle in the uneven bars tomorrow, but I can't see her getting a medal. I've seen too many people score 16.7ish in the team and all-around competitions and I just don't think Beth is up to that.

In general, it's been an AMAZING weekend for the Brits - we are THIRD in the medal table ahead of the Aussies!!! I don't think that's going to last but it's great for the moment.

I'm excited about the track cycling. Possibly that's because the Brits are nailing everything - two 1-2s already and a gold-bronze combo in the men's individual pursuit. But also because it's a lot of fun to watch once you get into the tactics of the races and stuff. But I bet they don't show it on NBC...

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Belle
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I saw some track cycling yesterday. It's on there, but not highly promoted.

You can see the interviews with Shawn and Nastia at the nbcolympics.com website.

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Lyrhawn
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Tough luck for both Alicia Sacramone and Sasha Artemev. Alicia missed a vaulting medal by a couple one hundreths of a point, and Bela Karoyli looked like he was going to cry. Frankly I think it was pretty suspect that two solid jumps with some small steps on the landing gets beaten by one good jump and one jump where the Chinese girl landed on her knees. That's strange. Clearly others agree.

So close for Sasha! He was rocking that routine until he fell off, and finished strong. I think his was the most entertaining of the routines, with that 180 spin move and his legs flying all about. It looked awesome, I just wish he could have hung on.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Then let's go back to 'largely' since I have no intent on 'downgrading my claim.'

What I'm talking about is something that the CCP does and that tends to work for them. We've had ample evidence since the tibet riots/torch ceremony protests.

Then I'm interested in your methodology in assessing the influence of Xinhua and how you go about determining what people believe and why they believe it.
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brojack17
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Tough luck for both Alicia Sacramone and Sasha Artemev. Alicia missed a vaulting medal by a couple one hundreths of a point, and Bela Karoyli looked like he was going to cry. Frankly I think it was pretty suspect that two solid jumps with some small steps on the landing gets beaten by one good jump and one jump where the Chinese girl landed on her knees. That's strange. Clearly others agree.

So close for Sasha! He was rocking that routine until he fell off, and finished strong. I think his was the most entertaining of the routines, with that 180 spin move and his legs flying all about. It looked awesome, I just wish he could have hung on.

I thought that was a joke. How can you not even land a vault and still get a medal.

Sasha looked great. If he had only been able to hold on.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Then I'm interested in your methodology in assessing the influence of Xinhua and how you go about determining what people believe and why they believe it.
Here's the way I understand it, compliments of several threads on other forums which were pumped full of primary sources and personal commentary from people who have been living in china for a while:

First, any discussion about what chinese people by and large 'believe' has to take into account the absolutely basic cultural difference in viewpoint related to the concept of face. It is so intrinsic to chinese politics and life that it, in part, explains china's reaction to international attention. It also explains how easily the Chinese state media can transmute even rightful criticism of the Chinese government into nationalist anger against the criticizers. The western world protesting very real human rights abuses by the Chinese government is expertly presented to the Chinese people as a slap in their face, an insult to their pride and honor.

It is true of most chinese that they genuinely believe what they are shown. This is most evident in China's uneducated and underprivileged demographics. Why shouldn't they? All sources they have agree. Most chinese young people haven't even heard of the tienanmen square massacre. It's part of an expert media totality program which, while it possesses cracks, still holds fast and effective. It is designed, in part, to keep pride wielded by the CCP as a tool for controlling the masses.

If I believe anything based on social analysis of the country's current mindset, it is this: Chinese national fervor is instilled, whole, and astonishingly powerful. A British guy I know discussed it with Chinese friends, all of whom he described as 'intelligent, rational, and sensible.' The topic du jour was the torch protests. He said that they all, to a fault, became extremely angry — extremely — when he suggested that the Chinese protesters are not being entirely rational when they protested against a "western media bias." How, he argued, can a phalanx of competing and separate commercial and non-commercial companies be collaborating in bias in terms of the Tibet issue, or the torch protests? They also became angry when they suggested that protesting against western media bias was ironic given the one-agency totalitarian media blackout prevalent within the Xinghua state news agency.

Others have similarly noted this resiliency of state-controlled bias.

What the Chinese government is doing is working.

It is no surprise what I say about what Chinese people believe, or about how pride has been expertly and efficiently manufactured into a defense against critical thinking. That's nothing uniquely Chinese, and in a perverse way I could even admire how efficient the idea of media control has worked out for the CCP so far. It keeps a lot of Chinese from having a cohesive worldview which would not be conductive to public unity under an oppressive dictatorship.

But anyway, this is more a thread about the Olympics than anything else.

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amira tharani
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Belle (or anyone else), can you explain to me the judging in the bars final? I thought Liukin's routine was better than He Kexins, but scored the same, and then I thought Yang Yilin's was better still, but scored less... what am I missing? Liukin and He in particular had the same difficulty, so it was all on execution, and I really did think that Liukin's was the cleaner (and more graceful). I'm confused.

It also bites that Beth Tweddle, who is the nearest thing we've had in Britain to a good female gymnast, just missed out on the medals. I thought she'd done enough but not nailing the dismount cost her. She would have got an awesome score but for that, I think.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

evident in China's uneducated and underprivileged demographics

China has a 92% literacy rating. Also this statement is not particularly fair, China's middle class for example is roughly over 300,000,000 which is equal to every man, woman and child in the USA.

Proportionally according to the Gini coefficient China's income/weath disparity is on par with the United States.

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Kwea
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If you believe they are honest in their reporting, perhaps.

Also, the only reason they are close these days is the HUGE amount of growth in urban settings, where wealth is exploding.


What proportion of their population lives in those areas, Blayne? What percent of their population?

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Dan_raven
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What was the best Super Hero movie of this year--filled with Super Hero movies?

The one that nobody thought would be any good....

Aquaman.

starring Micheal Phelps.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by amira tharani:
Belle (or anyone else), can you explain to me the judging in the bars final? I thought Liukin's routine was better than He Kexins, but scored the same, and then I thought Yang Yilin's was better still, but scored less... what am I missing? Liukin and He in particular had the same difficulty, so it was all on execution, and I really did think that Liukin's was the cleaner (and more graceful). I'm confused.

It also bites that Beth Tweddle, who is the nearest thing we've had in Britain to a good female gymnast, just missed out on the medals. I thought she'd done enough but not nailing the dismount cost her. She would have got an awesome score but for that, I think.

Alright, I thought the scoring thus far in the Olympics has been spotty at times, and downright crappy at other times, but what happened on bars is just beyond all realms of stupid and unfair. Since Liukin and He had the exact same score, the rules say that a tiebreaker has to be used to see who gets the medal. The first tiebreaker is the start value, which they shared, the second tiebreaker is the number of deductions, which they also shared.

The third tiebreaker, get this, is taken by looking at the three lowest numbers of the four judges that count (there are six judges, and the highest and lowest numbers are tossed out). They averaged together the three lowest counting numbers for both of them, and He won.

You know, regardless of who was supposed to win and lose, that's a pretty ridiculous way of breaking a tie. I think they both should have gotten a gold, or maybe they should have done a tiebreaker and gone again, I don't know, but the way that was used was stupid. Frankly, I think Liukin should have gotten it.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
China has a 92% literacy rating. Also this statement is not particularly fair, China's middle class for example is roughly over 300,000,000 which is equal to every man, woman and child in the USA.

The first statement is true, but the second statement, where did you get that number? That sounds incredibly high.
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scholarette
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How are you defining middle class?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
It is true of most chinese that they genuinely believe what they are shown.

Again, I'm asking for specifics. How could you possibly determine this?

quote:
Most chinese young people haven't even heard of the tienanmen square massacre.
I hear this claim a lot without any substantiation or proof. After all, it is not as though one can simply go up to Chinese people, ask, and expect to get good results.

Case in point, Peter Neville-Hadley, a travel writer and normally pretty cynical critic of China debunks a famously silly experiment:
quote:

My favourite recent example of this was in the television documentary The Tank Man, shown widely in English-speaking markets in which the purpose of the documentary maker was to show that the events of Tian'an Men Square in June 1989 had been forgotten, and in particular that the authorities had been successful in suppressing all knowledge of 'the tank man'--the lone individual with his shopping bags who stood in front of a line of tanks to stop them, thus creating one of the most familiar news images of the 20th century.

In this film four hapless Bei Da (Peking University) students are handed a copy of the image and asked what it says to them. You can see this painful and embarrassing sequence here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/view/

It's part six, whose text summary says, 'Beida University students don't recognize the photo of the tank man...'

Unfortunately for this thesis, one of the students whispers, ''89', to which another replies, 'Haoxiang shi!' ('It seems like it') while the commentary over the top nevertheless disingenuously states that she's baffled.

Out loud the students demur: 'I really don't know; I'm just guessing,' and ask whether the photo is a piece of artwork especially put together for the interviewer's 'experiment'.

It's not just that the English commentary lies about the content of the conversation, but that the whole situation is journalistically bankrupt. Of course the four students were carefully picked by the film-maker's minders, although we're led to suppose that the crew just wandered onto the campus (of Bei Da!) and sat down a few random students in front of the camera for a chat. Nothing is said about the fact that the minder is sitting somewhere behind the camera (a point later admitted by the film-maker in an interview for a different programme, apparently without the slightest embarrassment), and what Bei Da student is going to risk piping up enthusiastically with, 'Yes, yes, I know!' in front of a vast potential foreign television audience and at the cost of failing to graduate or being kicked out altogether. Their expressed bewilderment is almost pantomimic, except that it clearly seems to say, 'How could you put us on the spot like this?'

...

The commentary says that the film of the 'tank man' was only shown once on China Television, and that no one under 20 in China is likely to have seen it. Anyone who knows students at Beijing universities will know what nonsense that last part is. Or it's wild coincidence that even I know several who've seen the clip more than once on the foreign English-language channels they are allowed in their dorm rooms. A quick search of Youtube using the terms 'tank' and 'Beijing' produces four options to watch the clip on the first page of results alone. Despite blockage of Youtube in China, there is no way that this clip hasn't been downloaded many times and passed around, and it's naive in the extreme to think otherwise.

...

The actual politics here and the detailed truth of what happened in the past are beside the point. These remarks are not about politics but about the problem of getting a reliable picture of China even for trivial tourism purposes. If we can't trust the Chinese media to do anything but lie it's not clear that we can take much of our own media seriously either, not because there's a propaganda agenda in the same way (although sometimes, depending on the owner or the desire for advertising income there clearly is one of some sort or other) but simply because many of our journalists are incompetent, and others are looking to tailor information to make it fit their idea of what appeals.

http://peternh.blogspot.com/2007/08/its-going-to-be-painful-12-months-wait.html

In fact, you can go to the PBS website listed and verify for yourself that the silly experiment is indeed as described.

Most attempts I've seen at verifying this fact are fairly similar and error prone.

After all, one of the facts of living in an openly propagandistic society are that people know that they live in such a society and self-censor, especially to clueless foreigners that put them on international media.

(Sorry about the length of the quote, but I thought it was particularly apropos in describing a complex issue. If you wish to move to a different thread to discuss the issues brought up by your second paragraph, we certainly can)

[ August 18, 2008, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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BlackBlade
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Actually the problem I have seen with the Tiananmen Square Massacre is not that Chinese people don't know about it, I would say 95%+ are fully aware of it, it's that in school they are taught that it was a violent protest designed to assault and pollute the Chinese state. Hence many Chinese people think the protestors, "Got what they deserved." Of course, from the government's perspective, the protesters were out of line. Mucus makes a good point about what Chinese people are willing to say on camera. Although this is changing subtly, there is a VERY strong sentiment of silence when it comes to talking about politics, especially to foreign journalists who can't make sure the government never sees the footage.

Whereas Tiananmen is up in the air, EVERY Chinese person knows about the Cultural Revolution where children spied on their parents, parents sold out their children, and nobody could be fully trusted.

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Belle
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I wish I could explain judging to you, but I can't.

The level my daughter competes in still uses the old 10.0 value scoring, so I have no clue how this works.

I hate it for Nastia, and I agree - if they the same score they should share the gold. It's not that big of a deal, with the new scoring it doesn't happen often, why not just allow ties?

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