Verse of the Day

Thursday, August 28

North to Alaska

John Wayne went way up North in 1960. I remember seeing the movie with my parents at the Rancho Drive-in which was down tank-farm hill in San Pablo.

Well my bride and I are gone for seven days and then fellowship camp with Kenton. We'll miss you all. I'll post photos if I take time to get online, but have a good week. I know I'm going too.

Alan

Wednesday, August 13

"I Think They've Got It!"

In My Fair Lady Rex Harrison declares that Eliza Doolittle, "has got it!" as she works through her language lessons. Later after a royal snobbery of an affair he returns and with Pickering he sings of his triumphant by declaring, "I did it!"

I always thought it was a Western thing to pull one over on those who believe they are "better than us". It's a well worn plot in movies from Wargames, to Ferris Buller's Day Off. It's celebrated in the success of the independent candidate in politics to the "little guy" sticking it to the big company. But at this year's Olympics, we've seen China also has this lesson down.

Now I am not a China hater. I believe they are making better political decisions that in the past and that the nation is a necessary partner for commercial and social work in this century. They have human rights issues to be certain but they are a valid trade partner for us and the rest of the planet. Their future infrastructure will impact our environment more than any other nation on the globe.

But not being satisfied with black market copies of Windows Vista, the latest from Tom Cruise, Greenday, and FOX films their fakery has risen to a whole new level--Their Olympics. I'm sure you have seen the news reports already about the opening ceremonies. (If not I've excerpted portions from news reports which you'll find below.)

In our world why would we not expect fake fireworks, fake singers and fake fans? For followers of Christ this shouldn't surprise us for we are all sinners. Our heritage goes back to Genesis 3 where we attempted to cover up, evade, and spin our way out of responsibility. We also understand that truth, REAL truth, Jesus TRUTH sets one free from the need to exist in a reality of fakes, frauds and phonies.

Will there be more "revelations"? Performance enhancing drugs, doctored birth certificates or modified equipment have been and will be hinted at during the games. This Olympics, like American politics, British Royals, the reprehensible behavior of UN Peacekeepers in Darfur, and other scandals, goes to prove that the Chinese have arrived on the world-wide stage in the area of lies and manipulation of the world public. "By George, I think they've got it"


Fake Fireworks
Gao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team for the ceremony, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Meticulous efforts were made to ensure the sequence was as unnoticeable as possible: they sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing's smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter.[1]

One advisor to the Beijing Olympic Committee (BOCOG) defended the decision to use make-believe to impress the viewer.A spokeswoman for BOCOG said the final decision had been made by Beijing Olympic Broadcasting..."As far as we are concerned, we let off the fireworks - that's what's important to us".

"An NBC Sports spokesperson says U.S. viewers were informed of the manipulation. Commentators Matt Lauer and Bob Costas said the fireworks were a digital effect. From the opening ceremony transcript during the fireworks in question:

Lauer: "You're looking at a cinematic device employed by Zhang Yimou here. This is actually almost animation. A footstep a second, 29 in all, to signify the 29 Olympiads."

Costas: "We said earlier that aspects of this Opening Ceremony are almost like cinema in real time. Well this is quite literally cinematic."[2]

Fake Singer

The real singer was Yang Peiyi, a seven-year-old deemed not pretty enough to be the face of China’s

most watched moment in history. Chubby-cheeked with crooked teeth, she was substituted at the eleventh hour by Communist Party officials desperate to present the best possible image of Chinese youth to a curious world.

After watching a rehearsal with Peiyi in the lead role, a senior member of the Politburo told Beijing Olympic organisers that they had an urgent problem that needed fixing.

The solution was to front Peiyi’s “perfect” voice with the more acceptable face of Miaoke, who had already appeared in a television advert.

“The reason why little Peiyi was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image. The reason was for the national interest,” said Chen Qigang, the renowned contemporary composer and French citizen who directed the music for the opening ceremony.

“The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings and expression. Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects but in terms of voice Yang Peiyi is perfect.”[3]


The International Olympic Committee's executive director Gilbert Felli defended. "You have to be sure that the performers and the song, it is at the highest level," he told reporters. "It is casting.... it is a technical decision by the producers. (You have to) put that in the context of the opening ceremony and the complexity of the 15 000 performers." [4]

The Plot Thickens:

"Chen Qigang, the musical director of the opening ceremony, revealed in an interview that pigtailed Lin was only selected to appear because of her "flawless" appearance and did not sing a note.

"The reason was for the national interest," Chen, said in an interview that briefly appeared on the Sina.com news website before it was apparently wiped.

"Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects. But in terms of voice, Yang Peiyi is perfect," he said.

Chinese newspapers and broadcasters made no reference to the two young girls on Wednesday. References to the story were also blocked or deleted from the Internet."[5]

Fake Fans

Chinese Olympic organizers acknowledged Tuesday they were struggling to handle an unforeseen and baffling problem inside Summer Games venues and at the showpiece Olympic Park.

Not enough people...

To remedy the problem, officials are busing in teams of state-trained "cheer squads" identifiable by their bright yellow T-shirts to help fill the empty seats and improve the atmosphere. They are also encouraging residents to apply for access to the heavily secured park.

"We are concerned about the not-full stadiums," said Wang Wei, executive vice president and secretary general for the Beijing Organizing Committee. "Many factors are contributing to this. We are now trying to manage that. . . . [As] for the Olympic Green . . . yesterday they saw not many people inside." [6]

"Today, 50 workers came to do the cheerleading job," said Wang Li, 30, who works for an automobile manufacturer in Beijing. "Our company sends us to softball today, but other workers were sent to other venues to do some work. We come here on shifts."[7]



[1] Richard Spencer, "Beijing Olympic 2008 opening ceremony giant firework footprints 'faked'" Telegraph UK. Online accessed August 13, 2008

[2] James Hibberd, "Olympics, NBC dogged by fakery accusations" Reuters (August 12, 2008) accessed August 13, 2008.

[3] Jane Macartney and Ashling O'Connor "China banned child singer with crooked teeth from singing at opening ceremony" Timesonline (August 13, 2008) accessed August 13, 2008.

[4] "Organisers defend 'fake' singer" at http://www.news24.com/News24/Sport/Olympics2008/0,,2-9-2370_2374965,00.html. Accessed August 13, 2008

[6] Amy Shipley and Maureen Fan Beijing Is All Dressed Up, But No One Is Going. Washingtopost.com August 13, 2008, accessed August 13, 2008

[7] Ibid.

Sunday, August 10

I have to send you to read the GA Junkie's latest post on "Modern Echoes of the Adopting Act". It won't be for everyone but if you're at all interested in the current unrest of the PC(USA) especially following the PUP report it's a good read. If you're interested in early Presbyterian history, how we got to where we are it's a good read. And if you've ever wondered what the who "scrupling" stuff was about it's a very good read.

Thanks for the post Junkie.

Alan