The Sterile Beijing Olympics
The Olympics are less than a month away and already one is starting to get a flavor of what ensues come August 08.
The three top priorities of China’s Communist Party, which has ruled the country for 59 years without any coherent challenge, are control, control, control.
There will be none of the live sites that existed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where locals and tourists congregated in open areas across the city to have an impromptu party and watch the Games on giant screens.
On Beijing’s notoriously hot August nights when everyone prefers to sit outside, the city’s rapidly growing open-air eating areas and rooftop bars have been instructed to close during the Olympics, apparently in case a fervid drinker displays a political banner.
The Government is likely to succeed in persuading most of the 15 million inhabitants of the capital to stay home to watch the Olympics on television, as happened at the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic when residents were instructed not to go out on to balconies to view the vast parade, which was for official eyes only.
In today’s’ day and age, one wonders how the IOC ever came to a decision to award China, the Olympic games. The way things are going….see you in 2016 in Pyongyang.