SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS
The Olympic Games magnify everything. Sporting events about which one seldom hears become front page news. Countries you have to look up on a map [or may not be on a map yet] compete with super-powers for a place in the spotlight. Palaces are built for hosting athletes and dignitaries. Every process and venue is second-guessed by everyone.
It is little wonder that this year's Olympics are under special scrutiny because it is hosted in China, a country that seems to magnify everything. The largest population, the worst pollution, the fastest economic growth, the worst business ethics, the greatest economic disparities... all wrapped up by a system that claims to be a "people's" government while, in reality, is a feudal system of elites who dole out privilege and pain.
It is little wonder that this particular Olympics bring out a wide variety of special interests who see an opportunity to grab the attention of the world through their public protests against the host country, China... people who grab the Olympic torch from wheelchair-bound athletes... people who line streets with signs demanding independence for Tibet... presidential candidates who tell the U.S. President to boycott the Olympics.
It would be a wonder if there was an absence of protest and demonstration. The months leading up to the Olympics have become the quadrennial opportunity for voices otherwise lost in the noise of greater international conflict and discord. It is a stage set for those seeking athletic perfection and those seeking to highlight the world's imperfections.
While I agree, in principle, with many of the causes and positions taken regarding the Olympics host, it should be remembered that the Olympics are only an excuse and an opportunity, not the reason for the protests. All of the protests and news coverage and political maneuvering prior to the opening ceremonies have nothing to do with the Olympics and everything to do with China.
Once the opening ceremonies begin, the world's attention will shift from the issues around the host country to the small plots of land where the accomplishments of one person or one team will overshadow everything else.Meanwhile, just mentally delete "Olympics" from anything said, written, or shown regarding China and protests.