Friday, August 15, 2008
Michael Phelps and Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony
What a breath taking sight it was to see the opening ceremony just 7 days ago. My son and I were literally glued to the TV to witness the grandest thing we had ever seen in our lifetime. $300 Million dollars was the cost to put on this grand show event. The Beijing Olympics started off with a bang signaling to the world that it is no longer the old China. Colorful fireworks rained over the stadium as the 90,000 plus crowd cheers in a thundering roar. Two thousand eight men beat on large square drums that resembled ancient Chinese ceramic wine containers. Glittering white lights flashed off the drums with each beat.
A young cute girl in red steps forward and sings the Chinese patriotic song "Five Stars" as the crowd waves tens of thousands of red national flags. The guard raises the main standard as the military band played the national anthem. The majority of the audience is clearly Chinese as a good part of the stadium was chanting along. Now the birds' nest stadium goes dark and a white scroll emerges from the center. As it unfurls the letters are made up of dancers in black. WOW!! It's mind boggling. I can't believe what I am seeing!
Now the ceremony takes a turn towards conceptual art. Dancers dressed as quills move onto the floor as book-like structures at the center of the stadium. I will leave the surprise here to your viewing if you have not seen it yet. This display quickly morphs into five hundred dancers who each hold a blade of a magnificent fan. And now five hundred dancers in yellow run into the stadium only to burst into dazzles of white light as a large globe rises from the center as Lang Lang plays on a white piano. Cirque de Soleil has arrived!! Two astronaut dancers launch in the air. The display is topped off with two singers, Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman, singing from atop the globe about "one family" as the dancers raise pictures of children.
Zhang Yimou the brain behind all of these super extravaganza had delivered a work of art for the ages that attempts to encapsulate all the myriad strains of new China. I don't think there will be another performance such as this in my lifetime. But wait...isn't the closing ceremony in two weeks? Perhaps then! The world will be watching again.
Masked by the $300 million price tag is still the underlying issues that this nation is hiding it's own dirty laundries. The slumbering dragon of the East is perhaps still either slumbering or instead of a dragon, it could very well be a chameleon. A country that still can't shed it's reputation of being the capital of copyright pirated agendas and a hotbed for human rights issues. The glitters are no different to cosmetic make ups on a 80 year old rich woman trying to mask her age. First it was the digitally enhanced fake fireworks then lip syncing adorable little girl in red. CNNSI.com came out regarding the female Chinese gymnasts are actually only 13 years old which should unqualified them from the Olympics. The age limit for Olympic gymnast are 16 years old. This report originally came out from China but the local Chinese newspaper site have since been taken down.
Back home in the West, we may not have the lights and glitters but the masking takes on a different form. We are masked by a culture that embraces changes. I have gotten numerous reactions from previous post of my stand toward our culture and stemming from me calling it "aimless progressiveness". Once again, the label of being a bigot or someone that lives in constant fear. I do not live in constant fear nor do I agree to the label of being a bigot because none of my readers that responded negatively have been able to define one thing and that is who can set the truth and what are the criteria s of a person or being setting the truth. I have gotten readers from the Buddhist faith calling to the fact of absurdity of me living in guilt or fear. He also said that Buddhism is the most moral religion because it won't even harm or kill mosquitoes. It's got to be better than, I feel this is the truth therefore it is. Who gives us the ability to determine right and wrong? An ability to discern. On top of that, it seems their use of words deems to have more hate than my stands. I call for awakening not dreaming. I call for people to open up their own eyes! I didn't call for people to be fearful, lock themselves up at home, cover the ears and eyes and hate others who are not like them. In our household, we teach to love all kinds of people but not the "certain" acts of people. This is a big difference and cannot be considered together. Most people that commit "certain" acts are simply blinded by their own lust and ambitions. Take China as a country, blinded by the fact to win at ALL cause, to proclaim it's arrival to the new world and to supplant everybody as the new super power. The astronaut display during the Olympic opening ceremony was a perfect foreshadowing of this desire. Are these desires bad? No! not at all but the question remains after all of these extravaganza, what happen to the tens of thousand migrant workers that help build the bird nest stadium and other monumental facilities. What happen to them? They are now jobless and were forced to leave Beijing because Beijing had a quota to population to maintain prior to the million people visitors from the rest of the world to see or participate in the Olympics. What happen to those people who had their lives rooted right in the middle of an Olympic road path? They were forced out of their homes in order for a building to be built! Is China moral? It is a self defined Agnostic society ruled by agnostic leaders. Is it a progressive country? Judging by all the glamor of 8/08/2008 at 8.08pm, yes it's progressive. Is it aimless? You be the judge.
Another current spotlight in the world of politics is of course on the very hot Barrack Obama. Just like Beijing's night scene during opening ceremony, his status in the American public is equally as bright. He is running on the platform of change and it seems he is true to his word. He is always changing to the point where people are asking who is the real Obama? Even the NY Post is reporting on it just last month. Is he a progressive? I believe he is. Is it aimless? Well, if his stand is constant change, then does that mean he never did have a real direction to begin with? since he is basically following on what's popular instead of really able to lead. I have asked the same question in previous post, what happens if a group thinks what's popular is therefore the right way of doing things? What happens if this group is wrong?
Speaking about world spotlights, the last few days has been on a gold medal world record setting swimmer, Michael Phelps. He's got a total of six gold medals, all in achieve in world record setting fashion and 2 more events to go. He's been tagged as an immortal and ranks among the greatest athletes of all time surpassing even Jordan, Tiger Woods and such. Marion Jones were once thought to be on a similar platform. The girl with a million dollar smile and all the endorsements in the world that once trailed her path. Where is she now? My son have taken a great liking toward Michael Phelps and have said he wants to swim in the Olympics one day. I could only hope that he won't be disappointed one day.