22 August 2008

All the young girls

The Donkeyman takes issue with my note on the underage Chinese gymnast story. To clarify, I think he's right on the merits. The only point of my observation was to drearily point out the American tendency to pick out the speck in another's eye while ignoring their own head being encased in cement.* I've been particularly sensitive about this with all the ludicrous pip and vigor about Russia's supposedly outlandish actions in the Caucasus. Invading a sovereign nation to depose the ruling government! Imagine!

There can't be much doubt that the Chinese did illegally use girls younger than 16 for their gold-medal winning team, but good luck getting the IOC to give more than the half-hearted "investigation" that it put forward. Jacques Rogge would much rather spend his time bizarrely criticizing Usain Bolt. Even Yahoo! yahoo Dan Wetzel gets this one right; the IOC's corporate patrons who wanted the games in Beijing are demanding that everyone play nice.

This includes NBC, which started its China love-in at the opening ceremonies, and has continued unabated. Dismissing any chances to develop the natural rivalry between the world's two largest sports powers, NBC has treated China as a second home team, largely sparing Chinese athletes the cynicism and negativity given to most non-Americans.

All this must be very confusing to the average American. What was that Cold War thing about, again? I thought we were defending freedom from the clutches of Communist tyranny. Now we are nuzzling up to Chinese Communists--at least, that's what they call themselves--while shuffling missile-defense systems around Eastern Europe to stare down the evil Russians, who threw off their chains to embrace capitalism. Gosh, it's enough to make you think ruling-class propaganda is bullshit!

*I would be curious to know, however, how much the militaristic training and the like has contributed to the drive for younger and younger girls.