Stuff that bothered me, but other people posted better responses, text or video:
CHINA'S OLYMPICS: The Huffington Post Headline: China Had "Cute" Girl Mime Opening Ceremony After Singer Banned For Crooked Teeth
The Kicker: A 7-year-old Chinese girl was not good-looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another little girl with a pixie smile lip-synched "Ode to the Motherland,".... A member of China's Politburo asked for the last-minute change to match one girl's face with another's voice, the ceremony's chief music director, Chen Qigang, said in an interview with Beijing Radio.
"The audience will understand that it's in the national interest," Chen said in a video of the interview posted online Sunday night.
The news follows reports that some footage of the fireworks exploding across China's capital during the ceremony was digitally inserted into television coverage, apparently over concerns that not all of the 29 blasts could be captured on camera. China has been eager to present a flawless Olympics image to the world, shooing migrant workers and so-called petitioners who come to the central government with grievances from the city and shutting down any sign of protest.
Illuminating Comment Number One: Vectorbabe wrote, "I think the problem with substituting a "cuter" girl for the actual singer lies in what is obviously an attempt to make the image of China more attractive. This is so outside the ideals of Communism where all are created equal. Physical attractiveness is such a Western-idealized trait. So Capitalistic. So against the ideals of the nation being greater than the individual. First Coca-Cola, then McDonald's, now little Miss China Mime Singing. It is always the hypocrisy of totalitarian regimes that makes the decadent West take notice. We don't expect that except when we realize that communal idealism is a facade."
Illuminating Comment Number Two: Meggie wrote, "The first thing I think when I look at the two together is that the one they chose looks westernized. Has nothing to do with the teeth, just an overall look with haircut and all. Too bad they didn't stick with the one who looked like China rather than chose the one that looks like a Los Angeles talent agency product."
Illuminating Comment Number Three:AutumnRecluse wrote (in response to poster FluffnStuff who stated that it's no big deal because 'US Culture is about beauty over substance' and then proceeded to list the American music industry, but mentions nothing about Chinese culture), "Fluff isn't the same as denying a little girl her chance to sing at the last moment because she has bucked teeth. Fluff is favoring pretty, and empty entertainment calories, not denying someone who has won a national contest the chance to sing because of her looks. Disliking your country doesn't give you the right to create unequal comparisons like this."
Pictures of the two little girls, coming up a little later. By the way, the 'cuter', more westernized little girl was chosen AT THE LAST MINUTE to lip sync. Or so they say. It's China.
They shouldn't have done that to that little girl. That's disgusting. If she had the most beautiful voice, and China acknowledges it, why wait around until the very last moment (or so they say) to replace her?
And I would condemn this no matter what country pulled this stunt. It's one thing for a performance artist to lip sync their own work (like Bjork in Athens); it's another thing entirely to pull a Milli Vanilli on an innocent child, particularly at the last moment (or so they say).
Also, it's been bothering me more for a while is that the fireworks display was digitally 'enhanced'. If I'm watching something like that I want to be told that the display was digitally 'enhanced'. That's WAY over the line from merely tape delaying something. That's into censorship in a live re-broadcast without informing an audience that there was censorship.
Digitally enhancing 'live' shots is a great way to cover up a host of ills. Who needs to know that somebody tried to do a demonstration, when you can just erase them, 1984 style? It can be used to rile people up for all the wrong reasons as well, to make destruction seem worse than it was; or make people complacent for all the wrong reasons, by pulling a Google Earth and presenting a nicer image than reality. What's to stop someone from editing out bodies? Stuff like that.
I don't buy the official excuse at all about why the fireworks were enhanced. The sad part is that it wasn't even necessary.
Anyway, god bless little Yang Peiyi. Crooked teeth? Heh. Reminds me of 20 years ago when the Chinese women's gymnast team tried to pass of a prepubescent child as about 5 years older than what she really was, when she was obviously still missing her baby teeth.
Nothing is wrong with you, baby girl, wherever you are now. Screw the haters. Keep doing your thing, and using that voice the gods gave you to do great things. We're all ackward at some time -- even in a worker's paradise. And we all bloom.
And little Lin Miaoke is an innocent in this as well. But she wasn't wronged like little Yang Peiyi was.
The dude ran into the BATHROOM! I still can't get over that. Dang! When I heard about that I was like, what the -- ?? and then I saw and it finally clicked why it seemed more ludicrous than usual to me:
Great Take-Off Number One: : Barely Political Presents: Sex Scandal When John Edwards Calls the Cheat Team (with ... just watch it. it's worth it.)
Great Take-Off Number Two: Barely Political Presents: John Edwards ---- Up of the Year (with John Edwards, Larry Craig, and a couple special appearances)
What clicked was, Lionel Richie hiding from Brenda Richie when she caught him cheating with that 'lady'. She nearly put BOTH of them hospital! Boy, that woman wailed on him! LOL She did not put up with it! Brenda Richie is like the only woman on planet celebrity earth not to put up with that kind of thing, which makes her Superwoman Goddess. She went about it the wrong way, but she still is like the only woman not to put up with that kind of thing.
Related, same decade, as a contrast: Janet Jackson and one of her brothers (Tito?) putting the smackdown on one of their father's mistresses because Katherine felt hurt. Katherine should have left; Katherine should not have allowed her children to express her frustrations and anger and hurt for her. But I guess there were worse sins going down in that family than Joe Jackson screwing anything with a slit (and I'm still worried about Rebbie). Katherine put money and fame before the welfare of her children.
The 'martyred wife' gig must pay exceptionally well for all these chicks to be down with it. :( Or maybe it's a generational thing. :( x 2
Brenda sure didn't put up with it, though. Goddess.
But back to John: The bathroom, though. Dang, John. The bathroom. That was not smooth. At. All. I think that's the worst part, as much as it makes me laugh even now. If you're faced with a bad situation, you have to play it smooth, not freak out. If John freaks out and panics in the bathroom over being caught coming out of the hotel room of his lover (or whatever you call a woman you claim not to love but continue to screw) -- how would he react when the REAL big stuff goes down?
Part of me thinks that John wanted to get caught. Like BTK wanted to get caught; same basic principle, of wanting to be punished and wanting to prove a point at the same time, not the part about killing and torturing people in order to feel anything. So John instead of acting in control, as usual, just goes bats--t neurotic and figuratively pees himself. Shame and Relief all at once (because, did it not feel good to release, back in the pampers day, even when you felt ashamed doing it?). In some of his shorts with Rielle it seemed like he thought he was a fraud, in hindsight, and wondered how far he could go. I don't know. I don't know the man. I don't know how his mind works or what he was thinking as he lied and lied and lied.
All I know is, barricading yourself in a bathroom is the least spontaneously leaderly thing one can do. His sense of relief must be monumental, even as he continues to lie. At least the facade is torn away, right? But who knows.
So, anyway, when's little Yang's album coming out?