typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Beijing – taste that freedomy goodness.

with 2 comments

I don’t know what the IOC douche de la douche Jacques Rogge was smoking when just a fortnight ago he declared that the Olympics was going to pretty much turn China into the global capital of love, happiness, and human rights. He may have just been inhaling his own farts.

Thousands of them.

An act which would certainly seem congruous to his temperament.

But waht teh fcuk!

It was obvious from even before Day 1 of the current games that Australia’s 7 Network was going to seek out exciting new depths in televised subocrity, as they somehow lost the booking sheet for GetUp’s advertisement due to run between 1 and 3 IN THE MORNING asking PM Kevin Rudd not to forget about Tibet while chatting over roast duck and the red book with Citizen Ichi.

SBS have done their best by using their journalists’ access to China to look at stories beyond how awesome Australian athletes, the Chinese government, and not getting caught for drug-cheating all are. ABC radio has tried to.

But Channel 7, like most networks in fact, haven’t really pursued any of the relevant questions.

As in, the kind of questions that just the other day saw BOCOG – the Chinese Olympic Committee – cancel daily press briefings less than halfway through the Games. They didn’t just cancel the press conferences – knowing that they were going to do this, they had intelligence agency photographers come and photograph every single journalist in attendance.

Why? The day before, a British journalist tried to get an answer to a simple question 5 times – not from Chairman Mao, but from IOC Press Secretary Giselle Davies.

Following more than a week of stories about internet censorship, manipulation of video broadcasts, the arrests of people applying to use the supposedly guaranteed peaceful protest sites around Beijing, and ultimately the beating and brief detention of a journalist and his photgrapher at a 30-second 7-person Free Tibet protest, the journalist asked, as many ways as could possibly be conceived, whether the IOC was embarrassed by the way that Chinese authorities had not and perhaps never intended to live up to their promised commitments regarding human rights and press freedom.

She avoided the question, answering that athletics is great, that the venues are nice, that the security of the athletes and spectators has been well attended to. She may have even gone so far as to say that some of the ticketing difficulties seemed to be getting sorted out rather well.

This is the IOC, not a Chinese mouthpiece afraid his family will be arrested and his house bulldozed if he says the wrong thing.

Oh yes, and she also repeatedly told the reporter to give back the microphone so someone else could have a go. Have a go at what? Praising China for letting Tibetans live long enough to realize that they are ever more surely becoming the victims of globally sanctioned genocide?

Religious freedoms? Athletes, especially winners, must surely get the most respect and the best treatment that is on offer. I watched this morning as Catherine Ndereba won a tight race for silver in the Women’s marathon. Even having just run this brutal race, she promptly grabbed a towel from her coach and kneeled on it over the finish line in Lane 3. As soon as it became apparent that she was praying, thanking her God for getting her there, at least three Chinese officials closed in around her and began to physically move her away from the cameras and the track.

This was obvious to a TV spectator, unpaid, uninformed, thousands of miles away. The Channel 7 commentators didn’t even mention it.

It’s obvious that the Olympics is about stories – the 49 year old French cyclist narrowly missing bronze, the 16-year old Australian missing school to win gold, 8 wins as a result of A.D.D. therapy, Cuban volleyballers beating China from 2-0 down – but these stories aren’t great because they’re positive, shiny, uplifting. They’re great because they’re real, because they’re a combination of unlikely elements that still lead to a remarkable outcome.

But for all the media on the ground and the billions of dollars spent in video surveillance and satellite broadcasting, the biggest stories of the Beijing Olympics seem unlikely to be told anytime in the next ten days.

One World One Dream

One Massive Corrupt System One Thoroughly Acquiescent And Shameful Australian Television Network


Written by typingisnotactivism

August 17, 2008 at 3:33 pm

2 Responses

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  1. My realpolitik moment is Oksana Chusovitina who won silver at the women’s vault and though she now has German residency, her life is that of a tearing, dissembling Soviet to Russian empire. In her 30s – yes – 30s – she has spent the last 2 years criss-crossing the globe to earn money to pay for medical treatment for her son who has leukemia. A life lived that packs in so much of the last 30 years of Eastern European history…


    August 20, 2008 at 9:13 pm

  2. That’s pretty levelling. Mathias Steiner – German dude winning the super heavyweight weightlifting gold on the last lift of the whole competition with a lift about 15 kilos heavier than one that he had dropped, 10 kg heavier than he had ever lifted, 13 months after his wife died in a car crash, and you could see in his eyes what it was all about for him. That was my moment of Zentosterone.


    August 22, 2008 at 2:52 am

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