Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Face Of China

Sometimes it’s the little things that define a moment. In this case the little thing is actually two little girls in China. Story here:

During the opening ceremony the producers had planned for 7 year old Yang Pieyi to sing “Ode To The Motherland” a patriotic song in China. At the last moment a member of the ruling Politburo decided that she was not cute enough and so the music director was told to have 9 year old Lin Miaoke lip sync the song.

I do not want to discuss the validity of their decision, I find the idea that one could be cuter than the other irrelevant. The beauty of children is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, your children are always more attractive than others. I know because my daughter is.

Writing this I began with the thought that it is an outrage what China is doing to both of these little girls. They are telling one she cannot sing but is given the stage because she is cuter, reinforcing the notion among children that beauty is the ticket to success, and the other that she is not attractive enough, reinforcing the idea that talent is not enough for success without beauty. The reality is that this whole incident is a study of our image starved society. In America we do this also. How many talentless singers do we have that are performing solely because of their looks or their bodies? Our girls pick up any magazine or turn on the television, even some of the “safe” children’s shows, and their role models are underfed waif’s with IQ’s even lower than their weight.

I never gave this as much of a thought as I have now that my daughter is getting to an impressionable age. She is an attractive child and I will likely have to beat the boys off with a stick (note to any local boys reading this, I mean this literally). I don’t want her to be defined by her looks though. She is also a bright little girl and I want this to be what she is.

What happened in China with these little girls can be viewed as a small incident and only about the country trying to put the best face on the Olympics. It’s not too hard though to see it as a very poor message to send to our children at an age in which they are starting to develop who they are.


Z said...

excellent metaphor for the whole Olympics...What you see is NOT what you really get.

MK said...

Did you know there are over 100000 military personnel in Beijing to keep everyone safe, more like keeping everyone in line. Never before in the history of the games did they need an army to keep things in order. They don't want any of the peasants getting any bright ideas with the media around.

What they did to that girl is perfectly normal in China, wipe all the dirty business under the carpet, did you notice in the opening ceremony they waffled on about the compass, gun powder and Confucius, but not a word about Mao, their communist party leader. Heck they even have his worthless corpse embalmed for all to see every day. You'd think that someone so important would have a place in their history. Are they ashamed of all those millions they killed with their evil ideology, i don't think so. They just prefer to do nothing to even pretend they are sorry.

The biggest joke so far has been that China might reform, go easy on Tibet and human rights because of the Olympics. Yeah right, soon the western media and the world will be gone and the commie SOBs will be back to wiping out the Tibetans, culling Falun gong followers and selling their organs on the black market, evil business as usual folks.

Anonymous said...

"How many talentless singers do we have that are performing solely because of their looks or their bodies?"

That's your glorious free market at work. Deal with it.

Obob said...

nothing suprises me with the Chinese government. What they don't understnad is the people will start putting things together. It is already coming out their economy is slipping, people will start seeing real smiles(not state manufactured), people with more than one child, someone making the Sign of the Cross with the prompt beating to not following. Freedom of speech, expression. Silly, petty things.
Yes, we do put a higher mark on looks. I just pray for the little girl she can grow to be a better person than her leaders.

DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

I agree, it was so UN-important, why ever make such a fuss over it.
There are SO many other important thing to get upset over.

Brooke said...

The message is that if you aren't the perfect veneer for the communist party, you are disposable.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

See there? Something positive is coming out of Beijing hosting the Games, after all: The world gets to see China as it is, no matter how hard it tries to disguise itself.

Chuck said...

Z, Brooke, and Wordsmith, I agree except there are no surprises here. I think we knew what China was about which is why they should not have gotten the Olympics in the first place.

MK, they don't appear to be waiting for the world to leave, word is a journalist was arrested today for filmimg a protest.

Anonymous, You are just proving my point. We need to exercise our free market rights and not support these people, that is the quickest way to get rid of them.

Obob, I believe China is eventually heading the way of the old Soviet Union. The one enemy of a dictatorship is education of it's people. The internet will educate and the growing number of people with disposable income will be the end of communism in China. People like things, the internet and extra income brings these things to the people. The more they get, the hungrier they will become for more.

DD2, no it is not the most important thing in the world but I am a multi-tasker, I can be disgusted about more than one thing at a time.

With that I am going camping with the family for the weekend. Everybody have a good weekend.


cube said...

I'm not surprised by anything vile or dishonest that the ChiComs do. I'd find it surprising if they did something good.

Z said...

Did you see where a 26 yr old Chinese dancer was paralyzed 12 days before the opening ceremonies she was to dance in as the only soloist in the 4 hours? She jumped to a moving platform and the platform didn't move correctly......
the CHinese news still hasn't announced it on the television news.

horrid..it's a shame they didn't let an American doc see her before the 6 hr surgery the Chinese did immediately after the accident.

Papa Frank said...

I have an unpopular view about the Beijing Olympics. I am wholeheartedly enjoying them and am glad that they were brought to China. It is not because I agree with the policies of China or agree with their treatment of people. It is because of the Chinese people. It is important that we separate the people and the government. I would offer that the government of China does not represent the people of China just as I would not want people making a judgement of me based on viewing our government. I am glad for the people of China in spite of their government.

danny wright said...

I've also wondered how much really good talent we don't hear because they don't have the looks.

Also, ditto on the daughter thing.