If you haven’t noticed by now I’m not a fan of China’s totalitarianism regime or the fact the Olympics are being held there in the first place.
I’ve already written about China’s CGI fakery and the fact they are hardcore Milli Vanilli fans last week. Now let’s go into some new lows and some shocking comments as well.
Reports are coming out that 2,200 chosen pugilist prodigies spent an average of 16 hours a day, every day, rehearsing a synchronized tai-chi number for three months in trying conditions at a restricted army camp on the outskirts of Beijing, just so they can wow the rest of the world with the Olympic opening ceremony.
Performers stated that they sustained injuries from slipping during rain-drenched rehearsals or fainting from heatstroke amid hours of training under the relentless summer sun.
“We never went out during the time we were training,” one performer told the AP in a phone interview. “Our school is quite strict. When we stay in school we can’t go out on our own, let alone when we’re at a military camp.”
In the most extreme case, it has been revealed last week that Liu Yan, a 26-year-old dancer, was seriously injured during a July rehearsal. Shanghai media reported that she fell from a 10-foot stage and is likely to be permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
“North Korea is No. 1 in the world when it comes to uniformity. They are uniform beyond belief! These kind of traditional synchronized movements result in a sense of beauty. We Chinese are able to achieve this as well. Through hard training and strict discipline,” Zhang Yimou the ceremony’s director, said.
Zhang said, citing his experience working on an opera performance abroad. Though he didn’t mention specific productions:
“Performers in the West by contrast need frequent breaks and cannot withstand criticism. In one week, we could only work four and a half days, we had to have coffee breaks twice a day, couldn’t go into overtime and just a little discomfort was not allowed because of human rights,” he said of the unidentified opera production.
“You could not criticize them either. They all belong to some organizations … they have all kind of institutions, unions. We do not have that. We can work very hard, can withstand lots of bitterness. We can achieve in one week what they can achieve in two months.”
In the Olympic ceremony segment showcasing the Chinese invention of movable type, the nearly 900 performers who crouched under 40-pound boxes donned adult diapers to allow them to stay inside for at least six hours, Beijing organizers said.
It is so hilarious that this Director felt that the rules that kept him from bullying the performers here in the States were an obstacle. Those rules were put in place specifically to keep people like him from abusing workers. It’s like a police officer from another country coming here and saying “Darn it, how am I supposed to enforce the law when I can’t beat people? I can’t even talk down to them!” Priceless!
What’s it matter what you can accomplish in a week when you have to hurt people to do it? Personally, I’d rather take two months to get the job done if it meant people were actually happy and treated well, getting to enjoy the journey, the process, and not just the destination.
Of course you can accomplish more with slaves than free people, but what’s the point? It’s the same insane justification that people who run sweatshops use. Why worry about human rights when you can ship more units at a lower price, right?
And just so no one gets it twisted, NOBODY, including your great grandparents, wants to go back to the days when workers had fewer rights. Those were NOT better times. People today STILL work 16 hour days (including the Olympians), but they do it because they WANT to, not because they are being forced, which is exactly how it should be.
Wonder if Mr. “North Korea is #1” would have given up his salary and jumped in a diaper like he expected everyone else to do? Hmm …
The fact that the director admired North Korea is terrifying. I guess it’s ok to let hundreds of thousands of people to starve to death as long as the ones who get food can all dance in lockstep.
Some students of the Shaolin Tagou Traditional Chinese Martial Arts School in Henan province who began training for the event last May were injured in falls on the LED screen that forms the floor on which they performed and was made slippery by rain, said Liu Haike, one of the school’s lead instructors.
“At one point, the children had to run in four different directions. … When one fell, others quickly followed,” Liu said, adding the injuries were minor.
While in Beijing, the constant exposure to the dizzyingly hot summer resulted in heatstroke for some students, particularly during one rain-drenched rehearsal that stretched on for two days and two nights.
Maybe some people want to live in a society like that. I don’t… I appreciate the concern for people’s wellbeing (even though our society has gone too far in trying to protect people) and the freedom to make choices as opposed to being given no option but to participate.
Strictly speaking, China has become a fascist state, not a communist or socialist one. The interconnectedness between the government, ruling class, and business leaders is consistent with the textbook definition of fascism.
The only thing that surprises me about this is that these atrocities weren’t broken long before the Olympics began.
As if Costas’ inane commentary wasn’t enough, this story will surely put a damper on NBC’s Opening Ceremony DVD sales…