Rebecca Walker


Sunday, August 10, 2008

McCommunism: The Opening Ceremony


Okay, you know I have to talk about the Opening Ceremony.

Not because the humanistic aspirations of the Chinese people aren't real and true and moving.

But because the political aspirations of the Chinese government are more disturbing than the last eight years of US foreign policy.

Here's what Naomi Klein wrote about the Olympics this year:

"These Olympics are the coming out party for a disturbingly efficient way of organizing society, one that China has perfected over the past three decades. It is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarianism communism -- central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance -- harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism. Some call it "authoritarian capitalism," others "market Stalinism," personally I prefer "McCommunism."

If I had been twittering while watching the Opening Ceremony, instead of driving everyone in my house crazy exclaiming over every little thing, this is how my twitter log would read:

That's a lot of technology. That's a lot of money. This ceremony is really long. This is like a super creative military exhibition. The Americans are really rocking the Ralph Lauren. Cheerleaders in white go-go boots, fifteen male athletes to every female athlete? Thank goodness for Patsy Mink and Title IX.

How can every country be represented except Tibet? What about the priceless Buddhist teachings destroyed by Chinese military? My teacher's teacher shot and killed? The Tibetans watching this and weeping? All the Chinese dissidents being tortured at this moment? What about China's rapidly developing relationship with Africa--taking oil, selling guns?

What's up with George Bush looking at his watch? He probably doesn't have the option of opting out of attendance. Perhaps because the US owes China over 400 billion dollars. Or because our economy is based on cheap Chinese imports. Or because America is 300 million citizens strong to China's 1.3 billion. They can raise an army the size of our entire nation and leave a billion civilians at home.

I'm glad my friend Julia, owner of Little Pim, is sending a Chinese foreign language DVD for Tenzin.

Did they say that little boy went back to save his friends trapped in the earthquake because it was his responsibility? Because he was a hall guard? That little boy is a symbol, not just for China, but for humanity. At every moment, we can choose to do the right thing. That's our only hope. Except that...our only hope was just appropriated by McCommunism.

Am I right?

I know you're busy--but I'd love to read even a few of your thoughts.



Blogger oholiyah said...

the thing about china is that the government will allow the people there to consume freely, but not think freely. and this is sending a false and dangerous message to the world at large, that china isn't that bad, because their people can eat big macs. it's like the government is boasting on a gobal stage that our people don't need to think freely, because they can play basketball, have access to kobe and yao ming jerseys, and have a big mac, fries and a shake with that. i mention basketball, because basketball is as popular there as in the u.s. they have playground courts just like here in the u.s. and china is currently working with the nba to have a pro-ball organization that mirrors the nba in the states. it's chillling because china is literally flaunting the fact it can be successful in the global economy, be succesful in giving its people access to that economy, while suppressing their people at the same time. it is a shining example of statism at it's is best. what's to keep other nations, including the u.s. from adopting this stance? that you can violate the people's rights and be successful, because they consume whatever they want whenever they want. they don't depict china as the red dragon for nothing; that in itself is chilling.


Blogger Anika said...

the link above is to the Alternate Opening Ceremony, intro'd by Mia Farrow who was recently named one of Time's 100 most influential...her dedication letter was written by Paul Rusesabagina (Rwanda),28804,1733748_1733756_1735264,00.html
...she has been quoted as being extremely humbled/honored by his words, immediately requesting his addrs to send personal thanks...which i think is mad genuine.
anyhoo the Alternate Ceremony is crucial and touching- much like Naomi K's witty twittering, calls to question what is masked by fake fireworks and cheering squads w/ smiles paid for by the government.

thanks for your thoughts RW.


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