JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GRAVE STUFF ABOUT CHINA’S SUBSTITUTING A PRETTIER GIRL FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES’ OPENING CEREMONIES – DOES THE SILLINESS NEVER STOP?   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY REX MURPHY IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Rex Murphy,

You sound so sensible on Cross Country Check-Up [CBC Radio show], can you not write a sensible column?

I’ve yet to read one since the Globe unlocked you.

This one hits bottom.

All the Chinese have done here is to show us how well they’ve absorbed American popular culture, and nothing more. It is regrettable, but utterly insignificant and trivial.

This is pure Hollywood nonsense. How many times have we seen American musical films where the woman on the screen is not the woman singing on the sound track?

There have been dozens.

Please keep in mind that the entire extravaganza of the modern Olympics is little more than a multi-billion dollar Las Vegas show, completely so for the ceremonies, and to a considerable extent even for the athletic competitions.

American private foundations spend a fortune on their athletes, treating them like hand-groomed Japanese Kobe beef cattle. China does the same through the state, as did the old Soviets. Is the whole world to waste resources this way for a show every four years that pretty much only the very affluent can attend?

The modern Olympics stresses hyper-patriotism, too, a subject best left mostly to scoundrels.

And what is the meaning of a country like Canada, with a population base smaller than the State of California, selecting teams to compete?

I once went through the exercise of taking the top ten medal countries in an Olympics, and made the numbers per capita rather than simple totals. A country like the U.S. then moves from first to near the bottom.

If you do a second deflation, using per capita income for the ten countries (after all, there’s no matching of resources in the simple total count), the U.S. finishes last.

So what is the meaning or significance of a competition built on those foundations? None, it’s a huge, costly show, and that’s all.

Talking about heroism or character or any other exalted characteristic is just silly when you analyze it clearly.

There is no way on earth that the substitution of the singer for appearance will be remembered as anything but a trivial anecdote. The Chinese simply have put on the most impressive Las Vegas show ever seen, and that’s all the Olympics are about.

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