Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Free to Bet

Dalai Lama is visiting the U.S., where he is met with protests. It should be noted that unlike protests from the other side, no proceedings or speech is interrupted. In Seattle, Dalai Lama reveals that his aides are talking to China, despite his public outcry that China wouldn't engage in dialogue with him. That sounds as much a politician as a spiritual leader, isn't it? Not that one would mistaken him that he isn't. In an interview, he says he is against the boycott of the Olympics, but offer no opinion whether world leaders should boycott the opening ceremony. Much like he says he is for peaceful protests but offer no opinion about disruption of Torch Relay, all with a charming smile. "I can't just shut them up" sounds great as a spiritual leader, but rather a bit irresponsible as a political leader.

All I wanted to do was get a picture. These protestors have deprived me of that - Michael Johnson, Spectator

The obvious diversion of protesters' tactics from Dalai Lama's public message casts at least some doubt about His Holiness's leadership. Forbes has a piece that states that it is his holiness who sticks to unrealistic demands and doesn't want to face the real issue, rather than the usual charges against China in the media.

Speaking of media, what's up with both BBC and NYT run pieces about Torch Relay and the 1936 GAME? To be clear, it's not the presentation of historical facts that I have problem of, rather, it's the writing style that they used - as if there were never any torch relay in between the Nazi Germany's game and the 08 Beijing Game. They mislead and inflate the hate comment on those web-ages. I'm wondering whether they will rehash the story once 2012 London Game rolls around.

The Chinese, not impressed by the West a long time ago - as German writer/film producer Frank Sieren put it, are probably fed up by the pre-deposited reports. Some are using Youtube to mock fun, and the poor BBC reporter, James, falls the latest victim. Talks about boycotting French products are all the rage among Chinese netizens. While there have been no short of talk about boycotting Chinese products in the West, realistically it's much too hard, unless you are very rich or very poor.

All this leads some to wonder if the "free to bet" circus show backfired. And yes, it's "free to bet" since it looks like many of the politicians and activists are betting their political agenda on this.

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