Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Pardon the vulgarness, but doesn't the logo of 2012 London Game look like a man and a woman making out?

The topic slowly but surely moved on to London as Beijing game winded down. The "8 minute presentation" has been a point of talk. South Metropolitan, citing online discussions, called it "praised widely by Chinese for plebeian appeal" but "criticized by British media".

Over-sensationaliztion and mis-characterization are not Western Media privilege. "Widely praised" could hardly sum up the Chinese opinion towards London presentation. Most people didn't "get it" beyond the obvious symbolic images, the double-deck bus, umbrella and soccer balls. Plebeian, was far from the nature of the pitch, of anything but.

In fact, most interesting differences was in the pitching approaches, while Beijing's opening and closing ceremony relied mostly on "people power", the London presentation relied more on "star power".

Double-deck bus and such, like hutong's to Beijing, although very much London, but were cliche-ish and considered hardly selling points. London's selling pitch relied on star power, the popular Leona Lewis, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and David Beckham. Even American Michael Phelps, freshly minted as an Olympic hero, was in front of Buckingham Palace rallying up the crowd.

On the Chinese performance side, you could hardly spot a recognizable face if you were not Chinese. Oh, There was Jacki Chan among the "stars" singing some jumbo-mumble song, but that's it. And there was Placido singing a duet, but he was anything but Chinese. Any wonder why singing was the least attractive part of those ceremonies? Overall, the closing ceremony has been a bore to many Chinese, who grew used to massive production, but an eye-catcher for Western audiences - you couldn't find this many people in a Cirque du Soleil show, could you?

Speaking of stars, David Beckham is considered irrelevant by 1/3 of the world - most Americans, an over-the-hill overpaid gossip column target by another 1/3 - most Europeans, and a megastar by the rest 1/3, including the Chinese; Jimmy Page is considered a nostalgic symbol or washed-up antique depending on your age; Leona Lewis is the most contemporary. People who hates talent shows may want to phone Maria Cary for a career revival. But at least the odds of acceptance here is much higher.

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