Monday, August 25, 2008

Triumph of Frill

There are news items like these that will almost throw you in rage unless you remind yourself the sober truth that the newspaper, also dearly called as the TOIlet paper of India has a policy of selling news space. The news article eulogizing China is most probably a plant. Pity those readers who would not take it with a pinch of salt.

Thankfully the robot olympiad is over and so is the most expensive advertising campaign by one of the most brutal dictatorships of present day. There's only so much of the choreographed smiles and drill-sergeant efficiency that one can take.

The lack of spontaneity and the artificial conviviality of this Olympics will be noted by history. Maybe someday a future Chinese generation will rue the Communist extravagance and make up for what was sorely missing in the two week showpiece event: genuine humanity and pure fun. The cost it extracted from rural, aam Chinese aadmi, poor slum dwellers whose houses were demolished to make way for sprawling stadiums might become a matter of shame for those who deemed it fit to parade themselves and their totalitarian icons.

My only hope is that it doesn't take the same route that the Nazi olympics of 1936 took. As the old German joke goes, Germany was an industrialized state by 1890 and by 1950 it was a democracy. What transpired in those 60 yrs. is traumatic history.

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