Monday, August 04, 2008

More on Beijing 2008

Last month I commented on a story about boycotting the Beijing 08 Olympic Games. This week I was directed to an editorial in April's Economist highlighting the spectacular failure of the IOC's "quiet diplomacy":

A DEVELOPING country gets the Olympic games as an acknowledgment of its new, exalted status. An authoritarian government, awash with money, exploits the chance to project a peaceful, progressive image. Critics of the regime use the games as a chance to demand more democracy and human rights. There are demonstrations, forcefully broken up.

This is the story, more or less, of the Beijing Olympics 2008—so far. But it also describes the run-up to the Mexico City Olympic games of 40 years ago. Then, the protests ended in a massacre, an awful sign of how far governments can go to protect a cherished sporting show.

In "honor" of the start of the 08 games I'm wearing this shirt by Thread Pit on Friday: