Not content to slip under-aged girls onto their gymnastic team, Chinese officials also engaged in some sleight of hand in the Opening Ceremony. We’re not talking about the Clone Army that performed all the synchronized drumming, but the little girl who sang the cute song. It was lip-synched fakery:
One little girl had the looks. The other had the voice.
So in a last-minute move demanded by one of Chinaâ€™s highest officials, the two were put together for the Olympic opening ceremony, with one lip-synching “Ode to the Motherland” over the otherâ€™s singing.
The real singer, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, with her chubby face and crooked baby teeth, wasnâ€™t good looking enough for the ceremony, its chief music director told state-owned Beijing Radio.
So the pigtailed Lin Miaoke, a veteran of television ads, mouthed the words with a pixie smile for a stadium of 91,000 and a worldwide TV audience. “I felt so beautiful in my red dress,” the tiny 9-year-old told the China Daily newspaper.
The Guardian has this justification::
“This is in the national interest. It is the image of our national music, national culture. Especially the entrance of our national flag; this is an extremely important, extremely serious matter,” Chen Qigang, the event’s general music designer, explained to a Beijing radio station.
As if that wasn’t enough, the TV feed included CGI-enhanced fireworks:
Officials have already admitted that the pictures of giant firework footprints which marched across Beijing towards the stadium on Friday night were prerecorded, digitally enhanced and inserted into footage beamed across the world.
This is life in an authoritarian country, where the sky is whatever color the Central Committee says it is. But when that country is part of a world that doesn’t embrace its conformist values, these desperate attempts to make itself appear more perfect than it really is simply backfire.
10 thoughts on “More Olympic fakery”
See it’s not the legitimate criticisms I have a problem with. The lip-sync fiasco is an absolute travesty and deserves all the criticism in the world but why bring in an unrelated and undeserved criticism of the drummers? Thatâ€™s the over-the-top stuff Iâ€™m talking about.
Two thousand drummers twitching their heads in unison is “over-the-top.” Saying so isn’t.
Two thousand drummers performing in unison took a lot of sweat, blood and tears to accomplish. Anyone whoâ€™s ever been involved in the performing arts can appreciate that. It also has nothing to do with the lip-syncing fiasco and I donâ€™t know why you feel the need to put everyone and everything down and itâ€™s unbecoming of your intellectual prowess.
George, stop lecturing me. 2000 drummers in unison certainly did take a lot of effort, and so did building the pyramids and the Great Wall. It’s the sort of thing you expect a slave state to do.
You’re eager to criticize others for a lack of grace but ask yourself if you’re being graceful here. I see there’s no point in me trying to put things nicely because you’re hell-bent on putting everybody down.
Right, I’m just hell-bent on putting EVERBODY down, anyone can see that.
Ok not everybody. Just any sort of synchronized activity or event in the Olympics, women weight-lifters, non-baseball sports, and probably a bunch of other groups that wouldn’t be politically correct to mention. Did I miss anybody?
At the risk of triggering Godwin’s Law, let’s remember that there was another totalitarian regime that was fond of showing large groups of citizens performing highly synchronized movements.
While the performers do put in a lot of effort, it’s not creative effort. And such displays do not show or encourage individual attempts to excel and to distinguish oneself from one’s peers. They’re thus inconsistent with the entire spirit of the Olympics.
Brett, not everyone agrees the 2008 opening ceremonies were uncreative or antithetical to the spirit of the Olympics. There were clearly some unfortunate decisions made such as the lip-syncing that tarnished the event but some of the issues like the fireworks are blown out of proportion. Itâ€™s not as if the fireworks never happened; just that some of the camera footage was simulated. In the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, NBC simulated the fireplace for example. During Whitney Houstonâ€™s anthem at one of the Superbowls, it turned out to be a pre-recorded song. It was found that River Dance pre-recorded their tapping sounds for live performances and we shouldnâ€™t ever forget Milli Vanilli. Yes itâ€™s all very embarrassing but letâ€™s put everything in perspective.
Richard there is just too much juice in your posts. You have enough to go for at least a couple of weeks, but you crammed them into one article. What can I say. I just came back from Beijing China a couple of weeks before the Olympics. Everywhere I went were cameras and guards. Try and take a picture of the guards and they just yell at you. We were in a big group of obvious tourists soaking up China. They had microphones in the taxi cabs. There was a report in a newspaper over there where a lady in a taxicab got upset and busted a camera in there. I guess she’s not into Big Brother checking her out when she’s in the taxicab. I can see maybe some cameras in key areas so as to help with possible crime. All I can say is all those cameras and guards didn’t help the poor Bachmans in time. Talk about terrible.