Sunday, July 20, 2008
Tear down this barrier
If Governor Duval can visit Amherst, the alien outreach of his Taxachusetts empire, then President Bush can and should visit China for the Olympic opening ceremonies.
Not that he listens to his critics—and no president in US history has had such virulent critics. But some folks are calling on President Bush to pull a Jimmy Carter and boycott the opening ceremonies next month beginning precisely at the lucky moment 8:08:08 pm, August 8, 2008.
The Olympics is all about sport—healthy competition that breeds mutual understanding. When you mix politics with sport you end up with a Munich Massacre. “They’re all gone,” reported Jim McKay to a stunned world over 35 years ago. And the Olympics have never been the same.
The Chinese people are sooooo proud of this upcoming extravaganza. The Olympic mascots seem to emblazon everything.
The debacle of the Olympic torch relay—especially during the Tibet crisis—seems to have passed, negated by world sympathy and the quick response of the communist government to the devastating earthquake. And in China--as in the US--THAT awful day is remembered in shorthand, simply by the numerals: 5/12.
Tibet, unlike the students at Tiananmen Square, received little sympathy in China--perhaps because many Chinese considered it a PR stunt designed to cash in on the Olympics. Or maybe because China’s One-Child policy does not apply to Tibet (only to Han Chinese that comprise about 90% of the population)
Or because China invested so very heavily in an expensive train system to connect Tibet to the homeland.
Everywhere we went the people were as inquisitive as they were courteous. In one hotel room Donna dropped a 100 Yuan note ($15 US dollars) on the floor after we had exchanged some travelers checks. The young man cleaning the room (who probably made less than that per day) left it on my computer under a piece of chocolate.
On an over packed shuttle bus (ubiquitous in China) to our air terminal another young man gets up and sacrifices his seat to my daughter, Kira. And at the airport check in, while I was holding Jada and Donna was fumbling with our passports, an older man behind us in line lifts our heavy bags unto the conveyor.
Yes Mr. President, we need to stay on friendly terms with such an already-emerged Superpower. You’re already halfway there, as The People are as friendly as can be.
(But since you are destined to hang with the power elite, you may want to think about jet black hair polish.)