A Random Conversation With Myself On The 2008 Beijing Olympics

Monday, August 18, 2008

BK Me: So what do we think about the Olympics so far? They’ve been pretty good huh?

Me: I don’t know. The games are kind of becoming this platform for Asian bashing and I can’t help but get a little turned off by it all.

BK Me: Hmm...to be honest I just thought you’d agree with me and we could go get some food. I didn’t actually think this would turn into a conversation.

Me: Didn’t you just eat?

BK Me: Like two hours ago.

Me: So you just wanted me to agree with you because you’re hungry?

BK Me: Well I’d hoped so, but since you seem to be getting a little touchy...

Me: Fine. I agree with you. The games have been wonderful and I absolutely love them and now you can go on your merry little way and eat yourself into a Value Menu Heart Arrhythmia.

BK Me: Well…geez....no reason to get like that about it. I mean what did the Junior Whopper ever do to you? Since, its not like it doesn't have vegetables.

Me: *Sigh*

BK Me: Obviously we won't be able to go anywhere until we've had this conversation, so let's just talk about it. Why are you so angry?

Me: I'm not angry.

BK Me: Okay then. What's "bothering you"? Is it the chinky eyes?

Me: Obviously it's the chinky eyes. I think everyone agrees on the chinky eyes.

BK Me: And?

Me: Like the fireworks. Who in their right mind actually thought those fireworks were real anyway? Have you ever seen fireworks created in the shape of a footprint set off in the sky where it looked like they were actually walking in real-time without the help of some computer graphics? I mean it was a stage show. It was theatrical. But instead of everyone saying how great they were, everyone's just focusing on the fact that they were computer generated. The whole tone that some of these articles take when reporting on the fireworks "issue" can just be boiled down to "Look at how they lied to us", even though no one ever lied about it.

BK Me: True.

Me: And then there's the lip syncing.

BK Me: You're defending the lip syncing?

Me: I'm not defending the lip syncing itself, becau--

BK Me: I mean sure, the one flying was a little cuter.

Me: First of all, that's just wrong, and second--

BK Me: What? You're going to tell me that one wasn't cuter than the other one? Like all Asian babies are created equal? Please. Even places that reported about what a travesty it was didn't put up a picture of the singing "still adorable" one. They put up the flying "chosen" one.

Me: Well, both were adorable and both were talented, and yes, both got the shaft, and while I'm not defending the lip syncing--

BK Me: Because you can't say anything bad about our Asian people.

Me: Can you stop interrupting me?

BK Me: Whatever...

Me: What I was trying to say was that while I don't condone it, I can understand it a little bit because it was meant as a stage show and I don't think they realized how some other communities, even in China, would look down upon it. I mean look at other places like in Vietnam. Lip syncing is still kind of O.K. when doing a stage show.

BK Me: Yeah. With their own voice.

Me: Like I said, I'm not condoning that part of it, I'm saying that I think it got blown out of proportion and people are using it just so they can say "Look at what those Asian people did. How can we ever trust them on anything?"

BK Me: Well...

Me: And now people are even reporting on how the kids who represented the different ethnic groups in the opening ceremony were all from the same ethnic group dressed up as kids from different ethnic groups and that somehow this is more of that Chinese "trickery". I mean, c'mon. It was symbolism. It was a representation. What's next? Are people going to start complaining about how the stadium isn't really a bird's nest?

BK Me: Sure, but what about the gymnastic team and their ages? Isn't that legitimate?

Me: Well first of all, some of us look young. That's just the way it goes. And you can't tell me that Shawn Johnson doesn't look young either. But the bottom line here is that no one is going to be satisfied until someone is proven to actually be underage because everyone already believes that there's no way in hell they could be telling the truth anyway because of this Yellow Peril attitude.

BK Me: What about the reports from the official Chinese newspaper that seemed to have disappeared with information stating ages from other events? You're denying those?

Me: What? Like newspapers and other media outlets don't have corrections? Organizations don't get things wrong? Didn't The New York Times just cop to a dozen years of reporting errors on McCain and his status as a fighter pilot? Didn't The Washington Post just incorrectly call Jin a Korean American rapper? I mean Bloomberg even told me that the Cavaliers won in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals and that Kevin Garnett's scoring average during the playoffs was 13.2 when it was really 21.3 which is an eight point swing. Is it that hard to believe that a newspaper or the organization handling some paperwork that they used as verification can get things wrong? No. They get it wrong all the time.

BK Me: Wow. I didn't know you hated newspapers so much.

Me: That's not the point, and I don't hate newspapers. They've been great free speech advocates, we've known some good folks who've taken that track, and the press in that sense has broken some great stories. But the fact still remains that they make mistakes. Just because they have a gazillion editors and fact-checkers doesn't mean they can't get it wrong here and abroad.

BK Me: But it was the Associated Press.

Me: So what? Like I'm supposed to take everything the AP says at face value? Please. Since, this story smacks of Yellow Journalism, and when you make an accusation like that, because that's what it is no matter how you try and dress it, I think you should have more than, I don't know, two sources, especially when one dries up and you already have an official with the Chinese gymnastic's team who said the reports which AP used as a source were never verified by them anyway.

BK Me: Maybe. But what happens if the allegations are true?

Me: If that's the case, medals should be stripped. I mean that goes without saying. But that's not the point and you know it. I mean if this was an all white Canadian team do you think people would really be pushing as hard they are to uncover the "real truth" demanding that the IOC get to the bottom of it all. No way in hell.

BK Me: Well, I don't know about that, but--

Me: And look at how places are reporting on Liu Yan, the dancer that was paralyzed during opening ceremony rehearsals. Even though after the opening ceremony in a press conference Zhang Yimou said there were some serious injuries, people are still calling it a cover up because he didn't specifically mention her name.

BK Me: Yeah, but some places have reported that they did ask that it not be mentioned before the games and that some information may have been censored from Internet forums.

Me: But how's that any different from a film company not wanting to talk about a stunt person getting injured during the filming of a movie, especially when the stars are out and about on the red carpet during the premiere? I don't remember Jerry Bruckheimer having a press conference about Tony Angelotti and his hospital landing injuries during "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and that because he didn't, the media said he was covering it up, insinuating the cover-up was because he was worried it might affect the bottom line of the movie, do you?

BK Me: I get what you're saying, but I'm not sure I agree with you on that one.

Me: Well, we're allowed to disagree, but to me it's just another way for people to gravitate to the "sneaky Chinese" mentality that unfortunately is going to make its way back here to the U.S.

BK Me: I don't know. I think you might be a little off on that one.

Me: Are you kidding me? Listen. You and I both know that there's going to be people all across America who use this Olympics as another way to explain away their racial and ethnic bias against us. I mean it's a forgone conclusion because of the "Every Asian person is a part of the collective" mentality that we can't seem to get away from, and I can't even believe you're questioning that. Do we really have to share the same body? Isn't there some procedure we can get?

BK Me: Well you can try and get rid of me if you want, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon especially without some serious medication, and even then I think you're still stuck with me so you need to deal with it just like I do.


Me: Yeah. I guess you're right.

BK Me: I know.