At the risk of sounding presumptuous and offending the Chinese, I’m going to say that I actually wasn’t too impressed by the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it wasn’t an impressive feat, I’m just saying it failed to evoke any emotions/thoughts in me, and entertained me only minimally.
I watched it from a blurry LCD screen in a crowded restaurant where I could barely hear the audio, and only from the appearance of the ancient scholars till middle of the walking-in ceremony, but from the little that I saw, I concluded that Athens put together a more meaningful and impactful performance 4 years ago. In comparison, I felt China’s performances were merely a display of power and strength, a superficial description of history. I couldn’t reach the intrinsic meanings behind the array of colourful performers, costumes, banners, and advanced technology.
Perhaps I have grown indifferent towards displays like this. Perhaps it was a matter of the atmosphere and bad audiovisual system, or perhaps missing the drumming at the start and the lighting of the torch made all the difference.
I think it certainly took a lot of hard work, skill, and talent to pull off a show like this, but in my opinion a good performance is one that strikes chords of resonance in your heart and leaves something memorable, and China failed to do that for me.
* * *
I wrote the above a few days ago but kept the post private, thinking that perhaps I judged too quickly with too much bias. But what with the lip-synching scandal that’s all over the news right now, I’m just gonna add on to my private post la haha.
Firstly, I DO think that Lin Miaoke has a better image. The other girl is not as cute and lively, and in fact looks rather boring in my opinion. Yes, it is harsh, it is cruel to let Miaoke steal her angelic voice, but I can’t stand all those Westerners pretending on TV that PY is soo cute and blowing this issue totally out of proportion. If they claim that substituting MK for PY hurts the latter, then I want to say, by ridiculing this substitution on the News harms them even more. I also didn’t like some News Channels sarcastically dragging human rights issues and China’s obsession with “portraying the perfect image” by erecting walls to cover up slums etc. into the discussion.
The real issue here is about lip-synching, which has always been a debatable issue. We have yet to come to an agreement as to whether lip-synching is outrightly wrong. Because my post is so long already I shall leave the digitally enhanced fireworks issue out.
On another note, I can’t wait to see how Phelps and the Malaysian badminton players will continue to do. So can we switch our focus back already! The games are about the GAMES!!