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Chinese President Hu Jintao reviews the troops

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Aug. 21st, 2008 | 06:01 pm

A story in the August 21 Beijing Morning Post said it all.
Hu Jintao, the guy who runs China, inspected the country's para-Olympic athletes and pronounced them battle worthy.
Basically, I mean, to that affect.
China's state-run media didn't just stumble like some amateur hurdle jumper onto the troops-athletes metaphor. It was master planned.
Athletes are soldiers. They are fighting this month for collective ego dominance over a PR-fixated world. Gold medals are battles won, pieces of turf conquered, wet dream futures.
China also trains its athletes like soldiers. Olympic athletes are taken away from home, boot camped and drilled for years. They scream when they win and cry when wounded.
Here's where the fun starts. My Beijing reporter friend Ye Jun, educated by most standard measurements, said it all when I reminded him of how China manufactures its athletes. "Doesn't the United States do that, too?"
Heard that line before, of course. "But doesn't every country a) censor its media, b) think as a unified pack, c) pass laws without public approval?" Etc.
The runners and ball plahyers deserve their medals, richly. The problem here is educational, not athletic. Chinese citizens don't know their country is playing a strategic game for which most other participating Olympic nations don't even know the rules.
So the Chinese athletes will sweep gold, the public will assume every other country's athletes were military trained, and the nation will assume it has won a world war.

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Comments {2}

get real

from: anonymous
date: Aug. 27th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)
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Only a few athletes are from Chinese military force, and no law stop people from military force of being athletes.

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lalaoshi

Re: get real

from: lalaoshi
date: Aug. 28th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Key to this post is the word "metaphor".

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