Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Old Olympic Games Postcards

Because the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, China, are gearing up just around the corner, it is about time to start thinking things about the games.

The games have had a long history, stretching from ancient to modern times, the last one held less than two years ago in 2006. Starting in 1992, the games were divided into the Summer and the Winter Olympics, though still held every four years but scheduled in such a way that every two years, we have a version of the games. Thus, the last Summer Olympics was held in Athens in 2004 and the last Winter Olympics in 2006 in Turin.

In the 80’s to commemorate the games the International Olympic Committee based in Lausanne, Switzerland, begun printing postcards which showed miniaturized versions of the official posters of the different games. Now the IOC was formally established in 1894 and had is first Summer Olympics in 1896.

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  1. I'm not happy with the Chinese in charge. Unless they start doing right in the human rights field I will personally boycott everything that has to do with their Olympics. They said no to our aircraft carrier last month out of a pique of temper with Pres Bush's meeting with the Dalai Lama. Screw their Olympics. Now, should I tell you how I REALLY feel!... grin...

  2. The Chinese government appears to have this particularly irritating habit of always pulling the tail of the US to see how far it can go without angering it too much.

    You mentioned the US not allowed to dock during Thanksgiving. This also happened with the crazy toy recalls, where I believe one US toy company had to apologize to its Chinese counterpart for essentially bringing out the problems publicly.

    Another I recall is some high government official threatening the US with some economic sanctions, or was it threatening cashing in on the US papers it was holding.

    But it does this to most other countries in the world, maybe not as much with those it shares common interests and designs.

    But I am hopeful that with the Chinese people being exposed to outside influences, things can change for the better. Already we are seeing the effects. No government can forever stymie the strong aspirations of over a billion people.

    But the Olympics has always been one of very few global undertakings where petty and big differences are set aside for the sake of fierce competition. Well, maybe except for the one in Munich.

  3. No gov't can forever stymie a billion people...

    I beg to differ. They've done a darn good job of it so far. The Chinese gov't is brilliant in that it has its cake and is eating it; Even as the rest of the world is afraid to piss them off.

    Funny. No one even mentions T-Square anymore. Its like it never happened. It wasn't even 20 years ago, the thinking behind the massacre is still in play there, and we reward them with an Olympics. People seem to hope, you among them, that if we cave in to them that they will behave. Don't hold your breath buddy.

  4. Oh, you pessimist you, Phil.

    Look at Hongkong and most of the big cities in China. They have become very westernized, more than one can imagine and I am sure both outside and inside.

    Why, the last Made In China Karaoke set I bought with its own DVD showed nubile Chinese ladies in their skimpy bikinis cavorting in the white sand beaches of coastal China. Now what could be more decadent than that? HeHeHe.

    The Chinese hormones are just as formidable as anybody else. Now what could possibly stop that? HeHeHe.

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  6. And yet when anyone objects to anything and makes voice to that objection they end up in prison or worse. Nothing has changed. Peasants are even massacred or disappear when they kick up a fuss over abuses. Enjoy your Olympics Amadeo, but I plan to ignore them.

  7. if phil is looking at the political angle, i'm watching china via the environmental angle. ironically, with the political system that they have, they would have a good chance at dealing with their environmental problems (better than, say, the philippines).

  8. But, Dave, the Chinese, the government especially, should be given pretty good and self-serving motives for doing good to the environment.

    Right now, its main singular focus appears to be growing its economy in most any ways it can, even to some extent the use harmful substances for its products and/or unfair labor practices among its own people.

  9. Exactly. Its no wonder that China has now outstripped the USA as biggest emitter of carbon emissions. (We actually managed to reduce ours last year). At this point, when it comes to their economy, China is a crazy wildman with head down and charging forward, their goal being to replace the USA's hegemony over the Asian side of the Pacific rim. The only way they can afford to do this is by continuing to grow their economy, and that means at whatever expense, whether it means at the expense of their peasants or at the expense of the environment. Their economic juggernaut is truly part of their military industrial complex. As I said, I won't be watching Beijing next year.

  10. Phil:

    Just a heads-up in case they get too heady about their economic gains.

    To give perspective to size, just the total increase in the US economy in some selected few years already equals the total Chinese economy.

    Thus, they certainly have a long, long way to go to catch up, and over a billion people will be a big drag in the process.

    As I recall, some years back after careful review and embarrassment the Chinese heirarchy grudgingly admitted to errors in their census. The error was an undercount of some 250 million people. During that time, that was the equivalent of the total population of the US! Imagine missing out in counting the entire US of A population!


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