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2008-08-12 11:16 AM
Controversies around the Opening Ceremonies
There are two big controversies (so far) about the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. I still have the ceremony on my TiVo and it was AMAZING.
The first issue is in regards to the footprint fireworks. At a certain point in the ceremony, fireworks were shot up over Beijing in the shape of a footprint. Then another set in the shape of another footprint to create a trail of footprints walking across the city towards the Olympic Stadium. The controversy is that the video feed that the world received didn't show the actual fireworks (which WERE fired), but it showed a computer generated simulation of the footprint fireworks. The official explanation is that the govt was worried that any aircraft might be in danger of being hit by the fireworks. I doubt that's true, but for whatever reason the video stream that was allowed out included the simulated version.
A lot of people are pissed about this, but for the record, it wasn't actually intended to be a trick. The commentators were told that it was computer generated, the problem is that not all of the commentators mentioned that during the broadcast. The NBC commentators did, the BBC commentators did not.
I think most likely they were having problems getting the fireworks to work properly and didn't want a failure so they used the fake footage instead. In my opinion, the important bits here are: 1) the fireworks WERE actually fired and 2) the Chinese govt didn't try to hide that it was fake, they told the different news organizations covering the event.
The second issue is with the little pig-tailed girl lip synced the "Ode to the Motherland." A different little girl did the singing. The one we saw was prettier, the one we heard was a better singer. Personally, I assume everyone singing at the Ceremony is lip-syncing, but the fact that she was lip syncing to a different singer is disappointing. I don't really care though. The little girl singing wasn't one of the parts of the ceremony that I found very inspiring or impressive. I think the drummers, the Tai Qi practitioners and the printing press section were the truly inspired and inspiring. The lip-sync is lame, but I am still incredibly impressed with the ceremony.
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