Sunday, August 03, 2008

On the absurdities of the Olympic torch relay

This bit was written in a strongly worded email on Thursday, 31st of July:

The authoritarian, iron-fisted state called the People's Republic of China

The Olympics are coming round, and the torch relay has been going on for a while already. Tomorrow, it will pass through Tianjin. The route will come along a highway just adjacent to our office, wind around the Technology and Economic Development Area and head off elsewhere.

Interestingly, there are no published route maps. This whole business is shrouded in secrecy, so no one really know in advance when they are coming etc, although the barriers erected along the route will give clues to the areas affected.

And then, there's this thing which will come as a shock to people who have been pampered by living in a non-authoritarian state. There will be a curfew when the torch comes around.

Yes, a [expletive] curfew. Starts at 4am, no idea what time it ends.

So the masses will have no chance to actually watch the flaming phallus of shame. Poor flaming phallus of shame, it's be going through empty streets. No wonder the official photographs from the torch relay site are all close-up shots of the torch bearers; the surroundings are so miserably sparse and barren that it would be a shame to show the context of the fiasco.

One really wonders, what are these people in the central government thinking? Or do they even think?


I was quite pissed off when I found out about the curfew as it messed up some of my plans.

For the area near our office, the curfew started at 4am, and ended at noon. Effectively, this gave us a half-day break. Others were less fortunate- their employers demanded that they work anyway, thus requiring them to get to work before 4am.

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