Goodness me. To think they used to just cut a ribbon.

Beijing's opening ceremony felt like a semi-religious rave, helmed by Cecil B DeMille, Leni Riefenstahl and late-era Pet Shop Boys and with music supplied by Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre.

Like any decent opening shebang, the night was soaked in the sort of nightmarish weirdness that most of us only experience after eating too much soft cheese late at night.

Luminous green men dotted with bright white lightbulbs zoomed around like radioactive fish, coming together to form dove shapes and then clambering all over each other to form a human scale model of the stadium.

Astronauts descended from the sky on invisible wires as a gigantic version of an Ikea lampshade rose from an underground pit like an alien spaceship.

Men with giant paintbrushes on their heads smeared Chinese characters on a paper scroll the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

Then, just when the mind was at its weakest, Sarah Brightman floated into view with a moon-faced grin spread across her chops.

Some of us had been wondering beforehand how a woman who most of us hadn't seen since 1987 had managed to nab such a prestigious gig. Happily the official programme put us straight.Green men light up the stadium

"She perfectly integrates elegance and purity with fashion and ease," we were told. "Giving the audience a brand new feeling."

Dressed in a flowing white robe, she glided onto stage and warbled a happy duet with Chinese pop star Liu Huan, who looked like he'd just stepped out of a snooker club. The crowd loved it.

Brightman herself looked somehow younger than she had 20 years ago. So smooth-skinned was she that you couldn't help but wonder if she'd recently been starring in the Phantom of the Operating Theatre.

There was more, not least the way the Olympic flag was carried in by eight dental technicians and then flapped around atop its pole as if a gale were blowing, when there hasn't been a breath of wind for days.

Then, when the athletes themselves finally arrived, led by the Greek team, they were greeted by the sound of the Main of Fintry Pipe Band playing Scotland The Brave on the bagpipes. Work that one out.

Of the 204 nations subsequently on display, particular mention should go to the following:

5. The Germans with deflated handballs on their heads.
4. Tajikistan's beige and chocolate-brown blazers, which looked like the sort of thing Michael Caine might have worn to Tramp in 1974.
3. The Argentine men's stripey shower caps.
2. The blue and yellow blazer and tie combo worn by the Ukraine, as if they were on their way to a night out at School Disco.
1. The Hungarian women wearing dresses made from my mum's bathroom curtains.

Reaction from the crowd
- particularly when the Chinese team piled in, led by the towering Yao Ming - was predictably rapturous.

Up in the VIP slots, President Bush took off his jacket and utilised a weighty pair of binoculars to get a better look at the action. Vladimir Putin almost smiled. Princess Anne fanned herself and looked calmly impressed.Fireworks at the climax of the opening ceremony

Only IOC president Jacques Rogge, strangely, didn't seem to be enjoying himself. For most of the night he wore the expression of man chewing stinging nettles.

For the rest of us, it was almost impossible not to get caught up in the spectacle of it all.

The assault on the senses was such that you were swept you along relentlessly, even when the logical part of your brain was cringing at the goose-stepping soldiers holding the Olympic flag, the world's leaders fawning over Chinese president Hu Jintao and the enormous military helicopter that circled overhead for the entire four hours.

This was chest-beating on an epic scale.

It was spectacular. It was explosive. It was unforgettable.

In front of an estimated television audience of 4bn people, it was also the biggest PR exercise China could ever have hoped for. Even the Olympic cauldron was wrapped in a red flag.

Forget the pollution and the human rights issues, seemed to be the message - let's have some pretty fireworks instead.

As green, blue, red and white torches flashed all round the stands, and 2008 identically-clothed men hammered incandescent drums on the stadium floor, two thoughts went through my head.

Firstly - blimey. How is London going to match this? And at same time, what's any of this got to do with sport?

Tom Fordyce is a BBC Sport journalist covering a wide range of events in Beijing. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 9:05pm on 08 Aug 2008, sandcastlejim wrote:

    that's what it's all about - the pomp and pagaentry of the opening ceremony!

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  • 2. At 9:23pm on 08 Aug 2008, kosowski wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 9:27pm on 08 Aug 2008, sandcastlejim wrote:

    well said kowoski - this idiot doesn't know what he's talking about - get a real job son.

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  • 4. At 9:30pm on 08 Aug 2008, usafeline wrote:

    I don't think London should try to out-do the Chinese. You don't have a billion people to play with, for starters. I'd love to see something shorter, calmer, less exhibitionist, and more related to sport. Some good old Brit understatement would be lovely!

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  • 5. At 9:32pm on 08 Aug 2008, UKCaveman wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 9:47pm on 08 Aug 2008, Hargo A Go Go wrote:

    Hey guys no need to be so harsh on Tom. The blog did not reak of fear or jealousy, it was just a descrptive piece written based on HIS point of view and experience. We're each allowed our own right? Tom is just lucky enough to get paid for publishing his on the BBC. I do agree though that opening ceremonies are meant to be a cultural display and are meant to introduce the country and the games to the world. Looking at it like that, what aspects of it's culture can GB parade in front of the world? What about big ben or those security guards in the red tops a tall fluffy black hats (I'm from Jamaica so I have no idea who they are). It would be interesting to hear what you can share.

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  • 7. At 9:55pm on 08 Aug 2008, illustriousTRENTEND wrote:

    I'm with you Tom - cross between a Pet Shop boys concert and Nuremberg rally (Hitler would have been proud). What the he*l were those soldiers doing raising the flag - disgrace. And did you see how the athletes were penned in by the hand-linked security guards in the white outfits.

    Message for London - keep it simple - get Monty Python back (Twit Olympics / Silly Olympiad)

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  • 8. At 10:01pm on 08 Aug 2008, miktex wrote:

    I don't understand why you briton so fascinated about politics when China hosts the Olympics. Is it just because it gives you a perfect chance to prove your high ground?

    And Tom, I do hope you will not forget politics when it comes to UK in four year's time. Don't forget Afganistan, Iraq, WMD, colonial past, racism, youth crime, etc. etc.

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  • 9. At 10:05pm on 08 Aug 2008, agentkew wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 10:05pm on 08 Aug 2008, Heathmeister wrote:

    I do wonder about some people who read these blogs. I can't believe someone used the 'licence fee' whinge again. Pathetic. Most of it is quite blatently sarcasm, for people to take it so seriously is worrying.

    This is a blog, not a news piece. This is supposed to voice the author's personal opinions and his job shouldn't come into it. He's not being a journalist, he's being a normal human being with an opinion, albeit a very shallow one, which is understandable because he works in the world of sport, not art and fashion.

    I didn't personally watch the thing, it's not my cup of tea. The Olympics revolve around the sport, and the ceremonies are nothing more than a formality (and yes I'm aware we started it).

    As for the Olympics now being 'officially open', I thought it had actually opened 2 days ago? Never mind, eh?

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  • 11. At 10:17pm on 08 Aug 2008, LaoPengYou wrote:

    This quality of journalism is far below the standards I expect from the BBC. Cynicism of this calibre is unwarranted and feeble. If this is what the BBC understands to be satire, think again. This person's ignorance and smirking observations appear woefully inadequate , uncharitable, and illustrates the grim insularity of like-minded people who consider themselves superior, only to discover they are at the same level as cockroaches and one wheeled shopping trolleys. If this man is truly an employee of the BBC, clearly the lunatics are running the asylum.

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  • 12. At 10:19pm on 08 Aug 2008, deadballdispute wrote:

    There's a lot of bitterness in some of these responses, why does everyone seem to be against these journalists having an opinion? Sour Grapes and jealousy? Surely it's just a bit of sarcasm and irony being used.

    The ceremony was fantastic but it was over the top, like most opening ceremonies are. There's no anti-chinese bias going on here just a man expressing his opinion and to be honest, no-one can deny that the opening ceremony was a PR exercise. Every opening ceremony is, whether it's Beijing, Sydney or Athens, opening ceremonies are designed to show off the best parts of the host country.

    Personally I agreed with the fashion comments, some of what was worn was fantastically bad. But again, everybody has their own opinion on these things.

    So stop looking for insults when there are none and just enjoy the show.

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  • 13. At 10:36pm on 08 Aug 2008, someoneIII wrote:

    Kitsch has indeed surpassed itself as an artform -
    what are we celebrating? Can anyone remember?

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  • 14. At 10:46pm on 08 Aug 2008, agile&fragile wrote:

    The last words about what was flashing through his mind shows that Tom is not that bad. He's not God, he can have jealousy, envy.

    Overall, it's like a party full of Chinese foods. Every dish is expertly-cooked and delicious in common sense but a bit too much.

    It's also like Kung-Fu. Cant imagine how massive effort and money they put on that.

    London dont need to go the same route and I dont think you will either.

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  • 15. At 10:59pm on 08 Aug 2008, mysticshrimp wrote:

    I enjoyed the show, and thought Tom's take on it was quite amusing. To those knocking him: get a sense of humour darlings? Go on, give us a smile - you know you want to. And now, like Sarah B., it's Time To ... say goo-oood bye.

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  • 16. At 11:00pm on 08 Aug 2008, garbettn wrote:

    Sensory overload - possibly but it was alright when I turned the sound down!

    I cannot congratulate those responsible for commentary on the opening ceremony - thought a lot of it was totally unnecessary.

    Banal comments referring to Carol Vordeman Stephen Redgrave garish colors? Plus remarkable comments on China itself - great time to mention pollution most 10 polluted cities etc etc etc - must get this in. Please No!
    Lets' just sit and observe the ceremony.

    Plus someone should be shot - or sent to a Chinese gulag perhaps for allowing sue Barker to continue her unnecessary interview with Michael Johnson and Steve Redgrave - "The opening ceremony hasn't quite started yet." - Yes it has sue and your still chatting away - and this is the best bit!
    I noticed that the replay on the red button had this bit carefully edited out.

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  • 17. At 11:06pm on 08 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    "Reaction from the crowd - particularly when the Chinese team piled in, led by the towering Yao Ming - was predictably rapturous."

    Reaction from the BBC - an unseemly streak of latent xenophobia so virulent that even a thick layer of mean-spirited sarcasm fails to conceal it.

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  • 18. At 11:12pm on 08 Aug 2008, nytbookreview wrote:

    I loved your comments Tom... an excellent take on the event.
    The joy is in seeing the athletes come in and all the countries being together ... sport -- the best unifier ... works for me.
    Thanks BBC for this blog and Tom's lens on it....

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  • 19. At 11:34pm on 08 Aug 2008, AllenAtlanta wrote:

    RE: "the night was soaked in the sort of nightmarish weirdness that most of us only experience after eating too much soft cheese late at night".

    Tom, you sound like a grumpy very old man having suffered through your entire life with gastrointestinal problems. There are medical treatments for that you know, but when it comes to critiquing the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, the best one would be for you to just stay home! The world wants to celebrate the grandeur of sport and all you can do is complain like a grumpy very old man after eating too much soft cheese at night!

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  • 20. At 11:37pm on 08 Aug 2008, ShackyTauro wrote:

    Tom, you should have written,

    "Tonight the opening ceremony took place in China"

    Although your blog was a far more interesting read, this is the only way I can think of that will not offend anyone!

    I have been enjoying all your pieces, and prefer personal comment to bland, sit on the fence, un-opinionated political correctness.

    Keep up the good work.

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  • 21. At 11:52pm on 08 Aug 2008, squawvalley wrote:

    I strongly suspect that the majority of posts on this blog are actually from non-licence payers in any event, there's more than a strong suspicion of thesaurus overload in some of them, and just a little too wooden to be hailing from the 'shires.

    The fact that the posters don't get British reaction to this kind of over-financed, sprawling mass really gets the blue lights flashing. I think Tom's done a wonderfully irreverent job, and much of his comments are bang-on. If you don't like it, sorry, that's what internet freedom is all about, just a shame that you can't read his comments if you actually live in China (oops, a little political there).

    For me the Ukrainian garb was the best, and definitely inspired by Pontins circa 1980 - I'm sure I saw one of the blokes carrying a note advertising the Knobbly Knees Contest at the Swimming Pool at 2pm.

    Let's have more of the same, you really can't take all this nonsense seriously - perhaps the Opening Ceremony budget could have been better spent on research into giving the Chinese a sense of humour.

    Pip pip

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  • 22. At 11:56pm on 08 Aug 2008, MaycomP wrote:

    Shame on the Editors who "spoiled" our viewing pleasure when they were so obsessed with showing REPEATEDLY the TEAM GB that they completely cut out the entrance of the Kenya Team - even the commentators: Hue Edwards and team did not say anything about the Kenyans because they were also seeing repetative scenes of TEAM GB.
    Terrible Shame!!

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  • 23. At 00:05am on 09 Aug 2008, andnowiRant wrote:

    look, China's got a point to prove, and they seem to have blown everyone away with that opening ceremony. the wonders just kept coming in dozes of awe and amazement... and this was just from my telly. i wonder what'd have been like to have actually been there and to hear the roar of the crowd and the fireworks!

    they seemed to be making a statement to everyone who's been ranting about the human rights issue: shove off! and for the 4 or so hours that the thing went on for, i sure wasnt thinking about Humanrights... i dont think anyone was. and that's the power of autonomy. Powerful branding campaign if i ever saw one.

    What an immense display! never mind if i dont watch any of the games, i've got my fill.

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  • 24. At 00:35am on 09 Aug 2008, marion24 wrote:

    Your comment demonstrates the basic lack of ability to step out of your own cultural background and understand the actions from another civilization.

    You have to understand that this is the first time China has ever hosted the Olympics, and grandeur in the performances is a must in order for the country to be recognized as a respectable force in the global arena. It's all about face, and I'm pretty sure they showed that to us last night. The event was spectacular.

    And let me say that some of the performances are really based on historical (from the rising pillars to mimic the imperial court, to the 3000 of Confucius' students paying their respects to the written word) and mythological (the floating spirits around the stadium) aspects of Chinese culture, hence the scale of the events.

    Oh, and to explain the excessive use of fireworks; guess where fireworks historically originated from?

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  • 25. At 00:53am on 09 Aug 2008, jieyinzhang wrote:

    Stop biased reporting, Tom. I do wonder why BBC always biases on every positive thing on China, but only focuses on politics or polutions whatever. This is Olympic, it has nothing to do with politics, it's only about competition.

    I do think this is the BEST Olympic opening ceremony up to now. And it will be definitely better than that in London 2012.

    Tom, let me ask you what will you expect on London Olympic opening ceremony in 2012? What will you British show us? Fish and chips? Or drunk and pregnant teenagers killing each other? That is what 'London's culture' is about.

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  • 26. At 00:55am on 09 Aug 2008, klutdman wrote:

    At least China did not invade another country, resulting in one million deaths and four millions displaced persons. Their muscle flexing was confined to the Bird Nest Stadium, not some remote country which has a lot of oil. The Westerners are often jealous that their culture can't match that of Asian countries.

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  • 27. At 01:06am on 09 Aug 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    What the devil is going on with the above posters? Since when is it a crime for a man to write his thoughts in a blog? Indeed, a personal viewpoint of the event. And most of it is written in Tom's traditional witty, sarcastic style (as those of us who read his cricket commentaries know).

    Tom - an excellent satirical viewpoint of the opening ceremony. China put on a vast show, which hit all of the senses full in the face, and definitely left me wondering how London would beat that.

    Only down point was the BBC Commentary - Huw Edwards spoiled the occasion, and Barry Davies was utterly missed: he was a man who knew that saying little said a lot.

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  • 28. At 01:18am on 09 Aug 2008, braeside2 wrote:

    I did enjoy the show, as well as Tom's comments, :-D I just can't help laughing. Well, it's not so easy to produce such a good show, but it's also not so easy to make such imaginative comments!

    Anyway, take it easy, this is a game...

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  • 29. At 01:44am on 09 Aug 2008, MissSJM wrote:

    Anyone would think that the Chinese government have employed people to read and criticize blogs that don't endorse them. I find comments like: "Beautiful things in your eye turns into ugly" a bit of a give away. Anyone agree?

    Great blogs Fordyce....Take no notice of thoses silly comments and keep up the good work! x

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  • 30. At 01:50am on 09 Aug 2008, chorusline wrote:

    The show was flippin' BRILLIANT!!! (Thank God I'm not epileptic).

    As for the political hoo-ha, I'm just going to leave it to the politicians and their friends. But I just couldn't help laughing at Bush's expression when Iraq's team went out tot he parade. It's was flippin' classic. I should have recorded it.

    Anyways, I can't help, but to notice how some comments above are just so serious about what have been written. Let me remind y'all that this is a BLOG. It's not a news piece, it's a BLOG. And a blog, is an opinionated piece of writing. So, take a chill pill and chillax.

    For Tom, this is the first time I read your blog and I LOVED it.

    And oh, almost forget, what I think for the 2012, GB should do what GB is best known for (whatever that is). But here are some thoughts: I've heard about plans to make the 2012 Olympics a 'green' Olympics. Then STICK to it, with some elegance and edge into it. GB doesn't need a super massive gimmicks like the one that just happened or the one in the 2000. I think 2004 is quite a good example, of which path that GB should go for.

    Simple, elegant and edgy. And almost forget, GREEN. Stick to it!!

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  • 31. At 01:51am on 09 Aug 2008, Karl wrote:

    Very nice piece, even if I do not agree on everything said about the opening.
    A spectacle it was, truly. As one would expect, mass choreography and fireworks displays will not be matched by anyone, so London please take note.

    The drummers who opened the show were really great but then things got a little blurred... until the lighting of the Olympic flame which was really a once in a lifetime spectacle. I mean the first ever Riverdance at the Eurovision Song Contest kind of thing.

    Technology was in place, pleasing aesthetics galore but thematically the show was definitely a little naff. I was expecting Chinese pots appearing doing a little dance after we had been treated to the ladies in their nightgowns flapping their arms, representing the doves which should not be barbecued the way it went in Athens... I believe China still has a little way to go to bridge the disparity in taste with the West. Or alternatively, we need to drop some of our pretense and start liking cute pictures of smiling children as the promise of a better tomorrow...

    As far as opening ceremonies go, it was right there at the level of Barcelona in 1992 even if Sarah Brightman is no Monserrat Caballé and I guess China's still to discover their own Freddy Mercury...

    The globe was good and the final leg of the torch relay ingenious. And the fireworks were, well, something you could only expect to be able to treated to in China.

    So London, you need to think hard about your unique selling points to match this.

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  • 32. At 01:53am on 09 Aug 2008, chorusline wrote:


    I concur.

    You Go Girlfriend!!!!!!

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  • 33. At 02:13am on 09 Aug 2008, SanMigMan wrote:

    Great article - you had me in stitches with some of your analogies.

    Only bone of contention is the dig at the PLA. Their efforts in saving life after the Sichuan earthquake warmed the hearts of the Chinese people.

    They are no longer the establishment that appeared at Tianeman in 1989. The West would be wise to leave it's preconceptions of Communist China behind and instead focus on the wonderful welcome given by the real China of today.

    BTW I'm a gweilo living here, not a Communist party mouthpiece.

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  • 34. At 02:18am on 09 Aug 2008, Oskar_the_dog wrote:

    I liked the opening bit with the 50,000 chinese schoolboys banging on their desks demanding computers and the freedom of the internet ... but after that it devolved into the usual loony tunes of dressing up games, fairies, large inanimate objects floating up into the sky (I thought it was going to be so murky with pollution up there we wouldn't see any of that?), Sarah Brightman (what century is Chinese entertainment locked into???????), and a pageant depicting Chinese inventionsnone of which were less than several thousand years old apparently (what have they been up to lately I wanted to know).

    As usual the whole thing seemed to last as long as history itself ... but thankfully I had already fallen asleep long before it concluded.

    Can Britain do better in 2012? Of course they will ... and with something less overwhelmingly try-hard I hope.

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  • 35. At 02:40am on 09 Aug 2008, tomotworowski wrote:

    Great article, totally spot on describing the over the the top pomp and cermemony of the opening.

    to all those people getting extremely serious and slagging this off...your really need to get a life. if you dont like whats written, just dont read it further than the first paragraph, dont read it all just to slag it off.

    lets just enjoy the sport..which to be honest is kind of what the olympics is about isnt it?

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  • 36. At 02:44am on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    Enough is enough. It's no longer about bias. The whole reporting of BBC on Beijing Olympic games can only be described by two words: paranoia and hysteria, with one adjective: collective.

    Every piece of news, articles or talks that comes out of any single one of your journalists, commentators, news readers or whoever has a chance to speak/write/publish out, is simply inevitable of not having half of its time/space whining or condemning China of whatever you see fit.

    What is your ultimate goal here? I don't see anything good for both yourselfs and the ones you alledgedly are trying to help can be achieved other than satisfying your self-righteous narrow mindsets.

    While Chinese state controlled media are a clown, the BBC is just another one with a different gown. You might claim that dissenting voices are allowed in your media. But then what? You are the propaganda juggernaut with the disguise of free speech, what amount of dissenting noises from no matter how many brainwashed populace, especially foreign ones, can shake your authority?

    Can't you just show one tenth of the professionalism you have when reporting most of other things not involving China, on those games please?

    As a Chinese who has been in the UK for 7 years, and has been appreciating so many things here, I have always hoped one day China can be as liberal, wealthy and developed as the UK. I still do, but with one more wish that if that day ever comes, we Chinese should look back on these days and remember to treat you as mean as you are and reciprocate favors wherever appropriate.

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  • 37. At 03:01am on 09 Aug 2008, chorusline wrote:

    bitterblogger, I'm Chinese too and have lived here in the UK for 5 years and 8 years in the US. (don't mean to show off there). And believe you me I'm proud of my roots and country. But every now and then you got to take a chill pill...this is just a blog for Confucius' sake. You just got to laugh at ourselves sometimes.

    If we want to see or hear only the good stuff about yourself, how are we going to improve ourselves? And by the way, you're on the wrong website.

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  • 38. At 03:15am on 09 Aug 2008, mikelore wrote:

    Fantastic show. Let's make a distinction here between the past controversial olympics - the message here is worldwide harmony, not racial superiority ala Berlin 1936. It is a worthy cause.

    I hate to say this, but the government is very well supported by the Chinese public in the staging of these olympics and the PLA is equally well respected (take the recent earthquake disaster relief for e.g.).

    Let's not close our eyes and lock our doors, like the Chinese have done in the past.

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  • 39. At 03:23am on 09 Aug 2008, TheJags wrote:

    Oh dear, oh dear. Again the British public shows itself to be little more than a bunch of hysterically pretentious, politically correct fools who couldn't take a joke if it smacked them in the face. Which, of course, poses the wonderful irony of most of them deserving a smack in the face.

    How on Earth did this light-hearted little take on a completely ridiculous "ceremony" deserve the bile being directed at it? Frankly I fell Tom's had to hold back (lest he be censored, perhaps?) on this one. I mean, come on people, a few little choice remarks about the PR campaign that is China are hardly distasteful all things considered.

    Do you know the funny thing, though? It'd these idiots that'd be the first to jump on the "free Tibet" wagon had the article been too "pro-China." I can picture it now; "how can you spend our license money in a county with such a human rights record, etc. etc."

    Personally I enjoyed the blog, it's just a shame that it was spoiled by the "any excuse to get on the high horse and have a moan" crowd. Typical.

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  • 40. At 03:25am on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "But every now and then... this is just a blog for Confucius' sake... You just got to laugh at ourselves sometimes."

    Yeah, you can expect to do a continous two-week of laughter at yourselve now that every piece here on BBC will not forget condemning China no matter what it is supposed to convery.

    And does it really matter this is a blog instead of news page, at all given that everything reported or wrriten here on BBC is about criticising China one way or the other no matter what its title says or which category it belongs to?

    At the end of the day, this is a BBC blog written by a BBC journalist, and BBC is a broadcaster. What's the essential difference between this and other sites?

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  • 41. At 03:28am on 09 Aug 2008, royalsfanmike wrote:

    Look, it's called freedom of speech and healthy British cynicism. The response to 2012 will be even more sceptical by the beeb and joe public. Those who feel the need to drag up british foreign policy blunders past and present on this board need to get a life. It's a sports tournament for god's sake!!

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  • 42. At 03:30am on 09 Aug 2008, AllenAtlanta wrote:

    Some of the people posting comments seem a bit annoyed that not everyone posting is reflecting the proper British attitude of support for you, Tom. As a Yank of British heritage, I enjoy BBC and the prim and proper, but I also enjoy the American unabashed enjoyment of celebrating things that should be celebrated, such as the Olympics and world class sports. The Chinese did an awesome job in staging an incredible Opening Ceremony.
    Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports did posted a review of the Opening Ceremony and from the differences in the BBC and Yahoo critiques, Tom, you two men must have been attending different events!

    Congratulations to The People's Republic of Chinese for an outstanding job on the opening of the 29th Olympiad!

    Best wishes to the City of London on its efforts to stage the 30th Olympiad!

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  • 43. At 03:56am on 09 Aug 2008, twinhonnisoit wrote:

    Mindless abuse directed at Tom Fordyce (and the BBC) is a pointless distortion of the free speech we (but not some other people) enjoy and will hopefully continue to enjoy in 2012.

    Tom's article was far more entertaining (it's not often I laugh out loud when reading a blog) than this rather sinister display of hype put on by a set of emerging bullyboys pretending to adhere to the doctrine of Confucius.

    PS In my humble opinion (blah, blah, blah...) the moderators are not following their own rules when it comes to the above-mentioned abuse. The language used did indeed come into the category they define in the link. Just a smidgeon of hypocrisy here perhaps. Do what I say not what I do sort of stuff.

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  • 44. At 03:56am on 09 Aug 2008, dunudare wrote:

    Indeed, this opening ceremony very much a showcase of china' power as what it is expected to be, so there is no blame on TOM.( Though at the first sight of this article i was thinking about punching this guy) you don't like it? Fine. There are so lots more who enjoyed it as one of the best moments in their lives.

    After all, in four years time, UK will just do the same thing right?

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  • 45. At 04:00am on 09 Aug 2008, sportsmatter wrote:

    The writer is a typically smug, self-righteous and condescending Brit who models his comments on Terry Woganesque xenophobia and look at all those funny foreign people nonsense at Eurovision. He has also been brought up on a diet of British propaganda and likes a few cheap shots at the Chinese policy in Tibet but in his comfortable middle England lifestyle, doesn't even know that Northern Ireland is on his doorstep. What will London have to top tonight? Mr Blobby? If you want tack and lack of class or taste, there is nowhere you will find more of that than Britian.

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  • 46. At 04:02am on 09 Aug 2008, ger_inasian_exile wrote:

    As far as opening ceremonies go (of which I usually hate) this was probably the best I have witnessed. Ok some bits were naff but on the whole the spectacle was jaw dropping I loved the bit when the pianist was playing and the wee guys with the green suits were jumping around, that was cool you wouldn't deny it, I was really gripped for a moment.

    The guys article focuses far too much on the negative aspects when the actual event was full of positive ones so if thats what the guy feels he has to do to provoke a reaction then fair enough. The guy does come across as slightly smug tho.

    The problem for some though is that it comes on the back of years of unbridled bias against the people of China from the bbc. Not Tom necessarily as his is only a lighthearted article, but Why does BBC continue this relentless hate and ridicule of all things Chnese. If I was from China I would probably detest the British on the basis of the BBC's outrageously exagerated negative reporting on China. Give the Chinese people a BREAK BBC and be true to your word for a change with some UNBIASED reporting you shoudn't have an agenda.

    And I'm sorry folks I won't 'relax' or take a 'chill pill' as this issue is worth speaking out against!

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  • 47. At 04:05am on 09 Aug 2008, Stacie wrote:

    I don't think Tom's piece intends any offence, it is a light hearted blog which, all joking aside, clearly displays admiration for what the Chinese presented. Tom puts his opinion out there for the public to read and everyone is entitled to give theirs in response to it.

    The ceremony was really something special, absolutely fantastic. The Olympics is a huge event and should always receive the effort and proud attention that the Chinese gave it.

    For London 2012 I would like to see us 1) not attempting to 'outdo' the Chinese and 2) creating something that reflects the many different cultures making up the GB nations - looking towards Team GB for inspiration - combined with some sports themes.

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  • 48. At 04:09am on 09 Aug 2008, Karl wrote:

    Just curious, we're going at it here but can you read us loud and clear over there in China, Tom?

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  • 49. At 04:33am on 09 Aug 2008, Karl wrote:

    Another thought, would it be helpful if the BBC posted the opening hours of their moderating service for other blogs than yours online? It seems they are sticking to a British time zone while the action takes place in "foreign parts". Just helping us who are in the Olympic time zone.

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  • 50. At 04:53am on 09 Aug 2008, Oskar_the_dog wrote:

    Anyone taking my comments (post #34) as negative towards China should be aware that I have been similarly unimpressed with the hooplah surrounding all previous Olympic opening events ... to me they have all been over the top extravagances which failed to differ much from one another except in the ever increasing numbers of people involved in them and the obscene amounts spent on them.

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  • 51. At 05:04am on 09 Aug 2008, thebafosking wrote:

    I've seen my fair share of opening ceremonies in my time, and all of them bar none have contained at least some degree of ludicrousness worthy of sarcastic comment. They usually involve children wearing rubbish costumes or non-copyrighted cartoon characters symbolising something or other - I'd imagine Beijing was no different in that sense.

    Once again though the comments on these blogs are filled with 'BBC is BIAS,' 'Why you so anti-China?' etc etc.

    Get a grip. We like to have a wee moan and point out the amusing little things that happen rather than adhere to a 'Gee, this is awesome' attitude prevalent in other countries. If I may recycle a phrase popular amongst the Chinese, 'you just don't understand British culture,' so stop seeing hate-filled bias in every article and realise that wholly positive, everything is great style articles don't belong on the BBC - if you want that stuff go to Xinhua, there's loads of it there...

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  • 52. At 06:24am on 09 Aug 2008, Kida_M wrote:

    Thanks for your coming to Beijing and viewing our Olympics opening ceremony.
    Have a good time in China!I hope you will know more about the country through the Olympics.And we are also looking forward to the grand ceremony in 4years.

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  • 53. At 06:46am on 09 Aug 2008, Striker900 wrote:

    Very disappointed to read this. The ceremony was outstanding and the best I have ever seen. Do give it the credit it deserves. Opening ceremonies have never been about the sporting aspects. We all saw how awful England was for the opening of Euro 96 and lets hope we learn rather than criticize out of jealousy. I feel I've just wasted 3 minutes of my life reading your opinions on the ceremony. Just wasted another 2 minutes by commenting on it too. I will be nothing but embarrassed come 2012. That is the sad truth.

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  • 54. At 07:22am on 09 Aug 2008, dudeletshavethetruth wrote:

    Perhaps if you are a sports journalist you should just stick to reporting sports events - cultural events like opening ceremonies are obviously not your thing.
    I seriuosly question the BBC's wisdom in letting you loose and commenting on this beautiful and stunning display representing the diverse culture and history of China.
    You really can't seem to find anything nice to say about anyone or anything surrounding the event - you really do appear to be a very sad individual - have you been specially selected to display BBC anti-China bias perhaps, which I have to say I find very distasteful.
    I am a Brit and ashamed that any person, especially Chinese may imagine that your comments might represent the feelings of ordinary British people.
    Congratulations China - you have wowed the world (except this gentleman of course) with you stunning display - I think London in 2012 will find it excessively hard to come close to this.

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  • 55. At 07:35am on 09 Aug 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    Tom, why can you not just enjoy the ceremony and its attack on the senses, rather than concluding with some dumb connection between the cermony's spectacle and Chinese political ambition?

    If you want to write a political "blog" then do so, but if you want to describe the ceremony then try to utilise the breadth of language to do so without resorting to the most basic dig on the organisers and hosts.

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  • 56. At 07:41am on 09 Aug 2008, Lazzayoung wrote:

    Spectaculor ceremony.
    We celebrated it by bringing an Olympic baby boy into the world at 8pm on the 8/8/2008.
    That has to be some serious luck!

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  • 57. At 07:42am on 09 Aug 2008, Schaak wrote:

    Bit surprised that the BBC would have someone like Tom Fordyce write on their website. Dissappointing. He has no idea and sounds like a very bitter human being.

    Could you please bring in someone that knows what he is writing about and preferably someone with a higher IQ than plant.

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  • 58. At 07:55am on 09 Aug 2008, twinhonnisoit wrote:

    Posts 53-57 (inclusive) carry an excess baggage charge of condescension and humourlessness that would fly one to China and back.

    God help us if people of like mind should be involved in the opening ceremony next time round. And let's hope, if there are, that there's someone as witty as Tom Fordyce to tell them where to go.

    Beijing would be my suggestion.

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  • 59. At 07:57am on 09 Aug 2008, sonicheese wrote:

    I took time off work - had the HDTV set up - the 5 channel surround sound humming in readiness and sat back to be immersed in the experience of the opening event - slightly perturbed when the presenters continued talking over what was obviously the beginning of the event but turned up the volume as they stopped and the image moved to the drummers.

    No sooner had the coverage begun than the presenters started talking over the music - droning on - puerile innane comments - stating the completely obvious - talking absolute rubbish.

    By this time I was shouting "shut up - shut up" at the TV - but to no avail - then another presenter chipped in with even more irrelevant and pointless chirping, now I was swearing, the drumming spoilt by the idiotic chit chat - it went on and on - justifying their presence I expect...

    Furious I searched around trying to find ways to cut off the commentry BBCi? but gave up exasperated.

    Would Hugh Edwards talk all the way through a Proms concert? - tell us the history of the music, the composer, the composers dog, would he tell us that there was an orchestra, there that they were wearing suits, that they were playing instruments, that there was air in the hall?

    I gave up and went and dug up some potatoes - blissfully without any commentry, I 'phoned my 78 year old Mother later to find that she had been shouting "Shut up " at the TV too...

    Please provide a "Commentator kill" - sorry "commentary kill" red button for events so to prevent "TV Rage" from becoming a social menace.

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  • 60. At 08:04am on 09 Aug 2008, no monkeying about please wrote:

    The benchmark for this type of journo IMHO - is simon barnes - he at least has some class and sublety

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  • 61. At 08:07am on 09 Aug 2008, no monkeying about please wrote:


    top RH or LH on remote = MUTE

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  • 62. At 08:40am on 09 Aug 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    White lady - only problem is that that turns off the music too, and I think Sonic just wanted to rid himself of the commentary!

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  • 63. At 08:42am on 09 Aug 2008, quickquip wrote:

    There's certainly alot to criticise China for! The very idea that an upstanding communist country could invite a major imperialist war criminal like Bush to the gala opening ceremoy is unpardonable. And to top it off, that other minor imperialist war criminal Putin, too. That's enough to put a damper on the festivities. Add Hu Jintao and a representative of the British crown and you have a 'gang of four' better suited to be in the dock at The Hague than in a VIP box at a celebration of "elegance and purity". Little wonder Jacques Rogge didn't seem to be enjoying himself, not in that kind of company. What was Putin "almost smiling about anyway, the impending assault on South Ossetia? And what was Bush looking at through those binoculars, Afghans, Iraqis and Palestinians for that "enormous military helicopter" overhead to assault? And Hu, fawned over for threatenig to assault Tibet? The "assault on the senses" in the 'bird's nest' Stadium was carried on while, with "nightmarish weirdness", these much more lethal assaults in other corners of the globe were being carried out by "goose stepping soldiers" on orders of those sporting "world leaders" in the VIP box, which should leave anyone cringing. Not surprising then, that such a sordid spectacle should recall Leni Riefenstahl and all that she was associted with.

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  • 64. At 08:57am on 09 Aug 2008, Gepito wrote:

    Hi Tom

    Perhaps you could suggest to our 2012 team that they adopt a back to basics theme which would fit in with the ribbon cutting. Perhaps we could have all our props made of fuzzy felt, loo rolls and sticky-back plastic...Just think of the savings!

    The modern Olympics has always been about raising the bar and with each game we expect bigger and better performances. Not just on the track but also on the impact and grandeur of the opening ceremony.

    Most of the planet has seen this as the best opening ceremony ever and are now looking forward to hopefully the greatest games ever.

    The games have started and China has delivered on a level that London will find difficult to equal let alone surpass.

    Please stop the sour grapes. Stop the politics and lets enjoy the games

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  • 65. At 09:07am on 09 Aug 2008, ckwebbit wrote:

    yeah Let me express my bloggin view. Tom. please stand up so that you don't sit on what you think with. I'd thought about writing a thoughtful response, but then that wouldn't have been in the spirit of your work, eh?

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  • 66. At 09:14am on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Some people really merit an A+ in paranoia on this blog. I've never read so many naff comments in my life...a perfect example below...

    "Why does BBC continue this relentless hate and ridicule of all things Chnese. If I was from China I would probably detest the British on the basis of the BBC's outrageously exagerated negative reporting on China"

    Excuse me? "Outrageously exagerated (sic) negative reporting" Absolutely ridiculous language and a ridiculous post, one of many here that are, quite frankly, laughable...but not in a good way.

    If you don't like it click somewhere else and leave us Brits (and whoever else derives pleasure from it) to enjoy some British humour on a British website that British tax payers pay for, thank you very much.

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  • 67. At 09:24am on 09 Aug 2008, charlie8109 wrote:

    Blimey Tom, you put the cat amongst the pigeons there and it's only day one!

    Some of these folk obviously didn't follow the journey of the bloggernaut at the Rugby World Cup, I can't imagine how they would have reacted to Ubogu Ubogu Ubogu! (Puerile schoolboy antics subsidised by the good old British license fee... outrageous!)

    Come on people of the world, unite in appreciating "one man's view" which is what blogging is all about.

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  • 68. At 09:33am on 09 Aug 2008, crystalscorpio wrote:

    for god sake !do u have any idea how many stars are there in China's national flag..
    just clean u mouth harder next time before u eager to show ur "thinking".

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  • 69. At 09:38am on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Question for crystalscorpio....


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  • 70. At 09:40am on 09 Aug 2008, brusselsshrek wrote:

    Nice piece. I enjoyed it.

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  • 71. At 09:41am on 09 Aug 2008, twinhonnisoit wrote:

    BTW, as everyone knows, can stand for "by the way". Judging by post 65 (among many others) it could also mean "Bitter, twisted and warped"
    which is what they are.

    If only they knew!

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  • 72. At 09:43am on 09 Aug 2008, no monkeying about please wrote:

    the bloggernaut worked for me duirng the rugby worlds - just the right tone for that sport

    fraid it does NOT work here

    adopt, adapt, improve, please Tom

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  • 73. At 09:56am on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "If you don't like it click somewhere else and leave us Brits (and whoever else derives pleasure from it) to enjoy some British humour on a British website that British tax payers pay for, thank you very much."

    If you don't like it go somewhere else and leave us Chinese whoever else with a mind of less bigotry to enjoy the games.

    BTW, chances are I probably pay much more British tax than most of you ordianry Brits in here. considering how many of you moaners have never worked a decent job for one day.

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  • 74. At 10:00am on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:


    That's a pretty funny post, exactly who's being bigoted here? Who's moaning? What's a decent job? Pray tell. This is fun.

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  • 75. At 10:13am on 09 Aug 2008, crystalscorpio wrote:

    leave u alone~~~
    how long would u like to stay in ur pretty cute island??? if u can judge than anybody can~~

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  • 76. At 10:14am on 09 Aug 2008, crystalscorpio wrote:

    god know what ur media did to u guys...
    sorry for that ~~

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  • 77. At 10:32am on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "leave u alone~~~
    how long would u like to stay in ur pretty cute island??? if u can judge than anybody can~~ "

    I'll just stay as long as I'd like to and as long as I have a decent job here.

    But who knows what the UK would be like in another 4 years? More moaners, more leeches, more drunks, more teenager mums, more incompetent graduates, more cynical politicians, more bigoted commentators, more kills in Afganistan?

    Moan on and live on in your dreams as you can, play the paranoid and hysterical judge as you can!

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  • 78. At 10:43am on 09 Aug 2008, baraza wrote:

    You Britons seem to be jealous to what China has done. No need to complain to what Tom says. Please let us give the Chinese what they deserve for this historic colorful opening ceremony

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  • 79. At 11:19am on 09 Aug 2008, v_walsh wrote:

    Everyone is asking how we can beat Beijing's opening ceremony, but no one seems to be asking 'should we?'. If olympic ceremonies keep getting bigger and bigger, at some point it will become ridiculous, and unaffordable for smaller (poorer) countries.

    Of course opening ceremonies should be exciting, but how about doing something different yet no less imaginitiave? Perhaps London 2012 could lead the way.

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  • 80. At 11:26am on 09 Aug 2008, Yorhshire-Exile wrote:

    My God, there seems to be a rather large chip on the Chinese shoulder. A constant need to prove itself? Definitely no inferiority complexes going on!

    Great ceremony, nice blog, healthy freedom of speech, lots of misunderstandings, huge humour failings, cultural misconceptions, pointless political posturing and so much more.

    Great stuff...keep it going!

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  • 81. At 12:02pm on 09 Aug 2008, boblinc wrote:

    Every games appears to bring a bigger and more lavish opening ceremony. I did not watch it as I never do watch any opening ceremonies because they have nothing whatsoever to do with the Games or their meaning. Not that the OG has much meaning these days.

    I consider it morally repugnant that with millions living in poverty in China alone, that such largesse should be displayed to the world. At 2012 I would love to see the opening ceremony consist of an assembling of the competitors and a short speech by (for me it would be the Queen as head of state) anyone other than a politician,welcoming them all and declaring the games open.

    Of course, we know this won't happen because the likes of Seb Coe and his cronies have really got use to spending our money now and by then they will be unstoppable.

    Personally I am totally against us staging them, and like the war in Iraq we will spend years paying for this other sop to Tony Blairs vanity. The games have completely lost their way and purpose. It's much the case of who's athletes can find the best undetectable drugs.

    Then look at some of the so called sports. I thought that sychronised swimming was bad enough now we have beach volley ball. This is no more than a bit of fun pastime on the beach. They'll be playing French Cricket and frisby throwing next.

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  • 82. At 12:28pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    For Chinese people reading this who are wondering where all this venom is coming from, here is the answer:

    When the English start with their boring old "chip on the shoulder" insults it means something has happened that proves another country can do something better than their precious Master Race can currently manage.

    This sparks off the sort of mean-spirited sarcasm evident in these posts.
    They like to ridicule people whilst keeping the "you don't have a sense of humour" excuse in their back pocket for anyone who has the audacity to tell them where they can shove it.

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  • 83. At 12:37pm on 09 Aug 2008, garbettn wrote:

    A certain brewery don't do opening ceremonies but here is a possible script that might work for 2012.

    - Red arrows fly by
    - Red Devils parachute in Olympic rings
    - Queen declares games open.
    - Princess Anne rides in on suitable steed to light Cauldron / Flame
    - Fireworks (seem to be compulsory)
    - Get a load of kids to run on wearing different coloured shirts (also seems compulsory)
    - Teams given London bus each drive in to do a quick tour and drop off. They could decorate them with a flag or something.
    - Live concert Queen / Phil Collins / Elton John.

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  • 84. At 12:49pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #83 garbettn - now that's sarcasm that makes Tom Fordyce's look like amateur hour! Well done!

    Jaws would certainly be dropping but not for the same reason as they were at the Beijing ceremony.

    If they do go with something like this then Lord Seb will be the laughing stock of the world.

    The master-stroke in your description is saved till the very last. Elton John, indeed! LOL :-)

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  • 85. At 1:22pm on 09 Aug 2008, illustriousTRENTEND wrote:


    1. It was a spectacular show

    2. People in Britain (me included) are probably a tad jealous / envious

    3. We're all entitled to an opinion (just wish this right was enjoyed by the Chinese people and others)

    I think this blog, and the fact it has aroused so much debate, is far more important and telling than a few fireworks and fancy light show. Long may it continue.

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  • 86. At 1:23pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    Here's my vision for London 2012:

    - Spectacular stadium built in the shape of a giant crumpled newspaper containing half-eaten fish and chips.

    - A stunning synchronised prance by massed Morris dancers around a giant Maypole.

    - Mobs of hoodies rush in and give the Morris dancers a good kicking before the riot squad soak them with hundreds of power hoses.

    - Bruce Forsyth appears on the stadium roof in his classic "thinking man" pose. He tap dances across the stadium roof before passing the torch to:

    Vicky Pollard

    - Vicky gives the finger to the assembled audience of world dignitaries and moons them before drunkenly stumbling backwards into an Olympic-sized pool of alcopop.

    - There is an heart-swelling chorus of "Land of Hope and Glory" conducted by a bowler-hatted Chris Eubank from the back of an articulated lorry.

    - A single torch-carrying hoodie draped in a Union Jack rushes towards the cauldron but to everyone's amazement he dashes past it, bodyswerves three London bobbies (whose helmets fall off) and sets light to the stadium itself.

    - An ear-splitting klaxon goes off and everyone rushes for the exits.

    My eyes are welling up just thinking about it.

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  • 87. At 1:24pm on 09 Aug 2008, AllenAtlanta wrote:

    After watching video re-plays of the Chinese national anthem from the Olympics Opening Ceremony and a video of average every day Chinese families with their children in a Beijing park watching the Opening Ceremony on a big screen television and seeing them all rising proudly to sing their national anthem and then clapping and cheering afterwards (with an American reporter sitting among them who verified that it wasn't staged), I felt sad remembering Tom's BBC critique and posters' comments on this blog. Like Britiania, China has empire in its past. Yes, China has many problems today, but when you have to manage 1.5 billion people, while struggling to collectively pull the entire society out of poverty, serious problems are to be expected. But look at the photos from yesterday and the real pride and joy they showed .... and then read this blog. Has the UK become a nation of cynical old hacks? Humor? There is no humor in Tom's critique. The history of nations and empires run in cycles and the sun is rising again on China. This blog and the posted comments says much about the current state of affairs of Britiania.

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  • 88. At 1:30pm on 09 Aug 2008, NamditNodge wrote:

    Regarding the Olympic coverage of the
    Opening Ceremony, we were unable to
    see it live and watched the 1 hour
    programme from 7pm to 8pm on 8th August
    2008. We were disappointed to see only
    20 mins of the ceremony. It was so
    spectacular that I would have expected
    the whole hour to be dedicated to it.
    You, BBC, should have shown it all again in
    its entirity late at night instead of
    a repeat on one of your 4 main channels.
    Showing it on the web would be a poor
    substitute and we do not have broadband.
    I hope the producers of the coverage monitor this forum and decide to rebroadcast the amazing dramatics of the ceremony.

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  • 89. At 1:44pm on 09 Aug 2008, squawvalley wrote:

    Catching up on this blog from yesterday, because some of the comments posted were unintentionally hilarious in their own right.

    Yeah, Britain is just a shabby island, full of teenage mothers (but at least free to have as many children as they like), with incompetent graduates (but you can't turn 'round at most unis these days without bumping into somebody Chinese obviously here to get a crap degree). We do love a moan (yes, but that's a national pastime, and we don't expect to get a 3 o'clock in the morning knock on the door because of it), and sarcastic, definitely (most other nationalities don't understand the concept).

    Do we all feel we have to fawn over an occasionally inspiring opening ceremony? No, there's often more fun in peeling back the layers and pointing out the ridiculous aspects of the whole thing - it's just a 3 hour snooze-fest at most Games. My favourite of recent years was Sydney with giant flip-flops, dolphins and Kylie - just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek humour.

    Re. Beijing. It's speaks silent volumes when a nation has to try and prove its validity to membership of the real world through such overly serious largesse, and legions of participants (perhaps on the same $2 perday that the rest of the country earns) that simply couldn't be managed in London because we got rid of serfism several centuries ago (unless McDonalds sponsored the counter banging portion -I want my fries, now).

    You Chinese posters are doing your country and your reputation more harm than good with naive, misguided, or simply vicious comments. And for those who are pretending to be British and really aren't, I'm afraid your choice of vocabulary gives you away - some of the posts above are hilarious, mein Dicky, old chum, you silly old leg-before-vicket English person.

    Oh, and the guy with the 'good job' in Britain, why stick around if we're all such bloodthirsty, drunken, sprog-droppers? And I can guarantee that I earn more than you (if money really is a valid criteria for being able to comment here - it might be where you come from, but here, well, it just isn't).

    So, if you don't like it then leave it to us Brits who do. Go and post on your own national forums, we don't care what you write there - oh, I forgot, the Chinese government doesn't allow them.

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  • 90. At 2:10pm on 09 Aug 2008, happyLovelyNicole wrote:

    what's your problem? Are you blind or anomalism? Beijing Opening Ceremony is really fantastic and great!

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  • 91. At 2:18pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "we don't care what you write there..."

    Equally, who cares what you care or not?

    You think we Chinese really care what you think? Some might in the beginning but all has changed.

    Everytime I read from your media about the indignant, hypocritical, hysarical, misleading reporting on Tibet, Africa, pollution, human rights, I laugh. What can you do but moan or bury yourself in your narrow mindset?

    Britan is just such a funny little nation!

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  • 92. At 2:41pm on 09 Aug 2008, getmeadictionary wrote:


    by name and by nature...

    for a man/woman who claims not to care you really do seem to care quite a bit.

    I've hardly a narrow mindset. I have half a dozen Chinese post-grad friends here at a leading North American university, and I suppose you'll have to include them in your 'narrow mindset' but they seem rather more enlightened than the grammatically poor bile coming from you.

    I've nothing against China, and the many Chinese people I've met over the last few years have never been anything other than, courteous, kind and very pleasant company. and in several cases, very good friends.

    You're the one doing your country a disservice, and your posts are deteriorating into some kind of sub-standard Dr Who dialogue:

    "You think we really care what you think? Some might in the beginning but all has changed - Exterminate, Exterminate!"

    The Olympics is part of a global rebrand for China, an attempt to change perceptions. Sadly, you're doing more harm than good in propagating this message.

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  • 93. At 2:43pm on 09 Aug 2008, Ian W - BBC Sport wrote:


    I have a message for you all from Tom who is finding it very frustrating that due to the difficulties in accessing the blog from Beijing he is unable to take part in this conversation.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Ian W - BBC Sport in London

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  • 94. At 2:49pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "rather more enlightened than the grammatically poor bile coming from you."

    Try write in another language what you said above with half good the grammar of mine.

    Typical narrow-minded, uneducated British.

    "You're the one doing your country a disservice"

    And your country's media are doing us a great favour by condemning us in every report regardless of what it was meant to be.

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  • 95. At 2:53pm on 09 Aug 2008, asampedas wrote:

    The ceremony was spectacular, explosive, breath taking. It's their first time and which flat-earther can blame them for wanting a show? Once every four years, I want to watch a show too!

    Chinese put their heart and soul into it and the world was blown away.

    So lighten up people! a post like this shouldn't be taken so seriously. It's Tom's style and I enjoy his posts too, from time to time. Though I have to admit this dull blunt unenthusiasm works effectively like a damp thick blanket thrown into the fireworks.

    But who can blame Tom? He likes good old understated style of Olympics Opening Ceremony. Something like glastonbury or Live8 will do. If that's what London wants to show the world (look at the logo!! - clearly something out of Big Brother house! ), I will try to enjoy...

    and wait for 2016 for another show.

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  • 96. At 3:00pm on 09 Aug 2008, getmeadictionary wrote:

    from the man who doesn't care - apparently

    as for being uneducated, I teach an undergraduate class at university here in the US, normally with approximately 20% Chinese undergrad participation. And this is a university that takes the best students China sends overseas.

    I've also taught Chinese students at summer schools in Oxford and London over the last couple of years. So, if I (and we Brits) are uneducated, then perhaps you ought to inform your government, because they aren't getting value for money.

    I hope your attitude to others and appreciation of other cultures is rather better than the unfortunate image that you're putting across here. You need to let some of the anger go, my friend.

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  • 97. At 3:04pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "So lighten up people! a post like this shouldn't be taken so seriously. It's Tom's style and I enjoy his posts too, from time to time."

    I'm not particularly against what he said in this particular post.

    I would have liked it and laughed if it were not for the continuous bombardment of BBC on China in their hate propaganda.

    You know what, I believe what the BBC have been reporting on China is mostly true. Corruption, forced evictions, no freedom of speech, police state....

    In those respects, China is really a hell for anyone who gets used to the liberal life of the West, even I despise it.

    The point is, it's simply not right to link everything you report to some of those bad deeds, especially quite often not in proportion to what the report is supposed to talk about.

    I, as many other Chinese, find this extremely arrogant and uncanny, given how impartial you claim you are on journalism.

    In a word, you are very very very mean.

    Maybe that's what you have always been.

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  • 98. At 3:05pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    getmeadictionary and bitterblogger:

    In the longstanding tradition of gentlemanly English conduct, let your argument be settled on the field of play:

    Whichever blogger's country has the highest number of medals at the end of the Olympics will be deemed to have roundly paddled the rear of his opponent - thus winning the argument and having the last laugh.

    Er, getmeadictionary, I think you might want to start thinking about changing your username to "getmeastiffdrink"

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  • 99. At 3:15pm on 09 Aug 2008, squawvalley wrote:

    I'd love to know how many of these posts originate from the PRC and the Ministry for (Corrective) Information.

    It would seem that the merest hint of criticism on any of these BBC posts unleashes harpies from every corner.

    Perhaps this is part of the problem to be expected when no-one ever reads anything other than 'glorious exultation of cultural achievements of magnificent Motherland'. I guess anything other than hyperbolic admiration hurts.

    Thank goodness I live in a country where I'm allowed to complain, consider much of what goes on is pretty sh*t, despair of certain aspects of modern society, and not be bothered what foreigners think about the place.

    Not much would conspire to get me out of my armchair during a decent football match, but I'd fight for the right for anyone to express their voice, whether I like it or not. If I come across something I don't like, I don't read it and just metaphorically turn the page.

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  • 100. At 3:19pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "If I come across something I don't like, I don't read it and just metaphorically turn the page."

    That's probably why so many here are so narrow minded.

    You just can't be bothered to know they others think or do.

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  • 101. At 3:20pm on 09 Aug 2008, getmeadictionary wrote:

    Er, to the Scotsman with the chip on his shoulder, let's go for that bet between England and Scotland instead.

    I'm happy to admit that there's a good match-up there.

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  • 102. At 3:23pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "I'd love to know how many of these posts originate from the PRC and the Ministry for (Corrective) Information."

    Isn't that s a bit too narcissistic and paranoid?

    Oh, I almost forgot how powerful the West media are in brainwashing propaganda.

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  • 103. At 3:26pm on 09 Aug 2008, squawvalley wrote:


    have you got a parrot in there with you, if you have it's pretty talented

    PS you need to check what narcissistic means.

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  • 104. At 3:32pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "PS you need to check what narcissistic means."

    FYI, in Chinese, someone, who thinks himself too important to be unattended, is regarded having too much self-love, which is exactly what narcissistic means in English.

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  • 105. At 3:35pm on 09 Aug 2008, squawvalley wrote:

    yes, but it doesn't work in your sentence.

    also, check out irony, I think that's what you're attempting, but the technique is not quite there.

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  • 106. At 3:40pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #101 getmeadictionary

    Sorry, old boy, I already got my message for "chip on the shoulder" merchants in first (see #82).

    That post more than adequately addresses the diseased mindset of people like you.

    So, as in so many other ways, you are no more than a plucky but nevertheless mediocre also ran.


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  • 107. At 3:43pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #101 -getmeadictionary -

    I can do no better than recommend you to my #86 above - a scarily accurate depiction of all the wonders the English will have in store for us at the opening ceremony of London 2012.

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  • 108. At 3:46pm on 09 Aug 2008, Wraithing wrote:

    from my personal opinion ... MY ONLY... i think that china opening cememory was a success to what other had said in the previous 3years when china got the olympic game (like they cannot put it off) .... you have to agree that they did do a good show.

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  • 109. At 3:49pm on 09 Aug 2008, susanluo wrote:

    Children, just stop the nonsense - I don't think this is the place to provide grammar lessons or correct spelling.

    I think you're both doing yourself no favours.

    Great ceremony, if a little over long, and I too enjoyed the jokes in Tom's blog, it is good to show some of the sillyness. It does not stop people's enjoyment and does not make fun of the hard work done by people in Beijing.

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  • 110. At 3:58pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    Anyway, I appreciate the feedom offered on this blog.

    None of my posts would have been displayed had they been submitted to BBC HYS.

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  • 111. At 4:03pm on 09 Aug 2008, getmeadictionary wrote:

    Sorry there BigHuggyBearoo, I didn't note that your comments were so balanced, must be a chip on both shoulders. Fried Mars Bar and an impending cardiac, anyone?

    I took a stab on your nationality. It was almost certain that you had to be a bitter Scotsman, stabbed in the back by the cabal of kilted numpties who've been running (into the ground) the country for the last 10 years, that's why I've bailed out and moved where I can earn something more akin to a living wage as an academic.

    Don't think I don't know the Tories started the run-down of education, but I'm just glad I'm out of it. Your welcome to be part of the collective payment for the 2012 over-priced, over-costed fiasco to be. Anything less thanthe presence of the Sir Elton John, Sir Shirley Bassey, Sir Lulu, and Sir Jimmy Tarbuck, and hosted by Sir Sue Barker would be a disappointment

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  • 112. At 4:07pm on 09 Aug 2008, Yorhshire-Exile wrote:

    Lovely to see the Scots and the Chinese getting into a nice hug fest and laying on a bit of English bashing. I refer you back to #80 shoulder/chip, etc

    Sorry for being so mean with the sarcasm!

    You might want to get that blood pressure checked.

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  • 113. At 4:12pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #111 getmeadic -

    And dont forget - when it's rained off we have an impromptu rendition of "Congratulations" from Sir Cliff to look forward to!

    In fact, after that amazing Chinese ceremony, I think Sir Cliff is about the only thing the English can put up that even comes close!

    Yes, the sun may long have set on the Empire, but it can still be seen shining out of some of the most decorated rear ends in this green and pleasant land.

    p.s. being far away in body and mind as you cleary are, you appear unaware that there is more than a very good chance that by 2012 we won't even be part of the UK any more - so we won't be paying for anything at the London Olympics - it will be all be coming out of the pockets of your unfortunate, identity-crisis ridden countrymen!

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  • 114. At 4:24pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    # 112 Yorhshire-Exile

    Well, we wouldn't want the Chinese to get the impression we're all the same as the smug, sarcastic English tw*ts on here who can't bear to see somebody else doing something better than they can, would we?
    I refer you back to my #82 - where you got your answer to where you can put your sarcasm.

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  • 115. At 4:37pm on 09 Aug 2008, Yorhshire-Exile wrote:

    Thank you for fulfilling all of my expectations from the high wastes. If you do sail off with your long sought independence (I for one will be praying for your success) we will be able to afford the most ridiculously large games ceremony.

    You seem to read what you want to see. I thought the Chinese did a great job and hope the whole games go on to be a great success.

    I am also more than happy to see others better the English. Yourselves for example...heart disease, football violence, foul mouthing, obesity.... They thought we were good and you just raised the bar.

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  • 116. At 4:46pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #115 Football violence? you've got to be joking! Everybody knows the English have the worst football violence record on the planet.
    Of course, the reason for your countrymen's violence is easily explained given the woeful underachievement of your national team in recent years.
    I suppose we Scots will just have to settle for having the best tennis players, then.

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  • 117. At 4:48pm on 09 Aug 2008, Dr_Eyelash wrote:

    Guys guys guys.

    Remember that, four years from now, Tom (or whoever gets the blogging gig for the London opening ceremony) will be deflating any pomposity, cheesy national symbolism and beat-thy-neighbour hoopla on show there in equal measure.

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  • 118. At 4:50pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #117 Dr_Eyelash

    Tom won't have to...I have already done it for him.
    See my #86 above.

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  • 119. At 5:04pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:


    Can you provide some examples of your wildly inaccurate accusations about anti Chinese bias by the BBC? I suggest you're maybe feeling a little fevered and unbalanced yourself.

    I personally was blown away by the ceremony and appreciate that the majority of the Chinese population no doubt felt proud of their country's efforts. I also appreciate Tom's right to personal opinion and our right to read it without some wild eyed conspiracy theorist ranting nonsense in the comments section, you sound like you're on the cusp of going postal.

    On a sadder note I just read on an Australian website that a couple of American tourists were attacked by a Chinese man in Beijing, sadly one of them died. Perhaps a false story leaked by the evil BBC to tarnish the image of the games?

    In fact maybe we should all just march down to White City and burn the place down...will that help?

    We British are a very self deprecating bunch, yes we have our flaws but we're also very good at taking the P out of ourselves, we'll no doubt partake in that particularly British 'sport' when it's our turn to host the games. Now, stop you're nasty ranting please.

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  • 120. At 5:05pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Oh and BigHullabaloo, you're not doing us Scots any favours either.


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  • 121. At 5:15pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "We British are a very self deprecating bunch..."


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  • 122. At 5:17pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "...Now, stop you're nasty ranting please."

    And who exactly are you to tell others to do anything?

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  • 123. At 5:20pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #120 corry2403

    I achieved what I wanted to - to make sure any Chinese people reading this are aware that the sneering, condescending, English bs they're seeing is just par for the course whenever anyone does anything that challenges the idea that they've got a God-given right to be the "winners" at everything. I've done this all my life and am not going to stop for you or anyone else - especially not since we're now seeing the desired results.

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  • 124. At 5:23pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    I'm asking you to stop ranting because you've made a series of nasty, offensive and rather racist remarks against the people of Britain. I therefore have a right to request that you stop doing so as it is rude and ill mannered.

    Thank you.

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  • 125. At 5:26pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #124 corry2403

    "a series of nasty, offensive and rather racist remarks"

    That's no way to describe Fordyce's article.

    Er, is.

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  • 126. At 5:27pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    fair enough Hulla, if that's how you feel. I'm just stating that as a Scot my view differs from yours, just so all the English reading this are aware that we're not all full of bile towards them.

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  • 127. At 5:27pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "rather racist remarks "

    I thought British pulbic were the most disguested by their politicians' PC rubbish.

    Or maybe you are on the other side?

    I beg your pardon what exactly I said about British people are not true and can be regarded as racist remarks?

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  • 128. At 5:27pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Lol Hulla!

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  • 129. At 5:43pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Um, I think posting has been disabled?

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  • 130. At 5:43pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    You've got to admit, corry, this article just reeks of green cheese and put downs from a smug English tw*t.

    There are plenty of people here who can see that and they aren't Chinese - in fact they might well be English.

    Sick to death of this seeing EBC types looking down their noses and scoffing at other people's hard work - especially when it was clearly a breathtakingly imaginative and surprising spectacle - typical of what the Chinese can produce. I lived in a 95% Chinese dominated country for four years and I know.

    Fed up seeing the tired old lie that this mean-spirited sarcasm is in fact "England's uniquel sense of humour" and that anyone who doesn't share it is somehow unable to take it joke. It's a load of elitist bs.

    Such sneering is the weapon of choice for people who haven't got the guts to come out and openly admit how they really feel about some other country doing something better than they fear their own country could ever do.

    That's what's at the core of Fordyce's "sarcasm" - it reflects the increasingly insecure mindset of a country that knows it's sliding towards the last death throes of an unsustatinable position of privilege.

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  • 131. At 5:51pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Some Bitterisms...

    "BTW, chances are I probably pay much more British tax than most of you ordianry Brits in here. considering how many of you moaners have never worked a decent job for one day."
    "But who knows what the UK would be like in another 4 years? More moaners, more leeches, more drunks, more teenager mums, more incompetent graduates, more cynical politicians, more bigoted commentators, more kills in Afganistan?"
    "What can you do but moan or bury yourself in your narrow mindset?
    Britan is just such a funny little nation!"
    "Typical narrow-minded, uneducated British"
    "That's probably why so many here are so narrow minded."
    You just can't be bothered to know they others think or do."

    Need I say more?

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  • 132. At 5:54pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Hulla, I'm just not a fan of generalising, it's a dangerous business. We've all witnessed what you're talking about but I wouldn't attribute that mindset to an entire populace. Tom is just as likely to take the P out of the English cricket teams efforts, probably more so. For example.

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  • 133. At 5:58pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    corry2403 - there's one thing I can tell you for sure: after that spectacular show in Beijing you can be sure that the sh*t hit the fan when Sir Seb arrived at London 2012 HQ for an emergency "planning meeting" this morning.
    He's already cancelled "Elton John sings the Queen Mum's wartime favourites" and crossed off the "Middle England Extreme Morris Dancing Troupe" in a fit of blind panic as he ranted at staff: "What the hell are we supposed to do to top that???!!"

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  • 134. At 6:02pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Lol...maybe a re-enactment of The Charge of The Light Brigade, but with a happy ending ;-)

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  • 135. At 6:05pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "leeches, drunks, teenage mums, incompetent graduates, cynical politicians, bigoted commentators, kills in Afganistan, funny little nation, uneducated British"

    Leeches on your welfare system, the state sponsored culture of teenage pregancy, drunks rampaging every town centre in the nights, graduates without basic competency in literacy...

    How many of you can speak a second language? How many have you killed in Afganistan?

    Where do I get all these facts? From your own media, BBC especially.

    So where is the racist remarks?

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  • 136. At 6:05pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    ...with the last man riding, mortally wounded, dismounting his horse, crawling up the stairs to the olympic cauldron and lighting it, heroically, just as he draws his last breath. That would get the old lump in the throat going.

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  • 137. At 6:14pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    They've aleady got Sir Ian McKellan pencilled in as "Lord Cardigan" and hired 300 extras to be the army of evil Orcs.

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  • 138. At 6:15pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    So where are the examples of anti Chinese bias from the BBC that I asked you to provide earlier to support your accusations?

    I don't deny Britain has it's problems, every culture has. I already gave you the examples of racist remarks, if I was to behave towards the Chinese the way you have here towards the British I'm sure you'd be pretty outraged.

    If you want to talk about Afghanistan may I just ask, whatever happened to that bloke in front of the tanks in Tienanmen square? A true Chinese hero.

    Killed by the authorities - 2,000–3,000 (Chinese student associations and Chinese Red Cross). How many are still in prison?

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  • 139. At 6:21pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    corry - you don't have to take my word for it.

    Just watch - Sir Seb will be on the rack on the "Andrew Marr" show tomorrow morning over what he's going to come up with to top that in 2012.

    Why would they do that? Because they just can't live with the idea that another country can come up with something that makes them look like amateur hour.

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  • 140. At 6:22pm on 09 Aug 2008, Portnawak wrote:

    Have any of you actually read the article hullaballoo, bitterblogger?

    You seem to have simply latched onto this site and are now using it to spout racist, ignorant and obnoxious drivel at everyone.

    If you don't like England, keep away. It's as simple as that.

    "state sponsored culture of teenage pregnancy"

    Where on earth do you fools dig this bile up from?

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  • 141. At 6:23pm on 09 Aug 2008, AllenAtlanta wrote:

    TO: bighullabaloo

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing at your last post! Now that's humor!

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  • 142. At 6:26pm on 09 Aug 2008, AllenAtlanta wrote:

    TO: bighullabaloo

    My mistake ... not your last post, but #133. I had tears in my eyes from laughing and could not see clearly.

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  • 143. At 6:27pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Well Hulla, I'll reserve my judgment until 2012. I personally hope the ceremony will be fantastic as it will represent Britain, British sportspeople and the British populace. Like I said earlier, the ceremony yesterday was incredible and they should be justly proud, we can't realistically hope to match the resources or finances the Chinese could throw at theirs. Don't forget, the organising and design of the opening ceremony was an international effort in the true sense of the Olympics.

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  • 144. At 6:31pm on 09 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    #142 AllenAtlanta - thanks, I've been putting a lot of hours in on my stand-up material and it's nice to know it kills at least some of the people some of the time.

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  • 145. At 6:35pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "if I was to behave towards the Chinese the way you have here towards the British I'm sure you'd be pretty outraged."

    Did I ever try to defend China's track records on human rights or anything on this blog? Check again on #97.

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  • 146. At 6:42pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Bitter, #145, your response doesn't relate to the quote, kind of undermines your attempt at debating the're very good at sidestepping what you can't or won't answer.

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  • 147. At 6:45pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "state sponsored culture of teenage pregnancy"

    Just show you one of the comments given by British on BBC:

    "As my wife is a high school teacher in a poor part of this city, I know first hand that these kids who get pregnant early do not even consider getting a job. Why, when they can get all the benefits? Their parents have never worked either. No career, no worries of future, no reason not to get pregnant. As simple at that. Jan, Edinburgh, UK"

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  • 148. At 6:53pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "So where are the examples of anti Chinese bias from the BBC that I asked you to provide earlier to support your accusations?"

    Shall I list all my posts not allowed on BBC HYS?

    Shall I count for you how many of those Beijing Olympics related BBC reports without a mention of human rights or Tibet?

    If I talk to you with every sentence appended by a condemnation, what would be your reaction?

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  • 149. At 6:55pm on 09 Aug 2008, Portnawak wrote:

    Ah, you mean state benefits made available to each member of society regardless of their social status.

    You put things like that in place to help the needy, some people will always take advantage but it's hardly evil is it?

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  • 150. At 6:55pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Well, maybe if all the industry hadn't gone overseas to take advantage of cheap labour markets unburdened by health and safety regulations or unions then maybe there wouldn't be poor areas like the one described. I know, I come from one.

    If you are so horrified by British culture then it begs the question, why are you there?

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  • 151. At 6:57pm on 09 Aug 2008, Portnawak wrote:

    The BBC's blocking of your posts is hardly evidence of anti-chinese bias is it?

    Unless you are China.

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  • 152. At 7:00pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    "Shall I list all my posts not allowed on BBC HYS?"

    I can understand why your comments weren't published if the previous examples here are anything to go by.
    If China didn't have human rights issues or the stigma of Tibet then no-one would mention it, the reports are simply reflecting that there are protests about those subjects and that people have reservations about appearing to turn a blind eye to them.

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  • 153. At 7:00pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "If you are so horrified by British culture then it begs the question, why are you there?"

    You're so horrifed by Chinese human rights, then it begs the question, why are you still using anything made in China at all?

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  • 154. At 7:04pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    lol..what a daft argument, we all know EVERYTHING is "Made in China", except the rarer "Made in Taiwan" stuff, obviously.

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  • 155. At 7:05pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Once again you've ducked the question, well done.

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  • 156. At 7:06pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "Well, maybe if all the industry hadn't gone overseas to take advantage of cheap labour markets unburdened by health and safety regulations or unions then maybe there wouldn't be poor areas like the one described. I know, I come from one."

    Right, so blame the poverty on Chinese diligence rather than your own laziness.

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  • 157. At 7:09pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    God, you're a waste of a keyboard, seriously.

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  • 158. At 7:10pm on 09 Aug 2008, Portnawak wrote:

    #156 is the craziest argument I have ever read.

    What on earth has the lack of health and safety regulations and workers unions in China got to do with Chinese diligence?

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  • 159. At 7:11pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    I didn't mention China, unless 'overseas' now means China?

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  • 160. At 7:12pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "lol..what a daft argument, we all know EVERYTHING is "Made in China", except the rarer "Made in Taiwan" stuff, obviously."

    So convenient, isn't it?

    Of course there are always alternatives. But not what you can afford, right?

    So you bend your moral high grounds to have a living, but accuse me of criticising British while being here?

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  • 161. At 7:13pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    You know nothing Bitter, you think you do but you don't, that last comment has particularly angered me because it is a slur, a nasty one, I had to resort to one in turn out of frustration at your ignorance and lack of a decent argument.

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  • 162. At 7:13pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    I'm referring to comment #156 by the way

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  • 163. At 7:14pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    I'm not accusing you, you plainly have.

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  • 164. At 7:20pm on 09 Aug 2008, Portnawak wrote:

    sui generis, corry2403

    You didn't mention China but following the path of the conversation I came to my own conclusion. I did this because I felt that Bitterblogger hadn't fully understood your comment and I wanted to make it clearer as he'd made a monumental error.

    Industry has relocated itself to many countries because of the very facts you state, which can be summed up simply as 'moving to cheap labour markets', and this has nothing to do with laziness on behalf of British workers nor Chinese diligence.

    As you rightly stated, had the workers in these states been better protected socially the mass exodus of British companies would have been limited.

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  • 165. At 7:26pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Thanks Portna, I was referring to Bitter translating my "overseas" to his "China". I'd only been mildly irritated up to that point but that comment (#156) went too far.

    I appreciate your erudite and factually correct post! ;-)

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  • 166. At 7:33pm on 09 Aug 2008, Portnawak wrote:

    #156 was completely absurd.

    Either this guy is really trying to wind people up or he's totally deluded.

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  • 167. At 7:35pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "As you rightly stated, had the workers in these states been better protected socially the mass exodus of British companies would have been limited."

    Yeah so how else would you expect us to become as developed as you are?

    You had hundreds of years brutally plungering other countries with your cannons and warships to build the fundation of your capitalism. You are doing so even now in Iraq.

    Can we now simply invade others and get whatever we want without sacrificing the welfare of our own people?

    Look at how post-war Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong have achieved today's prosperity. China is simply treading they footpath.

    We have no technology, no market shares, no equipments. All we have is cheap labour and the willingness to take less holidays, less sleeps, more pollution, more illness, more dangers just to attract anything requred to develop our economy so that our children won't need to suffer what we do today.

    Difficult to understand for your Brits? We Chinese can sacrifice everything for our children, can you?

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  • 168. At 7:36pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    My father, at the age of 49, a very decent, hard working man suffered directly from the "mass exodus" of our manufacturing industry, as did millions of others in working class communities. The result was long term unemployment and the kind of social conditions that Bitter seems to enjoy pointing out. After six years of trying he finally found work again, never gave up, and Bitter refers to our "laziness".

    Makes my blood boil.

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  • 169. At 7:48pm on 09 Aug 2008, Portnawak wrote:

    So China is building itself as a nation in order to have a better future for its children.

    I can't really criticise that ambition, but do the ends really justify the means?

    Does the sole route to prosperity really trample all over human rights? Is China really forced, for example, to aid the Sudanese in Darfour?

    And if we let China continue without criticism are we to rely on the governing bodies to suddenly introduce and enforce human rights legislation at a later date?

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  • 170. At 7:50pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Lol..."brutally plungering other countries" great mental image that one, works on so many levels ;-)

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  • 171. At 7:52pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:


    My appologies if that post offended you. I guess it's just I have heard too much ranting on your so called health and safety regulations or unions in China, and didn't have too much thought before commenting.

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  • 172. At 7:57pm on 09 Aug 2008, mrireland wrote:

    Perhaps I am out of touch after being involved for 48 yrs with games, but these opening ceremonies are a mystery to me.

    Granted Los Angelos with those grand pianos Gershwyns Rhapsody in Blue was a bit much but all those geometric conundrums at these games make no real sense in an Olympic setting,

    More like an LSD overdose prescribed by Prof Timothy O'Leary.

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  • 173. At 7:59pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    I accept your apology Bitter but maybe you should consider your words carefully before posting.

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  • 174. At 8:52pm on 09 Aug 2008, amethystlilly wrote:

    YES. spectacular, explosive ,unforgettable.

    Well, I suppose, the opening ceremony is very important because that it will express the Chinese kulture and history to all of us who are strange to China, their wonders.

    That is the meaning for the Olymipcs, opening a way between us, smiling, that is a spellbinding appeal of Sport, people around world can walk heartbeat by heartbeat, hand by hand, smiling to each other, forgeting the war and so on.

    "You had hundreds of years brutally plungering other countries with your cannons and warships to build the fundation of your capitalism. You are doing so even now in Iraq."

    England polluted air for years ago. Why should China take the whole blame? When USA tried to deliver battle by the name of Oil, now, it was all over , but shall we not take more care about people who are still living in hunger, who can just let the Other country decide what kind of country their own country will look like.

    Politics in China may have not the same system as we have, but most of the Chinese, they are pound of their own country, they are trying to improve themselve, and their country. We turely need to support them and believe them, but what we have done yet?

    Acrid, discriminational, unkind

    Why can't we just be kind to others? I believe if we do that, the whole world will be a real big family without querimony and indignation.

    Like the Chinese said ONE WORLD, ONE DREAM.

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  • 175. At 8:57pm on 09 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    amethystlilly, hope you don't mind me asking but where are you from?

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  • 176. At 9:00pm on 09 Aug 2008, willy-ylliw wrote:

    Some people take things too seriously and very often approach them from the wrong angle. I've read Tom Fordyce's (and Ben Dirs etc) blogs for ages and thoroughly enjoy them all. Rugby World Cup, Wimbledon, various football tourneys.

    This is because I share the same sense of humour and (most) opinions as Tom. The same goes for the people I call my friends. My point being that we are all different and that some things affect or appeal to us in different ways and we tend to associate with people that react in the same way. If you don't share the same views as Tom or any of the other bloggers, don't complain about it. Find one you like and enjoy it. He is using freedom of speech, something which is sadly losing it's place in the modern world.

    Sarah Brightman's chops were definitely moon shaped!!

    Great job, Tom. Keep them coming.

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  • 177. At 9:08pm on 09 Aug 2008, twinhonnisoit wrote:

    It's interesting to learn that Tom Fordyce is having difficulty accessing this site. Perhaps Bitterblogger can enlighten us on the subject, ie apparent censorship.In the meanwhile, his own access, albeit a tad overused, is starting to assume the proportions of, shall we say, a certain opening ceremony in a rather closed country.

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  • 178. At 9:12pm on 09 Aug 2008, twinhonnisoit wrote:

    Just a word on the sad case of bighullaballo, that egregious member of the Caledonian lunatic fringe. Why doesn't he follow the King of Spain's excellent "advice" to Hugo Chavez and just shut up.

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  • 179. At 10:01pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "Perhaps Bitterblogger can enlighten us on the subject, ie apparent censorship"

    It's really laughable to read comments like this.

    You just can't help automatically assuming that anyone who doesn't like your ways has to be a supporter of whatever the Chinese government does.

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  • 180. At 10:02pm on 09 Aug 2008, guucancat wrote:

    it's a pity that you missed the most brilliant part of the opening ceremony.You just felt weird ,gooood....The first part of ceremony was totally introducing Chinese culture, but you didn't mention it at all, I guess you know nothing about eastern culture so you skip it? ... you are so focused on politics is it because of the lack of your knowlegde...the comment you have done is nothing new, come on...give us more fresh things!!not just repeat the politicians who have already done in go to China with your own cage.

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  • 181. At 10:06pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "If you don't share the same views as Tom or any of the other bloggers, don't complain about it. Find one you like and enjoy it. He is using freedom of speech...".

    In other words, we should just all shut up (to your disapointment, we won't) and let you QUIETLY enjoy your exclusive freedom of speech here.

    How ironic, the same bunch just can't bear us having the same luxury of quietly enjoying a sports event.

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  • 182. At 10:44pm on 09 Aug 2008, ToranDell wrote:

    I have to say that I enjoyed watching the opening ceremony and I understand, as others have mentioned, that this is China wanting to make a statement to the world. I think we must understand and respect that whilst at the same time not compromising our values. For those that think this is just sport and not a political event - well, I think you are wrong. But let us remember that the sporting event is short lived and the political stuff goes on. Have all those people who are now being critical of the political issues been saying that before the Olympics? Or will they continue after? I wonder. Despite that though, I think we should congratulate China on what they have achieved so far and work with them to help improve things for their country and all of us for the future.

    Like others, I also feel uncomfortable about some of the "conflicting messages" (e.g. being environmentally friendly when pollution is high in China and talking about one world when human rights should be much better in China). However, as other people have said, I am not sure that we in the UK (and the Western world) can always hold our heads up as being without fault. And whilst, in a world and in a country (China) where there a lot of poverty, spending the millions of pounds that have been spent is also something I have problems with, I also think it would be a sad world if we did not have events like the Olympics or spectacular opening ceremonies like we saw yesterday.

    As for the comments made by Tom, I doubt whether they are made with any sense of jealousy. They could well have been made a bit "tongue in cheek". However, I must admit that I found them a little too negative. Too much of journalism and reporting these days is about finding fault rather than celebrating the positives. I feel this is becoming too much a feature of British culture and one that I hope will not cloud our preparations for the 2012 Olympics. I want those to also be spectacular and perhaps help to restore a bit of British pride and positivity. They don't need to compete with China or anyone else. They just need to celebrate the good things about Britain. Perhaps Tom and all of us could help do our bit to achieve that.

    PS. And, yes, I am a UK citizen and BBC license payer!

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  • 183. At 10:58pm on 09 Aug 2008, Vaughan_the_Prawn wrote:

    bitterblogger, I've read your posts here and on other blogs (actually anywhere where China isn't given 100% praise and congratulation) and wanted to say I find them disappointing.

    I've been to China many times, have a great respect for the Chinese people (the ordinary people not necessarily the ruling class) and have always found them to be friendly, intelligent and polite. I'm fortunate to count several Chinese amongst my friends.

    I too found Tom's comments overly negative, but that's the point of any 'free' media, you get a range of opinions and disagree with many of them. For example, I have to avoid reading the Guardian as it makes me angry! But I don't think your disagreement with Tom's comments deserve your insults towards ALL British people, they have gone too far, particularly from someone who apparently lives here. As you can see we're quite good at slagging ourselves off without any help.

    I'm now actually hoping you're just a CCCP govt stooge in an office somewhere, because I find your comments are starting to affect my perception of Chinese people, and I'm concerned that others on here will also think that all Chinese people are this bitter and oversensitive.

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  • 184. At 11:17pm on 09 Aug 2008, villadarte wrote:

    One World - One Dream was the main theme.

    But I feel sorry that another important message during the opening ceremony was not presented clearly enough to all man kind.

    It was HARMONY, which was the Chinese character repeatedly presented during the scene of Printing invention. Harmony is simply the core value of Chinese culture for thousand of years. It also means PEACE, COOPERATIVE, BONDING, BALANCE, EQUAL.

    The PEACE message was somehow repeated during the scene of pigeon of peace, which can be understood apparently, in a Westernize fashion. But it lost the deep cultural touch of Chinese core value.

    HARMONY was the only character being chosen in the presentation (except the countdown) and it was a pity that it can only be understood by those who can read Chinese.

    I can understand British sense of humor and it is just an example of cultural difference we all shall learn to accept. But consistent bias is not going to lead us closer towards harmonic world after all.

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  • 185. At 11:27pm on 09 Aug 2008, Michael32bc wrote:

    This post and the responses are amusing to say the least. The British cynicism is very obvious. As is the Chinese sensitivity and almost funny innocence of the public which is confused about why people would protest against them (censorship at it's finest.)

    I enjoyed this magical display of Chinese history and culture. It was an awesome show and I appreciate immensely how much the Chinese are going out of their way to make sure the games are enjoyable. They have come a long way recently, after having their individuality crushed by the cultural revolution not so long ago.

    I also appreciate their patriotism/nationalism. People get on our behinds all the time about being so nationalistic/patriotic. It's a youthful spirit that may not always seem appropriate but it's much more enjoyable. The British are too cynical at times.

    Michael, Charleston, USA

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  • 186. At 11:31pm on 09 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "...actually anywhere where China isn't given 100% praise and congratulation"

    Where is the proof of this wild accusation?

    "...insults towards ALL British people... because I find your comments are starting to affect my perception of Chinese people"

    Time and again. Tell me exactly what I said here about British is not true?

    If telling truth affects your perception of Chinese people, I really can't help.

    In terms of "oversensitive", try poking a bull one thousand times before giving him a pat.

    You just can't see how your media abuse the power of their propaganda machine, can you?

    You British have now and then debates of your own on how your media can mislead the public opinions, just think of all those phone-in scandals, which even Children-in-need can't be exempt from.

    Yet when it comes to China, you'll just agree whatever your media do.

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  • 187. At 00:01am on 10 Aug 2008, Vaughan_the_Prawn wrote:

    bitterblogger, I don't want to get into a personal slanging match with you here, it looks as though you have a few of those on the go already!

    I think there is a common cultural difference here which we're all going to have to get used to. In the West, as you no doubt know, we don't view ourselves as one with our government, and spend a great deal of time criticising our own govts, not least over Iraq and the other things you've mentioned! At least we can. But China is different and many Chinese seem to view any criticism of their govt's policies as criticism of all Chinese people, despite the fact that many of us (as you can see from comments above) have a generally favourable view of the Chinese people. I guess both sides have something to learn.

    Because I disagree with China's policies in Africa, which I have seen firsthand, I may pass a comment on a blog like this, but I would never attack the personal characteristics of all Chinese people as you have done with the British (we're not actually all overweight pregnant teenage binge-drinkers). Quite hard to take from someone like you who lives here, but mostly true, I agree. But now picture any of us saying something similar about you Chinese - I can picture the reaction already.

    And no, I don't completely trust our media, so I read as widely as possible (including Chinese media). I hope someday all your countrymen have the same right.

    China is a superpower now, as befitting its size, well done. But with that comes more scrutiny and criticism. Look at the stuff Americans have to put up with since they became the world's dominant power, even if they individually have nothing to do with Iraq or Guantanamo. Even here in insignificant little Britain we get criticised about the old days of 'Empire', etc.

    We have much to learn about China, but you also have much to learn about how the rest of the world has developed and why some things (such as press freedom, democracy, etc) mean so much to us. Best wishes.

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  • 188. At 00:24am on 10 Aug 2008, bighullabaloo wrote:

    # 178 twinhonnisoit -

    "Just a word on the sad case of bighullaballo, that egregious member of the Caledonian lunatic fringe. Why doesn't he follow the King of Spain's excellent 'advice' to Hugo Chavez and just shut up."

    Because I couldn't possibly disappoint my fans like AllenAtlanta (see #141 and #142) and corry2403 (see #128) who unlike you don't suffer from that terrible English afflication of liking to give it out but not being able to take it!


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  • 189. At 01:20am on 10 Aug 2008, asampedas wrote:

    One question Tom,

    Why did you delete comment #2 from Kosowski ?

    I read his comment yesterday before you took it down and don't remember it being abusive in any way. If I remember correctly, it went to remind you (I quote, incase this is your first time) opening ceremonies ARE grandeur, as with Australia's and Greece's, and more about introducing their countries and showcasing their cultures to the world. The sports part comes later.

    I am fine with your writing style . BUT deleting his comment does NOT really sit right with me. If the comment was abusive/offensive, I can understand you took it down. But it was sarcastic (like yours) more than anything.

    Shouting about freedom of speech and oppression eh?

    hypocrisy at its height

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  • 190. At 01:31am on 10 Aug 2008, piechucker31 wrote:


    Post #93:


    I have a message for you all from Tom who is finding it very frustrating that due to the difficulties in accessing the blog from Beijing he is unable to take part in this conversation.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Ian W - BBC Sport in London"

    Just putting this up to point out that whoever at the BBC did edit post #2, it probably wasn't Tom.

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  • 191. At 01:34am on 10 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    Just saved a copy of this page in case of a post carnage.

    With hindsight, it might have been a bless for many who have posted here that the author hadn't been able to access this blog.

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  • 192. At 01:47am on 10 Aug 2008, piechucker31 wrote:

    I dunno bb, judging by his cricket and rugby blogs which I have usually enjoyed I reckon he would be quite entertained and happy to join in the "banter".

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  • 193. At 02:10am on 10 Aug 2008, Saffavescent wrote:

    Bitterblogger, don't you owe yourself a rest now? Must be 10am in Beijing now, that's quite a session you've put in. Respect.

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  • 194. At 02:57am on 10 Aug 2008, U12948734 wrote:

    "The assault on the senses was such that you were swept you along relentlessly, even when the logical part of your brain was cringing at the goose-stepping soldiers holding the Olympic flag,..."

    I guess that was just a case of the Chinese wanting to include what was important to them despite the funny impression it might give to foreigners. Hopefully the Brits will be equally uninhibited in 2012 and include the UK equivalent: rampaging, knife-wielding hoodies acting out the kickings, stabbings and drunken abuse that UK city centers are so famous for.

    "...the world's leaders fawning over Chinese president Hu Jintao..."

    Yes, that must have been greatly offensive to a Brit's sensibilities. If only they could show some class like that former prime minister of yours and restrict their fawning to foreign leaders who really deserve it like Bush.

    "...and the enormous military helicopter that circled overhead for the entire four hours."

    Oh the wastefulness of it! Think of how many civilian marketplaces it could have ravaged with its missiles if only it had been deployed more appropriately in a foreign country.

    "This was chest-beating on an epic scale."

    Well yes, of course it was. On the other hand, when the Australians went all out to impress the world with a spectacular show in 2000 they're just good Aussie blokes. We must always remember to characterize the same thing in different ways when it is different countries that are doing it. Good job we have people like you to do that for us Tom! You certainly are a gem in the BBC's crown.

    "Forget the pollution and the human rights issues, seemed to be the message - let's have some pretty fireworks instead."

    Aha, so it was all just a devious ploy to distract us from all their evil-doing. Well spotted Tom! It was naive of them to think it would work though; the Brits and their allies are particularly sensitive to any kinds of injustice, being the lilly-white angels that they are.

    "Then, just when the mind was at its weakest, Sarah Brightman floated into view with a moon-faced grin spread across her chops."

    Oh my, how you suffered Tom. You Brits have such delicate sensibilities regarding good taste, are you sure it was wise to put yourself in a situation with so much potential for distress? Better you stay safely at home in future.

    If it is any consolation, Tom, your present distress will be more than matched by Chinese visitors to the London Olympics. They have this peculiar fixation with harmony, especially harmonious relations between people, and that's not exactly what they are likely to encounter from the charming youths hanging out on London's streets. (Pollution of a different kind.)

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  • 195. At 04:53am on 10 Aug 2008, Saffavescent wrote:

    These posts from the likes of "Fyodor" and bitterblogger seem unnecessarily unpleasant and are clearly the product of rather large chips on shoulders. I also thought Tom's tone was a bit negative, but hey he's a blogger and has an opinion. If you want unadulterated praise try Xinhua. Most of the UK press seem to have been full of praise, if that's what you really want.

    I'm not British (but have lived there recently), but I think hurling all these personal insults at the British because a blogger dared to pass a few sarcastic comments is a bit over the top. So in 2012 if a Chinese blogger says the opening ceremony was ok, but the place is a bit dirty and the dancing could have been better... will the British flock to Chinese websites to list all the things they don't like about the Chinese and Chinese culture? Or insulting their weight and social problems like you have here? Well I hope not.

    So why sink to this level now? Are you really this insecure? Let's just enjoy the games, and hopefully disagree with bloggers without resorting to this stuff.

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  • 196. At 05:16am on 10 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    Given the rudeness of the comments from some of our Chinese friends on here I have to say I'm very impressed by the level of restraint shown by the Brits thus far. The likes of Fyodor and Bitter may have lowered the bar to the level of out and out insults but it's good to see we haven't taken the bait, well done people :-)

    On the otherhand, if I were Chinese then I think I'd be rather embarrased by their debating 'skills'.

    For example, there's more holes in the logic of the following quote than you can shake a tagger's fat marker pen at...

    Fyodor on the Chinese tourists who may head to London in 2012...

    "They have this peculiar fixation with harmony, especially harmonious relations between people, and that's not exactly what they are likely to encounter from the charming youths hanging out on London's streets. (Pollution of a different kind.)"

    Righty-ho then, and you wonder why media commentators continue to refer to the various issues (human rights, supression of dissent, Tibet) in China? It's because people like you are clearly happy to sweep 'em under the carpet and roll out such drivel, and you accuse the BBC of having an agenda? Laughable.

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  • 197. At 08:31am on 10 Aug 2008, amethystlilly wrote:

    #175 Sweden

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  • 198. At 09:27am on 10 Aug 2008, corry2403 wrote:

    #197 - Were you born there?

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  • 199. At 11:05am on 10 Aug 2008, shinejuan wrote:

    take it easy .. it is only a game.
    eveyone has his/her opinion as long as you long as you dont insult others, there is no point blaming or something..

    im chinese, i cant really agree with someone who said that" the government employed ppl to comment, there is really no point doing that, . maybe they were just angry so they said something..

    about the ceremony i want to say if there were another chance we would improve however there werent..
    again take it easy

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  • 200. At 11:07am on 10 Aug 2008, shinejuan wrote:

    sorry i had some language mistakes in my comment
    as long as you long as should be as long as.. stupid me..

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  • 201. At 11:12am on 10 Aug 2008, fishlovecrystal wrote:

    hey, The best way to grap attentions is to say negative things about positive stuff. You acheived it. way to go!

    Of course it's your right to have your opinion about the opening ceremony.

    I only want to say you would be so proud and impressed if you understand the Chinese culture background and how much effort these people put into the opening.

    I do not mind your opinion, I understand where you come from but I am also very proud of China.

    Yes I am a Chinese, but I am not hired by Chinese govement to say good things about them and I am not brain washed by them either.

    It's a shame that Beijing is doing everything to please you and your group. Well, I hope they can be relax and understand they can not please everyone anyway. They got their job done very well.

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  • 202. At 11:16am on 10 Aug 2008, Dr_Grammar wrote:

    shinejuan, no need to apologise at all, it's good to see a rational response to this debate.

    If you read most of the comments and UK press you'll notice that most people think the opening ceremony was by far the best ever and will be almost impossible to improve on. Unfortunately Tom's rather sarcastic take on it seems to have generated a lot of anger and some rather unnecessary insults - perhaps everyone can calm down now and not take things so personally.

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  • 203. At 1:02pm on 10 Aug 2008, U12948734 wrote:

    "I also thought Tom's tone was a bit negative, but hey he's a blogger and has an opinion"

    Hey, I'm a commenter and have an opinion on what the blogger wrote!

    "I think hurling all these personal insults at the British because a blogger dared to pass a few sarcastic comments is a bit over the top"

    Come on, that's too funny. I simply made a few sarcastic comments in response to those of the blogger. If his were harmless fun then so were mine. Maybe mine raised him a little in the insult stakes, but if he can dish it out no doubt he can take it as well, no need for people to be getting so worked up about it.

    Equally funny is the assumption that I must be a brainwashed mouthpiece of the PRC government with a huge chip on his shoulder... I'm a Westerner, a UK citizen in fact (although fortunately I never had to live there ;-) No connection to the PRC, they aren't paying me a penny for this propagandizing on their behalf. Maybe I should ask them?

    I do think though that there is generally a fair bit of hypocrisy, double standards, and somewhat xenophobic negativity in the West's attitude to China. (E.g., the assumption that most Chinese don't like or support their government, or wouldn't if they hadn't been totally brainwashed. Westerners find that so easy to believe, it fits so neatly with their ideas of what China is about these days.)

    (For some reason the mods didn't like my name "Fyodor U**off" so that's why it's changed.)

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  • 204. At 2:57pm on 10 Aug 2008, AllenAtlanta wrote:

    RE: #188 bighullabaloo

    Thank you bighullabaloo and yes, you can count me as one of your fans!

    Checking back in on this blog on an early Sunday morning, I can not believe this discussion is still on-going. The entire world, except for Tom, the BBC and some of the posters on this blog, seem to agree that the Beijing Opening Ceremony was beautiful, spectacular, awesome and the most incredible staged by any Olympics host city and country of the modern era.

    Yes, the tremendous economic growth in China over the past 20 years have come at an ecological price and yes China still has social/governmental reforms to make as it shifts to capital socialism and a more open society, but for a nation of 1.5 billion people to accomplish what the Chinese have done in such an incredibly short period of time is mind boggling!

    The Chinese staged a fantastic openig show to what is now unfolding day by day as well planned and well managed games of the 29th Olympiad.

    Congratulations to Beijing and China!

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  • 205. At 4:15pm on 10 Aug 2008, no monkeying about please wrote:

    apologies to our chinese posters from all reasonble posters in the UK

    you have clearly been provoked

    so far games are about 7 out of 10. smog and pollution is applalling

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  • 206. At 10:09am on 11 Aug 2008, kor-andy wrote:

    I though that the opening ceremony was defitely the most impressive ever but I expected nothing less. China is the biggest country ever to organise Olympic games and they've got the money to do that.Plus they the have a very rich history and culture which they presented beautifuly. However, although I really enjoyed it I thought that that the Athens opening ceremony was (even simpler) more emotional and classier. I remember the simplicity which was effective, the emotion and the symbolism. Which means that more isn't always necessarily better.

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  • 207. At 2:18pm on 11 Aug 2008, beijing_ren wrote:

    Well said #201. I totally agree.

    The vast amount of cynicism throughout this peice of writing indeed only reflects the personal thoughts of one man. And in our civilized, fair, democratic society, we accept and applaud. However, his sarcastic tone really is hurtful to see, as I know of the amount of love and dedication so many ordinary people had poured into the Olympics. You can't please everyone. Oh well. Lets see how the gorgeous Gordon Brown will lead London into the Olympics.

    More than anything mentioned in Tom's peice, Chinese atheletes are showing the world what they are made of in action. I think 1.4 billion of people will get the last laugh.

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  • 208. At 7:09pm on 11 Aug 2008, jj0914 wrote:

    first of all, BBC is well known as biased broadcasting and lier, that's why they hire some one like Tom Fordyce write some trash.

    second of all, I have no doubt that 2010 London summer olympic game opening ceremony can't top beijing's. Because you guys spend more time to criticize other instead of put your head down to mind your own business.

    third of all, speaking of sensory of media, why did BBC remove some of the comments, because of the bad language, or something BBC doesn't want others to read.

    Now China is much much better than before, if china sensor the media, do you think the world can see the Tibet riot, can monks talk to media and express their motion?

    Tom Fordyce you really should go back to school and study other's history and modern technologies, I bet you don't even know the terms for the technologies chinese people used in the Beijing opening ceremony.

    it's shame on you that you even wrote the article based on the lack of knowledge you have. if I was you, I wouldn't even want to post my picture there, such a big SHAME!!!!!

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  • 209. At 9:40pm on 11 Aug 2008, bitterblogger wrote:

    "first of all, BBC is well known as biased broadcasting and lier"

    BBC may be biased and at times misleading, but they don't lie.

    "second of all, I have no doubt that 2010 London summer olympic game opening ceremony can't top beijing's."

    Why should they want to? British don't need an opening ceremony to show how developed and advanced they are. Everybody knows they are.

    "Now China is much much better than before, if china sensor the media, do you think the world can see the Tibet riot, can monks talk to media and express their motion?"

    It's embarassing to read this as a Chinese.

    "Tom Fordyce you really should go back to school and study other's history and modern technologies, I bet you don't even know the terms for the technologies chinese people used in the Beijing opening ceremony."


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  • 210. At 11:14pm on 11 Aug 2008, zz_forever wrote:

    The opening ceremony is the best live performance I've ever seen. In a world of imperfection, for a short moment, the ceremony was and is perfect. The ceremony was a big celebration of Chinese history from past to present. And what's wrong with that? For a country who shut the down to the world for so long, it is such a welcoming message. Was it over the top? Yes. Was it great? Absolutely. It was China's moment in the sun, just let it be. Don't be over critical.

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  • 211. At 10:52am on 12 Aug 2008, sandcastlejim wrote:

    how come anyone who disagrees with one of these column-writers has their blog removed under "house rules". joke

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  • 212. At 11:33am on 12 Aug 2008, westmeadboy wrote:

    sandcastlejim - Great point there. Of the first 211 comments, 3 were removed which leaves 208 comments agreeing with Tom's opinion.

    Have you actually read the comments?

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  • 213. At 12:33pm on 12 Aug 2008, phil wrote:

    "Stop biased reporting, Tom. I do wonder why BBC always biases on every positive thing on China, but only focuses on politics or polutions whatever. This is Olympic, it has nothing to do with politics, it's only about competition...

    Tom, let me ask you what will you expect on London Olympic opening ceremony in 2012? What will you British show us? Fish and chips? Or drunk and pregnant teenagers killing each other? That is what 'London's culture' is about. "

    and i thought it had nothing to do with politics...

    if i was defending china i would probably try to stay away from the subject of media bias tbh

    however, i do agree with some of what has been said. i mean, what exactly are we going to include in our opening ceremony?

    we can hardly celebrate our history without offending someone (something which the government is petrified of doing nowadays) as our moments of patriotic pride or greatness involve our empire (colonialism, boooo) or the world wars (germany, booo)

    besides, if we were to spend lots of money on an opening ceremony we would probably end up spouting the rubbish we see on these blogs almost daily ("waste of license payers money" seems to spring to mind)

    except it would be tax, not license fee


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  • 214. At 9:33pm on 12 Aug 2008, Michaelbanks2002 wrote:

    It's always amusing to see that one wants to shut down another's opinions in the name of defending the freedom of speech of the thrid person.

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  • 215. At 3:54pm on 14 Aug 2008, missingalink wrote:

    Opening ceremony parade protest avoidance: Disorganised protesters would find it hard to make themselves noticed in the gigantic extravaganza of the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing. But a viral 'Ti-Bet! Ti-Bet!" chant could have engulfed the stadium audience had there been a particular instant when Tibet was in people's thoughts. With an alphabetical parade of countries this moment would have happened: if Thailand were followed by Timor Leste (as it would have under the parade format of all past olympics), Tibet's absence in the world's rollcall of nations could have sparked a moment of free expression utterly beyond the control of the ceremony's stage-managers. This would have been extremely unwelcome to the host nation, which makes me wonder whether the unprecedented step of parading national teams in a to-me-opaque non-alphabetical order wasn't a deliberate strategy to avoid having a 'spark moment'. I know that if I were the Chinese government and seeking to squash unauthorised politics from their showcase event, I would have chosen exactly this strategy.

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  • 216. At 09:39am on 15 Aug 2008, howfunnyitis wrote:

    Hey guys, Briton (oh Great B**n ;-) is a free country, some people like Tom or whatever has his right to speak what she (actually this country too many gays you can call she anyway) wants. Let Tom her go ... don't bother her crying over someting hurting inside her.

    How do you wish a country full of gays and there is no man in this land that they have to be led by such an old woman (that one likes to put bird fur on hat so funny )... let's see what they do for year 1013 opening ceremony?
    Cannot help to laugh ;-)

    What Chinese should remember is : never let the opium war happened again!

    Another piece of world : we go our road and let dog bark!

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  • 217. At 04:32am on 17 Aug 2008, XiaoYin wrote:

    This is what I have to say:

    1. Great opening ceremony! With or without the grand ceremony, the achievements and progress made by China is evident. I am very proud my motherland. Go China! You have come a long way! Long long way to go yet. But the journey has started again. Never underestimate the obstacles on the way. But with determination, courage, intelligence of the people, you will get there. Don't forget tolerance, compassion and humility too. Go China! Go!

    2. Funny blog Tom, at least to some.

    3. Yes the western perception of China is NOT balanced. The reporting in general is NOT without prejudice. This demonstrates it is EVEN MORE important for China to keep its door open to the outside world. So we can get to know each other more. For instance, we will understand their sense of humor more. I am not naive enough to think that the western media will be entirely fair and well balanced anytime soon. But I do have faith in humanity. OK sometimes it is hard, especially when the western shinny models repeated demonstrate their superior democracy with guns and missiles, and at the same time preaching others about human rights. But hopefully human race with eventually learn to live together peacefully, and enjoy the diver cultures before too many get lost.

    4. BiggerBlogger and friends, I am embarrassed by your behavior. I understand the hurt you do feel by the media bias. But what you are doing is what I saw in the Cultural Revolution. You are not doing the Chinese any service. So please don't forget the Chinese teaching, loudness is not an indication of one's righteousness. You have made your views heard clearly already. No need to shout and throw tantrums. Democracy gives one rights to speak and also demands the ability to listen.

    5. Thanks for listening. My second blog ever.

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  • 218. At 04:44am on 17 Aug 2008, XiaoYin wrote:

    Sorry all about the typos. Will try to do better next time :)

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