The Olympic torch relay has already been disrupted in two countries, first by Reporters Without Borders in Greece and now by assorted Tibetan-rights protesters in London. I also saw a big group of protesters chanting outside the Chinese embassy on Saturday. This news is the hotness.
My uncle worked as a major planner on two Olympic torch relays, so I feel for his counterpart in this Olympics who must be flipping out right now. But this choreographed parade of Olympic-torch happiness is just like the 2008 Olympic organizing effort itself: a papering over of serious issues that directly contradict the Olympic brotherhood-of-mannish spirit. As a result, I think it’s great to see these real problems brought to the forefront at the same time that China and the world that’s participating in its Games are going with the “We love everything!” theme.
I worked at the 2002 Olympics, and I think the Olympics are great, but being there you really get a sense of just how over-the-top the whole thing can become. There’s an amazing amount of money flying around; it’s good that this is used to celebrate humanity coming together, but it’s a bummer that none of it is used to recognize the challenges we need to fix. If protests have to get this into people’s headz, then bring it.