Olympian Eudemon

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Random thoughts while watching the open ceremonies Friday night:

How many times will I have to see a Mao poster? (Maybe not many: “there were no references to Chairman Mao and the class struggle”).

As long as they celebrate Mao, I’ll know China can’t be trusted.

Fifteen thousand slaves performers put on the show.

NBC announcers couldn’t have hyperventilated much more than they did last night. If they keep this up for the entire seventeen days, they’ll need paperbags over their mouths.

But I like Bob Costas. He has always struck me as a genuinely decent guy.

Actual quote: “You’re looking at the footsteps of history, quite literally, coming from Beijing.” Sorry, but any time you use a physical thing (footstep) to articulate a non-physical thing (history), you’re in the arena of metaphor.

Rough quote: “The opening ceremony will show many aspects of China’s three philosophical traditions: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.” What about dialectical materialism?

China has fifty-six ethnic groups. I couldn’t tell ’em apart.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the Chinese national anthem.” Please? I’m sure lots of Chinese in the audience felt comfortable excusing themselves for the bathroom during the song.

Is there an opium-smoking event this year?

Ancient Chinese music sucks. I felt like I was in an LSD-influenced horror movie.

NBC was merciless with the advertising. Holy smokes. They were breaking every seven minutes or so.

The huge video “scrim” (I think that’s what they called it) all around the top of the stadium was cool.

The Chinese Liberace was funny (piano player in one-piece shiny white suit). With China’s one-child policy and resulting gender imbalance, I bet he’s Mr. Popular in the locker rooms.

Commonly heard in Chinese locker rooms these days:
“You like the Yin and the Yank?”
“Nice tao.”
“Let’s Mao.”
“Be my comrade?”

A fact mentioned by Costas and immediately recalled from my childhood: The Chinese invited the kite.

When my wife walked out of the room, I flipped the channel to a World Wrestling Federation pre-fight build-up. I yelled, “It’s back on!” She came in and watched for about thirty seconds before realizing it wasn’t the opening ceremony.


  1. Eric
  2. TSO