Olympic Readings

For those keeping up on coverage of the Olympics and China, the new issue of Foreign Policy has a piece by John Hoberman, professor of German Studies at UT-Austin. In FP’s regular “Think Again” feature (which seeks to challenge conventional wisdom), Hoberman argues that the Olympics are political, are not intended to promote human rights, are not (necessarily) a catalyst for change, don’t generate a lot of revenue for the host or sponsors, are not the most controversial Games ever, and that the IOC is even more corrupt than already reported. In an additional piece, “Prime Numbers: Rings of Gold,” Brad Humphreys presents data to show that it isn’t the host countries that are making big money on the Games, but rather sponsors and the IOC itself.

In her regular Olympics FAQs for us at China Beat, Susan Brownell has already debunked or complicated several of these ideas (check out all our Beijing Olympics coverage here). If you’d like to get a second peek at Brownell’s Olympic writing, she has revamped several of her China Beat posts for Japan Focus and The Huffington Post.

If you are having trouble tracking all the Olympic rules, the Wall Street Journal China Blog has put together a primer, including links to the 128-page list (in Chinese) of guidelines for Olympic spectators (just in case those of you making the trip to Beijing needed a little light plane reading). Danwei features a story today on Olympics security (and it’s worth taking a look if only for the picture of the Segway assault squad). CDT has an interview with Chinese journalists about the Olympic Games, Beijing pollution continues to be a central story (such as in yesterday’s report on Marketplace and at Time), and various bloggers, from CLB to Sinosplice, have been detailing the visa crackdown.

In physical fitness-related news, Rebecca MacKinnon has a fabulously-linked post on the early-July fascination with push-ups in China following the Weng’an Riots, and, since the push-up meme was in part a way to circumvent internet censorship of discussions of the riots, you might also find interesting David Bandurski’s piece at FEER on Communist Party web infiltrators.

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