About the Olympics

China has come out and surprised precisely no one by putting huge restrictions on protests at the Games. This news follows quickly on the heels of the other unsurprising news that internet access would be censored, even to journalists covering the Games.

Anyone who was surprised by either of these things happening is either stupid or just wasn't paying attention. Seriously--as far as the protests are concerned, China's not doing anything that the US doesn't do for national party conventions or other major political events.

The protest areas are in public parks several miles from the main Olympic stadium.
That sounds pretty familiar to me. And when the Chinese government presented the IOC with its media center, complete with filters on politically sensitive websites in place, what was the IOC going to do? Cancel the Games? Please. If this stuff really mattered to the IOC, the Olympics wouldn't have been awarded to Beijing in the first place.

I don't plan on watching the Olympics personally, but the Chinese government's actions don't have much to do with it. It's perhaps another reason, but not the main one. The real reason I'm not planning on watching them is because they're just not interesting to me anymore. I'm cynical about it--all of the commercialization, the jingoistic flag-waving, the doping, and the inevitably bad coverage of the events (gripping stories of triumph over tragedy, of sacrifices made to reach these Olympic heights)--have just left me with a big hump of meh about it.

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