Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed out

China, IOC feeding consumers

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Realistically we’re so hooked on Chinese-made goods we can’t really, in most instances, find any alternatives to them no matter how hard we look. The US government is so totally indebted to China it can’t afford to be outraged by any human rights abuses the country commits. The Canadian government and provincial Team Canada trade missions regularly pay homage to the Great Provider, making servile pilgrimages, hat in hand, asking politely for a slightly larger slice of pie.

China is the past and China is the future. Get over it.

With the exception of a few, stalwart individuals who lead a generally ascetic existence, protesting China’s ham-fisted disregard for the value of people as anything other than labour inputs is, in an advanced western setting, hypocritical. We’re addicted to cheap goods; we’re just too genteel to engage in outright slavery ourselves. We’ve outsourced it, along with jobs, to the lowest bidder. Beating up on China for doing what it does so well, for doing what we’ve been complicit in enabling it to do, is almost comical.

And while I won’t be sitting mesmerized in front of the television watching the opening ceremonies — or any of the competition for that matter — it won’t be in protest against China. If it’s an act of protest against anything, it’ll be a protest against the hype and sham the Olympics have become though, truth be told, I’d rather watch paint dry than waste any of the time I have left alive watching most of the sports displayed in the summer Olympics. Beach volleyball? Oh, really; get a life. Better yet, head down to Rainbow Park and play some beach volleyball.

American broadcaster, NBC, ponied up $894 million for the Beijing Olympics broadcast rights. CBC wasted $45 million of — largely — taxpayers’ dollars for the Canadian rights. Between them, we’ll be inundated with almost 6,000 hours of TV, Internet, podcast and other coverage of sports, human interest stories, jingoistic piffle and, of course, ads, ads, ads during the run of the Games. A truly plugged-in webhead could manage to waste the better part of a year in less than two weeks ogling all things Olympic as long as he could multitask his various electronic devices and violate the linear nature of time.