Thursday, August 14, 2008

From a girl's fake sing to a dancer's accidental fall

"The Olympic opening ceremony is stunning", everyone I met in London told me this. As a Chinese, I am very proud. There's one moment I feel something wet in the eye when I was watching the ceremony, not because of the beautiful scene, but because of thinking of all the people's effort behind this. For years, everyone has been working hard on the ceremony not for money, but for showing the world a beautiful country. They did it.

I had a big debate with an Australian friend when we were watching the ceremony because he kept saying Olympics is all about politics. "China should improve its human right before holding this Olympics", he said. A lot of politicians were there, and a lot of politics were involved, but there is only fair competition during the game. Athletes deserve a clean field to compete, and every country does too. If Olympics discriminate a country with one fourth of the world's population just because of politics, then I can't imagine the flame of the torch originated from Athen is still pure.

A few days later, he forwarded an email on the fake voice of the Chinese girl who was singing in the ceremony. He wants to prove his point. Look at the pictures of the two girls, you can see the one who showed up is "more cute" than the others. However, I can't help thinking the impact of this action on the girl who actually singed. Her name is Yang Peiyi. She has a beautiful voice, but she has to be behind the stage because of her "less-cute"look. She is just 7-years old, and what will she remember as she grow up? Also, to the girl who showed up, she will also remember she doesn't really sing in the ceremony, but get the position because she is better looking. What will happen to her?

In China's traditional saying, we will never judge a person based on his or her looking. But, I can understand why the director did this, though I don't agree. This is called groupism; people do this to make a better performance for the whole group, but they shouldn't ignore what will be the impact on individuals.

Chinese people are in the process of changing from a 100% of groupism to a mix of groupism and individualism, especially among younger generation. It's a good thing, and it's a right path for China to improve the human right situation.

When I am still "ashamed" by this fake sing, I found this story on a leading dancer who was expected to dance in the ceremony but fell off and hurt herself. Her name is Liu Yan. She may never stand up again. Zhang Yimou, the director of the ceremoney, visited her in the hospital. "You're the deepest pain in my heart," Zhang was reported as saying. "If I could see you stand up again, it would make me much more happier than any praise I've received."I was very impressed by this. Despite all the critics on Zhang's directing style, his words shows his respect to a single individual life, and that's the true Olympic spirit.


I replied my Australian friend a long long email, telling him China's history before and the change now. At last, I said, "let's try to open mind to each other, and understand each other much better than our parents do".





(liu yan)

3 comments:

Bill said...

The director did not make the change. It was the politburo, the highest political entity in China. That means the decision was made after deliberation and discussion, and obtain a concensus of top leaders of China, including Hu and Wen.

Amy G said...

Insider info? if not, it's impossible. i think media makes such a big deal on this, while its not.

seanyoung said...

民主彷彿就是西方世界最好的遮羞布.

I am from Taiwan. I think you could tell your Australian friend about the following news, and I really wonder what's his thinking about the following news:

同是奧運做假:西方對中國、澳洲的區別對待
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
【來源:聯合報】

北京奧運開幕禮安排7歲女童楊沛宜為臺前表演的9歲女童林妙可幕後代唱,惹來風波,「造假」抨擊聲不絕。但澳洲媒體近日揭露,8年前雪梨奧運開幕式上,一場由享譽國際的雪梨交響樂團演奏,原來也「造假」,音樂家只是在臺上做動作,台下播放的是另一競爭對手樂團的「代奏錄音」。

  中國京奧開幕式華麗驚艷,起初大獲好評,但其後卻鬧出電視畫面腳印煙花是電腦效果的「造假爭議」,儘管英國《獨立報》社論日前談到煙花電腦效果時認為,「(是否欣賞此)開幕式也許是個人品味問題」。

  相比下「代唱風波」的爭議就大得多,在西方尤其招來「造假」批判,甚至扯上意識形態。但《雪梨晨鋒報》卻報道,原來雪梨奧運會同樣為了「追求完美」,安排「幕後代奏」。雪梨奧運會開幕表演團體「雪梨交響樂團」(Sydney Symphony)證實,他們當天的表演並非現場演出,當中有部分更是由其對手、墨爾本交響樂團(Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)演奏。雪梨交響樂團總監克裏斯蒂(Libby Christie)承認:「表演全部預先錄音,墨爾本交響樂團錄了一小部分表演的樂曲。我們基本上只是做樣扮演奏。」

  克氏解釋,樂團沒有即席演奏,皆因雪梨奧組委人員「希望萬無一失」,而且因為時間緊迫工作繁多,所以要動用兩個樂團合作事先錄音。墨爾本交響樂團總監格林(Trevor Green)則稱:「(由兩個樂團分工預錄)純因工作量的問題。沒所謂樂團之間孰優孰劣。那是相當正常的做法。假如奧運會在墨爾本舉行,我肯定雪梨交響樂團也會有份。」

  總監:假如出錯很礙眼

  克氏承認,雪梨交響樂團「做樣扮演奏」,在03年英式欖球世界?揭幕禮上也試過一次。格林則稱,其樂團於06年英聯邦運動會開幕時亦曾使用錄音。他說:「(在那種場合)做樣扮演奏是完全正常的。有百萬計人在觀看,假如有差錯,會很礙眼。」

  有關報道在北美華人社區傳開後,不少華文媒體都甚感不平,質疑西方媒體炒作林妙可風波、給中國冠上「造假之國」惡名,但對雪梨奧運「演奏造假」非但沒有批評這個成功隱瞞了8年的真相,甚至連轉載報道都沒有。以「sydney olympic」在Google搜尋相關新聞,出現的只有《雪梨晨鋒報》和《年代報》的報道,以及《紐約時報》一個記者網志有提及。

  網民:嚴對中國寬鬆待澳

  在題為「雪梨承認奧運咪嘴」的《紐約時報》網志上,不少網民都留言,以下為部分觀點:

  ●真慘,我們已墮落到無論是個人、交響樂團和政府,都認為在現場表演中出現瑕疵,比起事後被揭不老實,遠遠更為尷尬。網民David Paris

  ●真好笑,當主角是中國時,有些人就馬上跑出來指指點點;但當是澳洲時,卻聳聳肩便算。在西方,虛偽似乎是無疆界。網民KYL

  ●為何大家就是不把奧運視作一個精彩大騷去欣賞呢?為何硬要雞蛋裏挑骨頭?這似乎有一些針對中國的種族主義味道。網民Mini Vinnilli

  西方媒體展示其醜陋一面

  以下文章節譯自《雪梨晨鋒報》評論"Western media shows its ugly face",作者為John Garnaut。
http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/western-media-shows-its-ugly-face/2008/08/21/1219262408623.html

  北京奧運向來都不只是體育。它成了中國宣示自己作為崛起中超級大國的機會,也成了世界評價中國的機會。

  2.5萬名赴京採訪的外國記者中,很多都作出這種評語:中國比西方過去所想像的更專制,而最能用來支援西方這種負面評價的一則報道,就是「中國領導人下令7歲女孩楊沛宜不得在開幕式中亮相,因為她『臉孔太胖牙齒不齊』(chubby face and crooked teeth)」。

  這則故事以不同形式化身,在澳洲以至西方流傳。《澳洲人報》便稱,是政治局成員下令必須換掉楊沛宜,因她「不夠漂亮在億計電視觀眾前亮相」。澳洲《每日電訊報》更稱,楊因為「被認為太醜樣」而被換。評論員以這些報道為基礎高談闊論。澳洲《時代報》稱事件是「中國對奧運以至世界有覑兩種嘴臉的縮影」,《巴爾的摩太陽報》評論員Kathleen Park更將事件比作1936年納粹德國奧運:「感性並不容於極權世界。在這種世界,欺騙是年輕人學得最好的一科。」

  「不夠無瑕」變成「嫌醜樣」

  但這種論調的一大問題,是根本沒證據支援「楊是因為太醜樣或爛牙而被換掉」。博客Roland Song在香港「東南西北」網站,仔細審閱了所有開幕禮主要人士的回應原話,發現他們根本沒公開說過這種話,「最近似」的是開幕式音樂總監陳其鋼向中央電視臺說,主辦單位找了楊來綵排,但最後臨時換人。「(在場觀看)的一位政治局領袖給我意見,認為要改……原因是出於國家利益。出鏡的孩子,在形象上、在內心感覺上、在表情上等都應該無瑕。」

  陳的回應,強烈暗示了一位政治局領袖認為,取代楊亮相的林妙可形象「無瑕」,但說什麼楊沛宜「醜樣」、臉孔太胖甚或崩牙,卻成了西方媒體的演繹描述,在全球重復千百遍,彷彿那就是中國政府自己說的。

  找來陳其鋼和張藝謀幫手搞開幕式,反映中國政府肯留下一些空間,讓藝術淩駕政治。在京奧中,確有很多突顯了官方專制主義的證據,但中國內部的一些變化,卻經常被忽略。