Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beijing's opening ceremonies - WOW!

I hope everyone watched last night's Beijing's 2008 Olympics opening ceremonies, because they were awe-inspiring! Right from the top, I want to mention that I think the amount of money spent is obscene (like the money Hollywood throws around on movies and the amount it takes to run for political office in the U.S.), but at the same time I'd say that maybe if everyone watched Beijing's opening ceremonies, maybe world peace would be attainable (sorry if I sound like some kind of naive idealist - more of my thoughts on this further on in this entry). Anyway, just on a visual level, Beijing's opening ceremonies were worthy of any superlatives one can think of for being excellent and breath-taking. Early on in the ceremony as we first see the drummers (a total of 2008 of them! - some of them in this top photo) the viewer knows that they're watching one of the most amazing productions ever staged.
The sheer scope of everything that was done (including the new uses of amazing visual technologies) in the Beijing opening ceremonies was mind-boggling, like China, the country as a whole. Look up any facts about China, its population size, the countries far-reaching history, its political climate yesteryear and today, and really think about them and you'll start to understand what an historical period this is for China and the rest of the world.

China's population is four times the size of the United States', they have over 100 cities that have populations of over one million, and the rate of change that is occuring within China is going to not only present unique challenges to its people, but to the rest of the world. I was talking to my friend, Cristina, the other day (via email - she's still in China until next Sunday) and I mentioned that many in the U.S. think the world revolves around our country (well most super-power countries probably think this), but I really think that within the next fifty years, that the world may very well revolve around China. How China deals with their ever growing population and rapid rate of change, expecially post their Olympics, will certainly impact the whole world.

The NBC commentators for the opening ceremonies in Beijing repeated what we'll hear more of in the next two weeks and that is that the Beijing Olympics is their coming out announcement for the rest of the world for their country going into the 21st century. I'd like to think if China as a country could apply what they did during their opening Olympic ceremony to how they make their country work for all of their citizens, then they will be a truely magnificent country. I'm not saying that parts of China aren't already magnificent, but presently there exists a HUGE divide between the have and have nots (compounded by the rapid rate of change there) that is leaving a lot of China's population in even worse scenarios then before these developments.

It can be argued that this is the natural course of progress / advancement, which even the U.S. experienced during the Industrial Revolution, and that in the long run China's people as a whole will be better off than they were before, but when you're dealing with a country on the scale of China with such an immense population (think about how much bigger they'd be if they didn't have a one child restriction), more thought and planning needs to happen to insure that their growth / rate of change doesn't become a negative development for them and the rest of the world. I realize that my saying if problems like attaining world peace could be solved by a country or countries working together to produce crowning affairs of beauty and the human spirit like what was done in these opening ceremonies is simplifying things, because certainly there are seemingly endless vaiables involved with running a country, but watching those ceremonies and thinking about all the people and logistics involved can't help but make me think that humane solutions for these bigger world concerns are possible if only thinking outside of the box was applied like they were to putting on the spectacle that were the Beijing opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics.

The Beijing opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics will surely come out on dvd and it really is something to be experienced (I can't even imagine what it must have been like to have actually have been a part of the production or to view it live in that arena). Originally I wasn't as jazzed to watch this Olympics with all of the doping that is reported some of the athlete's do, but while watching the opening ceremonies I came to the realization that not EVERY athlete is doing this and the Olympics really are a great source of inspiration for what the human body and mind is capable of when extreme focus and training is applied. I'm looking forward to watching many different Olympic events in the next two weeks and seeing athletes from the U.S. and the rest of the world attain new heights and hopefully through these games, countries and people will work more in unity.

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