Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Handle the Scandal

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  • Hadyn Green,

    I could do it my *&@!# Quax-ing self.

    Hooray! Emma picked up the meme!

    I like Peter Williams in the presenting role. The second time they cut to him on the first day the desk was covered in books and papers and he clearly wasn't ready so he just turned to the camera and said:

    "Welcome back to Beijing, and just look at this mess! (motions at desk) Actually this is my homework for the next few days..."

    and then seamlessly into his actual script. Well done P-dub!

    And I can't be too mean to Pete Montgomery, he gave me and Jose his fried squid at the Tanuki Cave in Auckland.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The second time they cut to him on the first day the desk was covered in books and papers and he clearly wasn't ready so he just turned to the camera and said:

    "Welcome back to Beijing, and just look at this mess! (motions at desk) Actually this is my homework for the next few days..."

    Actually HG; I’ve got a problem with that.

    I realise Peter W is hardly at the forefront of modern living, but do people really still do research these days from encyclopaedias made out of paper?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    After watching the x-games recently I feel the Olympics need more edge, a little more danger, just that little extra thrill.

    Personally I quite like the idea of having the swimming events in a salt water pool complete with a Great White Shark.

    Or even going back to the original Aztec traditions around their version of basketball.

    (the losers were ritually sacrificed)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Even in the ancient Olympics jumping the gun or whatever they used was punished by a flogging. Perhaps NBC could decide some of the new 'edgy' rules, based on expected increased viewing.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    Taking the bobble thingies off the epees in the fencing would be a start.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    I like Peter Montgomery too - he is so openly keen, supportive and enthusiastic. Laying it on or not.

    I also like Peter Williams - and I suspect the paper stuff was part of the press pack - there'd be too much information to have open on seven different TV screens, whereas 7 bits of paper can be neatly (or messily) arranged on a desk. And scribbled on. And dog-eared, and piled up.

    And I like medal ceremonies. Boo hiss that we haven't seen them - I loved watching the gymnastics at LA when Mary-Lou Retton won the all-around even though Ekaterina Czabo was arguably the better gymnast (and went on to win 3 of the 4 apparatus golds and got 3rd in the other one)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    Not to tempt fate, but does this Olympics feel like it's going to be another Barcelona - of Glorious Fourths, but not many actual medals?

    I do like the look of Mark Todd and Gandalf for 2012 though

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I realise Peter W is hardly at the forefront of modern living, but do people really still do research these days from encyclopaedias made out of paper?

    Thank goodness they do. Otherwise history is lost.

    If somebody wanted to compare, for example, NZ's rowing golds in 68 and 72, or hockey gold from 76, with a performance in Beijing, where would they look? On the net they might find the bare details - the result, and the team members. Little else.

    I admit that TV One's coverage doesn't lend itself to this kind of detail - indeed, to information of any depth at all - but that doesn't mean the host can't spend one of the innumerable ad-breaks checking up on (say) info about Ryan Archibald's dad, before sharing it with us.

    The net is hopeless at history - still. The growing number of journos who don't know anything beyond Google is frankly scary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I like Peter Montgomery too - he is so openly keen, supportive and enthusiastic. Laying it on or not.

    Enthusiasm is lovely, but like many virtues it can shade into one hell of a vice very quickly. It's the commentary equivalent of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music -- two whole LPs of feedback might be frightfully clever in the abstract, but it just becomes exhausting.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Taking the bobble thingies off the epees in the fencing would be a start.

    We stopped using those about ten years ago, if that makes you feel better. And they're not wearing kevlar out there for fun and overheating, y'know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    OM the fencers wear kevlar
    that is sooo AWESOME!


    On another note, anyone else taking bets on whether or not the director of the opening ceremony is about to be sent to some gulag in sibera for embarrassing china in front of the world ;)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    If you want to complain about media manipulation, the poor woman who broke her back in a rehearsal would be a good candidate. She is apparently well known in China, it was clearly newsworthy (both because of the Olympics, and because the woman in well known in her own right), and it is on a different level from some lip-synching or "improved" video.

    I don't think we've had a games like this since 1936 :-)

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    The lead story on the Huffington Post right now is Scandal of the Ages: Documents Reveal Underage Chinese Gymnast
    From that headline it was hard to tell if they were mocking, or serious so I clicked on the story. Yes, they're serious:

    So, for all of those who are still left unconvinced, I offer a collection of evidence that will demonstrate not only that the Chinese gymnast in question was born in 1994 and underage, but that Chinese officials, over the last few weeks, have systematically tried to cover it all up.

    As HuffPo commenters are already noting, America is no shining example, what with it's own history of doping and a President who lies ... but I'm starting to wonder if this is different.

    I've got no problem with getting a 'cute' girl to sing at the opening ceremony, but this goes a bit further than that. The IOC rules say gymnasists must be 16 to compete at the Olympics, and these girls are seemingly 14. But the IOC seem to be washing their hands on this issue:

    President Jacques Rogge said, "The IOC relies on the international federations, who are exclusively responsible for the eligibility of athletes. It's not the task of the IOC to check every one of the 10,000 athletes."

    I guess it's just a matter of timing, since for many years they looked the other way on doping too. Still, the whole affair does remind me of that old saying:

    "Hell hath no fury like a Nation beaten to Gold at the Olympics"

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    Ummm. Two aspects of this. First up the frowny serious bit. Original post (tongue in cheek?) attempts to excuse what the Chinese have done - in faking aspects of the opening ceremony.
    1. The "virtual" helicopter flypast of the non-existent fireworks: are we saying it's okay to fake that one because it's smoggy and the air's toxic in Beijing? Question: what country has allowed - caused - the smog? Question: were the Chinese so naive as to think nobody would notice, or that it somehow didn't matter?
    2. replacing one Chinese girl signer with another. I was one who looked at the pretty - and fairly idealised "western" version of Chinese - girl signing and noted her chest wasn't rising and falling a lot, dismissed it as simply a lip synch. But what the Chinese have apparently chosen to do is present a fantasy cutey cutey girl singer who conforms with Western notions of what pretty Chinese girls should look like. How dare they?
    On a more cynical and less serious view: isn't fakes what China's all about? fake Gucci bags, fake running shoes, fake CDs, fake fireworks (they did invent them after all!) and fake singers...oh, and the rtishest irony of all, they had to fake the air there, and didn;t do a very good job!

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    The IOC rules say gymnasts must be 16 to compete at the Olympics, and these girls are seemingly 14

    Yeah, this is what I would be worried about. Actual cheating.

    However, there may be a statute of limitations on this kind of thing. We all remember Paul Hamm from the last games: "It's too late the medal is mine".

    Not that I'm condoning it. If it's true, it's cheating, and out they go!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    I think we can spread the faking accusations around a bit.

    US audiences were subjected to further trickery when NBC changed the order in which the athletes were shown marching in, presumably to keep viewers from switching off once the Americans had arrived. They were caught out when the "live" telecast inadvertently showed American athletes gathered in the centre of the arena before they had been shown marching in.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Mark Baker:

    Ummm. Two aspects of this. First up the frowny serious bit. Original post (tongue in cheek?) attempts to excuse what the Chinese have done - in faking aspects of the opening ceremony.

    Sorry for the whorish self-promotion, but I do touch on this in my PAR piece this week. I don't try to "excuse" anything, but one might think in a country where we lionise someone who has made his fortune with digital fakery there might be room for a little less pious sanctimony.

    The opening ceremony was an elaborate, expensive piece of THEATRE. I guess next you'll be telling me the casts of ceremony co-director Zhang Yimou's wuxia films can't really fly through the air in extreme slow-motion while stopping arrows with their bare hands...

    And like Hadyn, I'm a little more worried about "actual cheating". You know, drug cheats? Blatant bribery and corruption being used to secure hosting rights?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Oh my:

    if Michael Phelps suddenly decided to break away from the United States and declare himself a sovereign nation, he’d currently be joint-fourth in the medals table at the Olympics — level with the U.S.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    O Craig, "pious sanctimony"? Ouch.
    Difference being: in LOTR we KNEW it was fake. Opening just LOOKED fake, and the knowledgable Kiwi voiceover on TVNZ somehow omitted to mention it. So we were expected to ooh and ahhh at the pretty lights and not question their existence. Sorry, not me!
    As for the Western wet dream of a pretty wee Chinese girl "singing" while her more "plain" counterpart's voice got projected, that's just too sad for the girl who actually sang and time for the organisers to hang their heads.

    Shame, shame! In fact stink ow!

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    O Craig, "pious sanctimony"? Ouch.
    Difference being: in LOTR we KNEW it was fake. Opening just LOOKED fake, and the knowledgable Kiwi voiceover on TVNZ somehow omitted to mention it. So we were expected to ooh and ahhh at the pretty lights and not question their existence. Sorry, not me!
    As for the Western wet dream of a pretty wee Chinese girl "singing" while her more "plain" counterpart's voice got projected, that's just too sad for the girl who actually sang and time for the organisers to hang their heads.

    Shame, shame! In fact stink ow!

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    But what the Chinese have apparently chosen to do is present a fantasy cutey cutey girl singer who conforms with Western notions of what pretty Chinese girls should look like. How dare they?

    Sounds pretty much like half the pop 'acts' on the radio at any given time. You don't actually think that voice you see in the video is theirs. Their original may be in the mix, or it may not. Which major rock acts have musicians, vocalists or sequencers filling in the sound back of stage..answer: far more than you'd guess. And the same applies to many voices in Hollywood musicals. That's showbiz and it has been for generations. And the opening ceremony is always showbiz..it's a production, pure and simple and should be treated as such.

    I'm not sure it had much to do with trying to conform with Western ideals, as much as the showbiz requirements of the production.

    The irony is that one of the biggest industries in China, and across Asia are the whitening creams and other ways of westernising female faces. Those, sadly, for many, are the Chinese notions of what a cute girl should look like.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And the opening ceremony is always showbiz..it's a production, pure and simple and should be treated as such.

    I'd have to disagree. Sure, it's a spectacle, but it's not as if values and ethics and politics don't enter into it, given the broader significance of the event that is being introduced. I admit to finding the use of aboriginal imagery in the Aussie ceremony more disturbingly exploitative than the fake singer in Beijing, but it wasn't a proud moment for the organisers, no.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    O Craig, "pious sanctimony"? Ouch.

    Mark: OK, possibly a little harsh. But, hell,my outrage-o-meter gets a little more excited over drug cheats and the kind of 'Olympic spirit' behind the scenes where outright bribery seems to be the order of the day when it comes to securing hosting rights. I'm perverse that way...

    And the same applies to many voices in Hollywood musicals.

    Of course, Marni Nixon, was famously the uncredited 'voice' of Audrey Hepburn (My Fair Lady), Natalie Wood (West Side Story) and Deborah Kerr (The King and I). And there's the story behind Andie McDowell's famously inauspicious film debut as Jane in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. The producers were so unhappy with her English accent they got Glenn Close (!) to loop her her dialogue in post. Unsurprisingly, McDowell didn't make another movie until sex, lies and videotape five years later. And even then, Soderbergh had a had sell casting her in a low budget indie.

    Still, there's something deliciously ironic about the the film version of Chicago -- where prominent credits announced that the three leads did all their own singing and dancing. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I'd have to disagree. Sure, it's a spectacle, but it's not as if values and ethics and politics don't enter into it, .

    Sounds like Andrew Lloyd Webber to me...

    given the broader significance of the event that is being introduced

    I think the opening ceremony has long since left that behind..the primary driving force for decades has been to out spectacle the previous opening. Production companies with such a brief work for years to do just that. Myself, I found the young girl's song cloyingly twee but the opening ceremonies are full of such twee-ishly grating moments, coupled with slightly gruesome nationalistic bravado.

    Give me honest imperfection anytime.

    Marni Nixon

    And JR's mother no less

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    And JR's mother no less

    You're thinking of Mary Martin

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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