Mike the Mad Biologist

This is creepy (italics mine):

Pigtailed and smiling, Lin Miaoke, age 9, stood in a red dress and white shoes during Friday’s Olympic opening ceremonies and performed “Ode to the Motherland” in what would become one of the evening’s most indelible images: a lone child, fireworks blazing overhead, singing a patriotic ballad before an estimated one billion viewers.

Except that her proud father, Lin Hui, noticed “that the voice was a little different from hers.” On Tuesday, Mr. Lin said in a telephone interview that he had assumed “the difference might be caused by the acoustics.”

Acoustics had nothing to do with it. Under pressure from the highest levels of the ruling Communist Party to find the perfect face and voice, the ceremonies’ production team concluded that the best solution was to use two girls instead of one.

Miaoke, a third grader, was judged cute and appealing but “not suitable” as a singer. Another girl, Yang Peiyi, 7, was judged the best singer but not as cute.

So when Miaoke opened her mouth to sing, the voice that was actually heard was a recording of Peiyi.

And it is unclear if Miaoke even knew.

The reason was for the national interest,” explained Chen Qigang, general music designer of the opening ceremonies, who revealed the deception Sunday during a radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.”

The Beijing Olympics has led to an increase in truthiness in China. Truth, not so much.

Comments

  1. #1 student_b
    August 13, 2008

    Another interesting thing is, that a lot of seats inside the stadiums are empty during the contests, which is easily seen on television.

    According to news reports, they’ll be filled with trained “volunteers” in the future to create a better atmosphere for the contests.

    Officials blamed the bad weather conditions for the lack of visitors.

    So yeah, what a surprise that the Chinese regime would distort the truth for propaganda purposes…

    But IMHO it’s perfectly in line with the commercial nature of the Olympics, so I’m not offended at all. ;)

  2. #2 themadlolscientist, FCD
    August 13, 2008

    Milli Vanilli rides again. :-PPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

  3. #3 Kapitano
    August 13, 2008

    If this happed at (say) the London Olympics, it would be treated as a joke. “Did ye you know the kid singer wasn’t really singing? No, it was another child! Ha! How typical. All a bit silly really.”

    But when the Chinese do it, somehow it reveals how much more corrupt they are than us. And how many more lies they tell. And how untrustworthy they are. Odd, that.

  4. #4 tincture
    August 13, 2008

    At least when Australia had it last, we had a little girl sing it for real. Now she poses in her underwear in Zoo magazine. Yay.

  5. #5 Barn Owl
    August 13, 2008

    Good points, Kapitano. [sarcasm]Because of course here in the US, we never favor people based on physical appearance alone, and our human rights record is absolutely spotless. And we would never cheer more loudly for US athletes, when we are the host country.[/sarcasm] Many of the gripes about the Beijing Olympics are double standards, plain and simple.

    If one is going to apply a boycott based on ethical concerns to all aspects of one’s life, that’s great, and I admire people who stand by their principles even when it’s difficult to do so. But don’t pretend you’re on some moral high ground just by boycotting televised Olympics, if you buy (literally) into China in so many other ways. Much of the pollution in and around Beijing is in part the price the Chinese pay, and have to live (and die) with year round, so that we in the US can have lots of cheap goods, stuffed into our huge houses.

  6. #6 Matt Springer
    August 14, 2008

    But when the Chinese do it, somehow it reveals how much more corrupt they are than us. And how many more lies they tell. And how untrustworthy they are. Odd, that.

    It’s not the Chinese, it’s the government of China. The rank-and-file citizens of the People’s Republic are those most hurt by the government’s oppression. You and I can tut-tut about the relative demerits of our own governments, but your average Chinese blogger could well vanish into prison for similar comments about his own government.

  7. #7 Scott
    August 14, 2008

    I was in the choir in the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. This opening ceremony was run by Hollywood, and except for the combined marching bands playing The Fanfare for the Common Man, the entire production was dubbed ahead of time. The entire choir’s job was to lip sync to the music. The multiple pianos had no wires, and the “instruments” of the “orchestra” were fake. The oboe was a black painted cardboard tube.

    The Opening Ceremony is pure entertainment, and has been for a long time. It’s Capitalists, not Communists, if you want to “blame” somebody.

    (OTOH, the closing ceremony was done “live” and for real, because nobody really cared except those of us who were actually there.)

  8. #8 Phil
    August 14, 2008

    Why didn’t they just take the singing kid to a dentist?

  9. #9 Rugosa
    August 14, 2008

    Or how about accepting that she is very talented, but not a perfect beauty?

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