To the People

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dave Barry on China: It's Filled With Chinese


The humor writer is in the Far East to cover the Olympics. Will he make it out alive?
The Olympics are a HUGE deal for China. Everywhere you look in this teeming capital city, you see vague shapes in the distance that might be large impressive Olympic things if you could actually get a good look at them, which you can't because the air is swarming with toxic particles the size of Milk Duds. The Chinese government has been trying to reduce air pollution by shutting down factories -- thereby threatening the world's strategic supply of Guitar Hero -- and ordering Beijing residents to cease teeming during the Olympics. But air quality is still a big issue, as evidenced by the controversial decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow marathon competitors to ride motorcycles.

Nevertheless, there will be no problems whatsoever during these Olympics, which will without question be the greatest Games ever held. Why do I say this? I say it because Chinese government authorities are closely monitoring us journalists and controlling our use of the Internet. They can cause trouble for us if we write something they don't like, or mention a topic they want us to avoid, such as

ERROR ERROR ERROR YOU ARE HAVING TECHNICAL INTERNET PROBLEM ERROR ERROR ERROR

So the Chinese government is a little scary. There are police and army officers stationed roughly every 14 feet throughout Beijing; I'm pretty sure there's one in my hotel closet.
He's only being half-facetious. On his blog he points out exactly how the government is messing with his website:
And here's an interesting fact: I can't see this blog in China. I can post to it, but I can't see it. I was told that all TypePad blogs are blocked over here. This bothers some people, but I for one welcome my new Chinese overlords.

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