Thursday, August 14, 2008

No wonder the World thinks Americans are Crass

Is anyone else unhappy with the cultural insensitivity of the US commentators at the Olympics? China is an amazing country of fabulous wonders and amazing people, and the reporters seem to seek out stories that are demeaning, rather than complimentary to the Chinese.

For instance, they commented about how New York cabbies would think Manhattan was Mayberry compared to driving in Beijing. They don’t talk about how beautiful the city is or how friendly and kind the Chinese people are. The media representatives are GUESTS there, in a culture that is so eager to gain the world’s approval. What do you gain from laughing derisively at your hosts?

In a later segment they showed the Great Wall. One of the great wonders of the world by any measure. But did they comment on that? No! One of the athletes is pepper dancing down the stairs on the wall. The Chinese woman behind her is just trying to get down the steps, but the crazy American keeps weaving from side to side, so the woman can’t figure out how to proceed. So they circle the woman onscreen and mock her!! In China they revere older people, and this set my teeth on edge.

China has the most delicious, and wonderful food, but the reporters have sought out only the weirdest foods like seahorses on a stick, duck feet, and scorpions. They leave the impression that China has only bizarre foods. The woman last night said “I FINALLY found something good here.” What about beef and broccoli or spicy green beans? I loved all their fresh vegetables stir-fried to perfection, and their fish was to die for. It’s like they sought out bad food, and then complained that Chinese food is horrible, when delicious food is available at every turn. But the Chinese are such good hosts—they even provided a fork to eat it with, which I didn’t know existed there. To scorn China for its human rights record or its treatment of Tibet would be fair, but to criticize Chinese food and driving just seems tactless.