Cuteness, in the national interest
You would think that Chinese leaders might have something better to worry about, like maybe the constant threat of billions of people rising up and smiting their thuggish oppressors, but at least one member of the ruling Communist Party Politburo had bigger fish to fry: keeping some homely little kid from screwing up the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. As millions of TV viewers watched last weekend, cute-as-a-button Lin Miaoke, above right, sang "Ode to the Motherland" as the Chinese flag was brought into the stadium. But wait. It wasn't Lin doing the singing, it was Yang Peiyi, above left, who is not quite as photogenic. A Politburo member came to a rehearsal before the Games and gave the directors of the show a clear indication that showing Yang's face was not what the grand poo-bahs of China wanted. Chen Qigang, described as the general musical designer of the ceremony, tried to explain it this way: "The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings and expression. The reason why little Yang was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image; we were thinking about what was best for the nation." Project the right image? China already has an image of brutal, bloody repression - as well as providing the world with crappy, lead-laden merchandise. A cute kid lip-synching a Commie anthem isn't likely to have much effect on public perception of the Beijing regime. Their zealous approach to making sure the right kind of face was shown on TV is almost Hitlerian. You know, the "master race" and all that stuff. Yang, perhaps with a bayonet at her mother's throat, said she was honored just to do the singing, but even a 7-year-old knows when she's been shunned. The Chinese dictators kill their own people, so do you really think they're worried about the feelings of a little girl. She should just consider herself fortunate that she wasn't smothered at birth for being the "wrong" sex.