“You’re a Phony, a Big Fat Phony! Hey Everybody, He’s a Phony!”

I know that China is the home of iPhone rip-offs and lead-filled Colgate, but it appears that their duplicity and fakery  don’t end with electronics and domestic household products.

China admitted faking the opening fireworks of the Olympic Opening Ceremony as well as faking the voice of the cute little singer who sang their national song.  And, to anyone who has watched the Chinese women gymnasts, it appears blatantly obvious that several of their gymnasts are well under 16 years old, the age required to participate in the Olympics.  Shoot, one of them looks barely seven and a half and appears to have not lost all of her baby teeth.

It’s pretty disappointing to see a country so bent on image and victory that they are willing to cast their integrity, without a second thought, to the wayside.  The Chinese people ought to be embarrassed of these forgeries and demand that the deceptions end.  Fat chance that will happen, eh?  Maybe they could just fake an apology…

PS. if you can find a clip of the Family Guy scene this post’s title comes from let me know!  I can’t find it anywhere. – Thanks jimi!

Update:  More Fakery
Another section of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony has been exposed as faked – the children supposedly representing the country’s 56 ethnic groups were in fact all from the same one, the majority Han Chinese race.

They were dressed in costumes associated with the country’s ethnic minorities, including those from troubled areas such as Tibet and the muslim province of Xinjiang. Such displays of “national unity” are a compulsory part of any major state occasion.

But the children were all from the Han Chinese majority, which makes up more than 90 per cent of the population and is culturally and politically dominant, according to an official with the cultural troupe from which they were selected.

The official guide to the opening ceremony said that the children did not just represent but “came from” China’s ethnic groups.

“Fifty-six children from 56 Chinese ethnic groups cluster around the Chinese national flag, representing the 56 ethnic groups,” it said. (source: Telegraph)


  1. shrinkingisaac
    Aug 13, 2008

    At the risk of soapboxing… i think most of these are blown out of proportion.

    That which bothers me:
    The singer thing is a little befuddling – particularly if you read the account of one of the organizers of the event who ends up sounding a little “in search of the perfect race”ish in his comments.

    Lead in toothpaste? Hadn’t heard that one, but eeesh.

    That which does not:
    The fireworks thing is something that was admitted upfront and told to broadcasters beforehand. Them choosing to mention it a few days after they got the ratings they craved, and not before is on them, not on the organizers in China.

    On the gymnasts thing, i really don’t get why people are making a big deal on that one. Now, i am no gymnastics insider, but if they can be the best in the world – at whatever age – i say let them. There aren’t similar age restrictions in other sports. There have been swimmers as young as 13 to compete (male and female, Phelps was 15 in his first Olympics), and divers of 14-15 are pretty common. Why there is a different standard in gymnastics seems odd to me.

    While i like apple products, their self-perpetuated image of being the pinnacle of creativity kinda bugs me. Some of their ideas aren’t that cutting edge. Some of them are actually other people’s passed off as their own (have you seen their “gaffs” (ne, thefts) in advertising). The do frequently make them work before others, but their price-gouging/exclusivity-contracts/etc. that follow seek disproportionate paybacks for the advances they are able to pull off. This is why, while i sometimes like Mac products, i will never switch entirely, nor become an Apple-evangelist. And to be honest, i applaud the efforts to duplicate some of what they make in more affordable options…

    More importantly:
    i think we have much more to be ashamed of from US leadership in the “lack of integrity” department than they do there (have you heard the allegations in Ron Suskind’s new book?), and would definitely think the old “pointing finger leaves three pointing back at self” adage fits here. Though i feel like i have been living in the “self-accusation” spot more often than not lately…so take that for what it’s worth.

  2. Tim
    Aug 14, 2008

    Yo – thanks for the clarification on the fireworks thing–NBC should take the bullet.

    For me on the gymnasts thing I don’t think it matters how old the gymnasts are; the main thing is that everybody plays by the same rules. If the rule arbitrarily states that 16 is the age, then 16 should be the age for everyone. The rule doesn’t say ‘play the best gymnast regardless of his or her age.’ So, the big deal is that one country sees fit to, apparently, circumvent the rules and forge passports to prove the ages to the IOC. That is far worse than doping, in my opinion, because it institutionalizes cheating.

    I don’t really care about Apple and fake iPhones, that’s just what everyone thinks of when they hear ‘fake’ and ‘China’ in the same sentence.

    Finally – I’m not familiar with Suskind or his book or any of the allegations that you refer to, so I can’t really comment on your final statement.

    Thanks for the video link!

  3. shrinkingisaac
    Aug 14, 2008

    i get the rules are rules. but i have never figured out which i like least – stupid rules or not following them. It’s a toss up.

    Re: Suskind:
    i haven’t read the book either. i just watch the Daily Show pretty regularly, and he was on there the other night. Basically his latest book – in part – claims that folks inside the CIA are responsible for forging a pre-dated letter from an intelligence chief in Iraq providing (after the fact) evidence of WMD back in 2003.

  4. Tim
    Aug 14, 2008

    From what I’ve heard the age rules were adopted to prevent injury to younger athletes. I guess there is a high rate of injury among young gymnasts who push themselves too hard.

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