>From Deadspin: Olympic Torch Relay Proceeding Smoothly So Far, is likened to a huge game of capture the flag. I do have to admit it’s the only relay I can remember that isn’t bland and boring.
And we’re not even to San Francisco yet, with its huge East Asian population and reputation for left-wing activism.
On a more serious note, this is probably the best possible situation that could have come about. Given their record on a multitude of issues, China probably should not have been awarded the Olympics. Nothing has yet changed on those issues because of the attention China has received. On the other hand, it’s quite doubtful that anything would have changed if they hadn’t gotten the Olympics, either. The whole hubbub going on now is the worst possible publicity China could get–and ironically, little if any of this would be possible if the western democracies decided to boycott.
Even more ironic is that the Olympic torch relay was created for propaganda purposes by another totalitarian regime–the Nazis. This relay has turned into the destruction of propaganda, highlighting the worst of a nation instead of its best.
Autocrats, by definition, do not listen to others. If there’s any way to get through to China, this might be it.
Athletics in Britain weighs in on the subject as well, with the best writing on the subject I’ve seen.