Uncategorized | 8:06 pm | August 11, 2008 | By Ashiner

Rainy day (with presidential entertainment)

By Austin Shiner

BEIJING, China, 9:54 a.m. — Late summer usually brings heavy rains to Beijing, yet the first three weeks of my stay saw zero precipitation and gallons of perspiration. That changed today, big time.

Archery is postponed! Rain hammers against the apartment windows and now I’m consigned to watch sharp shooting, archery’s indoor equivalent, which is dull beyond my capacity to describe with the English language. Ok, fine, I’ll try. Eight women stand ten meters from a paper target and use air pistols (yes, air) to shoot tiny pellets with extreme accuracy. The guns make no noise, and the stoicism from the athletes is off-putting – during the entire event not one competitor smiled, frowned, or changed body language. Luckily my leftover dim sum dumplings made a satisfying mid afternoon snack.

George Bush is a hoax. I swear it. I mean no disrespect to Yalies who approve of his administration, you have your opinion and the rest of humanity has its. Yet this Bush anecdote is beyond compare: By divine intervention the Women’s 100 Meter Air Pistol competition ends and Michael “abs so sexy I’d lick salt off them” Phelps enters the Water Cube (exterior’s made of Teflon, don’t you know) for the 400 meter individual medley final. Suddenly the camera swings to the bleachers to find who else but George Bush holding a Star-Spangled Banner with both hands. There’s a problem, however: it’s reversed. From the camera’s perspective (and Michael Phelps’) the stars appear in the upper right hand corner, not the upper left. It seems that, once again, George fails to realize that his perspective isn’t shared by anyone else. 

In a few hours I’ll be seeing archery in person — should be fun (might be boring) but the tight security (or potential lack thereof) will be interesting. I’ll let you know what it was like in my next post.

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