[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Earthquake related stories

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Earthquake related stories

Quite a tough week this is becoming to be. Other than a lack of quality sleep (no surprises there), the long hours I've been putting in to hammer out these 'next-day' videos is taking its toll. I always end up making careless mistakes, like typos, and it's really embarrassing considering I spent all that time editing the video etc. But the good feedback is worth it... I guess. Just have to really make good use of my weekends...

The video above is on China's 3-day national mourning period. It began on the 19th at 2:28pm, the time when the quake struck Sichuan a week before. I literally got to the heart of Tiananmen Square a few minutes before the 3-minute silence began. My stamina really sucked as I ran there from the subway... don't know if it was whether the gear I was carrying or more shitty shoes, or even the bad air? I've had an annoying cough all week.

Many people were shouting pro-China slogans like "Long live China". I don't really understand how that ties into mourning the dead! Some of the interviewees talked about China being great, proud to be Chinese, and all that, but I just don't see how national pride fits into it all. Some folks were really getting into the fervent nationalistic chanting. So much so the police urged calm and didn't let any more people into Tiananmen - which is supposed to be a public space. Hah, usually when I ask these questions I say to myself: "Uh, where am I?"

Today's video was a little less straight forward. BOCOG in its infinite wisdom launched this media event that had little Olympic significance. Still, the scenes were ample stuff for the media - volunteers counting donation money, relief workers giving vox pops and soldiers loading aid onto trains. Yet they had no English press releases, guests were late, press conference rooms were hastily assembled, shit sound systems, and just all-round piss poor communication. But I guess they have time to brush up when the real deal happens in what, 79 days? Also, I feel sympathetic to Chinese reporters as they constantly have to wait for interpreters to finish before they get their answers. Don't worry guys, once the Olympic jive is over you'll return to your everyday inane news/propaganda reporting.