So what else is faked

August 13th, 2008 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

has made great strides in recent years, but one is reminded of how big the remaining gulf is, with the story over the fake singing at the opening:

The girl in the red dress with the pigtails, called Lin Miaoke, 9, and from a Beijing primary school, has become a national sensation since Friday night, giving interviews to all the most popular newspapers.

But the show’s musical designer felt forced to set the record straight. He gave an interview to Beijing radio saying the real singer was a seven-year-old girl who had won a gruelling competition to perform the anthem, a patriotic song called “Hymn to the Motherland”.

At the last moment a member of the Chinese politburo who was watching a rehearsal pronounced that the winner, a girl called Yang Peiyi, might have a perfect voice but was unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth.

So, on the night, while a pre-recording of Yang Peiyi singing was played, Lin Miaoke, who has already featured in television advertisements, was seen but not heard.

The one good thing is that the musical designer who revealed this, felt he was able to do so without disappearing into the night as once would have been he case.

But really to have politburo members choosing the child singer!

And the fireworks were also faked in part:

Officials have already admitted that the pictures of giant firework footprints which marched across Beijing towards the stadium on Friday night were prerecorded, digitally enhanced and inserted into footage beamed across the world.

Now again the good thing is through blogs and elsewhere Chinese citizens are able to debate whether or not they think these actions were good, or not. But they do do real damage.

People like me wonder if the hosts are so willing to fake the singing and fake the fireworks, how much confidence can you have in them to have discouraged steroid use and the like? The technology is always somewhat ahead of the detection, so even the best efforts of international authorities will be limited if a host country condones anything in its desire to be the best.

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47 Responses to “So what else is faked”

  1. Advocatus Diaboli (28 comments) says:

    Chinese Government have the right to present a perfect image. I would rather have female Lip Sync the song than display a child with missing tooth.

    Personally wouldn’t hire anyone who was overweight, unattractive or missing teeth to work in my Newmarket Boutique.

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  2. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    So what else is faked?

    :
    Human Rights perhaps? Democracy? Freedom of speech?

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  3. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    I recommend an essay I was just reading a few days ago: “Empire of Lies”, by Guy Sorman.

    A superb analysis of the true state of things in China by a man who has actually been there a lot over the last few decades.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_2_china.html

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  4. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    Advocatus Diaoli, do you mean handsome perfect men or do you mean women,,either way you sound shallow , are your goods an allusion?? froth with no substance like the false singer, im a substance person

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  5. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    A seventeen year old, winning gold in weightlifting? Not at all suspicious that, eh?

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  6. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Welcome to communism.

    What happens when socialist get what they want. Total power.

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  7. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    Many of the flawed human traits and events of this situation exist equally in our own “democratic western culture”. Anyone seen a Hollywood movie lately? A beauty contest? A professional promotion based on intangibles that did not include suitablity of position or skill? A public relations exercise?

    Yes yes we know China bad, human rights abuses, etc etc etc. But really it’s like trying to catch a chinese Al Capone on tax evasion charges. If we’re going to denounce China, then we don’t trade with them, we don’t turn up to their games, we have the real courage to illustrate our values with deeds, not just words. Otherwise we deserve the prickling of conscience that G.W. Bush must have felt as he mumbled about China’s human rights abuses through mouthfuls of five star Peking duck and sat down again in a centre stage silk cushioned chair.

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  8. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    (1) What has the opening ceremony ( a stage/multimedia show/installation work) got to do with drug abuse by athletes – which is tested for? (Tested by the IOC officials I believe?)

    (2) Lip-synching is not a uniquely Chinese or even Communist technique. (I was more horrified when the “representative” western singer they chose to stand on the globe of the world turned out to be Sarah Brightman (shudder)…)

    (3) yes it’s a pity the footprint fireworks were not “real” but wasn’t this a fairly peripheral part of the show, compared to what went on inside the stadium?

    (4) I have a number of friends who are ex-pat Chinese and many of them have admitted that they watched the opening ceremony through tears of pride in their country and their people’s achievements.

    The Olympic opening ceremony was stunning and just beautiful, and I think anyone could see it was about celebrating the Chinese people and their heritage, not about fireworks. If your one and only comment so far on all of that is to be a knocker and pick little holes like this then I am sorry but you appear a sad, sad individual sometimes.

    [DPF: You obviously also think honesty is a optional value in these things. I don't. ]

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  9. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    DPF said: Now again the good thing is through blogs and elsewhere Chinese citizens are able to debate whether or not they think these actions were good, or not.

    Are they? I’d have thought the Great Firewall of China might come into play.

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  10. 3-coil (1,182 comments) says:

    China is the land of counterfeits, fakes and cheap knock-offs – why should we be surprised by any of this?

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  11. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    I recall at a previous Olympics (maybe Seoul or Atlanta or L.A.) that an archer fired a flaming arrow to light the Olympic torch. It looked mighty impressive. The trouble was that he couldn’t be relied on to hit the target so an automatic lighter was installed. As it happened, he missed the target! Thank goodness for technology, eh.

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  12. democracymum (660 comments) says:

    China have learned to “fake it till you make it” from the best

    In the west
    Every woman’s magazine is covered with airbrushed models with silicone implants
    Our movies are CGI extravaganzas spectacular yes – but still fakes
    Even our democracies are fake, we pretend to put power in the hands of the people, but really we are no better off than the Chinese

    Who can blame them for wanting to show off their country in the best light possible, the opening ceremony was spectacular and highly creative. (Although I was slightly concerned about the image of the earth turning into a glowing red globe)

    I would like to see the little girl in question given a slot to sing in the closing ceremony. I think perhaps the Chinese were a little over zealous in endeavouring to pander to a Western ideal of beauty.

    Ironically we have as much to learn from China about discipline, hard work and the greater good, as they can learn from us about human rights and political freedom.

    I say – yes they have some issues, but they have a lot to offer the world I for one are glad they have the games.

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  13. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    In fact, it was at Barcelona where the archer “hit” the target.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article4512250.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2

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  14. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article4512250.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2

    In fact, it was Barcelona where the archer “hit” the target.

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  15. NoCash (231 comments) says:

    I actually was wondering if the giant footprints were computer generated when I watched on TV. Now I know.

    Apparently they did use real firework for the footprints but it was deemed logistically impossible and too dangerous to film the sequence live from a helicopter for broadcasting, hence the CGI footage.

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  16. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    But really to have politburo members choosing the child singer!

    I’m not at all concerned about image management – as democracymum points out other countries/organisations do this all the time. What is a bit alarming is the level of state intervention into an administrative detail, which telegraphs to the little girl that she’s not acceptable and to the successive layers of management that they all made a mistake.

    Mind you, this is the kind of micro-management that has last century’s socialists-style leaders dewy eyed with admiration. So watch Helen start to dictate who should/shouldn’t sing our national anthem. Hey if teeth are the issue then we can be sure she won’t be volunteering herself!

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  17. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Come back when Hollywood is executing 10,000 people every year goodgod.

    Claiming someone else is flawed as an excuse is a a labour party playbook move and it holds no water. Bad is bad.

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  18. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    Ross “I recall at a previous Olympics (maybe Seoul or Atlanta or L.A.) that an archer fired a flaming arrow to light the Olympic torch”

    If memory serves me correct that was Mohammad Ali at Atlanta 96. I was also under the impression that he did hit the target, so the back up wasn’t necessary, but it was no secret.

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  19. Russell Brown (403 comments) says:

    I recall at a previous Olympics (maybe Seoul or Atlanta or L.A.) that an archer fired a flaming arrow to light the Olympic torch.

    It was Barcelona. The guy totally missed, but they had it rigged.

    The odd thing is that it seems the NBC coverage in the US actually made it clear that the footsteps part employed “digital pyrotechnics”. Our guys just didn’t get that memo, clearly.

    And I’m not sure it’s fair to crack on like China is the world’s only drug cheat. It’s a matter of record that through the 1990s, US administrators kept secret positive drug tests by more than 100 of their Olympic athletes (including the likes of Carl Lewis) so that they could, unfairly, compete and win medals.

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  20. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    “Our guys” being what, the New Zealand Communist party… opps sorry they call it Labour now.

    And of course theres the everyone else is doing it so its ok line. thanks for demonstrating my point Russell.

    Indocrination is SO hard to shake isn’t it.

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  21. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    I wonder what Helen thinks of replacing the young girl with imperfect teeth. If she object maybe she would consider she should put a non-airbrushed photo on the Labour website.

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  22. FletcherB (60 comments) says:

    If you say to me “digital pyrotechnics” while showing images of amazingly well timed and choreographed fireworks…. my initial assumption would be that the triggering of real fireworks was achieved with computer timing and synchronization…. not that you’d just drawn pictures on a computer display :)

    The latest claim is the the foot-shaped fireworks did indeed happen…. they just prepared some others earlier as they were not confident they could be filmed clearly and safely…. which at least seems plausible?

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  23. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    OK memory was half right Mohammad Ali was at Atlanta 96 but that was not the arrow thing. That was Barcelona, although it does seem to hit. Here is a video of it if anyone cares.

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  24. 3-coil (1,182 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird (1:03pm): No chance – Hulun knows that “digital dentistry” is cheaper, quicker and far less painful than the real thing. Now, if doctoring the economy, health, welfare etc was as easy…

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  25. FletcherB (60 comments) says:

    Hagues….. watch that clip you linked to closely….. just after the torch bursts into flames, you can see the still flaming arrow fall behind…. because it went straight over the top! it actually appears in the small gap between the two vertical pillars….

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  26. Dr Robotnik (533 comments) says:

    I bought a load of DVD’s and some really cool software (you know, Windows XP, Vista, all sorts of good pro apps) in Hong Kong for ten bucks.

    Now I’m worried they are also fake. What should I do?

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  27. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Put a kiwi made sticker on them and resell them to parliamentry services Doc.

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  28. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    Getstaffed>So watch Helen start to dictate who should/shouldn’t sing our national anthem.

    So we’d expect a hypothetical NZ Olympics to be opened with Dyson, Street, Hobbs, and Mackey singing the pre-recorded national anthem. But with four good looking women lipsyching at the ceremony?

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  29. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Well there’s another tempting oportunity for suicide david.

    Happily it shall not come to pass. Something to due with a use-by date on desicated socialist coming due means we get to say good-bye to the muscial answer to the question that no one asked.

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  30. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    If your sense of the Chinese is governed by (and limited to) their last 60 years of communist rule, then enjoy yourselves!
    But for what it’s worth, before “damn communism – damn communism – damn communism” completely takes over, I would say again:

    I have a number of friends who are ex-pat Chinese and many of them have said that they watched the opening ceremony through tears of pride.

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  31. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Well that excuses communism RRM.

    Except that it doesn’t.

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  32. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Murray, real genuine Chinese who have experienced the rule of the communists (and got out) were able to appreciate the Olympic opening ceremony for the art of it. Why aren’t you?

    Are you more wounded by the existence of the Chinese communist rulers than these people? Why is your chip on your shoulder about the Chinese communist leadership bigger than theirs?

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  33. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    Read this interesting bbc article on what’s changed in China. I think the Olympics are a good thing for China in that they will expose what the free world gets to live like to more Chinese. This will only encourage them to demand more of the government, this is not to say I agree with China getting the games.

    Also, here is the video of the footprint fireworks going off from the ground. So they happened, we just don’t know what night! My understanding is they wanted to show the aerial shot but it wasn’t safe enough… I’d like to know how many tons of fireworks the pilot would’ve had to fly over!

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  34. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    RRM the REAL Chinese culture exists outside Chinia and outside communist rule throughout the entire planet. I lived for two years in a country that was 70% Chinese so i’m not entirely unfamilier with it thanks very much.

    These are the comminist games. Stop painting the feathers and calling a duck and eagle.

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  35. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    The original Olympic Fake was in Los Angeles, where the opening ceremony’s extravaganza included dozens of pianists slotted around the stadium playing an absolute note and timing perfect ditty. It was revealed, months after the games, that they had all mimed and the music was pre-recorded.

    Where Hollywood goes, the world follows eh?

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  36. baxter (893 comments) says:

    I was cogitating on why would anyone want to sign a Free Trade Agreement with people like that, then I thought again who would want to sign a Free Trade Agreement with people like Peters and Clark.

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  37. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Birds of a feather baxter.

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  38. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    [DPF: You obviously also think honesty is a optional value in these things. I don't. ]

    I have been a helper backstage on enough theatrical and operatic productions to have seen that a lot of clever stuff goes on behind the scenes in order to give the audience something worth watching. It isn’t really meaningful to talk about “honesty” as a “value” here – this is just stagecraft. If you are a choreographer and you have been given the job of a lifetime and a bottomless budget to achieve it with, wouldn’t you use every trick at your disposal to get the best possible effect?

    Oh and I don’t think Communist China is the only place where your looks play a part in whether you get on stage or not!

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  39. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    It’s marketing, for goodness sake. They put together a show that was arranged and calculated to show their country in the best possible light.

    In New Zealand, the government use pictures of American families to promote itself.

    Should Fujitsu ditch Stephen Fleming and use a fat, middle-aged housewife from Kilbirnie to advertise their heat pumps? Does the shocking revelation that their ads are staged cause you to wonder whether they are charging thousands of dollars and installing metal boxes with a goldair fan heater stuffed inside?

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  40. insider (990 comments) says:

    If you didn’t spot she was lip syching and the footsteps were unnaturally well cooordinated then you must be naive. If you are shocked, well, then don’t watch C4 or MTV because I’m told that on nearly all the videos the singers aren’t actually singing…

    Those footsteps were an inspired piece of theatre. And that’s what it was, theatre. And if having a prettier girl doing the faking made it better, then so what.

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  41. NoCash (231 comments) says:

    They faked the wind blowing the flags too… shocking!!!

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  42. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Every Australia Day Channel 7 manages to get a helicopter in amongst fireworks. They don’t seem to have footage available online, alas. However even amateurs in a fixed wing can get some good shots (from about 1.30 in).

    Seven’s camera people and pilots (one of whom is a fulltime news chopper pilot and is used for the really tricky stuff) even manage to stay airborne when nature decides to outdo the fireworks.

    So I’m not sure why the Chinese producers, with their budgets, needed to fake it. Still, as others have said, no big deal.

    Though I do hope the dad of the wee girl who was deemed “too ugly” has the name of the Politburo jerk. If that were my daughter the Glorious People’s revolution would be short one despot by now.

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  43. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Honesty is always the very last resort for socialists David.

    People fear the unkown.

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  44. libertyscott (355 comments) says:

    Real damage? Oh please – like Milli Vanilli? Blackbox? Both artists with vocals from people deemed too ugly to be on stage.

    Please give the same attention to how Chinese police repatriate brave North Korean refugees to certain execution or a short life in the gulags as slaves, including children.

    China has many awful issues, to claim this is one is denigrating the importance of the ones that are about more than bad taste. Bad taste is, after all, de rigueur in the Western world with so much culture.

    Like I said in my cut on this issue, what is far more significant is that this fact was outed in China, by the man responsible for organising the music, is being debated within China vigorously, and with no negative consequences, apparently, for the man concerned. That is infinitely more significant than denying the prestige of a little girl – and in fact, far more significant for her too.

    Ever notice how the Greens get all hyped up about China now, when in the early 1970s the likes of Sue Bradford spent time in murderous Maoist China, approvingly, and did you ever hear a peep from the left about the atrocities?

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  45. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    I was watching TVNZ 7 last night, not sure what show but they were interviewing two Chinese New Zealanders about the Olympics. They got to politics and one of them said he thought that NZ was more socialist than China as NZ has social welfare and china doesn’t. He also said that China is more capitalist then NZ!

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  46. longbow (130 comments) says:

    how about Winster Peters…

    with all the superiority of DEMOCRACY, we ended up with politicians full of lies and craps and no shame like Winster Peters, as the foreign minister. and more than a dozen incompetent cabin ministers.

    i hate the lip singing – but it’s not uncommon in the western world, and for appearance, helen herself had teeth fixed in her image. i don’t like the computer generated sequence, their reason was it would be too dangerous to shoot the live fireworks from a plane (besides the aerial space are tightly controlled for security concerns), people in Beijing outside the stadium watched the real footprints. big deal. i don’t like they tried so hard to impress the westerners, but whatever. it’s so easy to stand on a “moral high ground” and point fingers while ignore one’s own problems, historical or current.

    as for China, as i said before, there is still a long way to go.

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  47. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    I think it was rather sad that the Olympics, supposedly designed to celebrate genuine human achievement, was opened by a fraud. I see the overpaid IOC have turned China’s apologists, likening the incident to dropping one athlete in favour of a more capable one. Their analogy is flawed: it would be more correct to say its like dropping your best athlete after they win gold, and having someone else go up to stand on the podium, and be awarded the medal.

    It is slightly encouraging that the man who revealed this has not been arrested, although it appears that internet coverage of it is being censored. To be honest I think China is dealing with the situation entirely incorrectly. There is no use trying to censor this: everyone already knows, all censoring it does is reinforce the idea that China is a repressive dictatorship. What they should do is own up, cease the pointless attempts at censorship and put the actual singer (Yang Peiyi) in the closing ceremony. Doing so would give China a credibility eroded by its past and present governments: the moral authority which comes only from admitting the truth in spite of its political inconvenience.

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