- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 1255 Hour
- Reading permission
Sure there are people that care a lot about the issues and, frankly, China selected its venues poorly. In Europe, issues that repeatedly work against China--because, frankly, China has a long way to go on them--matter much more and activism is much more extreme. In addition, while the Seattle riots cooled aggressive activism in the US, European groups took it as a wake-up call to greater direct action (like torch-grabbing and even eco-terrorism), seeing that it effectively generated publicity within Europe. Of course, you are spot on about the French.
I see problems ahead in San Francisco and, quite frankly, question why the city was chosen. It has a large Buddhist population that has melded with the hippie population to create a weird TB-but-not-really Buddhist following, increasing the likelihood of demonstrations. SF is easily the most European of US cities and the least likely to perceive law-and-order as a goal in itself; presumably Beijing selected it because of its large Chinatown, which is a mistake and, frankly, offensive. To an extent, it symbolizes the fact that China has made these problems for itself: it has already undertaken a large scale politicization of the Olympics and selected routes for nationalist rather than internationalist reasons. To that extent, China deserves the trouble they are getting; let it be a lesson in why you must carefully control your own hype and spin.
But anyhow, coverage centers in on activists because they do things, all the normal people who turned out to see their favorite athletes are pretty much ignored by the camera because they're... well... boring. In addition, any media attention on the "pro-Beijing" groups immediately draws fire because their level of preparation implicates the Chinese embassy; this should have been handled much differently and China should have prepared to hand out Olympics googaws to more than just Chinese nationalists overseas. You cannot talk about countries and not also talk about politics--politics is what they're made of--and it doesn't help that conversation to deploy some obvious astroturf.