Spielberg boycotts Beijing Olympics (13 Feb 08, theage.com.au)
US film maker Steven Spielberg said he was abandoning his artistic role in the Beijing Olympics, accusing China of not doing enough to press its ally Sudan to end devastating violence in Darfur.
"I have decided to formally announce the end of my involvement as one of the overseas artistic advisers to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games," Spielberg said in a statement.
In conjunction with this article, one should read of Hu Jia, a political dissident, husband and father, who was recently seized from his house, whereupon his wife and infant daughter were placed under house arrest.
Dissident’s Arrest Hints at Olympic Crackdown
By JIM YARDLEY
Published: January 30, 2008 (NYT)
Mr. Hu, 34, and his wife, Zeng Jinyan, are human rights advocates who spent much of 2006 restricted to their apartment in a complex with the unlikely name of Bo Bo Freedom City. She blogged about life under detention, while he videotaped a documentary titled “Prisoner in Freedom City.” Their surreal existence seemed to reflect an official uncertainty about how, and whether, to shut them up.
That ended on Dec. 27. Mr. Hu was dragged away on charges of subverting state power while Ms. Zeng was bathing their newborn daughter, Qianci. Telephone and Internet connections to the apartment were severed. Mother and daughter are now under house arrest. Qianci, barely 2 months old, is probably the youngest political prisoner in China.
TV is already scandalous enough; surely we can all support watching something more banal and less grotesque than the world celebrating its human solidarity in sport in the capital of a country that consistently violates human dignity. My prayer is that, whilst my eyes are off it, Beijing will be changed for good due to both the intense, subterranean spiritual energy building in China and the inescapable scrutiny it will draw during the Olympics.