15 August 2008


For every 15,000 Adult Male Performers, there are 30,000 Child Laborers standing behind them.

No one can deny that the Summer Olympics’ opening ceremony was stupendous. The artistry, faultless symmetry, and harmonized movement was a sensational journey through history and tradition. I was moved. I welled up. I was in the moment with them. Until, that is, the commentator noted that the Creative Director (or choreographer) watched a rehearsal in which the performers wore black unitards studded with tiny lights. He immediately said black would not work, change it to neon green. Within days they had a new unitard designed. Within a week, they had over 1,000 of them sewn and covered in lights. I marveled along with the rest of the world at this feat. And then it occurred to me: China has sweatshops. It’s summer vacation. And kids loooove to stay up late. Of course the Chinese could churn out over 1,000 costumes in only 7 days. Scores of teeny children were available (ready and willing?) for finger-bleeding work. So it may have seemed to the commentators--and the world--that those sparkling green unitards magically appeared, but my belief is that there’s more behind it. A lot more…like legions more...of 3 foot tall, 36 pound prepubescent government-limited laborers.*

*The above commentary mere speculation. NBC has not broadcast any sweatshops during their coverage of the Olympics. It is doubtful any sweatshops will be exposed, as inevitably a whistleblower’s tongue be gouged and hands cut off.**

** I exaggerate. Surely the People’s Republic of China wouldn't purposely hurt those critical of their alleged practices.

No comments: