Friday, August 29, 2008

The rockets' red glare...

Feeling pretty good at seeing The Home of the Denver Broncos, Invesco Field/old Mile High Stadium on CNN's Obamapalooza coverage in my Chinese Communist Party subsidized apartment this morning, I got to work a little early and asked my Chinese colleagues if they'd mind if I watched The Speech on the office TV.

"I have to listen to your boring leaders and bureaucrats on TV in the office all the time," I (only half-)joked. "Give me an hour or so of American TV with a charismatic, young politician who doesn't lecture in a shrill incomprehensible monotone ... please?" I also lied and said I wanted to spot my son in the crowd (he couldn't score a ticket) and when I noted that I have a cousin who works for the Obama campaign (true) who I had seen (blatant lie) on CNN already. I haven't seen her, but did see her father in the Pepsi Center on Tuesday briefly in a crowd behind Wolf Blitzer, so maybe it was kind of a half-truth. But family comes first in China and the TV set was activated.

"Is he the president yet?" one asked me. I sighed a little, after having gone through the US Presidential Election Process for Dummies Exercise with another coworker earlier, but skipped the tutorial and said, "No, maybe after the election in November."

They laughed at the 27 or so times or so Obama thanked the 80,000 faithful when he hit the stage, especially when I finally added "enough with the xie-xie" (Chinese for thank you)and urged him to get on with it. Interest on their part, though, flagged noticeably shortly thereafter until the end when the fireworks and confetti flew.

"His daughters?" said one. "We never see our leaders' children."

"So, what did you think," I asked her. She'd shown a modicum of interest in the LoveFest. She was silent and then said something in Chinese to a friend that drew some giggles.

"What? What did you say? So what did you think?" I repeated.

"I said I thought the fireworks were only so-so," she replied. "Not as good as the Olympic ceremonies."


Stuart said...

I wonder if she's referring to the Olympic ceremony fireworks that were faked for the broadcast.

Also, I wonder how surprised the average Chinese will be if Obama doesn't win.

Justin said...

Uh...they won't be surprised at all. Interest in the US election is really very small here, despite the select group of educated, English speaking Chinese I quote.

Politics in general is not a spectator sport here for obvious reasons. It all might be better summed up in an exchange I had the same day with a Chinese guy whom I'd never seen before in the office elevator.

He noticed the Obama button I was wearing and asked if I thought he would win. I said I hoped so, but didn't know but thought he would have better relations with China than Dubya.

"You think so?" he said. "I do not. They are all the same."

You know, he could be right I thought.

Matthew said...

I watched a full 15 minutes of the DNC on the CBS Evening (morning) News. It was the most boring 15 minutes of TV I've watched.

I don't like Obama, but I like McCain even less. Maybe I should start a campaign to write in John Elway...I think his car sales have been slumping, so he could use the boost.

John said...

Ah - that's what is so great about living in NYC. Its alot like China here as the incumbant politicians all win with 85-95 percent of the vote, and its a guarantee that Sen. Obama will with the state's electoral votes.

Considering the choices that the appointed parties in the US have given us, I am very happy to live in a state where I don't have to waste my time and vote.