Unburned Offerings At Beijing

The Beijing Olympics were sung in by a pretty little girl called Lin Miaoke, wearing a red dress and pigtails. Only afterwards was it revealed that she was lip-syncing to the real singer, one Yang Peiyi. The latter was not allowed to appear because she was less “flawless”. Now, this is a word one normally associates with the rules for animal sacrifice, and may in this way help us realize that concern with the beauty of these little girls may not be connected with the fact that they are little girls; that is, may not be quite as sexual as we assume.

To me, “flawlessness” evokes primarily the ideal of perfection as an end-in-itself. This, after all, the origin of the word “model”, before we had verbs about modeling clothes; a model is an exemplar, something that shows us what quality can in fact be achieved. Nine-year-olds as sexual objects rightly make us moderns queasy, but what we have in the Beijing opening ceremony may be more in the nature of an offering-up of genetic perfection for its own sake, perhaps a kind of sympathetic magic intended to promote genetic health in the whole country, or at least pretend to it. To turn it around, I do not know what specifically was “wrong” with Yang Peiyi, but if we imagine that she had zits or a lopsided face, having her to represent the community would probably cause a deep sense of unease or even foreboding. Absit omen! Let us sacrifice to the gods of evolution.

Posted on May 13, 2009 at 12:25 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

4 Responses

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  1. Written by The Ghost in the Machine
    on August 2, 2013 at 13:22

    Walt Disney might be said to have similar ideas. He had a long list of specifications of the physical characteristics for the employees that were to be allowed to work at his Disneyland and other venues.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see this as all that benign.

  2. Written by urban
    on August 2, 2013 at 13:30

    There’s nothing benign about Disney.

  3. Written by The Ghost in the Machine
    on August 3, 2013 at 18:29

    Agreed. Disney, more then anyone, has destroyed the nourishing and sometimes dark depths of fairytales and myths. Essentially, Disney is to fairytales what Muzak is to music.

  4. Written by urban
    on August 8, 2013 at 17:25

    Even a cursory glance at plot patterns in Disney films aimed at children reveals sick and twisted elements that are impossible to rationalize as ‘wholesome family entertainment’. Girls find happiness, (for but one example among many possibles), by becoming something other than what they are, a process which necessarily involves ignoring ones father who is clearly a bumbling fool. And on and on. Disney preserves the dark without the depth.

    As if that sort of thing weren’t creepy enough, through aggressive lobbying, (a lovely euphemism for buying government officials, no?), Disney is almost single-handedly responsible for the endless extension of a corrupt intellectual property regime that benefits few and stifles culture, just so they don’t loser exclusive rights to a silly rodent.

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