Will Bueché

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Ruining the Olympics

Posted in Personal by Will on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 ~ 1pm

The Chinese government is known to revise their country’s history when it suits them, which is all too often. I wonder if this practice has become so steady that the average Chinese person may have lost the ability to tell the truth from lies.

When the Chinese government revises the ages of their underage Olympic gymnasts, adding 2 to 3 years to their ages to make them meet the minimum age limit of 16, do their parents accept that their new ages are now their true ages? Do the officials who were aware they needed to create the fake passports soon thereafter believe the fraudulent documents that they themselves created?

In his novel 1984, George Orwell portrayed a society in which starving individuals honestly believed official announcements that their chocolate rations had been enlarged even when they were smaller than the day before. But that was a work of fiction, and Orwell was only speculating. I wonder about the minds of the real life people who are engaged in this.

I’ve read at least one article in which a former Chinese gymnast from some years back now concedes that she was underage at the time, so probably the truth is that the Chinese still maintain the ability to tell truth from fiction. But it would be interesting to study their relationship to the truth.

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