Fooled you, Olympics viewers, world

Talk about tricksters. Several news agencies are reporting (here and here, for example) this morning that some significant portions of the opening ceremony of the Olympics were faked. The cute little girl who sang the Chinese national anthem was lip synching; the real little girl singer, it seems, had crooked teeth and wouldn’t look good on TV.

And the stunning fireworks display that spanned the length of Beijing was both real and faked. While observers on the ground saw the real fireworks, computer-generated versions of it were interspersed with live television footage. That means that most of the world saw a Michael Bay-like opening ceremony that the a Chinese special effects house spent the past year perfecting.

All those involved say the substitutions and trickery were in the national interest; most of them have now been threatened with prison time for squealing, too. Meanwhile, the Chinese version of the Internet is buzzing with criticism; at least the situation is provoking some online debate, even though the posts are being deleted as fast as they can be posted by the country’s online censors.

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