WAG NY CHINA A BOOMING CATASTROPHE

April 19, 2008 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

by Rob Zaretsky

Click here for audio of Episode 2343

Today, we wheeze our way to Beijing. The University of Houston’s Honors College presents this program about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.

Media coverage of the Beijing Olympics seems more about athletes — not records — that will fall. Cars, construction and coal-burning factories cast a permanent and leaden shroud over this city of twelve million. Particulate matter, not athletic matters, is on everyone’s mind because it will be in everyone’s lungs. The American trainer has told his athletes to wear masks from the airport to the starting line.

 This is a funny business: you see, the modern Olympics were meant to cure the ills that overwhelm Beijing. This, at least, was the hope of the Olympics founder, Pierre de Coubertin. Coubertin was the child of an aristocratic Parisian family. In the wake of France’s many revolutions Coubertin’s noble family became as irrelevant as, well, ancient Greek.

 

 

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Entry filed under: CHINA, GLOBAL.

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