Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pay No Attention to the Girl Behind the Curtain


A seven-year-old girl was good enough to sing during the Olympics, but not cute enough to be seen on the screen. Seems that the Chinese wanted to put their best face forward in the Olympics, but their actions left a less-than-beautiful impression.

TheWeekDaily.com summed up the stink this way: Chinese officials acknowledged that 9-year-old Lin Miaoke, the girl who sang “Ode to the Motherland” at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, was lip-synching to the voice of 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was deemed insufficiently cute for the occasion. The Windsor Star of Canada asks, "What does it tell us that the 'gap-toothed, chubby faced' Yang, who 'sang her heart out,' gets 'no recognition at all'?

Reminds me of the old Blues Traveler music video, Runaround.




Consider:

  • Can a reader/viewer/audience appreciate Yang Peiyi for her talent without imposing an externalized (culturally constructed) sense of "beauty" of this little girl?
  • Blues Traveler were not a bunch of GQ models, but they were pretty good musicians, weren't they?
  • And the Boston Celtics of old with Bird, Parrish, DJ & McHale? Sure they were photogenically challenged - according to most fashionistas/"pretty police," but man could they play some basketball!
  • That Quasimodo dude in Victor Hugo's book - "ugly" outside, but not inside.
This is yet another example of why rhet/comp/comm/lit pedagogy should encourage "Critical Reading Across Media" (CRAM) to ex/plore, interrogate, invest-igate, the "texts" of society - whether these "texts" exist in/ouside the dominant culture - and whether the "texts" are in print, analog, digital, audio, video or other forms.

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