Painting Over Mao: Interpreting the Opening Ceremony

History of China professor Geremie R. Barmé at The China Beat, one of the more informed online sources of China info, analyzes the intended and unintended messages conveyed in the Opening Ceremony in “Painting Over Mao: Notes on the Inauguration of the Beijing Olympic Games”:

“…while there was much to commend the performance in terms of scale and synchronized collective performance, after we leave the retrospect on pre-modern China (one in which the narrative about millennia of peace, exchange, harmony and friendship is problematic in other ways) coherence is sacrificed for the sake of a number of designed-by-committee themes.”