So it came as odd relief when London, in accepting the Olympic baton, declined the Chinese challenge. Give the PRC its sleek uniformity, its colors not found on the usual spectrum, its million double-jointed pixies. The British are coming--by bus. A curious assembly, apparently chosen for their ability to hold umbrellas and not look too Anglo, waited while the double-decker rolled up. It coughed out an unremarkable child, an aging rocker, and soccer stud David Beckham, who nearly created an international incident by drilling a ball into a crowd of Chinese dancers. The bus's sole concession to showmanship involved morphing into a thicket.
Those inclined to analogy might have seen a portrait of empires--one fading, the other ascendant. China had earned the right to be proud of its Olympic moment and of the rising power it announced. But that quaint bus offered a premonition. Realizing that Britain once mastered the globe should have sent a chill through China's grand scheme. No arsenal of special effects can keep the sun from setting.
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|Publication:||The American Conservative|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Sep 8, 2008|
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