China is one of the worst dictatorships we have seen in modern day. So why are we celebrating the 2022 winter Olympics when it’s being hosted by such an evil government?
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Connor.
Connor: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: So right now, as we’re recording this and soon after, I believe you’ll be listening cuz usually we record in advance, but we’re gonna bump this one up a little bit. So the Winter Olympic games have just started and I have ranted about the Olympics before. Yes. We literally just had the summer games because COVID screwed everything up. But I think they’re a huge waste of money, first of all. I think they put, it’s almost like disgusting, the nationalistic display. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t have some pride of where you come from, but it’s almost like it’s a government-nationalistic thing, right? I don’t love it. So it just seems it’s very dystopian to me. If I’m being honest with you. There’s just something so creepy about the flag coming down behind like the winners and everybody crying and it’s just, it’s weird. Like why not just have every individual compete against each other instead of it being, you know, I still wouldn’t like it because governments pay way too much. But, so this has been a really weird concept for me as soon as I became an adult and realized that this was a waste of money and it’s government money, so it’s taxpayer money and you know, I didn’t have the Tuttle twins podcast when I was. I did not know that there was problems. But, so this year though, I have a particularly hard time with the Olympics and that is because they are happening in Beijing, China. Now, we had an episode not too long ago where we talked about the problems with China. And today I kind of wanna expand on this cuz I like taking the themes we’ve talked about and really applying them to what’s happening now. I think that’s what makes things interesting. So, just to give you a brief summary, China’s doing some pretty horrific things. I personally believe that they are the most evil tyrannical dictatorship we’re seeing in the modern day. People might argue that North Korea is, but North Korea would not exist if not for China. China is very much involved in keeping it in power and propping it up. And even if you escape from North Korea and you cross the China border, they will send you back. So they’re, helping each other. So, I do think that China is the main culprit here. And, you know, they’re doing other terrible things. They’re committing genocide. I’m not gonna be able to say the name right. Do you know the name? It’s a.
Brittany: Uyghurs as I say it. They’re Muslim, I believe. they’re doing terrible things. I mean, genocide is when you are killing off or exterminating an entire group of people. And that’s what they’re doing right now in China. Even not worse, but equally as, just tyrannical. So I am not recommending any child go watch Fight Club. I don’t even watch like watching Fight Club. It’s an interesting movie, but that is an American movie with Brad Pitt. It was made, oh goodness, Connor, probably over 20 years ago now. Yeah, that makes me feel old. But China’s really big on censorship. So anything that shows the government losing anything that shows ghosts. So like, pirates of the Caribbean had to be edited because ghosts implied that there is a God and there is religion and there is an afterlife. And in China, the state is the main thing. So this movie Fight Club is super old, but I guess it just got to China. I’m not really sure they changed the ending. And I think it’s just, from what I’ve read, it’s the, so at the end of this movie, it’s like the little guys win and I think they just put something over the screen that’s like, and the government won the end. Or maybe it was the Matrix. They did that too. Cause I think they switched both endings. But, so that’s just how ridiculous their censorship is. I mean, you can’t say things in China. There’s been celebrities there that have disappeared for saying things like, people have been following these movie stars, and all of a sudden they’re just completely erased from society. They’re, you know, not in movies anymore. Nobody can find them. What was it? There was, I think it was tennis. There was a Chinese tennis player who disappeared and it was one of, I think it was an American, someone that run, I don’t know a lot about tennis, clearly somebody who runs the tennis association or whatever. It was like, all right, we’re not going to let you guys participate unless you tell us where this athlete is. And like the Chinese government said something like, oh, she says hi, she’s doing great. Wants everyone to know she’s doing great, but like nobody saw her. So really just weird things. And so this is what makes me so mad about this is that we are sitting there and celebrating the Olympics in a country that has done these horrible things already. It’s only been two days at the time we’re recording this and a reporter was already dragged away. I don’t know if you saw that Connor.
Connor: I did, yeah.
Brittany: So very scary. So, Connor, I wanna get your whole take on this cuz I am very anti-Olympics overall, but I’d love to know, you know, what, what is your take on this and about people who are supporting, given you know, where the games are this year?
Connor: Yeah, I agree with you. This is really more like a government thing, than it is, you know, it’s sad because these are athletes that are, you know, peak performance. They dedicate their entire lives to this craft.
Brittany: Which is admirable, like takes a lot of discipline.
Connor: Yeah. Which is great, right? But there’s kind of this overlay, right, of kind of governments and who’s fighting who and kind of propaganda being used. And, this reporter that was dragged away, he was able to come back and finish his broadcast.
Brittany: Oh, as he? That’s good.
Connor: Yeah. So it’s not like he was, you know, disappeared or whatever. But, what I find interesting with reporters like him, I mean, there’s a lot of tension right now because there’s some things China, you know, does not want shown. And they don’t want people to kind of see are happening. And so there’s a lot of these restrictions happening. And what a lot of media companies have told their journalists, in fact, the United States told this to its athletes as well, is to leave their cell phones and computers back at home. Don’t take them with you to China. Take what’s called a burner phone, which is just a brand new phone that you buy, you know, so people can.
Brittany: It’s like disposable almost.
Connor: Yeah. Or just at least temporary that it like doesn’t have your photos and your bank stuff and your usernames and passwords and, you know, so that you can more easily not be tracked because China, is this, you know, massive, surveillance, apparatus. We’ve talked about the social credit scores before that they basically, you know, are assigning points to citizens based on how well they comply with the government. And so here we are, you know, in this country, allowing this country to demonstrate its greatness, you know, on the world stage and look like everything is fine. And we’re a, I mean, they even had in the opening ceremony, they had a Uighur who was there. So there were two people like holding the torch. I think at the beginning I just saw a little clip on social media.
Brittany: I was like, how dare you watch the Olympics, Connor?
Connor: Wow, Yeah, I was scrolling through Twitter and I saw it and the person sharing this clip was being very critical along these same lines of like, that is total propaganda. Yep. China is trying to show to the world that, oh, everything’s fine. We love Uyghurs. Look, we allowed one to participate in the Olympics. Right? So again, it’s like, it’s one thing to just go compete. I went to a basketball game a couple of weeks ago and at the beginning, they sang the national anthem. Everyone stood up hand over their heart or kneeling or whatever. And I just sat there wondering, why do we do this at a basketball game or a sport? Like if we’re there to watch sports, let’s be there for sports, but to like layer this weird patriotism on top and this government stuff is just odd. I also found it odd when, you know, we’re singing this two years into COVID and the person is belting out the song and the land of the free, the home of the brave. And I’m thinking we are not in the land of the free and there’s not many brave people around, you know, pushing back on this stuff. And so anyways, maybe a topic for another day. But the point is like, I was there to watch basketball not to have this like, political propaganda, which, look, there’s a lot of stuff I love about the star especially the history, of how it originated. Like, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s an inherently bad thing, but when, when it infuses this kind of tribalistic sports arena, especially with the Olympics, when you get this government propaganda and everything coming in there too, it’s like, I just wanna watch sports, so let’s not have this like, you know, government propaganda happening. And so now you’ve got everyone having to leave their phones at home cause they don’t wanna be spied on by the government and it just creates all these problems. So, no I don’t love that aspect of the Olympics. I can appreciate watching, you know, someone skiing down a hill. Yeah. You know, and doing it crazy fast and risking their life to do so and beating by, you know, 0.02 seconds, the world’s record, and, you know, always trying to optimize their performance and find little ways to shape like that. Okay. I can appreciate that. But it’s just like this stuff that gets layered on top that these politicians are trying to use that to kind of flex and to kind of do this propaganda. China is a horrible country. And as you point out, Brittany, the difference when North Korea, one of the, you know, they’re both communist countries. One of the biggest differences I think is that North Korea is inept. And what I mean by that is they’re not very effective. They’re, not smart people. You know, they’re kind of backward. They don’t have a lot of money. They don’t have a lot of, experts. They don’t have a lot of good organization or whatever. China is a ruthlessly efficient, highly prosperous, effective communist country. They are a massive threat because they’ve allowed for capitalism to kind of flourish a little bit. They’ve allowed for a lot of these companies to be able to, you know, have this kind of quasi-capitalist, system within a communist country. And so only when these companies are getting successful, like the Alibaba, company, do you remember him? So Alibaba’s, this Jack Ma or Jackie Ya.
Brittany: Oh yeah. Jack Ma. I wanna say it’s Jack. Yeah.
Connor: Yeah. One of the world’s richest people, Alibaba is a massively successful company, right? All these companies making there you know, their stuff in China or whatever, Alibaba is this big, kind of Amazon for businesses where, oh, hey, do you need an electronic thing or do you need a, you know, a wrapper or do you need a toolkit or whatever. They have all these like supplies to help these businesses around the world. So the company grew massively. Jack was massively wealthy, and then he basically disappeared and no one heard from him for months did they find his, well, so he came back, okay. And then China basically demanded that he turned over his company. Oh. And, divest himself of his holdings, basically like give China control. So China’s okay with people, you know, amassing wealth and creating a service and creating a lot of value. But oh, hey, if you get too powerful, you get too wealthy. You know, that’s when the communists step in and you know, I mean, they probably kidnapped him, threatened his, you know, family, you know, people he loved, probably killed some people who knows. And basically, beat him into submission. It is an evil country. And, or I mean, and again, they’re an amazing Chinese people. I mean like even in North Korea or whatever, it’s not the people, it’s these politicians who are perpetuating this system. And look, you know, a lot of, who was it that I saw, something on social media the other day where one of these sports associations were encouraging the athletes basically telling the athletes not to say anything bad about China. Not to use their social media or anything as a platform to criticize communism or to attack China because they were worried about the repercussions. We, we’ve seen this, you pointed out the movies that are being censored and edited. Well, why do we do that, Brittany? We do that because China is such a massive market. There’s so many people that the producers of these films, right, the sports associations and so forth, they want to play nice with China because they want access to China’s market. And China knows that. They know that they have leverage that if these companies want to come in and serve their, you know, their citizens or provide their products and services that they have to play ball with communists and they have to censor different things. And that is very, very worrisome because if we stop calling out communists because we want to, you know, sell things to communist citizens in China, right? Then we’re not calling out evil when there’s evil. And what does that, what does that do? What does that, how does that normalize things? What does that do for young people, right? Wearing their che guevara t-shirts and, you know, whatever thinking that communism, oh, it helps people, helps poor people. Like it just creates this historical ignorance and people don’t really learn about how evil China is, the awful things they are doing, why communism is a problem. And that is what worries me. Not just this Olympics, not just Jack being, you know, kidnapped or this reporter being dragged off-screen. It’s the implications of what happens when people don’t understand how significant a problem this actually is happening in China.
Brittany: Yeah. And I think, you know, this isn’t really the first time we’ve seen that. Speaking of a different kind of evil, in 1936, the Olympic games were in Germany. That’s, and that was right as Hitler was rising to power. And you know, the US government justified its participation cuz they said, you know, they wanted to stand up to Hitler, they wanted to, you know, make a statement. And, you know, there were some good stories to come out of it. I think Emma and I talked about the black runner Jesse Owens who won four gold medals First American to ever win that many in, you know, won simple or won single Olympic games. And that’s a great feel-good story, but why did we go to this place and give our support and give money to an evil regime? You know, I think that could be argued that that was the evilest regime of that time. So, there were a lot of people that wanted to boycott it, but eventually, they decided to participate. And that’s what’s crazy to me, even crazier, is we did boycott in Olympic games. We boycotted the 1988 games in Moscow because we were in the Cold War. Now, Russia’s no saint, do not get me wrong here, but they didn’t send, you know, 6 million Jewish people off to death camps. And that was like that was okay, but you know, we can’t, it’s crazy to me. And again, I’m not saying that we, you know, that Russia’s great. Russia’s not saying that at all, but it’s just funny what we’ve chosen to boycott and what we haven’t. And it makes me very nervous.
Connor: And, Brittany, what you just said, I find interesting when you say we have chosen to boycott.
Brittany: Not us, not we.
Connor: Well, exactly. It’s the governments, the whole Olympic thing has become a government thing. Like if some athletes or you know, groups of athletes or associations wanna boycott like it should be down at the level of those, you know, participating it, this should be a voluntary thing, but this, it becomes a decision for politicians and for the people in charge and you know, like that is what’s weird to me about who’s gonna decide is that if this is just an athletic thing, leave it all up to the athletes, right? But then the government comes in, oh, we don’t like the optics. If we, you know, go do it in Moscow during the cohort. I get it. I understand that. But then you, as you point out, you get the inconsistency where it’s like, well, why didn’t we bo boycott it when it was in Berlin, Germany, or in China? You know, how do we determine when we quote-unquote we are going to participate or not participate? What’s it gonna take right? To say like, no, we’re not gonna condone an opportunity for China to try and pretend to the world that they’re, you know, a great country doing things just fine. And look like the United States has many, many problems on its own. Yes. So you could also use my argument to say we shouldn’t be hosting it anywhere in America. And so then it’s this question of like, okay, well, like what, what city or what country doesn’t have, you know, significant problems? Well, probably a lot of the smaller ones that don’t have this ruthless, you know, large military and money and you know, criminal justice system locking, you know, people up for victimless crimes and all these types of things. It’s, just a problem when it’s this question of like, what are we condoning? And you know, America for all of its warts and problems, you know, is not a communist country. So there’s at least a degree of a large degree of difference. And, I worry that people are not getting the message when watching the Olympics that it’s almost like plugging your nose a little bit. Like, okay, I’ll just watch the people skiing, but you know, I really don’t like that this is happening in China and that China gets to kind of play nice too, you know, to the world and pretend that everything’s okay because it’s not. And I think we need to call out evil when we see evil. And I don’t think that we should not do that just because we want to, you know, sell our stuff to Chinese people. And it’s just a lot of big problems for us to kind of ponder what is the line and when is it crossed and when do we stand up against something and say Enough is enough. So interesting thoughts to ponders we watch. Or in the case of Brittany and I don’t watch the Olympics or just, you know, see other people posting about it on social media. but good conversation is always something for us to think about. Britney, thanks and we’ll talk to you next time.
Brittany: Talk to you next time.