Results tagged “Beijing” from Joe Lavin's Humor Column

All Archery, All the Time

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Like many Americans, I caught Olympic fever over the weekend. Admittedly, in my case, I already had the fever because of a head cold, and there wasn't much on television except the Olympics. Still, it was exciting, especially the American swimming victory over the French in the 4x100 freestyle relay. Short of defeating Al Qaeda for the gold medal, a come-from-behind victory over France is about the most exciting thing that can happen in the Olympics for Americans.

Average of Joe: Welcome to China

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With the Beijing Olympics about to begin, here are a few pieces from my 2001 trip to Beijing:

Welcome To China
Inside the Forbidden City
Hello, Humor Column
On and Around the Great Wall
Rubber Dinosaurs and Cadavers

And finally, in The Boston Herald, I was just a little skeptical about how The Smog Olympics would turn out.

Beijing 2008: The Earthy Games

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The Beijing Olympics start four months from today, that is, if the Olympic torch ever actually makes it there. With all the protests about Tibet, that's questionable, but if the Games do get started, they may be the oddest ever. If you don't believe me, just take a look at some headlines from the official web site.

Rockets in the Sky: Or the Weather of the XXIX Olympiad

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The Beijing Olympics are just a year away, and I couldn't be more excited. These are going to be the best Olympics ever, mainly because of two words: weather rockets. You see, the Chinese government has already promised that there will be no rain for the Opening Ceremonies. Originally, no one knew how they would accomplish this feat, but now thankfully we do. The Chinese government plans to prevent rain storms by launching rockets at rain clouds in an attempt to disperse them, which actually sounds a lot more exciting than any of the other Olympic events.

ThingsAsian: Rubber Dinosaurs and Cadavers

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Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall - these are some of the best-known sites around Beijing. Come back from Beijing without visiting them, and people will look at you as if you are crazy. But, sometimes, the less popular sites are the most revealing - like, for example, Beijing's Natural History Museum.

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ThingsAsian: On and Around the Great Wall

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As we take the highway to the Great Wall, it is obvious that my friends and I are not the only ones who have decided to see the wall during the May Day holiday. Most of China seems to be with us here on the highway to Mutianyu, one of the prime places for tourists to see the restored wall. Mutianyu is only about fifty miles northeast of Beijing, yet with all the traffic it still takes over two hours to get there.

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Hello, Humor Column

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So are they friendly here?" I ask when we enter Beijing's Friendship Store.

"Of course not," my friend Peace explains. "This is China. When they say one thing, believe the opposite."

The Friendship Store, by the way, is not where one comes to buy friends. (I'm told there are other places for that in Beijing). Instead, it is the state-run department store, and Peace is right. Nobody here is particularly friendly. Only in China, would a government ever attempt to make itself synonymous with the word friendship.

Inside the Forbidden City

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As I enter the Forbidden City, I have just one thought: "All this for one guy?" This place is absolutely massive. I still don't know how the emperor kept track of it all. All the names of the buildings are wonderful, but so easily confused. Pity the poor eunuch who thought that the emperor told him to report to the Hall of Supreme Harmony when he really said the Supreme Harmony Gate.

Welcome to China

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It's late April, and Beijing is certainly not the most popular vacation destination for Americans. The American and Chinese governments are still bickering over the collision of an American spy plane with a Chinese fighter jet, and yet here I am, arriving in Beijing for an eight day vacation. I had planned the trip months earlier. My friends Peace and Brian are studying here for the year, and I didn't want to miss this chance to see Beijing. Little did I know that I would be visiting during a major diplomatic crisis. Needless to say, my mother is not thrilled. 

Boston Herald: The Smog Olympics

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Tiananmen Square Having visited Beijing recently, I was shocked to hear that Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympics was accepted last week.

My first thoughts had nothing to do with China's dismal human rights record. I wasn't thinking about the massacre in Tiananmen Square 12 years ago, and I wasn't thinking about China's abuses of Tibet either.

I was thinking of only one thing: pollution.
  • http://JoeLavin.com

    A periodic humor column, disguised as a blog. New columns published on Tuesdays or not as the case may be.

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  • I've written for Slate, The Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, McSweeney's, WBUR Radio, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail, and many other publications. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy my Internet column.

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