Pages

December 17, 2011

The Soccer Mocker: The Economist gets a kick out of ridiculing Chinese football


As I discussed in my previous post, The Economist has published two special articles about China as part of its special Christmas-holiday double issue. I discussed the first of the two in my last post, and intend to discuss the second one here.

In "Little Red Card", The Economist mocks China's attempts at becoming a proficient footballing nation, and, no pun intended, gets a kick out of it.  Even the mention of the efforts of the Chinese government in this direction, which are indeed noteworthy when they are compared to India (the only country that can actually be compared to China in this regard) is done as if doing a favor.

First of all, the article contradicts itself. It concludes that the reason for this dismal state of football is "not (due to) a lack of passion from the country’s leaders". But a few lines ahead, it seems to have suffered a pang of amnesia and asserts that "obscure" individual sports seem to be pursued more by the authorities the team sports due to the higher number of medals up for grabs!
"But the contradictions and weaknesses of Chinese capitalism have also played a part in the country’s footballing ignominy."

Well, the shoddy state of Indian football (or indeed any sport other than cricket, and perhaps chess, and that too due to only one person) begs to differ. Will The Economist then bray that 'the contradictions and weaknesses of Indian democracy have played a part in the country footballing ignominy'?

Once a theory takes hold, it is always easy to find evidence for it. Whenever something goes wrong in China, people always find a proxy to blame it on. As far as China-related reporting is concerned, this has more to do with their own psychology and preferences about how a country should be run than the actual causes of what went wrong. Hence, all of China's defects are blamed on China's "state capitalism" and/or a cartoonish exaggeration of it. At the state that The Economist is in right now, it would be naive to assume that common sense would prevail in its reporting about China.

 "...China also claims the world’s earliest recorded mention of a sport similar to football, during the Han dynasty in the 2nd century BC. A version of the game cuju, or “kick ball”, involved a single, elevated net and two sides of 12 men."
..................
"After, arguably, more than 2,000 years, China still awaits its first home-grown football star"

And there it is, the author simply couldn't resist it. What relation, pray, does having the first recorded mention of the sport have to with the present state of that sport in China? Perhaps the author assumes that 'inventing' something implies that that country should "rule the world" with regards to it 2000 years later. China also has the world's earliest recorded mention of toilet paper; perhaps it should be chided for not "ruling the world" in manufacturing it.


29 comments:

  1. Thats what they says... When dragon speak flames only to come out of mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thats what they says... When dragon speak flames only to come out of mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. haha....are you referring to me or The Economist? If you are referring to me, then, well, you know what they say - one must fight fire with fire!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Economist once again misses a chance to prove their objectivity with an unbiased article on a relatively non-political subject. As a German who has lived in China for several years, I get infuriated by such articles and comment sections.

    The corruption of Chinese football is well known amongst my Chinese friends and a source of major embarrassment. But as usual, the Economist points out vague connections and draws major conclusions about China as a whole.

    People who can see past this media bias against China are becoming more and more rare in the West. In Germany, the unbiased, China-experienced voices disappear under a mountain of fear-promoting, anti-China reports in popular media. I am thus quite happy to find this blog and agree with most of Your analysis and discussion.

    Unless the average person in the West (and the East for that matter) can see past their respective media's bias, there is little hope of more positive international relations in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks a lot for the kind words.

    I completely agree with you that relatively objective voices do indeed get drowned by a heap of biased and opportunistic China-related reports.

    And yes - even I think that given the relatively non-political nature of the topic (which was described by the newspaper's Editor-in-Chief, in the newsletter, as not fitting into the normal run of their coverage), it could have been discussed by The Economist in a fair and objective manner. But as they say - the apple doesn't really fall far from the tree... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice take on the Economist's article but isn't all media mostly about entertainment now-a-days?

    People you are prejudiced against China (Unfortunately the majority of non Chinese people) enjoy reading articles like these and they are the audience the news papers are catering to!
    Until people start reading intelligently and criticize articles they feel are wrong, this state of affairs will continue!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes I agree, and it's really a sad state of affairs. And this phenomenon of sacrificing accuracy for popularity and catering to the target audience (with regards to China-related issues) is actually at its highest in India!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Considering the following accomplishment by India:

    2008 Beijing Olympics: 2 Medals, including 1 Gold and 1 Bronze medals
    2010 Common Wealth Games: 101 medals, including 38 Golds, 2nd place in overall medals standing
    2010 South Asian Games: 175 Medals, including 90 Golds, 1st place
    2010 Asian Games: 65 Medals, including 14 Golds, 6th place.

    India is already an undisputed worlds sport Superpower. In the 2012 London Olympics, India is projected to win over 50 gold medals, and over 100 gold medals in the next 2016 Olympics. China will not able to catch up to India's superior performances in these games.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this blog post. It was inspiring.
    Keep on posting!
    Here is my web page watch movies online

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi, after reading this awesome post i am as well happy to share my experience here with colleagues.
    Also visit my web site - free iphones

    ReplyDelete
  13. If some one desires expert view on the topic of blogging and
    site-building then i recommend him/her to visit this webpage, Keep up the pleasant job.
    Feel free to surf my page :: piano lessons

    ReplyDelete
  14. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto
    a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I found it for him.
    .. lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for
    the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this issue here on
    your internet site.
    Feel free to surf my weblog ... erinmore balkan mixture

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello, Neat post. There's an issue with your website in internet explorer, might test this? IE nonetheless is the market chief and a good section of other people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.
    Also see my site: bostaditurkiet.net

    ReplyDelete
  16. Link exchange is nothing else but it is only placing
    the other person's weblog link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do similar in favor of you.
    Check out my homepage - http://more4you.ws/articles/article.php/03-02-2013Ways-To-Get-Rid-Of-Scarred-Tissues-Without-Creating-More-Acne.htm

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello there! This poѕt could not be written any
    betteг! Reading thrоugh thіs post reminԁѕ
    me of my оld room mate! He alwayѕ kept сhattіng
    abοut this. Ι will fοrwаrԁ thіs artiсle to him.

    Pгetty surе he ωill have а good read.
    Thanκ you foг ѕharing!

    my web blog ... http://fickworld18.com/index.php?do=/profile-22027/info/

    ReplyDelete
  18. fantаstic pοints altogetheг, you
    just received a emblem new readег. What would
    you recommend in гegагԁs
    to youг submit that you madе a few days in thе раst?
    Any ceгtain?

    Ϻy ωebpage :: Premature Ejaculation Ejaculation Trainer Review Ejaculation Trainer Ebook Review

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great blog you've got here.. It's hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays.
    I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Here is my page - tukang sedot wc di denpasar

    ReplyDelete
  20. My brother suggested I might like this web site.
    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day.

    You cann't imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    Here is my site: porn online

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just couldn't go away your site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information a person supply in your guests? Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to check up on new posts

    My web blog - WordPress SEO

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi there this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors
    or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Also visit my homepage - Warface level up games

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to
    do it for you? Plz respond as I'm looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

    Feel free to surf to my webpage :: 8mr

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'll immediately seize your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you've any?
    Kindly permit me recognise in order that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

    Also visit my blog post - home

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi colleagues, its fantastic article concerning cultureand entirely defined, keep it up all the time.


    Also visit my site ... Discreet Sex Toys

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ahaa, its fastidious conversation on the topic of this article here at this web
    site, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this
    place.

    Look into my blog post - Jordan Bred 11s

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow! In the end I got a website from where I be able
    to truly get useful information concerning my study and knowledge.


    Visit my blog post ... cameraman nunta preturi

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after going through some of the posts I realized it's new to me.
    Anyways, I'm certainly pleased I came across it and I'll be
    bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

    Also visit my page; Fresher jobs

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm curious to find out what blog platform you have been using? I'm experiencing some minor security problems
    with my latest website and I would like to find something more
    risk-free. Do you have any recommendations?

    Also visit my web blog - free ebook

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...