February 18, 2008


Spielberg's stand (Ottawa Citizen, February 18, 2008)

Steven Spielberg has salvaged something of great value: his reputation.

The film director withdrew as artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics, coming up this August. He took his time making the decision; it's not as if he became skittish at the first hint of controversy. He's already been criticized for his participation in the Games. [...]

One film that will forever be associated with Mr. Spielberg's name is Schindler's List, which was about the Holocaust. That might be why, of all the reasons for refusing to cozy up to Beijing, Mr. Spielberg chose Darfur. China is underwriting death and displacement on a massive scale. That's nothing to celebrate.

Not every artist and athlete preparing to take part in the Games will have as much influence on China as Mr. Spielberg. But his example should remind them that their Olympic host has crimes to answer for.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2008 1:30 PM

Why should we applaud Mr. Spielberg considering that the Chinese government's brutal oppression of over a billion of its own people is A-OK with him?

Posted by: b at February 18, 2008 2:05 PM

I think that is OJ's point.

Posted by: Bob at February 18, 2008 3:22 PM

I have the utmost respect fpor Spielberg follwing his treatment on the protagonist's conversion in Schindler's List.

Schindler had been presented as a totally immoral, pragmatic fixer. An old Jew Schindler had saved thanked him in God's name, planting the seed, and while Schindler was closing one of his dirty deals in a church, he was touched by grace and began to do the right thing out of conviction.

Ponder the nobility of presenting Schindler's spiritual journey in this way. Now let us ask ourselves, how does the Schindler spirit deal with the Chinese Comunists?

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 18, 2008 6:38 PM

b -- don't be so sure that most of those billion people wouldn't oppress their citizens if they were likewise in charge. Brutal oppression works so long as you have a general morality that will turn in its neighbors. Worked very well in Russia and I am sure it still works very well in North Korea and China.

The vehicle of change in China will eventually be Christianity, as it was in South Korea and Poland, not some feeble boycott of the Olympics.

Posted by: Randall Voth at February 18, 2008 9:54 PM