It’s hard to complain about the Beijing Olympics. It’s set in one of the most mysterious, exotic, and beautiful places in the world. Add on top of that, the Chinese penchant for extravagance and perfection and you get a hell of a show. The opening ceremony will go down as the greatest ever, thousands of synchronized drummers and fireworks providing a show worthy of past emperors. I definitely watched from beginning to end.

Since the opening ceremonies though, the Olympics and China have experienced feats and embarrassments. As expected world records have been broken, gold medals won, but the controversies have gotten more attention. It started with the random murder of an American, and continued into potentially underage gymnasts. But I guess that’s to be expected. When you bring all these cultures together, with different sets of values on the world stage, the ambition to “look good” supercedes all.

I do have many issues with how China has run the Olympics, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so immersed. So far, it’s definitely been a great show and there’s more to come.

However, I do have one complaint about the Olympics. It has to do with the broadcast and presentation by NBC. The casual conversation between G.W. Bush and Bob Costas left a jingoist taste in my mouth. I cringed when they discussed human rights violations in China without discussion of Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Obviously, NBC would take a pro-American approach for the Olympics, but at times they take it too far.

Anyway, the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics are looking like the best ever. I’m gladly staying up until 1am every night watching, and am anxiously awaiting USA Basketball.

Damn. Is it possible to have forgotten about Michael Jackson? I won’t say that I necessarily blacked out the King of Pop, but he’s definitely been in the back of my mind for a minute. It’s a shame that someone who defined pop music for more than decade has been relegated to the shadows of the public conscience. But throw “Billie Jean” or “Thriller” on the Hi-Fi and people will inevitably submit to the epitome of pop genius.

While anxiously awaiting the start of Michael Phelps latest ridiculous feat, we decided to throw on a couple on-demand Michael Jackson videos to pass the time. The highlight for me was “The Way You Make Me Feel” one of the gems from Bad, a cassette I begged my mom to play in the car every time we took a road trip when I was six. She got so sick of that record…but I still know all the lyrics. Check out the video, imagine yourself approaching a woman like this: