Forget all about China’s oppression on Tibet, the dangerous smog plaguing Beijing and The Great Firewall thrown around the internet. Beijing 2008’s opening ceremony was simply mindblowing.

However, what it has done was polarising the audience into a two groups. There were those, like my colleague Afir, who thought that the routine was too rigid, the smiles faked and lack honesty. It was too perfect, the performers devoid of fun. There were those, like me, who just couldn’t care less, and thought that showcasing Asian inventions like paper and compass was actually quite cool.

What was amusing to watch was the western world’s scrutiny on the event. They tried their best to nitpick, and dig for hidden skeletons to demean China as much as possible. Not that I condone China’s policies which are questionable at best, but isn’t a smear campaign beyond your “civilised” manners?

Regardless, I am still disturbed by the lengths that China has gone, all in the name of perfection. The breathtaking footage of fireworks over the Bird’s Nest stadium, supposedly taken from air, has emerged to be nothing but a meticulous CGI:

…They sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing’s smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter.

The adorable little girl in red singing “Ode to the Motherland”? Just a lip-syncer to a beautiful voice which is not even hers:

“The reason was for the national interest,” said Chen Qigang, the ceremony’s musical director, in a state radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression. … Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects.”

With all their attempt for perfection however, one single thing has eluded them: the inevitable Blue Screen of Death.