All in all the production is great. Credit the Chinese government for that, along with NBC sports. Even the fake "footsteps" and singing in the opening ceremonies were so overshadowed by the 2000 drummers, printing blocks and other effects that it doesn't seem to matter.
There is an image in my mind (and on my DVR) that shows a proud young Chinese woman, carrying the sign announcing her country's team, followed by Yao Ming and little nine year old hero Lin Hao. This is the China we are supposed to remember. The new "chairman" Yao, a tiny hero, the future, and elegant grace, proud and traditional.
But outside the Bird Nest and the Swim Cube, there is a lot going on. Or not.
The Chinese government set up three areas for protests to occur, but there are no protests going on.
There are reports of would be protesters being arrested when making application to protest.
China will learn that it can't have it both ways. They cannot have their cake and eat it too.
Either you allow freedom of speech, or you don't.
Either you allow freedom of expression, or you don't.
Either you respect human rights, or you don't.
I think the Olympics are bringing attention to the problems in China. Will the attention bring change?