The Olympics begin in August, and they're in China, so, you know, it should be a rather fascinating world event, if you're into fascinating world events. And we are proud to announce that we have our own Deadspin Beijing Bureau, our own trio of correspondents living in China and reporting on everything they see, Olympics related and otherwise.
Deadspin's Beijing Bureau is manned by three college buddies who "studied" abroad together in Shanghai — one of whom is from Iowa — and now shadily classify themselves as freelance writers. The country has foolishly allowed them to return, and while they work and travel around China during the next year they'll be checking in periodically with dispatches about the Middle Kingdom's utter ridiculousness, hopefully preparing you all for the epic spectacle that will be the Beijing Olympics. When the Games come around they will be there — without tickets and with minimal language skills — ready to document world history for Deadspin. Due to healthy fear of deportation (and an outside chance of imprisonment), the Bureau must remain anonymous. Say "ni hao," after the jump...
We've noticed that the sun sets a little differently here. On a "clear" day there is a line in the sky well above the horizon - the smog line - that separates blue sky above from the grey haze that hovers over the city. When the sun goes down, it never makes it to the natural horizon. Instead, it drops behind a toxic blanket of pollution.
Welcome to China — perhaps the most appropriate place ever for sports reporting without access, favor, or discretion— where we're proud to file the first post of Deadspin's Beijing Bureau.
Let us reiterate a sentiment repeatedly expressed on this site: The Beijing Olympics are going to rock. China is a place where over 350 million people smoke, and everyone else might as well, as smoking is legal in elevators, restaurants and would be in churches...if they were legal. Where supermarket chicken is pumped so full of steroids, athletes could legitimately worry they'd fail a post-consumption drug test. Where the Miao minority in Guizhou Province put on a show for which Barbaro was truly sired: stallion fighting. Where people still brush their teeth with Darlie (formerly Darkie) toothpaste. Where in Anhui province, they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people*. Throw in billion-dollar ant-farming pyramid schemes, toxic red rivers, the world's only lunar embassy and 20 of the world's 30 most polluted cities, and you have the proud host of the 2008 Olympics.
We'll be here the next year or so to bring you "coverage" of all these fascinating quirks and, when the time comes, to be your men on the ground during the Beijing Olympics. But most importantly, Deadspin readers — who value "clean air" and "free speech" too much to visit China during this bizarre period — we want to be here for you. We formally invite your input and suggestions as we try to give you a picture of modern China as seen through Deadspin's cracked lens - its cities' underbellies, inhabited caves and underground fighting clubs.
Would you like us to eat a cobra and drink its blood? Done. Are you curious as to how Shanghainese girls in leather respond to "Ni gen wo, niu pi"? We're on it. Do you want to see how many dumplings we can eat in 12 minutes? We tried last year; the answer is 54, and it sucked. Within reason the Deadspin budget, we will go anywhere and eat anything that won't get us killed, eaten ourselves or deported.
We're here to help you navigate this massive, sprawling, fascinating mess, so send questions, thoughts, and blistering criticism to Deadspin.China@gmail.com. Let us have it in the comments, to be sure, but understand this: the Great Firewall of China will almost certainly block Deadspin in the next few hours.