More from Anthony Lane on the Olympics

And it’s just as good:

The first heroes to enter the stadium, that morning, had been the leaders of the twenty-kilometre walk, an event considered hilarious by everyone on planet Earth except the athletes themselves. Somehow, wordlessly, a deal has been agreed on: we will not giggle, for politeness’s sake, and they will continue to propel themselves, year in, year out, as if learning to moonwalk too soon after a hip replacement.

The whole thing is on the New Yorker website.

A sidelong look at the 2008 games

Photo by carinasuyin.

New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane reports on the first week of the Beijing Olympics. The result is snidely wonderful:

“The world has given its love and trust to China, and today China will give the world a big warm hug,” one of the masters of ceremonies said. While admiring their faultless English, you had to wonder why they had chosen to learn it by watching “Barney’s Great Adventure.” How, in less than twenty years, does a place go from mowing down student dissent with tanks to offering unconditional hugs?