Horrifically violent and totally chaotic, China has become impossible for the world to ignore. Of course, that won't stop American athletes and tourists from attending the Olympic games, nor American advertisers from leaching millions of dollars from the international gathering of irregularly muscular pole vaulters and aquatic overachievers.
Americans possess the appropriate amount of outrage for the China crisis, but hoping for immediate results, they turn to the wrong change agents: politicians.
Politicians won't stop the 2008 Olympics.
Barack Obama has only managed to skillfully avoid mentioning anything regarding the Chinese.
And though she surprisingly called for President Bush to boycott the Olympics, Hillary's other half privately urged Steven Spielberg not to resign as the "Overseas Artistic Director" only last year. I like to call this kind of "say-one-thing-do-the-opposite" activism the Murdoch Strategy, named after conservative blood-sucking tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and his daughter Elisabeth, who hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama at her London home. It's an easy way to commit to no one, while committing to everyone, and successfully covering all of one's bases just in case there's an outbreak of genocide in China, or "that black fellow" becomes President of the United States.
In other politician news, donning a red (for outrage!) neck scarf, Ms. Pelosi encouraged San Francisco residents to protest the torch's journey through their city.
But the key to successfully boycotting the Olympics doesn't rest with our ruffled American politicians. The only way to clearly denounce the corrupt behavior of the Chinese government is to withdraw corporate sponsorship from the Olympics.
You see, though American citizens and politicians are dutifully outraged by the Chinese government's repression and abuse of its own people, corporations can't commit fast enough to spending millions for advertising in Beijing.
So if you're interested in really affecting the Olympics, first you have to stop the steady cash flow, and you can stop the cash by asking (pretty, pretty please) corporations to withdraw their ads from the Olympics.
Click here to see the full list of 2008 Beijing corporate sponsors, or simply scroll down:
If you feel morally outraged by the humanitarian crisis in China, contact these corporations and tell them they'll lose you as a customer if they don't definitively denounce (and reject) their support of China's repressive government.
CEOs understand the language of dollars very clearly, and if they begin to lose monetary support from their customers, they'll do anything to stop the bleeding, up to and including withdrawing their sponsorship of the games.
If you feel outraged enough to frown disapprovingly at politicians when they don't talk about Tibet enough, but you continue to buy Kodak film, or drink Coke anyway, then don't be surprised when the 2008 Beijing Olympics goes off without a hitch.
Follow Allison Kilkenny on Twitter: www.twitter.com/allisonkilkenny