OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY:

Britain stays within a tradition begun by Adolf Hitler and cemented by the Beijing fascists.

Politicisation added to the shameless commercialisation of the Games

Twitter being overloaded at 20:30 BST, I gave up on avoiding the Olympics. As I had a very close female chum taking part in Danny Boyle’s opening extravaganza, it seemed an excellent idea to go Adrienne-spotting. A classic southern French storm was brewing, and looked as if it was timed perfectly to black out the Opening Ceremony on the Freesat-cum-Murdovision deal we have in our holiday home here. So all the portents were in place.

There is something about muddled British understatement that has always made me both proud and amused at the same time. Boyle having largely used volunteers for the Bolympics opener, it occurred to me that it must therefore be an unqualified success: had he used professionals, it would’ve been merely a qualified success. There are many etymological clues helping to explain our amateurish incompetence as a nation. We also say something is “perfectly dreadful”, which would sum up Dunkirk in 1940 a treat: a dreadful cockup perfectly saved in time for it to become the stuff of propaganda legend. Or put another way, another bunch of overpaid Sir Herberts in Whitehall saved yet again by the native entrepreneuralism of a seagoing Island race.

Well, the Ceremony wasn’t blacked out down here. But I wish it had been.

Let me begin by saying what was terrific about it. First, all the filmic bits: they played to Boyle’s strengths as a man who understands the coup of big ideas, and taking the piss out of ourselves. The Queen, James Bond, Rowan Atkinson and Chariots of Fire: they were all perfect targets, and brilliantly executed. Second, the pyrotechnics and the choreography: absolutely outstanding, and the right sort of spectacle for such an occasion.

But the rest of it was the most overtly politicised display of cliches and right-on bollocks in Olympic history. A few examples will suffice to underpin my point.

There were the toffs in tall top hats exploitin’ yer strugglin’ workers while putting up Satanic chimneys. (Why were some of them black? Not one of them would’ve been black in 1830.)

There were Suffragettes, earnestly carrying demo banners as they paved the way for a future in which women voters fell for Nick Clegg on the basis of one puerile televised political debate.

There was the NHS, shining bright in its perfection, but then suddenly under attack from J K Rowling nasties.

The Union Flag, firm as ever….despite the obvious fact of the United Kingdom falling apart under the hammer of Alex Salmond and mad bankers.

And of course, we couldn’t get away without Carnaby Street, Swingin’ London, multiculturalist music, and deaf kids singing the national anthem. It was challenged folk meet rap drivel in Kinks Who Kings Road extravaganza. It was rubbish.

Bits of it, in fact, were impenetrable rubbish. The French voice-over – WTF was that about? A tribute to Dan Hannan’s multilingual talents, perhaps? It is always a bad sign when BBC anchor-gobs like Huw Edwards have to explain what’s going on: “This is I K Brunel, this is a tribute to those killed in the London bombings, these are the Olympic rings forged by the Industrial Revolution”…and so on and so on. Show not tell, Danny – show not tell.

The mess wasn’t helped by braindead BBC commentaries…”Yes, it’s a history lesson…forging moments that will live with us forever…wonderful rendition…This is what it’s all about, young people from around the world traing for this big moment….Reminding us of the place where it all began, Greece…”. Did you see anything in it that made an even oblique reference to the original Greek Olympic ideal? Did you see a single thing in it referring to hurdles, throwing things and long jumps?

I wanted so much for this Opening Ceremony to do the business, and set Britain apart from other Olympics hosts. I am a huge fan of Danny Boyle’s movies, my mate was taking part, I felt that true British creativity could set a new direction more in keeping with what the Games used to represent. But it fell far short of even my most mediocre expectations.

Had Hitler had the technology in 1936, we would’ve seen Jewish financiers with false noses waving devalued currency around (‘Judischkonfetti’), massed regiments of Stürm Abteilung smashing shop windows, a gigantic Reichstag fire in centre stage, and a synchronised display of Nazi Mädschen being humped by black-uniformed SS officers. The inability of both the organisers and Doyle himself to make this deadly link depresses me. Even more depressing is that – I just know it – whole regiments of trolls and faux patriots will, when I post this piece, completely fail to grasp what on Earth I’m on about.

“Keep politics out of sport” was a cry of the Right during the 1960s: a mantra that I saw at the time as an excuse for appeasing unpleasant regimes. Half a century later, I am shouting this slogan at the top of my voice. Marx said, “In the end, everything is political”. The misguided designers and creators of this Olympics Opening Ceremony clearly agree with him.

120 thoughts on “OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY:

  1. I thought I was good at geography, and the old atlas was no good. Hence why I am able to post here as I research on-line – ta, Sir Timmy – where these bloody places are.

    PS. Agree with the post – ceremony good in parts, bad in others, and in some, just confusing… pour mois.

    • Soooooooooooooo disappointed. Now, several days later I can’t begin to believe how disappointed I still am.. This show was just like a random ‘to do’l list. I am still in shock. All the world needed was a simple show which gave respect to athletes everywhere – not an egotistical display of self-promotion which the world (and many British) couldn’t follow at all. Beijing got it right. They understood that this opening ceremony is a show for a global audience. You have to respect that audience first and foremost. the show is for them!.
      still, soooo disappointed…..and extremely embarrassed to br British. I am ashamed to hold my head up….
      ps and, by the way, if the theme was ‘our greatest export is music’ where exactly were the new musical works / new young composers / songwriters / singers / etc.? And no wonderful brand new Olympic anthem either…… Get my point?
      and the Queen? Hasn’t she had enough attention over the past 60 years. She couldn’t even give the athletes their moment. Dear God……

    • especially as there were so many volenteers. The private sector could’ve done that for 2 mill tops, as thats all the materials and staff would’ve cost, the rest was just people gorging themselves at the public trough.

      On the rest I agree with JW. All opening ceremonies are crap anyway; I managed 30 minutes or so of this one then turned off – at about the time when they were celebrating the great modern age of…smartphones! lol

      I might watch a few interesting events, as with all the crap its easy to forget there are amazingworldclass sports people on show – I’ll watch: the 100, 200, 400 metres finals; a bit of the triathalon (because I find that babe with the 6 pack quite sexy), ping pong, wrestling…and that’ll be about it for me

      • Agree, it was an ode to ignorance and decadence that have become standard in most “1st world” countries. I’m not from UK but the public TV here was saying the same bollocks (actually reading the script).
        I specially hate the part where there’s a girl in a house, then she meets a boy, then they party (WTF was that, but on the other hand it somehow portraits the reality of the young generations).
        I never thought of London being able to beat the magnificent display in Beijing, but honestly, never imagined this. Being UK such an old country, you can find tons of topics to deal with, no need to stick to last decades.

  2. “whole regiments of trolls and faux patriots will, when I post this piece, completely fail to grasp what on Earth I’m on about.”

    Whatever happened to independent thought…lie down and think of England…the Queen in free fall will have stretched a few people’s imagination though!

    At least Mitt Romney has proved what we already knew.

  3. I watched it despite myself. I was so sure I would feel utterly embarrassed that I would not be able to bear it. It started ok I thought, a bit of Blake, a bit of Shakespeare, good choreography. I liked the way the rings were formed. But then yea it all went horribly wrong.
    Actually quite a good metaphor for Britain, as it went through the story of our country it got more and more confusing, shallow and embarrassing.

    • “Actually quite a good metaphor for Britain, as it went through the story of our country it got more and more confusing, shallow and embarrassing.”

      I may well nick this and use it with gay abandon…

    • I watched it until it got to Johnny Rotten. I thought it showed the Rise & Fall of Great Britain quite well. I do wonder though if it was unintentional?
      I didn’t like the NHS bit at all, when one thinks of it being starved of funds for ulterior motives.
      Also, what about all the achievements since the Beatles, Norman Fister’s architecture, the Channel Tunnel?
      Mr.Bean was great though…….

    • Because Pierre de Coubertin a French Aristo founded the modern Olympics in 1896, And the froggy lingo has been the premier lingo in the Olympics ever since. – despite English being the “Lingua Franca” of the whole f**king world for the last 80 years.
      And it makes me BOIL with rage!!!
      If there were going to be another language as well as English it would have to be Spanish or Chinese to reach max peeps. Only France and a couple of obscure African ex colonies speak French.

    • @Gd I presume you know nothing about the modern olympics then.

      Nor, seemingly does JW. “french voice-over” indeed. Come on JW, we both may have found that irritatingly de trop (given the EU an’ all), but what can you do. I found myself surprised there wasnt a german version as well. But then, forging the ring compensated.

    • The French voice before English made me felt like watching the Eurovision contest. After all, we can find the same musical quality in both shows.

      • “Musical quality?” That’s what the committee gets for not offering musicians a penny–they probably dragged in whoever wanted a shot at glory.

  4. Why didn’t they just dress everyone up in Nazi uniforms and put on Springtime for Hitler? That would have been less tacky. Sorry, but I had to switch it off when they wheeled in those kids in hospital beds and got the Childstealer in, it isn’t a joke to the likes of me, and it was the last straw.

    • absolutely agree…a bit dark, and ritualistic for my liking…I thought with Danny Boyle, using his imagination….we would have a unique, entertaining opening…if that entertains people then perhaps we need to build more jails!!!!!

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  6. How bad was it? Well the gay barman at the Anchor said the Queen was there and that vwas good enough for him. But the OAH cabal thought it was a pile of shite!

  7. The first part was Tolkienisque but ingeniously done. Bond and Maj parachuting out of the helicopter was VERY LOL. Mr Bean is a Great British export. Neon Beckham racing down the Thames was VERY SEXY. British pop romance with Dizzy Rascal singing ‘Bonkers’ live (in fact all the live singing) was superb. The lighting of the cauldron inspired, just gorgeous.

    Worst bits- the Healthist Fascist overlords, nanny and nursie banishing the smoking (yes smoking – that wand puffed smoke) demon and kissed the boo boos away. The global warming dance by cooked and dusty beings, with the father figure keeping something from his son mime (how selfish of the older generations are!). But perhaps I’m an over sensitive older smoker that reads too many blogs. Macca is now ruining ‘Hey Jude’ for me forever.

    Overall I think it was excellent – the good bits were more memorable than the bad bits. How very British.

    • I’d go along with all that.

      The NHS bit was LOL too. I imagine all those abroad who actually know what it is would be somewhat bemused to see it given so much prominence.

      Sir Thumbsaloft nearly fkd it at the end tho. Whew.

    • The Beeb HD/2D channel I was watching (have you seen how many there are?!!) got Macca totally out of synch with his backing at the start of Hey Jude. Well in fact I don’t think it was them. Sorry old chap, but you are too old for this stuff when you need a vocal backing track. Retire and be happy!

      • Yeah, was watching on TF1 here in France and thought miserable macca had fluffed it, or the dubing crew. Hat’s off to the the recovery, I must say, but well, shite all the same.

        Everyone has different musical tastes, so it is very difficult to nominate an alternative that all would like. That said, I would not have chosen from the usual list of knighted personalities. Indeed – some proms-style Elgar rendition may have been more appealing… or Slash, if he would agree to rip it for the kids. Man.

        And as for the pensioner that couldn’t be arsed, or was not capable, of standing up as Team GB entered the stadium – did anyone else wonder about the lack of colour in the uniforms – the least she could have done was to show a little more interest in at least the home side. As it was, she looked almost as haggard and miserable as macca as she fiddled with something in her lap. Perhaps blisters from the jump into the stadium… yes, I did like the bond thing.

      • Backing tracks shouldn’t have been used at all–at least, the LSO shouldn’t have had to mime. For goodness’ sake, LOCOG should’ve either accepted the fact that their free acts might end up doing a poor job or they should’ve paid those who were playing.

    • the light-winged bicycle bit came together most effectively – i don’t think it ate much into the 27 million budget though…

  8. Very well said, and how ironic was the celebration of the NHS when our current government are hell bent on destroying it. Also, concerning accessibility, the late start and finish were completely inconsiderate both for the public (including the youngsters who it was meant to ‘inspire’) let alone the athletes. I too had high hopes, however these started sinking at the Andrew Marr prequel; ‘let’s get in the riots’ ‘let’s get in how we rise above strife’ etc. Just plain embarrassing. And don’t even get me started on the inane BBC commentary……ok will stop ranting now.

  9. JW “most overtly politicised display of cliches and right-on bollocks in Olympic history.” Typo perhaps? Should it be “left-on bollocks”….?

  10. The worst was the sour faced old bastard, obviously well past her bedtime, HRH.. FFS sake retire her. Oh, and retire McCartney as well.

  11. John, you are just being a grumpy old man, it was a wonderful performance only spoilt by McCartney. Did you see Beckham’s proud smile, like a new dad in a maternity ward! Why not enjoy it in the spirit it was intended?

  12. Well, judging from the above comments about the BBC’s running commentary, I’m very pleased to have watched it live outside the UK.

    My opinion? very confusing theme lacking clarity (especially to foreigners), reasonable choreography, far too long (4 hours – WTF), no obvious climax to it, an obvious attempt at being the most commercialised Olympics in history.

    Thank God I can watch it progress here without the incessant BBC mouthpieces talking over everything…

  13. 99% cringeworthy, 1% impressive.
    Good bits – the rings, the Olympic flame cauldron thngy and the fireworks.

      • I was jealous of the girl holding the flame on front of the neon boat – zooming along with the fireworks going off must have been such an enormous buzz. Started well, Nimrod and green scene as delicious as it was fictitious – what any of it had to do with reality is totally beyond me. “History lesson”, one commentator said….. hmm…

        Forged rings awesome. Liked the “crowd pixels”, cute idea.

        Mccartney needs to be put down, and Arctic who?

        BBC iplayer and watching it the next day invaluable for missing the incredibly tedious athletes. Who do they think they are?

        Overall value for money… hmm, maybe worth doing for £2 million. How much did it cost again?

        Favourite quote from day one, Hugh Porter on the cycling road race.. “England.. er I mean Team GB”.

  14. I think they should have had a l-o-n-g row of lamp posts with banksters and political elites adorning them. That would be a very modern visual of modern day Britain.

    • Did you miss the first part? There were some top hats guys just looking how the workers were doing their job. Actually at that time even the children worked all day. But that wasn’t shown. I didn’t get what these guys symbolized, but it reminded me a lot of bad things Britain shouldn’t be proud of.

      • Yep, I watched the whole four hours of it live, here in Brazil. Naturally, we were spared the vomit-inducing incessant BBC commentary which tend to adorn any such live event. I might add that watching Wimbledon live in Brazil is also N times better than watching it on the BBC domestic channels. It really is time for the BBC to be broken up and sold off.

  15. Must say I agree, some of it was very impressive but far too much was just cringe making, most foreigners wouldn’t have a clue what it was all about, wasn’t too sure myself! very BBC/PC in parts. Definitely time Paul McCartney retired, he was embarrassing to watch, still could have been worse – Cliff Richard!

  16. Being way down under wasnt going to stay up late and watch, If you Poms are going to celebrate the industrial revolution why not celebrate the 90′s and have Bankers all over the place and the huge no of kids in Britain who live in poverty? The whole thing was all over the place and confusing.

  17. The opening ceremony was ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!!!….What I would like to know is where did all the money go????……I can not believe that they included EastEnders in the opening ceremony and showed us a bit of Coronation street!!!….It was full of a lot of children and teenagers just dancing around……top of that that NHS was highlighted too much and while I am on the point what NHS???….Everyone is on REALLY LONG waiting lists????….When it came to team Great Britain the Queen and her other half couldn’t look any more less interested!!!……It didn’t seem organised and was all a mess…..ABSOLUTELY EMBARRASSING!!!…..

  18. And I thought, it was just a ‘generation thing’ that made me dislike the +3 hour ‘ad. break’ of a poorly funded tourist board.

    The UK is , IMHO trying to become the first nation theme park.

    Grumpy old man.

  19. You miserable heap of jug’- half-empty feeble excuses for people. I was watching it with a crowd of non-Brits. They thought it was absolutely fantastic. And so did I. Plenty to pick holes in – plenty to argue about – but over all just amazing. Eccentric, weird, humorous, totally British, loads of fun and super spectacular. What more could you wish for for your billions? I notice none of you made one single positive suggestion about how you could do better. If I were you all I’d take your bile and have your wretched holidays somewhere really nice – like Syria. Sorry John but your bitches must be getting you down. The one thing that pissed me off was that so many of the announcements had to be in Frog. I suggest you stay down there John. This piece wasn’t a critique – it was just old misery guts being a total grouch. Grumpy old bugger.

    • ” I notice none of you made one single positive suggestion about how you could do better.”

      Perhaps that is because the whole idea of an opening ceremony / extravaganza ever being theatre and good theatre to boot isn’t possible. In saying so, I admit I’m blind to that sort of entertainment.

      I get fireworks, they are attractive and can be very challenging to get right. I get enormous fountain displays, they are technically demanding and again can be good to look at especially set to music. An ‘opening ceremony’ which consisted of the two combined for about half an hour set to dramatic music I could probably actually enjoy. But play acting, dressed up as a theatrical display of history and culture wouldn’t ever be watchable, especially after the political correct nutters had finished with it, why would it be?

      So even if I could have watched it, I would not have done, judging by the above my insight or lack of it, would be about right. And although I don’t want to restrict anyone else from having access to something they enjoy, I rather think 27 million quid is an absurd sum of money to give you your bit of pleasure.

      So all things being relative I’m inclined to understand the view of those who say it wasn’t good.

      • Agreed Jwoo. The entire concept of an opening ceremony like this comes across as mind numbing torture.

        Just get on with the bloody sport already!!

      • How about the band of the Royal Marines marching once around the track playing a medley of stirring tunes, before the entry of the teams, a swift run-through of the Olympic ceremonial bollocks, her Maj says, “I declare this lot open”, then everyone goes down the pub in time for last orders? Total cost, couple of hundred grand. Now that would have been a valuable and radical lesson from Britain to the rest of the world. Instead we got a tsunami of appalling bloated Young Pioneer kitsch. Liked the sheep though, very appropriate. Baaaaa!

    • Definitely with you on this duncanmca. I’ve followed JW’s stuff from the nby days. Sadly over time he seems to have degenerated from erudite essayist to mean-spirited moaner, finding fault with everything and everybody. A hitherto respected site appears to be lurching towards the ‘guido fawkes’ end of the blogging spectrum.

  20. Random fact: the Olympic torch relay originated at the 1936 games, under the direction of renowned philanthropist Dr PJ Goebbels.

  21. I didn’t watch the spectacle because we were in a board meeting discussing the economic fundamentals in this fast changing landscape.
    Today’s newspapers all give the Olympic show the ”Thumbs UP”, after all, Lord Coe is no slouch.
    We have reached the ‘TIPPING POINT’ – now is time to BUY stock, SHORT the EURO.

  22. Eleven pm start here in Greece….well past my sell by. I gather it was Dumbed Down Britain doing what they do best….My Greek neighbour who stayed up to watch it was v. scathing this morning.
    Though it might have been a bit high brow for him :-)

  23. I understand it’s difficult and perhaps pointless to try connecting British and Olympic history but i was expecting something more relevant to the actual Games and a vision for the future. The whole thing looked like a very impressive and expensive commercial for Apple,Facebook,Mini and apparently medical Tourism…..Regardless, we m u s t acknowledge the hard work of all those who made it happen.We must let them know they worth our respect and admiration.

  24. Could you have pulled off something like that? I think it was original, interesting, energetic, wholehearted, visually stunning. The music and lighting were fantastic. I felt on the verge of tears throughout. Once again, I think the BBC commentary could have been better. The camera kept cutting to various dignitaries as their countries marched by and the only one picked out was Michelle Obama, who most of us could recognise in any event. I would love to see the Arctic Monkeys ‘Come Together’ again and thought the butterflies on bikes were the highlight, together with the lighting of that magical torch. Well done, I say.

  25. I liked the irony of Muse – Uprising playing inside the stadium whilst the State pepper sprays a load of push bike protesters outside.

    Twitter captured it brilliantly with both #olympics and #criticalmass trending simultaneously.

    Only the UK could do hypocrisy on this scale.

  26. Good job i thought, cant see why you all thought it was sh+t ? Celebrating our history a little bit. It’s our main tourist export. The modern stuff is how we actually are, not how you’d like it to be. We arnt that bad come on lets be positive for once.

  27. In general – the part up to the rings being forged was pretty good as an eyecatching spectacle – executed very well, the translation from the ‘green and pleasant land’ into an ‘industrialised workshop’ happened with a co-ordination and hidden efficiency which I thought was dead from this country.

    However I agree totally with the political messages imparted. After the rings (and the NHS bouncing beds introduced the idiocy) it turned into a bit of a farsical attempt at a 1970′s sunday night ‘tv show’ like the B&W Minstrels with loads of ‘dancing bunnies’ and music with the occassional ‘promotional band appearing live’. I still do not have a clue what the TV shows bit was supposed to be doing, perhaps to show how dumbed the BBC output (and the others) has become over the decades. I truly know not what that bit was about.

    When discussing it before the event with friends, my suggestion was that it would turn out to be ‘Tacky’……….. I thought at the beginning I was mistaken but turned out that my hazarded guess was correct.

    Anyone else catch the ‘ringing of the bells’ (possible slip up) on BBC morning news about it happening at 20:12 (which would be natural considering the year) but it went off at 08:12 – was it a cock up they hope will not get picked up ? Only got said once……….

    £27M for 3-4 hours of this…… could have been used in a lot of better ways I am afraid. As for the £9-’sky high’ Bn for the whole shambles……. Still be needing those tumbrils !

  28. A celebration of the rape, murder and pillaging of the world at the hands of the British Empire – one of the most potent and pungent examples in the entire history of human conquest of the wanton destruction of one culture by another – and we cheer! Disgusted.

    • Sadly, I’m compelled to agree. Can’t help wondering whether there was an element of rubbing the noses of the rest of the world in it.

      And don’t worry about the money, guys. It was all borrowed from Johnny Foreigner or printed out of thin air. When we inevitably default on it, someone else will be picking up the tab… or would be if everyone else on the planet was suffering an economic collapse at the very same moment.

    • Hush now. Let’s just brush that under the carpet for the next two weeks, hrm?

      On that tip though, the look on the US team seemed to contain definite notes of surprise and relief at the warmth of the welcome their entry into the stadium received.

  29. I’m just glad it’s finally started in as much as it brings the promise of the whole tiresome display at some point coming to an end. If I had to hear one more “news” story about where Torchy and his caravan of corporate crapulence was today and what he was seeing and where he was having his lunch and…aaaargh. For me, the only useful thing they could have done with the olympic torch was burn the damn stadium down and claim on the insurance. Sorry for the negativity outburst I just used to like being able to use the roads I help fund.

  30. Curates egg. As would be expected of a very personal view. So we got- as everyone has said- tacky fluffy luvvie stuff. Cringemaking. And children’s Tv (when they should have been in bed)…in fact the commodification of children was spooky. Otoh, it was all remarkably executed and hats off to the volunteers.

    BUT. It was neither one thing nor the other. If you are going to do NHS, then do it properly. It’s conception and (generally) execution is one of the things of which we should be most proud. Berners Lee was rightly lauded, his work has created a revolution. But where was the discovery of DNA? Where our excellent architects whose work spans the globe? Both could have been done with spectacular effect. And where were the bankers….the history of the City? Oh…

    Visually there were some stunning effects- the forged rings and the cauldron. So…. who designed the staggeringly beautiful, original cauldron? A Brit of course. For all of you, it’s Thomas Heatherwick.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/london-2012/9434325/London-2012-Thomas-Heatherwick-the-designer-behind-the-Olympic-cauldron-that-stunned-viewers.html

    (Not that you’d know from the BBC commentary. Natch). Give that man a knighthood. British design. This is what we are good at, this is what we *can* do ….today.

  31. All above comments par for the course – see George Orwell’s England Our England – written 70 yrs ago but seems like it could bee today…

  32. Hi,
    I wonder what % of the bums on seats were funded by the person sitting there together with their expenses – my guess is about 20% so I guess this carnival of expenses was for 80% freeloaders from around the world!

    I found the bits of it I clicked into before clicking out for fear of up chucking to be brilliantly orchestrated, marvellously choreographed, excellently organised whoooops I’m about to up chuck …..

    The ONLY part worse than the jumbled story line confusing cacophany of over statement, excess of participants and inept communistic flaggelation of any form of leadership as the ‘wurras was praise’ was, if not poor old McCartney who without his BullS*** detector with the death of Lennon has been a wealthy embarrassment (but weren’t The Beatles great!).

    Yes – you’ve guessed it the worst party was – Just as with The Jubilee The BBC.

    Not content with the tedium of 6 hours of extravaganza we all have to endure the foolish drivellings of the BBC on every broadcast as they sell this tasteless twaddle.

    I have lost ALL interest in the sports on which the Olympics are founded – NOT on PC but on excellence in a bit of running, a bit of leaping and some thowing – so that is about two dozen events over maybe 2 or 3 days – the rest is just silly!

    I hope someone enjoys it as lets not forget Canada has only just finished paying for The Vancouver Games and look what it did to Greece! Talk about a legacy!

    Regards,
    Greg_L-W.

  33. Why didn’t the aliens show themselves?? I’m as cynical and downbeat re government/NWO as most people on here,but I switched my brain off and enjoyed it all the more and I’ll be watching a lot of the events.Come on Cav!
    I’ve decided to take a bit of enjoyment when I can now as the state of the world is sending me to drink.

  34. Dull dull dull. So much hype and promise followed up by an overrated extravaganza of ego but no substance. I was very quickly lost, and even more so bored by this utter s**te. Only positive was the symbolism AND lighting of the cauldron. Otherwise a complete and utter waste of £27M which this country can I’ll afford.

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  36. The image of Brenda in her bloomers parachuting onto the stadium, to the James Bond theme, was good. That music should be the national anthem. Other than that. Meh. No ta.

  37. The 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony was a significant moment for London. This was not because it marked the opening of one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, not because it marked the first time a city had hosted the games for a third occasion. Bizarrely, the significance of the opening ceremony lay in the fact that it managed in one four hour show, to scope, affirm, celebrate and bring to London, Britain and the world’s consciousness, the astonishing contribution that Great Britain and London had made to popular music, over the last half century. That this occurred owed nothing to foresight, but instead to the serendipity of the ceremony directorship being handed to Danny Boyle, a man well read in popular music and determined to demonstrate Britain’s contribution; coinciding with the fiftieth birthday of the birth of permissiveness and liberalism, during which time popular music was born and since when an awesome variety of musical genres and styles have been created and exported around the world.

    To ensure the show paid homage to the immensity of Britain’s contribution to popular music, and to the diversity of the styles created, Danny Boyle recruited the band Underworld, iconic figures of 1990s dance culture, and collaborators with Boyle on previous cinematic and theatrical soundtracks, to pick the music. Homage was paid throughout the opening ceremony, but perhaps the first and most significant contribution, came an hour or so into the show, when the show turned to the journey made by a group of teenage girls, who went through a tour of British musical culture. The tour started with the Beatles and Rolling Stones in the 60s, moved to the Sex Pistols and punk rock in the 70s, onto the new romantics, acid house and dance music of the 80s, via the trance of Underworld and the techno of Prodigy in the 90s before finishing with a live performance by Dizzy Rascal, contemporary purveyor of hip hop and dance fusion. But this wasn’t all. As the athletes entered the stadium their steps were accompanied and encouraged by a montage of high tempo dance and indie rock. During this time the Bee Gees’ Night Fever greeted the entrance of Fiji, a rhyming coincidence, and besides that touching, given the death of member Robin Gibbs, some months before. Then, once the athletes were ensconced inside the running track, and everyone was expecting the ceremony to take on a spiritual harmonious feel, the Arctic Monkeys a furious rock band from Sheffield, who came to prominence midway through the first decade of the new millennium, appeared to everyone’s astonishment. From a platform situated high up in the stadium they blew an electric storm into the audience’s faces, thrashing out their anthem ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor’. And finally, and fittingly, after the Olympic flame had been lit, the world and athletes were engaged, arm in arm, swaying and singing to the chorus of ‘Heh Jude’ led inevitably by the septuagenarian, Paul McCartney, front man for Britain’s greatest contribution to popular music. By this time the true scale of the achievement was beginning to dawn on Londoners. Seeing Paul McCartney egging the crowd reminded one of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, only this was a Golden Jubilee. In effect the opening ceremony constituted Britain presenting a lifetime achievement award to itself, a gold medal if you like, smugly, but with enough warrant for it to be done confidently, in front of a global audience. It was truly a moment to be proud of.

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