Skip to comments.OPENING CEREMONY SUCKED
Posted on 07/30/2012 8:12:04 AM PDT by shortstop
Actually, London, your opening ceremony was atrocious.
It was horrific.
It was a deeply troubling insight into a once-great nation.
I recognize that, in the grand scheme of things, the opening ceremony of the summer Olympics doesnt amount to a hill of beans. Probably, the summer Olympics themselves dont have any true significance.
After all, its just sports, and most of them are obscure sports.
But they are entertaining nonetheless, and we look forward to them each four years, and we enjoy the spectacle as much as we enjoy the competition.
Which is why on Friday night we lined our families up in front of the television set to see how London would open its season in the sun. Years of preparation, millions in expenses, thousands of volunteers.
The world convened happily in anticipation of the pure enjoyment of love of country and honest competition. Thankful for the every-four-year effort to out do previous the Olympiad, we were eager to see what the Brits would do to try to outshine the Chinese.
And it was a complete flop.
It was a stunning, enraging, insane flop.
Probably few things have been done in the history of England which have so damaged the kingdoms esteem in the mind of the public.
Americans have the belief that, somehow, Brits are more educated, articulate and refined than most.
Those beliefs went down in quick flames Friday night, as the opening ceremony morphed into a sad commentary on the cultural decay of Great Britain.
Supposedly intended to highlight the fundamental strengths of British history and character, the spectacle instead reeked of ignorance and entitlement.
If anyone wondered why and how the British empire fell, the buffoonery of Friday night offers some pretty good insights.
It also offered a chagrining contrast between the precision of the Beijing opening ceremonies and the mindless meandering of the London opening ceremonies.
China had choreography, China had spectacle, China had vast quantities of people who could perform with computer-like precision.
London had an insane storyline through which many earnestly but pointlessly drifted. It left the world surprised at the cultural stupidity of the people of the British isles.
One of the purposes of an Olympics opening ceremony is to give the world a chance to see the culture and accomplishments of the host country.
Unfortunately, the people who wrote the London opening ceremony have no grasp of the culture and accomplishments of the British people.
For example, the opening ceremony focused on Englands childrens writers and its socialized medicine system.
Let me repeat that. England has the worlds attention. Perhaps a billion people around the globe are turned in.
And we get A Hundred and one Dalmations and the nationalized medical system that pretty much ensures people needing surgery will either have to do without, wait months to be seen, or travel to America for care.
This is the country of Shakespeare, Dickens and the Magna Carta. The nation whose colonial system left footprints of democracy across the globe. The birthplace of English common law which to this day provides the foundation of most legitimate legal systems.
It was England which first opened the door to political liberty.
And it was England which stood alone so long against Nazi Germany.
One of the most noble and noteworthy civilizations on earth and they do a parachuting-queen stunt that seems right out of a season finale of Survivor. Some indecipherable parade of people in old clothes, various strained efforts at political correctness, and a nightmare sequence with dancing doctors and prancing nurses was neither entertaining nor honest.
Because, contrary to the impression left by the Olympic opening ceremony, the British people are not idiots and their history is not insignificant. The ceremonies were trifling, but England is not.
And its unfortunate the opening ceremony didnt make that point.
The English have given us the language of the modern era. They define our time and they paved the way to our liberties and our literature. The British empire left a string of former colonies that are among the modern worlds freest and most prosperous.
The English people, with the Scots and the Irish, are great.
But the fools who made the Olympic opening ceremony seemed oblivious to that fact. They seemed intent on nothing short of embarrassing the British.
And boring the world.
The Olympic opening ceremonies sucked.
And the jokers who put them on should be embarrassed.
Remember that line from “The Jerk”: “You wanna wait around for an oven mitt?”
I had that moment watching Olympic gymnastics in the early 80’s. I wondered what the heck I was doing watching something so boring. That was the beginning of the end for me, and it came rapidly.
I dumped TV in 1997 which means I see NO Olympic ads. I don’t get sucked into the marketing and it makes it easy for me to figure out they are going on just as they come to an end.
And that is a good thing.
Hardly seems like the same guy........
I imagine the organizers decided not to invite her. She does not have to open the games and in the case of Sydney 2000 her representative the Governor General opened the games. Also Melbourne 1956 only Phil showed up. For Calgary 1988 and Vancouver 2010 the GGs at the time opened the games. Curiously for Montreal in 1976 the separatist opposition leader for the Quebec legislature sent a letter to the Queen asking her not to come to open the games but since he had no standing she opened the games because she had been invited to. She has a history of doing her duty even in the face of opposition.
Cheerleaders and pickups is all I recall from that disappointment.
How did Bob feel about all the opening fakery of the Bejing games?
I wish they did what Athens did with their history segment.
That was mesmerizing and dignified.
I DID see a suspended pink pig in the air over London when they were doing one of their helo fly-by tour thingees.
I LOVE that the Olys are in London - I’ve been there twicet, love the City. I feel very safe and at home there. The ceremonies were vulgar, but they, I suppose, figgered it’s FOR the vulgate, so by all means make it as vulgar as possible.
Worst. Opening. Ever.
It was all psyops propoganda. Dirty smoke stacks, ghouls chasing kids in hospital beds...it could have represented a great history, but the PC crowd took over
Hey, I’m an old fuddy duddy, but I agree, the opening ceremonies were horrific. The writer of this article makes the mistake of referring to Great Britain as “England”...a pet peeve of mine. Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales comprise Great Britain and it should be referred to as such, not as England. This half baked, nonsensical ceremony was held in England, the country is Great Britain. When the author further remarks Scotland, England and Ireland make the country great, he totally omits Wales, which must peeve the Welsh. How did the Queen get talked into the buffoonery of “parachuting in”, bloomers and all, even in jest, I felt was an indignity. I admire the Queen, she should neither laugh at herself, or permit others to,if she intends the monarchy to survive. In earlier times, such a spoof would have resulted in “off with their heads”. OK...yield the soapbox for now.
The many pianos at Los Angeles 1984 opening were memorable.
Or at least, "We are not amused."
It was grotesque. I turned off the tube and told my kids a little bit about Britains great history - something the opening ceremony utterly neglected.
And an awful lot of that history included colonialism, as dfwgator mentioned. I recall we had a problem with that colonialism in the past.
The worst opening. I gave up when all those hospital beds appeared.
Should Atlanta have showed slaves getting whipped or the KKK?
The opening ceremony celebrated degradation. The white pony instead of the American Flag on the uniforms of the American athletes fit right in with the degradation theme.
Thank goodness! I thought I was the only one who thought the ceremony was horrible!
Vancouver, now THAT was bad. The flame ceremony was totally botched. Remember that lame poet they had?
While I wasn't fond of the dancing NHS segment, there was at least a tenuous tie-in with Peter Pan, as Barrie donated the rights to the work to the children's hospital featured.
On the whole, I think it was mediocre. It had good moments and bad moments. I did like the lighting of the torch sequence, though. (Nothing in my mind can top Barcelona or Lillehammer lightings, but they're in a class of their own.)
‘For example, the opening ceremony focused on Englands childrens writers and its socialized medicine system.’
Peter Pan was written by a Scotsman. And Mary Poppins by an Aussie.
‘And it was England which stood alone so long against Nazi Germany.’
And this man is lecturing others on bad history?.
I remember back expecting the Athens games to be terrible, but they turned out to be one of the best, ever.
I thought I was watching New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia.
They should be flogged and banished.
It was amazing. My wife looked at me and said "Hunh. No pressure."
Otherwise, the rest was crap. We turned it off after 5-10 minutes.
I could trust him implicitly.....to be had for a price, you see.
It was the kind of Opening Ceremony a city with no t*sticles would enjoy. A celebration neutered excellence.
Agree that Lauer and Viera were having a hard time trying to follow the script to explain to us what the hell was happening before our eyes. The industrial revolution? The Sgt. Pepper uniforms? The crazy beds with sick kids jumping around? How did they keep a straight face trying to describe that lunacy? Felt bad for them, actually.
Yet Costas is looking more and more like an animated corpse every year. “Like he’s wearin’ an Edgar-suit!” :)
From the squirrel lying so still on his head to the (apparent) plastic lift to those empty, soul-less eyes (shudder)!
But the games themselves are good. Especially the turkey bowling. There should be multiple gold metals for variations, such as turkeys with and without feathers, frozen, fresh, etc. Should be able to get that up to about 8 gold metals I would think.
I agree with Mr. Lonsberry - I didn’t watch much of it because it was so painful to see what the British have fallen to - hard to believe they once pretty much ran the world.
Bejing’s opening ceremony was fantastic, but it was also curiously unengaging.
I think the idea was a potted history, and the smokestacks represented the coming of the industrial revolution over “England’s green and pleasant land”.
Thank you for those few kind words.
The colonialism was how you got to America in the first place.
Actually I think its actually better that England did show off its socialized healthcare now, because in a way they have planted the seeds of failure of what America will become.
Let us skip forward to the near future when America again hosts the games, since then either Obama has been re-elected or became a sworn dictator for life, and Obamacare has raved America.
And our version of an Olympic opening instead is basically an updated version of Soylent Green (the movie).
All the right reasons why we must not only remove Obama but erase all his mistakes, erase his past.
If he can be internet manufactured he can also be deconstructed.
Yes, I’m sure you’re right. I just think if you’re going to go to the effort and expense to do something that spectacular, and 10 story smokestacks rising out of the infield was admittedly spectacular, you should use it to send a spectacular message.
No it had no relationship. The British empire didn't actually "fall" -- except it's first empire in the USA and even then they got away with Canada
the British rule in India only started in 1757 with the battle of plassey when the British East India company (note: this was not the British government defeating the Nawab of Bengal and capturing Bengal (present day West BEngal and Bangladesh). they had small factories around the coast but the interior was still ruled by the Marathas, the Sikhs, the Afghans, the Nizam of Hyderabad, etc. etc. Company ruled creeped along, mostly by means of telling the princes "we'll take care of everything and pay you a stipend" with a few bumps like the anglo-maratha wars and the anglo-sikh wars.
it was only the latter, Anglo-sikh wars concluded in 1810 which really started anything resembling an empire, small "e". After 1857 when the company was shut down, then it really became an Empire, the British Empire
The British Empire lasted until the early 1900s when the Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders got dominion status and india clamoured for the same.
The British empire went out quietly because they knew when to leave -- rather than have a blood-bath (note the indian naval strike in 1946 scared them).
British degeneration happened long after the Empire ended - in the 60s with the flower-power baby boomers....
Yeah, just like the computer-like precision one sees in the Nuremberg rallies.....
Not really. There were republics in the Greek states and in India prior to the Mauryas (the Licchavi republic for instance)
And in Europe the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth had significant liberty for its citizens in the 15th, 16th , 17th and 18th centuries -- while England was crushing the Welsh, Scots, Irish and having the tyrannies of Bloody Mary, Oliver Cromwell etc.
England had political liberties, but it was not the only one and wasn't the one that "opened the door". Even in Italy the city states had more freedoms and in the free-cities of the Holy Roman Empire
err... yes and no. The Battle of Britain was from 10 July to 31 October 1940. yes, they were brave, but it was for 4 months and they were on an island. An island is far easier to defend (as is a continental nation like the USA) rather than France with it's land-borders
The British were also not alone -- they had lots of servicemen from Poland, France, etc. who volunteered -- the largest % of planes by any squadron was by the Polish Kosciuszki squadron. There were also tons of New Zealanders, Canadians, Australians, Indians etc who VOLUNTEERED to fight for the Brits (which says a lot about the way the Brits conducted themselves in their empire).
so, they were brave, but not "standing alone". The truth is impressive but not as impossible as the myth around it.
Correction, they were great. Since the 90s, no. Thatcher was the last gasp of greatness.
I lived in England for years in the early 2000s -- the youngsters there are horrible, their education is a joke and their culture is destroyed (by the English themselves note).
Well, they didn’t seem to mention the Empire at all, even though there is much about it to be proud of.
In any case, would you septics be happy to have an opening ceremony full of references to slavery, the ethnic cleansing of native Americans and racial segregation? Or would you rather focus on the good bits?
This is the time when the Irish stereotypes were laid -- as drunken savages closer to monkeys than humans (I kid you not, that is what the English under Cromwell and into Victorian times saw the irish as).
They didn't impose cruelty on India for hundreds of years -- they only ruled India for 150 years, the first 50 being Company rule. From 1850 until the 1920s there were incidents of cruelty -- some extremely cruel like Jallianwala bagh, but the English had the sense to realise that if they were constantly cruel, they would lose their empire quickly
It is often said that Cromwell visited ‘genocide’ on the Irish, but where is the evidence for this? The most cited example, the butchery at Drogheda, occurred as the result of the Irish Royalist’s refusal to surrender, necessitating the Parliamentarian Army storming the town, taking heavy casualties as a result, and according to the rules of war at the time, the garrison thus had no right to expect quarter. In any case, far from all the people in Drogheda were killed.
I'm not talking about Drogheda which was war and you are correct that this was as per the rules of war
I'm talking about the Sack of Wexford, and John Hewson destroying food stocks in counties Wicklow and Kildare and other places and the English's scorched earth policy whereby folks would be slain and their cattle and goods taken or spoiled. This led to famine.
At the same time the Irish were sold as indentured labor throughout the colonies
Bear in mind that the Irish Royalists and Confederates committed atrocities of their own against Protestants and Parliamentarians during the ECW (the 1641 Portadown Massacre springs to mind). The 1640s was frankly, barely out of the Middle Ages, and there is a certain brutally rational logic to engaging in genocide against hostile populations who are causing problems that both sides were fully aware of. The Irish Confederates were certainly doing their own best to implement a genocide of their own against their enemies.
The only difference really was that Cromwell’s New Model Army won the upper hand. Make no mistake, the Irish Confederates would have done the same if not worse if they had won the war in Ireland.
The Geneva Convention and the concept of ‘Human Rights’ was well off into the future, and frankly, considering what the American settlers were already up to in the colonies, and all kinds of things for a further 250 years, no American has any right to be snooty about what the English were up to in Ireland without looking extremely hypocritical...
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