British Olympic opening ceremony – yawn.

Well, the opening ceremony is over, and I’m definitely under….whelmed… Why? Read on dear visitor.

A couple of days ago, I watched a replay of the Chinese opening ceremony of the last Olympic Games; just to get into the spirit of the thing, you understand. This is something I now regret, because it was impossible not to compare the two ceremonies.

Four years ago, the Chinese, with staggering meticulousness and jaw-dropping technological mastery, depicted their contributions to the human race. Tonight, the Brits managed a few sooty smoke stacks, Johnny Rotten and Hey Jude. Even more disturbing was an INTERMINABLE display of bed-ridden children and medical staff gyrating about in a manner suggesting shameful abuse of their own meds. Is the National Health Service (NHS) the Brit’s idea of their main contribution to the human race?

With the Chinese Olympic opening, each event was reflected with humbling innovation and highly effective imagery. The military presence, such as it was, showed almost frightening precision. The Brits couldn’t even march in step when carrying the flags.

The Chinese had Lang Lang and incorporated other accomplished Western artists such as Sarah Brightman. The British budget evidently ran out at the Arctic Monkeys – out of tune too. It may be their manner of covering that hit of yesteryear, Come Together, I grant you – but it was unimpressive at best.

The Chinese showed how the fabric of their society was woven down the centuries through puppetry, folk music and classical theatre. Tonight the contributions by the Celts (Scots and Irish pipe bands and the world famous Welsh choirs to name a few) were embarrassingly absent. Shakespeare, Dickens, Wilde et al might also have been represented but I missed them (possibly while yawning).

Keving Brannagh made a less than inspiring appearance, after which he and his fellow ‘industrialists’ spent an awful lot of time staring upwards (possibly admiring the chimneys).

Of course it wasn’t ALL bad. There were the facets which held one’s attention momentarily; such as the illuminated bicycle/birds and the forging of the olympic rings. but on the whole The British effort couldn’t hold a candle to the Chinese opening.

I would like to applaud Her Majesty on her sensitive curtailment of her speech. We normally brace ourselves for the “My husband and I….” gambit and a healthy dollop of Royal chat. Tonight, however, in a single sentence, she simply declared the do open and that was that.

Between you and me though, the poor lass looked bored out of her royal skull – either that or she’d resorted to her emergency supply of sherry secreted about her person (reliable sauces inform me that on some occasions, the sherry is contained in a Corgi with a false bottom).

The one redeeming item was the lighting of the Olympic Torch. A brilliant concept, making for a memorable ending to an otherwise eminently forgettable ceremony.


About Freud Fission Chips

Despite the banality of the name, FFC has led an intensely varied life. Grateful for surviving almost three years as a 'troepie' (soldier for non-South African Readers) in the Angolan war, he determined to wring as much out of life as possible. Currently providing Business Analysis services, trading on the stock market and developing web pages to pay the bills, FFC also dabbles in wildlife, landscape and people photography, writing, and far too many interests for his own good. He has also travelled extensively in southern Africa (working on the sound theory that a moving target is more dificult to hit). These peregrinations also include over 1500kms on foot through some of the worlds most spectacular scenery. It hasn't all been plain sailing, beer and skittles, and endless beds of roses... Chief amongst the prerequisites for surviving Africa, with its mind-bending characteristics, is an appropriate sense of humour.... So, for now, he will be recounting the amusing among the annoying, the frustrating wrapped in the funny and extracting the mirth from the melancholy... Oh yes, there might be some alliteration too.
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4 Responses to British Olympic opening ceremony – yawn.

  1. Chris Norris says:

    Yes I agree, was this the British Olympics or the English Olympics. I was dumbfounded when the Welsh didn’t even sing the Welsh National Anthem and are the Welsh not well known for rugby? They didn’t even show that. I guess us Celts are still treated like second class citizens.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for visiting and your comments are most welcome. In agreement with your notes, I think there will be many communities who will feel shortchanged by the English effort. From the reading I’ve done lately (on other matters), there still appears to be a considerable amount of animosity towards the English.

      My mate Steve made the following comment earlier…
      “Just been reading a few reviews and commentary from the British, er English press. “Slightly confusing” seems to be the central theme of the reviews, while “asinine socialist rubbish” seems to be the focus of most of the comments.

      “Slightly confusing” my ar$e. If it wasn’t for the BBC commentary I wouldn’t have had a clue. What people without an Anglo-Saxon background would have thought is anyone’s guess.”

  2. Fat Gary says:

    I thought it was pretty cool how they had Daniel Craig as 007 come and collect the actual Queen from Buckingham Palace šŸ˜‰

    • Hi Gary,

      Thanks for the commentary. I agree Gary – that was definitely a nice touch. I also enjoyed Her Maj (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) do the short freefall into the stadium.

      I’m imagining the scene (in the skydiver’s prep area) that went on before the big day….

      “Ok George, you drew the short straw. You’ve got to put on the dress…”

      George, going off muttering, “jumping in a dress and heels. There ought to be a law.”

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