The Olympic opening ceremonies are winding down and I did not want a nasty letter from NBC saying I violated copyright or something, so I did not live blog the event. Here are my observations:
Started out with a FABULOUS hymn – Jerusalem! They sang it in such as way asfor many of us Yanks to understand the words.
Then the show, reported here to cost $42 million (that’s mother million), turned south into a mildly anti-capitalist skit about the rise of the Industrial Revolution in unflattering terms.
I am afraid there is more: A skit in honor of the National Health Service! That’s right! Socialized medicine! (I wonder if President Obama paid for that reference! He probably did with a grant of our money!)
Between leftish political ads, there was a clever move: Apparently the Queen parachuted into the stadium. Very astute!
Mary Poppins actually routed Voldemort! It was right to honor both J. M. Barrie and J. K. Rowling in the field of British children’s literature.
The skit on Chariots of Fire started well but no reference by the announcers to Abrahams or Liddell and part of it was a bit irreverent. But the Vangelis fight song was well done!
The ads were very close to a Super Bowl level of ad (although we could have done without the Obama ad!) some were clever.
They talked about generosity but I must ask: Couldn’t the $42,000,000 be spent on something more appropriate – like the children’s hospital (GOSH) mentioned in the documentary for the NHS! I could understand one or two million but $42 million on a ceremony?
The interview of Michael Phelps was impressive. When asked if he would be the greatest Olympian ever (Phelps needs three more medals to have the most medals) he said something to the effect – we’ll see about that after the games are over! Memo to Mitt Romney: Hire Phelps as your speechwriter and adviser after the Games!
The coverage was fairly balanced throughout the nations. Of course no reference to President Reagan’s liberation of Grenada (but they might break into that first medal count this Games!) but most of the other comments were not bad. I did and will object again to the treatment of the Republic of China, who has to fly their Olympic flag and come in as “Chinese Taipei” due to Red Chinese bullying. Something must be done about that. The next time the Games are here in the USA (NYC 2024?) we should insist that this be done. They are the Republic of China and I flew the RIGHT FLAG in our house.
I also cheered for Botswana and our flag bearer, Mariel Zagunis, the fencer who was a key part of the Miracle on the Strip in 2008 (The sweep of the medals in women’s sabre – led by Zagunis!) but there are still too many pro athletes!
On with the Games!