Friday, July 27, 2012

Opening Ceremonies

We came in as the pastoral age was changing to the industrial.  It was strange to my eyes and ears at first, but I thought it was evocative, narrative, excellent, once I adjusted.  I will have to see the earlier part.  I liked it very much.

The NHS doing bedtime with children and mixing in dreams/nightmares/stories wasn't brilliant, but it had interesting moments.  The effects were interesting.  Rowan Atkinson was funny in his sendup of "Chariots of Fire", and the queen's entrance with James Bond was funny.

The digital age segment was flat out stupid.  An insipid walk through pop music from the 60's onward with aging boomers again trying to prove to teenagers that "hey, we really are hip, kids.  We get it! We totally get this facebook and texting thing." Please stop.

The athletes walking in circles was about as expected.  The wealthy nations favored blazers far more than usual this cycle.  Taekwondo is apparently a sport a lot of poor countries feel they can afford to compete in.  We waited to see Guor Mariel from Concord, NH appear under the Olympic flag, but he is still training in Flagstaff.  Only the athletes from Netherlands Antilles were in the "Independent" category. Guor is from South Sudan, which recently separated from Sudan.  He didn't want to run representing the country which killed so many of his relatives, he is not yet an American citizen because adequate documentation is hard to get from Sudan, and South Sudan does not yet have any Olympic committee.  Food and staying alive remain more important issues there.  Mut Mariel has run 2.14+ in his first marathon, so he is likely to be quite good.

The commercials all had to make sure they had a good mix of black, asian, and Latin American athletes, and more than enough women, because they are easier to look at.  Lots of sweating, lots of intense looks, slo-mo, and arms raised triumphantly.

We held on until the Italian delegation came in because they are often interestingly stylish and worth watching.  This year: blue suits, with striped blue ties.


Buy Diablo 3 gold said...

amazing post... may help us a great deal,it is precisely what I became searching for! Thanks.

Texan99 said...

I loved the way the government nurses put the children to bed and the nannies-ex-machina saved them from their nightmares. I guess it takes an NHS.

james said...

But only half of the NHS staff are "professionally qualified clinical staff" (BBC 2011) so the group of "tuckers-in" should have been about half clerks and other paper-pushers. (I wonder how many of those clinical staff are actually working in clinical positions.) Says the data-pusher: I'm doing mostly data management and backups instead of research these days...

Dubbahdee said...

Good critique although I consistently felt as if I was being propagandized, lectured to and messaged. Except for the "digital" section. that was just stupid. I can't imagine it played well live at all. Let's go from "Bring me my chariot of fire" to "text me." ugggh.

I think some of the commenters here missed the point. Apparently, if the message is to be believed, the British *love* their NHS. Fond of it even. Sentimental. It is indeed the nanny that tucks them in and they like it that way. Very well. We Americans (at least the commenters) prefer that we should each sweat out our own nightmares alone. Very well again. I guess we shall have it that way.

The best part actually was the very end. I am not often amazed by fireworks anymore as I am fast approaching jaded old age -- but these fireworks were unique and truly spectacular. Best part of the whole deal in my book.

Well...except for the Queen jumping out of the helicopter. That's hard to beat.

Anonymous said...

Dubbahdee! You noticed. (I hear it was hard to miss.)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

We have a modified sweat-it-out system here. We don't like that so well as we pretend. People do like it when their job provides insurance, we do provide Medicaid and especially Medicare for a fair number of citizens and don't seem too distressed about that. We seem to like some socialised medicine, but draw the line earlier than the Europeans.

The English do seem to have an odd sentimental attachment to the NHS, even while they complain constantly about how bad it is. I suppose most cultures have something like that - something we love to deplore but can't see ourselves doing without.

The very idea of not having the NHS seems to petrify the Brits. I don't think that's any more irrational than living in New England and complaining about the snow and cold.

Dubbahdee said...

A Yankee is a rugged beast who
Scoffs at west and spits Nor'east.
To weather he would never bow;
Not foot deep slush nor neck deep snow.