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A Tale Of Two Opening Ceremonies




I will say I had no intention of watching anything of the Olympics. I am still upset how Corporate sponsored the games are being with the Olympic park and the whole McDonald's French Fries thing. So I was prepared to do the unthinkable when it comes to me. I was about to not watch the Opening ceremony which is something I have not done since I can remember. About 12 noon I get a message from my friend encouraging me to watch the opening ceremony. She gives me a link to watch it live as it started 4 pm EST (American east coast.) and she tells me forget about what I am thinking and enjoy this beautiful show. So at 3:59 I go to the link and find it is a live BBC broadcast of the opening ceremony from start to finish.


First off NO COMMERICAL interruption. I will say I wasn't that amazed by the James Bond opening but then I haven't been impressed with the latest Bond so I think a lot of that feeling was influenced by the opening but I do give props to Her Majesty for being a good sport and acting in the opening ceremony.



What I saw was a country not only proud of it's people and the history of how they went from an Agriculture society to a industrial nation BUT a nation who is RIGHTFULLY proud of the of what they have contribute to the cultural arts of the world. Yet today and even last night I saw people be-littling these part of the show BUT think about this. A "small island nation" has produce a author who not only created the Harry Potter series--J.K. Rowlings BUT Peter Pan, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins. Imagine the world without those books. Imagine your childhood without those books.

Not only did that "small island nation" produce such fine authors BUT they celebrated how they they have influenced the world of music. Imagine the British invasion not evening happening--No Beatles, No The Who, No Rolling Stones. Where the HELL would music be if not for those three groups let alone all the other musicians that have come in the past 40 years. I say that is pretty damn impressive for a small island nation. They have every right to celebrate such a heritage and I for one am grateful they produced so many great things.


Another complaint I heard from Americans-and even a Britsh PM- was the multicultualism shown in the show. We say America is the melting pot of diveristy guess what they proved they deserved that title at least for that night. They even had physically and mentally challenged people involved in the opening ceremony on an equal playing field. The national anthem was performed by the hearing and hearing impaired childrens choir singing and signing at the same time. To my memory I never remember seeing an American Olympics show with signing. The annoucers mention that this choir is the only one in the United Kingdom. To be honest with you I've never heard of such a choir in America. It was a beautiful national anthem moment.


No, I don't think the fact that one section of the show was put on by the National Health Care workers. I have seen so many articles saying it was a dig at Americans. NO my AMERICAN Friends The WORLD and It's entertainment does not revolve around impressing you! This is a nation proud of the health care system they have AND believe it or not they do have a political party who is trying to take steps to change it against the resistance of the majority. Not only that but the American annoucers-I later heard who did personal digs at nations during the parade who mock countries who never won metals for being at the Olympics. Not only that BUT HOW the fuck does a broadcasting network not have people prepared. The person who they where celebrating the person who created the world Wide Web as we know it! If it wasn't for him we wouldn't have www. and HTML. His name by the way is Sir Tim Berners-Lee.


I was also amazed and inspired with the inclusion of everyone. Having the constuction workers of the Olympic park lining the tunnels as the flame enter the stadium brought tears to my eyes. Then the whole entire theme of these games came together --or at least the underlining theme as I believe it to be. The coming together of Past Present and future to celebrate one another. You had the Olympic torch being ran to the Calduron NOT by past winners BUT the winners nominating children from the youth games as potential future Olympians. THEY lit the Cauldron WHICH was another beautiful touch. Pieces of the cauldron where basically brought in with each team competing in the games. Showing it is the games of EVERYONE not just those who win the medals.


Not only that but Great Britian had another reason to celebrate they have hosted the games 3 times and I'm sorry if an 80 year old woman who is about to speak isn't showing the excitment in her face you THINK she should have. Queen Elizabeth needed to show she did not favor one thing over another nor considering her age--not to be disrepectful to my elders-- should she act a certain way.


All in all the British version I saw rekindled that spirit and joy the Olympics inspire in me and no matter how much the American axing of the show and all the --It is mean/it isn't good enough for Americans crap is going to dampen my memories of great opening ceremony.


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Excellent description especially showing the reality of the rest of the world compared to our own myopic view of our country. The one thing that comes across over and over in your description of this event along with other stories regarding other countries is the absolute respect for each and every one of its citizens. Yes, this country talks the same thing but the reality we see around us is a far cry from the reality of respecting each and every human being.


You should cut and paste this over on one of the forums, perhaps in the 'news and current events' forum. This is an excellent piece of writing and merits public attention.



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