I watched only the beginning of the Olympic Games opening ceremony...and then I went to bed to rest for my grueling trip to France. I wrote my thoughts in a draft, which I fortunately did not post. After watching the remaining bulk of the ceremony upon my return from Alsace, I have more positive things to say.
I have been involved in several Olympic Games and always received best-quality tickets to ceremonies and sport events. After attending one ceremony (Barcelona), I always gave away tickets to opening and closing ceremonies. The hassle of getting their and back did not appeal to me, and I do not enjoy hype, especially when surrounded by so many huge egos. Occasionally, I watched parts of the ceremony on television, but usually not.
Everyone, especially the Brits, knew that “Great” Britain could not compete the scale presented by the Chinese. Fortunately, they did not try, but some bits were open for criticism. Like all nations, revisionist history is something governments tend to employ.
I like period pieces, so I should have enjoyed opening. I did not feel the“emotional punch” journalists were told to report. The historical bits made no sense in context of Games and only reinforced an image of England as old-fashioned, out-dated, and out-of-touch. That said, my opinion that they have the best talent in the world for staging, lighting, and showmanship was proven from beginning to end.
Unlike otheres, I did not like the silly bit with the worst the James Bond ever and the old lady living on welfare in Buckingham Palace. Of course, the English (rest of Great Britain not all that thrilled with her) can’t hide her, but she only reinforces the image of old .
The most-entertaining bit of the entire evening was Rowan Atkinson adding a bit on humor to the otherwise plodding chariots of fire, a piece I dislike.
I do not understand the thinking of rolling out (literally) the National Health Service, one of the worst in the “advanced” world. This might be a case of turning the truth on its head, as Republicans (US variety) and Fox News like to do.
The Olympic Games is a festival of sport, but the organizers seemed to have forgotten this at times. This became apparent when the thousands of athletes wandered in, waving flags and arms. Of course, this was terribly boring and seemingly endless. The flame was a rather creative element, one of the best I remember, although I dislike the hype of people running through the countryside raising money for large corporations.
I smirked at the hypocrisy of men in suits thanking the volunteers, because their generosity ensured greater earnings for the “corporation”.
Overall, the Brits used English self-deprecation, humor, entertainment talent, and creative ability to put on a decent show.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.