OPENING CEREMONY SUCKED
Actually, London, your opening ceremony was atrocious.
It was horrific.
It was a deeply troubling insight into a once-great nation.
I recognize that, in the grand scheme of things, the opening ceremony of the summer Olympics doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Probably, the summer Olympics themselves don’t have any true significance.
After all, it’s just sports, and most of them are obscure sports.
But they are entertaining nonetheless, and we look forward to them each four years, and we enjoy the spectacle as much as we enjoy the competition.
Which is why on Friday night we lined our families up in front of the television set to see how London would open its season in the sun. Years of preparation, millions in expenses, thousands of volunteers.
The world convened happily in anticipation of the pure enjoyment of love of country and honest competition. Thankful for the every-four-year effort to out do previous the Olympiad, we were eager to see what the Brits would do to try to outshine the Chinese.
And it was a complete flop.
It was a stunning, enraging, insane flop.
Probably few things have been done in the history of England which have so damaged the kingdom’s esteem in the mind of the public.
Americans have the belief that, somehow, Brits are more educated, articulate and refined than most.
Those beliefs went down in quick flames Friday night, as the opening ceremony morphed into a sad commentary on the cultural decay of Great Britain.
Supposedly intended to highlight the fundamental strengths of British history and character, the spectacle instead reeked of ignorance and entitlement.
If anyone wondered why and how the British empire fell, the buffoonery of Friday night offers some pretty good insights.
It also offered a chagrining contrast between the precision of the Beijing opening ceremonies and the mindless meandering of the London opening ceremonies.
China had choreography, China had spectacle, China had vast quantities of people who could perform with computer-like precision.
London had an insane storyline through which many earnestly but pointlessly drifted. It left the world surprised at the cultural stupidity of the people of the British isles.
One of the purposes of an Olympics opening ceremony is to give the world a chance to see the culture and accomplishments of the host country.
Unfortunately, the people who wrote the London opening ceremony have no grasp of the culture and accomplishments of the British people.
For example, the opening ceremony focused on England’s children’s writers and its socialized medicine system.
Let me repeat that. England has the world’s attention. Perhaps a billion people around the globe are turned in.
And we get “A Hundred and one Dalmations” and the nationalized medical system that pretty much ensures people needing surgery will either have to do without, wait months to be seen, or travel to America for care.
This is the country of Shakespeare, Dickens and the Magna Carta. The nation whose colonial system left footprints of democracy across the globe. The birthplace of English common law which to this day provides the foundation of most legitimate legal systems.
It was England which first opened the door to political liberty.
And it was England which stood alone so long against Nazi Germany.
One of the most noble and noteworthy civilizations on earth and they do a parachuting-queen stunt that seems right out of a season finale of “Survivor.” Some indecipherable parade of people in old clothes, various strained efforts at political correctness, and a nightmare sequence with dancing doctors and prancing nurses was neither entertaining nor honest.
Because, contrary to the impression left by the Olympic opening ceremony, the British people are not idiots and their history is not insignificant. The ceremonies were trifling, but England is not.
And it’s unfortunate the opening ceremony didn’t make that point.
The English have given us the language of the modern era. They define our time and they paved the way to our liberties and our literature. The British empire left a string of former colonies that are among the modern world’s freest and most prosperous.
The English people, with the Scots and the Irish, are great.
But the fools who made the Olympic opening ceremony seemed oblivious to that fact. They seemed intent on nothing short of embarrassing the British.
And boring the world.
The Olympic opening ceremonies sucked.
And the jokers who put them on should be embarrassed.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2012