The leftist Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Sadie provides us with this account:

Olympic opening ceremony grapples with weighty issues
(AFP)–3 hours ago
LONDON — A celebration of free healthcare, the trade union struggle, the battle for women’s rights and a fleeting lesbian kiss: the Olympics opening ceremony Friday did not shy away from weighty social issues.
Unsurprisingly, the show devised by Oscar-winning British director Danny Boyle drew accusations from the British political right that it had strayed into “leftie” issues.
Aidan Burley, a lawmaker from Prime Minister David Cameron’s ruling Conservative party, tweeted: “The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen — more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?”
He followed that with: “Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap.”
Several people tweeted their support for his comments.
Alastair Campbell, former British Labour prime minister Tony Blair’s communications chief, retorted on Twitter: “Brilliant that we got a socialist to do the opening ceremony.”
Cameron’s Downing Street office distanced itself from Burley’s comments, tweeting a message from the premier reading: “The opening ceremony has been a great showcase for this country. It’s more proof Britain can deliver.”
Burley was removed from his job as aide to the transport minister last month after attending a Nazi-themed stag party in a French ski resort.
Ahead of the show, Boyle — whose film “Slumdog Millionaire” won eight Oscars in 2009 — denied he was pushing a political agenda.
“The sensibility of the show is very personal,” he said.
“A group of us have created it, but we had no agenda other than… values that we feel are true.
“Not everybody will love that but people will be able to recognise as being honest and truthful really. I felt that very strongly. There is no b(expletive) in it, and there is no point-making either.”
The show bringing the curtain up on the London Olympics began with sections showing idyllic rural Britain being overtaken by the Industrial Revolution, before moving on to a 10-minute sequence celebrating the state-run National Health Service (NHS).
Britain’s first televised lesbian kiss — from a 1993 episode of soap opera “Brookside” — was shown in a fast-moving montage of flim and TV clips.
Later in the ceremony, dancers formed the shape of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament badge and other performers represented the struggle of trade union movements.
DQ here — I suppose having been the first to boycott an Olympics, the U.S. is in a poor position to complain about politicization of the games, but one would hope the Opening Ceremony, anyway, would not serve such a blatant political end.  Somewhat more generally, please share your thoughts about the Olympics in general and these in particular.
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Comments

  1. Caped Crusader says

    Did not waste my time watching that overhyped craopola leftist pablum produced by a gaggle of retards and mooching welfare state addicts who have sponged off the USA for their protection the last 60 years until they are bankrupt and are bankrupting us. All the worthwhile Europeans came to America. It is a total “has been” doomed culture too weak and carefree and to defend itself and continue in history as anything but a future Muslim state.
     
    Once Beavis asked Butthead what European meant and I think his answer was the best explanation:
    “Beavis: UH, UH, what does European mean Butthead?
    Butthead: UH, UH, you know Beavis, like in English class when we talk about those words, like—”I’m a peean, he’s a peean, she’a a peean, we’re apeean, and they’re a peean, and you’re apeean. That’s what it means, Beavis; it just means that you’re apeean.”

  2. says

    I watched the opening ceremonies out of curiosity, with my 21-year-old son, to whom this is all relatively new. I lasted for two hours until the rappers started performing, then I went to bed. Never saw any athletes. Wondered how the heck any of that pertained to the Olympics? Especially the boy-meets-girl-with-lost-cellphone skit…rather far afield from anything, I thought. The tribute to the National Health Service was a howler. My son opined that Kenneth Branagh was at least face-acting well, as he stayed in character as the proud capitalist in a top hat through much mimed sturm und drang (why, though?). I also liked the short film clip starting at the headwaters of the Thames and ending in London–clearly Boyle is a better filmmaker than he is a circus designer. The rest was like throwing a salad at a windshield–an alarming chaotic mess that left me wondering “Why?” as we both frequently laughed and felt embarrassment for the participants (especially Kenneth Branagh and the Queen). It was clearly a case of scads of money and technology triumphing over content and meaning.
     
    Had heard that Paul McCartney would make an appearance. He certainly is an historic national treasure for Britain, but where was Ringo?
     
    Also heard the Queen was described as unsmiling and “grumpy.” I can understand why. She couldn’t very well laugh out loud at the proceedings like we could at home.

  3. Charles Martel says

    I shocked my wife when I burst out laughing as they introduced the paean to the National Health Service. I pointed out that if they really wanted to pay proper tribute, all of the beds that the children were carted in on would have been festooned with peeled paint and rust spots, covered with torn and filthy sheets, and “attended to” by glowering nurses marking time playing endless games of FreeCell at their monitoring stations.
     
    Otherwise it was an accurate portrayal of the NHS.
     
    (Is there anything more bereft of imagination or a sense of the ridiculous than the ridiculous leftist imagination?)

  4. jj says

    Yeah – the tribute to the NHS was a bit much to me.  Having seen it satirized my whole life, having lived there and seen what a mess it is close-up, and being fully aware that it was the final nail in the coffin of what was left of Britain’s fiscal future 40 years ago, I have to confess I about fell off my chair when that one came up.  It apparently was a moment down the rabbit hole for a fair old proportion of the home folks, there, too.  Today’s comments have been interesting.  Because not all the Brits are stupid; there are plenty of them (though not nearly enough) who know the country’s on the way to becoming a tertiary power and largely irrelevant at best – and they know why.  Between that and the general multi-culti-lefty crap with which the place was awash, it could just as well have been a paen titled: “Why Our Country’s In the Toilet to Stay.”

    NHS – you have to see it to believe it.  And this monument to uncaring, unclean, anti-innovative, and generally third-rate if not out-and-out shitty, government care  is what they choose to celebrate?  Bring on the dancing welfare queens, I guess.   

  5. Oldflyer says

    I “monitored” it while reading a John Lescroart novel.  So, my time was not wasted.
     
    I did think the whole thing was sort of chaotic–and more than a little cheesy with the “fake” Queen parachuting in.
     
    The  historical inaccuracy was probably predictable.  If anyone has read anything about pre-industrial England, they know that to describe it as “idyllic” requires great imagination, and dishonesty as well.
    I had a taste of “pre-industrial” life in a backwater of the rural southern United States in my youth. An area that FDR’s rural electrification program forgot.  It was a tough life.  I can only imagine what it was like in the pre-industrial cities.  Actually, there are descriptions.  Take London for instance, where you could cut the air with a sword because every home, and hovel, burned peat to cook and heat; and the open sewers ran down the middle of the streets.
     
    No doubt that the transition to an industrial age was very hard.  We are the beneficiaries.  We should be very thankful.

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