When we won the Olympics, I did say that it would be a disaster.
Well, it wasn't quite the disaster I predicted, but then it wasn't the spectacle it could have been either.
There were glimmers of brilliance, like the change from a pastoral scene, to celebrating Britain's role in creating the modern industrial age, and the forging of the Olympic rings in the air (although it would have made more sense had they lifted from the "forges" into the air, but for me that was the high point of the evening.
Less impressive was the deadening hand of political correctness throughout the whole affair. Did we really have that many coloured Victorians? Couldn't Britain's broadening ethnicity over the ages be truely represented and celebrated?
I'm not sure what there is to celebrate about the NHS, after all its not unique and not really spectacular enough to be celebrated on a global stage. Not sure either why Great Ormond Street Hospital was singled out for a mention.
What completely ruined the whole thing though was the BBC's coverage, which insisted in concentrating on close camera work enforcing the diversity meme, as well as the usual creepy PC obsession with children.
The close shots failed to reveal the brilliance of the NHS and GOSH logos made out of carefully placed illuminated hospital beds, failed to widen the shot to include the yellow submarines following a group of people dressed in Sargent Peppers, failed to show other elements of the parade around the outside of the stadium depicting Britain through the ages, which tied the narrative together.
All the while we had a bland commentary, just about raising itself above the crassness we had to put up with during the Queen's Thames pageant. However, there was one interesting point in that viewers watching 3D content on the BBC HD channel were treated to a higher quality and better informed commentary. Why was that I wonder?
Close but no cigar is the rating I'd give the opening ceremony. Not quite the epic mess that the millennium dome was, but I suspect Danny Boyle had to fight hard to not let his vision get diluted too much.
Finally the disappointment of the evening was watching the empty shell that is now Muhammed Ali paraded in front of the world. I remember him in his heyday and its really a shock to see him like that.
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