Friday, July 27, 2012

Delayed Live-Blogging London Olympics Opening Ceremony

So one of my fans (my oldest boy) just texted me that I should be live-blogging the show. Of course it's on delay for NBC to clean up on its exclusive rights, but it is probably a better use of my blogging than picking on poor Mitt and his international sports diplomacy gaffes.

I was out teaching my youngest to drive. We got back just in time to see the Welsh children singing and then my British blood was stirred by the Jerusalem Anthem. And the Queen just parachuted into the Olympic Stadium with 007 (don't say anything about MI6! oops.) Not really, of course. It was all part of the special effects and Danny Boyle showmanship.

Now they're celebrating J.M. Barrie's Great Ormond Street Hospital (Peter Pan funded) and National Health (I really am trying not to make this political).

I did think the part about the agrarian society changing into the industrial revolution was a little Tolkienesque. They did forge the one ring and all.

And now J.K. Rowling is reading Peter Pan out loud to the world. And scary children's stories abound. Someday (I will have to blog about the British dominance in children's literature.) The good guys come in the form of Mary Poppins!  (I read an awful lot of British Children's Literature in my youth before there was ever a Harry Potter. And of course Harry Potter when I was an adult.)

Matt Lauer just pointed out the creepiness of the big baby. Can Americans ever stop being ugly in foreign countries? Believe me, we tried really hard. We were much quieter in the Tube than the Italian tourists two summers ago.

Chariots of Fire and the London Symphony Orchestra. That was an Olympics movie (which also featured "Jerusalem") Mr. BEAN!! is in the Orchestra! He is, of course, using his middle finger to pretend to play that one note. And now Mr. Bean is running with Ben Cross! (My wife and I saw Ben Cross once at the Kennedy Center in the Caine Mutiny with Charlton Heston playing Commander Queeg.)

Now we see the digital age taking over. It is a little jumpy like the modern world I am getting too old for [I say as I'm blogging]. I did hear a bit of Clapton which I can relate to - and now we're on to the Who! My Generation! The Stones (never a favorite of mine). The Kinks, and of course, the Fab Four.

Now we hit the 70s - Oh, there's Led Zep! Bowie's Starman and Queen (not the royal one). The Clash ought to be coming up. Sir Paul will eventually appear (I do have the internet and read ahead). Annie Lennox. I wish my old college roommate was here to identify all the music. Now we've got British rap. My daughter just ID'ed Amy Winehouse. And my 15-yr-old chimes in with "Muse." Where's Macca?

We've got David Beckham in a speedboat with the torch. And what happened to the show? Now we have Ryan Seacrest (of all people) interviewing Michael Phelps. Oh, the parade of nations is coming up. Here come the Athletes! Greeks (without that one young woman). Afghans - that's good. And Albanians. (You can check the list yourself. I'll try not to comment on everyone). But Argentina did get friendly applause after their war with the UK of 30-years ago. Australia- big cheer for the Commonwealth.

That's kind of cool that they plant all their flags on the fake Glastonbury Tor. My wife and I climbed the real one two years ago - magical place.

Brasil gets a big cheer! Next summer games in Rio! and the world cup in 2014! Copa do Mundo! Pentacampeão vai fazer SEIS!

Czech blue galoshes.  "If the sun don't come you get a tan
from standing in the English rain" They are the Walrus?
Check out the Czech blue boots! (See, I can be as annoying as Matt Lauer) (somebody's ahead of me on the NBC feed).

And now the Bee Gees are "Stayin' Alive?" I guess Australia's part of the Commonwealth.

Germany's kind of pink and blue.

And Ireland gets a big cheer. Very nice. Go Celts!

You know, I rode TRAX today, Salt Lake City's light rail legacy from the 2002 Olympics out here in the middle of nowhere (according to PM Cameron). The funny thing is, some of us Mormons were worried that Romney might say or do things that provoke negative criticism of our shared religion. Yet it was his comments about the London Olympics that provoked Cameron to diss Utah in a perfectly secular way. Oh, well.
US coming up. We'll see the controversial beret's (and the Chinese-made uniforms?). The berets remind us of the 2002 SLC Olympics when they were quite the fashion rage. Oh good, we got cheered very warmly. And view of First Lady Michelle. Berets look pretty cool if a little Frenchy. "All taking pictures of each other." And shot of Mitt and Ann (fortunately, not her dancing horse, Refalca - the horse Mitt doesn't dare get close enough to for a photo-op).

And the Brits! The Queen "cheering wildly" according to Matt, but she looked a little worn out to me - all that parachuting, ya know. The British uniforms are white with gold trim. Is that a reference to that "burning gold" from "Jerusalem" - the unofficial national anthem?

The Arctic Monkeys covering the Beatles "Come Together" with doves on bicycles. Sir Paul OK with this? I guess it was John's song. Now a dove on a bike is flying up through the stadium. And all the boring official stuff. OK, my democratic-republican soul does chafe at the "Your Majesty, Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses." The Queen rises to the occasion (barely). And carrying the Olympic Flag are all these international heroes of Human Rights I'm said to say I don't know much about. And yet, there's our Muhammad Ali - good to see an exceptional American in there.

So, Glastonbury Tor has this big tree on the summit (rather than the surviving tower of St. Michael's) The Tor is a spiritual center from pre-Christian ancient days through the origins of Christianity in Britain and right on up to our present New Age and all the interesting people currently in Glastonbury.

Young British athletes now carrying the torch. Old British Olympians standing by and mentors hugging young athletes. Torch lighting the cauldron in the center of the stadium. That's pretty classy. And London erupts in pyrotechnics to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon."

And Paul - "And in the End. The Love you take is equal to the Love you make." Segue to "Hey Jude" with Paul cracking a bit. But he clinches the scream. And then it's audience participation time with the "Na na na nahs" Man, 1968 was a long time ago! I sang it with him in Boulder, 1992.

The real Glastonbury Tor and me. August 23, 2010


  1. I never feel out of touch not owning a tv as long as you are out there on the couch...

    1. "like"

      But you have better scenery to watch.

  2. Snickering at Djibouti? Somebody stop Matt Lauer, please...

    1. Matt & Mitt . . . what can I say?

    2. Misjudged what part of the parade you were in. Regardless, seems Matt Lauer has had gems through the whole event...


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