Communism has exactly ONE advantage, and it is Olympic opening ceremonies. I’ve been reading articles previewing the opening ceremony for next month’s London summer Olympics. I think to myself, “Is there any way they can just show us the tape of Beijing’s opening?”
Did you SEE the Beijing opening ceremony in 2008? It. was. miraculous.
London can’t top that. People in Britain are free. You can’t have that type of display performed among a free people. You need a totalitarian police state to pull that off. You need a society where the government can take subjects and say “For the next 11 months, all you will do is rehearse 14 hours a day. You’re our property. You’ll do what we tell you.”
I’m sure people in London are working very hard, but there’s simply no way it will compete. If they were Americans, maybe. But as hard as competing with 2008 Beijing is, the most recent opening ceremony was 2010 Vancouver, and Vancouver set the bar really low.
English film director Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) is the artistic director for the ceremony. Yesterday, Boyle presented a replica of what the field will look like during the opening ceremony and explaining his vision for the opening ceremony.
Visually, they are trying to create a meadow. It will showcase freely grazing animals, including 70 sheep, 3 cows, chicken, ducks, and herding dogs. It will have horses pulling plows. Fake clouds that will be able to “rain” will be suspended over the idyllic scene. Among the performers, some will having picnics others will be playing cricket. At the other end of the field, there will be a reenactment of a mosh pit from England’s Glastonbury Musical Festival. The scene will also include a 46,000 pound bell (the largest in Europe).
If you think that all sounds a bit boring, a lot of British people agree with you. People have been critical of the cost of recreating a pasture and have complained its a waste of taxpayer money, and that it could end up being a national embarrassment. Others have mocked the appearance of the opening scene as looking like a set from an episode of the Teletubbies. I argue that the entire idea makes me think of the herding competition from the movie Babe. I saw one comment asking if they were going to serve tea and scones wearing union flag hats.
Many people are heated.
I’m really going to try to give this ceremony a fair chance. That being said, the music had better be amazing.
There are a number of things about England that are much more interesting than meadows. Henry VIII, a rich military history, and being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, to name a few. But instead, they focus on our Mother Earth. I think that this is largely a commentary on environmentalism and a desire to present an idealized United Kingdom.
Instead of focusing on technology and innovation, they’ve gone back to their roots, literally.