Thursday 2 August 2012

Sport! What is it good for?

I haven't got a clue about sport but I insisted on watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony, mainly because I was convinced someone was going to shoot Boris Johnson and I didn't want to miss it.  Apart from that disappointment, a couple of things struck me:

Britain is stupid.  Lots of people online in the first twenty minutes complaining that all this grass-and-farmers stuff is really old fashioned, and do we want the world to think we're still like that.  Despite the fact that we still had a good three hours of history to go.

I am stupid.  I was moaning about tokenism (precisely one black mill-owner, one wheelchair dancer, etc), until I was reminded that most of these people were volunteers and producers simply had to pick the best performers for each thing from whoever turned up, so it was probably pretty representational.  In any case, all the performers were good and handled it with as much dignity as one can have while dressed in a top hat and performing interpretive dance about the industrial revolution.

No, it is Britain that's stupid.  Lots of different people online complaining that the production was "far left".  One expects this kind of spluttering from the Daily Mail, that's their job, don't do it for them.  There are many millions of things more left wing than saying "actually, world, we're quite proud of our healthcare system and the people who work in it".

Danny Boyle is of a similar age and background to me, and thus has exquisite taste in music (I'll let him off Frank Turner, since he did get the Who in twice.  I would have preferred Billy Bragg singing Jerusalem though).  

Trevor Nelson's cousin was in one bit, you know.  Nice to see #stoptalkingtrevor trending worldwide, as well as in our house.

The forging the ring bit was fantastic, but watching it without thinking of Tolkien was like listening to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.

I now get the point of sport a bit better.  I picked up lots of geographically educational stuff just from watching the parade of athletes.  Including the fact that our lot looked rather like a combined stag and hen party composed of budget airline crew. I really enjoyed all the background facts though - Bhutan didn't get telly till 1999!  The flag of Paraguay is different on each side!  

Maybe Boyle could now do some spinoff shows (The Adventures of Queenie?  Tim Berners-Lee and the Texting Teens?) to keep us amused for the next two weeks.  Or would the nation rather watch someone we don't know do something marginally more quickly than someone else we don't know?  Oh.


  1. Never saw it. Waiting for a Christmas repeat.

    Sport is for making you feel good watching other people doing well at the things you don't do at all.

  2. Actually, K, I think you might have just invented the Flat Pack Furniture Assembly Olympics. It's ALWAYS fun to sit back and watch Paul put an Expedit together.

  3. Hehe. You should video that and put it on YouTube. We'd all like to see that.