So, we've had the opening ceremony and the running, diving and jumping has started.
I will try to say something about the opening but to be honest, it was all a bit of a blur, I did watch it and I thought it was actually ok- if you were English and knew nothing about history. It was a polished, tidyed up version of 'British' history. It was also a strange amalgamation of things, the bit about the industrial revolution with men in big black hats could sort of be associated with parts of the UK other than England, at a stretch... Maybe?
The bit about the NHS was really quite funny, I assume it came from the mind of Danny Boyle, so one also assumes he's blessed with great health because he's obviously never been in a hospital before. Perhaps the English NHS is like that, (the NHS in Scotland is entirely seperate,) although something tells me it probably isn't.
As for the rest, well, I don't really remember it, there was too much going on. Big puppet things, people flying through the air, other folk dancing from the eighties (why would you bring that back up?) Also, I will admit, I got bored, so bored in fact, I decided to do my Mum's shopping online.
We need to talk about something though, its a gnarly topic that I always try to avoid because other people put the various arguments over in far more eloquent ways. Was it political and what about nationality? To the former, yes it was, you can't celebrate the history of a country with out there being a political message, even if only incidentally. As to the latter, nationality? Definitely, for the same reasons, probably even more so. As an advert for Great Britian it was a masterclass in marketing flimflam, it was a version of Britain scrubbed clean by nostalgia, so much so it made me want to vomit. The only positive was, I didn't want to vomit as much as I thought I might.
Sticking my head even further above the parapet, if a supporter of Scottish independence utters words in support of the cause, he or she can expect a figurative kicking from unionists for having nationalist views, the idea being; nationalism is definitely a 'bad thing'. We've had the Jubilee, now we're having the olympics. What if anything is, has been or could possibly be a bigger display of nationalism? It seems British Nationalism is ok, any other kind however; is for dicks.
I'm now going to dance along the parapet with the following words. British Nationalism and the British State is a huge black slug squatting over all the component countries of the UK, its organs are staffed by people (from all the component countries) with a vested interest in the continuation of the British State, its become a self-perpetuating factory interested only in manufacturing its own continuation; at any cost, usually yours. I'm not just supporting Scottish Independence, I'm supporting English, Welsh and Irish independence.
Have these olympics been hijacked by politics? Does a fat dog fart? Of course they have, Danny Boyle only reflected in the opening ceremony what is pedalled out by the BBC, Westminster and the main stream press, its not even his fault. While doing my Mother's shopping, I was hard pushed not to purchase anything with a Union Jack on it (something which I assiduously try to do.) That odious little man Michael Forsyth (who's rejection by the Scottish electorate was as unceromonious as it was enthusiastic) tries to tell us that Scottish nationalism is of the BNP/bigoted/negative variety while British nationalism is all about patriotism, which is positive. As you would expect from the tory peer, as an argument, its arse gravy of the purest sort.
All that to one side, I think its probably important to seperate the sport from the surrounding fluff. I also think its important to tell BBC correspondents not to visibly orgasm when TeamGB wins a medal, seriously, its good but its not that good. I think its also important to give credit where its due, the facilities do look great, from what I've seen in passing on the telly, which you'd expect given the costs involved.
The sport seems all to be happening in an orderly fashion (Asian badminton players not-with-standing) and no one (that we know of) has been 'disappeared' for drinking Pepsi or attempting to smuggle in a KFC Zingerburger meal (apparently that's a trademarked word, I've have no idea how you do the TM thing, I only barely managed the link in the 5th paragraph,) one can only hope KFC aren't as aggressive as Coca Cola with infringements. (For what it's worth, I quite like a KFC; I'm on your side here ok?)
So we have the closing ceremony to come, I wonder what Seb will do once its all finished, perhaps he'll return to his Borg Regeneration Pod for a well earned sleep, or whatever it is the Borg do when they're not assimilating Londoners. I didn't see the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony, so have no idea what form the ending takes. I hope its not as confusing (or as long) as the opening ceremony though. If I was in charge, I'd just have the Queen put the lights off in the stadium and be done with it with one gloved flick of a switch.
As for the Commonwealth games in Glasgow, I think who ever does Irn Bru's marketing should get the opening gig, I think they'd do a decent job. Nothing too flamboyant mind, just the bare essentials, I'm even happy for Betty to do her opening act too, albeit with some minor changes. A shell-suited, electronically tagged chav will be escorted to Her Majesty's room in Holyrood, while the footman's head is turned the spotty youth will cram anything of value into his pockets, including a Corgi, eventually the Queen will say, "Good evening." to which the chav will reply, "woteva!" Liz will then be transported to the opening ceremony on the back of a stolen moped being chased/escorted by a phalanx of police vehicles along the M8.
The Queen will open proceedings with the following words: "I declare open these the 20th Commonwealth Games of Glasgow... And nae cheatin' ya bunch o' fuckin' fannies."
I sincerely hope we don't fuck it up, so far, at least the Commonwealth logo doesn't look like two cartoon characters indulging in a bit of fellatio, which is a good start. Also, if we get Tunnock's to sponsor the catering I doubt they've got the same resources as Coca Cola or McDonalds, I suspect if you fancied a bit of Burton's shortbread instead of a teacake, you won't be shot on the spot.
I need to go, there's someone at the door, it looks like they're wearing a KFC t-shirt...