Monday, 13 August 2012

Olympics closing ceremony afterthoughts

Granted, coming as a farewell to the most enjoyable Olympics I've ever experienced (and I can remember as far back as Rome 1960), this ceremony had to be something extra-special - and, in many respects it was.
Part of my very high opinion of the Games generally may well have been because of its location, which certainly helped - but that wasn't the full reason.

The re-creation of the London skyline, above, in illuminated model form was totally and breath-takingly astonishing - 'London Eye' (the giant Ferris Wheel), Gherkin, Battersea Power Station (as was)..... et al!


Now the closing ceremony's  'buts', plus one or two positives:-

Too long by half.

(I liked the accurate, if over-fussy, reference to the attendance of of Prince Henry).

Some of the acts too insularly British to be appreciated internationally - e.g. I'm a great 'Madness' fan, but singing 'Our House'?  Similarly, 'The Who' chosen, of all acts to close? Well, at least it wasn't Jesse J coming out for the fourth time, so that was a point in its favour.

George Michael - 5 minutes would have been quite enough, thank you.

Ray Davies singing 'Waterloo Sunset' - a sublime song encapsulating a very parochial Britishness - coming from an era when 'The Kinks' were one of the very great 'supergroups', at the same time as 'The Hollies' and, yes, 'The Who' too - as well as 'The Stones' and....well, you know who. Maybe his little act worked, maybe it didn't.

Spice Girls - must confess to an inner thrill at seeing them together again - yes, on balance it worked. (Geri now surely the skinniest of the lot, even moreso than Mrs Beckham!)

Fat Boy Slim? - bet the quizzical looks outnumbered the smiles.

Pet Shop Boys - I wouldn't have minded a second ditty from them.
Similarly, our dear and incomparable Annie Lennox, but without all that suffocating, encumbering drapery in a second song.

Eric Idle - well, they had to have a 'Python' spot, didn't they? And it did lighten things up a bit.

Emili Sande not only opening the show but appearing again later (what the hell was she singing about? - on both occasions! I couldn't make it out.)  - though at least it wasn't as OTT as Jesse J popping up for no less than THREE times, for goodness sake - when I just had to start flicking channels. You'd think she was Princess Di the Second!

Russell Brand surprisingly good singing 'I Am the Walrus'. Didn't know he could carry a tune - and pretty well, too.

'Imagine' worked well despite it having been heard to death for too many years now. I actually found it quite moving.

Elton, conspicuous by the absence of any acknowledgement of his music - or did I aurally 'blink'? - whereas Bowie (who's had a shorter 'shelf-life', though I'm not complaining!) gets a whole section, linked in with British fashion.
Btw: I wish someone had tried to throw a mobile at that annoying, spoilt brat of a woman, Naomi C., - which I sincerely hope would have missed, of course ;-)  - and who thinks that growing up and acting her (advancing) age is, oh, just TOO much hassle! - and whose only talent, as far as I can judge, is the ability to cross her legs three times over the back of a guy as he's humping her.

Lord Coe, as in his Opening Ceremony speech, going on too long again, but not helped by the crowd cheering after just about every sentence, as though he was an American Presidential candidate. Maybe they should have done the same as they do at the Oscars (or is it the BAFTAS?) and start playing music to drown him out after he's been talking for two minutes.

I'll think of other things later, but this is what's coming to mind during a morning after a night of inadequate sleep. But there you are - my thoughts are on record.

 Now follow that, Rio - IF you can! - HAH!

12 comments:

  1. Thank you! I don't have to add a thing.

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  2. Thanks as ever, Mitch. I've just added in some further remarks above, but I'd better stop now as that would 'cheating', and they wouldn't be immediate reactions any more.

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  3. Ok

    Some of the acts too insularly British to be appreciated internationally - e.g. I'm a great 'Madness' fan, but singing 'Our House'? Similarly, 'The Who' chosen, of all acts to close? Well, at least it wasn't Jesse J coming out for the fourth time, so that was a point in its favour.
    I LIKED JESSIE J.... ALSO ANNIE LENNOX HAD A CAMP TIME OF IT.... THE SONGS NEEDED TO BE MORE SINGABLE THOUGH
    George Michael - 5 minutes would have been quite enough, thank you.
    WHOEVER OKED HIM TO SING HIS NEW SINGLE SHOULD BE FIRED

    Ray Davies singing 'Waterloo Sunset' - a sublime song encapsulating a very parochial Britishness - coming from an era when 'The Kinks' were one of the very great 'supergroups', at the same time as 'The Hollies' and, yes, 'The Who' too - as well as 'The Stones' and....well, you know who. Maybe his little act worked, maybe it didn't.
    I PREFERRED THE YOUNGER SINGERS/GROUPS MYSELF

    Spice Girls - must confess to an inner thrill at seeing them together again - yes, on balance it worked. (Geri now surely the skinniest of the lot, even moreso than Mrs Beckham!)
    OK, NOT TOO BAD

    Fat Boy Slim? - bet the quizzical looks outnumbered the smiles.
    VISUALLY GREAT!!!!!!!!!
    Pet Shop Boys - I wouldn't have minded a second ditty from them.
    OK
    Similarly, Annie Lennox, but without all that suffocating drapery for a second song.

    Eric Idle - well, they had to have a 'Python' spot, didn't they? And it did lighten things up a bit.
    LOVED THE NUNS
    Emili Sande not only opening the show but appearing again later (what the hell was she singing about? - on both occasions! I couldn't make it out.)
    I LIKED HER SECOND SONG (REPRISE) VERY MOVING WITH THE OLYMPIC COMPETITORS CRYING ALL OVER THE PLACE
    - though at least it wasn't as OTT as Jesse J popping up for no less than THREE times, for goodness sake - when I just had to start flicking channels. You'd think she was Princess Di II!
    I KIND OF LIKED HER
    Elton, conspicuous by the absence of any acknowledgement of his music - or did I aurally 'blink'? - whereas Bowie (who's had a shorter 'shelf-life', though I'm not complaining!)
    THANK FUCK THEY DIDN'T DRAG THAT OLD QUEEN INTO THE MIX
    gets a whole section, linked in with British fashion.
    Btw: I wish someone had tried to throw a mobile at that annoying Naomi C.- which, I sincerely hope, would have missed, of course! ;-)
    TOO MUCH... SHOULD HAVE BEEN A ADDED ON WALK ON PART WITH PERHAPS A SELECTION OF FAMOUS ACTORS REPRESENTING UK FILM MAKING
    Lord Coe, as in his Opening Ceremony speech, going on too long again, but not helped by the crowd cheering after just about every sentence, as though he was an American Presidential candidate. Maybe they should have done the same as they do at the Oscars (or is it the BAFTAS?) and start playing music to drown him out after he's been talking for two minutes.
    I AM NOT A FAN OF HIS, BUT I THINK HE PITCHED IT RIGHT... I ESPECIALLY LIKED WHEN THE AUDIENCE CHEERED THE VOLUNTEERS WITH THE LONGEST OF SALUTES

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    1. J.G., so dedicated of you to have taken the trouble to type out all my words again. But you've highlighted your own thoughts, which is more important.

      My reactions to your comments are thus:-

      I just don't get that Jesse J. Nothing special at all to me - maybe it's a 'generation thing'.

      I obviously missed the reaction to Ms Sande's second number - but sounds like it's a case, for me, of ditto J.J.

      Yes, Fat Boy Norman was having the time of his life, while I reckon that a large part of the spectators would have been perplexed.

      Elton - your comment gets a big :-O

      True, British film actors would have been a splendid idea.
      (I bet that "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" went over a lot of heads. For home consumption only, that one.)

      Lord Coe is just TOO smarmy for my taste (besides, I have heard rumours of his early adult life, which may be just gossip. I'll only drop in the word 'closet?' and leave it at that. But as he has four children he just CAN'T be, can he? ;-)
      Having said all that, he did do a good job here - and I say that as someone who was originally one of the sneery sceptics.

      Btw: I couldn't resist refining and adding to my blog above for further things I missed mentioning. Really must stop it now. Thanks for taking so much time to comment, J.G.

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    2. I only cut and pasted it!!!!

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  4. Thanks you for posting so quickly. I was looking forward to the ceremonies, but fell asleep and missed them. At least, I got to see Prince Harry. Still so devishly handsome, but slowly changing in appearance. Guess it's called maturity. Wondered what happened that the Queen was a no-show. And was very surprised that all through the Olympics, I had not spotted, soon-to-be-Queen, Camilla.

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    1. I don't deserve any gratitude for posting quickly, Paul. Just wanted to get it off my chest - and before the paint dries (to mix metaphors).

      Harry doesn't do anything for me physically, though I do think he's turning better looking than his elder bro.
      HM the Queen wouldn't have been expected to attend the closing ceremony. Protocol demands that at such events like this she spreads herself as thinly as possible - otherwise people might start thinking that she's a bit of a 'tart'!


      Btw: Not many Brits are aware that if Chas pre-deceases the Queen, as is not entirely impossible (her own mum having lived to 101), both Wills and Harry drop right down the succession order. The next in line becomes Andrew (that boorish chap who's never been heard to utter the words "Please" or "Thank you."), followed by his two daughters, Eugenie and Sophie, then Edward - his own son and daughter succeeding him - and perhaps then Princess Anne followed by Zara (but I'm not sure about that) - and after her only THEN would come Wills and then Harry. If so many Brits don't realise that I doubt if people elsewhere do. With William dropping so far down the pecking order we'd then have here all the ridiculous, tired arguments for an ELECTED monarchy, which is just plain daft. You get what comes next - just like it or lump it!
      So, if Chas does go first, the lovely Camilla will be most unlikely to get to wear that bejewelled headgear which she must have her coveted sights on. Such a shame! (Tee hee!)

      No, I didn't see the latter gracious lady there yesterday either. Maybe she was out riding on Charles - sorry, WITH Charles.

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    2. Correction: if Andrew, Duke of York, becomes king (following the demise of Charles before his mother), after Andrew would be BEATRICE and Eugenie.

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  5. Just have to say the probability of Andrew becoming king, followed by Beatrice is scary stuff for the Brits. You would think with this frightening possibility, the Queen would step down and give it to Charles. I guess she likes the limelight too much.

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    1. Agreed, Paul - but I think Charles being King is about at least as frightening. No one seriously thinks he'd curb his lifetime habit of trying to interfere in political decisions, talking publicly about religion etc (Wanting to be known as 'Defender of FAITHS', indeed! ANY 'faith' at all? Paganism? Scientology? Does he mean he wants to be the offical figurehead defender of everything EXCEPT a non-Deific humanism? That would be outrageous these days, but I wouldn't put it past him.

      I think the Queen not having abdicated by now is becoming the elephant in the room which no one dare talk about. She's obviously coping, at least she looks like she is. Maybe she's trying to outdo Victoria. If so, at least another three years to go, then!

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  6. Raybeard’s Desert Island MEME from Spo-Reflections

    Dear Sir,
    1st= one symphony, pink floid “The Wall”, Jounery “Greatest Hits”, Cher 2 ablums, Reba 2 ablums, Old fashion Gospal songs (Amazing Grace, ect.)



    When I said Symphony I was speaking of aSymphony Album, Jouner's Great Hit Album, 2 albums of Cher. I meant you can pick them out. AS Reba as well. Pink floyd "The Wall" is an album of itself. And A gospil album (of oldies like amazing grace etc. SO I do not know where I broke the rules there. as for #3. Then I would have to go with solar lights, since I can not have a boy. Since you did not tell us the rules to begin with. Please write me and let me know.

    Cowboy4Cowboy@yahoo.com


    Thank you
    Ray

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    1. Ray, my namesake, thanks for taking the trouble to come here and express your thoughts.
      I would refer you to the reply I've only just written to Erik on Dr Spo's 'Desert Island Discs' blog, as well as to the first paragraph of my own blog on the subject (8th August) which sets out the basic 'rules'.
      But it seems that one or two others are taking this whole thing a wee bit TOO seriously. It's really only a kind of party game, revealing aspects of a person's personality that we might not otherwise have known, as well as, to some extent, showing us what makes another person 'tick'. Your own choices are most interesting and demonstrate what is important to YOU - which is the whole point.
      Thanks again for considering that the subject was important enough to pursue.
      Best wishes, Ray.

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