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London 2012 Opening Ceremony - dorsetgirl
July 28th, 2012
01:38 am
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London 2012 Opening Ceremony
Well. I loved the children’s choirs at the beginning. I’d been a bit worried that it would be English as opposed to British to an extent that would piss off the Scots and Welsh (and the Northern Irish, presumably? How can they be in “Team GB”?), but choirs in each country was a lovely touch.

James Bond! I was gobsmacked at Daniel Craig actually going into Buckingham Palace and coming out with the Queen. And they even got the corgis to nip at his ankles so he could smirk at them being left behind. And the idea of Queenie jumping out over the stadium made me smile.

Sir Simon Rattle and the London Whatsity: I was so totally not expecting Mr Bean. Fucking perfect. I like to think no other country would have undercut that proud Olympian moment with humour like they did there. I cracked up. What I really liked about the whole thing (well OK, I hated the last few minutes, but you can’t have everything), was that the entire ceremony was a statement about who we are. There was no way we could follow Beijing with more of the same but better, so I think it was the right decision to make it all much more personal. “This is us, this is where we came from, this is what we’ve done.” Earliest industrialisation, the NHS, Peter Pan, whatever. With a little bit of JK to remind everybody that we may be small and in some ways past our prime, but we can still do world-beating.

When they started doing the whole “iconic British” thing we were waiting for Doctor Who, and we were very pleased that we actually got the Tardis noise in there briefly. Thank you Danny for that!

I’m not particularly into David Beckham, but the guy seems genuine and I was pleased he got the job of transporting the flame down the river. He looked so proud, and rightly so.

What a great cheer when our team came into the arena! I know the BBC will do an excellent job of showing the actual events impartially (we’re very used to cheering on anyone charismatic at the front while our guy limps in tenth off-camera), but I was very pleased that they gave our team more screen time than the others in the opening ceremony, and that they got “Heroes” as their music.

And Doreen Lawrence! I very nearly cried at that moment. That was such a good thing to do; that lady truly deserves the honour.

The fireworks were good, too. Someone on Twitter said they could see them from twenty miles away.

Finally, one of the things I’d been worried about was that we would have all sorts of embarrassing has-beens singing their so-called greatest hits because someone in charge didn’t realise what year we were in. Right up to the end I thought we’d managed to avoid that but unfortunately we then got an absolute stinker, which came close to ruining the whole thing for me. I fucking loathe that song, always have done, and OK he might be rich and famous and it must be heartbreaking but surely someone could tell him that sadly for him, he just can’t sing any more?

So, once I’ve posted this I’m going to listen to a bit of Green Day to stop that awful song going round and round my brain, then I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I’ll see if I can find some gymnastics to watch.

Overall, though, congratulations to Danny Boyle. The boy done good.

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Date:July 28th, 2012 12:52 am (UTC)
Apart from Paul McCartney, who really ought to be gagged, it was indeed bloody marvellous.
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Date:July 28th, 2012 01:21 am (UTC)
I couldn't even see any way in which the song was relevant. My OH is older than me and actually likes the Beatles, and he took it a bit personally when I made a reference to sad old has-beens ruining things. Whoops!
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Date:July 28th, 2012 02:58 am (UTC)
While I missed the GB team entering the stadium because I had to walk my dog, I watched most of it up until then, and it was spectacular. I got choked up--I think the man and I both got tears in our eyes when the olympic rings came together in the air above the stadium.

Lots of great stuff.
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Date:July 28th, 2012 09:02 am (UTC)
I got the impression from Twitter last night that NBC had edited it down to a point where it made no sense - did you feel that? There were a few bits in there even we weren't quite sure what they meant!

Yes, the Olympic rings was a great moment, wasn't it, and I was very impressed with the cauldron. I'd been wondering what all the little kettle things were about that were being carried alongside the flag-bearers!

People here seem to be broadly pleased with the whole thing, and feeling proud to be British, which doesn't happen that often nowadays tbh.
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Date:July 28th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
I was really cross with Huw Edwards for talking over the beginning of Jerusalem right at the beginning.

I liked some of the little touches, like the statue of Churchill in Parliament Square coming to life to salute the Queen as she flew over.

Maybe I missed it, as I wasn't in the room the whole time, but I didn't see anything on our great maritime history/heritage. Not necessarily battles, but our merchant navy and explorers/navigators surely rated a mention.

I enjoyed the athletes' parade for the costumes, especially some of the African countries. And the cauldron was spectacular.

I went to bed when Macca came on. It was late enough and I was going out today. Sorry Paul, I know you were my first love, but anything that came after the lighting of the cauldron was going to be an anti-climax.

And once again good on the Queen and Prince Philip for sticking it out through such a long event at such a late hour at their ages.
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Date:July 28th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
I was very annoyed at some of the commentary; I'd read that Danny Boyle didn't want any commentary, and I was hoping that would be respected during the history segment. I don't mind so much when they explain - briefly - things you can't work out from just watching, but I get extremely irritated when they start just chatting to fill in what they think is empty space and inevitably isn't.

I forgot Churchill - yes, that was brilliant!

I think I watched practically everything, and no, I don't think there was anything on the merchant navy. I can only think that they wanted to keep well away from any suggestions of empire (which I saw described on Twitter as "how come you missed out the bit where you came in with your big ships, took over everything and exploited all the resources?"), but some acknowledgment of our trading history would have been good.

I learned this morning that there was apparently supposed to be more music after Hey Jude, but I left the room rather than listen to it, so I don't know if I missed anything there.

People who think the Royals have a lazy life clearly have zero experience of "socialising for work"! She didn't exactly look interested though, which surprised me.

Do you know who the VIP guests were? I caught a quick glimpse of Queen Margrethe of Denmark, but I was hoping they would tell us at some point who the other "Majesties" were.
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Date:July 28th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
Commentators at any big event rarely say anything that actually enhances the experience, I find. It's especially annoying when they talk over music, as if they think they are more important than the musicians. Last night it was especially pointless when each team was announced in French and English and then the commentary team had to tell us again!

I noticed the Queen of Spain when the Spanish team came on. And Michelle Obama was there. But I wasn't paying very close attention to the guests.
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