Tag Archives: cycling

Waked after long sleep

Article 22: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

I have the Opening Ceremony, Isles of Wonder, open in the corner of my screen at this moment – the industrialists have just arrived on Glastonbury Tor, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel is about to speak Caliban’s speech from The Tempest. Thanks to BBC iPlayer and the licence fee, I can watch any part of it I wish, from now til 12th January 2013. And I would never have thought that this would actually be something I would want to do.

As SharedPast summarises it

My expectations of the London Olympics’ opening ceremony were so low that, I suppose, I would have been impressed if it had featured Boris as Boudicca, driving a chariot over the prostate figures of the Locog committee. (Actually, now that I think about it, that would have been fairly entertaining.)

I haven’t changed my mind about the Olympics or Dow Chemical, but Isles of Wonder is a magnificent piece of performance art. The whole Olympic ceremony impressed and delighted me – to say “beyond expectations” is meiosis: I had sat down to watch it in a negative mood about the Olympics, cross about the money, and fully expecting to spend Friday evening making bread, doing laundry, only a quarter of my attention on the TV.

Ms Mongrel wrote in Bring me my chariot of fire:

Despite my cynicism, I do want things to go well. I want the Olympics to be a success for example, and I was really pleased at the spectacle of the Opening Ceremony. Continue reading

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Filed under Benefits, Education, Human Rights, Olympics

The Opening Ceremony

Danny Boyle did great. So did all the volunteers who took part. Literally the best thing Seb Coe did for the London Olympics was ask Danny Boyle to plan the opening ceremony and give him a free creative hand.

I saw a tweet just after Michael Fish and the non-hurricane warning appeared saying to the effect that most Olympic opening ceremonies try to impress the world. This ceremony wasn’t meant for the rest of the world: it was meant for us.

(Kes. I saw Kes. And Frankie Says Relax. I remember when the BBC banned that.)

[Update, 30th July: Apparently it was so British-orientated that NBC cut the tribute to the 7/7 dead and had no idea who Tim Berners-Lee is.]

It was all really, peculiarly, brilliantly British. As if Danny Boyle had thought: we are all feeling staggeringly horrible about this, for very excellent reasons: let me do a show that will remind us of our mutual shared Britishness, before the athletic teams march. Of course that cheap Nazi knock-off Aidan Burley hated it.

Aidan Burley hates multiculturalism
Continue reading

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Filed under J. K. Rowling, Olympics