Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bunch of leftie crap

This is the view of several commenters in the Daily Mail today. Referring, of course, to the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

One of them said: "It was alright. Saved by Macca at the end. I think Andrew Lloyd Webber should have been involved."

Ah. Freedom of speech is marvellous and I do love the fact that I live in a country that more or less encourages it. But it also serves as a reminder that so many people are just a waste of cells.

It appears their main problem with Danny Boyle's ceremony was its inclusivity, and in particular, its lengthy tribute and appreciation of the NHS.

A Tory MP even tweeted, in among his attacks on its left wing bent, the ceremony should have included Shakespeare. It's possible, I suppose, that he didn't understand that Branagh, in his guise as Brunel, was quoting from The Tempest which, last time I checked was written by Shakespeare. It's also possible he's an.ignorant cocklord.

Danny Boyle was the reason I watched the ceremony. I was really intrigued to see what the hell he was going to do with it. I haven't been shy to register my disgust and cynicism at the abject commercialism of the Games. The constant harping on about it and the bizarre choices of torch bearers didn't help.

And I can't say I wasn't massively cynical when it started. The theme, which was something about Britain and the seemingly twee hobbiton-like pastoral village scene at the start didn't help. Wiggins seemed to rather half heartedly ring the bell to kick it off before shuffling off stage in manner of uncomfortable teenager.

So far, so blah.

Then Boyle's way of telling the history of the industrial revolution, the rise of capitalism culminating in the forging of the rings blew me away. It was beautiful, moving, visually astounding, well acted, fabulously performed by people who weren't performers, and technically fabulous. And I don't care that I've written a load of gushing hyperbole because it deserves it. Branagh clearly loved every second of it, like his entire life culminated in this moment of standing on a replica of Glastonbury Tor, booming out Shakespeare to a billion people. And Boyle included so many things I love: Blake, Shakespeare, Elgar...

I loved the inclusion of the kids from Great Ormond Street. In fact, I loved the inclusion of all the children throughout. And children freak me out normally. I loved the NHS bit, particularly as a lot of the dancers were actually NHS staff. I loved the music bit. Could have done without the Mr Bean bit. For the first time ever I thought the Queen was a bit cooler than I initially thought, although the sight of her picking her nails, obviously bored to death while the athletes parade went by was a bit shit. It is her only job to look vaguely interested, after all. Philip was most definitely asleep at one point, although maybe they drugged the old twat to temper his temptation to make him make any racist 'jokes'.

I adored the fluorescent doves on bikes bit, not least because a friend of mine was one of them. It was stunning.

And I actually had a little tear in my eye at the end, with the beautiful lighting of the torch sequence. I just saw that the seven young athletes only found out a week ago that they were going to be playing that part. The torch itself was fucking incredible and made me gasp.

To be honest, I was almost relieved when Macca came on to bore everyone to death with a shit rendition of the ubiquitous fucking Hey Jude. Can't help thinking Boyle didn't have much choice about that bit. But at least the saggy faced uber bore saved me from totally losing myself in a most unfamiliar feeling of, well, I think it was probably, uh, pride. Of being British. I honestly can't remember the last time I even felt a hint of that. And I was pleased that they pulled it off with such style and panache and genuinely included so many members of the public, from the construction workers who built it to all those children who will carry the memory of being part of something so epic for the rest of their lives.

I hope Cameron and various slimy Tories really appreciated the NHS bit especially. It is genuinely one of the best things about Britain, and we are so lucky it's there. For as long as it lasts, of course. But I expect he also thought it was 'leftie crap' in his empty, corrupt soul.

Danny Boyle is actually a bit of a genius. Shame he didn't have a finger or two in the Jubilee shite. I might have been persuaded to give a tiny shit.

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