Monday, August 25, 2008


Never has the tone been lowered so dramatically from such sublime heights. After an unrivalled and moving demonstration of stunning mass choreography and orchestrated music at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games, there followed the indescribably humiliating embarrassment of seeing that twat Boris Johnson hands in pockets shamble on in his dreadful £15 Tesco suit, followed by a double-decker bus sporting the crappest logo of all time opening up to reveal some tart from X-Factor accompanied by a decrepit Jimmy Page miming on his Les Paul. Christ Almighty, kill me now.


Thomas Bey William Bailey said...

That sounds just about as unequivocally awful as any of our recent Super Bowl 'halftime' shows; thank you for warning me in advance...

Although I'm a little curious now- in this context, what was the placement of a double decker bus supposed to signify exactly?

OOOOH wait wait I just got it as I typed this, the 2012 Olympics are in London...(repeatedly smashes forehead against desk)

LJP said...

Probably explains the Jimmy Page bit too...

Doris said...

If you think Boris nearly fucking up bearing the flag @ the closing ceremonies was bad, have a gander at his "whiff-whaff" speech at the afterparty:

The double-decker bus was supposed to represent one of London's icons (as were the umbrellas, I guess). I think the 2012 organisers should go one further and don it with a top hat and animate it to stab foxes, and presto, you've got the next Olympic mascot.


We, the British, have always lagged behind culturally, but used to make up for it with our no-nonsense can-do attitude and extremely well-trained army. To say that even these are now in a state of decline would be an understatement. Our jaded people have squandered the freedom won for them and have effected a crude paint job over our real national heroes (Churchill, Bacon etc.), replacing them with a tawdry, ever-revolving assembly of B-list television celebrities and an appalling celebration of the most ugly and mindless aspects of working class culture available.

As William Bennett points out, this was underlined unbearably in yesterdays Olympic hand-over ceremony, causing serious embarrasment and offence to intellegent Britons, and of course to the Chinese, on whom the ceremony was an obvious attack. It was an attempt, in a simplistic way, to contrast British "fun-loving freedom and variety" with the iron-clad austerity and forced unity of communist China. What a disgrace.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics exposed Westerners to a form of state spectacle now abandoned in this part of the world. Awesome, monolithic and beautiful, the choreographed mass performances celebrated the ideals of strength, national unity, pride and achievement as China officially emerges as a Great Power once again after 150 years of extreme hardship. Whilst our media took smug, cynical potshots at lingering elements of Chinese totalitarianism, they rejoiced over their massive accomplishment as a nation, and their government's relative success in revolutionary nation-building.

As admitted by Zhang Yimou himself, these pieces of theatre could bettered only by the majesty of the North Korean Mass Games. One wonders what team DPRK made of their close ally's effort.

Thomas Bey William Bailey said...

K.M., China may appear to be a capital-g 'great power' by virtue of their awesome Olympic ceremonies, and also by having the U.S. by the tail (they hold the majority of our spiraling-out-of-control, $9 trillion war debt)- yet other factors would have me believe that China is not smoothly sailing towards any kind of global hegemony.

For example, the massive disparity between the male and female population, and all the attendant problems that causes- or the serious scarcity of water ("China" and "desertification" gets about 600,000 google hits now.) Alarmist neo-con blather about their military might is also rank exaggeration, meant to legitimize land grabs of oil-rich areas before "they" get there first.

I'd agree that their ceremonial functions are much more aesthetically pleasing than anything the flailing Anglo-American authorities could cook up, but I also think it would be erroneous to use this isolated spectacle as hard proof that the global superpower torch has been passed to them.

Walter Peck said...

I agree with thomas here. I'd also add that "lingering elements of Chinese totalitarianism" is one hell of an understatement.


I at no point claimed that China was suddenly a great power by virtue of the Olympic ceremonies alone. Their ascent has been gradual. Hosting the Olympics was however a significant and deeply meaningful achievement for them.

What criteria should we use to judge whether a state qualifies as a great power? China's economy continues to grow rapidly, more so than many other powerful countries. They have unchecked nuclear capabities and the largest standing army in the world. No one interferes in their "internal affairs" (Tibet etc.) other than passing public comment. They continue to develop trade agreements and invest all over the world at a frightening pace.

My comment was in any case about the aesthetics of the ceremonies themselves and what they were intended to represent to the Chinese and the rest of the world. That, and comparing them to the British embarrasment, is where my interest lies on the matter.

Miss Kerry said...

"When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life."
-This statement alone, is reason to have him beheaded in the Tower while he's still around.

Positive change? To what exactly Mr Blair was proposing?
It certainly worked well on the Pollie Elite there in dear old Blighty- what one million unemployed?
Guess he never REALLY understood Thatcher's idea of applying common sense economy to the big picture or he'd have saved it to pay the poor old NHS nurses who are currently, losing their dearly held ground hand over fist.

Better not get ill. Malnutrtion tends to provoke insomnia, due to worry. Which means the poor old things, already doing 12 hr days for less pay than can support one person might not be so alert.

Exploding buses. Exploding economy more like it. For such a Brit symbol, they seem awfully eager to scrap the old buses. Which in terms of touristy trade is plain idiocy.