I always love the opening ceremonies, and I was totally enthralled with the London Opening Ceremony. My friend Samantha lives on the West Coast and shares my love of the Olympics. She texted me about two hours into the replay on the east coast, an hour before it started to play in LA.
“How is it?”
“Oh my God, Samantha, the best ever! Just wait!”
I told her to text me and let me know what she liked best.
I awoke Saturday morning to see the following on her Facebook.
“I am just shocked! My anticipation for the Opening Ceremonies was such a letdown. 42 million on what?! Danny Boyle made a hefty chunk of change. Event producers have to do more at a movie premiere than that. Lol! Sorry folks that loved it. I don’t need an ambien tonight. Hahaha. Let’s go USA!!!!!! On to the Olympic Games!”
Did I mention Samantha does movie premieres?
I haven’t spoken to her since she posted it. Our friendship is on the rocks for sure.
Here it is in a nutshell people.
The Opening Ceremony in Beijing was a parade of colorful precision. It was like watching the Chinese Army in colorful clothing. Okay, the waving of flags and the train of dragons made it stunning, but I don’t think it touched the London Ceremony, and I certainly didn’t learn anything about their history. Tiananmen Square was no where to be seen. No show of factories filled with small children. I’m just saying.
I hear you all now. There is no place for that at the Olympics. Well, I beg to differ. That’s exactly the place for it. Give me truth and give me competition, and I’m a better person inside and out. Boyle walked us through English History and Culture—good and bad. I loved that he showed the dark side of the Industrial Revolution. I had no idea that so many children’s literary masterpieces were spawned in England. (101 Dalmatians? really? I so thought that Cruella DeVille was from New York City for sure!) I was especially surprised and spellbound by the use of real nurses and doctors to celebrate England’s amazing health care system. I loved the humor and musical history of the Chariots of Fire number, and what better entrance for the Queen than a fake one with James Bond? (Ok, she could have smiled just once! But overall, I liked the show of British humor.)
And come on. When those rings of fire floating around the darkened sky came together as the Olympic Rings, you had to feel something! No?
The truth is that I fell asleep before it was over, but that’s only because I work too hard and get up too early. It had nothing to do with the quality of the show.
We Americans must learn the nuances of storytelling, and we must realize that storytelling is not always filled with color and parades. I know more about England’s strengths and weaknesses than I did before, and I like her better than I did before. Thanks Danny Boyle, for a little bit of history, some smiles, and Paul McCartney, and I hope that your health care system comes our way really soon. Best of luck in the Olympics.
Let the games begin. As for Samantha—love you, girlfriend.