Saturday, July 28, 2012

British at heart

Yesterday I spent with one of my best friends.
I am really no athletic nutter (I mean, I like to exercise and all, I even danced ballet back in the day, but no athletic nutter). But I am a UK nutter, so when the Olympics extravaganza comes to London, I probably ought to watch the opening ceremony, eh? Well, my dear friend didn’t want to, and I’m OK with that. Further, because my friend is very important to me, I decided I could watch the re-run.
We had a splendid evening last night, we watched Kick-Ass and Hellboy, the golden army, we ate a lot of calories and talked a lot of shit, and enjoyed the evening immensely.
Re-run… Did I mention it started at 0530 in the morning? Our national channel, NRK, probably didn’t have the time to air it at reasonable hour because the games have started…and the competition is really why they have the opening ceremony?
Why didn’t you stream it from online Telly? - you might ask… Well, today it’s absolutely impossible to open the computer without getting all the top news splashed in your face, the Olympic opening ceremony being top news… and I wanted the suspense on who lit the Olympic flame. 
Was it The Doctor?

So, I promised another brilliant friend to log off all social medias and keep silent until I had seen the whole thing. I didn’t even wait for my friend’s reply, finding out whether he thinks I’m a complete nutter or not 
I am, though… He’s fine with it, I think…
I went to bed, slept for three hours, and got up at 0525 and turned on my TV.
When I make a promise, I try to keep it, and I am crazy…
The exploring scene directed by Danny Boyle was brilliant and had me in tears before the opening ceremony was five minutes old. It might have been because I was deadly tired at the time, but I think it was because it was properly epic and because Kenneth Branagh was in it.

And then, when the Olympic rings are, sort of, defined,
 they cut to James Bond…
And Daniel Craig, mmm. He escorts The Queen, Elizabeth the second in character as herself, to the Olympic Stadium.
 Now, obviously she didn’t take the dive from the plane, but it was a nice twist. 
And to know that this is the only time she has been an “actress” tells me that The Olympics are important to her as well (mind you, at the ceremony she didn’t look very amused, but I’m choosing to believe she was nonetheless).
A choir of children sang her song, which was cute.

But it was when Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells sounded across the stadium that I thought; now we’re talking.

Presented as monsters hiding under the bed we got to meet Cruella DeVil, Captain Hook, The Child Capturer and Voldemort, as J. K. Rowling read from Peter Pan… and to chase Voldemort away, many Mary Poppins came down from the sky, clearing the monsters away from under the bed.

Mike Oldfield gave the stage to London Symphony Orchestra and Vangelis…and Mr. Bean. Priceless  Rowan Atkinson really is one of my favourite Brits! 

Then a love story between two young people was presented, aided by the fantastic popular musical history Britain can look back on and be proud of. Bands and artists like The Beatles, The Who, Eric Clapton, Ziggy Stardust, Sex Pistols, Eurithmics, Frankie, Amy Winehouse and Muse set the scene as they danced their way into each other’s arms, and showed how beautiful social networks can be… lol…

But the most beautiful and tearful moment was when they remembered the dead. Remembered the victims of terror. A wonderful performance of Abide With Me, and powerful dance… fantastic. 
Thousands of performers took to the stage in the three-hour spectacle
Now, in small glimpses we've seen the Olympic torch being carried across the country. I spotted many well known and less known faces, and I spotted a national pride and a national joy at the whole thing. I know there has been criticism, but when the spirit was presented like this, one has to wonder why. 
So, the torch was on its way, David Beckham's role had to be substantial, driving a the torch to its next bearer. 

The presentation of the 202 countries participating in the Olympic games took its time, but it was awesome. And what's special about these games is that every single country has female competitors. Now that is a step in the right direction. 
I was not impressed by the band who performed after the march of the countries... Arctic Monkeys, they were out of tune, seriously out of tune, and I'm no fan of singing out of tune when you don't need to. I know at least one band who would stay in pitch, but they are touring Scandinavia at the moment...

The lighting of the flame, my reason for getting up in the middle of the night, was it The Doctor? 
It wasn't.
The youth of sports carried the torch, both literally and metaphorically, and lit the flame. And though I thought The Doctor couldn't change his own personal timeline, I'm sure he did so that this reality became the truth...
 Being a mother, I recognize the symbolysm. And there is something incredibly symbolic in passing the torch on to our children. So if The Doctor is who I think he is, he made this happen. 
And I have never been more proud to be British at heart.