Welcome (sort of) to the London Olympics
Update: skip to the bottom for some conclusions on an epic and weird opening ceremony
OK, it’s been another heavy duty week on the blog, so some light relief for Friday. Especially for the 70% of you who don’t live in the UK, here’s the unofficial welcome video, featuring London’s studiedly eccentric Mayor Boris Johnson (yes, we elected this guy) [h/t Ian Sullivan]. And the New York Times wonders just what is wrong with us Brits [h/t Jon Slater]. Fingers crossed for an excruciatingly weird and naff opening ceremony tonight (and please share your own favourite – and suitably off message – takes and links. And no patriotism please, we’re British…….)
Update: I’ve spent the weekend pondering the mysteries of the opening ceremony (and watching Britons fail to win medals). Headline conclusions – some mine, some stolen:
1. The magnificent underlying arrogance: First, we are going to have a conversation with ourselves about our national identity, loaded with lots of really obscure references. We’ll chuck you a couple of globally intelligible Britishisms (James Bond, Mr Bean), but if you don’t follow the rest, tough. Second, only a really superior nation can take the piss out of itself to that degree.
2. Danny Boyle is a tactical genius. He introduced all the liberal politics and social commentary before 1948, and then switched to culture and technology. The Tory press swallowed it, and I think Boyle may have single-handedly framed a new (politically) liberal consensus on British history. Wow.
3. The opening ceremony was so brilliant that it really doesn’t matter if we win any medals (fortunately)
4. Paul McCartney can’t sing, and his drummer needs to be locked up. An appropriately naff end to a great evening.
Finally, whoever kidnapped Boris Johnson for the evening deserves a (gold) medal.