2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony

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I'm watching a prerecorded taping of the Opening Ceremony in HD.

View Complete Set of Companion Photos of Opening Ceremony

Part I

I'm about twenty-five minutes into the program. The Olympic circles are coming together overhead as workers of the industrial revolution beat their drum sticks along to the epic music. Tears are welling up in my eyes. What? I'm not even British. Why so emotional? I dunno.


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About thirty minutes in, James Bond picks up the Queen from Buckingham Palace.


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They take a helicopter adorned with the Union Jack over to the stadium where the ceremony is taking place. As they hover over the stadium opening, the helicopter door opens and Bond and the Queen jump out and parachute down into the stadium. The Bond theme song plays. Love it. The Queen is introduced. The National Anthem is sung by a children's choir. I hate children's choirs.


Thirty-six minutes in, kids on hospital beds and medical staff take the stage in a tribute to the National Health Service. I want to cry again. But this time not out of sentimentality but out of sadness that my country doesn't care enough about her people to have universal health care. Oh wait, there's Obama's Plan. Yeah! There is hope after all. Ooh, shivers. The music playing is from the 1977 supernatural horror film Ruby. A little foreshadowing of what's next perhaps? Yes! Scary characters from children's literature descend from above. One poor girl and her bed elevate to meet a giant inflatable Voldemort. She doesn't look scared though. I'm scared. Make it stop. I'm going to have nightmares.


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Oh hurray, it's Mary Poppins. Many Mary Poppins--perhaps twenty or more--falling gently from the sky, just as she does in the film. The music changes. It's light and happy. And so am I. Cheerio.


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Ah, the kiddies are tucked into their beds. Nighty night. Oh wait. Lights on. Kids jump up and down on beds. Take a bow, little ones, you earned it.



Part II


Fifty minutes in, an orchestra performs Chariots of Fire. It sounds like elevator music. ZZZ. I'm bored. A camera zooms in on an organ player. Oh look, it's Mr. Bean. He looks bored as well. He drifts off into a daydream. We follow. We see runners on a beach, running, with the Bean man leading the way. It's a race, of course. Yippee, Bean wins! Back to reality. Song ends.


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It's the fifty-seven minute mark. A lovely red Mini Cooper drives up to a small house located in the center of the stadium. A stone throw from the house is a large boxy structure. A teen music and fashion extravaganza ensues. Now that's what I call music. The whole debacle is much too abstract to describe. There's lot's of dancing. The Who plays. Now The Stones. Lots of great British rock tunes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, The Beatles. Alright, Led Zeppelin, Bowie, Queen. The box is a movie screen. Freddie! OK, the costumes are odd and ugly now--neon mod. Shit, is that the Sex Pistols? Oh, the Queen is surely grinding her teeth right now. Hell yes, New Order--Blue Monday. Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Eurythmics. Scenes from Trainspotting. Oh Danny (Boyle--film director, and director of opening ceremony), you bad boy, you. Now he's doing a Slum Dog tribute. This is the Olympic opening ceremony, not the lifetime achievement in film awards. Tsk, tsk. OK. I've had enough of this. Oh thank goodness it's over. Soundtrack will be available for purchase tomorrow--that's today. Rolls eyes. The segment closes with a tribute to the creator of The World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee.

Now we are off on an adventure--a video montage of the events that took place in the lead-up to the opening ceremony. This culminates with David Beckham driving a fine speed boat, with a young Olympiad holding a torch at the helm. Kind of silly, but hey he did play a big part in bringing the Olympics to London. If Danny Boyle can plug his movies, David can plaster his mug on the screen as well. A photo montage of those who were unable to make it to the ceremony is presented. Where's my picture? Carry on.


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Part III

One hundred twenty minutes in, dancers grace the stage. A large setting sun is the backdrop. Quite stunning. A drum beats. Then Emeli Sande sings a beautiful song. Lovely.


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The athletes parade begins. The countries enter the arena alphabetically. Albania is first. Lots of smiles and hand waves. Here come the outfits. They are ranging from conservative suits to tribal costumes. At the 137 minute mark, a very cool tune plays, Rez by Underworld. The Americans show their mugs. At the 3 hour mark, David Bowie's Heroes plays as England takes the stage. The athletes look very happy. The audience goes wild.


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The parade is over.

The Arctic Monkeys take the stage. They look and sound great. I like Alex Turner's new
haircut. They sing two songs


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Her Majesty The Queen opens the Olympic Games. Wowsa, a very cool fireworks show.

Britain's celebrated Olympiad, Steve Redgrave, is greeted by Beckham in the boat. He lights his torch then high-tails it to the stadium. 80,000 people wait for his arrival.


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Seven young British athletes light the Olympic cauldron. The flame's aglow. More fireworks. A video montage of British athletes in all their glory plays. Paul McCartney sings Hey Jude. Predictable.

Overall, a lovely show. Danny Boyle did a great job presenting Britain in all her glory.

Let the games begin!
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