Reading the reactions to Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony is something of a litmus test, gauging where the commentator resides on the spectrum from left to right, or from heartfelt to disingenuous.
I have to say that I loved it, although it was so full of cultural references that I will need a second or third viewing to appreciate them all. As Marina Hyde wrote,
…as deliciously indigestible to global tastes as Marmite or jellied eels. I loved it.
Just to make it clear, I am on the opposite end of the spectrum to the tweets from Aidan Burley, and from the blindness of those who did not see the Windrush reference (Ranga Mberi, I’m looking at you).
Overall, I find myself in agreement with Al Weiwei, who compared the machine-like opening of the Beijing games (impressive as it was) with the gentler, more human-scale vision of the London Olympics.
But I have to doff my hat at Marina Hyde’s invention of the term “the global arseoisie”, and her description of them:
For while it was the best of folks, it was also the worst of folks. Gazing stonily down on a parade of athletes, about whose dreams and sacrifices this entire extravaganza is supposed to be, were some absolute shockers. Taking gold in the Biggest Scumbag in the Stadium event was probably the Bahraini prince, on whose directives athletes are reportedly tortured, flanked on the podium by Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Prince Andrew’s brutal mate from Azerbaijan.
That’s humanity – the best and the worst; thrown together, with mostly the worst in charge…