London’s opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics was just plain awful. Mary Poppins? The National Health Service? The Industrial Revolution? Ranging from incomprehensible to bizarre, its various parts melded into one marathon bore, reducing British history to chamber-of-commerce boosterism.
Maybe that’s the best anyone could have made of it. As material for a spectacle, much of British history isn’t suitable for an event that emphasizes peace and brotherhood. The same can be said of most countries, perhaps all – an excellent reason to avoid self-congratulatory posturing in favor of a warm welcome and a good show that celebrates Olympic ideals.
Wouldn’t you love to have seen what John Cleese or Eddie Izzard could have done? Only Daniel Craig, Paul McCartney and (if you’ve acquired a taste for him) Rowan Atkinson managed to inject a bit of entertainment.
Show director Danny Boyle owes an apology to the thousands of volunteers who devoted their time and efforts, only to be made to look silly. And someone needs to tell Queen Elizabeth it would have been ever so much more polite to all those performers, and the athletes who’d earned a chance to be there, if she’d tried to look like she was enjoying the results of their hard work.