Sunday, July 29, 2012

Damned if You Do, Damned If You Don't

From the New York Times email teaser of article:
In the opening ceremony of the Olympics, Britain offered a display of humor and humbleness that can only stem from a deep-rooted sense of superiority.
 The whole article seems to be an attempt to mimic the style of the ceremony.
[UPDATE:  I realized it makes the whole opening ceremony sound a bit Monty Python, but he never mentions them.]


  1. My goodness. Reading a bit of international press on our Olympic opening ceremonies this Friday past, I would think Britons see their world quite differently than do Americans.

    Well, perhaps, that's because we do. It's that delightful difference that is so refreshing and simply cannot translate via an insert-commerical-here, entire sections-dropped, NBC prattle version of what Eugene and I experienced.

    Having worked in professional arts for many years, and having become a dual national, I would say what we have here is a failure to communicate across our common language as if we possess a common heritage.

    I see more and more evidence of how wonderfully different things really are here compared to my birth country. This is one of those defining moments when and where I realised I really do like it here in so many ways, particularly as I see Americans gasping for an intellectual oxygen in what to us was powerful, moving and ever so humourous.

    I will admit it sometimes takes cultural misunderstandings as evidenced by this 'review' to resolve my love of things here; but know this to be true: British people were uplifted by this event; it seems Americans were left confused.

    And that makes all the difference.

  2. I loved every bit of the opening ceremonies, and thus far the only part of the Olympics that I have thoroughly disliked is the "insert-commercial-here, entire sections-dropped, NBC prattle" that we are subjected to in watching the time-delayed (yeah, that too) events well after they are over.

  3. Jacob and Lynne, The reception on our 36 year old 12" Sony tv isn't great and we rarely watch anything on it these days. Good television either shows up online or on dvd. So I have no first hand comment on the ceremony.

    Sounds like it was a lovingly irreverent extravaganza that didn't privilege one view of British history. A US Olympics committee these days would be hard pressed to have a ceremony that wasn't cloyingly patriotic I'm afraid.


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