Now I am the first to admit that I was never a contender for Mother of the Year (or should that be Gold Medal for Mothering Skills). So when events like the School Eisteddfod croppped up, I did my level-best to dissuade my daughters from putting up their hands to participate. (It worked by the way – they went for the slightly less tortuous Tournament of Minds (bad, but not as bad).)
All that pouncing around the stage to loud pop music, dressed in costumes that no doubt required parental input and often seemed to involve significant metrage of aluminium foil and, worse of all, sending some sort of message to the audience, such as the evils of war, capitalism or climate change, or in the worst or best of cases depending on your point-of-view, all three.
Let’s face it, it was never going to be my cup of tea. Sadly, one of my daughter’s best friends was heavily involved in many of these Eisteddfod events (buggered if I know what eisteddfod even means) – she was actually a lovely ballerina – so I attended them every year.
So when my eye was inevitably drawn to bits of the Opening Ceremony of the XXX Olympiad (what is this spirit of Olympism? – new term to me), I seemed to be reliving all those Eisteddfods I had endured, although this gig was definitely on steroids, courtesy of the NHS, I guess (see later).
Seriously, one can only imagine the decision-making process that led to this boring, crass and pointless exhibition of people waving their arms, jumping on beds, endlessly beating drums and generally making complete gits of themselves. (You know the one – you don’t have to have feathers to be a goose.)
Meeting upon meeting would throw up suggestions. What about the industrial revolution? Didn’t that start in England? – yes, let’s use that as a theme. (According to our Eddie [Eddie, Eddie, Eddie], the industrial revolution actually started on a particular day, although he didn’t give us the time of that day.)
The NHS – that’s unique to the UK – let’s use that as a theme and get all the doctors and nurses to dance to some rock n’ roll music. That makes sense.
Oh and the trade unions must get a look-in; after all, they are the good guys, softening the harsh face of capitalism (we can use men in top hats smoking cigars to represent the evils of capitalism).
I could go on, although I have to admit that my attention was straying. What was that bit with all those Mary Poppins falling down from the sky? And those gigantic monsters frightening the kiddies who had been happily jumping on those NHS beds?
And as for the behaviour of the Australian team. Perhaps I am old and grumpy but they sure looked like a pack of ill-disciplined, self-centred louts who had no idea how to behave and had clearly not been given any instruction on how to.
Any good bits? Mr Bean, although it did go on for a while. The deaf – am I allowed to say that? – kids singing and signing the National Anthem. The Queen. The spoof on James Bond. And the lighting of the flame, but how PC to have a team rather than an individual do so. Group-hugs and singing Kumbaya are clearly now universal.
And here’s my prediction – Australian’s medal count will be poor and all the rent-seekers will loudly proclaim that the government (ie. the taxpayer) must fork out even more money to make sure this never happens again.
Another thought: What about Mohammed Ali? He looked like an extra from Weekend at Bernie’s. They must have wound his clock in his back for the evening. Oh and by the way, he is not BRITISH.
Over at The Age, their writer gushes about the ceremony and quotes the creator of the ceremony, Chief Git Danny Boyle, as describing the ceremony as “gracious and generous.” Seriously? Gauche and tasteless, more like it.