sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

July 27, 2012

Somewhere Out There Mark Steyn Is Furiously Typing

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:52 pm

…About the London Olympics opening ceremony and the death of the West.  And he probably is not even talking about the OIC completely dissing Israel.

I just watched the opening ceremony sans most of the parade of nations.  First, the good.  There was no synchronized flag waving a la Beijing 2008.  I know the viewers loved it, but it’s hard for me to watch spectacles like that and not think “totalitarianism”.  They loved the masses marching in unison in the Soviet Union, too.  They assembled tens of thousands to perform for the Moscow Olympics in the 1980, and they had parades like that for a variety of international events.  I know how it was done.  We had relatives in Moscow where all these international functions took place, among them my uncle, the refusenik, I mentioned in my prior posts.  He lost his good job after he applied for exit visas for his family, and had to find another one.  He was over two meters tall, which was pretty unusual for his generation, so whenever there was some sort of an official event that required a parade, he was taken off work and made to march with flags because the government wanted tall men to perform this task.  Did I mention he had a PhD?

I don’t expect dehumanizing displays of obedience like that in a free civilized country like the GB.  What I wanted to see is a clever, moving spectacle that talks about the country and it’s place in the world.  Chinese, as I recall, did patriotism really well, retelling history of China from The Stone Age on.  Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire put in charge of the opening ceremony, did no such thing.

Magna Carta

Magna Carta

The little prelude to the ceremony included the Sex Pistol rendition of God Save the Queen.  Was it really necessary?  Boyle started the presentation of the history of his country with the Industrial Revolution, which, of course, was an ordeal.  There was a nod to Shakespeare and Churchill, but the suffragettes and  Sergeant Pepper received more attention.  Not a world about Magna Carta.  Although the NBC anchors assured us that the theme is diversity of the Isles, not a word about Scottish Enlightenment either.

Hume and Smith statues

Statues of David Hume and Adam Smith, two of the Scottish Enlightenment figures, in Edinburgh

All these great accomplishments missing, yet they did a long ode to NHS.  How pathetic!  Here in the US we know about their death panels.  Boyle had kids lying in hospital beds, and my 5-year-old asked: “Are they sick, for real?”  All of this morphed into a Goth tribute to English children’s lit culminating with a giant baby, which even the NBC people were forced to admit was kind of creepy.  America, this is a warning.

And then, of course, come the long pop culture segment with a mash up of the last 40 years or so of pop songs.  When they played Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics they had to bleep out the part where Annie Lennox sang “some of them want to abuse you/some of them want to be abused”.  I can see how that line is too much, after all they omitted “for the  fascist regime” in Sex Pistol’s “God Save The Queen” too.  This whole part was nothing short of bizarre.  Yes, we all know about your little British bands, get over yourselves.

Credit is due to NBC for mentioning the PLO/Black September murder of Israeli Olympic team in 1972.  NBC even chastised the IOC (albeit mildly) for refusing to recognize the victims on the 40th anniversary at the opening ceremony.


Credit for the title goes to DH. XO

UPDATE: NBC had unambiguously good words for Mitt for saving the Salt Lake City games.



  1. LOL “Yes, we all know about your little British bands, get over yourselves.” A great line, but I worry that in today’s UK culture, the great bands may be mostly all they have left.

    Comment by nooneofanyimport — July 29, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    • Maybe I’m missing something about the British culture today… I agree with you. Certainly British pop culture deserves an honorable mention, like the doves on bicycles at the end of the show, I think, were a nice touch, but they would have been a better touch if they would have followed something representing more substantial.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — July 29, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  2. oh, btw, also that’s a great post title.

    Comment by nooneofanyimport — July 29, 2012 @ 8:38 am

  3. Leftism is disgusting. Even the Queen was bored.

    Part of the issue, too, is that now that the British Empire is essentially gone nobody knows what has replaced it.

    I just love getting some rich, famous, movie director to discuss the “common” man.

    All-in-all pretty sad… all the more sad about the 72 massacres.

    You might find this article interesting:

    Comment by Harrison — July 29, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  4. “Here in the US we know about their death panels”

    What, exactly, do you know about these ‘death panels’?

    Comment by Stanley — July 30, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  5. My 13 year old son observed, “Oh, it’s socialized medicine. Is that why the kids are sleeping two to a bed?”

    Comment by Alina Adams — August 3, 2012 @ 9:16 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: