The Thinking 

The Opening Ceremonies

July 28, 2012


The torch lighting, London, 1948

THE LONDON Olympics of 1948 cost £600,000, the equivalent of $30 million today, and the event turned a small profit. There were no corporate sponsors and the entire bill was paid by amateur athletic associations and ticket sales, in contrast to the debt-ridden 2012 Olympics, which will cost a total of $14.5 billion. Nor was there anything in 1948 like the frenzied, extravagant, disjointed spectacle that was last night’s opening ceremonies, a celebration of Britain’s emergence from the Industrial Revolution into the age of socialist medicine, multiculturalism, and bad music. I cannot imagine what the average Briton who knows his nation is foundering in debt and subsumed by mass immigration thought in his heart of hearts of this show, with its alternately sentimental and sinister imagery, but here is a comment from a reader of The Telegraph:

The world is not in need of knowing how ‘good’ we are at putting on a show, that is obvious. What the world needed to sense was our moral purpose and commitment, this was sadly intensely lacking. Oh yes, this was the UK as perceived by certain media and political elites, all of whom should be shocked now at their lack of political maturity. The Queen symbolically parachuting into the arena a composition of PR folly and stupidity. The world now knows and intuits all too well that we have declined as a nation to the level of brutish intelligence and infantile awareness. The message that should have been lovingly given to the world should have been of the ever necessary search for fairness, compassion and intellectual brilliance. An ever increasing personal and collective emotion to serve the path of excellence and international fraternity as typified by the athletes so proud to represent their individual countries alongside their fellows in the spirit of sportsmanship. The world saw an adolescent history class and rave and will have lost feeling for something they once saw as meaningful and a line of beauty in a broken and uneven world.

— Comments —

Hurricane Betsy writes:

“… frenzied, extravagant, disjointed spectacle….”

I knew you could do it, i.e., describe that vomitous production in only a few words.

So many stupid and ugly things last night, I could not list them if I tried. But here was a highlight: a blond Negress, biracial, bien sur, muttering, barely audible, the hymn “Abide with Me,” alongside a large number of “dancers” writhing in agony in an orange and red hell. Somebody tell me, please, what this was in aid of and what it might have to do with the Olympics?

 P.S. All of the opening ceremonies in recent memory are over the top to the point of embarrassment, but even the one in Beijing was better put together than this monstrosity. There was some real talent there. I had to walk out of the room a few times for this one (and I’ve had direct contact with dying maggotty animals and corpses).

Laura writes:

When this intensely demoralizing spectacle reached the bit about the typical British family, which consisted of a black man, his blond wife and a daughter who was worried about losing her cell phone in the midst of a writhing mass of her friends, I too walked out of the room.

By the way, I quickly scanned all the major media in the U.S., Canada and England this morning and could not find a single truly critical piece about the ceremonies.

Diana writes:

I am boycotting the Olympics for the following reasons:

1. They are having women’s boxing for the first time. No comment other than: Wrong, wrong, wrong!

2. The channel broadcasting it, NBC, deserves to be punished for scheduling a TV show in the fall about the reproductive prostitution known as “surrogacy” (“The New Normal” – ha, not in my world!) That’s enough, but here’s more:

3. The rampant commercialism.  Not an original criticism and I used to disagree people who pointed this out because I thought it was too leftwing a criticism, but I always thought they had a point. But, I also thought that the organizers needed to make a buck to recoup their expenses, and sports that weren’t big name big money sports deserved a place in the sun once every four years. Well, no more. The commercialism is insane. Turn off the Olympics, turn off the commercial cacaphony. You win, they lose. Good!

4. The unending drug scandals. I can’t tell you how disgusted doping makes me.

5. My discomfort with celebrating what is, essentially, a triumphantly pagan ritual. The original Greek Olympics was just that and I’ve always had a bit of an issue with the Olympics because of that. I overcame this discomfort the same way I overcame my issues with rampant commercialism: by repressing them. (I believe the modern phrase is, “get over it.”)

Also, I admit, it is a bit starchy and prudish to object to the Olympics because they were originally pagan. Now, if the Olympics was still the modest and unassuming celebration it was back in the 60s, with normal undoped men and women performing well and then disappearing into obscurity, I would continue to tell myself to get over it, and enjoy the pagan ritual. But they aren’t – they are a commercial megabux bonanza, featuring steroid-enhanced frauds –  so the paganism at the core of the Games bothers me.

In short: boycott the Olympics and you’ll be happier. A week after these historic and unforgettable games, no one will remember who won what.

Laura writes:

Do the pagan elements of Christmas also bother you?

The problem is not the pagan roots of the Olympic games, but the fact that they have been taken over by a neo-pagan sensibility.

The Olympics represent worthy ideals. They have encouraged athletic excellence and friendship between nations. I have many fond memories of watching the competitions. However, I strongly agree with Diana’s other points and sympathize with her boycott. The games have changed dramatically for the worse.

Diana responds:

It’s the women’s boxing that really disturbs me and pushed me over to the boycott camp. Everything has mixed origins. The fact that the Olympics has pagan origins means nothing in and of itself, which is why I put it in the caboose. I wouldn’t have  mentioned it if the other factors, especially numbers 1 and 2, weren’t present.

Karin writes:

May I add a sixth reason to Diana’s list of why she’s boycotting the Olympics this year?

6. Most of the athletes are semi-nude. It’s too embarassing to watch.

Forta Leza writes:

I agree to an extent with Karin. The Olympics need to have a dress code. Too many female athletes compete wearing essentially a bikini, hot-shorts, or a micro-miniskirt. As a man, I do appreciate looking at a fit girl in such clothing, but it’s supposed to be a serious athletic competition not a beauty pageant or a night club. Besides which, what makes us feel good at the moment is not necessarily what is healthy over the long term. If it were up to me, I would require that female athletes (1) have legs covered to the knees; (2) have arms covered to the elbows; (3) have everything in between covered; and (4) not wear tight clothing unless it is a bona fide necessity for the sport in question.

Part of the problem is that without the sexual titillation, most mens’ sports tend to be a lot more fun to watch than girls’ sports since men are so much faster and stronger. Which raises two questions: First, why is it that the level of viewership is so important? Second, why does there need to be a female version of every male sport? Do we really need girls’ boxing?

Laura writes:

Women’s boxing is, as Diana said, an abomination and a great discredit to the Olympics.

First, why is it that the level of viewership is so important?

The Olympics has become a major commercial enterprise, that’s why.

Second, why does there need to be a female version of every male sport? Do we really need girls’ boxing?

The Olympics today are well beyond the original vision of encouraging amity between nations. They now advance a form of world government. There must be a female version of every sport because to do otherwise is to suggest there are substantial differences between the sexes, and egalitarianism is essential to statism. Every tiny hole in the dyke must be stopped up lest the whole thing collapse.

Susan-Anne White writes from Ireland:

I agree with Diana’s comments about the Olympic Games. We do not watch TV but we have heard enough about the opening ceremony (via radio) to know that it was left-wing,multicultural and disrespectful to the Queen. She must be exhausted after her Jubilee celebrations and tours, yet they will not allow her to rest , and to have her apparently jump out of a helicopter is to make her a figure of fun. It is important to those on the left that everyone is equal so they had to mock the Queen and make her into Action Woman (just like female soldiers).

Female boxing is so degrading and dangerous (as are some other Olympic sports for women) and we are boycotting the Olympics (as much as we can in view of the fact that we don’t watch TV). We are also concerned about the Pagan elements and the immodesty so obvious at London 2012 (we have seen pictures of athletes) and we also feel that immorality will also be common, as one repulsive condom manufacturer has made available 150,000 free condoms to competitors, that is nearly 15 each for the 10,500 taking part in the Games.

So feet that are swift on the racetrack may also be swift to run to mischief off it, aided and abetted by the promiscuity pushers.

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