Posts Tagged ‘London 2012’

Higher, Faster, Stronger……Fail (Part 2)

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Wow, I realise there was someone more curmudgeonly than myself.

I watched part of the Opening Ceremony, the Big Question for me was – just HOW much is this costing us?

However, a Tory MP was even more extreme in his disapproval.

A certain Mr A. Burley called it ‘leftist, multicultural crap’


Okay, the bit with people jumping on beds wqas a bit odd, I agree, but lets’s review the evidence shall we?

I saw Kenneth Brannagh (Oscar-winning actor & director, award winning Shakesperean actor) portraying Isambard Kingdom Brunel (one of the greatest engineers this country ever produced), quoting Shakespear, the greatest, most influential writer in the English Language

Also the Industrial Revolution section (maybe they should change the title of that – Bloody Tortskyists!), called Pandemonium, as a reference to Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ one of the great epic poems of the English Language, some consider it the last great work of its type if you discount James Joyces work, ‘Ulysses’.

There was James Bond & The Queen. Mr Bond, one of the most iconic fictional characters in popular culture as part of the most successful & longest-running film franchises in history. That said, Ian Flemming’s most endurting creation is in fact half-Irish, half-Swiss, not to mention deswpite being the second longest British monarch after Victoria and the oldest, hardest-working head of state in Europe, the Queen’s bloodline is in fact German (Saxe-Coburg Gothe?)

This section also featured Evelyn Glennie; one of the few classically-trained solo percussionists in the world. Then again, she is a woman & ginger; not sure how Mr Burley would cope with that.

We also had J.K. Rowling, possibly the most successful (children’s) author of modern times, who’s Harry Potter not only transformed the fortunes of her publisher, but inspireda gewneration of children & adults to read, transforming the landscape of popular literature. She read from J.M Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’, whose original stage adaption formed the basis of the modern panto, as well as helping to found the modern Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Then again, Mr Burley may have objected to the fact that Ms Rowling wasn’t at home, manacled to the sink washing up, getting ideas above her station.

Mr Bean, comedy creation of Rowan Atkinson appeared alongside world-renowned conductor Sir Simon Rattle (then again, Mr Atkinson was a member of the ‘Not The Nine O’clock News’ team – therby proving his credentials as a damn Leftie).

Music from the Beatles & the Rolling Stones – two of the most successful & influential bands in music and modern culture. Then agan, they came up as part of the ‘Permissive ’60’s ‘ – Blimmin’ Reds!

Also Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Internet, essentially giving his creation away – just the sort of subversive, Leftie nonsense undermining the country.

I will agree, the jumping on beds was a bit odd. Then again it would be difficult to find some representation  of the NHS, the biggest healthcare reform in post-war Britain & Mr Boyle still managed to link it with Great Ormond Street, J.M Barrie & Peter Pan.

Mr Burley seemed to backtrack on his comment, saying it was based on ‘all those rappers’. Still not sure about that as the only rapper/MC in the ceremony was Dizzee Rascal, with excerpts from ‘Bonkers’. Mr Burley may have been confused by the Young Olympians nominated to light the cauldron – after all, the were in sportswaer and everything.

After facing a firestorm of critisism, he then said he welcomed the debate?

Err… exactly what debate? Unless we’re discussing the possibility of ill-informed comments of manifest ignorance being misconstrued as borderline bigotry, I’m not sure what he’s on about.

There are other issues more worthy of debate, such as:

  • The ‘controversy surrounding Ye Shiwen’s performance in the swimming ( The BBC has a considered piece on the matter, here)
  • The G4S ‘security’ farce
  • The empty corporate seats
  • One of the sponsors of the Paralympics, Atos,which also is responsible for administering Disability Allowance payments, appears to have some issues regarding assessments
  • other aspects of the sporting ideals vs commercial/economic realities ( another good piece on the BBC website – view it here).

In fairness, the IOC have tried to deal with unsporting behaviour – they’ve sent several athletes packing for cheating or racist behaviour (unlike UEFA in Euro 2012, whose actions were lamentable, patronising & quite frankly insulting – Sepp Blatter please take note – THAT’S how you get things done)

Maybe he should actually check himself before opening his mouth, especially giving the problems he got himself into with respect to ‘that’ party.

He may have been happier with something more ‘British’ – 10,000 volunteers in the stadium queueing & tutting loudly.

Someone should keep him amused at home with the telly off during the Closing Ceremony – I don’t think his health could take it

As a parting shot, maybe this sentiment is worthy of proper debate:


Higher, Faster, Stronger……Fail (Part 1)

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The Olympic Games are now in full swing, here in the UK, so I’ve had a bit of a look back Having watched ‘Twenty Twelve’ on BBC1 it seems a case of art imitating life. Not so much a case of being very funny, but quite confusing to be exact; was it comedy? Satire? Social document? Reportage?

I did come across an article online about just this dilemma that you can read here, plus links to another peice making serious points about consumers, sponsorship, spectators and sporting ideals, here.

I also watched the Olympic Torch Relay as it was heading into Wolverhampton

in the afternoon.

I decided to go, not necessarily, as some have seen it, as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (which I suppose it is), but rather as it required the hardly-herculean effort of a short walk to town, it seemed a bit silly not to go and be a bit nosy.

I’d borrowed the camera from work not only to get photos of the torchbearer, but of the day in general. The Blue Peter Olympic Tour had hit West park. I decided against snapping away there, as I thought as a tall bloke on my own photographing children (albeit playing sport with families), probably wouldn’t go down very well.

That said, I kept walking & soon found a place on the corner of Beatties on Lichfield St and waited. And waited. I’d got a good position, just behind a small, very nice old lady & just watched the world. The atmosphere was great & good-natured, although there was a a bit of arguing with the local security about getting in the way of  people wanting to take photos. I personally found the guys really nice.

I was aware the police took up a lot of the team, as I’d seen some stuff on the news, but I didn’t realise how much & how long it would take for them to pass. The mood was lightened by the formation driving team ‘Granny Tourismo’ with their over-sized motorised ‘Biddy bags’, pumping out hard grooves.

Several police vans, trucks & riders later, the first part of the Torch motorcade emerges. I’d already taken photos of a number of subjects, crowds, people & families moving objects so I knew I’d be ready. Even after the Coca-cola bus rumbled round with the overly-eneregetic  people, trying to force the assembled crowd to be even more excited; I hate enforced jollity-everyone was happy, & wanted to be there – why did these corporate planks try to labour the point?

The Samsung float trundled close behind. The on-board LCD screen shows some random animation. Pointless.

Then, the big moment arrived; I spotted the runner, a small lad from the top of the road heading down from the Museum. I’d prepared; the pictures I’d taken previously proved I could track my subject; I’d got a good position – what could possibly go wrong?

As the boy floats into shot, I press; ‘BOOM’ – the young child on the shoulders of the adulkt next to me drops their arm/flag into shot, I quickly readjust still tracking; BOOM – someone next to me jogs my arm, & I fire off the camera just before he gets into shot. This time the camera seems to take an eternity to ready itself again – I’m still tracking the runner. By trhe time I get another shot, he’s just left the frame. Gutted.

That said, I did get to see the flame – one to tell the nephews & neices & their kids; for all the wrong reasons.