The best and the least worst of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony
Posted on July 28th, 2012
Nobody really knew what to expect from Danny ‘Trainspotting but also 127 Hours‘ Boyle last night but I don’t think many of us predicted a The-Queen-starring Bond skit and a mad Victorian Industrorave. After weeks of Boris-toned Olympics nonsense so lacking in common sense and civic decency it sounded made up, we came not knowing the particulars but fairly confident that we’d see the ceremonial equivalent of a cringey town-hall wedding that descends into a drunken brawl, your mum weeping in the loos and your uncle trying to get crunk on the dancefloor.
How wrong we were: the ceremony was non-stop brilliant from start to finish (ignoring the boring speeches and Seb Coe as history will). Even the neverending procession of Olympic athletes was diverting thanks to the continuing brilliance of Twitter.
The whole thing left us all with a mildly confrontational look in our eye that says, “Yeah, world? You wanna come to our party? Obviously you do, we’re insane and we’re British and we’ve had quite a lot of gin, possibly a spot of drugs and it’s going to be fucking excellent.”
It was a competition with Beijing 2008 and we won it hands down. It was a pre-emptive competition with Rio 2016 and we basically won that hands down too, although they’re known for a good carnival and they’ve got four years to add some acid-magic to whatever they’re working on, so you never know.
We should have known that the London Olympics wasn’t going to stand for any of that kumbaya rubbish since the day they unveiled that weird logo, a jazzy number that speaks of a creative team brought up on CBBC and a history of mind-altering substances with, let’s face it, balls of steel because literally everyone hated it. Some still do – personally, I quite like it and even more so after last night. I mean, come on. Look at Rio’s and Beijing’s. Megayawn.
London’s logo is a big fuck you to that happy clappy let’s all hold hands around the world and light candles and don’t worry if you don’t win, it’s the taking part that counts. Sorry, no, it’s the medals. It’s absolutely the hardware that counts. Also, did we mention that we just took gold in opening ceremonies? Forever?
That’s not to say that last night didn’t nail “lefti multi-cultural crap”, as presumably soon to be fired Tory MP Aidan Burley put it. Oh no. We’re the most culturally diverse city in the world, check out our inclusive nature. We’ll take anyone as long as they stand on the right and walk on the left.
So, for posterity, here are some highlights from last night in the shouty caps they deserve:
LORD OF THE RINGS BOOK ONE
LORD OF THE RINGS BOOK TWO
SO IS JOHN MCCANN WHO I KNOW
CHARIOTS OF FIRE, BITCHES AND, OH YEAH, BEAN WAS THERE TOO
SORRY, WE CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THIS US INVENTING THE INTERNET (yeah yeah, web, whatever)
LORD OF THE RINGS BOOK THREE
All that and it only cost us £27 million. Bargain.