I’m not much for the armchair sports but I am a true Olympics junkie. Day and night until they are over. But the opening ceremonies have never been a highlight for me until now.
The Beijing production near struck me dumb.
What I found so remarkable was that there was such a different aesthetic than I had seen before. This production could only have taken place in such a culture. The hundreds of drummers in unison were moving in a way that a single performer could not have been. That complemented by the precision fireworks were something I felt could only have taken place in a culture that treasured mass movement and a communitarian ideal. It was something that just would not work in the west. We are much too obsessed with the singular talent, the one rising above the mass, the god.
For those who missed it and are interested, here are a few links though they may not last forever.
I saw only a few minutes of the closing ceremonies and what I saw was part of the British look to the next games, and what I saw was so sad, so high school in comparison, embarrassing really, Jimmy Page doing Whole Lotta Love with a singer belting it out and all a little blurry.
What London has to do, because they will never match the majesty of Beijing is go the whole other direction and do a futuristic industrial/punky Olympics. Get Banksy as the chief talent and go gritty. Tattoo the athletes. Go street.
Check out the great Banksy archive at WebUrbanist.