Saturday, July 28, 2012


What the f!*k should I make of the Opening Ceremony?

New York Times describes it aptly as a "Bollywood version of a sixth-grade play." I call it -excuse me for not being humble- an overblown, self-congratulatory,condescending, revisionist, provincial Eurovision show. New York Times describes my prime discomfort far better than I can: "Britain offered a display of humor and humbleness that can only stem from a deep-rooted sense of superiority."

But there were three things that made me write this post, rather than ignoring the opening ceremony like the Eurovisions.

First and foremost: The elephants in the room, which go by the name of Colonialism and Imperialism. They define the celebrated "achievements" of UK as much as Industrial Revolution. At least in Sydney the Aborigines played an important part. In London, it was as if the hardworking people of the Great Britain achieved everything by their bare hands... Sorry, but placing some actors of African or Indian origin among the Industrialists in the opening, or using and inter-racial couple won't do..

Secondly, can anyone explain why the Olympic flag was raised to the pole by military officials in full uniform? Or does the image of Ban Ki Moon -who by the way is the least charismatic UN leader I remember- leaving the most important part of the ceremony to the military say something much deeper about the world today?

What about the most Eurovisionesque sequence of the "ordinary" British family? What was it, if not a long Samsung advertisement? Leaving aside the cheesy and also disgustingly commercial "love story" involving  lovers finding each other through a missing cell phone, is this all the director has to say about the value of the Olympics to humanity?

After yesterday I will still be singing "God save the Queen". But the Queen I will be praising is not the figurative head of state who was busy with her nails when she was asked to open the Olympics. But it will be the legendary rock band lead by a Zanzibar born Indian educated Parsi from London. After all I am thankful to the Great Isles not for the Industrial revolution or the Colonialism, but for the endless supply of great music and the multi-cultural society that made this possible.

EDIT: More Boyle-bashing can be found in the Paris Review (link).

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