Sunday, 29 July 2012

Proud to be British.

You know what? Despite my somewhat cynical view of the olympics, partially influenced by those unimpressed by the whole concept of it, I was thoroughly in awe of London's opening ceremony. It made me feel immensely proud of my home country, I was glad to call myself British. Actually, I was never in doubt of my country's endeavour to perform to the world a quintessential view of ourselves and succeed fabulously, only our current political stature has my disapproval. The ceremony at hand involved all manner of beautifully British aspects combined into one spectacular show. Danny Boyle, I feel, is deserving of a ginormous amount of respect from the Great British public for representing us in such a way that we appeared as the true deferential yet striking country that we are known to be.

The wonderfully clever transformation of the green and pleasant land into the dark satanic mills imposed a great sense of British history that was both humbling, possibly even quite abasing, and majestic at the same time. It symbolised a great beginning of the world's future, creating an olympic spirit right from the start. Although portrayed as a dark point in our history, red lighting, heavy smoke, dark colours, contrasting significantly to the green, bright, lighthearted start, its brilliant grandness also conveyed the importance of the moment in time.

One thing that this part of the opening was really special for, was that it was not a history of kings and queens and the aristocratic aspect of our country, it was a history of the people. And the people, the workers, are what really allowed things such as the industrial revolution to happen. A Tori had made a comment the following morning on how he thought it was a bit left wing, well let me tell you something mate, it was fantastic that it wasn't right wing. If it had of been a right wing director then I'm sure that instead of representing true, hardworking people who deserved to be recognised it would have been portrayal of the rich, "distinguished" characters of our past whom may have had some intuition into the revolution but their work was significantly minimal in comparison. Boyle did well in relating to today, recognising hardworking citizens as very important tools in the machine of our country. The NHS workers for example, real doctors and nurses dancing to represent a vital health service that quite frankly we'd struggle without. They deserved to be in the opening ceremony because they are a part of Britain that literally keeps us alive, working admirably hard and with the constant criticism from the media and a threat of closure from the right wing government.

Another wonderful aspect of the ceremony was the uniting of James Bond and the Queen, which allowed me to have new respect for Her Majesty because of her ability to make fun of herself in a lighthearted way. It was enough to make me me say "we have such a cool Queen!" regardless of my skeptical opinions of the monarchy.

The opening moved on to represent our literary wonders for children, the magnificent Harry Potter both portrayed with the author herself reading from another wonderful author's work, Peter Pan, and a bloody great 40 foot tall Voldemort. Boyle presented these imaginary marvels in a weird, dreamlike manner that was almost quite scary. We had the Queen of Hearts, the monster under your bed, Voldemort of course, and many other characters plotted to enter children's nightmares. Adding to this quirky madness was Mary Poppins coming to save the day, that would have made Harry Potter a whole different story. And a rather wonderful one at that. The creative chaos was beautifully British in its own right, crazy, and quirky and perfect.

Moving on to our very own evolution of music, making me realise that we had a superior amount of fantastic music. Music destined to be great forever with wonderful amounts of icons and idols, all British and all known worldwide. We had Bowie, The Who, The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Prodigy and tonnes more that I cannot remember because there were so many great artists. So many great movements and revolutions of British youth culture, hippies, punks, new romantics, the raves in the 90s, all making me realise that we have a really, really boring generation of young people. Our popular music has gone downhill as well, it's no longer revolutionary lyrics and spine tingling guitar solos, but rapping senselessly about "passing out" because of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. No thank you, Tinie Tempah, I'd rather head bang to Anarchy In The Uk.

Apart from our rather uninspiring music and youth of today, our fireworks were also pretty awesome. No pyrotechnics needed to put on a great show, nor was a draining of resource from our defence budget. We ended our rather brilliant entrance into the Olympics for the third time, with a spectacular array of beautiful planned explosions leaving a good impression on the rest of the world.

Danny Boyle created a wonderful, quirky, mad, weird, quintessentially British opening ceremony that is sure to stay with us for a long time. Yes it cost a lot of money, about £27 million or so but there's  56 million Brits so that's 48p each, so stop complaining like a whining baby and be proud of your country.