Watching the opening (well, between 9.00 and 10.00 anyway - there's only so much excitement I can take) I must reluctantly abandon curmudgeonly tendencies. It was OK. The real amusement came from the sports commentators, whom the UK media thought clearly best qualified to comment on a historical pageant. They were baffled, confused and out of their depth - there wasn't a ball in sight, the pitch wasn't marked and the performers weren't wearing numbers, which rendered them almost incoherent. But wait! what was this, right at the end? A ball! The sports commentators suddenly came alive, with a depth of insight worthy of Alan Partridge;
Now all sort of tribal dancing and sun worship. But, here's the kicker: no sound. Until a solo contralto voice sings Abide With Me. Effect is strange and powerful. In the background, a heartbeat. Starting to race. Okay. We have now crossed the line into mime. A child gives a man an imaginary spherical object. They play with it! It's wild. I am not too certain what's going on with that just yet.
Man and child stop playing with their imaginary ball and hug. They are sad. Sorry, this is the one bit so far that I haven't quite got. not saying it wasn't good though. Did it represent something to do with the third world and maybe something about the environment? Or colonialism? Not too sure what that bit was about, sorry.
Well, it was an opening ceremony of two halves, anyway. Surprised they missed that.
The glory is that Britain is probably the only nation in the world that even in highly condensed form takes an hour to expound who we are and why. If Brazil adopts the same approach in 2016, they'll be lucky to run to five minutes; Portuguese matelots, nuts, trans-sexuals and illegal mahogany. Sorry, Brazil. And as for the English-hating Africans who commented - the Mberi brothers, one thinks - "OpeningCeremony segment supposedly showing the people who built modern Britain. But I don't see many immigrants. OK Britain, we see you flaunting your history. Where's the bit in which you invade, loot, kill and plunder?" and "Worst Olympic opening ceremony ever! Trust the Brits!" Well, I doubt yours would run to sixty seconds; near-naked people scratching in the dirt with sticks, people shooting each-other with AK47s. Sorry, Africa.