Friday night topic: Olympics time!

The summer games in London are upon us. I think that means tonight the U.S. will get a re-broadcast of the opening ceremony from earlier today. I’m not a fan of such things, half-time shows and "spectacles" of that sort, but I am curious to see whether the U.K. can put on a show to match the one in Beijing, whose budget had to be… I dunno, England’s GDP or so.

Will you be watching the opening ceremonies? Following the medal counts? Any particular events you like? (For me, the summer games are all about track & field. Push the buttons really fast!) Discuss.

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    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 7 years ago

    I was lucky enough to see the BBC version and then crapped on that by trying to watch the NBC version.

    Wow, talk about night and day. The only thing I have positive to say about the NBC cast is that Meredith Vieira used the words “money shot” and the Queen in the same reference. I think someone should show her what that really means.

      • mattthemuppet
      • 7 years ago

      well, the Queen was wearing a pearl necklace…

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    This all reminds me about the Quidditch tournament in Harry Potter. Let the games begin! Team Gryffindor!

    • Hattig
    • 7 years ago

    I hear that NBC showed adverts during the portion of the ceremony paying tribute to the victims of the 7/7 Al Qaida bombings in London.

    The ceremony was a lot better than I expected, to be honest. Nice to incorporate some comedy too.

    • rogue426
    • 7 years ago

    I watched about 10 minutes of the opening ceremonies, really not anything that interests me. I am consciously watching the Olympics for the first time in at least a couple of decades.The US Women’s Beach Volleyball was fun to watch. I wonder if Phelps will medal, he looked lethargic in the 400 medley.
    I can’t wait to see Lolo run,

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    So, I missed this last night and thought I could find it on youtube (you know the olympics being all about bringing the world together so it stops fighting) and I couldn’t find a single video of it. I tried to find a site where I could watch it with commercials to no avail…

    There seem to be plenty of pirateable torrents though. Kinda sad…

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    can’t believe they played “hey jude” … if you listen to the lyrics that is one hatefull song.

      • Anarchist
      • 7 years ago

      on the other hand, … I would love to see Black Sabbath play “war pigs” in closing ceremony. Come on Britain!

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      Hateful? What is hateful about it? It’s just a “go and get the girl, don’t wait” song.

      • cheesyking
      • 7 years ago

      They also used photos of Mira Hindley in the advertising for the Olympics which is even stranger.

    • Oldtech
    • 7 years ago

    We watched about 20 minutes of the opening ceremony. It was boring. Maybe if you were from England you ‘got it’, but the rest of the world didn’t.
    NBC needs to hire better announcers.

      • PainIs4ThaWeak1
      • 7 years ago

      The 8’s and 9’s were enough to keep me watching.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    I watched the opening today, namely the part where they show the members of every participating country. I loved the idea of people participating as idependents and “fighting” under the Olympic banner.

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 7 years ago

    i didn’t see all of it. it started off slow and was kind of boring, but it got progressively better towards the end. it was neat to see the set change dynamically like it did. overall it was better than i thought it was going to be.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    Yawnnnnnnnn. I’m going to bed.

    • Captain Ned
    • 7 years ago

    Olympics??

    Do people still care about this carefully stage-managed orgy of “managed competition”?

    • yokem55
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like they recreated Hobbiton and filled it with the cast of sense and sensibility….

      • yokem55
      • 7 years ago

      Only to reenact the scene of Saruman tearing it all up and industrializing it.

      Have to say though that Mr. Bean was a kick, the torch is really well done, and damn Paul McCartny is getting old….

    • Damage
    • 7 years ago

    Voldemort just took over the National Health Service. What.

    • excession
    • 7 years ago

    The BBC’s HD coverage was great – the luxury of having no adverts in a show that long is hard to appreciate for me as a Brit, but I can imagine how annoying it must be to have them every 15 mins!

    Anyway it was awesome!!!

    How did non-Brits feel about the ceremony’s meaning – did you “get” all of it or were there moments of “uhhh what?”

      • Diogotnd
      • 7 years ago

      The ceremony was reeaally good and emotional towards the end, with a masterpiece “Hey, Jude” by McCartney. I dunno, but I got “uhhh whatted” on Gandhi’s favorite song. I didn’t know what that was and by the time I didn’t had a clue what was that song about I thought it was boring!

      Got the chance to watch on Brazillian cable TV, no ads and HD recording, very good.

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      [url=http://static4.fjcdn.com/comments/3949654+_05560c8213f15ad5c57167adf5671af5.jpg<]misserable, old, worthless hag[/url<] ¬.¬

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      Wasn’t able to watch it even though it was shown free on TV…because of the time difference, I was too sleepy to watch. LOL

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      My unsolicited and wrong-headed rant about what I saw in London Town today.

      We are told “There would always be an England.” We were never told that one day we wouldn’t recognize its sad face from what was recorded in the history books. And I’m surprised the Queen lent her presence to a commercial farce.

      The 2012 London Olympics featured excellent production, admirable creativity in the settings, but also lots of exhilarating audio and video muzak. The opening Emerald Isles sequence hark back to Burkean notions of a lovely land. But Africans and South Asians dancing on the meadows and greens? What SyFy or Tolkiensque movie is this? The inauthencity of the casting told me the producers were not serious. And if they weren’t serious about history, what other fanciful ideas were they peddling to us? Mostly expertly produced plebeian and commercial fantasy themes, it seems (Mr. Bean’s magnificent act exempted).

      The best the producer could think of as representing the people of the UK’s historical hopes and aspirations, after the fine Nimrod’s kingdom beginning, was… a concerted feast of multiple fantasies mixed with great bar music. Shouldn’t there have been at least an imaginative and intelligent C. S. Lewis-type spectacle of invented national identity? Or at least a Churchillian wartime moment of pride in God, King, and Country? No, we see more of characters which are covens of witches and clutches of faeries, in homage to Pottery eldritchcraft memes endemic to backward and pagan pre-Renaissance Britain.

      And where were the great and unique civilizational themes with which Englishmen advanced from Enlightenment to Romance times, the stories of scientific and geophysical discovery, Hall of Fame scientists, explorations of the Indies and the New World, expeditions to the farthest poles and the highest mountains, stories of some of the most accomplished men of history? You know, Olympic-caliber men and women of excellence. Instead, they thought of cut-outs like sickly kids and rappers and flighty girls and wacky guys and fanciful fiction icons to substitute for that deepest of benches. Good thing some lively generational music broke out later. Although these are plebian artifacts in the context of the Games, and the songs were better suited as accompaniment to the marching athletes.

      For me the most inspiring part of the Ceremony was the dash on the Thames to deliver the Torch. Definitely anyone with a life would want to be in Beckham’s role, but in no one else’s unless one is a Queen Mum lookalike. The culture sequences after the forging of the rings was disastrous in some parts. After the saga of Brunel and the builders of Empire and the military honor guard, things went a little downhill with too many creepy or fringe or uninspiring characters to identify with.

      Unless one thinks being an actor or singer or sick kid or nanny or party-goer is an inspiration. The NHS is one of GB’s great achievements worth boasting to other nations? Allegorizing one’s people as childish non-grownups watched over by omnicompetent government proxies in the form of M. Poppins is in no way exciting or educational. The nanny-state piece would have been better as science fiction. In fact, it was better as science fiction (Asimov’s robots watching over us all). Of course, it could have been a literal tribute to sickly kids the world over… brought to us in the one venue in which healthy athletics are exulted and champion qualities rewarded… but of course not. But I did like those deaf-defying children singing their hearts out to Britannia. There is glory and hope in aspiration no matter how little the beginning.

      That hospital bit should have been instead about the Nightingales who nursed the wounded of the Great Wars. The British after WWII viewed the greatness of their nation in the context of their strong and steadfast stand against the nationalist and socialist tyrannies of the times. And yet here was a lively and fanciful celebration of opposite themes which neglected most of Englands storied past. And what was with the beautiful African crowdsource just before the torchlight? Was it the Brit idea of a politically-correct kumbaya entree?

      I always tell my Chinese friends that Anglo-Saxons are far from becoming the tired socialists of the continent. But here is proof plain that UK cultural elites see their nation in just this way. China gave the world the taste of an awesomely aspirational, modernizing, and forward-looking vision in their triumphal 2008 Olympics. The kind of stories of real achievements and national victories that 19th century English Victorians would have showcased to proudly present Britain in its virile prime. Instead we are expertly inflicted with the fantasies of a self-diminishing and inward-looking, self-justifying view of a distracted people worshipping its own invented myths. A nation of actual historical greatness and continued international relevance which story wasn’t told to the fullest.

      Well, in my irascible and likely wrong judgment, the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony in the end appeared to be a mostly sad affair, except for the few moments when non-commercial dreams broke through. The march was nicely done, though. After some really great bar and concert music, the Games can begin to show us truly great and wonderful events.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    NBC’s constant (worthless) commentary, shoddy camerawork, and reality TV commercials have literally destroyed what looked like a very decent opening ceremony. I’ll have to look for another version out on the internet free of the already mentioned corporate idiocy.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      If you use a proxy server (to evade the geo IP checks) you can stream from BBC or CTV.

        • Duck
        • 7 years ago

        I use “get_iplayer” to download from the BBC. It has settings for choosing a proxy server. It’s better than using their website even if you live in the UK.

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          Would you say it’s “my right” as a citizen of one of the Olympics to watch these ceremonies? If so, would “pirating” footage be “wrong”? The olympics is a celebration of not only the athleticism of our world but also it’s accomplishments. The internet, which is being heavily emphasized in these ceremonies, is one of those accomplishments.

            • Duck
            • 7 years ago

            No it’s fine, I don’t care. It cost a fortune in licence payer’s money so get your use out of it.

            edit: [url=http://pastebin.com/BweD5BRX<]here is the batch file I wrote and use if anyone wants it[/url<]. You will have to modify it if you want to use a proxy server.

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            I must admit that BMW commercial was pretty legit.

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    I liked how they lit the fire(s).

    • Mourmain
    • 7 years ago

    I think these were my favorite Olympic opening ceremonies so far. So many things to like about it. It was warm and original and simply amazing fun to watch. Well done Britain.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    I used to care more but not so much any more. NBC is also doing 24/7 coverage in various ways, which is cool for the less popular sports but still kind of blah. 24/7 constant everything gets old.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Push the buttons really fast![/quote<] Nicely done. I preferred the World Class Track Meet game that came with my Nintendo Power Set (which included Mario/Duck Hunt/WCTM, a Zapper, and a Power Pad).

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      [url=http://www.foddy.net/Athletics.html<]QWOP![/url<]... but [url=http://i.minus.com/i4GGxR6TbJLDS.gif<]live[/url<]!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Also nicely done.

    • CampinCarl
    • 7 years ago

    If I’m going to have to sit through political commercials, I’m going to scream. Seriously, not appropriate.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Preach it, Brother Carl! (I’m totally with you)

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Country and channel dependent. I watched the ceremony and a few competitions today on the national channel and i haven’t seen any 5 secounds commercials or brands popping up on the screen.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Apart from COCA COLA and MACDONALDS those two well known sporting brands that are plastered all over the Olympics.

          • Arclight
          • 7 years ago

          WTF? Banners have been used for decades, why would anyone hate them NOW? I assuemed that by now everyone got used to them.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            I still hate them now. I never stopped hating them. I will continue to hate them in the future.

            The two single greatest worldwide contributors to obesity are sponsoring the most important worldwide sporting event. They are encouraging fast-food addiction because all they see is dollar signs when they ruin another human life.

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            The only other entities with pockets deep enough to sponsor an event like the Olympics are Big Tobacco and Big Booze. So if you would prefer to see banners for Marlboro and Anheuser-Busch InBev…

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Cars, Banks, Tech companies (Apple and Microsoft), all have the money.

      • mikehodges2
      • 7 years ago

      I haven’t seen the opening ceremony yet, was watching the Dark Knight Rises on IMAX at the time (which was epic!)

      But luckily for us in the UK, the BBC doesn’t do adverts, so I’d guess it was uninterrupted here.

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      If there’s a +10 button here I’d click it for you.

    • mesyn191
    • 7 years ago

    Not gonna watch it this time. Too much corporate/money BS surrounding the games now IMO even if the athletes are amazing. Don’t watch college football anymore for the same reason too FWIW.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      At least the Olympics don’t have any sort of amateur pretense anymore. They’re all professionals, world-class athletes. College football, on the other hand, has this pretense of “we’re all just student athletes” effectively making college football players indentured servants. Let ’em get paid, I say.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        … Until the marching of the flags when 1 in 3 athletes were on their cellphone taking pics / sending tweets.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          I get your complaint, but you seem to be disagreeing with me when I think we’re agreed.

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            It wasn’t very “professional” of the athletes to be glued to their phones while walking for their country. Once they got to their spot on the field? Sure no problem.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Oh, I think we’re using different definitions. I’m talking about getting paid, and you’re talking about acting with decorum. I got it. 😆

            It’s also what you (should probably) expect from pro athletes.

      • mutarasector
      • 7 years ago

      “Don’t watch college football anymore for the same reason too FWIW”

      Me too. Especially after the Penn State fiasco (ongoing)…..

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