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Purplegoo
Last seen 21 minutes ago
High Elf
Legend
High Elf
Record
186/39/46
Win Percentage
76%
Wood Elf
Legend
Wood Elf
Record
191/32/41
Win Percentage
78%
Overall
[R]
Legend
Overall
Record
1152/263/326
Win Percentage
74%
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2012-07-28 09:44:26
24 votes, rating 5
Olympics, How Was it for You?
I would put this in Off Topic, but no bugger reads that! ;)

I was just wondering how London 2012 is being viewed so far by the wider world. Living on these shores, the coverage is blanket, and (North Korean flag gaffe apart), hugely positive thus far. I do wonder how much of that is supporting the home team? If you are to listen to our BBC this morning, the opening ceremony was akin to the second coming. I'm not convinced I'm not pregnant, the images were so wonderful.

It was a weird affair. Us Brits are a self deprecating, hugely underwhelmed race, as a rule. Much more likely to play down achievement and highlight our own misfortune or shortcomings than we are to celebrate something we've done well. There is always much tutting and distaste when an American (for instance) is a bit brash or proclaims himself number one (even if that is undoubtedly true), it's much more British to point out you're not perfect and your opponents are top types. I don't say that to be anti-confidence, more over just pointing out cultural difference. But, at least here, the reaction to last night's opening ceremony was hugely positive. Something we'd done well.

Friends of mine / media that's left leaning seemed to take one night off being almost anti-British and a huge wave of pride broke out. It was unexpected, considering the Union Flag is so often associated with the far right or football violence (events containing the Queen apart). The monarch got a night off criticism, and was indeed almost cool for an octogenarian, turning up with Bond. There was an interesting moment on Twitter when a right leaning politician criticised the (I'll admit) very politically correct ceremony (including lesbian kiss) and got roundly destroyed by all in sundry. Bits of it were slightly cringe worthy, the very marked and pointed difference from the order of Beijing with 'chaos', Mr. Bean (really, world, we can do funny, I promise, quite why he's such a massive export is beyond me), the idea we all live in Hobbiton... But, largely, I thought it was a bit good. I normally fall asleep during the opening ceremony, I wonder if I enjoyed this just because it was our one?

No, for one night, it seemed OK to drop our collective stiff upper lip and be a bit proud that our tiny island has not done bad for itself over the last 2000 years, all things considered. No doubt people across the country are waking up this morning ready to revert back to playing the Olympics down, pointing out the guy who comes second to Cavendish later is a stand up guy who does loads for charity, a top bloke. Oh, and Mark won (we can but hope).

I suppose I'm really interested on how it went down overseas. I've read some non-plussed New York Times stuff, but comments sections on websites are always largely a bit rubbish. What say you, non-Brits? Any good?

Feels very odd to be a bit happy to be British. Off to watch some Shakespeare this afternoon to top off the effect. I've no doubt normal service will be resumed come Monday. No doubt with some light drizzle.
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Comments
Posted by Garion on 2012-07-28 09:55:33
Was just about to ask the same thing. Great post, Im really interested to see how people from round the world viewied it. I was really impressed by it all, except the silly text chat stuff.
I thought this atricle was quite funny -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/27/olympics-opening-ceremony-view-from-abroad?newsfeed=true

Posted by mayhemzz22 on 2012-07-28 09:58:18
I got up early to watch the judo, not sure what channel it is on tho!
Posted by lemf on 2012-07-28 10:07:10
Glad you said it Purp, rather eloquent I thought old chap.
I admit the whole thing has sort of grown on me. I did enjoy the pistols usage as well.
Posted by JimmyFantastic on 2012-07-28 10:52:32
I thought it was bad, but Trevor Nelson made it unwatchable for me.
Posted by Purplegoo on 2012-07-28 10:59:55
Trevor Nelson was awful, agreed. I doubt any county has a commentary team they're 100% happy with.

Although, I can't get enough Barry Davies. I'd have him commentate on me making dinner.
Posted by blocknroll on 2012-07-28 13:36:57
Barry Davies is woeful, well past his best (if he ever had a "best"). Smug, pompous, over-wordy, not good at all. Trevor Nelson did a fine job, was able to talk decently about some of the music and some of the afro-carribean culture/teams etc. Huw was very quiet, and the usually hopeless Hazel Irvine actually did a good job for once. Just my thoughts as a sports broadcaster you understand ;)
Posted by Purplegoo on 2012-07-28 14:39:43
Pah. Davies is immense! Quite why he wasn't lead on the Euros was beyond reason. Poor old Trevor was miles out of his depth...

Moar drugs, that man. ;)
Posted by blocknroll on 2012-07-28 14:49:09
or Judo, that'll do it... I have less than no idea what is going on. Still think I could out-commentate Davies on it ;)
Posted by Niebling on 2012-07-28 14:54:18
I have not seen one sec of the OL thus far and I doubt I will so cant help you :)
but nice blog :)
Posted by Purplegoo on 2012-07-28 15:20:29
Hmm. I don't know if he's the best technically, but that's not the same as being entertaining. Otherwise, we'd not love the Pistols, would we? ;)

Was it technically proper for Huw to whittle on about every nation's GDP?

Suppose it's personal taste; although Nelson has been battered from all corners today. If you defend Lawro, your opinion is invalid on anything henceforth.

Brolin... Dahlin... Brolin.... Brilliant!
Posted by Russo on 2012-07-28 15:37:14
Nice article.

To date I have not been any more excited about the Olympic as any other. I watched the ceramony and thought it was very good.

This morning though I have been watching the events and enjoyed looking around at so many sports and got well into it all.

Silly as it sounds I think the horrendous weather we have had for months has put a dampner on so many of us Brits so we are even more self-critical than normal. So all the build-up has been slightly more negative or if positive it has appeared over-bombastic. Now its here it is fab :-)
Posted by Overhamsteren on 2012-07-28 16:01:50
Why was there a flying pig over some factory like building?
Posted by blocknroll on 2012-07-28 16:16:39
Blame Pink Floyd
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Floyd_pigs

Posted by Nelphine on 2012-07-28 16:21:32
David Tennant did not carry the Olympic torch, so I stopped watching.
Posted by pythrr on 2012-07-28 21:41:13
i liked Boyle's opening VERY much indeed.

Forza weird Britannia.
Posted by pythrr on 2012-07-28 21:42:58
oo, what SK are you off to watch?
Posted by Macavity on 2012-07-28 22:25:04
Generally impressed so far.

Loved.... 70%? of the ceremony. Opening was great, industrial revolution dragged a bit, Queen is AWESOME! As a professional children's book seller, I almost cried watching the GOSH presentation. The pop culture bit threw me. Music is fine, but what are you symbolizing with texts and status updates, exactly? And more than a few of the movie/tv bits flashed up had no obvious connection to the U.K.

So far, so good, though.

I DO understand the feelings, though. During Vancouver, I found myself feeling strangely patriotic more or less out of the blue.
Posted by Purplegoo on 2012-07-28 22:25:32
Tempest. 7/10.

Archery Tuesday! \o/
Posted by MisterFurious on 2012-07-29 03:08:54
Most of the comments (actually, I think ALL the comments) I saw were very negative in regards to the opening ceremony. I saw a lot of people saying that Danny Boyle did a horrible job. I only watched the first little bit of it myself, but what I saw was a whole lot of "London is the greatest city in the world! England is the greatest country in the world! The British are the greatest people in the world!". It was all about England. I think Olympic opening ceremonies should celebrate all the countries that are participating, not just the city that's hosting it. Now, I haven't watched any opening ceremonies all the way through, so it could very well be that they're all ceremonies about how great whatever city that's hosting the games is, but I still think it sucks. So, yeah, I hated it and changed the channel. I don't know why other people hated it. People were just commenting that it sucked but didn't go into detail why.

As for the games themselves, I haven't seen any comments or opinions yet. It's still early though. The body count is zero so far, so London is doing better than Vancouver. London will have to go out of their way to be worse than Bejing. I didn't even bother watching those games because the judging was so corrupt it was pointless.
Posted by Purplegoo on 2012-07-29 08:11:35
Wow, strong stuff!

I think there is a general theme of 'here is the host country's heritage', yes. I remember Spartans and Trojan horses in Greece, cowboys in Atlanta, etc. There is a wider point that the one-upmanship of it all is a bit crass, but I suppose the first nation to break, spend no money and just have the teams walk around then get on with it will be brave indeed.

In terms of quality; I think the feeling is as long as we aren't so bad as Atlanta (widely regarded as the worst games in modern times), great. I doubt we'll top Sydney (the best).
Posted by Purplegoo on 2012-07-29 08:45:51
(The worst without sad terrorism / death / WWII issues, that is)
Posted by koadah on 2012-07-29 09:18:04
Olympic fever has taken a little while to take hold in our part of the Greater Metropolitan Sprawl.

At least the grumbling about how much it is going to cost us, traffic congestion/restrictions, white elephants etc has died down a bit.

We finally got excited when a friend's son got to carry the torch through Trafalgar square. Awesome! \o/

My sons saw a bit of opening ceremony. They said it was boring. They would probably have preferred Michael Bey to Danny Boyle. Nanna & Grandad weren't too impressed either but when you've seen as many opening ceremonies as they have...

I did intend to watch some highlights of the ceremony but haven't got around to it. My mum thinks it was wonderful and we won't get any sense out of her until after the closing ceremony.

I don't know if her TV can receive all the 20+ Olympic TV channels but I am sure the main channels will keep her happy. She quite likes Trevor Nelson. ;)

None of my favourite sports are Olympic sports (at least not the 'proper' versions). So, after the Euros, Murray at Wimbledon, & Wiggins in the Tour there is a little 'meh' and maybe competition fatigue. Lads would rather watch Prem Far Eastern Tours and I'm drawn more to training camp footage of Peyton, Tebow, Luck & RGIII. Mrs K swoons at the merest glimpse of Cam.

I suppose it won't get going properly until a Brit has actually won something cried all through the national anthem.

Posted by Purplegoo on 2012-07-29 10:22:24
Competition fatigue is a fair point, there's been an awful lot of sport this summer, and I don't think anyone really cares about any of the core Olympic sports for the remainder of the four years. Just something about it, though. Once every four years, weightlifting seems fascinating!

Must be especially weird in the American sporting micro climate. I love the NFL too; and the insular American World view when it comes to sport surely can't lend itself to all of these minority sports that other countries actually participate in.
Posted by Calcium on 2012-07-29 11:17:18
Living in Weymouth sucks right now, I had to walk to town yesterday because it's locked down tight :)

Good post man :)
Posted by koadah on 2012-07-29 11:58:51
I had always thought that USA was more nuts about the Olympics than anywhere else bar maybe Russia & China. :)
Posted by Ranensol on 2012-07-29 14:08:05
Totally agree with those taking pride in being British, by the time the Olympic rings caught fire in the sky i was bursting with it, and Purplegoo's completely right with regards to us being self-depreciating.

With the various "rights" groups continually telling us we're a bunch bigots that should be ashamed of ourselvses (for various reasons), and the football thugs/rioters/hoodie gangs giving our country a bad name, it was refreshing to see something so grand celebrating our heritage.

Lets just hope team GB pull some medals out of the bag.
Posted by Hero164 on 2012-07-30 01:11:51
As a Brit myself, I think the whole thing is great, opening ceremony was good (cept the arctic monkeys maybe.)

I'm going to Football, Archery and Fencing next week.
Posted by Gritter on 2012-07-30 19:01:44
Well... where to begin...
Kenneth Branagh and his hysterical overacting?
Hobbiton?
Fricken Voldemort... wtf?!?!?
Closing out with Paul bladdy Mcartney? grrrrr. If anyone says he is a national treasure, the only point of agreement you will get from me is in that treasure should be buried.

I will be positive and say it was a mixed bag as there were some highlights..
the rings of fire were impressive, if another LOTR link :P
The Olympic flame was a triumph of British engineering and quite impressive (probably find it it was made in Germany now...)
Several Chemical brothers songs, win!
Pillars rising from underground during the industrial revolution was also impressive, if too long in that whole sequence.

While watching the attempt at telling some of our history though, I was left thinking most of our country will not get what this is about, wtf are the rest of the world going to make of this without a detailed commentary and history lesson... I think we will have lost the chavs up until the text bubble speak started near the end!