The London Olympics opening ceremony; or, the maggots in the corpse of a once-great nation

Malcolm Pollack writes at his blog:

Drool, Britannia

I saw a little of the Olympics opening ceremony last night; it was playing on the television at a local eatery where our small nuclear family, soon to be riven to opposite hemispheres of the globe, had gathered for a bite.

It was, from what I could see, a dismayingly shallow and garish entertainment. Apparently the only things worth noticing about Britain nowadays are its shoddy socialized health system, its fondness for pop music, and its fashionably (and forcibly) randomized demography, which has so atomized this once-coherent population that it is now apparently the law of the land that no two people of the same human subgroup may appear on stage at the same time.

One thing that is dying fast in our civilization is a proper appreciation of the importance of major public ceremonies. Britain used to understand this very well indeed, back when it ruled the world; its ostentatious rituals took place at the gravitational center of the culture, pulling all its parts toward the core. But how can this possibly work now that Britain has traded away its culture for a shapeless, acentric multiculture, and extinguished its haecceity as a nation, as the homeland of a common people with a shared way of life?

No, that’s all over and done with. In 2012 Britain is nothing but a place. With its youth long past and all vigor dissipated, the mighty nation of Churchill and Shakespeare, of Dickens and Drake and Newton and Nelson, frisks and capers in the costume of the day, hoping for a few shillings from the crowd.

How Cool Britannia portrays its monarch—
and with the monarch’s consent


Karl D. writes:

Did you watch the opening ceremonies last night? It was one of the most juvenile, leftist, multicultural pieces of garbage I have ever seen. First there was the disrespectful act of having the Queen supposedly jumping out of a helicopter with a parachute (something she agreed to). Secondly, if I knew nothing about the UK I would think, judging from the people who participated, that its population was 75 percent black, Muslim, and Indian. There was even a “typical” British family that was portrayed as a white woman with a black husband and two mulatto children.

LA replies:

Sixty-five years ago, there were no blacks in Britain. Now a black, married to a white woman, is presented as the typical Briton. Given that blacks make up perhaps three percent of the British population, and given that there are many other nonwhite groups in Britain beside blacks, why are blacks given symbolic primacy? It is simply the logical result of racial socialism, also known as Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society, which states: “The more troublesome, unassimilable, or dangerous a designated minority or non-Western group actually is, the more favorably it is treated.” Because blacks on average are by far the most backward, dysfunctional, and criminal of all races, therefore they must be portrayed as the most important, most admirable, and highest achieving of all races.

LA writes:

Here is Laura Wood on last night’s opening ceremony:

THE LONDON Olympics of 1948 cost £600,000, the equivalent of $30 million today, and the event turned a small profit. There were no corporate sponsors and the entire bill was paid by amateur athletic associations and ticket sales, in contrast to the debt-ridden 2012 Olympics, which will cost a total of $14.5 billion. Nor was there anything in 1948 like the frenzied, extravagant, disjointed spectacle that was last night’s opening ceremonies, a celebration of Britain’s emergence from the Industrial Revolution into the age of socialist medicine, multiculturalism, and bad music. I cannot imagine what the average Briton who knows his nation is foundering in debt and subsumed by mass immigration thought in his heart of hearts of this show, with its alternately sentimental and sinister imagery.

Paul K. writes:

Watching the opening ceremony of the London Olympics made me wonder if only a non-Western nation can do this sort of spectacle properly anymore. Western countries are too obsessed with racial diversity, celebrating the handicapped, and highlighting non-pc elements of their history, and of course among Western countries none is worse in this regard than Britain.

China set the bar very high with the opening ceremony of the 2008 games in Beijing. Every moment was spectacular, with awe-inspiring technical effects and masses of musicians and dancers performing in perfect unison. The latter is I think the essence of spectacle.

The English, on the other hand, thought that rather than a precisely choreographed multitude, it would be more Western, more individualistic, to have mobs shuffle about dressed as farmers, laborers, Suffragettes, National Health System workers, and children bouncing on beds. I can’t imagine that to the audience this looked like anything but mass confusion.

Homage to the handicapped was paid early, with an announcement that the featured drummer, Evelyn Glennie, was deaf. The national anthem was sung by the Kaos Signing Choir, a group comprising deaf children who sign and hearing children who sing. This is well into the realm of “you can’t make this stuff up.”

The ceremony had several impressive technical effects. The forging of a ring, and then the joining of that glowing ring to others lowered from the sky was one of them. Admittedly, that glowing ring reminded me so vividly of the Ring of Power that I expected to see the Eye of Sauron looming over the stadium to celebrate England’s preeminence as a surveillance state. But, alas, fun could be poked at Britain’ heritage, but not at the mess that the liberals have made of it.

Julian C. writes:

Have you watched the Opening Ceremony? About as politically correct as you would expect. In one scene depicting British music over the decades, the scene opens with a white women with her mixed race son coming home to meet her black husband. Their teenaged daughter then goes out to party with others and meets up with her black boyfriend who dance with others to music from the ’60s onwards. Also I wasn’t aware there were so many blacks in the UK during the Industrial Revolution.

July 29

Matthew H. writes:

Perhaps appropriately, a significant fraction of this pageant of British history is dominated by Mr. Bean (a character from an excruciatingly puerile and disgusting children’s “comedy” series). At some point Sir Simon Rattle, with a shaggy pouf of white hair, comes out to conduct an orchestral version of the Chariots of Fire theme with a comic turn by Mr. Bean on synthesizer. There are laughs aplenty at his difficulties in wiping his nose, after which he throws his used tissue into the adjacent grand piano. Then there is a cutaway to the scene from the film of the runners on the beach into which Mr. Bean has been magically inserted for comedic effect. In this way a once globally popular but now obscure cinematic tribute to traditional Britain is dug up for no other reason than to mock it.
A reader in England writes:

Did you or VFR readers mention that the Olympics Opening Ceremony left out the British contribution to World War I and World War II. Incredible.

Yet, due to British/English theatrical genius (in the blood), the ceremony was still powerful on its own terms. It transcended its own lack of substance and its obviously left-wing bias.

I would have loved for the ceremony to have shown the hard core ’70s socialism which nearly bankrupted the country; the Muslim bombings of 2005; recent black violent crime; and how areas changed from English to Third World virtually overnight. Oh well, nothing is perfect!

Matthew H. writes:

It occurs to me that the movie Chariots of Fire was significant in that in addition to evoking traditional Britain it represents Christianity, the Thatcher years, personal discipline and the aristocracy and includes a brief but moving reference to WWI. Boyle and his hench-persons must have realized that for many around the world, particularly in the important U.S. media market, the keywords “Britain” and “Olympics” would naturally call this film to mind, hence the need to acknowledge it. And, being compelled to mention it, they could only do so in such a way as to show their own, and contemporary Britain’s, contempt for it and all that it represents. This is in stark contrast to the earnestly respectful treatment accorded to pop stars like David Bowie and Freddie Mercury et al.

All this commentary on this one strange show may seem excessive. However, when the global prominence of the venue and the vulgarity and cultural decline on display are juxtaposed with the manifest brilliance of Britain’s historical legacy, one can only conclude that this is the final curtain. Here, for all the world to see, is Britain’s suicide note.

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.

A. Rowe writes:

As appalling as the opening Olympic ceremonies were, have you noticed the apparent complete lack of tattoos on any country’s team members? USA team members included.

Is there somewhere in the socialist heart of the IOC a ban on tattoos?

How refreshing nonetheless to see athletes in their prime not disfigured by the grossness of tattoos.

Dimitri K. writes:

Isn’t it conservative too—to throw the Queen out of a helicopter? After all, other countries don’t even have queens to throw them out, but Britons do. We should celebrate this Olympics as a show of conservatism.

Jay P. writes:

When my wife and I finally gave up and switched off the opening ceremonies (shortly after the segment celebrating villains from children’s books), I wondered why, in the ceremonies’ pageant of English history, the Romans, Angles, Vikings, Normans, and other invaders had been completely omitted. Then, as I read the comments on VFR, especially in relation to the “modern” portion of the ceremonies, I realized that invasion was probably the last idea the organizers wanted to plant in (the mostly Western and white) viewers’ minds. After all, invasion suggests something hostile that is resisted, and no right-thinking Englishman should view what’s been happening in England and Europe as anything other than the long-wished-for reunion of brothers.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 28, 2012 01:55 PM | Send

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