Closing ceremony’s utter disgrace

Longrider is scathing about the whole “corrupt junket, Lord Coe’s appalling, expensive and wasteful vanity project” but by the end, like so many others,  I was in two minds about it.

On the plus side were the fantastic athletes themselves and their dedication, passion and spirit.   Then came the volunteers and the camera crews who sent superb images back via relay – they made the whole thing more immediate.  Then you could include the crowds themselves who were the British and many from around the world having a good time.

It was infectious and on this last night, they all poured into the stadium in order to enjoy themselves and party – heck, nothing wrong with that – they’re young people and that’s what they do.  Elements of that show were OK but more on that below.

On the down side were the appalling doings of G4S, LOCOG, Them and the officious little officials who even managed a PR disaster by taking Bolt’s baton from him in front of a billion people or so.  The navigation at the online Beeb was awful – there were no direct links to latest results, one had to go through a three-click process to get anything and the scores were not kept superimposed at all, leaving sometimes minutes with no one knowing who was where.  The less said about the commentators the better.

On balance, a terrible opening ceremony, so heavily politicized that the Labour Party was delighted about its embracing precisely the opposite values to those of the athletes – i.e. hard work, dedication and achievement, plus competition – yet lifted by the athletes, crowds, camera work and volunteers in the days subsequent to that.

Then came the closing ceremony.  Meaningless drivel in so many ways, reflecting both diseased minds and lack of artistic ability but we’ll let that pass.   The entry of the athetes through the crowd was nice, the mixing of all the flags was OK.   The bottom line was that the athletes were there to enjoy themselves and were totally unaware of the politicized and arcane elements.

The formal part of the presentation to the marathon runners was nice.   The array of flags was nice – all the traditional parts were nice.

However, the way that flame was positioned, the dark, pagan atmosphere, the uniformity of the slaves in faceless masks – they were one thing.  When the pyramid appeared in the middle of the union flag, that was one step too far but no doubt the crowd and viewers were unaware what that and the flame signified.  Again, let that pass.

Then came the unforgivable element.  Of those nations, I know of none which were atheist except China, many were devout for their form of the Deity.  Yet this disgrace then occurred:

Young children taught to sing: “Imagine there’s no heaven; it’s easy if you try,” then going into a godless “brotherhood of man”, precisely the message of the enemy, back by its tribalistic, warlike agenda which is enslaving the world right now and which all those young people there were blissfully unaware of.

If they’d some lowlife singing that, then OK – it’s British.   But to get little children to do that – the organizers should be incarcerated.

It showed utter disrespect for the underpinnings of the majority of countries there.   The sad thing is that the young would be unaware, brainwashed as they are by leftist claptrap.  The singing which followed it was dire and that’s where I tuned out, chagrined.

………..

Just briefly tuned back in and saw that excrescence Brand prancing around on top of a carriage pretending to sing. Who TF is Brand to the world?

People, this ceremony is awful, an utter disgrace. No one there wants that godless or pagan, arcane c**p – they just want to party and when the so-called music is finally allowed to approximate a concert, the athletes are able to relax and enjoy:

………..

OK – the formal part was all right and then came Them again – the phoenix, for goodness sake, over the flame. Half the world now knows what that symbolizes – this is worrying – they’re not even trying to hide it any more. People, we’s in big trouble, the world.

It gets worse – the Olympic flame is extinguished, a flame which at least represented hope and guess what is left burning brightly, high in the air for all to gaze on – yep, the phoenix of the global elite – and how many would be aware of what all that was about?

That has to have been one of the worst hijackings of the Olympic spirit ever, it’s getting worse and the deep-captured kids have no idea – bless them all because the baton’s in their hands now to get us out of this stranglehold, if only they could see they’re in one. Here is one commenter a few minutes ago at the Telegraph:

I enjoyed the Brazil presentation, the rest was missable. We have great orchestras, military bands and ballet but these were not much in evidence, except for a bit of Darcy Bussell. The Queen was right to stay away.

Guardian on the ceremony:

Right, now Brazil have promised us some samba and a dancing street sweeper. One thing’s for sure – it can’t be as bad as the one we did in Beijing. I like to think I speak for Team GB when I say: Can this finish quite soon, I’m a bit tired?

22 Responses to “Closing ceremony’s utter disgrace”

  1. Moggsy August 13, 2012 at 04:29 Permalink

    I always took the “Imagine” to be listing the main causes people hurt, hate, kill and maim and wishing for the possibility they didn’t do that.

    I think the fault is more in man (mankind) than say in having posessions for instance. But we can hope for the perfectability of mankind, because we get little glimpses of it every now and then. Like at Christmas sometimes, or maybe even at London 2012?

    We have a taste of it, don’t we all want more?

  2. James Higham August 13, 2012 at 09:36 Permalink

    The song might be taken to be as you say, Moggsy but those words were up front and square, sung by children trained to do that.

  3. Moggsy August 13, 2012 at 15:01 Permalink

    FGS James all choirs are trained and that includes kids. I was in one when I was a kid and young teen and I was “Trained” or we would have been all over the place, ever tried doing descant without practice and training?

    It does not have to be sinister and it is how we learn to do stuff.

    Even the lyrics are not actually subversive or “godless”.

    They say, just imagine, for a moment, that all the things that divide us that we argue and fight over didn’t divide us. He was saying he dreamed the world could be as one and he believed others dreamed that also.

    But he mentions the word religion and everyone goes all “Allah Ackbar, Die infidel!” and medievil on a person. Proves a point I guess.

  4. James Higham August 13, 2012 at 16:17 Permalink

    Moggsy – are you deliberately being obtuse? No one’s talking about “It does not have to be sinister and it is how we learn to do stuff” in regard to choir training. Wherever did that idea come from? Who’s talking about choir training?

    What was sinister was those kids singing those words in that situation in the middle of the stadium. Those who knew exactly what they were doing with those kids should have been sacked or incarcerated.

  5. Chrysalis August 13, 2012 at 19:19 Permalink

    Wow. I never thought I’d say this to another person (because I’m guilty of this too, at times) but…is it possible you’re reading way to much into this one?:)

    Of course, I only saw the last hour or so, but it was my impression that the entire thing was paying homage to British music’s influence on the world, and the song “Imagine” gained platinum popularity because it was a song of hope for peace?

    Similar to what Moggsy said, it’s main point is that if we didn’t have these things, maybe we wouldn’t fight over them, i.e., money, religion, material possessions – as those things aren’t the most important, in the end.

    I personally thought the closing ceremonies were off kilter for other reasons – mainly because it didn’t seem to flow and seemed disjointed and even bizarre at times, due to timing – and throwing people from different bands together rag-tag style resulted in lackluster performances.

    And where were the Rolling Stones and others, like Coldplay? (Or was that the hour I missed?)

  6. Wolfie August 13, 2012 at 19:56 Permalink

    This was the topic of discussion over lunch at work with the team today.

    We were all agreed that the choice of “Imagine” (played more than once) was quite inappropriate, besides the fact that it lauds the dissolution of nations, rendering the competition obsolete its pure nihilism rather than idealism.

    The message of the phoenix was also not lost on my compatriots.

  7. Moggsy August 14, 2012 at 04:35 Permalink

    James. Quite frankly I really do sometimes wonder if you pull this “not getting” my simple points as some trick for sidestepping an admission I might actually have a point.

    I don’t want to be nasty, but I do think maybe you and Wolfie live in this parallel universe in your own heads. It is like this weird “Alice” thing where words mean different things to what I expect.

    You obviously are completely blinded from seriously understanding the lyrics by what I can’t help but see the dark filter of your own knee jerk reactions to certain words.

    Well whatever. I am not playing this game any more, have fun with yourselves.

  8. JD August 14, 2012 at 08:06 Permalink

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
    Are melted into air, into thin air;
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.

    William Shakespeare
    “The Tempest” (IV.i.)

    http://me-talking.blog.co.uk/2009/11/14/our-little-life-is-rounded-with-a-sleep-7371054/

  9. James Higham August 14, 2012 at 12:35 Permalink

    I do think maybe you and Wolfie live in this parallel universe in your own heads.

    Bizarre the way you try to personalize something, Moggsy, which countless people are also writing about and yet you ignore that. Somehow it is just Wolfie and I.

    Read OoL if nothing else and you’ll see these views repeated many times. Try Raedwald or Prodicus or Witterings from Witney or Boiling Frog or AK Haart or any number of bloggers – are they all strange at the same time? Look at JD’s posts on art [supported by something coming up from Lord Somber soon].

    Perhaps – just maybe, Moggsy, sweetness and light, the problem might be other than in us all.

    JD – yes indeed.

  10. Chrysalis August 14, 2012 at 13:22 Permalink

    …on the other hand, Jessie J has a marvellous singing voice?

    :)

    (Reminds me of a line from the original Batman series. Jack Nicholson, as The Joker, said, “He was completely deranged; but on the other hand, he had a marvelous singing voice”)

    Just trying to bring in levity to the situation?

    I didn’t realize it was played repeatedly until Wolfie mentioned it; as I said, I’d been at Mammoth Cave all day and just caught the last hour or so.

    Do you think it would it have made a difference if it was played just once, like the others were?

    I guess some might say the same about our pledge of allegiance here in America, it’s indoctrination TO believe in a Christian God and counterproductive to separation of church and state.

    I don’t say this, but many do and I see their point.

    Perhaps it’s none of my business, but if I may be so bold, I think Moggsy could pull in just as many names to support her point of view – and in fact, that song was John Lennon’s (and perhaps Britain’s) most famous for a reason?

    I really think she’s right, it’s less about socialistic propaganda and more about about removing the things we fight over, from our society, which we all know is impossible, that’s why the song’s called “Imagine”.

    But even if it were Leftist/Socialist propaganda, as you infer, I heard this song many times, as a child – it’s not like I wanted to run out and join the socialist party. In fact, I was a conservative Republican until my 20s.

    Now, though I lean left most often, economically, I’m moderate and sometimes to the right, it depends on the issue.

    I think you’d have to be pretty weak-minded to choose your stance on political issues over a song you saw played on the Olympics closing ceremony:)

  11. ubermouth August 14, 2012 at 21:43 Permalink

    Weighing in with my opinion…..there was a lot of symbolism at the Olympic closing ceremony. When the tightrope walker,for instance, pause before a suspended triangle him tilting his pole just so, it was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon album cover. Cool.

    Not so cool was exploiting innocent children to push a barely concealed subversive propaganda them unaware of the weight of their words.

    Lennon has gone on record as admitting that he was anti- establishment and pretty much every conventionality and, at the time that he wrote Imagine he was heavily into LSD[daily] and protesting this,boycotting that,undermining quite a bit. The guy was an effing git who also went on record as saying that his second son, Sean meant more because he was planned,whereas Julian “came out of a rum bottle one Saturday night.”

    After admitting he beat women,after abandoning his son for his entire childhood, he had to be prodded and urged to establish contact by a woman he dated briefly when he escaped Ono’s clutches for 10 minutes.

    Lennon was the very LAST person to preach love and peace and without a doubt his ” Image there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try..’ was another example of his disdain for religion. This was the man who said the Beatles were ‘more famous than Jesus and would outlast Christianity!’ don’t forget.

    It was a DISGRACE those children singing that and I commented as such as it was happening.

  12. ubermouth August 14, 2012 at 22:27 Permalink

    * Sorry, Lennon’s quote was that they[The Beatles] were more famous than Jesus and rock and roll[not them as I earlier quoted] would outlast Christianity.

    After making such arrogant statements, they had to stop touring at the height of their fame[git!] because Bible Belt America was outraged.This was before he wrote Imagine.

    I find the song Imagine beautiful[except for the lines discussed],but hypocritical given how Lennon actually lived his life. He couldn’t even ‘be as one’ with his firstborn son whom he only spent time with [briefly] at the urgings of a stranger.[and left almost nothing to in his will].’ IMAGINE’ that!!!! lol

    At least other subversive rebels such as Morrison[whom I loved] didn’t hide who they were, preaching as if some spiritual leader ,enlightening us.

  13. Chrysalis August 15, 2012 at 04:33 Permalink

    Hmm, regarding the last few comments – I’m not sure I see where anyone said we idolized John Lennon as a person, nor his politics – at least I didn’t – nor did I say I agreed with children singing “Imagine” at the Olympics repeatedly.

    I just said I always took the song to be more about removing the things we often fight over?

    Speaking of which, I really don’t want to get into heavy debate about this, because, quite honestly, I find it petty, with so much worse going on in the world.

    But I will say that John Lennon has every right to be a flaky A-hole AND write a beautiful song about his preference and politics, and because I like it doesn’t mean I pledge allegiance to him or his way of thinking.

    Also, I’m not sure what being his being a flaky-charactered A-hole has to do with his ability to write music. In fact, it may be a prerequisite – many artists were flaky A-holes (Beethoven, Picasso, Mozart) but nevertheless brilliant people:)

    The issue was not whether or not John Lennon was or wasn’t a jerk, but whether it was appropriate to have children sing the song repeatedly – and after discovering more about that, I’d have to concede that it probably wasn’t:)

  14. DalaifromDetroit August 15, 2012 at 05:16 Permalink

    (Yes, I’m THAT “Detroit”, bf of Chrysalis:)

    The goal of musical artists is, most often, not to be subversive – it’s to do whatever will sell them records:)

    In fact, they often don’t believe in what they sing about themselves – i.e., Alice Cooper, KISS, Ozzie Osbourne:)

    As for the closing ceremony, although I thought London did a fabulous job with the Olympics overall, the closing ceremony was less than exemplary in its representation of British music, at least from our Yank perspective (and yes, we got the symbolism, thanks:)

    As for Lennon, I can’t stand the Beatles, especially in comparison to the Motown greats. However, Lennon solo (whom I DO feel believed in what he sang about) at least caused us to rethink our own actions, particularly those of war – and I’m saying that as someone with a former career as a military officer,

    In fact, I can’t think of a single soldier who didn’t like that song :)

    As for the Morrison comparison, there is no comparison = I’ve never heard of John Lennon p*ssing on crowds, and actually, he DID try to lead spiritually nonetheless, in the forms of Wicca and Native-American animism (“I am the lizard king, I can do anything” – a song supporting Native-American spiritualism, supposedly written at the Mayan temples, under the influence of peyote).

  15. James Higham August 15, 2012 at 08:39 Permalink

    In fact, I can’t think of a single soldier who didn’t like that song

    We did many things in our youth where we didn’t understand the real agenda For example, a big discussion point was whether Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds meant LSD, a discussion which would make us smile today but it was big stuff among the kids and oh so radical and grown-up to be streetwise.

    [This reply grew so long that I've transferred it as a post at 11 a.m.]

  16. ubermouth August 15, 2012 at 10:52 Permalink

    My comments were not directed at any prior comments, but the topic James wrote about. I simply disagreed with the commenters who jumped on James because he was right. KNowing what I knew about Lennon and the history behind that song,and being disgusted the children were aping that song, I weighed in.

    Interestingly, to back up what I discussed,I found this tidbit:

    “In the book Lennon in America, by Geoffrey Giuliano, Lennon commented that Imagine was an “anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic [song], but because it’s sugar-coated, it’s accepted.”[4]“wikipedia

    Regarding “Detroit’s” comment… I disagree. I come from generations of musicians and can say that musicians are born to create and do not write /perform primarily for commercial success but as an outlet for self expression. This was especially true in the 1960s during so much civil unrest and with the youth breaking away from the church and parental restraints of the 50s. Think Morrison[who had zero interest in the money side], Dylan, et el

    The topic was whether it was appropriate to have children singing an anti-religious song,furthering someone else’s hidden agenda, which they were unaware of, at the Olympics also disrespecting different religions represented.

    Lennon’s character as the composer came into it as my point was that Lennon HAD written it as an intentional anti- religious,anti- establishment, subversive piece that carried many unpleasant undertones, ‘sugar coated’, as he said himself.

    Some commenters jumped on James, insisting that Lennon was actually writing about making the world a better place,the song coming from a position of ‘love everybody’ so it WAS acceptable for kids to sing at the Olympics and that James and Wolfie were reading into things.

    No they weren’t.

  17. ubermouth August 15, 2012 at 11:06 Permalink

    @ Detroit, sorry didn’t read your whole comment initially.

    Morrison never peed on the crowd. Morrison was used as an example because he was preaching anarchy[which I think at the time he was right to do,especially with the heavy handedness of the PTB at the time]. Lennon was pretending to preach one thing[love thy neighbour] as if he was sweetness and light himself when what he was really preaching was a quieter anarchy,but covertly.

    Morrison wrote the most widely respected anti- vietnam protest song of the day.The Government feared Morrison because he was able to reach and teach the youth. Lennon ,as a solo artist, set himself up as some effing messiah with his song Imagine[pretty much the only one that had any commercial or critical acclaim really due to his drug use] with Imagine being his anthem.

    No, I don’t buy that he ‘believed’ in what he sang [save for the subversive true meanings] as there didn’t seem to be much love pouring out of Lennon ,yet look at his [false] legacy?

  18. James Higham August 15, 2012 at 11:40 Permalink

    It might be gilding the lily here but Lennon, in many eyes, was as Uber says and the analogy I think of is Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars.

    Before his vast audience, he was the peacebringer, the man of good but behind him stood his henchmen and they were anything but benign.

    To “you’ll know them by their fruits” could be added “not by their words” although in the case of Lennon and many others, it must be said, the words are also quite indicative.

    What concerns me a bit is that people can read all this above and then still think he was benign and it was all innocent and that we, the people saying it, are living in some weird parallel universe or that we have nasty minds.

    That, I think, is graver cause for concern. Having seen something, to be in denial about it is not within my experience. When I see something which challenges my view on an issue and it is backed up with evidence, it’s difficult to retain the same view.

    One such case is La Rouche whom I liked for his views on the Frankfurt School but was forced to see the other side of him. Now I’m not so sure.

    In these days of false prophets and weird things happening out there, it’s better, I’d argue, to take this point of view and see which way the evidence leads, holding onto freedom as the central theme along the way.

  19. ubermouth August 15, 2012 at 19:51 Permalink

    Exactly James.

    Lennon, to a lesser extent, was another Martin Luther King Jr.

    And those types are VERY dangerous for no one sees them coming until they ‘feel’ their arrival.

  20. DalaifromDetroit August 16, 2012 at 05:09 Permalink

    James – I actually agree with you on this aspect – if we were to follow these ideas that Lennon spoke about, we’d most likely be in the position you’re discussing both here and under your Phoenix post.

    I think the fact that I have “Faith in God and Free Will” tattooed on my body, proves my actual philosophy – but I can still like the song and the idea of equality and peace?

    Ubermouth – I’m confused by your first two sentences – first you say you’re not referring to others’ comments, then you say you were? Okay…

    And the fact that most popular artists are singing songs that others wrote, other musicians play the music for, under the direction of a music label has nothing to do with an artist’s success?

    And in the end, none of us should listen to an artist any more than we should be listening to most politicians. If we listen to a message, we must decide for ourselves it’s meaning and not be persuaded by it or by others against it.

    As for the Morrison and Lennon comparison, as Chrysalis said in her first (missing?) comment today, comparing the two is like comparing Malcolm X to Martin Luther King.

    As for MLK, I’m not sure what your comment meant, but I witnessed personally the violence and the riots as a child in Detroit. Change was needed and MLK was the only man who could – Malcolm X only fanned the flames of riots, whereas MLK quelled them.

    As for Morrison being feared by any government – you’re kidding, right?

    Here in the United States, most remember Morrison as a mostly incoherent drug addict, and the only reason he was glorified was because he died young. (Tack on Kurt Cobain)

    Actually, in my opinion, neither Lennon nor Morrison had nothing to contribute of any real philosophical or political value; Lennon just got luck with one good song, at a time when people needed to hear about peace:)

  21. JD August 16, 2012 at 07:49 Permalink

    And in the end, none of us should listen to an artist

    perhaps but-
    “El arte es una mentira que nos acerca a la verdad”
    Pablo Ruiz Picasso

    Roland Penrose wrote in his biography of Picasso-
    There is also reason to be grateful for the violence that he has used, for in our time, when signs of apathy and despair are easy to detect, it is only a resounding and decisive passion that can succeed. As he himself has said: “The essential in this time of moral poverty is to create enthusiasm.” Without the awakening of ardent love, no life and therefore no art has any meaning.
    http://nourishingobscurity.com/2012/05/05/the-eyes-have-it/

  22. ubermouth August 16, 2012 at 15:24 Permalink

    @ Detroit,

    What I was underscoring was that my comment was not motivated by any comments here,but inspired by the post topic at hand. I just happened not to agree with the comments that claimed Lennon’s song sprang from love and hope.

    Morrison was indeed feared by the government as a ‘subversive instigator who had great influence over the youth of the day’ and had an active FBI file on him throughout his career,labelled a political agitator at a time when the administration was extremely oppressive.

    He was an intellectual and politically very aware and outspoken beyond what his pop star status would lead the unenlightened to believe. Further, his legacy is not as you described at all. No one disputes he was a user of drugs[ as was Lennon], but mainly an alcoholic. I have researched him extensively so I am not unaware of his musical/political influence/the LBJ, and even more so, Nixon administrations hate-on for him despite my not being American. The average American ,unless a Morrison buff, is unaware of his FBI file, not familiar with his legacy beyond his band.

    MLK Jr. was another of my teenage idols whom I researched extensively and he most certainly did exploit , fuel and instigate much of the unrest in a controlled and subversive manner. Beyond your eye witness account of some of the unrest, if one does any real reading relating to him then they will soon discover that he did,in fact, even go so far as to threaten government officials to bring the protestors to their towns and cities,to “protest” if they did not immediately cave,giving into his political demands.

    The fact is that there are always people like Lennon and MLK Jr ,adept at concealing their true agendas whilst seemingly promoting something quite the opposite. MLK Jr ,for instance, believed in “peace by any means” and his personal philosophy was that violence was justified because it begat peace.

    Malcom X was far less sinister than MLK Jr although I am more familiar with the goings-on of the latter than the former.

    One does not have to be American to be au fait with your leaders,musicians and issues of the day, you know. :)

    Lastly,[to clear up any confusion] I did not say that musicians are never motivated by commercial success, I said it is not their primary driving force, especially true artists as opposed to empty headed pop stars, as was the case in the 1960s with the civil unrest of the day. The pop stars aside, do you think artists like Morrison,Joan Bias,Dylan even more recently musicians like Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen had something meaningful to say or were simply knocking off ditties for monetary/commercial gain?

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