Did you catch the opening ceremonies for the Olympics last evening? There were representatives from 202 countries parading for all of the world to see, and the Queen jumped out of a helicopter.
I kid you not on that last part. The ceremonies started off with a video of Queen Elizabeth boarding a helicopter to get from Buckingham palace to the Olympic stadium. Along the way, she waved to her fans and they waved back. Tuning in a few minutes last, I first wondered if this was going to be a commercial for Great Britain, a sort of tourist piece. However, when the statue of Churchill started to wave back, I knew that we were in for a real treat.
As soon as the helicopter arrived, the Queen jettisoned and parachuted her way into the stadium, freshened up a bit and appeared in her place to preside over the event.
Other highlights included the children’s hospital seen, where rambunctious youngsters did tricks on their beds, and beloved characters of British children’s literature came alive. J.K Rowling made an appearance.
The overall theme was a spectacle that took us from a bucolic hobbit-like shire smashed over by the industrial revolution, with the five rings being forged by ironworkers, all the way through the digital age. Along the way, there were comedy bits by Rowan Atkinson, Daniel Craig, and yes, the Queen.
Everything was surreal, and weird and beautiful with elements that on their own wouldn’t seem to be connected, but they somehow were anyway. One moment we were contemplating and commemorating those who died in two separate world wars, and the next we had to toss those emotions aside to dance with scores of Sergeant Peppers in a kitschy celebration. It is hard to fit Great Britain’s history into two hours, and this showed.
At the end, sense didn’t matter anyway, since the spectacle itself was thrilling. Danny Boyle’s mind must be an interesting place to live.