Monday, August 13, 2012

It's All Over Now

The Stones didn't appear, but at least we were all spared a reprise of octogenarian Sir Paul doing 'Live and Let Die' again. And so ended the games of the 40th Olympiad in London.

The games themselves were fairly unremarkable - which is probably a good thing given all the security measures that went into that. A couple of new records set - one of them remarkably so. The glory of sport was duly celebrated and the world was at times thrilled. In the western part of the world at least, the games were largely a media event. Even for those attending, the media had to be relied-upon given the disparate venues and an awesome number of daily events and competitions. There were gold medals awarded from the early morning of the first day, until an hour and a half before the closing ceremonies. And the media did it's standard hack job on everything.

Canada had an 'Olympic Consortium", viz CTV et al, running things in London. The featured talking heads - one Brian Williams and the bountiful Lisa LaFlamme (I'm not making that name up) came across as a graduate of the Ted Baxter school of broadcast journalism and the High School Guidance councillor we all wish we'd had once, or even twice. Williams was ridiculous from day one when he pontificated how 'correct' US presidential candidate Mitt Romney had been, to 'call' the Brits on their game preparations. He concluded his final broadcast 'for the last time' wth equal fatuity. He won't be back, thank providence, as his former employer, CBC, has locked-up the next two Olympics and he had 'deserted' their ship to go with CTV.

LaFlamme was simply gushing but there's a significant cleavage there going unused.

Despite the gas, CTV couldn't outdo somebody in the Irish media covering a dinghy sailing competition, although I'm sure they tried; here's the Irish effort (which has gone viral - a good thing for comedian Chris Tordoff, who could replace Williams anyday.)

Irish coverage of Olympic sailing event.

And another Irish take on the Olympics - given the significance, in Irish history, of August 12th.

Overall the Canadian coverage yo-yoed between 'tragedy striking' (again and again and again - as the song says), 'deep disappointment' on many occasions and the unexpected triumph a gold medal in an event CTV had decided was too unimportant to cover. The surprise winner became a sudden non-icon given the rest of the team who weren't. We settled for adoration of the Bolt - even remarking on his 'triumph' over  members of the Swedish Womens handball team who visited him 'in chambers' for 'photos' - and who, apparently, were gone when he flashed the 'three for victory' sign as he sat on his rumpled bed later.

And so let the recriminations begin.

I'd start with firing Mark ("I'll discipline you later") Tewksberry, the 'chef de mission' who has a career plotted out in foreign affairs anyway. I'd also fire Merklinger who oversaw the $230 million spent over the past 4 years to develop a 'team of winners' to 'own the podium'. Somebody has to take responsibility for all the balderdash about our 'slam-dunk' athleticism and the consequent 20/20 hindsight and excuse-making that follow a failure to win. Back to the 'drawring board'  it may have to be, but the last set of 'draftsartists' shouldn't be designing the next effort.

And so to the show itself. I only saw the worst bit of the three hour extravaganza. The tail end of some realian and his phantom choir - a future concert for a close relative's punitive concert series. That was followed by a 'digital appearance' by the late Freddy Mercury getting the crowd worked-up with a Kodaly voice exercise and then the remains of Queen, with a rather fetching brunette, to sing the national hockey arena anthem 'We Will Rock You". After that the Brazilians embarrassed themselves with a preview of what may be  to come in Rio. The samba dancers and rainforst denizens, military snipers and a moveable array of  mysterious golden columns were topped-off with some slick willie dance instruction and a portuguese-speaking comedian, rap artist in a pimp outfit. That's all I could take.

Whaddi miss? Russell Brand in his unwashed glory. Annie Lennox on a pirate ship. Ray Davies of the former Kinks doing 'Waterloo Sunset' - a big hit of which most people who aren't Kinksters would never have heard. The Who closed out the evening with 'M-M-M-My  G-Generation' and of course the Spice Girls reunited in all their feminine puchritude to outdo a parade of supermodels and the world-class bathroom boy,  George Michaels. It was reportedly glorious. I did miss the fireworks.

I'll bet the Russkis can stretch their ceremonies to four hours and the Brazilians can go all night. So much to look forward to.

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