We watched on TV the opening ceremony for three hours after my birthday party dinner at a little pub. One of my rellies though didn't like the discipline of all those people doing the same thing together. We in Oz value individualism so much that the sight of thousands of people/ clones/ soldiers/ dancers/ drummers doing the exact same thing is rather scary. Of course I am glad it all worked and there were some lovely moments. But not much humour though.
The whole spectacle didn't have much to do with athletics which is what it's really about anyway. Bah humbug - okay I'm a wowser.
I was waiting to see the athletes and Fiji was rather late in the order as it didn't go ABCDEF! A small group but smart. Even got a para in an article in the Age on their good uniforms. The Oz uniforms - well that's been described as sucked icypoles and did look very daggy. Sportscraft said the uniforms were inspired by the national anthem's words "our home is girt by sea" and reflected "the blue and silver tones of Australia's oceans and open skies".
Anyway, on with the show, the real stuff and I hope we do see some of the throws - usually there's so much ra ra ra for oz swimmers that there are only a few seconds shown of discus, jav, hammer, and shotput - the events we are mainly interested in.
One commentary was as follows:
Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Just Plain Inhuman
If you thought the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games or the 2004 Athens Olympics games was jaw-dropping, you were terribly wrong. The Chinese have produced one of the most awe-inspiring opening ceremonies in history. Khalid Shakran says nobody can deny it.
by Khalid Shakran (Columnist)
August 09, 2008
The Chinese are acknowledged around the world for being some of the most highly persistent and efficient people on the globe. They sure did not disappoint in organizing the most amazing Olympic opening ceremony in history.
The ceremony, witnessed in the newly built "Bird's Nest National Stadium," could not have been more astounding, remarkable, mind-blowing, and staggering as it was. Every event installed into that jaw-dropping ceremony flawlessly meshed together to endow the fans one hell of a night.
Speaking of the fans, Zhang Yimou (producer of the opening ceremony) amazingly inserted the audience into the celebration by issuing each and every spectator a flashing lantern that combined to immaculately fit the festivity.
While 15,000 performers executed their practiced routines to the audience, the flashing lanterns vividly accompanied the excitement. One could not see the audiences' faces, but the lanterns indicated the fans were indeed visible.
With the inexplicable high technology blazing in the Bird's Nest on Aug. 8 came children in costumes representing 56 Chinese ethnicities, a wacky Chinese pop star, a spinning globe, moving blocks operated by HUMANS, and 10,000 Chinese drummers that lit up the Beijing skies as their beat shocked the globe.
The countdown to the initiating point of the festivity was "technologically wired." The first glance a spectator witnessed accompanied a startling response. Hell, I even think the performers were surprised by their own dominant showdown.
The most electrifying portion of the opening ceremony arrived when the electronically jaw-dropping stage hosted a series of moving blocks, that, according to Bob Costas of NBC, recited ancient Chinese beliefs of Confucianism that featured the symbol of "Harmony."
Technology, the vital theme of the opening ceremony, was surprisingly illuminated by humans. For all of you who observed the moving blocks, anyone would have certainly said they were operated by machines. The way the blocks moved looked like they were operated by machines. However, by the completion of this part, out popped 2,000 Chinese performers.
Right at that moment, my eyes were practically glued to my television screen, while one of my friends yelled "THIS IS NOT HUMAN."
After the nations that were participating at the Olympics were presented to the arduous crowd, another "non-human" aspect emerged. A former Olympic star, held on by two wires, was lifted to the top of the stadium, only to be seen trotting on an opening scroll while carrying the torch.
In addition, the fireworks gracefully lit the Beijing sky to initiate one of the most spectacular games the 21st Century has witnessed.
After every Olympics opening ceremony, whether it was Athens or Sydney, most have claimed that it was the "Best in history." However, the 2008 Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony could truly be labeled the most awe-inspiring Olympic opener ever.
I am deeply sorry for London when it begins organizing the next Olympic Games. China has already set the bar at the highest level possible.