I was surprised that I actually took to watching the Olympics and enjoyed it! Cycling and sailing, diving and swimming, athletics and boxing (although not the ping pong). It called forth a proper sense of national pride and respect for the athletes who worked so hard and with such dedication.
What I didn't much care for were the opening and closing ceremonies, which seemed self-indulgent and appeared to exalt not dedication, hard work and commitment but all the very opposite qualities of instant fame, self-gratification a mish-mash of unrelated P.C. approved "good bits" from history and culture without reference to any foundation of where that culture might have come from (Christianity - and more specifically, Catholicism, by the way). In the closing ceremony we couldn't have Churchill speaking any of Churchill's words (strangely popping out of the top of Big Ben's Tower like some manic Punch and Judy show) but rather, something from Shakespeare's Tempest. Nothing wrong with either Churchill or Shakespeare but why mash them together?
I thought that the opening ceremony was like a second rate West End show while all the music for the closing ceremony could have been nicely packaged together in a twenty minute slot - although, for the most part, I would have chosen different music. If you are going to have Queen's Freddy Mercury at the Olympics, then why not the obvious choice of "We are the Champions"? No doubt the line "no time for losers" was considered un-P.C. even though in 2011 this song was named by a team of scientific researchers the the catchiest song in the history of pop music! Most bizarre of all was the choice of John Lennon singing "Imagine there's no countries" in the presence of thousands of athlete who had just proudly represented their respective countries - with the winning medalist introduced as "representing" their country with flags, national anthems, etc. A close second was The Who - singing "My Generation" at nearly seventy years of age. (I would have prefered Dame Vera singing "We'll meet again" - much more fitting & she's not much older!) So much of the music choice was dull or rather obscure (and no, not just because I'm not with it enough to know what I'm hearing).
I liked the fireworks, though.
I am inspired to write now after just reading Joseph Pearce's piece "Slimy Limeys" at the St Austin Review Blog. He's certainly fired up! Here are Joseph's fireworks for your edification:
Against my better judgement I watched the closing ceremony of the London Olympics last night. I was expecting the worst and it was even worse than I expected! The whole thing was a nasty and narcissistic celebration by the denizens of modern Britain of how wonderful it thinks it is. It was a debauched celebration of atheism and hedonism, including schoolchildren singing Lennon's atheistic anthem, Imagine, as hundreds of people came together to create a giant icon of Lennon's face. Lennon, the most ethno-masochistic and anti-Christian of the Beatles, had once claimed that the "Fab Four" were more popular than Jesus. Judging by last night's closing ceremony, he is right. Everything is more popular than Jesus in modern Britain. The Son of God is well and truly hated as is His Church. Anti-Catholicism reared its intolerant head during the ceremony as dozens of roller-skating women, dressed as nuns, cavorted across the stage, lifting their habits to reveal their underwear.
Another feature of the closing ceremony was the celebration of the homosexual lifestyle, demonstrated by the resurrection on the big screen of Freddie Mercury to lead the crowd in inane chants. There was also a performance by the leather-clad George Michael, sporting a skull on his belt buckle, symbolic of the culture of death of which he is a symbol. There was much more that was much worse but I don't have the stomach to continue with the litany of smut.
As an Englishman, I might have felt ashamed of such a spectacle. Instead I just felt as if my body had been covered with slime. I also felt a great sense of gratitude that I had shaken the smut and dirt from my sandals and had left the sordid culture of which I was once a part. Deo gratias!
As for the land of my birth, I am reminded of the words of C. S. Lewis who would have been as appalled by last night's spectacle as was I. In The Great Divorce, he wrote that in the end there are only two possibilities for each of us. We can either say to God, "Thy Will Be Done", or else God will ultimately say to us, "Thy will be done". Modern Britain has what it deserves; it has what it wants. The slow and tortuous decay of its barely living corpse will continue until it dies of self-abuse. Its passing will be a blessing.