Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Olympic Fireworks

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.  


Simon Platt said...

I'm afraid I'm with Joe - so far as I am able.

What I mean by that is that I didn't watch the closing ceremony - but I did hear the midnight news on the Home Service. Their report of the closing ceremony focussed on "Imagine" and "Always look on the bright side of life". Joe Pearce has said enough about the atheistic materialism of the former; the latter, although an obviously catchy tune, is, in context, perhaps the single most offensive popular song in the history of offensive popular songs, mocking as it does the central, saving, act of history.

So, I was given the strong impression that the central point of the ceremony was a repudiation of this country's Christian heritage - although, later, I did wonder whether those responsible - whether for the ceremony itself or for the reportage - realised the implications of their efforts.

God help them, and God help England.

Gregory said...

It's clear that Satan played Lennon like a fiddle.

Moreover, his whole life story - a true tragedy for both himself and what has passed for "western culture" this last half century or so - is a stark reminder of the poisonous and far reaching tentacles that the breakdown of the family unit can unleash on society.

For the first two decades after Lennon's death, his back story was subject to the usual saccharin treatment reserved for "tragic heroes" e.g. James Dean and Marilyn Monroe (and for Lennon it was all "yeah, yeah, yeah", white suits and cliched images of blood spattered broken specs). But in more recent times, certainly as far as film depictions have been concerned, the adaptations have started to dig much deeper. Two stick out particularly: the 2010 BBC 4 drama "Lennon Naked" (a coarse title, to be sure) and the 2009 cinema release "Nowhere Boy". After watching the first, in which Lennon was played by Christopher Ecclestone - without a trace of dramatic sympathy, I was left repulsed by the levels of his sheer selfishness (it truly is a credit to Julian Lennon that, to my knowledge, he has never publicly disparaged his father). Although I considered myself to be fairly well versed in Lennon's life story, I found the depiction to be not only dark but utterly depressing and it genuinely left a cloud over me for days and very much regretting that I'd watched it. A very short while later, though, I saw "Nowhere Boy" (which is a very well researched film) and it's all laid bare as to exactly why the boy Lennon turned out to be the extremely damaged and selfish "man" he was. Let down by both of his parents - in an age when family units were relatively stable - and subject to several tragedies before he turned 22, one could almost touch his pain through the screen.

Lennon's was a toxic combination: an artistic talent (although that's a subjective discussion) barely subject to any moral guidance, and left exposed to bitterness and resentment fuelled by rejection. I don't really know the back stories of either of Lennon's parents but if ever there was a case of the "father's - and mother's - sins visited on the son", then it was brutally so with the most explosive of the four Beatles. In turn, Lennon then effectively inflicted the same rejection he experienced onto his eldest son Julian and all the while used his "creative expression" and influence to turn a generation or more against all notions of faith, authority, order and morals.

He'd been let down and he was determined that others would be, too. The lyrics to his track "God" are truly painful.

Yet two things seem clear to me about Lennon: first he was always, always "searching" for the meaning, the purpose of his life (and as counter-intuitive as it sounds, I really don't think he ever did, or ever would have, in his later decades, lazily settled for the unthinking nihilism which seems to be the modern default for so many now - in fact I think he would have despaired of it); also I think he was about to enter a completely different phase of life and philosophy as he turned 40, just weeks before he was shot (not that I'm suggesting he would have "discovered" Christianity - but one never knows). I honestly believe he would have gone on to reject the emotional immaturity of his songs like "Imagine" and "God" and the general tenor of his public rhetoric in the late 60s and early 70s. But, of course, he wasn't given the chance to restate things - for the evil actions of a gun-weilding psychotic fantasist, who ironically blamed his action on his own childhood, saw to that - and now Lennon's bile and vitriol has been left on-tap for generation after vulnerable generation to guzzle a poison that just keeps on poisoning.

Neat work all round by the prince of this world.

Damask Rose said...

Interesting comments from Gregory.

I came across this private interview of Lennon by a teenage boy via a blog commenter. The graphics are a little irritating and the videos on the right-hand side quite "way out".

I couldn't believe it when Lennon says "we're all Christ inside". But see the video for context.

I've seen a video where Lennon and Yoko deny overpopulation and (I think I remember correctly) say there is enough food for all.

I wonder about Lennon's murder. He was too giant a person who could influence a lot of people. Perhaps he was too blatant in expressing his views on peace and government.

Damask Rose said...
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Damask Rose said...

Oops - here's the You Tube link to the Lennon interview.


Damask Rose said...
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Thomas Fisher said...

I find Gregory's analasys of Lennon, while well intentioned, a little idealistic and romantic. I cant see at all that he was about to enter any new phase at all in his philosophy and his life and that he would reject and despair at the unthinking nihilism that he, for his own part, actually helped to create. I also dont beleive he would have gone on to reject the "emotional immaturity' of his work. It's worth remembering what a catastrophic effect his, and many other 'artistic works' of the sixties have had on what was possibly the biggest cultural, and definitely the biggest sexual revolution that has ever existed. I think the biggest irony lies in the fact that he, as gregory states, wasnt given a chance to restate things. Surely this is one of the key factors in a life that so totally rejects God, and overtly poisons the minds of others against Him. I wonder how many times God called on him, during his life, to restate things and to reflect. Such a terrible shame, for all involved.