Jump to content

Why The Sour Grapes?


mattygs
 Share

Recommended Posts

I honestly don't get it guys.

Why are we seeing such weird nasty comments about the Beijing ceremonies?

I don't understand comments like *the biggest waste of 4 hours in ceremonies history*.

I know others may have preferred other ceremonies, but that is just going abit far.

Unfortunately, it is a few of our long term Greek posters.

Is there really a case of sour grapes, or some some of paranoid xenaphobic superiority complex that are taking over some people (I say some, and most definetely... not all people).

It's getting really ugly.

Some people need to get over themselves

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly, it's mostly coming from the Greeks here. I don't get the mentality either, not to mention that the usual pattern is for each Games to be better than the one before it. And don't try to deny it because it's quite apparent to everyone.

Were they hoping that the Beijing Games be a disaster???

Not to mention that the Beijing ceremony will probably be one of the most memorable and favourable in history, before an after 2008.....you don't exactly see the Australians (2000), Americans (2002), Canadians (2010), and Brits (2012) sulking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, there is a saying that wherever you pull up a rock, underneath you'll find a Greek, but I doubt if a Greek found the hoax with the little girl, the fireworks, the windows blue screen, or whatever comes up in the next days

Speaking about my self it's a matter of taste.

Athens made an elegant, sensitive, simple but high-tech ceremony , with sense, with feeling, based on humans. Even the lighting of the cauldron had the meaning that the technology bends to humans, because humans made it. It wasn't a ceremony that we've seen before. It had start and ending. It was more of an artistic performance, than the 'shows' we've seen in Sydney and Atlanta. The creative team counted the smallest details (like the announcers in the stadium) or the excellent spiral at the parade. There were 'peak' moments (when the head explodes, the cube man, the dna, the galaxy, the olive tree)

Beijing (for me) on the other hand made a cold ceremony. It was flat. It seemed that they had ideas, actions to show, but they couldn't connect them together. There was no consistency between the various parts in the artistic segment. That's why they used the films (that Eurovision uses to prepare the stage from one act to the other). They people moved like a mass, like soldiers. There is no way you can connect children with colourful outfits with bags, and around them to have 2000 soldiers screaming. It's the communist regime of the country that wanted to show (by using the mass) how powerful the China is or wants to be. The spaceman at the end? No meaning at all.

Not to mention all the 80s cliche (stereotypes), two singers on the top of earth singing together, but on TV they didn't 'fit', a piano virtuoso that on a moment of paroxysm, scares the little girld sitting next to him, thousands of people moving around like soldiers with no meaning).

At the end I want to repeat something I wrote earlier. Papaioannou when he started working for the ceremony wanted to keep it simple, to present the history of Greece from day1 till today, to have feeling. And he successed.

If Zang Yimou wanted to present a cold ceremony, with masses of people, no feeling at all, showing that China is a super power. He suggested too. If he wanted to make a warm with feelings he failed big time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Mr X

No we don't want Beijing to be a disaster we are not like the rest of the world that wanted Athens to be a disaster.

Remember all the things that were written in newspapers or here at the forums, that Greeks won't be ready, that there will be explosions all over Athens, that the terrorists will come at the Opening Ceremony and demolish the country and all the other things coming from your cholecyst?

It's the 5th day of the Olympics and already 22 people were killed in China by terrorist attacks. One American was killed by a Chinese in Beijing. A random event? Maybe!

YOU wanted Athens to be a big failure, but it wasn't. That's why you try to find things to 'adore' in Beijing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The windows blue screen, how on earth does that fit into it?

That was not a hoax, it was up there with... oh, lets say, a certain Scandanavian singer with a piercing voice not taking flight on a said given moment. hahaha.

But really, the blue screen is just totally different and has no place in this kind of discussion unless we do talk about Bjork.

I can accept some parts of your views.

But when you say things like Soldier screaming - this is kind of just not being aware and accepting of anothers culture.

Yes, there were soldiers screaming - but this was in the context of a cultural presentation.

They were fu druming, because thats what you do.

And they were doing martial arts.

Esentially what you are saying, is that they shouldnt do anything like that - because those parts of traditional Chinese culture arent fitting in with Pappaioannou's Greek ideals.

The whole basis is Tai Chi is a peaceful nature loving kind of martial arts, done by people of Beijing all over the place every day. The concept of having a bunch of school kids learning about nature and doing stuff that kiddies do, is extremely fitting with the inward moment of Tai Chi.

Working along the concept of earth and heaven.

DP had a vision on how he wanted to do his ceremonies, but that is just one way of doing them. His vision is for that of a Greek Olympics, the home of the movement. But you can't do that for other countries with different cultures.

And may I go back to the 97 iaaf opening ceremony in Athens with a field full of people marching in unison holding flaming torches.

I should add that I loved it, but certainly very soldier like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the day, Greek culture is Greek culture.

The whole reasoning for the Athens opening ceremony was that it was the culture of Greece.

And it does appear alot of people are bagging the Beijing ceremony, because of things which had every right to be there, but which fly in conflict of the Greek ideaology and concepts of existance.

They said the opening in Athens was appolonic in nature, that was the basis of it.

But why should the rest of the world follow that lead. If its not in your culture, why should you base your opening ceremony around it?

So if i was directing , lets say a Kiwi opening ceremony for something - I might like to have a field full of Kapa Haka performers doing traditional Maori war dances.

This is a display of mass performers, so not in line with Athens - yet it is whole heartedly my culture. The souls of each of those performers Im sure would be giving it their all - but it doesnt really focus on the individual. It would be one mass of people acting as one - and would be culturally accurate.

But it would not match the Athens model.

Does that make it *wrong*?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Mr X

No we don't want Beijing to be a disaster we are not like the rest of the world that wanted Athens to be a disaster.

Remember all the things that were written in newspapers or here at the forums, that Greeks won't be ready, that there will be explosions all over Athens, that the terrorists will come at the Opening Ceremony and demolish the country and all the other things coming from your cholecyst?

It's the 5th day of the Olympics and already 22 people were killed in China by terrorist attacks. One American was killed by a Chinese in Beijing. A random event? Maybe!

YOU wanted Athens to be a big failure, but it wasn't. That's why you try to find things to 'adore' in Beijing.

Well what do you expect if you have critical venues and infrastructure that have not been completed and there are only months left until the flame is lit? It certainly is worrying.....assurances don't matter when things were delayed and behind schedule in the first place, what made Greek authorities and ATHOC's assurances credible? Pointing out the obvious doesn't mean we wanted it to be a disaster.

Security concerns were never my worry.

I never wanted Athens to be a big failure, I don't know where you got that from. I fully enjoyed the Athens Games, though the post-games legacy is worrying.

As for the terrorist attack, that happened at China's western frontier....right at the border. That could have happened anywhere in the world.....and also consider that China has one of the world's longest borders to protect and within those borders are 1.3-billion people, hardly a comparisoin to the Greek peninsuala and the population of less than half of Beijing.

As for your comments on the Beijing ceremonies, Chinese culture is different and it needs to be interpreted differently. The "BIG" and bold attitude has been part of the Chinese culture for thousands and thousands and thousands of years, it's not just the communist gov't talking here.

DP's concept of what a ceremonies should be is just one concept, not the benchmark nor the standard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's obviously narrow minded about what the ceremonies should be, that the Athens model is the one and only concept that is correct. With that said, the Athens ceremonies were incredible and tied with Beijing and Sydney on my personal list of favourite ceremonies.

If there's one Games that had severely flawed ceremonies, that would be Torino's. They just threw in a bunch of random segments that had absolutely no relation to each other and those were the opening/closing ceremonies. And the Vancouver 2010 handover was absolutely terrible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once again I'm forced to bring up my very hippie, yet valid, point that IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE CEREMONIES CULTURALLY. How was it "cold?" I didn't see any freezing temperatures and bundled up inner mongolians to tell me so. :)

The amount of intricate logistics, planning, synchronization, grand use of space, everything was as close to perfection as we're going to see for a long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned in some other thread, I just don't understand this criticism that it was disjointed, had no consistency, that it was just a series of isolated spectacles with no linking theme or narrative.

What is it about The Scroll they don't get?

How did it slip their notice?

How was it a surprise when a scroll has been a theme of the games since the torch design was unveiled, and no doubt will be till the closing ceremony. IMO probably the best linking element a games has ever had, not just for the ceremonies but also the relay, the cauldron and more. For me the scroll and story telling theme was one of the strongest linking elements of any ceremonies and games to date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fully agree with you, there are many ways in which you can design a linking opening ceremony. I should add that it is only recent Olympiads where we have seen this, we only have to go back to Atlanta where the segments were quite random, as with Barcelona. I should also say, that I really loved those ceremonies (yes, I was someone who thought Atlanta had magic ceremonies).

Not the Olympics, but the RWC 2003 Ceremonies in Australia had an interesting way of designing theirs. They took each line of a verse of the rugby world cup anthem - World in Union, and based a segment on each line.

in Sydney, it was very much a logical timeline based historical ceremony based on the development of a country - physically.

In Athens, it was almost a progression of thought.

For Beijing, we had a couple running. We had the scroll when ran right through the ceremony.

Starting off as a base print, going through to modern day China with the modern day school kids putting their own special twist on the painting - and also utilising the athletes footprints in it. Likewise, the scroll featured through to the cauldron lighting.

As a sub theme, they decided that to illustrate the culture and history of china, they would take 4 of the great inventions.

Just how Athens used art to demonstrate their history, China used these 4 great inventions to illustrate their history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are comparing how big or most important is the Greek or Chinese civilazation. Both offered to the world ideas.

I'm talking about what I saw, for me Beijing segments weren't connected to eachother. What I saw were different acts, one by the other with no connection. That's it. That's is what I believe and you can't just it. It's stupid to try to persuade me that what I didn't like, I should have liked it.

---------------

@ Mr X

Do you remember me screaming all over that Greeks work different from the rest of world? In the rest of the world when you say we have an appointment at 10:30, IT IS 10:30. In Greece it could be anytime between 10 to 11. That's how we work. That's who we are.

Do you remember me telling you that even 1 minute before the ceremony starts we will still dig to put plants? But when it starts everything will be in place? That's how we work here. Just see the pre-show of the opening, how it starts with a bunch of workers hitting a nail, and what Roggue says, 'What started like a Marathon, finished like a sprint it accelerated all the time, and by the end you can't follow the rhytm'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was always going to happen from the Greek members on here. Greeks are sooooo competitive and like to be the best at everything. I think it's an admirable trait but also very frustrating and annoying at times. You only have to watch Eurovision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, Athens ceremony had a start... and an end... I saw both but slept throughout the middle part of ceremony. Looking at the recorded show, I agree that it was very artistic.. but it was really too slow. I couldn't imagine being in the stadium having to absorb all these "artistic impressions" of whatever the director was trying to tell us. But I enjoyed looking at what Athens had to show. Athens has a rich culture and it was fun to see it incorporated into the ceremony.

Who says that a ceremony has to have a story-like presentation? It's just a ceremony of celebration, that the host is happy to organize the events and share their experience with the rest of the world.

For me, if there were ooohs and aaaaaahs from the crowd, that would be a great entertaining ceremony. Certainly Beijing's ceremony wasn't boring. There were ooohs and aaaaahs and all the wow factor all over the place although it may or may not be in perfect order as some would put it.

About the lighting of the cauldron, I still think Barcelona's was the most original. Athens was nothing special. The guy just waits for that thing to come down for him to light it. Beijing's was culturally creative. Using wire stunts (that is so Chinese) to light the cauldron.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: The mass Tai-Chi performance around the children at Beijing's OC.

One of the few GREAT things about NBC's broadcast of the Opening Ceremony was that they had their China Analyst in the booth with Costas and Laurer who was able dissect and provide very insightful commentation about everything… The Tai-Chi performance around the children symbolizes that harmoniously being one with nature or in more literal terms - sustainable development - is the only way to ensure the future - represented by the kids. Zhang Yimou had always said that the Ceremony would focus on the “Chinese spirit, but with an international outlook.” This is the perfect example of that.

Although I don't think I'll be learning more meaning and symbolism in Beijing's OC four years later like I am with Athens, I do think that saying this Ceremony was shallow and feeling-less is really misinformed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been waiting for the right moment to interject this point, and I think now is the opportune time. It is a quote from MASTER OF THE CEREMONIES by Ric Birch who for those of you who know, is an old hand at these Olympic Ceremonies, having played major parts in the Los Angeles, Barcelona, Sydney, Torino, and these Beijing ceremonies.

From pages 188-189 of his book:

"Our choreographers had a great deal of experience in working with volunteers, and knew only too well that there were other things the performers could be doing with their lives, so they treated the cast with respect while keeping them etnertained. A Catalan chorepgrapher had discovered the penalty of getting this wrong when working on the opening ceremony for the Barcelona Stadium a couple of years before we arrived. The chorepgrapher had planned for about 250 volunteers to form an outline of a dove as drawn by Picasso. At each rehearsal he yelled and screamed and insulted the dancers as if they were professionals, and provided only a sandwich for catering at the final dress rehearsal. This was probably his worst mistake. The next day for the ceremony, only one performer showed up. The choreographer gained great critical acclaim for his ceremony -- in which a single performer walked to the center of an outline dove painted on the grass, and released a white pigeon from his gloved hand. The critics raved about the Zen simplicity of the image, so the chorepgrapher was not only clever but also lucky."
:rolleyes:

Could that have been Papaiannou -- with his penchant for using one person (i.e., the pregnant woman) in the stadium floor? So, we never heard about the other 2,499 'pregnant women' not showing up? :lol::lol:

As for this charge of "...not focusing on the individual..." Did they use 84 piano players this time? Did they have 27 'aerial' Torch-bearers polluting the stadium air, as I seem to remember a certain Ceremony in 2004 did? If one was paying close attention to the show, and not backing up on one's xenophobic haunches, one of the themes of the '08 show was "HARMONY" -- and this was Man's Harmony not only with nature, with the environment -- BUT WITHIN HIMSELF as well -- as evidenced by Tai Chi. WHAT COULD BE MORE INDIVIDUAL THAN THAT? And that is a far deeper meaning that any of the hokum that DP could've worked.

Yes, it is a dictum that because the stadium is a large-space, then it must be filled accordingly. Is it also any wonder that only Athens tries this "individual" thing -- which of course WOULDN'T WORK if:

(i) you didn't bring your super-powerful binoculars from home; and

(ii) you DIDN"T employ HIGH-DEF television cameras with zoom-in lenses which could then 'cheat' and offer close-ups of the performer's face?

Unless it's Elton John or the Three Tenors or Sir Paul performing, you fill the stadium floor with spectacle because that is what works. Actually, the Athens Paralympics Opening was just as good as the regular Olympics Opening without employing the 'gimmick' of a 'fake lake.'

Am just so glad they skipped the Chinese Opera part. But I missed the Terra Cotta warriors and any references to "55 Days at Peking"!! :angry:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Mr X

No we don't want Beijing to be a disaster we are not like the rest of the world that wanted Athens to be a disaster.

Remember all the things that were written in newspapers or here at the forums, that Greeks won't be ready, that there will be explosions all over Athens, that the terrorists will come at the Opening Ceremony and demolish the country and all the other things coming from your cholecyst?

It's the 5th day of the Olympics and already 22 people were killed in China by terrorist attacks. One American was killed by a Chinese in Beijing. A random event? Maybe!

YOU wanted Athens to be a big failure, but it wasn't. That's why you try to find things to 'adore' in Beijing.

Ah...so ultimately our Greek friend here is sour over the Beijing Games only because he believed everyone out there hoped Athens 2004 will fail...and didn't in all aspects as far as he is concerned.

Thank you, PYRROS2004, for giving us another insight of what the Greek civilisation has contributed to mankind and what its culture is all about. I am only astonished that the Greeks didn't introduce Wine to the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Mr X

Do you remember me screaming all over that Greeks work different from the rest of world? In the rest of the world when you say we have an appointment at 10:30, IT IS 10:30. In Greece it could be anytime between 10 to 11. That's how we work. That's who we are.

Do you remember me telling you that even 1 minute before the ceremony starts we will still dig to put plants? But when it starts everything will be in place? That's how we work here. Just see the pre-show of the opening, how it starts with a bunch of workers hitting a nail, and what Roggue says, 'What started like a Marathon, finished like a sprint it accelerated all the time, and by the end you can't follow the rhytm'.

Well then do it the Greek way for all I care, just don't blame it on the world for creating bad publicity because that's hardly an excuse in the real world........sour grapes still show.

I haven't been completely all "high and ho" about Beijing 2008 as you infer that I am, throughout the past few years I've brought up quite a few times how so many people were evicted from their homes without compensation to build the venues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, who actually thought that little girl was singing :rolleyes: - seriously, when have children actually sung live at things like this. EVERY ceremony has recorded bits.... and it was quite obvious too the fireworks wern't live at the beginning apart from the footprint one over the stadium.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, who actually thought that little girl was singing :rolleyes: - seriously, when have children actually sung live at things like this. EVERY ceremony has recorded bits.... and it was quite obvious too the fireworks wern't live at the beginning apart from the footprint one over the stadium.

Just check out the Amy....she chouldn't sing live but still won the Grammys..What a wonderful world

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Mr X

Do you remember me screaming all over that Greeks work different from the rest of world? In the rest of the world when you say we have an appointment at 10:30, IT IS 10:30. In Greece it could be anytime between 10 to 11. That's how we work. That's who we are.

Sounds rather arrogant to me, considering I know of at least some other societies who display an equal disregard for being on time, plus millions of people who routinely disregard deadlines as well, myself included at times! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, who actually thought that little girl was singing :rolleyes: - seriously, when have children actually sung live at things like this. EVERY ceremony has recorded bits.... and it was quite obvious too the fireworks wern't live at the beginning apart from the footprint one over the stadium.

The difference is that she was lip synching someone elses singing, nobody thought she was singing but to lip synch someone elses voice is a first and eye opener....though not to the extent some have overblown it in the media.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Savas in another thread:

This is why i never claimed Athens to be the best Ceremony ever. But for me the Ceremony was a mirror reflecting in an erotic way my sense of hellenic culture, of our existance. It was a dreamful connection to what i concider to be the truth. This is why this Ceremony is so extremely importand for us Greeks. Because it touched long forgotten parts of us still existing though. I may be too serious on this and it sounds too wannabe philosophical to you as you concider the Ceremonies to be a Show. Maybe it is a nostalgia for something but this is how we feel.

This is why i tried to explain you the meaning of the Ceremony in other threads. I know you never asked me to do that, so it was my mistake. And because this is going really too far and the Athens Ceremony belongs to the past for the rest of the world i will just drop it. Enough with the "deep stuff"

A good post and it hit the nail on the head. Of course, for Greeks, the Athens ceremony touched them emotionally far deeper than it would other nationalities. Just as, as an Aussie, the Sydney ceremony was by far the most emotionally charged for me and touched parts of my psyche that only other Aussies could perhaps appreciate. It's just natural, understandable and a really a reflection of our pride in our nationalities and how we managed to present it in a ceremony to the rest of the world.

It's not the Greek's attachment to the Athens ceremony that I think has so many of us surprised _ that's totally natural, expected and justifiable _ but the vehemence of the attacks from some of the Greek posters against the Beijing OC , some of those dismissals have been a bit over the top, and the accusations that people only "adore" the Beijing OC because they always wanted the Greeks to fail! That's just becoming paranoid!

If I tried to compare ceremonies, it will always be hard for me to put behind how special and deeply touching Sydney's was for me and other Australians. It will always be my sentimental favourite. Athen's I always liked _ it was nothing if not classy _ but it didn't touch me. If I really try to just compare ceremonies objectively on their general overall presentation, though, I'd really have to concede that Beijing just lifted the bar to a whole new hight compared to anything in the past. I think it was brilliant! China and everyone Chinese should rightly be VERY proud of it. Just as Aussies and Greeks can rightly be proud of our own. But our time has now passed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: The mass Tai-Chi performance around the children at Beijing's OC.

One of the few GREAT things about NBC's broadcast of the Opening Ceremony was that they had their China Analyst in the booth with Costas and Laurer who was able dissect and provide very insightful commentation about everything… The Tai-Chi performance around the children symbolizes that harmoniously being one with nature or in more literal terms - sustainable development - is the only way to ensure the future - represented by the kids. Zhang Yimou had always said that the Ceremony would focus on the “Chinese spirit, but with an international outlook.” This is the perfect example of that.

lol - in the ARD live broadcast was nearly said the same - I suppose all broadcaster got these information from the Chinese organiser...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The drummers were chanting a Confucius quota, 'when friends come from afar, isn't it delightful' in Mandarin. It was a welcome to the world. It was probably the most touching part of the ceremony for this informed viewers.

Its not just the Greeks though, the Mediterranean seems to produce a lot of nationalistic nuts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...