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Opening Ceremony


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... because Greeks are very proud that their country became independent after a very very very very long period under muslim/ottoman rule - Greek lived since the antique in Smyrna and Constatinople and you should ask Greeks if they still esteem Smyrna or Constaninople as Greek or Turkish?

The Greeks were expelled by the Turks right after the Greco-Turkish war (which was right after WWI) - by the way the Turks were expelled from Greece too - and that expulsions were not very friendly...

CAF, I'm sure this situation repeats in many similar instances. The point is...and I am sorry for your personal experience you related above...which I am sure has also happened to ALL sorts of nationalities ...I think some form "of conflict" can be recreated in an Olympic ceremony. It doesn't have to be EXPLICIT (which the IOC would not allow anyway), but it can be done to enhance the theatrical narrative of the evening. And it's not false or libelous or invented since it uses history as a basis. And I mean war is a fact of life, and we shouldn't (or at least that's the way I feel) whitewash it. Shall we sugarcoat the Holocaust or the atrocities the Japanese committed on the conquered peoples of Asia? And I don't want this to go into a long-winded discourse on the morality of war since it is a thread about Ceremonies, but I feel we owe it to future generations to portray historical truth. And again, done in a theatrical context. Otherwise, we would all be living in a Ahmadinajad world of denial where to him such a sad chapter in history, the Holocaust, never happened. He is such a fool. I mean "battles" are told in movies, in ballet, why not in Olympic Ceremonies if it fits tastefully and coherently with chosen theme of the evening by the host?

1. @baron-pierreIV [on NBC's version of the London Opening]: "If it's the ONLY version that U.S.audiences will bother to see, then how can one know whether it's better or worse?"

You're right, most people can't. Given that it was worse, to an almost malicious (and in the case of some nations in the Parade, actively malicious) degree, that's worrying.

2. @baron-pierreIV [on "Frankie and June"]: "It had a very much been there-done it feel to it."

Interesting. In a sense that was to be expected, as it was partly a parody of the Beijing opening (dancers making formations around a big video display), but are there any other specific antecedents you were thinking of?

1. Well then, I guess you and your fellow self-righteous brother, MadHatter or whatever his moniker is, better get cracking on installing DIRECT BBC links to over 120 million American households so that they get to see that approved version of Olympic ceremonies starting with Sochi in February 2014. Just don't let NBC know...and I won't tell either.

2. Huh? Which sequence in Beijing was that? Gee, I really don't want to strain to replay that uninspired sequence all over again. Not unless you'll pay me. :D

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I'm not sure what relevence an idiot at a weeding has to a hypothetical artful interpreation of the history of the East End. I'm sad there are idiots like that around, but I'm not sure what you want me to say.

I am very aware that the first hit of a V1 was at the East End and I have absolutely no problem at all to talk with british people about WWII or WWI in person, but at an international event were thousands of people meet you don't know what can happen.

I know for sure that the bride would have never expected that one of her guests is an idiot - that was one person on a wedding with 200 people - how is the host of party of 60,000 or more people is able to guarantee that there is not an idiot, who start attacking somebody else - like the 20 drunken serbs next to me?

By the way the Serbs were nice, but can I be sure when e.g. a V1 is shown or when it is said that East End was destroyed - how can Danny Boyle be sure that the 20 drunken Serbs don't know that the Germans destroyed East End during WWII?

It's not fun sitting in a stadium and waving a German flag, when you are watching a "Blitz segment" during an OC - with thousands of people...

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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So essentially the ceremony would have been better if it had more war in it.

Riiight.

The NHS segment was chronologically set after the war, what with it being the NHS that was an invention of Post-War Britain. To have kids or nurses in gas masks just wouldn't have worked.

The tribute was enough. The ceremony took us from where we came, what we went through and where we are going. It didn't need further mention of the Blitz anymore than it did the Great Fire of London or dancing Beefeaters.

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... because Greeks are very proud that their country became independent after a very very very very long period under muslim/ottoman rule - Greek lived since the antique in Smyrna and Constatinople and you should ask Greeks if they still esteem Smyrna or Constaninople as Greek or Turkish?

I always thought it was telling that in the Athens OC wagon train of Greek history they had tableaux of just about every conceivable period of OLD Greek history - Minoan, Archaic, Mycenean, Classical, you name it, but then when they got to the Byzantine period they then proceeded to skip over a millenium or so of Turkish rule to next come up with the 19th century taverna. They didn't even acknowledge their war of independence.

Personally, I thought the minute's silence and the poppies in London's was a tasteful and fitting way to acknowledge the 20th century wars without being too explicit or offending any guests. I'm not sure an Olympic OC would have been a fitting ocassion to bring out a full scale reproduction of the Luftwaffe assaulting the London docks any more than a recreation of the Wounded Knee massacre would have been appropriate in SLCs, the hunting of the Tasmanian aborigines would have fitted in Sydney's or the Rape of Nanjing or the Boxer siege of the Peking diplomatic quarter should have been acknowledged in Beijing's.

I wonder if we'll get a recreation of the Donner party feasting on each other, or actors playing Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky bringing prosperity to Nevada, in a future Reno-Tahoe OC? Or an Istanbul Ceremony starting with a Trojan Horse full of Greeks being wheeled into the stadium, who then proceed to put the stadium settings to the torch with the Olympic flame?

Edited by Sir Rols
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Or an Istanbul Ceremony starting with a Trojan Horse full of Greeks being wheeled into the stadium, who then proceed to put the stadium settings to the torch with the Olympic flame?

The Turks actually brought out a Trojan horse for one of their recent Ceremonies. I know Ikarus posted it on the Ceremonies thread. I think it might've been for the last world basketball champs in Turkey.

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Don't forget that the London Opening did make a reference to the Second World War- the statue of Churchill smiling and waving as the theme from "The Dambusters" was played (a movie about a British bombing raid on German dams, which drowned quite a lot of people).


@baron-pierreIV : "I guess you and your fellow self-righteous brother, MadHatter or whatever his moniker is, better get cracking on installing DIRECT BBC links to over 120 million American households"

To a fair degree, the links already exist, but you've sort-of inverted the sense of my comment. The actions of NBC were indistinguishable from the actions of a tyrannical regime with total control of broadcasting, presenting a distorted version of foreign material for political purposes.

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Don't forget that the London Opening did make a reference to the Second World War- the statue of Churchill smiling and waving as the theme from "The Dambusters" was played (a movie about a British bombing raid on German dams, which drowned quite a lot of people).

@baron-pierreIV : "I guess you and your fellow self-righteous brother, MadHatter or whatever his moniker is, better get cracking on installing DIRECT BBC links to over 120 million American households"

To a fair degree, the links already exist, but you've sort-of inverted the sense of my comment. The actions of NBC were indistinguishable from the actions of a tyrannical regime with total control of broadcasting, presenting a distorted version of foreign material for political purposes.

maybe NBC is the ministry of truth

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The actions of NBC were indistinguishable from the actions of a tyrannical regime with total control of broadcasting, presenting a distorted version of foreign material for political purposes.

What sort of absurd and ridiculous statement is that? You DON'T have to watch NBC, do you. FOr us in the US, for any other territory elsewhere for that matter, the designated Official broadcaster of the area is the one who paid for the rights to broadcast in the area. NBC does not encroach onto BBC's turf; and the BBC should NOT likewise do so. What is this compelling obsession...and I will say it again...self-righteous stance...that BBC is the only acceptable broadcaster and NBC isn't? It's NOT that f*cking imperative to have to watch it with what you jingoistically call the best. Frankly, I am offended by your (and that other bugger, MadHattrix) supercilious remarks. And just for that, I will purposely AVOID any BBC broadcasts promoted by jingoistic twats like you. So, please sod off on this issue, Mark.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Mark, I saw the second week of the BBC's coverage of Athens and I was underwhelmed. I don't know that it was worse than NBC but it certainly wasn't better. It was understandably biased in favor of British athletes. Although I do like Sue Barker, many of the other commentators and much of the direction was very dry.

I don't adore NBC but I wasn't impressed with the BBC either. On balance I found NBC a bit more entertaining.

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@baron-pierreIV : "What is this compelling obsession...and I will say it again...self-righteous stance...that BBC is the only acceptable broadcaster and NBC isn't? It's NOT that f*cking imperative to have to watch it with what you jingoistically call the best. "

If I ever called the BBC the best, my apologies, because I'm pretty certain they weren't- at times they were very irritating indeed. All I'm saying is that, having made a fairly detailed study of NBC's coverage of the OC, I find its badness so astounding and brazen that I'm inclined to suspect it was malicious- and if it was malicious, then that opens a large can of worms.

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OK,Mark, I have tried to wrap my head around this, and see whether I was over-reacting. But no; and here is what defies simple logic for me. Why do you guys (you & the other one who shall remain nameless) keep on harping about NBC's deficiencies when you seem to be UK-based and do NOT have to suffer the indignities that you claim NBC heaps on the Olympic telecasts? I mean do we (US viewers ) go around viewing other countries' coverages and say: Oh, yuck...the Hungarian coverage was terrible; depressing...or the Sri Lankan telecasts were 2nd-rate, boring... :blink: I mean, why would any sane person put himself thru that?? :wacko:

It looks to me like you are looking/fishing for "malice" where there is NONE. Why would NBC smear their product with "malice" as you say? What would that accomplish? Like oh yeah, they will wait 4 years for their biggest broadcast product so that they can trash-talk it, give it a real 'negative' pall (in your estimation), purposely NOT get Emmy nominations and awards for their work, etc.,etc. Obviously, there is something you don't like about NBC's coverage. Well, guess what? Their coverage is geared for American audiences, tastes, times and ears. It wasn't PROGRAMMED for you. So your comments are illegitimate and DON'T hold water.

Solution: DON'T watch them. U are not locked into them. Simple enough...without all the petty bitching and complaining like some unhappy teenage girls. And why spread your misery around and moralize about what a substandard deal US viewers are getting when as I told you, it doesn't MATTER which telecast an audience gets.

And you know what else? The differences are TRIVIAL and minute. So, they break at different times; they choose a different camera angle or what; they bypass a certain unimportant country. At the end of the day, SO WHAT? If it's good enuf for the Olympic fathers (who have been recipients of NBC's largesse now going on what? 30 years?, then obviously it's good enough for American audiences. It's you say "potey-toe, I say po-tah-toe; you say tomey-to; I say to-mah-toe." It's just a different spin...but at heart, it's ALL THE SAME. ANd your positions are picky, petty and picayune. Perhaps if you ran a national campaign and said: we can deliver a better Olympic coverage and you TOP NBC's billion-dollar bids, and you produce your own shows, then maybe your views can be credible. But for now...in one ear and out the other.

Why do I even bother with these inane discussions. :rolleyes: .

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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@baron-pierreIV: "Like oh yeah, they will wait 4 years for their biggest broadcast product so that they can trash-talk it, give it a real 'negative' pall"

You're confusing the Olympic Games with the OC. Everybody knows the sport will be Olympic sport, no matter where it takes place. But the OC is always a national thing, designed to promote the nation holding the Games; and it also happens before (almost all of) the sport, so whatever impression it gives of NBC will be mitigated by their coverage of the sport in the long run. If they want to trash another nation's OC self-promotion, they can afford to.

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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

Edited by RobH
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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

like a butcher taking a piece of meat from the same cow. if you cut it well, you get a great steak. if not, you get what appears to be beefy cardboard.

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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

So what's your point, Rob? And I am not defending NBC here (I do take them to task in my book re their similar coverage in the past). Just reacting against the unfair suppositions that...OK, we've seen other treatments, we know what's better for everyone else. :blink:How f*cking mug is that attitude? And in the long run, millions of people in the US and around the world couldn't care a whit whether Mr. London is a better commentator than Mr. Dubai or Mr.Nebraska. Things move too quickly and there's so much else to see to wallow in one witty remark of the f*cking Brit!!

[Also, of course, AthensF probably didn't know that NBC's HDTV coverage (or at least the camera angles) for the Athens OC were far different and more breath-taking than the regular broadcast. But see, I DON'T go around trumpeting that here and elevating myself to a "superior platform" to prescribe to others that what they've seen is so substandard and lesser experience than what I had seen. :rolleyes: I don't presume that other people would have access to HDTV sets. ]

It's just this endless kvetching about something other people won't see or really care about that gets my goat. Now, since the Brits here have bragged on and on about how superior their Olympic (ceremony or otherwise) coverage is/was, I expect you to come to my house come February 2014, set up my TV for BBC coverage, provide me with all the cushions and chocolates and slaves, regaling me with the right, witty stories...and indeed provide me with an incomparable experience...otherwise please just SHUT THE F*CK UP!!

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Oh dear: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21192908

Scalping? At An Olympic Games? Is this guy for real? I suspect the "authorised" US ticket resellers/scalpers have lobbied NBC quite strongly, considering the leverage that NBC appear to wield. I know they were mighty pissed off at not getting any serious reselling action - VISA came down very hard on a lot of them.

" "That cast a stain on the event," he said ". Yeah, as it did in Beijing, Athens, Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona, Seoul, Los Angeles, Moscow, Montreal etc etc etc.

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So what's your point, Rob? And I am not defending NBC here (I do take them to task in my book re their similar coverage in the past). Just reacting against the unfair suppositions that...OK, we've seen other treatments, we know what's better for everyone else.

My points about NBC weren't reacting to your posts, just my own thoughts. And I was trying to put a bit more balance into this thread because the last couple of pages are a bit mad. Whilst some of the comments on NBC have been over the top by some of the newer members here (welcome all btw!), NBC didn't show the whole ceremony so deserve criticism. Pretty obvious point I would've thought.

And I'm sorry, but those people who didn't see the whole ceremony, who had the narrative and flow interupted and were then thrown back in cold by their broadcaster, have a little asterisk next to their reviews of the show in my mind. Which is a shame for them because it's not their fault at all, but the fault of a broadcaster who weirdly pays billions for showing a Games and then doesn't show the whole of its Opening Ceremony. :blink: You're right to take them to task for that.

Nothing too contraversial there I hope! :P

Oh dear: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21192908

Scalping? At An Olympic Games? Is this guy for real? I suspect the "authorised" US ticket resellers/scalpers have lobbied NBC quite strongly, considering the leverage that NBC appear to wield. I know they were mighty pissed off at not getting any serious reselling action - VISA came down very hard on a lot of them.

" "That cast a stain on the event," he said ". Yeah, as it did in Beijing, Athens, Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona, Seoul, Los Angeles, Moscow, Montreal etc etc etc.

Bloody idiot.

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like a butcher taking a piece of meat from the same cow. if you cut it well, you get a great steak. if not, you get what appears to be beefy cardboard.

That is a good analogy. But if you have paid for Chateaubriand steak - would you not be annoyed if they served up chuck steak instead ?

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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

Rob, thanks for assuming the best of me. I mean that sincerely. I actually haven't seen the BBC's coverage of London's OC. I only saw some of the BBC's coverage of Athens 2004.

Let me reiterate I'm not in love with NBC, but I don't find them terrible. I did feel their commentary on Athens' OC was sometimes intrusive and irritating, but both Beijing and London seemed to have a better balance. I know the interview was bothersome to many and I can understand that, but truthfully, I don't think NBC obfuscated the true quality of the OC.

There were parts of the ceremony I really liked, but, for me, multiple sections were oddly constructed and underwhelming. I really don't believe this is NBC's doing. London's OC was not horrible, it just left me going "meh." It was a mixed bag.

My goal here is not to put anybody down. Truthfully, my hopes were higher for London because it is the theater capital of the world and because I have enjoyed the best theatrical experiences of my life in London. I was disappointed. I am glad that the rest of the Games were successful.

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For an idea of how to commentate the London Opening better (than either NBC or BBC), try studying veteran Barry Davies' commentary on the OBS YouTube version. He gives the impression of having sat through the rehearsals with a stopwatch, working out exactly what needed explaining, and exactly where the explanations could be fitted- to within a fraction of a second. This sometimes makes him sound hesitant, when he stretches his explanations to fill the available time as precisely as possible (a classic DJ technique, incidentally), but his basic approach is still preferable to talking at random intervals just because you feel you've been paid to talk.

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