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Don't you get it? The reason why none of the stadium audience demanded their money back was because, judging from published accounts, they had, almost without exception, one of the best nights of their lives!

What makes you think I missed it? Of course, when you pay $3000 and under...and pretty much of the same nationality as the host nation, you would be predisposed to have a good time. After all, u paid that much money. But that doesn't make it above an objective judgment of one who is NOT of the nation hosting it, and makes a judgment based on the cumulative experience of seeing all Ceremonies before it, and seeing how this one (and each one) stands in the context of its time...and against the overall development of the genre.

P.S. I am ALWAYS right..not just partly right. ;) U are quite pedantic, responding to every comment on the show, whether good, bad or neutral, as if every comment needed a response. :rolleyes:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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In the end, Baron, EVERY judgment is subjective. There does not exist a purely objective judgment, even not in jurisdiction. Ask 10 people from all walks of life about London's opening ceremony and you could get 10 different opinions. I think that's what we forget time and again on this board. And that's actually what makes such a board so interesting: We will never have a uniform opinion on ceremonies and all the other things involving the Olympics or other topics. Otherwise, Rob could as well close this board.

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Of course mistakes happen. That is not what I'm talking about. An isolated problem (such as Bjork not being elevated or Sydney's or Vancouver's cauldron trouble) does not create an overall impression for an OC. It was London's big picture I found disappointing -- not a small flub here or there.

The overall impression of most of London's OC was a bit helter-skelter. I have no personal concerns over who removed which piece of turf or who used which exit. I am disappointed by the general sloppiness that dogged the show and I think those two particular moments as highlighted in the video offer some insight into what happened throughout.

For those who loved London's OC, good for you. Sincerely. I hope you continue to enjoy it for years to come. I'm simply offering my analysis and opinion.

Incidentally, most people, including myself, had no idea Bjork was supposed to rise in Athens. Sure it would've been more dramatic if she had risen, but it didn't feel like something was "wrong" in the moment. The rest of Athens OC was seamlessly timed and exquisitely staged. I was shocked at how smooth and clean every transition was. The striking of the "Green and Pleasant" set during "Pandemonium" was the antithesis of that for me.

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In the end, Baron, EVERY judgment is subjective. There does not exist a purely objective judgment, even not in jurisdiction. Ask 10 people from all walks of life about London's opening ceremony and you could get 10 different opinions. I think that's what we forget time and again on this board. And that's actually what makes such a board so interesting: We will never have a uniform opinion on ceremonies and all the other things involving the Olympics or other topics. Otherwise, Rob could as well close this board.

Don't you think I know that? Really, I find this post of yours a little unnecessary and a little insulting.

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Of course mistakes happen. That is not what I'm talking about. An isolated problem (such as Bjork not being elevated or Sydney's or Vancouver's cauldron trouble) does not create an overall impression for an OC. It was London's big picture I found disappointing -- not a small flub here or there.

I vividly remember watching the lighting of the cauldron at Sydney 2000 live and not even noticing that anything was wrong. It just felt like a long-winded "moment", that we were supposed to stop and reflect upon. As an Australian too, I don't think anybody in the country that night minded the 2 minute pause... not a bad moment in history to have held onto for a bit longer. It was not until a few days later that it surfaced that there had been a machinery malfunction that delayed the cauldron rising.

I thought Vancouvers malfunction was far, far worse. One of the more awkward moments in Olympic history, I think.

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@Athensfan: " there were far more than two people on headset giving instruction."

No, I told you just a couple of days ago that there were only five radio channels on that system, and it turns out one of those was kept in reserve anyway (and if you think they could have had numerous different controllers sharing channels, try to imagine what would happen if two or more controllers needed to give urgent commands at the same moment).

Lighting & Sound International, Aug-Sep 2012, special supplement "Isles of Wonder"

( http://www.theatrecrafts.com/files/LSI_Isles_of_Wonder.pdf ), page 78 column 3.
"... the ‘Mass Cast’ system - a large, five-channel FM-based IEM system for the massed performers - some 14,500 users in total. Four channels are used for cast, stage managers and choreographers; the fifth channel is a spare."


@Athensfan: "You were the one who said the haphazard approach was intentional"

No, I was the one who said it was meant to appear chaotic. "Haphazard" is a fair, if slightly biased, synonym for "chaotic" (and you missed the "appear" bit), but "sloppy" is not a proper synonym for "chaotic" except in very specific circumstances which did not apply in this case.


@baron-pierreIV: "Of course, when you pay $3000 and under... and pretty much of the same nationality as the host nation, you would be predisposed to have a good time."

That doesn't explain why most international journalists who saw the event live also had a good time, It's most noticeable for America, where many positive newspaper reviews were followed by large numbers of negative comments from readers back home.



@baron-pierreIV: "U are quite pedantic, responding to every comment on the show, whether good, bad or neutral, as if every comment needed a response."

Don't forget that what I am trying to do is learn about the London Opening, both the good aspects and the bad (such as the mess with announcing the names of the final torchbearers, which turned out, on close examination, to be even more complicated than I reported to you the other week: details now incorporated in "By Strange Conveyance"). Exploring the truth behind people's comments on this forum helps me to do that (for example I wouldn't have thought about the spare radio channel if I hadn't been trying to get the truth about those calm instructing voices into Athensfan's skull- if you read that LSI supplement you'll find there was, very properly, a great deal of back-up capacity in key systems).


@Athensfan: "The rest of Athens OC was seamlessly timed and exquisitely staged"

Yes, and I remember it, apart from the lake, as "the Summer OC between Sydney and Beijing".

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@JMarkSnow2012
"No, I was the one who said it was meant to appear chaotic"
I think what AF is trying to say is that - in the end - the whole spectacle looked sloppy and not INTENTIONALLY chaotic.

"That doesn't explain why most international journalists who saw the event live also had a good time,"

Every OC has got positive, or neutral at worst, reviews. It's a politically correct attitude...


"Yes, and I remember it, apart from the lake, as "the Summer OC between Sydney and Beijing"."
Comments like this won't help your argument...




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The sloppy London ceremony was clearly not in the same league as the magnificent spectacle of Beijing and the sublime elegance of Athens. Anyone (constantly) arguing differently is fooling themselves but no one else.

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The sloppy London ceremony was clearly not in the same league as the magnificent spectacle of Beijing and the sublime elegance of Athens. Anyone (constantly) arguing differently is fooling themselves but no one else.

is you want sloppy, sydney 2000 is you best bet. i love that OC but it the pacing was wrong right at the end of the program. it is obvious that some posters are more comfortable with the glitzy dance to the same beat kind of OC than what london did. which is ok. but, looking back at previous OCs. i think london might be the new template for other OC to come. by that i mean elements of it. like the pixels, a good integration of filmed footage, pre-show sets, a nice balance of local pop culture references, etc.

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is you want sloppy, sydney 2000 is you best bet. i love that OC but it the pacing was wrong right at the end of the program. it is obvious that some posters are more comfortable with the glitzy dance to the same beat kind of OC than what london did. which is ok. but, looking back at previous OCs. i think london might be the new template for other OC to come. by that i mean elements of it. like the pixels, a good integration of filmed footage, pre-show sets, a nice balance of local pop culture references, etc.

I wouldn't call Sydney OC sloppy. I'm not a fan of Sydney's concept but i think that, overall, it was a well-executed spectacle...

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@baron-pierreIV: "Of course, when you pay $3000 and under... and pretty much of the same nationality as the host nation, you would be predisposed to have a good time."

That doesn't explain why most international journalists who saw the event live also had a good time, It's most noticeable for America, where many positive newspaper reviews were followed by large numbers of negative comments from readers back home.

:blink: Your point? :blink:

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@paul: "The sloppy London ceremony was clearly not in the same league as the magnificent spectacle of Beijing and the sublime elegance of Athens."

While both those comparisons are, in my opinion, accurate, that's rather the point. One blogger, just after the London Opening, compared it to Star Trek's "Kobayashi Maru" scenario- the only way to avoid disaster was to change the rules. The London team did that, with partial success. One of the things which interests me is why many people around the world (not just in the UK) absolutely loved the London Opening, while many other people around the world thoroughly hated it.
I happen to believe that Rio, in particular, is well-placed (thanks to the samba/carnival tradition) to use London innovations to beat Beijing. In case you're wondering, I just cannot guess what will happen at Sochi; although it looks as if the Russians are giving it summer-scale resources, they are going to have to go to extraordinary lengths to avoid producing Athens-on-ice.


@LOUIS: "I think what AF is trying to say is that - in the end - the whole spectacle looked sloppy and not INTENTIONALLY chaotic."

The problem is that he's been going beyond that, setting up straw-man justifications for his judgement. He seems convinced that the performance was so seriously under-rehearsed as to be genuinely out of control, whereas that video with the radio instructions tends to show the opposite; that the performance of "Pandemonium" was well-enough rehearsed by the thousands of volunteers for their radio guides to have very little to do, except count down to major transitions, request help with moving some (newly rain-soaked) turf, and tick the performers off for taking a short-cut at the end. Oh, and talk them sweetly through their curtain-call, of course.


@LOUIS: "Every OC has got positive, or neutral at worst, reviews. It's a politically correct attitude..."

True, but, although I specifically mentioned reviews in the American context, it was also apparent in liveblogs/ Twitter feeds. Those reporters seemed genuinely to be having a ball (though some of them were wondering if there was something in the Kool-Aid).


@JMarkSnow2012: "Yes, and I remember it, apart from the lake, as "the Summer OC between Sydney and Beijing"."
@LOUIS: "Comments like this won't help your argument..."

But they might help my research ...

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Mark, you're approaching this way too personally. You seem to be trying to exact some sort of retribution by describing Athens as forgettable. You can hold any view you like. If you disliked Athens' OC, so be it.

When I explain why I found London disappointing you act as though I'm attacking you. Then you nitpick meaningless details and subdivide even the tiniest fragments of minutiae to make some sort of case that I find quite unaffecting.

All I can say is that it's not worth it. I'm glad you're proud of London. Enjoy your memories and don't bother about what anyone else thinks. I, for one, enjoyed the recent video and found it very enlightening. That's enough of this topic for me.

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Don't you think I know that? Really, I find this post of yours a little unnecessary and a little insulting.

Gosh... Hyper-sensitive again today, are we? I was referring to this sentence of yours: "But that doesn't make it above an objective judgment of one who is NOT of the nation hosting it, and makes a judgment based on the cumulative experience of seeing all Ceremonies before it, and seeing how this one (and each one) stands in the context of its time...and against the overall development of the genre."

You yourself used the term "objective judgment", so I thought I should point out again that there actually can be no such thing as an objective judgment and also that the "cumulative experience of seeing all ceremonies before it" doesn't make a judgment of that person any better or more valid than the judgment of someone who watches his very first opening ceremony.

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Gosh... Hyper-sensitive again today, are we? I was referring to this sentence of yours: "But that doesn't make it above an objective judgment of one who is NOT of the nation hosting it, and makes a judgment based on the cumulative experience of seeing all Ceremonies before it, and seeing how this one (and each one) stands in the context of its time...and against the overall development of the genre."

You yourself used the term "objective judgment", so I thought I should point out again that there actually can be no such thing as an objective judgment and also that the "cumulative experience of seeing all ceremonies before it" doesn't make a judgment of that person any better or more valid than the judgment of someone who watches his very first opening ceremony.

I really haven't said much about the video you posted because I haven't really watched all of it yet. But I get replies like "You don't get it" and "Does it not explain what..." and the little sermon from you. I mean OTHER people, f*cking journalists included (who DON"T pay for their tcikets anyway), are entitled to their opinion and are NOT second-guessed...yet I really haven't said anything much re the last video & Ceremonies, and here you guys are...pushing like everyone else is entitled to an opinion...but NOT me. Well, excuse me for living...but I am soooooooooo SICK OF IT!!

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I really haven't said much about the video you posted because I haven't really watched all of it yet. But I get replies like "You don't get it" and "Does it not explain what..." and the little sermon from you. I mean OTHER people, f*cking journalists included (who DON"T pay for their tcikets anyway), are entitled to their opinion and are NOT second-guessed...yet I really haven't said anything much re the last video & Ceremonies, and here you guys are...pushing like everyone else is entitled to an opinion...but NOT me. Well, excuse me for living...but I am soooooooooo SICK OF IT!!

What the hell are you talking about? No one denied you your opinion, I only stated why I wanted to point out that there's no such thing like objective judgment. And you confirmed that in the end. So I really don't understand what your tantrum is all about.

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The sloppy London ceremony was clearly not in the same league as the magnificent spectacle of Beijing and the sublime elegance of Athens. Anyone (constantly) arguing differently is fooling themselves but no one else.

Or...you could, ya know, sad off and accept people have different opinions from you? That's personally what I'd suggest.

I think the fact you need to justify your own opinion in this manner suggests you have no confidence in it. And it's funny, it's only those who didn't like aspects of the ceremony who are coming out with this kind of nonsense. And 8 months out too....how sad.

I visit this thread very rarely these days, because it seems to do nothing but sap the memories I have of the ceremony itself with really petty posts by some people.

I don't mind people having different opinions, but if that's going to be the attitude Paul, why not give the Games to the Chinese Communist Party every four years and be done with it?

Edited by RobH
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I visit this thread very rarely these days, because it seems to do nothing but sap the memories I have of the ceremony itself with really petty posts by some people.

You don't do this thread and the people discussing in it justice with such a generalised statement. This thread doesn't consist only of petty posts, also not 8 months out. I for example simply posted a video with the audio feed of some of the opening ceremony's stage managers just a few days ago (see previous pages).

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Could you just mellow out a bit? You guys are overly sensitive, not sure why….or maybe I have an idea.

I never said anyone shouldn’t love the London show, I did say it was super-sloppy and doesn’t hold a candle (let alone a cauldron) to other recent hosts. Additionally anything I have ever said here about the London show doesn’t even scratch the surface of how bad I really think it was. Believe it or not I’ve resisted expressing my true feelings about many aspects of 2012 knowing my opinions would be attacked in a hot pink second by some Londoner who probably proclaimed “Best Games Ever” at some point!

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@paul: "I’ve resisted expressing my true feelings about many aspects of 2012 knowing my opinions would be attacked in a hot pink second ..."

That's a shame. Anybody's opinions, expressed as opinions rather than attacks, are as valid as anybody else's, unless, of course, they are based on demonstrable misconceptions (such as the popular "The Olympic Cauldron is supposed to be lit by a famous Olympian from the host nation").

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...misconceptions (such as the popular "The Olympic Cauldron is supposed to be lit by a famous Olympian from the host nation").

It has been the tradition...but London, in 2 successive Olympics, has failed to get that right. Who was John Marks of 1948? Nothing but a pretty face. Who are those unknown 2012 seven lighters? Who are they? Failing to use better known names doesn't make it a magic moment. To use a pun, it just fails to spark...if you use people that causes one to remark: who dey?? :blink:

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Uh oh, me again.

I really don't see a big tradition in famous Olympian's lighting the flame at the Summer Games, if this list is accurate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_lit_the_Olympic_Cauldron

Looks like London was following the tradition laid down by Berlin 36, London 48, Rome 60, Tokyo 64, Mexico 68, Munich 72, Montreal 76 and Seoul 88.

So that's 9 of the 18 Summer Games since & incl Berlin (the 1st to have a Torch relay & Olympic Flame of course).

I'd add that I'd never heard of Li Ning (Beijing), Nikolaos Kaklamanakis (Athens), Antiono Rebollo (Barcelona) at the time.

No doubt Li and Kaklamanakis were very big names in China & Greece respectively. I doubt Rebollo was in Spain. Rafer Johnson (LA), Sergey Belov (Moscow) again probably very well known in the US (I have some doubts abourt Rafer to be honest) & Soviet Union at the time but outside of that.

But famous Olympians outside their countries? Nah.

If anything, only Ali and Freeman really stand out as recognisable figures outside their own countries and they have distorted the perception somewhat of what type of person lights the Flame these days. Yes, inevitably Ali & Freeman stand out as "celebrity" lighters and very memorably so.

What did London was actually fairly traditional as these things go. If anything the star of the show was Heatherwick's design - creating that beautiful moment. THAT was memorable.

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