In April, I wrote — Extinguishing the 2008 Olympic Beijing Flame — and I wondered then about the passion and the fruitfulness of the Olympics in Red China.
After watching the opening ceremonies on Friday night, I cannot think of a more effective spectacle explaining how True Art meets politics to conflate the nobleness of the human body into one giant, shared, sigh of relief.
The amazements were many on Friday night. Performers were instructed to “smile” by their home country because they otherwise looked too threatening and militaristic during their welcoming performances.
The mechanical boxes that lifted and fell to create designs and semiotics like — “Harmony” as seen below — were mechanical only in that they were people-powered and not juiced-up machines. The Mechanical Boxes Were People! PEEE-PULLL!
Getting a brief history of Tai Chi was also engrossing, though the white-encompassed energy controllers obviously didn’t get the memo on smiling. Sure, they find calmness in Tai Chi, but they can also rip your head off if you look at them the wrong way.
The 2,008-strong “box drummers” stole the night with their pasted on smiles and choreographed energy.
If you ever wondered if China still had the capacity to march in unison and take over the world — wonder no more — for the drummers made it clear they can smash us at will and do it with such grace, and an expert aesthetic, that we will beg them for our beatings.
I was disappointed the women in the pageantry of the evening — encompassing the “three stages of Chinese history” — were purely ornamental. Their job was to stand there, or fly around with lights in their eyes, and look pretty.
The women didn’t get to bang a drum or look evil into our eye while controlling their Chi — they were just totems that were too delicate to be interesting and too stereotypical to be inspiring.
The end of the ceremonies started with a “run in the air” around the rim of the bird’s nest stadium and it ended in a flash of fire as the Olympic torch was set aflame.
ceremonies was money well-spent and you knew London — home of the 2012
Summer Olympiad — was busy begging to quintuple their measly $12
million budget for their opening ceremonies.
Politics ain’t beanbag
— but Olympic Politics are a memeingful spectacle celebrating the human spirit
that must never be conditional or lesser than what came before.