Well, I really don’t want to be a killjoy, but there was me watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and in comes the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is, we are informed by the commentator, “a big exporter of diamonds and coffee”, and the cognitive processes took over …….. and so on to the German team and some old German official up in the crowd giving what suspiciously looked like the type of salute his grandpa might have given at the Berlin games all of 76 years ago. Made me think that not a lot has changed, back then the Italians were plundering Abyssinia, our land of hope and gory, good old Blighty, was pillaging here there and everywhere, the Japanese were getting ready to rape Nanjing, while the Condor legion were about to give Picasso the inspiration for probably his greatest painting.
However, enough of the negativity and wasn’t it nice to see Camilla and Charles having a right old giggle, William literally whispering sweet nothings in Kate’s ear and granny Liz grimacing while hubby Phillip looked as if he didn’t quite know where he was? Still, credit where credit is due and our two feel good commentators didn’t forget the serious side of things. We had their big round of applause for the eight members of the Iraqi team who were from “a country that was emerging from a horrific decade.” Of course, we cannot expect any mention of the fact that “we”, the British, helped ensure that it was to be a “horrific decade.” No, that would spoil the feel good factor and so back to the show and what a show it was.
We had the Italian team “dressed in giorgio armani” and, as the team from Myanmar entered the stadium a particularly useful piece of information that “Au San Suu Kyi was recently seen on her European tour earning rave revues”. Yes, indeed, and as if to prove that our two BBC commentators are no political ignoramuses they told us that “Saudi Arabia is a bit of an enigma”, that experts say “Somalia is finally on the road to recovery” and that the lady carrying the Turkish flag is known as the “iron lady” and that “we know how formidable they can be.” Yes, ” formidable”, indeed, and wasn’t the British “iron lady” that odious person who destroyed the country’s manufacturing base and opened it up to that disaster capitalism that has us all on the road to, if not, nowhere, at least to a disaster not too dissimilar from the one that was visited upon us between 1939 and 1945. After all, we have already had our own Nanjing in Iraq, and the Guernicas really are an ongoing theme.
….. and so, back to the ceremony, Liz Windsor opened the games, and Ban Ki Moon, yes the same guy who was standing beside “Oor Wullie” yesterday, participated in carrying the Olympic flag, the flame was lit in a novel but spectacular manner, and it was all rounded off with an old man who looked a wee bit like that guy who used to play a guitar and sing in a band called the ‘Beatles’ singing a rather pathetic version of “Hey Jude” and …. well that was it. In the meantime, back in the real world, Hillary Clinton reaffirms her backing of the military in Egypt, the battle for Aleppo has begun in Syria, and …. just in case you didn’t know it a few hundred or so have died in that “big exporter of diamonds and coffee”, but that is hardly interesting, after all during the last ten years literally millions have died there and just as our German “Joe Soap”, “Herr Otto Normalverbraucher”, had his “panem et circensus” to keep him happy all those years ago; the “head and the sand” great Brits have their own little spectacle to stop them getting cognitively and emotionally involved in the real, real world.