McThoughts, by John McPhee
What do Sir Elton John, Elvis Costello, and Rod Stewart have in common?
All three were snubbed during the opening ceremonies of London’s Olympic Games. The opening show included a brief history of British music and musicians – including some non-famous rappers and even a clip of the very loud and very punk band The Sex Pistols.
The show was produced and directed by Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire fame, but I guess he isn’t up on some of Britain’s bigger musical stars. Also not given any mention or time were The Spice Girls, Coldplay, Duran Duran, Sting (The Police), Phil Collins (Genesis), Culture Club, and even Pink Floyd. That’s quite the list of stars to snub.
Apart from the lighting of the Olympic flame and the forming of the rings, I found the opening ceremony pretty confusing and unwieldy.
But these games aren’t starting off in great style for London. Apparently organizers had to turn off the flame – which is supposed to burn 24-7 while the games are on – because they had to move the cauldron to another location.
Then there’s the matter of all those empty seats! Despite supposedly being sold out, many events show row upon row of empty seats. So embarrassing and upsetting (to British organizers and fans) is this controversy that one organizer is strongly recommending a “30-minute” rule whereby a “volunteer” will be used to fill any seat left empty after 30 minutes have elapsed.
They’re even bringing in the army to occupy the empty seats.
The British media were pretty rough on Canada and organizers when Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics. Apparently they don’t like the criticism that’s being aimed at them this time around. I guess they’re not amused.