Saturday, 28 July 2012

Political Nomad in the land of Illusion

Where are we now? One day after a ceremony many worried would be a shambolic embarrassment? Looking at the fall out we can be certain of the emotions we now attach to the games...or can we be?

Going into this Olympic Ceremony I knew Danny Boyle was a director of true brilliance. I knew he had £27,000,000 or so to spend. I knew he was looking at a more personal, toned down celebration than the one that met us in Beijing. After those facts I knew nothing and so I entered the whole ceremony with hope but felt that there was no way it was going to make those big spending Chinese and their thousands of drummers sweat...I was of course dead wrong.

Looking at the stadium covered in grass, people catching apples and being 'simple country folk' I felt the fear, but then came Kenneth Branagh, dressed as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, reciting things changed. The Industrial revolution came and transformed our land and in fact the world and the ceremony itself and I was in awe.

I loved it. I loved the whole thing (perhaps not as keen on the Atkinson bit but fuck it right?) and tweeted the whole way through, but then the penny dropped. Some people were here to make a point. No, not Boyle, but tweeters themselves.

As I watched the whole thing became a 'protest against the state', each song analysed for its left wing sensibilities and I felt the horror. The pure, cynical, filthy horror of politics invading a truly masterful piece of art, performance and direction. If someone farted it was in honour of the labour party, if a song was great it was because it was against the 'Tory killing machine', if there was emotion it was raw and working class and from the people, a cry of defiance in the face of a tyrannical lunatic educated at Eton with the express purpose of fucking the country.

Utter bollocks.

As my new stance emerges I look to all the parties and see the corruption, filth and lies that they wallow in. I am a Nomad, moving from party to party as the political wind pushes me. I look not for the party that will do the most good, no, those days are gone, now I look for the ones that are going to do the least damage. This gives me the ability to look beyond Red, Blue or indeed Yellow and Green and see the bad in all. What the hell has that got to do with the amazing opening ceremony? Come closer, for I will key you in son. Ready?

You see what you want to. You interpret what you see. You decide whether what you saw was and is good. You write your own script.

Danny Boyle brought us a story of wonder; the evolution of a country and its people from what we were then to what we are now. He gave us a spectacle that highlighted many moments of change in this countries great history from the Industrial Revolution forward and guess what? Change comes from radical thinking, conviction that drives individuals to inspire whole populations and the inevitable conflict that comes from that new idea coming into contact with the old structured establishment.

Many of those moments came from revolutionaries that were almost certainly Labour orientated in spirit. Some came from technology and the pursuit of money and efficiency and were probably Conservative in drive and some came from injustice confronted and I would stick that happily at the doors of the Liberals. We all worked to bring these changes; establishments need to be able to bow to pressure, the right type of pressure must be exerted by the revolutionary and the population must accept the new status quo.

Look at the ceremony, see the history we created! The music, the innovation, the rights won and the battles that shaped our land. This was a celebration of our struggle up until this point. The N.H.S moment wasn't there to shame Cameron, it was there to show the world we have something amazing and unique and it can be beautiful.

Now the N.H.S is an awesome achievement but guess what? Its not perfect. Anyone that even suggests this is lambasted and called a 'Tory Facist', but that is in essence a feeble defence for such a great institution. Defend the front line staff, defend the success and dedication that largely goes unsung, defend the stressed out nurses who have to cope in the toughest situations, but be aware of the idiocy. I worked for a good while for a hospital renovation building contractor and the amount of money wasted, not by the builders but by the administrators, is nothing short of disgusting.

I was once walked into a I.T dump for the local N.H.S and this very large building was full of old computers, new computers and printers that were simply out of ink and some dickhead decided to just buy another one because they couldn't change the cartridge. It's this crap that needs to change and it needs to change now. The waste. Waste that is systemic in some of the upper management circles.

The N.H.S was shown to the world as a symbol of how great it CAN be and that's what came across; hard working nurses caring for the vulnerable. It made me feel very proud...but you could look at it as a segment showing something we are about to lose! Shame on you Tory scum!!!

No. Sorry. It was a celebration as was all of this great ceremony from the wonder of a massive Voldermort to the spectacle of a 'Nursery' Of Mary Poppinsies (so wrong but I have to call them that) floating down to save the kids. From a montage of kisses on film with one just happening to be between two women (oh my god! A protest against homophobic Tory bastards right?!)to the Sex Pistols (Oh my god! An attack on the Monarchy and the establishment filth right?).

It was a celebration of our music and we do it so well that every word, phrase or cord can cut a bastard down! To skip the important musical moments would be stupid, to skip the N.H.S would be stupid, to skip the C.N.D, the second summer of love, the Sex Pistols, any musician that's been done for drugs, Lesbian's kissing, the suffragettes, Pink Floyd, Steve Redgrave, Doctor fucking Who or GOD DAMN IT THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE INTERNET!! To ignore any of these would be gutless and stupid. Danny Boyle is neither of these things.

When the house was lifted and the man that gave us all the very thing we now communicate on was revealed it did not symbolise the greater establishment stealing his house from around him and leaving him destitute! No! It showed a man, a great man, in his house, at his computer, but open to the whole world. He is the man that represents our ability to go anywhere with the touch of a button, read anything, on any subject, to better ourselves or just to make us laugh! He represents a form of modern freedom that we should cherish for what it is. A wonder of the modern world.

Parachutes and super spies, queens willing to partake in the festivities and actors and music gods wanting to be a part of something far bigger than they are. That's right, the Queen is a part of this country but the country is far bigger than just her.

We could be heroes played as the GB Team walked in and its true, they could be! But if you are looking for heroes on that night the final piece of the ceremony showed them to be just that. Seven young athlete's were nominated by seven legends to light the torch. The torch was made up of over 200 metal petals that when ignited were lifted up to form a full flame. The spectacle, the wonder, the emotion and the intention were perfect.

Danny Boyle delivered something truly special that has been cynically twisted to fit a misguided political movement in the worst possible way. Some would say that music is politics, art is politics, love is politics and ultimately life is politics.

I'd just tell them to fuck off.

A political nomad can cut through the filth and see the idiocy of all parties, love none, be blinded by no liar with a crocodile smile and vote without prejudice...but on this night my status allowed me to enjoy an Olympic Opening Ceremony without cynicism and agenda.

I loved it because it did something that I haven't seen in a long time. It was designed, built, acted and directed with one goal; to show people that through all the struggle, fights, sociological leaps and terrible loses endured we are truly a nation that has a lot to be proud of.

The real miracle was that Boyle went out to remind us and the rest of the world how remarkable the British people are, and ultimately, he succeeded.


  1. I have to agree, I also thought it was going to be a bit shit (for want of a better word)

    But it wasn't, as you (and others I've spoken to) have said it was great, and truly showed what a great country this is, the things we've done and achieved and some of the truly great people this country has produced (Brunel is a bit of a hero of mine, bloke was a genius)

    Again as you say it was a celebration of some of the things we do so well, music being an example, The Jam, Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd and the rest.

    I tip my hat to Danny Boyle, he did a fantastic job, however I can't say I blame people for hijacking what was a grand spectacle of everything that makes Britain great for political reasons, and this I feel is a sign of the times.

    Politics is a mine field, and I for one can't help but feel let down by our government, I don't see any one party (labour,Tory etc) that would be good for this country and it's people, they are all untrustworthy, they lie and cheat and then have the barefaced cheek to turn that around on us (cash in hand is morally wrong, tax evasion is bad, unless it's us doing it)

    So when people started to look for meanings about the songs used in the opening ceremony and the visual messages I can't say I didn't also, the thing is it was a celebration of what's great about Britain, and people realised that even more after watching the ceremony, then they looked at our leaders and I'm guessing they all thought you bunch of twats, look at we we've all built and look at what you are trying to pull down around our ears.

    Hopefully there will be a shift in thinking when it comes to the next elections, but I fear not, see while there are many things that are great about this country, there's also a lot wrong with it, corruption in politics being one, the system we have doesn't work, as you pointed out the NHS has a history of systemic wastage by the people that are supposed to be running it, it's not the fault of the nurses and doctors.

    Today I was reading an article about the building trade, and how workers get blacklisted for speaking out about health and safety issues, if they open their mouths about unsafe conditions suddenly they can't get employed anymore, apparently there are many hundreds of people who can't get work because the companies want to know they won't get in the way of any profits they are trying to make, more corruption.

    I could go on, but I won't, we as a nation do have a lot to be proud of, and if we want to keep hold of that pride in our country then we need to speak out against the politicians and company bosses who just see as as numbers and stand up for ourselves.

  2. Yeah, having worked and currently working in construction again I can confirm that you either put your head down and 'get on with it' or they find someone who will. A sad state of affairs. Many complain about the constraints and idiocy of Health and Safety but in some cases its completely needed and would not have to be law if some employers didn't expect their workers to risk life and limb to hit an unimportant deadline.

    I agree with what you've said, am very impressed with the comprehensive comment and I say thank you sir for making it.

    I feel change is the only thing that can help now but can't see it coming. Apathy seems to be the modern condition.