Thursday, March 16, 2006

Commonwealth Games gripes

Quel dogs dinner was the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony! It was one of those overproduced messes that looked as if it had been designed by committee. There was an overdose of "cute" and a desperate sense of plagiarism. Sydney Olympics had a little girl being awakened to wild imaginings...we can be different and do it with a boy. Gee. And a duck. I didn't mind the flying tram which others seem to find cringe-making. The old tram is undisputed as the Melbourne hallmark. But the flying dancers and boats and swings and visual fruit salad of bits and pieces was plain bad television and one can only hope it looked a bit more co-ordinated and thematically coherent from the grandstands. $50 million was spent on the Games opening extravanganza. No comment, methinks. Only the general conclusion that perhaps it is time to scale down these absurd provincial back-patting rituals and think of some other way to celebrate openings of large sports events. The ideas have run dry. They are trying too hard. The Melbourne event had an air of desperation to it. It was embarrassing. Time to let go.

As for the Australian athletes. They made one cringe, too. Seventy international teams came out with some degree of dignity. The Aussies walk into the arena and starting screaming the idiot excitement "whoop whoop" and lunging at the television cameras to stick their tongues out and shout at their mothers. Unruly, stupid, undisciplined children. I felt ashamed.

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