I got up early this morning before work to watch the Olympics Closing Ceremony. I have to say, having seen the lineup, I didn’t exactly have high hopes, but after the delight that was Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony I thought that they might just pull it out of the bag once again.
It didn’t quite turn out like that.
There was something rather poetic, though, about the shabbiness of the way things drew to a close. It had seemed, from this distance at least, that throughout the games, from the moment that Opening Ceremony began right up until 5 minutes to 9 on the Sunday evening, Londoners–heck maybe even the whole of the UK–had shrugged off the default British cynic mode and embraced the wonder of it all. No more was there talk of security lapses, of G4S, of LOCOG and the brand police. Now we just focused on all those great performances. On those Six Super Saturday Gold Medals. Mo. Jessica. Bradley…
Now suddenly it was all coming to a close and as it did so it seemed as if the organisers were saying to Brits everywhere: it’s ok. Things will be back to normal tomorrow. Here is something you can be sarcastic about again.
It was what we had all feared the opening ceremony might have been. Essentially those embarrassing twenty minutes from Beijing with David Beckham and the London bus, only padded out to three hours. Not so much a Symphony of British Music as just whoever happened to be available and said yes, with some shocking sound production to boot.
Where the Opening Ceremony was a socialist indie kid fantasy with a subversive hint and a sense of humour, this was a return to a world of MOR mediocrity and the cult of vacuous celebrity (I mean, come on, Kate Moss and Russell Brand? These are your role models to #inspireageneration?)
The Opening Ceremony had the suffragettes.
The Closing Ceremony had the Spice Girls.
That is about about all you need to know.