A Review of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games (Using Twitter)

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In today’s society, one no longer finds out about current events in an un-biased BBC News fashion, they accidentally stumble upon them in a highly opinionated form on the likes of facebook or twitter. No longer does one simply read ‘England lose against France’ and continue with their existence, forming their own opinion, they instead have the news delivered to them in the form of ‘da fuk Rooney, u hairless twat, u r an embarrassment to England’.

Seeing that a central theme of the Danny Boyle-orchestrated Opening Ceremony was social media and communication in the digital age (there were phones and that), I naturally felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to let the British Public (on twitter) review the games themselves. The following is lifted directly from various tweets, if my tone seems condescending, then it is. Enjoy –

– It’s about to start and tensions are high; will it be a ‘massive achievment or a great disaster’? People actively boast about their dedication to Britain, some watching with ‘fish and chips’ and some ‘on the big screen’ with their equally patriotic friends and family.

– The ceremony begins. Its fucking terrible, forget any hopes you had, the stage is appparantly filled with ‘hobbits from Lord of the Rings’ while the words ‘embarassing’ and ‘twat’ are thrown around willy-nilly. There seems to be a general confusion at the nature of what is occurring, suggested by the cries of ‘dafuq am I watching’ and ‘fucking waste of money, should never have happened’. Boyle’s lack of clear narrative arc has lead to something with the apparent appeal of a rotting corpse. Several cynical comments regarding Margaret Thatcher and the miners provide the icing on top of this awful, stale and disgusting cake.

– But hold that thought, its actually amazing! A quote from The Tempest causes one viewer to regard it as ‘absolutely cracking’, whilst another claims that ‘Danny Boyle is a genius.’ I don’t know who to believe, opinions are so divided I begin to wonder if some people are accidentally watching Big Brother and getting confused.

– The Queen and James Bond appear, the level of excitement at their appearance can only lead me to the assumption they literally got off onscreen. ‘The queen saying good evening Mr. Bond made my life’ and ‘the best thing the Queen has ever done’ lead me to suggest that both parties performed well and enjoyed such acts. Everyone is now happy.

– No sorry that’s wrong, apparently its actually fucking awful. So it turns out that all along they have been saying things in French before English. No one can believe this, its scandalous. As one viewer states ‘France can fucking do one and take their shit language with them. Didn’t realise the games where being held in Paris’ elaborating that they can ‘suck his balls’. In their foolish attempt to cater to more than one language, whoever organised this debacle has clearly disgraced England.

– Lack of general opinion, people are generally confused, there’s nurses and kids and J.K Rowling appears, once again the roller-coster ride of emotion people are producing is not logical, we have gone from happiness to hate to confusion in minutes.

– Mr Bean appears and saves everything, the ceremony is once again the best thing ever by anyone. However, the general agreements of ‘I love Rowan Atkinson’ and ‘Mr Bean always gets me’ are juxtaposed with the occasional cynic, for example ‘Random and embarrassing waste of money!’ Said critics next status ‘Shall I dye my hair?’ suggests that she is clearly busy putting together a list of more useful ways for England to spend their money.

– Lots of music-based stuff, people seem generally happy, despite several comments mocking the brevity of the songs. The inventor of the Internet appears, a positive response is generated from certain people (nerds). I don’t understand how the same people who were so divided are now united.

– Everyone seems to have forgotten they were angry, everyone is ‘proud to be British’ and anyone who isn’t is automatically a terrorist who needs to ‘sort themselves out or get slapped’.

– Oh no they’ve lost it again. All the countries are coming in. Several racist comments regarding the order of the countries are immediately dismissed by retorts of ‘its in alphabetical order’. One person describes it as ‘purgatory’, while one chap receives a wave of respect for his suggestion that we should drink for every country we haven’t heard of. During the German release, a man is spotted doing the nazi salute, which stirs up a bit of controversy. Many hint towards the brilliant idea of a government conspiracy in which ’95 percent of the countries have been made up’.

– Great Britain storm in, everyone forgets the conspiracy and how angry they were seconds ago and celebrate the ceremony and Britain again.

– Arctic Monkeys appear, people seem happy, several suggestions for other bands, including Adele.

– People are angry at the presence of Shami Chakrabath. This is ridiculous and ‘she’s terrible and no way in the league of the others carrying it.’ It’s shit again.

– As the dust settles people muse. Seemingly confused by their own twists in opinion, there is a divide between the people who’s views reflect one persons view that the whole thing was ‘fucking shit’, whilst others seem to agree than ‘Boyle should be knighted’.

Conclusion

What does this show then? Is Britain an army of fickle cynics who revel in hating on something before they have even seen it, only to realise it is actually good, rapidly changing their opinion throughout? or are we a bunch of hyper-critical doom-mongers, extending our reputation as the founders of self-deprecation to a level where it over-shadows the biggest and most global display of Britishness in recent years.

Here’s where I have to be honest. I did watch the ceremony and it was fantastic; a celebration of all the things brilliant about our nation, helmed by one of the world’s most celebrated Film makers, showcasing exactly the level and quality of what we have to offer.

So to the haters and the cynics on twitter, it was not embarrassing. While some criticism is fair (the parade of the nations was boring and Chakrabath is a demon), the display was overall, very good. The constant changing of opinions combined with the reality of how good the ceremony actually was only serves to show how opinionated and quick to criticise people can be on the Internet. Don’t believe everything you read, it’s often wrong.

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6 Comments

  1. avatar

    Great article, absolutely spot on. Never seen people go from so patriotic to hating Britain so fast and so often. Bless Twitter.

  2. avatar
    Ellie Sellwood on

    This is a fantastic article, I was following the hype on Twitter too and you’ve summed up perfectly the very rapid changes in opinion and I also thought the ceremony was incredible!

  3. avatar

    This opening ceremony was the worst one I’ve ever seen. Disjointed, dull, bizarre, and utterly ridiculous. I believe the only people who found that pile of rubbish acceptable are the Brits.

    • avatar

      It was definitely a bit on the odd side, but it was pretty impressive! The amount of organisation it took and the number of people involved was incredible. Though I did find the communication/social-media section a little off key. But the rest was great! And from what I’ve read it was well received abroad pretty much everywhere, except for France.

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