First of all, my reaction to last night’s show:

Most of the reaction seems to be a locally partisan one:

Caitlin Moran
Haha this opening ceremony is so overtly political. it’s so up the bum of the Coalition. It reclaims Britishness from them.

Or, more often (and god, so typically), a self-centered American one, that the whole NHS section was designed to tweak the noses of the American right.

The only tweet I saw that got it right (in my own mind) was this:

Andrew Neil
The contrast between democratic Britain and totalitarian China opening ceremonies just wonderful.

Yes! The London Opening Ceremonies was a celebration of liberalism: The woman’s right to vote, caring for the individual, industry and commerce and the industrial revolution and the dead of WWI the World Wide Web and techno music and celebrating youth and the elderly and The Beatles. And of course simple ridiculous joy in the situation. It wasn’t a political point so much as a demonstration of contrasts to the last Opening Ceremony.

China might be able to put 20,000 people on stage, dancing in absolute synchrony, in diapers so they don’t have to be allowed toilet breaks, but what did they ever actually contribute to the world?

Anyway, elsewhere:


This is a quite excellent point-by-point contrast to China. So not just one lone Tweeter and myself.

Here’s Downton Abbey at the Olympics (I just love this photo), via Hugh Bonneville:

And, of course, NBC telling us we can’t watch the ceremony live because we’re too stupid:

LA Times – Olympics 2012: NBC defends blackout of opening ceremony

“We are live streaming every sporting event, all 32 sports and 302 medals,” an NBC spokesman wrote in an email to Show Tracker. [but only for cable subscribers] “It was never our intent to live stream the Opening Ceremony or Closing Ceremony. They are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them.

Right. We watched it last night via the BBC Red Button version. So the whole thing, but without commentary. And I spent the whole time wavering between in-tears and on-the-verge-of-tears, and not hissing and boiling with anger at some idiot talking over everything with stupid ignorant jokes (c.f. Katie Couric’s embarrassing dry cleaning joke 8 years ago). And I followed it just fine, thanks.

Now, the Twitters (there are more in my favourites):

The flyover:

Giles Coren ‏@gilescoren
Cool. The French flag.

The opening scenes:

David Aaronovitch ‏@DAaronovitch
Bloody hell. The message seems to be that life was boring as hell in Hobbiton till the Industrial Revolution zizzed it up. #london2012

The Queen:

Sarah Vine ‏@SarahVine
It’s the actual real true life queen!!!!!!!

Sathnam Sanghera ‏@Sathnam
Give one an Oscar #London2012

Joe Pickering ‏@Joethepublicist
Everyone just went nuts in the pub #london2012

Sarah Vine ‏@SarahVine
Can Bond be trusted in a chopper with her Majesty?

Richard Hammond ‏@thehamsterscage
Ok, the US TV commentators are complimenting the Queen’s bravery for her skydiving. This is amazing.

Eve Barlow ‏@Eve_Barlow
“I want to get the Queen to parachute into the stadium with James Bond.” Watch out meetings, this has given me a new wave of confidence.

The Dancing NHS:

Giles Coren ‏@gilescoren
so THAT’s where all the NHS beds went!

Andrew Neil ‏@afneil
The contrast between democratic Britain and totalitarian China opening ceremonies just wonderful.

Caitlin Moran ‏@caitlinmoran
Haha this opening ceremony is so overtly political. it’s so up the bum of the Coalition. It reclaims Britishness from them.

Ben Fenton ‏@benfenton
JK Rowling reading from Peter Pan, the royalties from which go to Great Ormond Street. Can non-Brits get all this? #openingceremony

Tim Berners Lee:

Caitlin Moran ‏@caitlinmoran
omg. Tim Berners Lee giving away the world wide web with the world “This is for everyone” has made me burst into tears.

The Memorial Dance:

Alan Beattie ‏@alanbeattie
Abide With Me: written by a clergyman in the C19th in the last weeks of his own life #london2012

Sarah Vine ‏@SarahVine
Genuine beauty

The Parade of Nations:

Miranda Sawyer ‏@msmirandasawyer
The athletes. Time for a wee

India Knight ‏@indiaknight
Oh. Sport.

Pete Paphides ‏@petepaphides

Sathnam Sanghera ‏@Sathnam
Not sure some if these African nations will appreciate marching to the pet shop boys

India Knight ‏@indiaknight
Everyone’s so good looking. Now wondering if I just imagined female athletes being 4 foot wide and bearded when I was a child. #shotput

Sidin V feat. Usher ‏@sidin
How. Was. That. German. Guy. Saluting?

India Knight ‏@indiaknight
The countries with a gayness problem should come out to eg Erasure.

Sathnam Sanghera ‏@Sathnam
Record books vary, but according to one set, world’s 2nd-most populous nation has accumulated only 17 medals in Olympic history #india

Sathnam Sanghera ‏@Sathnam
Then again, if yoga was an Olympic sport (surely not that different to rhythmic gymnastics) #london 2012 #india

Martin Fletcher ‏@mfletchertimes
Libyan delegation not only carrying ‘rebel’ flag but has a female athlete with uncovered head.

Janice Turner ‏@VictoriaPeckham
US team = styled by Wes Anderson.

The Fireworks and Flag Raising:

KimJongNumberUn ‏@KimJongNumberUn

Liz Buckley ‏@liz_buckley
Oh no! That’s the South Olympic flag.

India Knight ‏@indiaknight
ALI! Oh my god

Sathnam Sanghera ‏@Sathnam
Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali #London 2012

Louise Brealey]( ‏@louisebrealey
Muhammed Ali’s effort to stand has completely done for me.

And Macca:

India Knight ‏@indiaknight
*stops crying*

Sathnam Sanghera ‏@Sathnam
*suddenly starkly unemotional*

Finally, the recap:

Jamie Milne ‏@Kelvinbridger
Can we just take a second to remember that Danny Boyle got the Queen to pretend that JAMES BOND IS A REAL PERSON.

Also, just to wrap up:

SF Gate – Best and worst dressed of the London Opening Ceremony

Loved the Fiji. And Kobe in a beret.


Oh and btw, check out The Pirate Bay.