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Translating the British - Comments

Dover Beach's Avatar Comment 1 by Dover Beach

Yes, a moving poem celebrating a sense of community whilst rejecting chauvanism and heartless economic cuts.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 13:12:29 UTC | #950667

alphcat's Avatar Comment 2 by alphcat

Tho sadly I notice Cameron has jumped on the feelgood factor and is talking about the legacy for sports while his pal Gove is cutting all the help and funding for school sports and playing fields that have contributed to the medals team GB won. Sort of spoiled the whole thing really. - seeing his smug tory mug taking credit for something he's now cutting to the bone.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 14:22:26 UTC | #950668

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 3 by Schrodinger's Cat

and recoil from the horrible adman slogan, "Team GB".

The problem I have with the Olympics....indeed sport in general.....is that I don't see in what sense any of the sports persons are playing for me. It doesn't affect my life one iota if 'Team GB' win or lose. I may wish them success in their personal endeavour, and I may even have a vague sense of supporting 'England' at events like the World Cup, but I am not under any illusions that the endeavour is being performed for any entity of which I feel a beneficial sense of belonging.

I think that is largely because there is a complete disconnect, brought on by a sense of the 'superstar' level of sports players, from one's personal life. If I watch the local team play cricket, I can at least identify that the players are local people and there is some sense of 'belonging'. But watching government ministers vie for who gets to sit next to David Beckham just leaves me utterly cynical.

I should add that this same level of indifference is one of the reasons I think 'group selection' cannot explain culture or society. There has to actually exist a benefit enhancing goup in the first place.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 14:45:44 UTC | #950674

maria melo's Avatar Comment 4 by maria melo

on the Giant's Causeway; we say we want to be who we truly are, now, we roar it. Welcome to us.

If I could point out any difference between the celebration of the Olympics in China, and some eventual difference in the character of people, perhaps I would value the bold, because chinese people were so perfectionist that even avoided the rain, and a chinese singer( child girl) was replaced by another child without any imperfection in her tooth.

It seems a reasonable difference to mention concerning "the soul" of "peoples".

And yet deserving mention were the harsh words of a representant of athelets(portuguese) to the general population, pointing out the lesser desportive respect for athelets besides of their "duty" to honor nationalistic expectations (pride) with gold and silver, people were better to expect better from politicians (they elect), or otherwise the country could be in better conditions for everyone.

(it really was amazing to have the guts to say it).

I would better mention a poet writer and his celebration of an athlet in a book called "Cemetery of Pianos" (a kind of concert of deaths, that were des-concert)" once the death of the athlet he celebrates is disconcerting, the athlet ran until his death, and even dead, his body was still having running reflex for a few time, his death was due to a potion he used over his body that didn´t allow him to sweat, and of course, the temperature of his body running killed him and perhaps the chemical substances used, as strychnine to give vigour, as it was thought at the time and pig´s fat, it was a pharmaceutical formula of the time. Other athlets having seen him using it over his body adviced him that it was not a good idea, he was convinced by them but it was too late to take a shower.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 15:16:38 UTC | #950676

G*O*D's Avatar Comment 5 by G*O*D

I find Richard's example from tennis doubles very apt. I may add that I very much enjoy tennis tournaments because there is no dominating country, champions come and go and you get to know them as individuals, almost personally through their 10 years +/- career. Maybe I am biased, I like the sport itself more than other sports. Right now, Rafael Nadal is my hero. For his game and for this:

"Almost every bad thing that happens in life comes from some form of radicalism, it only unleashes problems that should be fixed. You are entitled to have your likings, sympathies, beliefs, but you should always respect the opinions of others, never insult them. The same happens with religion. You can be religious, or atheist, christian, muslim... whatever, but I think the atrocities that people committed in the name of religion are too much. For me, religion is the main cause of mortality in history".

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 15:23:16 UTC | #950677

maria melo's Avatar Comment 6 by maria melo

"diminished sportive spirit" instead of "the lesser desportive respect"

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 15:47:55 UTC | #950679

Sample's Avatar Comment 7 by Sample

And I still hate the nationalistic jingoism of the modern Olympics, compared to the original games of classical times, which focused on individuals not nations.

I'd never heard the term Olympic Truce before (or had forgotten), but it's an interesting history lesson about this Greek sporting tradition. Evidently, a truce between countries was enacted in the ancient Olympic era to allow athletes to travel unharmed for competition.

The modern Olympics and all the peripheral industries associated with it do appear to go against the tradition of ekecheiria (truce), glorifying nationalism rather than peaceful competition but maybe I'm oversimplifying.

On the other hand, with the top five medalling countries typically mirroring the UN Security Council, I find it hard to accept that these Games are primarily focused on the individual athletes.

Mike

PS. Good poem, particularly the format which seemed to emphasize the Queen falling out of the sky.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 15:58:19 UTC | #950680

ColdThinker's Avatar Comment 8 by ColdThinker

We descend from pack hunters and the strong bonds within one's tribe formed an important part of the survival of our ancestors. So these tribal, patriotic and nationalistic emotions run deep within us.

But even though patriotic feelings are natural, that doesn't make them desirable. I have to say I'm prone to patriotic feelings from time to time, and I'm very ashamed of that. Patriotism is a low, primal emotion, an emotion very close to rasism and chauvinism, one that should be resisted just as we resist greed or selfishness and control our primal urges.

But unlike greed, selfishness or rampant primal urges, all this sport jingoism is strongly encouraged by almost all societies and political leaders. I can't help but think it is to maintain certain mental readiness for war, as if to train our old tribalistic muscles. Play up! play up! And play the game.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 16:21:12 UTC | #950681

green and dying's Avatar Comment 9 by green and dying

The Olympics being about individuals like Wimbledon would be MUCH better. It's not like it's a fair competition between countries anyway so why wave flags and keep score of how many medals won 'for' each country? I'm sick of the Union Jack now after the jubilee and Olympics, I hope it goes away when the Olympics are done.

I don't really like Carol Ann Duffy but the poem isn't bad.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 16:46:01 UTC | #950683

Anvil's Avatar Comment 10 by Anvil

I must admit to having suspended my normal cynicism for the duration. I was sailing in Loch Ness a few weeks back and fortuitously ended up in Fort Augustus for the Torch Relay, it was a real community experience. Heartwarming.

Then came the Opening Ceremony - normally shite, yeah - it was gobsmacking, and with not one mention of a sponsor to give me that 'farmed' feeling I normally get on these occasions - I'm still refusing to buy the 'Official Fucking Beer' of the World Cup, by the way!

I also share the objections to these slimeball tories taking the credit for what seems like a globally popular event - whilst they, in the very same breath, draw up plans to get the meek to pay inheritance tax - but all that said, I've thoroughly enjoyed this Olympics.

I've mainly watched it on the telly, but was lucky enough to be at St James Park for the Brasil - Honduras game. The match itself was ruined by overly zealous (or just plain bad) refereeing, but I still felt I was partaking in something.

Of the Games themselves my favourite bit was Bradley Wiggins victory - great bloke! Also loved Piers Morgan getting his come-uppance during his attempt at self-promotion:

Wiggins took gold in the time trial last week, but that was not enough to keep Morgan happy: he supposedly tweeted the cycling hero with the following message: “I was very disappointed @bradwiggins didn’t sing the anthem either. Show some respect to our Monarch please!”

The 'fake' Twitter exchangeA tweet from a fan (@mrcolmquinn) responding in defence of Wiggins’ (and initially mistaken as a response from the Tour de France winner), was retweeted profusely, retorting: “@piersmorgan I was disappointed when you didn’t go to jail for insider trading or phone hacking, but you know, each to his own."

The jpeg of the exchange has caused a stir, prompting debate about how important it is for winning athletes to sing the national anthem and highlighting how strongly people feel about patriotism and national success at the Olympics.

Morgan has been campaigning for athletes to proudly sing their anthems, whichever nation they represent, and is donating money to charity when gold medal winners impress him with their singing.

Wiggins is yet to officially respond.

Priceless! (or is that phrase copyrighted?) A charity would have benefitted if only Wiggins had appealed, in baritone no doubt, to an invisible man to protect the health of a supremely priviledged woman who has health-care coming out of her arse!

Which reminds me: the only downside has been watching numerous athletes appealing to in advance, or thanking after the event, various deities.

The most sickening was after last nights 5000m:

Meseret Defar had just run the race of her life. It was truly amazing. Breathless, and in tears, she then pulled from her sports-bra a small plastic bag imprinted on which was the image of the madonna and child. She fell to her knees and sucked the plastic bag to her face. She held it to the camera and screamed, then holding it aloft, she thanked the heavens before shoving said plastic bag back into her bra.

My concern aside that Meseret may get a nasty rash, I was quite upset that the Virgin Mary - undoubtedly egged on by her bastard offspring - had conspired to make all those other runners lose.

How unsporting!

Anvil.

[Slightly edited by moderator]

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 16:55:10 UTC | #950684

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 11 by ZenDruid

I tallied the medals for all the states of the former Soviet Union. 120. Not bad.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 18:43:26 UTC | #950687

crucialfictionofjesus's Avatar Comment 12 by crucialfictionofjesus

Lovely!

Comment 10 by Anvil :

I must admit to having suspended my normal cynicism for the duration. I was sailing in Loch Ness a few weeks back and fortuitously ended up in Fort Augustus for the Torch Relay, it was a real community experience. Heartwarming.

Then came the Opening Ceremony - normally shite, yeah - it was gobsmacking, and with not one mention of a sponsor to give me that 'farmed' feeling I normally get on these occasions - I'm still refusing to buy the 'Official Fucking Beer' of the World Cup, by the way!

I also share the objections to these slimeball tories taking the credit for what seems like a globally popular event - whilst they, in the very same breath, draw up plans to get the meek to pay inheritance tax - but all that said, I've thoroughly enjoyed this Olympics.

I've mainly watched it on the telly, but was lucky enough to be at St James Park for the Brasil - Honduras game. The match itself was ruined by overly zealous (or just plain bad) refereeing, but I still felt I was partaking in something.

Of the Games themselves my favourite bit was Bradley Wiggins victory - great bloke! Also loved Piers Morgan getting his come-uppance during his attempt at self-promotion:

Wiggins took gold in the time trial last week, but that was not enough to keep Morgan happy: he supposedly tweeted the cycling hero with the following message: “I was very disappointed @bradwiggins didn’t sing the anthem either. Show some respect to our Monarch please!”

The 'fake' Twitter exchangeA tweet from a fan (@mrcolmquinn) responding in defence of Wiggins’ (and initially mistaken as a response from the Tour de France winner), was retweeted profusely, retorting: “@piersmorgan I was disappointed when you didn’t go to jail for insider trading or phone hacking, but you know, each to his own."

The jpeg of the exchange has caused a stir, prompting debate about how important it is for winning athletes to sing the national anthem and highlighting how strongly people feel about patriotism and national success at the Olympics.

Morgan has been campaigning for athletes to proudly sing their anthems, whichever nation they represent, and is donating money to charity when gold medal winners impress him with their singing.

Wiggins is yet to officially respond.

Priceless! (or is that phrase copyrighted?) A charity would have benefitted if only Wiggins had appealed, in baritone no doubt, to an invisible man to protect the health of a supremely priviledged woman who has health-care coming out of her arse!

Which reminds me: the only downside has been watching numerous athletes appealing to in advance, or thanking after the event, various deities.

The most sickening was after last nights 5000m:

Meseret Defar had just run the race of her life. It was truly amazing. Breathless, and in tears, she then pulled from her sports-bra a small plastic bag imprinted on which was the image of the madonna and child. She fell to her knees and sucked the plastic bag to her face. She held it to the camera and screamed, then holding it aloft, she thanked the heavens before shoving said plastic bag back into her bra.

My concern aside that Meseret may get a nasty rash, I was quite upset that the Virgin Mary - undoubtedly egged on by her bastard offspring - had conspired to make all those other runners lose.

How unsporting!

Anvil.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 19:41:49 UTC | #950688

crucialfictionofjesus's Avatar Comment 13 by crucialfictionofjesus

Nationalism, jingoism, tribalism... and Piers Morgan to cap it all off. Give me cricket any day.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 19:43:59 UTC | #950689

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 14 by Mr DArcy

Probably, I'm the most unpatriotic of all of you. "Countries" are political constructs.

Good luck to people who excel, like Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Shakespeare, .....etc.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 20:56:35 UTC | #950692

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 15 by Schrodinger's Cat

I don't think it's a sense of being anti patriotic......but that I don't see in what sense the whole charade is pro patriotic. Certainly not when the cost of the whole thing is some 20 times what our ever so caring government hopes to claw back by scrapping council tax benefit. A handful of people win medals at great cost...while millions get screwed in the name of an 'austerity' that barely seems to affect the wealthy. Welcome to the reality of 'team GB'........oh and 'we're all in this together...cough....cough'

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 21:12:59 UTC | #950693

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 16 by Cartomancer

Oh, there was just as much jingoism and nationalistic sentiment at the ancient games. More so in fact, given that to the Greek city-states the competition for political power, prestige and alliances was much more cut-throat and practically valuable than it is today. The Olympics was THE chief arena for inter-state political posturing. During the Peloponnesian War, for instance, Athens and Sparta would use the games to announce their respective alliances and enmities and court the support of the lesser states in their military endeavours. Athletes would frequently switch their national allegiances from one Olympiad to another if bribed to do so, and powerful patron states would sometimes lend fledgling colonies their best athletes in order to shore up and elevate their clients' political clout.

And as for the artists and poets, they'd go to seek sponsorship from wealthy patrons. It was a big commercial enterprise for them, rather than some pure celebration of artistic merit. Money and sponsorship deals are hardly a modern phenomenon. The other big sporting festivals - the Isthmian, Nemean and Pythian games - were less commercial and significant, but still served as an arena for such activities between Olympics. Athens tried very hard to promote its native Panathenaic games as a rival in the Greek games cycle in order to accrue further prestige and influence. It was a big deal.

The games were also open only to free-born Greek-speaking males (well, until a bunch of very persuasive Latin-speaking males with sharp swords convinced the Greeks to let them take part). There may have been one or two female events on the fringes from time to time, and there are scattered records of female chariot team owners, but it was overwhelmingly a masculine affair. And forget runners-up - there were no silver or bronze awards, it was winner takes all.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 21:14:23 UTC | #950694

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 17 by Cartomancer

Also, I find the whole idea of sporting competition somewhat counter-productive myself. Why not have sporting collaboration instead?

I mean, take the discus. What happens at the moment is that each competitor stands on the spot, throws their discus, then goes and gets it back for the next one, who throws it from the same spot. Think how much further it would go if each thrower threw it from where the last one had got it to.

Why don't they just do that, and see if everybody working together can get it further this time than they did four years ago? If they can't, back home and try harder next time, if they can, good work everybody and medals all round.

It's not like we need any encouragement for our tribalistic and antagonistic instincts after all. If we did something that fostered ideals of cooperation and equality instead then I think we would all be better off.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 21:21:26 UTC | #950695

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 18 by kaiserkriss

And I thought I was the least nationalistic person on the planet.. Glad to see others share my sentiment. The whole thing perpetuates tribalism, group think, and brain washing- besides the political intrigue and dishonesty is disgusting. It's almost like another religion- win at any cost for the glory of my tribe. Basically anything goes. I'm all for athletic prowess, but compete as individuals- for your particular sport, because you enjoy it and because you are trying to do your best for yourself. At Cartomancer # 16 vividly described what we have today is no different from what was happening in the past. We haven't learnt anything. As for the opening Ceremony- spectacular indeed and well orchestrated, but also a bit historically revisionist with all the bad bits conveniently left out. Too much of a tribal celebration to stir up the masses in a fervour of nationalism, rather than a more subtle celebration of culture, sports and the arts But then I shouldn't point fingers- they all do it.. Still....jcw

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 22:06:21 UTC | #950697

Anvil's Avatar Comment 19 by Anvil

Yup. Agree with all of the above.

Then just watched Mo Farah and the Jamaican 4x100 Relay Team.

Screamed at the telly throughout both.

Anvil.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 22:27:00 UTC | #950698

Phen's Avatar Comment 20 by Phen

Comment 3 by Schrodinger's Cat :

The problem I have with the Olympics....indeed sport in general.....is that I don't see in what sense any of the sports persons are playing for me. It doesn't affect my life one iota if 'Team GB' win or lose.

The only time I feel comfortable supporting a team is the local gaelic football team, as many of my friends and neighbours are on the playing, and there is a genuine wish for success. Regarding the Olympics, they have taken on a ridiculously nationalistic theme, with National tables popping up everywhere. They are a celebration of individual talent, I'd like it to return towards that direction.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 22:33:18 UTC | #950699

Anvil's Avatar Comment 21 by Anvil

Comment 18 by kaiserkriss

(...) As for the opening Ceremony- spectacular indeed and well orchestrated, but also a bit historically revisionist with all the bad bits conveniently left out. Too much of a tribal celebration to stir up the masses in a fervour of nationalism, rather than a more subtle celebration of culture, sports and the arts

Have to disagree with you there.

I had no intention of watching it but then sat down and watched it on the Monday on iPlayer.

Boyle gave us his image of the making of Britain: Bo Peep's idylic, poetic, mythic, rural scene shattered into oblivion by the industrial revolution, and the Olympic Rings - echoing the UK's place in the world today - forged on the oppression of the working class.

This was positively marxist, wasn't it?

Then came what he see's as Britains gifts to the world: Shakespear, the NHS and the Welfare State - from the cradle to the grave - Rock Music, Punk, Film, Childrens Literature, and Comedy.

It hardly stirs up the masses to a fervour of nationalism to point out to the world that you're a bit odd, a bit daft, and have a humour that is self-deprecating, does it?

I grew up in an era of brilliant outdoor theatre from great community theatre companies like Welfare State International - I don't think they could have done any better than Boyle did - even with £29 million.

I bet he is sat at home, a large whisky in hand, feeling rather smug thinking 'go on, Rio, follow that!'

I would be had I produced that ceremony.

Anvil.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 23:48:55 UTC | #950702

maria melo's Avatar Comment 22 by maria melo

The true story of the marathon athlete I told , Francisco Lázaro, recreated by the novelist writer (and I made some mistakes) recalls the legend of Pheidippides, ancient Greece heroe that inspired the creation of the marathon and the 42kms it takes nowadays:

Accordind to the legend, he ran 42 kms, from Marathon to Athens to announce the greek victory over the persians, and after died from exaution.

From the inicial 98 athletes that were to run the marathon that year in the Olympic games, in 1912, in Stockholm, only 19 didn´t give up and, inicially 30 gave up before running, and half of those that ran gave up too before the end of it.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 23:53:39 UTC | #950703

Roy72's Avatar Comment 23 by Roy72

For the UK I think it is healthy to have the Olympics come round every 4 years, I have been happily screaming support to athletes from Scotland, NI, and Wales as well as England and I am pretty certain that the Celts have similarly been supporting the sassenach athletes. With all the devolution over the last 20 years, it is very refreshing to pull together for a change.

I managed to get tickets to the taekwondo and what could illustrate more the global nature of sport more than watching a lovely young lass from Wales defeat athletes from China and Taiwan to win a Gold Medal in the Korean national martial art?

Like wars the main way you win is with MONEY rather than fanaticism and the cost from my taxes to fund these high-level athletes is apparently £0.60 per annum, plus whatever money I fritter away ignoring the laws of probability by buying the odd lottery ticket. That is a steal for how much enjoyment the last two weeks have brought me.

As for poetry- Ray Davies is reputedly going to be performing "waterloo sunset" at the closing ceremony -to my mind the most beautifully poetic pop song ever written.

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 00:03:14 UTC | #950704

maria melo's Avatar Comment 24 by maria melo

Perhaps Marx noticed that change yes, people lived a more idylic relation between them (as it was the primitive communism imagined by Marx, or more close to a medieval society) and the hunger for profit alienated social relations, using people simply as objects of profit (after the medieval society). Regardeless of political ideals, that is a bit true that people seek for social justice and idylic relations, no one lives alone. I loved it. True or not, Sociology was born from that necessity of social justice, and laws and rights have to rule those relations, independently of being or not a"communist" country.

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 00:43:06 UTC | #950707

Mark Ribbands's Avatar Comment 25 by Mark Ribbands


I share Richards’s lack of ‘patriotism’ if by that is meant the unthinking following of national sports teams.

I hadn’t heard the egregious term ‘Team GB’ before, and am a little disappointed to have learned it via this site of all places. Like many of the best (ie worst) advertising slogans, it is now impossible to unlearn. I have seen none of the Olympics, and have no idea who is winning what: I genuinely don’t care. Living in the countryside and not owning a television set helps.

I delighted in Richard’s earlier faux-Chinese sagacity: ‘In my country it is well known that one man can run faster than another’ (whilst a long beard is stroked, no doubt). Or as perhaps Private Eye might report: ‘Shock news! One man runs faster than another!’

Comment 14 by Mr DArcy
Probably, I'm the most unpatriotic of all of you. "Countries" are political constructs.

Indeed so. Perhaps it is time the world grew out of its tribalistic obsession with nationhood.

But perhaps that is easy for me to say, having won, as I did, First Prize in the lottery of life. :)

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 10:01:25 UTC | #950711

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 26 by phil rimmer

I, for one, am delighted that there are a rich variety of cultures in the world. These cultures have a loose bidirectional causality with nationhood, which helps (only just) preserve a degree of distinctness. National stereotypes hold sufficient truths to make jokes about them funny, and more importantly drive cultural evolution.

Danny Boyle's rag bag account of mongrel quirky, creative, self-deprecating (British) us (with the occasional embarrassing dual tendencies to pomposity and fart jokes) was lovely to see. It is possible to identify positively with cultures. (Depending on context I secretly wish for the Epicurean culture of the French, experts surely at the living of lives, and then at other times I hanker for the rather impressive Spartan cultural competence of the Germans...)

Success (in whatever) we can take as success for our "way of doing things". This is functional (rather than hollow) jingoism. I am happy and interested to hear of the success of other cultures. They should crow their successes. Cultures are entirely what imbue individuals with the capacity for and opportunity to employ reason in our individual daily lives (no libertarian I). I think it is false political correctness not to acknowledge a pride in a culture when it has delivered well.

The fantastic success of the likes of Grenada and Jamaica (click the by population and GDP options) should thrill us all and then give us pause to contemplate our own version of success and its significance.

Our sense of national/group identity is somewhat like our sense of aesthetics, an evolutionary gift that seems superficially spurious. But it grants a sense of value and emotional engagement for action. Both can be honed and refined and should be. As we have seen time and again at these Olympics we can set the barriers of our otherness at a height that optimises both our competitve thrills during and our amity after the competition.

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 13:33:16 UTC | #950715

Roedy's Avatar Comment 27 by Roedy

Britain seems to be going through a manic phase. I suspect after the party is over the bills come in and in and in, a depressive phase will ensue.

Each country seems to feel obligated to outdo all previous hosts. The Olympics will become a white elephant that pushes each host to near bankruptcy.

I think the hosting duties should be shared by 4 countries each time to share the expense, reduce the competition and reduce the disruption. It would also reduce the amount of new construction needed. You could host the games in the country that already had the facilities for it, or that needed them.

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 15:47:41 UTC | #950717

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 28 by kaiserkriss

Anvil, I think you miss my point and I suggest you might be caught up in exactly what I was criticizing- a national fervour of feel good and superiority to the rest of the world. The show was more about celebrating and pointing out differences between Brits and the rest of the world vs an inclusive production pointing out and focusing on the things we all have in common and should ultimately bring us all closer together. Every culture has its quirks and idiosyncrasies- that is not uniquely British, but the ability to laugh at oneself and those quirks is very British- admirable and worth emulating and sharing with the rest of the world.

Just because a country hosts an event like the Olympics, does it give it the right to pound ones chest in a fit of nationalism? They all do it and I cringe every time I see it and I think its the wrong approach.

It would be truly unique, forward thinking and rational to make one of these ceremonies world inclusive, to include the best things on the planet- show ideals worth emulating, something as simple as rational thought, simple scientific truths, evolution, the literal brotherhood of man (e.g. 200k years common ancestor), something to really think about. Would it be controversial? Probably, but it would also be educational, and food for thought versus a fluff piece forgotten in a couple of weeks.

That is something I would have expected from the Brits at these Olympics, a leadership role in rational though and the sciences. Expecting something like that from Rio or Saudi Arabia, or some other lesser developed country couldn't be expected.jcw

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 16:02:46 UTC | #950718

papa lazaru's Avatar Comment 29 by papa lazaru

Comment 28 by kaiserkriss :

Anvil, I think you miss my point and I suggest you might be caught up in exactly what I was criticizing- a national fervour of feel good and superiority to the rest of the world. The show was more about celebrating and pointing out differences between Brits and the rest of the world vs an inclusive production pointing out and focusing on the things we all have in common and should ultimately bring us all closer together. Every culture has its quirks and idiosyncrasies- that is not uniquely British, but the ability to laugh at oneself and those quirks is very British- admirable and worth emulating and sharing with the rest of the world.

Just because a country hosts an event like the Olympics, does it give it the right to pound ones chest in a fit of nationalism? They all do it and I cringe every time I see it and I think its the wrong approach.

It would be truly unique, forward thinking and rational to make one of these ceremonies world inclusive, to include the best things on the planet- show ideals worth emulating, something as simple as rational thought, simple scientific truths, evolution, the literal brotherhood of man (e.g. 200k years common ancestor), something to really think about. Would it be controversial? Probably, but it would also be educational, and food for thought versus a fluff piece forgotten in a couple of weeks.

That is something I would have expected from the Brits at these Olympics, a leadership role in rational though and the sciences. Expecting something like that from Rio or Saudi Arabia, or some other lesser developed country couldn't be expected.jcw

One day, when we grow up. I can't bear chauvinism. I feel like we're going backwards. But I do respect the dedication, work ethics and spirit of the athletes. If you want to cheer, cheer for them, not for the fecken 'flag'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEx5G-GOS1k

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 22:58:45 UTC | #950725

Roy72's Avatar Comment 30 by Roy72

I was pleased to spot Charles Darwin on one of the equestrian fences. A very intelligent design.

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 23:47:08 UTC | #950726