…by Anura Guruge
I watched the start of the Opening Ceremony from London last night (while simultaneously DVRing it) with growing consternation, and I am sure part of it was the usual, lopsided, commercial-ridden ‘we don’t have a clue‘ coverage by NBC. For a start I wish they wouldn’t keep on chirping that London is the first city to hold 3 Olympics. There is a word missing, and that word is ‘modern’. London is the first city to hold 3 modern [i.e., post 1908] Olympics. The original Olympics were held in Greece, every 4 years, for centuries.
For those of you who haven’t sussed it out yet, I am a Brit, a very proud and loyal one at that. So I do know a bit or two about British history. Yes, I have climbed the real Glastonbury Tor. I have made a pilgrimage, in 1978, to ‘Iron Bridge‘ the birthplace of the British Industrial Revolution. I still watch, thanks to Dish, at least 45 minutes of cricket nearly every day. So, the themes at the start of the Opening Ceremony were not alien to me.
I thought the agrarian period was well depicted, but I was waiting for the Knights and King Arthur.
Then, with a cacophony of over-the-top noise, that we did listen in 5-in-1, I was amazed, or to use the British expression, ‘gob smacked’ to see the Industrial Revolution and mention of WW I. OK. Yes, I saw a skeletal white ship in the background, most likely an illusion to Irish immigration.
But, hold on.
What happened to our EMPIRE? Naval supremacy. The Virginia Plantation. The Colony that we lost. Canada, India, Australia, Ceylon, South Africa and New Zealand.
It was the Empire that put the Great in Britain. I am a product of the Empire.
I am appalled. This was taking political correctness to unnecessary lengths. You only had to look around to see all the signs of the Empire. Britain is a true rainbow nation, we saw folks and kids in all colors and hues. That was and that still is the Empire.
I am offended. I am bummed. I am embarrassed. How could THEY do this to ME?
I wish my mother was alive! She used to have a private phone number for the Queen. Yes, they had met a few times and my mother had this beyond belief ability to get private phone numbers from VIPs. She had a little pink address book with private phone numbers for quite a few Heads of State. And, being my mother, she didn’t have a problem using them when she needed. Well, IF my mother was alive I would have told her to call the Queen and complain on my behalf.