…by Anura Guruge
>> Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! — July 29, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist — July 31, 2012.
As with Muhammad Ali, Winston Churchill is one of my all time heroes, one of the undeniable, immortal ‘Greats’. I even named my second Golden after him, ‘Winston’.
When I listen to Winston speak I still get goosebumps. His command of the English leaves me in humbled awe. I have gone on pilgrimage both to his birthplace, the magnificent Blenheim Palace and his burial place in Bladon. Yes, I know that he wasn’t that fond of darkies (like me), but that has never really bothered me. That was a generational thing. Something that he grew up with and as. I don’t think it was personal or vicious. It was a different age. Yes, I know he was not very fond of another of my heroes, Gandhi (and called him some amusing names). But, ‘race’ in Britain is different and, of course, I am very qualified to talk about it having grown up as a non-white in Britain, starting in 1969. I do know this for a fact. If not for dear Churchill I will be writing this blog in German! Period.
The Olympic organizers forgot the most fundamental adage about Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA. He is inimitable.
So to have an actor, Timothy Spall, do a pitiful imitation of him was uncalled for. Unbecoming. Unnecessary. Ditto with the Ali moment. What were they thinking? Yes, I saw “The King’s Speech” — and loved it. That doesn’t mean that he should have played Winston. I feel bad for him. He does NOT sound anything like Winston. He sounds like he has a mouthful of the proverbial British marbles in his mouth. That isn’t how Winston sounds.
You can’t try and imitate Winston. He stands alone and will always stand alone – a lion, a giant, an artist, a writer, a father, a fighter, a man.
Yes, of course, Winston must have uttered lines from Shakespeare. But, to portray him doing the ‘I love this island‘, Caliban’s speech from ‘The Tempest‘ was stupid.
And AGAIN we go back to my theme from the Opening Ceremonies. The need for political correctness. Yes, of course, he can’t offend the Germans.
What we should have had ideally was a 3D hologram of the REAL Winston created from all of the b&w film clips we have of him.
Failing that they should have just projected THE SPEECH onto the large TVs … ‘We shall fight them …’ That to me would have been appropriate. The Olympics is all about fighting.
Or THE FINEST HOUR SPEECH. I love that speech. I go and read it every once in awhile for inspiration.
“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.”
That would have been appropriate. The London Olympics was a HUGE SUCCESS. Bravo. It wasn’t the Battle of Britain, but it was one of our finest fortnights.
So, let me conclude by letting you actually listen to the inimitable, GREAT MAN, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA.
You really should listen to this speech. It is HISTORY. Not for that we would all be talking German.