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London, 2012: VIDEO

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After an iffy start involving horses and pitchforks, last night's Olympic opening ceremony was dazzling. Sadly, NBC is being stingy with video. The bulk of the thing has yet to make it online, and what has made it online is un-embeddable. Hopefully that'll change soon. The lighting ceremony and subsequent fireworks show is very worth seeing, and is so far absent from the web.

In the meantime, please enjoy:

Towleroad-roadicon A clip from a segment of the ceremony celebrating British children's literature, in which Voldemort, the Queen of Hearts, Cruella DeVille, Mike Oldfield, and assorted nasty things menace a stadiumful of sleeping children;

Towleroad-roadicon A stirring clip of "the forging" of the Olympic rings (so called because that's what everyone's calling it, though nothing's actually being forged);

Towleroad-roadicon The Queen being escorted to the Olympics by 007. (The pair proceeded to jump from a helicopter, though NBC hasn't released that footage, either.)

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Comments

  1. If gay issues are so relevant why no mention of it? Could that be because "the world" is against it? The opening struck me like a big school play. Liked the new style torch, and the Queen's Corgis.
    The music segment was awful. Lot of blacks in England, or was that "inclusive" casting? Could have axed the entire children can't sleep segment -- way off.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 28, 2012 2:44:24 PM


  2. I was nervous. As a Londoner and an Englishman, I'm quite happy to take the piss out of my country (and don't consider myself patriotic) but the idea that the rest of the planet might think we're crap wasn't one I'm comfortable with. After this ceremony, I don't really care what the rest of the planet thinks.

    To see the letters NHS glowing massively made me want to cry with pride - yes, Ratbastard, it is something most Britons have faith in (because it's ours - we pay for it, not the Government, and what better to believe in than something secular, inclusive, effective and real?). That Boyle managed to tip a hat to the pageantry we're associated with but keeping it irreverent was a relief. To hear our ridiculous national anthem sung by children with disabilities, with no pomp or sentimentality but beautiful tuning... and who needs 10 bajillion drummers in perfect sync with one another, when you can draw on Bowie, the Beatles, the Stones, New Order, the Pet Shop Boys and Dizzee Rascal?

    Sure, I might have found Branagh's Brunel/Caliban turn a bit odd, but this was a ceremony that was completely off its tits, and I loved it.

    Posted by: DD | Jul 28, 2012 3:02:39 PM


  3. Towleroad is very anti-London Olympics it seems. Are you jealous because NYC didn't get it this year ? Get over it !

    The opening ceremony was excellent. Much better than I expected.

    The "forging" of the Olympic ring was supposed to represent the steel workers that were common in the UK many years ago you dumbass ! Did you really expect them to forge a REAL ring in the middle of the arena ? REALLY ?!

    The more I read Towleroad, the more I realise the guy running it is a queeny, petty, dumbass little girl.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 28, 2012 3:31:05 PM


  4. @SAY WHAT I - actually the idiot Tories introduced legislation to start the destruction of the NHS earlier this year. They are evil. They want to get US style healthcare so they can take everyone's money and screw the patients like the US does.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 28, 2012 3:32:57 PM


  5. Hmm, questioning what Ratbastard hates more? Kinda irrelevant. He hates everything and himself. And knows very little about anything.

    I wish those of you that hated the ceremony would use it as an opportunity to learn a bit about the UK (and not just by buying an Amy Winehouse album). The segment with the poppy to commemorate the war dead was stunning and chilling.

    Posted by: Tim | Jul 28, 2012 3:35:37 PM


  6. @Steve - LMFAO!!!! Man, someone needs to buy you a beer... Is that what kept interrupting the commercials???

    Look, Brits, we get it. You're proud of the opening ceremony. However, it SUCKED!!! Sorry, 1st off the whole "well it was a lot only Brits would get..."... Um, you do realize the entire world was watching, right? Mr. Bean? Yeah, that's something only Brits get. The opening segment was the most, by far, cringe inducing piece I've ever seen at the Olympics. I mean you guys set the bar so low that anything that came after it must appear as a masterpiece in comparison.

    The smoke stacks were OK, kinda boring still and the celebration of health care. It's a pity your health care didn't cover buckets for the rest of the world to gag in. Sure, you might have a better health care system over there but at least here we realize health care never equals fun entertainment. The rings coming together were fantastic. But that's like saying the lollipop you got as a kid really made up for the shot you got in the butt from the doctor.

    At least you guys were able to get the athletes in there in record time. Props to that one.

    The 2nd half was better than the first but you guys were making the rest of the world OD on the "look, we have cute kids AGAIN in this segment just in case the first 5 times didn't fill up the bucket for you!" The birds on the bike were cool but, again, this is all in comparison.

    What I'm really disappointed at is the cell phone piece segment. HUH? A lost cell phone? Here was a chance to remind the world you guys put out better music than anywhere, that you guys actually started punk and New Wave and whatever else and you squander it on some TV show and a lost cell phone. Quick grab me another bucket.

    And the ending. Paul McCartney? It would have been more entertaining if he had brought along his walker with him. His voice has never, ever, sounded so horrible.

    Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but you Brits need to stop acting as if the show last night was nothing short of a complete train wreck.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 28, 2012 3:56:13 PM


  7. @Michael: While I don't agree with you about the ceremony being a complete "train wreck," I would say that it was definitely a mishmash of ideas that didn't really work as a whole.

    (The most recent train wreck of an opening ceremony was Vancouver's sad little show -- the inoperable cauldron, and Wayne Gretzky on the back of a pickup truck in the rain. But they totally made up for it with a fun and charming closing ceremony.)

    It should have been a no-brainer to celebrate British pop music, as it is arguably the best in the world. But to do so by couching it in a lame salute to social media was a mistake. It's like an idea some old marketing guy would have thought up to be "popular with the kids."

    Posted by: D.B. | Jul 28, 2012 4:59:49 PM


  8. What a surprise that US broadcasts cut the tribute to the 7/7 bombing victims, what because it didn't happen in the good old United States so no one interested? Utterly disgraceful. As someone who missed his bus to work that day I was genuinely moved by it and grateful that I'm still alive today, but I'm not surprised by the vile queens on here bitching about it - We have a tribute to 9/11 and a minute silence each year and that didn't happen here, but we've still got you harping on about 9/11 as if it's the only thing to have happened in history.

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 28, 2012 5:01:11 PM


  9. @Michael, anyone who puts that much effort into slagging off what was flat out the most creative, crazy and fun Opening Ceremony clearly has a chip on their shoulder. The Queen and Bond moment was genius - guess you missed that. What happened, did a Mini Cooper run over your pet kitten?

    Posted by: Stewart | Jul 28, 2012 5:13:23 PM


  10. @Michael, anyone who puts that much effort into slagging off what was flat out the most creative, crazy and fun Opening Ceremony clearly has a chip on their shoulder. The Queen and Bond moment was genius - guess you missed that. What happened, did a Mini Cooper run over your pet kitten?

    Posted by: Stewart | Jul 28, 2012 5:13:28 PM


  11. @Rob: In complete agreement with you over the exclusion of the 7/7 tribute in the U.S. broadcast. But I don't think it was because Americans don't care about it. It was really the decision of NBC, the network broadcasting the games in the U.S.

    NBC has basically marketed their Olympic coverage, at great expense, around one specific athlete -- Michael Phelps. NBC was caught off guard when Phelps announced this week that he would not be present at the opening ceremony. Not wanting to kick things off without their star, they opted for a boring Phelps interview over the tribute. It was the wrong decision.

    Posted by: D.B. | Jul 28, 2012 5:17:00 PM


  12. @Michael - You Madam are a typical vapid queen aren't you?

    Are you telling me that if the Olympics had been held in the US that the entire ceremony wouldn't have been a big "Whoop America We're Amazing!"fuckfest? You're allowed to be patriotic and bang on about it every single chance you get but us 'Brits' can't be because this is a global event and we should have tailored the ceremony to fit your tastes?
    If you hated and despised it as much as you did then why watch it in it's entirety?
    Crawl back under your rock mate

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 28, 2012 5:20:37 PM


  13. To all those bitching about the opening ceremony last night, I have 3 words for you, "Salt Lake City"! Mittens little show was as hokey as anything I've ever seen.

    Posted by: jsb | Jul 28, 2012 6:12:18 PM


  14. As a Canadian,all I can say was it was fantastic, I enjoyed every minute of it,Boyle did an incredible job.I think everyone in the UK should be proud, truly special

    Posted by: mike | Jul 29, 2012 12:48:38 AM


  15. Try watching it online at www.ctv.ca as the Network broadcasting it here in Canada did not butcher it nearly as bad as NBC (not perfect) but better. Though you will have listen to the announcers yap about Canadian athletes facts sometimes (just head to the can at that point) LOL.

    Posted by: Darrell | Jul 29, 2012 3:00:15 AM


  16. There was some eejit on earlier saying that the Irish would hate the opening, but I'm Irish and I loved absolutely every moment. It was an extraordinary piece of theatre. It embodied everything I love about the English - the madness, the tolerance, the humour, the history. Please don't tell me what to think about the English. Hav'nt enough Irish people died in the North of Ireland with guns bought with the money of cretinous Americans. I am SO angry.

    Posted by: arthur | Jul 29, 2012 8:41:55 AM


  17. *sigh*

    Ratbastard doesn't hate black folks or Brits. Ratbastard's mom was born and raised in England.

    ============

    I still think celebrating the NHS in an Olympic's opening ceremony is pretty amusing, and yes, the UK NHS is inferior to the French, Dutch and German healthcare system's IMO. If the U.S. is going to completely socialize or nationalize our healthcare system, we'd be best advised to emulate the French, Dutch or Germans, not the single payer Brits or Canadians. That's not a gratuitous slap at Brits or Canadians. People need to grow up.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 29, 2012 10:17:43 AM


  18. @Arthur,

    Wow another person from those isles who has scorn for Americans. I'm shocked...shocked. And who exactly funded the IRA? I grew up in NYC and Boston and all the adults around me always condemned the bombings and the violence. The IRA were and are still [what still exist of them] far leftist, even Marxist, and they received funding from certain governments and from criminal activities primarily. They also became completely infiltrated by the the British no later than the mid 70s. So please spare me the effing lies about the Americans helping the IRA. It's untrue. Why do you people take some responsibilities for your own home grown issues and problems rather than blame the Americans for everything. You'd blame Americans for the weather if you could.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 29, 2012 10:25:09 AM


  19. And yet these mother effers who are so 'angry' at 'Yanks' and so scornful, still come here in droves to visit, work, go to school, shop, etc., NYC, Boston, etc are full of them. They're easy to spot because they usually stick with their own kind, not mix with the 'locals'.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 29, 2012 10:29:56 AM


  20. All I can say is... The man that invented the internet was honoured to be part of the proceedings & not one of you have commented or even said 'ta mate' for allowing such a bitchfest, with less depth than a Scottish puddle with piss in it... What would ye's do otherwise?? Eat, drink schnapps & have more letterbox sex???

    All I recall of Beijing was a child sung something but was too ugly for global recognition so they had a better lookin child mime, we kindof did same with McCartney, chew ma baws!!!

    Posted by: Gordon | Jul 29, 2012 7:07:37 PM


  21. All Olympiad opening ceremonies are a mess. The simplest stuff works the best...

    It bewilders me that anyone would sit through three hours of anything.

    The BBCNews site gave me enough video information about what worked and didn't work.

    You either get the humour of the 'Queen' descending from the sky, showing her bloomers, or you don't.

    Blimey, some of you people writing sure have got a lot of anger...

    Posted by: robert | Jul 30, 2012 4:14:45 AM


  22. All Olympiad opening ceremonies are a mess. The simplest stuff works the best...

    It bewilders me that anyone would sit through three hours of anything.

    The BBCNews site gave me enough video information about what worked and didn't work.

    You either get the humour of the 'Queen' descending from the sky, showing her bloomers, or you don't.

    Blimey, some of you people writing sure have got a lot of anger...

    Posted by: robert | Jul 30, 2012 4:14:46 AM


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