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2012 Olympics: Did Anyone Actually Enjoy the Opening Ceremony?

It was like one big, freaking $40 million joke. Nightmare also applies.

Remember those trips you used to take as a kid to those strange re-enactment places, like Colonial Williamsburg or Plymouth Plantation? Everyone is wearing outfits from the 1700′s, churning butter and making all the tourists extremely uncomfortable by speaking in Old English. Well that’s what the Olympics opening ceremony was like…except it lasted for four hours and there was no Old English – just techno music.

What the hell was that? I have never witnessed anything that even comes close to the train wreck that Friday’s whole ceremony was. Never. From beginning to end, it was confusing, stupid, weird, confusing again, at times boring and never interesting  for the right reasons.

Oh it was interesting – if only because you had to watch so you could see for yourself if this was actually happening or just some elaborate hoax put on NBC to see how many viewers it could draw.

From the hundreds of people dressed up in Abe Lincoln-like gear to the comically long raising of a bunch of towers, to the little kids laying down in beds to slave driving to a satanic choir, to people dressed up as birds riding bikes, to people in big yellow outfits trapped in over-sized bouncy balls to Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig diving out a plane, this place had everything.

It was like one of those clubs that Bill Hader describes as “Stefon” on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.

“This place has everything! Tall towers coming out of the ground, people with beards, Margaret Thatcher, skydiving, slavery, flamethrowers….” 

I was completely caught off-guard by the whole ordeal. Then I found out that the whole thing cost $40 million – $40 million that England will never get back. They might as well have donated a big check to the Great British Circus and called it a day.

But wait! There’s more! There were 62,000 people in attendance! If you watched on television – like I did – it was completely impossible to keep up with what was happening, as 19 different scenarios were playing out at any given time during this organized sideshow. There was commentary during the broadcast trying to describe what was happening, but even they couldn’t really put it together.

So here’s my question: Was that the worst four hours of those 62,000 people’s lives? Honestly – could they have had a worse time over that four-hour span if they tried? There is no way they had any idea what was going on (no one was explaining it to them, they couldn’t see most of the stuff happening from any vantage point) and there was just constant house music playing. Unless you were on ecstasy and rolling your balls off, the opening ceremonies had to be like attending a college graduation, only two hours longer.

Watch this slideshow. It’s hilarious (and only two minutes long) because it captures exactly what happened over that four-hour span…just a bunch of disjointed scenes taking place with people in blackface.

It was supposed to depict England’s growth over time, and how it came to be the country it is today (sexually repressed, filled with strange teeth and hooligans), which is all well and good if anybody cared. But we don’t. And, if we did care, we would be able to find out all that information in one place that would only take 20 minutes to read.

To top it off, Sir Paul McCartney showed up and sang “Hey Jude,” only it was the worst performance of the song I’ve ever heard him sing. It was completely out of tune. London couldn’t even get the most famous song from their most famous singer done the right way.

Apparently, the ceremony received generally positive reviews, which leads me to believe one of two things:

1. Everyone who wrote positively about that ceremony also finds the Three Stooges funny or

2. Everyone who wrote positively about that ceremony was on ecstasy

It was the worst train wreck since the “Great Train Wreck of 1918.” It took me 10 seconds to find that on Wikipedia. London could take a hint.

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