Saturday, August 9, 2008

TV Olympics, random thoughts

Oh yeah, catching up on what we recorded last night of the Olympics Opening Ceremony ... it was spectacular, and of course the thought always comes to mind, if people of the world can come together like this every few years, why not all the time.

Is it just me, or was the military presence much stronger in this opening ceremony than we are used to seeing? Early on, some little school kids handed a chinese flag to soldiers who marched off with it in a precision goosestep. Then toward the end, the official olympic flag was handed again to soldiers who goosestepped it over to run it up a flagpole.

We were treated to George & Laura up in the cheap seats. George took off his jacket, checked his watch & looked bored. The camera never panned back to them after the US marched by. Waaaay past their bedtime! Earlier, George was seen talking to Putin, no doubt about Russian tanks rolling into Georgia/Ossetia. Sarkozy kept his jacket on, even though it was over 90-degrees & so humid, his face was shiny with sweat. Hours later, due to the strange chinese "alphabetizing" system, Australia was almost last to march by, but there was PM Kevin Rudd standing up in the stands & looking peppy! All nations appeared according to their chinese name, which meant they appeared randomly to those accustomed to the western alphabet ... except somehow apparently "Zaire" is toward the end of anyone's system.

Not to sound too picky, but I also had a complaint about the music playing as the nations marched by. Do bagpipes really go with everything? When it wasn't bagpipes, it was mariachi music which was quite jarring when the country being featured was nowhere near Latin America. Maybe it was only noticeable because everything else was so perfectly coordinated.

I loved the Nike commercial (nike.com/courage) for this olympics. Every frame is worth stopping and examining ... here it is ...

"I Got Soul, but I'm not a Soldier" (1-minute from Nike):


There is a tennis fan in my house who was much impressed with the current tennis greats as they appeared in the parade of nations. Rafael Nadal for Spain is a camera favorite. Roger Federer was the flag bearer for Switzerland. Novak Djokovic marched with Serbia. They might all meet up for the Gold in the finals. Personally, I found the Italians and the Australians to be the most exurberant in their quick parade by the camera into my living room.

Here is another Nike, from a couple yrs ago ... Basketball ... I could watch this forever ... (this is the extended 3-minute version):


I'm recording today's events to watch later, mostly the swimming competition to see how Mark Phelps does.

10 comments:

enigma4ever said...

I love your summary= I could not agree more..so strange...some of it- loved seeing bush in the nosebleed section- wonderful...and yeah Scotland the Brave played over and over...very interesting....odd...and kind of funny- 6-6 " gee, no ABBA ? or maybe some PRINCE ? or how about some Earth Wind and Fire ? or how about Hasselhoff- heard he is big there...( he cracked me up,.,,,)

And sorry- but I love the BUD ads , esp the one with the dog and Hank the Horse that the dog coaches- and gives the fistbump to...

See the thing is that the tai chi and the caligraphy and the drumming all those things are beautiful- but they don't need to done HUGE...so that part overwhelmed me...but yes some of the military precision really bothered me...( like hearing that the drummers had to be told to smile...)

anyways...I love Bob Costa....but I swear I don't know how much Matt I can take..seriously....

sigh...so now we get to watch the athletes and that is the good part..this year suddenly 6-6 wants to watch the swimming ( ahem girls) and the Beach Volleyball- the girls- hmm, imagine that...me I could watch the swimming all day....yup...

enigma4ever said...

oh I meant to say LOVE LOVE the vidoes ;-)

enigma4ever said...

okay me very bad...I stole the Killers song..had to..love it...need it...it has been playing in my head all morning anyways....thank you ;-)

Cart said...

Have to admit I was burned out by the buildup. However the side comments are fascinating. So who managed to get to the opening say it was just a confusion of people inside - more performers than spectators. It was a TV spectacle after all.
Many Aussie - Kiwi families are upset that having made it to Beijing the security net is not allowing them to get close to various events.
Apart from that I've been sitting in the sunshine, reading, to escape the never turned off TV :)

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma:
since I record these things, I rarely endure commercial ads. The Nike one caught my eye. I haven't seen the Bud ones. That Killers song really gets in your head, doesn't it? Ever since I saw the ad, I've been humming it.

Cart:
I hope whatever network is covering it for you has better commentators than we have had. Ours were especially inane during the parade of nations (was it really necessary to chide some of the smaller poorer nations for not producing an athlete with much of a chance?). Why are the Kiwi families being kept away by security, I wonder. Were they one of the torch protesting nations?

Sunshine on what must be a winter day for you sounds good. Can we send you any heat to go along with that? We are having 100+ degree days, pretty miserable!

Cart said...

The temp in the sun is better than the temp out of it. The wind chill is low teens and I'm a temp whiner :)But very pleasant out of the wind.
Our local network coverage is as good as you could ever expect from sports commentators. Seems like they are working with UK associates, about the same level.
The worst part is the swimming, where we seem to excel. Not only moronic screaming commentators but the whole bloody neighbourhood sounding like they are having a short burst of noisy, spontaneous sex...

Cart said...

I should add, given my current period of imposed chastity, the sight of those well tuned female bodies is not a comfortable experience...
Nor is a word verification - hahrff

D.K. Raed said...

CART: we've got one sports commenter over there who is doing OK (Bob Costas), but the other guy is a daytime news mag hag, all fluff & worthless opines. I would love to have BBC coverage.

Don't berate the screaming neighborhood swim support. It's nice that they can get excited about something. We cheered for the Aussies, too -- you've got some great swimmers! However, if you are uncomfortable around the well-tuned female bods, definitely do NOT watch the woman's volleyball replays from yesterday.

DivaJood said...

Isn't Michael Phelps amazing? I loved the opening ceremonies, other than the inane commentary - it was a visual spectacle that was amazing.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva:
I could watch the swimmers all day, Phelps especially. But where is the tennis coverage? We keep missing it somehow. There are bets in our house on Federer or Nadal or Djokovic in the finals. I always make a mistake when I bet against Federer, plus now he wants to redeam himself, so he'll be extra driven.