Thursday, September 18, 2008

Second Closing

So, the Paralympics are over too.

We can perhaps expect one or two more days of 'blue skies' and enhanced civility, to cater to Paralympic athletes who might be trying to do a bit of tourism now the Games are over, but then..... it will quickly be back to 'normal', I fear; 'normal' for Beijing meaning crazy traffic, choking pollution, crappy weather, etc.

That second Closing Ceremony was a bit lame, wasn't it? Definitely just a pared down version of the original. And I had been hoping for a more impressive way of extinguishing the Flame, rather just slowly turning down the gas. Perhaps London can come up with a gigantic candle-snuffer.

Darn, some of the imagery was pretty obscure, though. What was with those blimps? Those turd-shaped, gray camo-coloured blimps? Was it a reference to the cloud-seeding that has made these Olympics some of the rainiest on record??

Most of the rest of it seemed to be about posting a 'Good luck!' letter (or, more plausibly, a taunting 'Ha-haa! Yours'll never be as good as ours!' letter) to London. The slogan that appeared on the turf appeared to say: A letter for the fufure. But I think we know what they meant.

Then..... jeez, that extended bit with the beaming granny surrounded by the weird kids was a major embarrassment. It is possible to do that jerky, 'robotic' style of dancing without looking as though you're making fun of cerebral palsy sufferers - but this choreographer didn't manage it. Ouch!

Of course, we still had the reappearance of the London bus to look forward to - but even that seemed very muted and token: no celebs this time around. Instead of Jimmy Page, we got Lord Nelson jamming away on guitar; although a barely recognisable Nelson, since he had both his arms, sunglasses instead of an eyepatch, and his costume was a strange metallic grey colour - rather than the familiar veneer of guano that we see in Trafalgar Square (and his column was disappointingly small, too).

At least someone had told Boris Johnson to keep his hands out of his pockets this time. I suppose he had to make another speech at the London House afterwards. I wonder if it's on YouTube yet?

Anybody else think that the International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven looks strangely like the late John Peel?

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