Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Open letter

Dear London (or maybe LOCOG?),

I am a bit angry, and you know that I don't like saying this in public.

On Monday, we all woke up to the hangover of the Olympic games. Tourists are still wandering around the tube spending their last days in the city, BBC kept reporting until very early in the morning talking about the games, and Metro greeted us good morning with a full-on colour spread of the recap of last night.

But I am sort of traumatised right now. It is the second night  that the great Olympic Ceremony gets spoiled and we end up watching it at home.

See, without trying to sound pretentious, I have, very successfully, planned a lot of my weekends for the last few months, for me and my housemates to do things around and have lots of fun. 9 out of 10, all the planning was spot-on executed, with just minor incidents (easily amended). But in these Olympic Games, it has just gone wrong all the time, and my proud title of Events Organiser has been dangerously damaged.

I need to maintain my reputation.

For the closing ceremony I tried to apply all my management skills, so I carefully organised an agenda for the day. For the evening, we prepared a picnic bought in the morning (thanks 3x2 Waitrose) -- at the end, we ended up spending much money that buying food at stalls -- with amounts of food and drinks equivalent to 3 days of fasting, blankets and umbrellas for a foreseeable rainy evening and double the enthusiasm than the previous time. At the end of the day, it was the closing ceremony, who would like to watch it?. Unfortunately, as the Opening Ceremony left the standards above expectations, and even though Haggerston Park was the perfect place last time and it was recommended by certified sources, the queue when we reached there was longer than the queue around the Vatican on a 3rd of August. Reaching almost two hours before didn't help at, as the venue was apparently at full capacity already. But we went there to stay. We could not fail YET* another time again, so we kept queuing ignoring the one-out one-in warning until show time.

*I keep saying YET again. For the opening ceremony we failed by going to Hyde Park in search of free big screens.

And the doors didn't open.

We had failed again and it was too much to risk it to Victoria Park (chance to take Boris Bikes?) and I had no recollection of Boxpark showing it in this occasion.

With the tail between our legs and the cans of, now warm, Pimms snoring in our bags, we switched to mango Rubicon and headed home once again, to at least, feel safe in our basement.

Just when the defeat was tasting bitter than ever, we realised that this ceremony was not like the opening. I sat in my sofa stuffing myself with all my 3x2, speechless of what I was watching. Rumours of One Erection Direction playing while we were heading home were confirmed, just as I saw George Michael on stage boring the crowd in his leather total look (to the amusement of my friend R, that just before GM showed up on stage, he asked me: - Is he in jail right now?). By that time, Twitter was on fire praying for GM to sing Last Christmas and at least my bitterness was being washed away.

At that point, the ceremony was turning into a massive mash-up / variety show that was feeling a bit like a joke when the producer of the show gave Jessie J stage time for more than 3 songs, with an outfit to pretend that she was half naked (or pretending to be just covered in 'jewels') singing that it is not all about the price tag, while riding on a Rolls Royce with no seatbelt on (hello? Health & Safety?).

I suffered something close to a sugar rush caused by the failed picnic and the fact that I was not enjoying what I was watching. In fact, I was about to go to bed when Norman Cook, also known as Fat Boy Slim, showed up in a giant inflatable octopus DJing a couple of his hits from the 90s that at least, used to be mega tunes.

And the Spice Girls also showed up (note that I am ignoring the fact that Ed Sheeran also showed up to sing semi-acoustic backed up with some guys from Pink Floyd), and at least we laughed a bit watching Boris shaking his bootie (while we all secretly were hoping for another zip-line moment to rejoice ourself photoshopping it).

Monty Python had their slot too.

London (or LOCOG), I must point out that I am totally conscious that the showtime timeline is proving totally wrong in my arguments, but it is due to the confusion of the day of the event that still prevails today at this point. But you should not blame it. Russell Brand showed up at some point dressed in skinny trousers stolen from Alice in Wonderland, surrounded by women and singing through a megaphone (and he was not singing live). Summer of '69 meets circus and who knows what. Again, I was speechless.

At some point Beady Eye showed up, and sang Wonderwall. For some reason, it felt painful to see Liam.

All of a sudden, out of the blue (I keep citing Adele for some reason), British fashion. BOOM!! the QUEENs of the Catwalk. Naomi and Kate where there for the world to see. Obviously, this helped to build up the WTF sensation up to that point.

And talking about Queen, Muse was there, playing their new Olympic song. Although Matthew Bellamy's goatee is not my cup of tea (somebody please tell him, it does not look good on him), his glittery black suit was totally appropriate for the cheap Vegas show that was going on, and still he was totally pulling it off.
Can't remember the order, but at some point, the distortion pedal was whacked by the (rumoured -- gotta love the old discussion forums) grey wig-ed up Brian May, that at least managed to wash away (yet again) the mega cheesy show that we were all witnessing.

Then, from the corner of my eye, and my screen, I saw a leg with a flesh-coloured stocking, and I swear I started praying to avoid my worse fears: Please, dont let Jessie J be in stage ONCE again. My prayers didnt work, and I was there, watching it speechless, and I thought about throwing my leftover meal-deal hoisin duck wrap to the TV, but refrained of doing so because, after all, it was not the TV's fault. But still, with all the great musicians in the UK, why does Jessie J have to sing 4 times?

Oh, Kaiser Chiefs were also there. They should have played I predict a Riot, at least for a bit of piss-taking.

But yeah, Queen + naked lady finished a very loud and terrible We Will Rock You (how predictable) and very abruptly Boris came back on stage to do what he likes the most: waving flags (no embarrassing situation, unfortunately). And that was it: the handover to Brazil, with also a very blah show, that not even Alessandra Ambrosio could cheer up, because, let's admit it; she may have an amazing body (Victoria's Secret Model) but she is not the best example of brazilian moves at all (zzZZZZzz).

I went to bed glad that I didn't pay for it.

And then, apparently, The Who closed the act.

By the way London, for your information, please find bellow 15 things that sum up the event and makes us realised about what we have learnt from the ceremony.


But well, in spite of the jinx, I must admit that the games. I actually miss them a bit.

Plus wandering around London was better than ever during this fortnight. 

But still, you'd better make it up for the failure, London.

Yours truly,


PS. Where was the Queen, by the way?

1 comment:

  1. Haha somehow I missed the great dance of Boris. It's hilarious :D