Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Experience of the Olympic Closing Ceremonies

Even before they started, I had decided to watch A&E running old syndicated episodes of 'Criminal Minds', checking in on the closing ceremonies in the ads. This strategy produced a somewhat surreal effect, though maybe no more surreal than watching the whole thing.
So I wound up seeing a somewhat superannuated Neil Young singing, though at least the song about running for a long time made some sense. Next ad there seemed to be Avril Lavigne, and I could not tell what she was singing.
During one ad there was William Shatner and I thought WTF!? Andrew Koenig (the son of the actor who played Chekhov and bizarrely switched V's and W's from how they would do it in Russian) just committed suicide in Vancouver.
And then I stumbled upon Catherine O'Hara doing a PowerPoint presentation, with what was a sequence of pathetic lame jokes. When she made a joke about peeing in the snow, I willingly fled to Vince slap-chopping on A&E. Who wrote that material?
Next ad another derivative rock band (are they all the same?) called Nickelback, so back to Vince. And next ad some attractivish young (I am 61 - I know many consider her to be roughly Neil Young's age) Alanis Morrisette singing to bore me. Back to Vince.
Oh and then the truly poor man's Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble (though I give him credit for trying to preserve that true musical heritage). And the bits I saw of Ben Heppner impressed me - he did what he could with 'O Canada'.
Then the ads took on a totally weird flavor. After a couple of breaks I recognized that we were playing to what we consider all the stereotypes we think other countries have about us and I had two questions. First was, no sorry, it is not a question, it is a reflection I often have, "We really are that self-absorbed and so caught up in what others think of us." Second was, is the message here not, "Here, you dumb foreigners, this is what we think you think of us, so we are tossing it back in your face?" To use a word I kept finding pop up during the Olympics, it was unseemly.
There was something even funnier in the pathetic programming - what were all those people doing up there on stage saying how great Canada was when they do not even live here anymore?
Since then I have heard that "La Bottine Souriante" got some time. Hooray!
And I saw the bit about the flame-lighting ceremony mishap being satirized - liked that.
But really - it was not a pleasant experience checking in.
Well, until the Russians came in. I saw bits of their utterly wacky mix of everything.
I regret I misssed their national anthem - truly one of the greatest in the world.
OK that is roughly my stream of consciousness from Sunday evening.


At 2:54 AM, Blogger EclectEcon said...

And I thought *I* was a curmudgeon.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Come on! I said I loved the Russian national anthem.


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