Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Fortnight Of Games

I would like to thank everyone for your kind sympathy in my last blog. It has been a difficult time the last few days, and your words did help. At the moment, I feel rather drained, but that is to be expected. I'm not entirely sure when I'll be returning to a regular schedule with blogging; as you can imagine, I'm not feeling particularly funny at the moment. You can, however, find me over at Shelly's blog, where there's an interview with two incorrigible dogs, and a short excerpt from Heaven & Hell. Fortunately I did that one before all of this happened...

Today though, since I did one of these before the Games started, I had been planning to do a post Games wrap up, and with the Games behind us, it's time to wrap things up.... 

The fortnight that is the Olympics is now at an end, and it's been a long two weeks. London has shown itself off to the world, starting with an extended opening ceremony by director Danny Boyle that ran through British history, featured appearances by Kenneth Branagh (with big sideburns), J.K. Rowling (no, she's not writing another Potter book, so stop asking),  Rowan Atkinson channeling Mr. Bean to make fun of Chariots of Fire (which deserves to get heckled), and the current 007 Daniel Craig serving as wingman for the Queen in a much inspired prefilmed spot.

Over the last two weeks, three hundred events have been held. Records were broken. Hearts soared. Hearts were broken by a bad twist of fate. Fans cheered in the stands.

The world's media was in place. Some broadcasters did the job admirably. Some were so fawning over their own athletes that they weren't even paying attention to whoever else was actually competing (BBC, I'm talking to you). And still others (NBC, accept the Shackles of Shame when I hand them to you) thought it was a brilliant idea to keep tape delaying events for hours on end rather than, oh.... broadcasting them live as they were happening.

The Games have been a source of amusement for cartoonists through the last couple of weeks too... 

Not to mention the occasional subject of some well targeted skewering and goofiness...

And as you can see, editorial cartoonists went wild with the theme, playing off of the commercialism, the sporting events, the fans, the sideshows, and in many other ways. Even in ways that were, well, off the planet... 

In the end, the Games are supposed to be about the athletes. Emphasis on supposed to be. For two weeks, they've given it their all, performed on the world stage, touched those watching, and in the best cases, reminded us that we can, if we want, get past our petty bickering and differences. 

One exception: an incompetent soccer referee who probably won't be welcome in the Great White North for the next twenty or thirty years.   

Anyway, the closing ceremonies are done, with the Paralympics to follow. We don't have to think of Olympics for another couple of years, until the next Winter Olympics, or as Tsar Vladimir would like to call them, the Vladimir Putin Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014.

London 2012 has closed up with the usual final ceremonies, bizarre staging, a musical jam (and Timothy Spall channeling Winston Churchill for some reason).

Though strictly speaking... let's face it, George Michael hasn't been relevant in twenty years, the Spice Girls haven't recorded a thing in ten years (and Victoria Beckham looks angry at everyone every single second of her life), and are The Who really still alive?


And what idiot thought it was a brilliant idea to have the world's most annoying human being turn up on stage?

I am, of course, talking about Russell Brand, who unfortunately didn't get run over by a souped up bus. More's the pity, really. The world would be a better place without this guy- who looks like something the cat coughed up- in it.


  1. There's so much truth in the humor....

    The US Olympic Tweeting team? They'd take the gold every time.

    Good to see you back in action, partner.

  2. Thank goodness I missed the closing ceremonies. I think I would have coughed up something seeing Russell Brand and Victoria Beckham on the same stage. Guess the cartoonists were intent on making you smile!

  3. Great post !
    Didn't quite get the opening ceremony but love the Corgis, 009 and of course The Queen !
    Like the closing ceremony as much as nbc (can't use upper case) let me see.
    remembered all the bands and music so I enjoyed parts of it.

    Loved all the Curiosity Mars landing cartoons. Perfect !
    Most of the work on that is done here at The University Of Arizona, they do lots of the space program.

    Big woofs to you from The Square Ones
    cheers, parsnip

  4. The best part of the Olympics was Rowan Atkinson...he is, and always will be, the say nothing but get the laughs that he gets says something for his comedy and the man.

    Oh, and the Queen wasn't so bad either...

  5. I didn't watch much but I did catch the Canadian highlights on the late TSN wrap ups. This was a great wrap up yourself - loved those twitter cartoons!

  6. Good to see you writing! :-)

    Got disgusted with the Olympic coverage available here: nbc, so stopped watching. Would have LOVED to see fencing; who decided Americans don't like fencing? My son fences.

    Hope all of the athletes take something good from the experience home with them.

  7. We couldn't get BBC 1 at our hotel in Austria, so watched the opening and more on German tv. My German doesn't extend to sports stuff, so with language out of the equation, the ream games took center stage. And what a treat they were. Everyone's a winner!

    You're right, NBC needs to get its act together.

    It was good seeing you back, William, but, my friend, let the healing take its time.

  8. It's a good thing the girls in the row boat don't have much to grab. TFF!

    Hugs and chocolate,

  9. William, I loved your post over at Shelly's! And I love the pics here as always (love the giant cat)! And you really do share some true insights on this event! And I agree about Russell Brand! Take care, William!

  10. I thought it was pure genius how the queen and 007 staged their bit for the opening. As far as the rest of the Olympics...well, it's sports, right? So I didn't give a crap and avoided coverage like the plague.

  11. Hopping over, and good to see you back. Just be good to yourself,

  12. It's really hard to write humor especially when something terrible happens. It takes time to grieve and we can wait until you're ready.

  13. I hope you're doing a little better, William.

    These pictures are too funny. The time lag between the US and NASA made me laugh out loud. I guess I should've watched the Olympics on Mars.

  14. It's good to hear from you, William.

    You did better than me. I gave up on the Olymoics after the women gymnasts were done. Didn't watch the closing either. I'm not what you would call a big sports fan.

    I'm looking forward to the fall when we can start watching some of our favorite shows again.

    Take care.

  15. "Speak of the Devil" has been included in the Sites To See for this week. I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

  16. Gun Culture sounds so much better than Tweet Culture! Of course, I'm old school American.

    Fun post, William.

  17. Glad you're easing back into the saddle. We've missed you. Now to go over to Shelly's blog....

  18. I thought the whole McDonalds sponsoring the Olympics was ridiculous! ...until I found myself eating it on the couch one night, watching the high jump...

  19. Thanks for stopping by, Wendall.

    There are some super cartoon's in today's (Sat.) Washington Post.

    We're off to a Washington Nationals baseball game shortly. They were once where you Leafs are, so don't give up hope!

  20. Where do you find these hilarious cartoons?

    Chuckled through your post. Sadly, the jibes about Americans with guns is true. I wish my fellow Americans would get over their obsession with guns. It's all about fear.

  21. Awwww I loved the BBC coverage - there was plenty of digital choice, blanket live coverage of all the sports going (I mean handball!?!? Greco-Roman wrestling!?!?) and yes they did show Bolt and Blake singing along to the Trinidad and Tobago national anthem when really they should have pointed the cameras at the T&T guy who won the javelin gold. That was pretty shoddy. Oh dear! But anyway! Another TV non-public channel will be showing the Paralympics. So here I will expect lots of commercials, less live coverage and lots more commercials. Take care

  22. Great post. Thanks! Nice to wake up giggling. (Curiosity Cartoons--hah!) Rowan Atkinson and the Queen were so great. :)

    I hope you are doing well, William. And that peace finds you soon. I left you my sympathies in your last post, but want to here too--in case a double dose helps somehow. The Gnomies send you all their best vibes.

  23. @Norma: then there's the taking pictures with their cellphones while walking into the stadium... lots of American athletes were doing that on opening night.

    @Eve: Russell Brand needs to be dropped into the deepest part of the ocean. With Mrs. Beckham. Post haste.

    @Parsnip: I often wonder what the corgis think of the Queen....

    @Beth: he really made that character a signature. I've rather liked a comedy special he did where he also played the devil.

    @Tracy: I caught what I could as it went on. I'm personally a fan of rowing, as far as summer Olympics are concerned.

    @Kittie: heads should roll at NBC...

    @Shelly: I actually watched that race, and those two won. It was such an amazing race, and an emotional moment.

    @Lena: thanks!

    @Krisztina: it was a fun moment!

  24. @Eden: thank you.

    @Deb: one day at a time. This one's rough to go through.

    @Kelly: The Martian broadcasters would probably be more entertaining.

    @Christine: gymnastics... not one that I can take seriously.

    @Jerry: thank you!

    @Lynn: thanks.

  25. @Cheryl: it'll be awhile before I'm feeling myself, I think...

    @Padded Cell: strange how that happens, isn't it?

    @Undercover: I rather like fencing.

    @Kittie: Wendall?

    @Moon Child: in lots of different places!

    @Old Kitty: I saw a note about a race being covered by the BBC, and the commentators were so wrapped up in the British team that they paid no attention at all to who actually crossed the finish line first.

    @Janiel: I saw, and thank you very much.

  26. I couldn't believe it when I saw Russell Brand. What an embarrassment! *cringe*

    Overall, though, the Olympics were fab and it was so nice to see London come alive. There's been so much doom and gloom here in the UK - combined with terrible summer weather - that the bit of positivity was very much welcome.

    William, thinking of you!

  27. This is a great post! I really loved the pictures.

  28. Great post William! Hope you are doing well!

  29. I miss the Olympics, William. Really enjoyed it this time, and thought the host country was wonderful. Of course having J.K. Rowling never hurts their case in my book. :)

  30. William, glad to see you back blogging. Hope you and your family are well!

    Love your post:). I enjoyed what I saw of the Olympics, but the closing ceremony was a little strange.

    I still can't get over McDonald's as the official sponsor. I wonder how often the athletes really chowed down on Big Macs during the games;).


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