Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Olympics opening ceremony – a minority view

This has very little  - maybe a bit – to do with 50-plus marketing. So you could save yourself 90 seconds and click away.

I love watching sport. Cycling, tennis, gymnastics, field and track  - you name it I love it – with the exception of football.

I sat down to watch the opening ceremony and by the time we had the Morris dancers and Kenneth Branagh doing his Brunel speech I was wondering what else was on the TV. As I was watching I read that we were going to have a lot about the NHS and dancing nurses and thought that maybe I could think of something else to do with my life for the next few hours. After an hour of Silence of the Lambs I went to bed.

Why am I telling you about my domestic TV viewing arrangements? Well I guess it because I am very often of a different opinion to things than my fellow man but waking up, reading the press and hearing the news, it was clear that I was in a minority of one – other than some Tory MP who was getting a heap load of S*** poured on him for his negative Tweets about the ceremony.

Then something strange happened. A couple of friends called in for a coffee – they asked – “what did you think about the event?” Mmmm, I thought, shall I be honest – sod it why not – I thought it was – hesitation – ‘boring’ and very ‘worthy’. They both starting laughing and said  - thank God it is not only us. Throughout the day I met up with a lot more chums and the same thing happened. Initial concern about being negative only to find they thought exactly the same thing.

What did we have in common? Well we were all in our 60s and 70s  - we all had ultra negative experiences of the sacred NHS. I supposed if I am honest, we all couldn’t stand the idea of a dyed-in-the-wool leftie having £50 million (of our money) to spin 3 hours of his version of history and society.

Anyway, normal service was resumed next day when we were confronted with reality. The BBC’s TV coverage of the cycling was terrible – absolutely terrible. There were great swathes of empty seats at all of the sporting events I looked at and the Murray brothers lost in the first round of the doubles.

There must be a learning about 50-plus marketing we can find amongst these ramblings? I think it is this. As you get older you become more bruised by reality. All of the nice stories aren’t really that nice. I guess this takes you in one of two ways – either you look at the events and use them to justify your views (my approach) or you keep hoping that they will somehow be different. If you are young you find it all one big visual extravaganza. 

I rarely add to my blogs but my comments about the Olympics ceremony seem to have hit a bit of raw nerve. Clearly Janet thought it was great (we are old friends and will  have to agree to disagree about this) but I have had ten other Tweets/e-mails of people who agree with me. A couple of them said that it seems somehow wrong to think it was anything other than great/terrific. A strange national condition. Perhaps it has something to do with the austerity and that people just want something to be positive about.  Anyway enough of this subject. Dick Stroud

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