Tag Archive | Caliban

London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The John Lennon Segment Was Inspired. Thank You.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>  London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The Churchill Minute Akin To The Muhammad Ali Blunder — August 14, 2012.
>> Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! — July 29, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist — July 31, 2012.



Click image to see YouTube video of the brilliant, inspired John Lennon segment from the London Olympics closing ceremony.

Click image to see YouTube video of the brilliant, inspired John Lennon segment from the London Olympics closing ceremony.


Imagine that!

After screwing up so badly in the Opening Ceremonies with poor Muhammad Ali and the snubbing of the Empire, and then the horrible goof at the start of the Closing Ceremonies with the Winston Churchill faux pas, the London 2012 Olympic organizer got the John Lennon segment just right. Bullseye. A perfect ’10’. Bravo. Read the comments on the (above) YouTube clip. Spot on.

I am so thrilled. So uplifted. So proud. That was a great moment for all of us. Thank you.

The crowd in the stadium knew at once that this was special. The applause was louder, faster and more sustained. It was as if Usain Bolt had set another record.

All that we all wanted to see was real Lennon. No actor. No imitator; like Winston, Lennon is inimitable. To see him at the start on that grainy 1970 video was to capture the true essence of the Beatles and Britain in the 1970s.

The whole segment including the creation of his face was magical. Bravo. The song … immortal. It was John as we knew him and loved him.

I still remember where I was when I heard that he had been shot and had died. I was driving a car, to work, in North London … not that far from where the Olympics were held. I was at an intersection. I was stopped waiting for a break in the oncoming traffic. I had Radio One. The news came on. I was stunned. My legs froze. They say you will always remember where you were when you heard that JFK had been assassinated. Well, I remember that too. We were in Ceylon and my father got a phone call with the news and he said: ‘I am not surprised’. Well, to me it is where I was when I heard Dear John was dead. Yes, I have been to Strawberry Banks in Central Park, NYC to pay my dues. [I have a couple of rare pictures of him here.]


So where was Ringo?

Sir Paul, as is his due, got star billing in the Opening Ceremony. That is how it should be. Here is a YouTube video of that … ‘Hey Jude’.

George, alas, can’t make it. But, Ringo, as far as I know, is still with us and doing fine. So why SNUB him. He may not be a great drummer but he is not a bad guy, and he was a Beatle. I think that it was rude to not have him do something. People still adore him.

But, I will close with one of my favorite Beatles stories. Lennon, in the early 1970s was asked by a music reporter whether he thought Ringo was the best drummer in the world. Lennon, who could play the drums, as could George, replied, brilliantly: ‘Heck, Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles‘. That is John Lennon. We got to see him and enjoy him at the Closing ceremonies. Thank you.

London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The Churchill Minute Akin To The Muhammad Ali Blunder

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
……
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! — July 29, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist — July 31, 2012.




As with Muhammad Ali, Winston Churchill is one of my all time heroes, one of the undeniable, immortal ‘Greats’. I even named my second Golden after him, ‘Winston’.

When I listen to Winston speak I still get goosebumps. His command of the English leaves me in humbled awe. I have gone on pilgrimage both to his birthplace, the magnificent Blenheim Palace and his burial place in Bladon. Yes, I know that he wasn’t that fond of darkies (like me), but that has never really bothered me. That was a generational thing. Something that he grew up with and as. I don’t think it was personal or vicious. It was a different age. Yes, I know he was not very fond of another of my heroes, Gandhi (and called him some amusing names). But, ‘race’ in Britain is different and, of course, I am very qualified to talk about it having grown up as a non-white in Britain, starting in 1969. I do know this for a fact. If not for dear Churchill I will be writing this blog in German! Period.

The Olympic organizers forgot the most fundamental adage about Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA. He is inimitable.

So to have an actor, Timothy Spall, do a pitiful imitation of him was uncalled for. Unbecoming. Unnecessary. Ditto with the Ali moment. What were they thinking? Yes, I saw “The King’s Speech” — and loved it. That doesn’t mean that he should have played Winston. I feel bad for him. He does NOT sound anything like Winston. He sounds like he has a mouthful of the proverbial British marbles in his mouth. That isn’t how Winston sounds.

You can’t try and imitate Winston. He stands alone and will always stand alone – a lion, a giant, an artist, a writer, a father, a fighter, a man.

Yes, of course, Winston must have uttered lines from Shakespeare. But, to portray him doing the ‘I love this island‘, Caliban’s speech from ‘The Tempest‘ was stupid.

And AGAIN we go back to my theme from the Opening Ceremonies. The need for political correctness. Yes, of course, he can’t offend the Germans.

What we should have had ideally was a 3D hologram of the REAL Winston created from all of the b&w film clips we have of him.

Failing that they should have just projected THE SPEECH onto the large TVs … ‘We shall fight them …’ That to me would have been appropriate. The Olympics is all about fighting.

Or THE FINEST HOUR SPEECH. I love that speech. I go and read it every once in awhile for inspiration.

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.”

That would have been appropriate. The London Olympics was a HUGE SUCCESS. Bravo. It wasn’t the Battle of Britain, but it was one of our finest fortnights.

So, let me conclude by letting you actually listen to the inimitable, GREAT MAN, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA.

You really should listen to this speech. It is HISTORY. Not for that we would all be talking German.



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