07.27.12 8:14 PM ET
The Opening Ceremonies
I'm second to no man as a Paul McCartney defender, but I do wonder why tonight's opening ceremonies will feature just him and (apparently, unless they're cleverer than I think and they've kept it really under wraps) not some of the British rock icons down the years.
Imagine up on stage not just Macca but alongside him: Mick and Keith, Clapton, Townshend, Jimmy Page, Bono, and so on. Now that would be something to see.
Anyway, I always go in for the opening ceremonies. I remember being vaguely dazzled last time, although I don't remember a thing about them. Wasn't there some cloud-like imagery toward the beginning?
The 007 business sounds cute and all. If our own Beast scoop from a couple of weeks ago is correct, and of course it must be, Daniel Craig will make a dazzling entry into the stadium. That might be fun. I couldn't help but notice that You Only Live Twice is on one of the cable channels tonight, so if I want me some Bond, I might just go watch that for a while. I love it when Bond climbs the volcano and throws that little rock down there and it goes ping ping ping!
The best part to me is the parade of nations. When I was younger, and the Olympics were always on ABC, Peter Jennings would join the sports casters for that segment, the presence of the newsman suggesting that there was a fresh seriousness to this moment, and as each nation was introduced, he would add his little descriptors:
"Benin, that small, war-torn nation..."
"Jordan, of course, caught up in a tense battle between tradition and modernity..."
"Chile, as we know, living under the jackboot of dictatorship..."
"Little St. Kitts and Nevis, brining just three athletes to these games, but nevertheless as proud..."
NBC does more or less the same thing. It's totally hokey and cliched, but there's something reassuring about it all the same. Some things you watch to be surprised, and other things you watch for the precise opposite reason, because they are so old-shoe, reassuringly unsurprising. That's the parade of nations.
As for the games themselves, I watch only intermittently.