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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Kiss Me Kate!

Phew, I'm glad that's over with. I don't know about you but I was full of dread.

I mean, David Cameron might have lit the Olympic flame; or Sir Paul Mccartney might sing "Hey Jude". Oh he did, did he?

I don't know who I felt more sorry for. Mohamed Ali or Sir Paul - I think Macca won by a short, if heavily dyed, head of hair.

But wasn't it all so lovely. Didn't it make you proud to be part of this fractious, complaining and until recently very wet nation. Full of self loathing, riven by class, yet at a time of much uncertainty and difficulties one idiosyncratic display of fractured creativity has for a precious while healed and soothed.

Danny Boyle's riposte to Cameron's smug "selling Britain to the World" was a triumph. Here we saw a nation that had invented everything - from the dark satanic mills, a language of surpassing beauty and descriptive power, to Mr Bean, the Beatles and the worldwideweb. If you didn't get that world; well that's your bad luck.

What Mitt Romney made of it all I dread to think. No doubt  last night's jigsaw of creative energy would have confirmed him in his belief that Coke and MacDonald's would have at least done a better job of selling the UK.

The evening was full of surprises and delights. The red hot forged Olympic ring rising up to join the other four suspended in the sky. The phalanx of Mary Poppins descending to drive away the nightmares and fears. The Bond and Bean touches; wonderfully undercutting any sense of overweening grandiose feelings of importance.

Many have commented that only a nation confident in its own nature can poke fun at itself so successfully.

It was not Cameron's or Coke's or Barclay's image of corporate Britain up for sale to the highest bidder. It was ourselves, reflected back on us.

And, do you know, I was proud of who I am.

Thank you Danny and this glorious, quirky  island. And thank you Ma'am.


Steve said...

I've yet to watch it being at the cinema gorging on gratuitous violence. But I have recorded it to watch later with my tea, supper and possibly next morning's breakfast.

louciao said...

And the Brits' uniforms were the best of the lot!

John Gray said...

here here

Marginalia said...

Steve, it must have been lonely in the cinema

louciao: yes I think I agree

John Gray: I think I agree: a splendid confection.

Anonymous said...

But what was Ed Miliband doing performing Chariots of Fire?

Bojo said...

There are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers. The whole thing is magnificent and bonkers.

Marginalia said...

Dear Bojo, all it needed was one Cornetto to complete the scene!

Marginalia said...

Ah, I get Anon, Ed Miliband is Mr Bean. And Tony Blair as Mike Oldfield?

Anonymous said...

Cameron travelled on the tube yesterday and was quoted as saying it wasn't too bad. How would he know? What's his point of comparison? A bit more crowded than his limo? He doesn't have to travel daily on crowded tubes with his face stuck in the sweaty armpits of his elecctors!

Marginalia said...

Ah, the distant memory of the morning journey into work. What joy!

The unforgettable scent of last night's highly spiced curry, garlicky escargots and excaping wind.

The journey home, packed, pinched and panicky - especially after 7/7.

This is London. Enjoy.