The 2008 Beijing Olympics have started!

They pulled off a pretty good opening, not that I ever watch these things- the one discordant sight was the jack-booted goose-stepping soldiers carrying the Olympic flag to the pole- guess they had to give the PLA its moment of glory.

Where’s the best pub to watch the rest of it? I’m not interested in news channels with other news. Gimme all Olympics all the time!

That’s exactly what I thought. For two hours they created a beautiful colorful image of peace with happy children and joyful dancing, and just before the climax of the lighting ceremony, BANG, PLA soldiers doing their goose-step routine and robotic moves. I guess, that’s just how China is, they can be peace-loving and friendly all they want, but in a snap they can be the old oppressive communist regime again.

The good:

*All those gay guys with feathers sticking up from their heads, doing the Balinese monkey dance while worshipping the torch

*The boat guys

*The kung fu guys

*the space guys bungeeing around the “google earth” symbol (hey, China sure does brag a lot for a country with only one manned spaceflight)

The bad:

*The kids in the middle of the kung fu guys (George Lucas had the same problem with “Phantom Menace”)

The kind of blah:

*The Lite Brite guys (what the hell was that about? “Yay! We have electricity now!”)

*the glories of tea (yawn, so that’s what all those ocean voyages were about. What, no tribute to opium?)

*the piano players, the disco lounge singer

*the puppet guys (I’m sure they’re great at what they do, but the scale was all wrong–why couldn’t they have been given 100-meter high puppets instead?)

*the belly dancer (why could we have had a thousand belly dancers? is their gender ratio THAT skewed?)

*the whole schtick with the giant etch-a-sketch that kept getting drawed on

Unfortunately I missed the grand finale, because I had to take out the garbage. I guess that’s when the Taiwanese aboriginese made their big appearance, disco-dancing alongside Tibetan lamas, Mao-suited cadres, George W. Bush in a tutu, and the cast of “Kung Fu Panda”…?

I’m so disappointed with the Falungong. Not a peep out of them! I half-expected the taijuquan people to strike a Falungong pose. Guess the commies do background checks…

I can’t tell whether the fireworks were good or not–the TV broadcast didn’t do such a good job with them. Oh yeah–fie on Taiwan’s TV networks! They all cut to commercials at the same time. And those damned pop-ups! One channel had all five of the cartoon characters, another had some kind of cube with sports symbols…and my family-in-law switched to a channel that had two anchorpeople chattering the whole time.

By the time I got back, I was watching all these African dudes make their grand entrance to Scottish bagpipes. Hey, why can’t the Japanese team wear what everyone wants them to wear–sailor suits for the ladies, and Science Team Gatchaman (“G-Force”) outfits for the men? Or, World War II reenactment gear would be good too, with the ladies portraying Chinese “comfort women”…

Yeah, why not use real Chinese opera performers, it’s not like there was not enough room in the stadium to accommodate them.

Overall, I found the show very impressive and eye-pleasing. What impressed me the most was how accurately the kungfu guys very lined up even after moving around a lot.

The guys with the lights were kind of cute switching the lights on and of.

The dove they build wasn’t really flying…

The movement of the blocks was really well orchestrated. That’s a really challenging thing to do with people inside boxes and every single mistake easily spotted (it looked perfect). Was also great to see the guys coming out of their boxes at the end.

The use of colors and lights was very tasteful.

Watching 200 national teams was mostly boring. The Italians were kind of the exception. Half of them stepped across the clear line to their right. The guys at the end were so high that they bumped in the flag bearer of the next group, oh boy

The coolest dude was Dirk Nowitzki, he’s a class act, my all-time sports hero.

Go Dirk! Get your gold!

F*king weird thread…

Chinese Man Kills Relative of U.S. Olympic Coach

The wife just told me the other guy died.

Yeah, I liked the box people too. When I first saw it I figured it was done by computer, with some sort of inflating thing making them go up and down!

I just noticed what the Taiwanese delegation was wearing. Ordinary suits! What–they want the whole world to think they’re just normal people? Why not make them all wear those aboriginal thong diaper things? Or better yet, just go naked, as if that was the normal thing here. That’ll boost tourism for sure!

I loved the sober face and sterile waving of President Hu Jin Tao as the PRC team passed

Both he and Little Kim in N Korea must spend hours watching “Mao Ze Dong speaking to the peasants” reruns

Did I hear mariachis somewhere near the middle of the parade?

I liked the Colombians, full of zest and energy. That was fun.

There were sevral other athlete groups that were busy taking pictures and recording teh event, rather than marching stifly and waving. Some looked like they were really having fun.

I also liked that the KMT chairman and other “ROC” representatives were not wearing suits. Man, you could see even Kobe was sweating, and most atletes were wiping sweat off their brows like rain. At least our guys wore sensible clothes -the ones on the stands, that is.

I thought the opening ceremony was simply stupendous ~!!! Worth a rewatch , which is what I did today.

On a sidenote, I like the cheerleaders . But imagine jumping around for a couple of hours and no place to pee?