Saturday, July 28, 2012

What the Hell Is an Arctic Monkey

It's easy to make fun of the Olympic opening ceremonies. You can mock the music, you can mock some of the costumes, you can mock the commentary, you can mock NBC's edits in coverage, and you can mock the organizing committee for deciding that the band that would best represent London to the world was the Arctic Monkeys. Seriously, was Radiohead busy? Coldplay? The surviving members of Camel? Whatever. It's a target-rich environment.
At the same time, it does pay to remember that the opening ceremony is supposed to be ridiculous spectacle. It's supposed to be wacky and over the top and visually out there, and it's supposed to be memorable.
And let's face it, we're never going to see anything like the red-eyed butterfly-winged cyclists doing loops to a cover of "Come Together" ever again.
Yes, the last time that many people in alien-looking costumes descended on London, it was a Dr. Who Christmas special. But at the same time, the event succeeded at doing what it was supposed to: being a spectacle, and getting you to watch.
So, yes, it's all well and good we all took whacks at the Spanish team's headgear, or whatever. We raged at lousy commentary on NBC, and we moaned about how the US feed cut partial versions of songs we've all memorized anyway.
We still watched. And that's what mattered.

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