The Sydney 2000 Closing Ceremonies let Midnight Oil argue in favor of reparations to the country's aboriginal peoples; I'm guessing Beijing will not allow that sort of political discourse. (Seriously: those closing ceremonies were a goofy party: songs of vegemite sandwiches? Kylie Minogue singing ABBA? INXS with some other singer?)
(Better still: 1984. Lionel Richie!, and yes, there's Youtubage, with special lyrics written for the occasion, as well as nonthreatening breakdancing by The Children of the World. Outrageous!)
So if you're not tuning into CN8 tonight at 9:30 to watch my pretaped ramblings about the Democratic National Convention (anyway, you can just listen), join us for some festive liveblogging.
- Great: Kissinger Associates employee Joshua Cooper Ramo will join us all night with his expert, unbiased analysis of China.
- And as the athletes of the world enter, the return of the never-stopping greeter-dancers. It's interesting -- when you look at the athletes as a whole, there's a whole lot of folks with relatively normal-looking bodies out there.
- Hey, who's the clothing sponsor for the USA team, anyway?
- It's Yao Ming! Forget what I just said.
- Also, Costas refers to "impossibly adorable children" on stage, and on cue, guess what? They found one with imperfect teeth to put on stage. Go figure. One of these eight-year olds will be tumbling in London.
- Not only were the Games GFTJ, they were also good for gay, lesbian and bisexual athletes.
- Ah, Mayor Boris Johnson. That'll be fun. Not very assertive with the flag-waving.
- Costas hands off to Mary Carillo? What, Bob? You've got a plane to catch? Brian Williams wasn't available? They miss Katie tonight.
- Britain = buses! umbrellas! (what -- no kebabs? no Guinness?)
- How much did Michael Bay pay for the Transformers 2 plug?
- "There he is, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame!" As opposed to the other Jimmy Page? This is looking like London circa Children of Men. Also, I'm not sure that "Whole Lotta Love" really gender-swaps well.
- Okay, this human tower thing? All sorts of awesome.
- So, are these the stars of Beijing High School Musical singing "Beijing, Beijing"? Good to know the whole world adopts the same boy-group archetypes -- look, it's the "dangerous" one!
- I guarantee that within four years, Paul McCartney can write a song twice as crappy as this one -- or does no one else remember "Freedom"?
- Michael Phelps busts out the post-Games haircut for London. Now, was that Ant, Dec or someone else interviewing him?
- Also, I realized that London did not bust out its 2012 mascot tonight. Given the fiasco that was the Whatizit/Izzy rollout at the end of Barcelona (6:00 in), I don't blame them. Not an easy task.
- Research project: how did they handle the whole "handover" issue at the end of the Moscow Olympics, given the US boycott? This video isn't conclusive.
- And Debbie Phelps already has a sponsorship deal. Goodnight America!