I've always been sort of immune to the pageantry of the Olympics opening ceremony. Yes, there have been memorable exceptions—Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Flame in Atlanta, the lighting by flaming arrow in Barcelona—but generally they take ritual to excess.
Declaring the Games open is one thing. I prefer when the actual competition begins and the Games begin to write their own story.
The British, as might be expected, were even more tiresome than usual in their (record) third time serving as Olympic hosts. There was a lot of celebration of their own glorious history in popular music over the last few decades—even the Sex Pistols snuck in at one point—but then it ended with Pink Floyd before Paul McCartney took the stage.
At one point, Mr. Bean put in an appearance. Such a pity that Benny Hill is dead.
All right—if merely all right—as spectacle, but what exactly did it have to to do with sport, other than as musical backdrop to a meeting of the tribes?
So let the actual Games begin now. Somehow the Olympics—unlike the Super Bowl—always seem to succeed in cutting through the hype that leads immediately up to it.