Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pictures, Photos, & So Much More: Beijing Olympics, Opening Ceremony

"Scintillating" doesn't begin to describe Beijing's opening ceremonies to the Olympics. You have to go deep in the well, and here's a try: it was pangyric, neophilic, rococo, it was guerdoning and lotus-eating, it was pukka, melitorious and corybantic, it was relentless, it was Stakhanovitic, it was nothing less than an artisanal hougmagandy, an empire's vesuvian palingenesis, a knowingly numinous exercise to not merely arrest our gazes away from a past century and detain them, but to avenge it and gouge out our eyes with daggers of dancing ambergris. I stayed up last Friday to watch China's coming-out party, and those are just words. Here are pictures:

A dancer performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

An artist in a space suit performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/ Getty Images)

Fireworks explode over the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium on August 8 in Beijing. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the National Stadium, also known as the “Bird’s Nest”, on August 8, 2008. The three-hour show at Beijing’s iconic national stadium was set to see more than 15,000 performers showcase the nation’s ancient history and its rise as a modern power. (AFP PHOTO / Olivier Morin)

Percussionists take part in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/ Getty Images)

Percussionists hit their Fou drums at the start of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (AFP PHOTO / Joe Klamar )

Percussionists with their Fou drums stand prior to the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad)

Artists perform around an illuminated Globe during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Artists perform during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony on August 8, 2008 at the National Stadium in Beijing. Over 10,000 athletes from some 200 countries are going to compete in 38 differents disciplines during the event, between August 9 to 24. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

The Olympic rings are illuminated during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Artists underneath movable boxes perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Martial arts dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Lighted dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/David Phillip)

Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/ Getty Images)

Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Performers cheer during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Fireworks light the sky over the National Aquatics Center (L) and the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Lars Baron/Bongarts/ Getty Images)

An artist performs, suspended by wires during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

A musician performs during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony on August 8, 2008 at the National Stadium in Beijing. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Performers are pictured during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A dancer is silhouetted as she performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Children of migrant workers from outlying provinces look at themselves in the mirror as they use their hands to form the Olympic Rings after watching the TV live broadcast of the Olympic Games opening ceremony at their quarters August 8, 2008 on the outskirts of Beijing. (Andrew Wong/Getty Images)

7 comments:

Phil said...

"it was pangyric, neophilic, rococo, it was guerdoning and lotus-eating, it was pukka, melitorious and corybantic, it was relentless, it was Stakhanovitic, it was nothing less than an artisanal hougmagandy, an empire's vesuvian palingenesis, a knowingly numinous exercise"

This sounds like me after my 3rd MaiTai at the Luau. But I'm not engaging in polysyllabic wonderment, I'm trying to sing "Twinkle, twinkle little star".

MarcLord said...

Not exactly. The Chinese spent $200 mill on the party, and although I did watch it on a bar's TV, if that's the 3rd Mai-Tai at the Luau, we'll see you there, and we'll sing that tune.

isabelita said...

Good old China, the new free marketeerians. I thought it was a rveolting spectacle. Really. And when you find out about the dirty background, such as diverting power from provinces to power the Olympics, rounding up all the beggars and street people, etc., it is even more disgusting.
and all for what? Why the fuck is a huge ass sporting event meaningful on this planet? If I saw China doing more to help conserve this world, like the USA should be doing, I'd be impressed by that sort of action. But not this flashy stupid bullshit.
Next thing you know, China will start buying up professional sports teams and moving them into giant domes and arenas. Nothing screams "success" like that crap.

Naj said...

What china has, and a place like US does NOT have is "collective" will!

The slum children, the beggars rounded up from the streets and etc are the dirty clothes of China. Orientals do not do their laundry in front of guests. Learn to be gracious ; and thank the host for offering you a taste of (REAL) culture. China's not asked your help/opinion to clean up its slums, nor to build its empire. If we are so intent, we may want to fix our own lovely western countries first, before meddling in other's business!

===================
Mark:
The aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Ronald Reagan, along with the USS Iwo Jima, an Amphibious Assault Ship are sailing toward the Persian Gulf to reinforce the US strike forces in the region, along with a British Royal Navy carrier battle group and a French nuclear hunter-killer submarine. 8/13/08

MarcLord said...

Iz,

the Chinese see themselves as an empire, and this was revivalist. Not very subtle, I agree. Their system of government is hard to classify--elements of market capitalism blended with feudalism and command socialism. Traveling there is like seeing an anthill after it's kicked over. Only sure thing is they can't keep it up indefinitely, they'll have to back off pretty soon before they burn themselves up.

MarcLord said...

Naj,

the Chinese don't want us to meddle in their business, and that's fine, but they'll increasingly be meddling in ours. We're going to learn, first-hand on our ground, how big the gap is between our belief systems.

Thanks for alerting to the new chess moves in the Gulf. We're going to be really lucky if Georgia doesn't turn into WWII, IV, or whatever they want to call it. The Bush Admin are about to put US sailors, pilots, and soldiers in harm's way there. The Cuban Missile Crisis has nothing on this.

Naj said...

Chinese will be meddling in our 'business', Sure! Giving us a taste of our own medicine: uhm ... free market economy!