When Beijing kicked off its 2008 Olympics, the ceremony celebrated an ideal China. Sweatshops, the Cultural Revolution and the absence of democracy went unmentioned. But the West is more sophisticated — so next week’s opening of the London Games will go for the gold in historical guilt, re-opening old wounds and national self-loathing.
The July 27 ceremony, conceived by Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle, will pay careful attention to Britain’s shame, with tableaux devoted to the denial of voting rights to women, Industrial Revolution pollution, the Great Depression and exploitation of the workers.
Instead of celebrating Nelson and Wellington, the show will feature scary soldiers “erupting” out of the ground like lava. A centerpiece will be a reenactment of a 200-mile 1936 workers’ march from the North to London to protest living conditions.
“Brideshead Revisited,” this ain’t. Call it Painspotting.
Yet another reason to skip the opening ceremonies.
Not that I was planning to watch much of the rest, either.