The Carnival Is Over

 The Carnival Is Over

There we go that was it and as I predicted, I became Le Sportiff, the worst sports fan ever. I became both a critique and perfectionist not forgetting a self styled expert on a plethora of sports and all from the comfort of my armchair.

What an amazing two weeks it has been. Britain, this tiny almost insignificant dot on the atlas of the world; came third. That is amazing and to every Olympian who raised the profile of our country on a world stage you earned both my thanks and respect.

As I look to the closing ceremony I will spare you the myriad superlatives that I could deliver and simply say, stunning. I think we showed the world something tonight. No dark and satanic mills, no unnecessary and inappropriate reference to our war dead, none of it. It was brilliant from start to finish. Creatively Danny Boyle did a great job with a somewhat poisoned chalice. He was going to be damned if he did and damned if he didn’t and overall made a fair fist of a difficult brief. Tonight Boyle’s crown was not only tilted but handed to the architects of this truly, superbly British, event.

Je sans frontiers, games without frontiers. What a truly world encompassing time we have had. To see the whole globe standing together, shoulder to shoulder, Palestinians, Arab Nations, Eastern Nations and the Western world all together, fellow athletes, was humbling and breathtaking in its simplicity. No trouble, no religious protests, no incidents of hatred, no racism, no bigotry, no despotic leader intervening with term and conditions but mostly; no killing.  It was just the entire world partying together. If we could only maintain that concord forever;  These games have been a landmark in all of our lives.

Again I turn my attention to tonight’s spectacular ending. I can’t remember when I saw such a pot-pouri of sounds, colours, music, dance and celebration. To see the athletes who had done all this for us just having fun, taking photos that, forever they will cherish, and realising they were just a great bunch of young people and they needed to unwind too from the strain and stresses of all they had endeavoured. The humanity of the event was astonishing.

 Ray Davies, George Michael, The Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lennox, Fat Boy Slim, Elbow and so many more performed on the biggest stage the world could provide. In fact strike that, the biggest, stage for the world, that we had provided. There was an amzing diversity of music and events, who would put Darcey Bussell with Eric Idle, the Spice Girls and Jesie J on the same bill? Oasis’s Liam Gallagher with his new band, Beady Eye, chanting the anthem of a generation. Stunning.

With all this beauty going on I am begged to ask the question why did they give us that almost useless and utterly annoying inane commentary? “Shut it Edwards,” I thought, four years ago as his narration had rattled non stop to an embarrassing level during the most amazing televisual moment since the Moon Landing, namely the Beijing opening. I was worried that I was still having the same thoughts and admittedly zoned out when they started their boring chunnering. The BBC is by nature, terrified of silence. They seem to feel the need to fill it. Please learn this BBC sometimes less is more! 

But rubbish irritating commentary notwithstanding, the show was mind blowing. Even the Spice Girls with their awful screaming and caterwauling like drunks outside an Essex boozer, were somehow quaintly English as they proved that even if you have no talent what so ever your country will love you. That is a very English trait and I am grateful we have it. It marks us out as British I believe.

At sixty eight can you believe Daltry can still hit those notes? Sorry Macca, Daltry really did a greater job. I hope I can still sing with half the conviction of Roger Daltry when I am sixty eight. But every performance from every Artiste was the best they had ever given and probably for each and every one of them on the most exciting night of their lives. I even enjoyed One Direction, heaven forbid.

When you thought it couldn’t improve, it changed gear and the symbolic extinguishing of the flame left us amazed and stunned that such beauty could be achieved so simply. Darcey Bussell being shipped into perform here boogie was equally impressive and the thing just got better and better.

Seb, Seb, Seb you made some great games but please leave the speeches to someone with at least an atom of spirit, a microbe of passion or a joule of sparkle. Boring isn’t the word. It felt he was reading the death list from some grimy coal mine following a disaster. He went on and tediously on. Long boring speeches are not what a lot of us want. Long boring speeches are just what the arid and conventional bores of this world thoroughly enjoy. Then, oh no, the robotic head of the I.O.C. I didn’t believe that they were going to hand the games over, insteadI thought they were going to keep everyone waiting as they bored on for the next four years, then with one minute to go to Rio De Janerio’s opening ceremony, they would hopefully stop.

That said I believe Rio De Janerio’s opening scenes of their act were slightly seedy. Reflecting imagery of Gangsta culture and intimated eroticism, they will have to clean their act somewhat before our Royals pop over. If they don’t we will never let them have another train robber again!

I wish Rio de Janerio all the fun, all the anticipation and all the excitement that hosting the games has brought to us. Something that might instil faith and patriotism into even the sturdiest of men or women, something that we can be rightly proud of, something that showed the world, notably, it is our government that like to make war, we prefer, the ordinary Brits prefer, to make sport.

I have never felt such patriotism as I have this year. It has been a  great year to belong to our nation. We played a blinder and the world reaped the reward. Well done England, brilliant to know that Rule Britannia will be sung with new vigour in a new generation of children who can believe in the nation we have made for them. Long may it live.

Owen Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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