The Sun Never Sets

Several expressions of British culture not seen on NBC’s broadcasts
Share |
The Closing Ceremony in London were quite the spectacle, but NBC missed out on some truly spectacular sights and sounds from the British Isles.

Photo courtesy of cloudzilla.

Every Olympics is an opportunity for the host nation to broadcast itself to the world as it pleases. Over the past fortnight and change, London has displayed its apparent best, putting together vibrant Opening and Closing Ceremonies. While not so similar to the awe-inspiring, borderline fearsome images we saw in 2008 in Beijing, these events presented London and Great Britain as a whole as the sort of place a person might actually want to live — a cosmopolitan city with rich culture, special heritage, and aging rock stars.

Mayor Boris Johnson and the rest of the city have claimed success, at least if the metric is elevating London to a level above rubbish. Yet, as well as things went, any host city must depend on international television to act as its outlet to the world. When one of those networks is NBC, whose issues we discussed two weeks ago, the host city might not get quite the amount of global attention it had hoped for.

So, while American viewers might have thought they saw London as all it could be, the truth is that they missed out on some of the most daring expressions of British power. After thorough research and reports from Britons on the ground, I have learned of several performances and competitions NBC failed to broadcast during the past two weeks. Read on to get the full picture of how Great Britain wanted the world to experience it.

Mike Leigh Presents the Opening Ceremony
English filmmaker Danny Boyle has been widely lauded for his vision for the Opening Ceremony, a lavish tribute to the United Kingdom’s mark on the world with the Industrial Revolution, literature, health care, music, and some old guy who apparently invented the internet. What many don’t know, though, is that Boyle was not the first choice. Rather, they preferred independent filmmaker Mike Leigh, whose commitment to a low budget and unified theme impressed austerity-minded Prime Minister David Cameron.

Leigh declined but did agree to produce ten minutes of the ceremony. Utilizing his standard collaborative method, Leigh met with his most well-regarded actors and spent months concocting the perfect way to show the world what his home country does best.

The assembled crowd cheered as actor David Thewlis arrived in full trenchcoat in a callback to his award-winning character from 1993’s Naked. He then launched into a five-minute monologue on the adverse effect of corporations on England, which only ended when he was tackled by an anthropomorphic pill. The mascot then took off its helmet to reveal Imelda Staunton as the eponymous character of 2004’s Vera Drake, who kicked off a song-and-dance number about the reproductive health benefits of the National Health Service (as reported by Michael Gluckstadt). Somewhat surprisingly, Leigh’s segment culminated in a joyous tale of the lives of Gilbert and Sullivan, though all agreed the change of tone was a treat.

NBC Alternative: An interview with Jordyn Wieber’s five-year-old cousin Kelsie.

A Very Special Performance by Jarvis Cocker
Sunday’s Closing Ceremony was largely an extended concert, with performances by The Who, something called Jessie J, and Beady Eye (aka Oasis without Noel Gallagher [aka the especially pissy one]). Along with Blur’s huge concert in Hyde Park, it was a big day for Britpop, the subgenre that served at the frontlines of the mini-British Invasion in the mid-’90s.

The alleged third wheel of Britpop, Pulp, was not seen in most of the world. However, the BBC sent cameras to the home of frontman Jarvis Cocker in the hopes that they could get him to perform a couple songs. He declined, but did allow them to tape him as he smoked a pack of cigarettes, fed his cats, and cleaned his glasses, all while wearing a three-piece suit.

NBC Alternative: Michelle Beadle and Debbie Phelps visit Harrods for £50 makeovers.

Stiff Upper Lip Competition
The Olympics allow international fans to watch sports they might not otherwise get to see, but some of these games still don’t air on NBC. One of them, the stiff upper lip competition, has as great a tradition in the UK as dressage or the modern pentathlon — in fact, no one from outside Great Britain and its former colonies has ever competed at the Olympic level.

Over a grueling set of heats, participants are forced to undergo difficult psychological tests without wincing. They are then deducted points for every quiver of their upper lip, with the lowest score in each round moving on and eventually winning gold. In this year’s contest, challenges included hearing that the tea had gone cold, learning that a favorite stallion had fallen ill, and prolonged exposure to the AC/DC song Stiff Upper Lip. Fifty-seven-year-old Surrey legend Sir St. John Wynne-Candy won his fifth gold medal, but most on-lookers will remember Chelsea-born Clive Kensington, who earned bronze despite being born with very thin lips and the inability to grow a mustache.

NBC Alternative: A Mary Carillo report on the differences between french fries, chips, and crisps.

The Smiths Reunion
American audiences went gaga over the Spice Girls’ zigazig-uh-mazing reunion during the Closing Ceremony, but another of the evening’s performances qualified as even more notable. Manchester rock pioneers and notorious in-fighters The Smiths briefly rejoined to perform their ode to British unity “Panic.” However, halfway through the song, lead singer Morrissey began a rant against British leaders, reiterating his hatred for Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton and reaffirming that he and guitarist Johnny Marr have barred Prime Minister Cameron from liking the band. Morrissey then managed to utter the name “Oliver Cromwell” before his mic was cut. After, most commentators remarked that the whole thing had gone much better than expected.

NBC Alternative: Ryan Seacrest explains retweets.

William Shakespeare vs. Charles Dickens
One of the more memorable moments of Boyle’s Opening Ceremony was the destruction of Lord Voldemort by dozens of flying Mary Poppinses, an image that could only be concocted by someone with a fixation on creepy babies (Exhibits AB, and C) and the idea to make a romantic black comedy featuring angels as undercover love operatives and a bar-room performance of “Beyond the Sea.” Yet this was not the only tribute to British literature on the night. After Voldemort was vanquished, giant inflatable figures of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, the titanic figures of English literature, were loosed upon the scene. Gillian Anderson, whom Hollywood traded to the BBC for Hugh Laurie in 2004, stepped out to narrate a make-believe fistfight between the two writers. Dickens eventually came out victorious when Anderson announced that anti-Stratfordian scholars have learned that that Shakespeare’s plays and poems were actually written by a sentient meat pie. Various experts, including former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, have disputed the result.

NBC Alternative: A special preview of “Them’s the Breaks,” a new sitcom starring John Stamos as a pro surfer turned orthopedist.

Share |


It's pleasant to see that a few individuals still see how to compose a quality post! gearboxes

قوم فى افضل شركة تنظيف بالدمام والخبر والقطيف والجبيل وراس تنورة 0534194227 وكل مدن المنطقة الشرقية بكافة أعمال النظافة العامة للمنازل تنظيف فلل – تنظيف شقق – تنظيف خـزانـات -تنظيف مكاتب ومدارس – تنظيف مساجد – تنظيف مـسابـح – غسيل الموكيت- غسيل سجاد بالبخار – غسيل مسابح مع التعقيم – نظافة عامة للاستراحات – نظافة عامة للبيوت القديم منها والجديد – غسيل كنب ومجالس أرضية موكيت سجادمع التعطير بمواد إيطالية- ترميم البيت – نظافة واجهات زجاجية – تلميع أرضيات السيراميك
شركة تنظيف بالدمام

Thanks for this article very helpful. thanks. carnival rio 2017

Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Loftplan

I surmise I have chosen an intelligent and mind blowing website with interesting material.

Recent times when internet has so much gossiping and stuff, your content really refreshes me. Spring Collection

I unquestionably getting a charge out of each and every piece of it I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post. fashion streetwear collection

I discover it exceptionally fascinating and useful. I can hardly wait to peruse loads of your posts. Loftplan

Much obliged to you for some other enlightening site. The spot else might just I understand that sort of data written in such a flawless strategy? I have an endeavor that I am essentially now running on, and I've been at the look out for such information. Custom Google Cardboard

You module poorness to get links from distinctly preferred websites. cheapest seo services

psychological tests without wincing. They are then deducted points for every quiver of their upper lip, with the lowest score in each round moving on and eventually winning gold. In this year’s contest,
jeux francais |
psn codes for free

Through this post, I know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. I notify that this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching to make money fast

There is such a great amount in this article I would never have considered all alone. Your substance gives perusers things to consider in a fascinating way. Much obliged to you for your reasonable data. web design services

I was surfing net and luckily ran over this site and discovered exceptionally intriguing stuff here. Its truly enjoyable to peruse. I delighted in a considerable measure. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this superb data. satta matka

Positive webpage, where did u think of the data on this posting?I have perused a couple of the articles on your site now, and I truly like your style. You're the best and please keep up the compelling work. frogs

Your contents are too straightforward to browse and easy to understandLoft plan

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! Dofollow Blog Comments

Hello, I discover perusing this article a delight. It is to a great degree supportive and fascinating and all that much anticipating perusing a greater amount of your work.. Awakening Your Feminine Intuition

The benefits of taking the online course for guaranteeing loans. Then it’s important that you simply stash it away in your own bank account, if you’re concerned about acquiring an inordinate amount of cash in your hands. However, if it happens to be the other way around, and you want a great deal of cash within a specific period of time High DA Backlinks Service

Cool stuff you must you keep redesign every one of us. read full article

A debt of gratitude is in order For sharing this Superb article.I utilize this Article to demonstrate my task in is valuable For me Great Work.

Hey buddies, such a marvelous blog you have made I’m surprised to read such informative stuff.

Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. 100% Manually, So your site is safe you can get all HQ links, that definitely increase your SERPs. 20 High Quality Backlinks gig Only for fiverr members just for 5$ WOww...high trust flow backlinks

I am truly appreciative to the owner of this website who has shared this nice article at this wonderful place.
Chris Walker - Denver SEO firm

Super site! I am Loving it!! Will return once more, Im taking your food additionally, Thanks. tattoo supply

I am happy you take pride in what you compose. This makes you stand way out from numerous different scholars that push ineffectively composed substance. site here

I wished to thank you for the immense post!! I undeniably enjoying a lot, I am bookmarking this to look into new stuff you post…

Thanks that you explained every single word in a great manner that everybody can understand well.
do my essay

Thanks that you explained every single word in a great manner that everybody can understand well.
do my essay

A debt of gratitude is in order for this article exceptionally accommodating. much appreciated. best brand of resveratrol

hi!! Extremely fascinating examination happy that I ran over such instructive post. Keep doing awesome. Happy to be a piece of your net group. trans resveratrol side effects

Hi, I have skimmed the vast majority of your posts. This post is presumably where I got the most helpful data for my examination. A debt of gratitude is in order for posting, perhaps we can see more on this. Are you mindful of whatever other sites on this subject. site here

You know your activities emerge of the group. There is something exceptional about them. It appears to me every one of them are truly splendid! drug fu

I read this post fully concerning the difference of latest and former stuff, it is awesome article.
Chris Walker - top SEO company

I cherish the way you compose and share your corner! Exceptionally intriguing and distinctive! Keep it coming! werbemittel werbeträger

Hi, I have skimmed the vast majority of your posts. This post is presumably where I got the most helpful data for my examination. A debt of gratitude is in order for posting, perhaps we can see more on this. Are you mindful of whatever other sites on this subject. extensions düsseldorf

Hi I am so charmed I found your web journal, I truly found you by misstep, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could simply jump at the chance to say thank for an enormous post and an inside and out engrossing site. Kindly do keep up the considerable work. innenausbau düsseldorf

Much obliged to you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to distribute this data extremely valuable! tattoo supplies

Buy backlinks I was searching the blogs for a long time and that is good to know that I have found such blogs here. Great working! Keep it up! visit this site hurry !!! Dofollow Blog Comments

Fascinating and stunning how your post is! It Is Useful and accommodating for me That I like it all that much, and I am anticipating Hearing from your next.. link building 2016

Amazing article! I need individuals to know exactly how great this data is in your article. It's fascinating, convincing substance. Your perspectives are much like my own particular concerning this subjec ladenbau duesseldorf

Have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites.ถุงซิป

Positive webpage, where did u think of the data on this posting?I have perused a couple of the articles on your site now, and I truly like your style. Much obliged and please keep up the viable work. werbeartikel duesseldorf

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts Clash of Clans Hack Download

niche relevant backlinks Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has importations your hard work and experience you have got in This field. Brilliant reading .I love it. high trust flow backlinks dofollow

I feel really finicky reading these articles I mean there are writers that can write reasonable stuff.
50 life insurance with fixed rates

This article is actually remarkable one it helps many new users that desire to read always the best stuff.
Sequoia Capital Shailandra Singh

This includes having an approach to challenges, focusing on developing how we think helps develop resilience.transfer from ataturk airport to istanbul

It was a decent post in reality. I altogether delighted in understanding it in my lunch time. Will without a doubt come and visit this blog all the more frequently. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing. full article

very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here. kit tattoo