Memorable parts of the send-up entertainment was what the Brits do so well, laughing at their own antics. The Queen was presented as being protected by no less than James Bond 007, Mr Bean was in the classic Chariots of Fire running scene on the beach along with popular children's stories of Mary Poppins and the more recent Harry Potter.
Much of the celebration was a presentation of the historical social mores of rural life and the industrial revolution. Sir Kenneth Branagh appeared “on the hill” playing Isambard Kingdom Brunel, an English engineer who built bridges and dockyards including the construction of the first major British railway. Brunel has been voted the second greatest Briton of all time, behind Sir Winston Churchill (whose statute came alive). And famous pop songs were included.
It was a remarkable presentation as even poppies from WWI were acknowledged, and all of it is detailed in this ABC news Olympic blog which covers a minute by minute look at the Opening Ceremony. (www.abc.net.au)
One astonishing absence
Having rejoiced in all that Britain was and has become, there was one astonishing absent celebration. The recognised social mores of C17th and C18th Britain industrial revolution had an equivalent salvation, this was salvation from a French type revolution, This was somehow missed in the festivities.
John Wesley's contribution to the internal political peace of the nation - Britain was ripe for internal revolution following France but, what saved England, was the Salvation message that John Wesley and his band of preachers bought across the country. The nation was turned toward God rather than violent political revolution.
Wesley spawned not only internal political peace but initiated a wave of missionary activity around the world. Historians today are mindful of such holistic social mores.
“On the hill”
Who in the Opening Ceremony stood “on the hill” preaching a message of industry and commerce, none other than Brunel, Britain's great industrial inventor, replacing John Wesley who preached an entirely different message “on the hill”.
Brunel, an English engineer is celebrated as Britain's commercial saviour and a time line of subsequent commercial intrigue and rottenness can be traced all the way down to the very recent GFC and these horrific banking disclosures of corruption.
John Wesley preached a very different salvation message “on the hill” that saved Britain from a killing field revolution and worse.
And now, another British scandal. Olympic ticketing! Olympic stadiums are seemingly empty! Check out the photographs in this Sydney Morning Herald article. The Olympic ticketing has obviously been a right mess! There have been articles in the Australian press last week of the parents of Australian young Olympians unable to get tickets. One wonders whether these British Bankers' are in charge of ticketing? (www.smh.com.au)
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html