Blogging Impressionism: Ice People Olympics Opening Thingee

Sat, 11 Feb 2006 07:29:33

Some of you may think that I have better things to do on a Friday night than to mock the  Ice People Olympics opening thingee. Nope a blogger’s work is never done. Besides I love camp both high and low and the opening thingee is campy indeed. Mind you the Torino opener could not top the magisterial gooniness of Athens 2004 but it tried. Nobody can out cheese the Greeks although one would think that mozzarella could top feta under the right circumstances. On a salad for example…

Anyway I’m feeling lazy so I’m going to jot down a few random thoughts. (Even more random than planned I lost the most of the notes I took on my laptop during the show. Alas I’m painting from memory.) I’m not sure if it’s really impressionism or pointillism or maybe even cubism. But I’m certain that it’s not Maoism. I just know that it’s some sort of ism. Ism you is or ism you ain’t my baby. <rimshot> End of Shecky Green interlude or is that Henny Youngman? Take my blog please.

The start of the opening thingee was even goofier than C Ray’s chocolate city gaffe. There was a large man in a red Daredevil outfit beating the bejesus out of a fire breathing anvil with a big ass hammer. Hmm maybe it was Thor and not Daredevil. Thor was the mythological dude with the mythological hammer after all. End of Marvel comics digression or is that regression? Actually Doc Ock would have been mighty useful with that anvil beating thing: 8 arms are better than two.  I’m more of a Dr. Doom sort of villain myself: I’ve never been handy. Down Shecky; begone Henny. That’s what 3 or 4 glasses of wine and thoughts of Bode Miller’s hangover can do to a fella. I’ll try and behave…

The theme of the 2006 winter games is passion. I don’t know why but Bob Costas told me that and I believe everything Bob says; he’s my countryman after all. (The word countryman must be pronounced with a pronounced Greek accent.) Unfortunately Bob was joined in the broadcast booth by Brian Williams whose job was to be pompous and annoying. Well done Bri. He drove me batshit. Brian baby please stick to calling your junkie pal Rush Limbaugh and leave me alone. If I want to hear a lecture about Bosnia I’ll deliver it myself or invite Paddy Ashdown over for drinks.

Back to passion. A bunch of dancers in red tights joined together to form a beating heart. Then for no apparent reason two guys with flaming heads skated through them and broke everyone’s heart. Holy St. Valentines Day Massacre Batman. Those flameheads were real heartbreakers.

The producers of the opening thingee also felt compelled to restage the legendary Ricola commercial; the one with the alpine pipers in lederhosen. It *is* the Ice People Olympics so having cough drops around could come in mighty handy. I didn’t expect to see a group of Italian men in lederhosen though. It shook me to my very core. Thank god they weren’t Neapolitan. That would have been unbearable; sort of like seeing Laura Bush and Cherie Blair sitting together. I believe that they were discussing the merits of the cartoon controversy: Laura is a Beavis and Butt-Head fan of course but Cherie prefers watching “Futurama” repeats. I think Cherie identifies with the one-eyed super vixen Leela

Then came Dr A’s favorite part of the opening thingee: the bovine interlude. For no apparent reason skaters wearing cow bespotted outfits appeared pulling cows on snowboards. It was surreal dude. For some reason I started to crave Laughing Cow cheese and Brown Cow yogurt. Where the hell is Elsie when you need her? She probably ran off to Switzerland with Elmer…

The parade of nations at the Ice People Olympics just isn’t as kooky as it is at the summer games. I suspect that it’s harder to come up with ridiculous costumes that are warm as well. The women bearing the national placards were however decked out in skirts shaped like the Alps. That was a bit skewed as Johnny Carson would have surely said at this point. I miss Johnny at moments like these: he could tell an alpine joke with the best of them.

The music that was played during the parade of nations was as Bob the Greek put it random American pop music from the 1980’s. I particularly enjoyed watching the Mongolian and Nepalese teams enter to “Video Killed The Radio Star.” I don’t know about you but I always think of the Buggles and Genghis Khan together. Another good one was the entry of Serbia and Slovakia to “YMCA.” What’s an Ice People Olympics opening thingee without the Village People?  It would be like the parade of nations happening without a single country that ended in stan. What’s your favorite stan folks? Mine is baseball hall of famer Stan Musial.

Other tunes that turned up were: “Long Train Running ”  “Sweet Dreams ”  “Disco Inferno” and Homer Simpson’s favorite song “Funky Town.” Bob Costas was hoping to hear “Betty Davis Eyes” and I was waiting for “Invisible Touch.” We were both disappointed. (Yeah I know Genesis are Brits but I’m trying to be artsy fartsy and foreshadow something.)

Another musical moment: The dread Yoko Ono popped out onstage to read what was billed as a “psalm to peace.” Her English remains incomprehensible but at least she didn’t sing “Imagine” (my least favorite famous John Lennon song) she merely quoted it. Peter Gabriel was the one who sang “Imagine.” I did not know that he was Italian. I guess his presence explains why “Sledgehammer” wasn’t one of the random pop songs played earlier. It really would have fit the part where the guy in red tights beat the crap out of that fire breathing anvil.

Yet another musical moment: Luciano Pavarotti an actual Italian did sing but did not serenade us with any ‘80’s hits. Too bad. I’ve always wanted to hear his version of “You Better You Bet” or “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”

Finally there was a long boring and incoherent section that paid tribute to Renaissance art Fiat cars and the early 20th century Italian Futurist movement. It made absolutely no sense but neither does my favorite quote from the founder of Futurism. F.T. Marinetti liked to claim that he came up with Futurism after driving his car (a Fiat presumably) off the road into a ditch: “Oh maternal ditch ”  he moaned.

I told ya it made no sense at all. And neither did most of the Ice People Olympics opening thingee. Hey it beat watching “Good Times” re-runs on TV Land. I’ll take Yoko over Jimmie “JJ” Walker any day. I cannot believe that I said that. I’d actually like to place the two of them on Exile Island and see who survives. That would truly be dyno-mite y’all.”

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