I didn't get to see the opening ceremony of the Olympics, but I've just finished watching the closing ceremony, and I must say that I was awed by the sublime beauty and majesty of most of it. I say "most of it," because there was one segment that I found embarrassingly bad and shockingly out of place. No, it wasn't anything staged by the Chinese. It was a British production featuring Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and some British pop star singer I've never heard of doing Whole Lotta Love.
Now don't get me wrong. I love Jimmy Page and Whole Lotta Love. I think Page is one of the greatest rock guitarists and composers ever and Whole Lotta Love ranks as one of the great rock songs. But that song was utterly and totally out of place in the closing ceremony of the Olympics. The Chinese were doing a remarkable program depicting their nation's amazing cultural history and diversity and exhibiting their soaring aspirations for the future, and then along comes Page and that pop star crassly singing about some horny young guy "droolin'" to fu*k his girlfriend. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing, and I actually felt embarrassed not only for Great Britain but also for the whole Caucasian race!
When I heard that Jimmy Page would be in the closing ceremony, I thought he might do the immortal Stairway to Heaven complete with Chinese acrobats climbing the "Memory Tower" to a sky bursting with dazzling fireworks or something of the kind. Not that I've ever really understood what Stairway to Heaven is about, but I'm inclined to believe that the music and lyrics to that song would have been much more appropriate for the occasion than those of Whole Lotta Love.
I don't believe that the British four years from now can come close to the spectacularly lavish and imaginative ceremonies the Chinese staged in Beijing, but I sure hope that they can do a whole lot better than a Whole Lotta Love.
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