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Friday, August 13, 2004

Highlights of the Opening Ceremony

The thing gets held on Friday the 13th and, what do you know, the Greek athlete pegged to light the flame in the stadium gets caught up in a doping scandal.

The early part of the ceremony tonight was deliciously tacky, like a middle school play except with better effects. I especially enjoyed the part with the centaur. In case you missed it...

The main part of the ceremony was "an allegoric journey of the evolution of human consciousness ... from the mythological perception of the world to the logical," Dimitri Papaioannou, the concept creator of the ceremony, told The Associated Press.

Alrighty then.

The parade of nations is the best though. Considering how catty Bob Costas and Katie Couric get, they may as well have Joan Rivers there to critique each delegation's choice of clothes. My single favorite line, from Couric: "The Iraqi Olympic team has a tortured history--literally." Seems an odd topic on which to make a pun, no? Costas, meanwhile, made a crack about how he knew where the Central African Republic was located. Couric mispronounced both "Lesotho" and "Bubka" (as in the last name of the former Ukrainian pole vaulter). Costas, in one typical exchange, transitioned from a bit about Mount Everest to say that, "no athlete from Nepal has scaled the heights of the Olympic medal platform." And on and on it went. Why I get such a kick out of this stuff I'm not entirely sure.

While I'm being silly again, let me link a few other things. Josh Marshall yesterday linked a video clip of Alan Keyes singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Suppress your popup blocker when clicking that link for it to work. Ace Pryhill noticed an unfortunate NYT headline. Jeff Jarvis had some funny observations on Jim McGreevey's recent advertising campaigns, writing, "You couldn't cut this irony with a chainsaw." And John Derbyshire has had some typically unintentional humor on McGreevey here and here. Why worry about homophobia when we must deal with the greater scourge of post-modernism, right?

Pops, I should note, wrote one of the better comments I've ever received on my earlier McGreevey post.

Damn, the lady who heads the Greek orgnizing committee looks way too much like Katherine Harris.

Dear God, now Costas and Couric are openly mocking Bjork's dress while she's singing. It just keeps getting better, I tell you. Dave Barry has a mildly humorous piece from Athens (via garyclark, email: sportsfrog@sportsfrog.com, password: sportsfrog). And in case you're actually interested in what sports are on tv when, visit NBCOlympics.com.

Final update: Since this has grown into a linkfest, I'll add that Janice McDonald, a journalist covering the Games for the Christian Science Monitor, is blogging from the media site. She's got info on security procedures, pictures of her passes and the venue, etc. Mike Wilbon has a column up regarding the Greek doping scandal. And Bill Maher concluded his show with a rant about the tear-jerker TV coverage of the Games (internment advocate Michelle Malkin was also on, though I missed most of the program). Good stuff all, now let the Games begin.