Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Down In the Mosh Pit

I learned something new today: the word "mosh". It, of course, appeared first to my eyes in the preview descriptions of the London Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Like many typically British cynics, I began to have naughty, satirical thoughts. "So this (harumph) is how we are going to be presented to the world, is it? Like we all live in a rural idyll, defer to the local lord of the manor and chew straws in idle moments? An opportunity lost after the fawning jubilee for a chance to celebrate this country's people and achievements. What! No mention of Britain's outstanding contributions in science, the arts and in social justice? (Harumph again)"

I have been dreading this opening ceremony for many months. As its director, Danny Boyle, wisely reflects, "failure is built in". So for him to undertake this is evidence of courage. But the really interesting point is: why should failure be "built in"? Why should this be so? It is, of course, because if there's one thing the British like doing, it's Moaning. And the Olympics have certainly given us an unparalleled opportunity to Moan. Moan about the cost. Moan about the disruption. Moan about the ticket allocations. And now, moan about the Opening Ceremony.

Perhaps this preview is an attempt at expectation-management. Or maybe, more accurately, moan-management. "Let's tell them now so we can get all the moaning over with before the Big Day." This is so intelligent, that it can't be true (and that's a subtle moan in itself).

As a matter of fact, I hope to end up enjoying and being proud of the Opening Ceremony, especially after the debacle that was the Jubilee River Pageant. I'm sure that once the Games begin, there will be plenty to Moan About.

I can at least rely on seeing one thing I have never seen before - a mosh pit.

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