I must admit I was sceptical beforehand, but the Olympic opening ceremony was actually quite impressive. Normally I enjoy the Games themselves, but think the opening ceremony is a load of rubbish. The usual course of events is to have some pompous, utterly dull event ending in synchronised dancing and school children waving flags followed by world-class athletes pushing back the boundaries of human endeavour on track, field and pool. From what I have seen, London 2012 has been the exact polar opposite. We had a quirky, entertaining and humorous opening followed by a load of rubbish under the banner of “sport”.
I guess it could be that because the UK is the host nation, the BBC feel compelled to cover every single event, no matter how few viewers are in the least bit interested. Hence the wall-to-wall live coverage of badminton, judo, dressage, clay-pigeon shooting and open-air paint-drying. OK, I made that last one up, but that only goes to prove my point. The TV commentator on the women’s judo even had to explain the rules, which somewhat negates the point of televising the event. This is a bit like a comedian going on stage and saying “I shall be telling some gags tonight, but beforehand I should like to explain the reasons why these jokes are funny”.
Certain claims surrounding the Olympics are, however, frankly ludicrous. One politician went as far as to say that the opening ceremony would lead to people voting “No” in the referendum. Do they really think Scottish people are that stupid? Do they really think in two years’ time we’re going to remember the Queen parachuting out of a helicopter? Will people go into the ballot box thinking “This is the most important day in 300 years of our nation’s history, but I was still more moved by Mr Bean falling asleep at the piano two years ago.”
Likewise, Alex Salmond was out in Hollywood earlier this summer, claiming that the Pixar animation film “Brave” was showcasing Scotland to the world, and would lead to a huge increase in tourism and even to people wanting to invest here. Really? It’s a cartoon. I do not have the relevant statistics to hand, but I find highly unlikely, for example, that anyone has ever joined the Navy because they had seen a couple of episodes of “Popeye the Sailor Man”.
Team GB has now won quite a few gold medals which is good, except for every medal we win, we have to listen to ‘God Save the Queen’. This leads me to wonder what would be the national anthem for an independent Scotland. At present, we have a number of unofficial anthems such as “Scots Wha’ Ha’e” (a song about war against the English), “Scotland the Brave” (a song about war against the English) and “Flower of Scotland” (Can anyone guess what this is about? Right first time!) This is not the sentiment that a modern independent nation should have in its national anthem. However, if that’s the sentiment you want, you may as well go the whole way and make the Scottish national anthem “If you hate the English and you know it clap your hands”
What should be Scotland’s national anthem and why?
Closing date: Friday 10 August at midnight
Winners announced: Monday 13 August
The four readers who come up with the wittiest answers (as judged by me!) each win two tickets to my Fringe show at The Stand.
E-mail entries to email@example.com with the word “Competition” in the subject field, including your name and contact details (so we know where to send the tickets), or leave a comment below.
imir McTavish is performing with Keir McAllister in “Vladimir McTavish & Keir McAllister Look At The State of Scotland” at The Stand Comedy Club during this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, from 3rd to 26th Ausy (except Mon 13th) at 7 pm. Further information on www.thestand.co.uk