Olympic WTF: Even the "Bowlsheviks" at Mother Jones Incredulous at Opening Ceremony Celebration of England's NHS


Arguably the oddest moment in Friday's Olympic opening ceremony was the tribute to Britain's National Health Service, the very triumph of civilization that is busily being reformed after decades of serving dissatisfied customers and amidst ongoing reports of horrendous service.

How strange was the spelling out of NHS in letters so large that they were visible from large floating blimps far above the stadium? Even Mother Jones' Kevin Drum, "a life-long liberal" who thinks "it would be great if the United States adopted some kind of genuine national healthcare program" was moved to write:

Am I the only one who was a bit gobsmacked at the lengthy tribute to the NHS during the opening ceremonies at the Olympics…? The NHS? Seriously?

Mother Jones is no wishy-washy centrist Democrat publication, lest we forget. Earlier in the post-ironic 21st century, the publication even bitched ha-ha funny "Bowlshevik" bolwing shirts, depicting mass murderer Vlad Lenin going for a seven-10 split.

So when even MoJo folks are asking, "An Olympic Tribute to the NHS? Really?," some sort of Rubicon clearly was crossed.

Then again, given that the mastermind behind the spectacle was film director Danny Boyle, who came to the big screen with the excellent flick Shallow Grave and is generally a caustic witness of easy narratives of national greatness (think Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire), was just having a bit of a larf at the expense of a global audience. Such an ironic reading also helps make sense of the parachuting Queen Elizabeth and various other facets of the evening's entertainment.

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  1. Is it “bitched” or “pitched?”

  2. It truly is perplexing. Nothing serves a better example of Britains precipitous decline from where it was 100 years ago to now than celebrating one argubly one of the most bloated and inefficient organisations in the world.

    1. these are the same people who were questioning their own country’s readiness to be host but lost their minds when Romney echoed their sentiments.

      1. Because fat, stupid, racist, gun-loving terrorist Yanks can’t be criticizing Grand Great Britland Awesomeness Island! The NUH-V!

      2. From the empty seats at all the events and families of the athletes being turned away at the door, it seems like Romney was right.

  3. Next time we get the Olympics we can speel out a giant HHS, then morph it into IRS.

    1. love it.

    2. If it then morphs into a huge “1984”, and “we’re all so majorly fucked”, I’d know what reaching Heaven feels like.

  4. The world’s oldest democracy, a empire upon which the sun never set, the people who ended slavery and invented the industrialized world. And the best this clown can come up with is NHS and JK Rowling. England is dead. Long live Zombie retard England.

    1. This is the kind of crap that you pretend is great when you’re completely ashamed of your history and heritage, even though you shouldn’t be.

    2. “Long live Zombie retard England.”

      I see what you did there. Although I’m not sure you see what you did there.

    3. I wouldn’t go anywhere near that far, but they’ve certainly got infinitely greater moments in their history to celebrate, and they’re the sort of things everybody from Namibia to Greenland can understand and applaud. But the motherfucking National Health Service? This is what happens when you give a pinko dipshit control of your Olympic opening ceremony.

    4. Nothing wrong with celebrating J. K. Rowling.

  5. Has there been an explanation of why, at the Olympics, they decided to salute the NHS? The non sequitur aside, it seems a bit arbitrary. I mean, why not, say, the RAF, or Oxford University.

    1. Because good right thinking English socialists are ashamed of such things. Bureaucrats denying treatment to the sick is in contrast something socialists can be proud of.

      1. about as frustrating as insurance bureaucrats denying coverage eh?

        1. because insurance operates free of any govt intrusion or regulation. The straw pile just gets higher and higher.

          1. If you set it on fire, it might engulf the Earth.

          2. u mean the govt ordered the insurance cos to kick grandma to the curb?

            1. Can you cite an actual case of an insurance company failing to pay for a contractually agreed upon treatment?

    2. The producer is a hardcore lefty socialist, that’s why, and sees the welfare state as the pinnacle to which every society should aspire.

      1. I agree with Fist down below. It was better viewed as a tribute to the victims of socialized medicine.

      2. Where have you gone, Maggie Thatcher;
        A nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you

      3. A really, really fucking awful welfare state, too.

      4. I thought the dancing twitter tweets were supposed to be the pinnacle of society. They came after the NHS tribute, and progress is linear.

    3. C’mon Ice Nine. In today’s politically correct world, any other aspect of British history would be deemed “imperialistic,” insulting to other cultures, warmongering, Islamphobic, or bullying. Even praising Magna Carta would be deemed insulting to the dictatorships that are invited to the international love feast we call the Olympics.

      1. But wasn’t praising the NHS a big “FU” to Americans who want to repeal Obamacare?

  6. Sorry, but you make a bowling shirt depicting Lenin that doesn’t also say “I am the Walrus” somewhere on it? What a fucking waste.

  7. Has this been covered here?

    NBC skips Games opener act seen as tribute to terror victims

    Their reasoning: “our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience”

    An ode to nationalized health care is perfectly tailored for a US audience, but not a moving tribute to victims of terrorism?

    1. And on top of that, the IOC won’t do a tribute to Israeli athletes murdered at the Olympic games but will do one to others?

      1. Will anyone buy that response from NBC? I don’t even think that NBC did it out of some sort of maliciousness. It seems more likely to me that it was a case of “people will change the channel if it’s too sad.” That didn’t stop Costas from using ongoing and former wars as the context to describe countries like Afghanistan and others.

        1. My favorite was Costas announcing the African country of Coat Da Vor. If you can’t say the French properly, call it the Ivory Coast and move on. There were points where Coasts sounded like the color commentator in Best in Show.

          1. Now that’s an opening ceremony I would watch. Costas and Fred Willard.

            1. BTW, Fred Willard was arrested the other day for “pulling” a Pee-Wee Herman.


          2. Bob Costas’ voice triggers an automatic response in my finger, causing the channel to change.

            1. Costas is what happens when you pretend that a play by play announcer is a sage. And I thought Obama loved the sound of his own voice.

        2. or bringing up Idi Amin when the Ugandan athletes walked in.

    2. I saw it as a tribute to the victims of the NHS.

      1. ^^This^^ I am so kicking myself I didn’t think of that Saturday night. “I think it is great they are doing a tribute to the victims of the NHS” would have been a perfect facebook post or tweet.

  8. I wonder how loved this opening ceremony will be to the English tax paying population when they get ‘ol Danny boy’s bill.

    1. I heard it was $50M US and all the performers were unpaid. So 50M on tumescent smokestacks and digital culture wank.

  9. I had to change the channel because I was a) confused and b) weirded out.

    Like John said – all that history to choose from, and Boyle picks the National Health? He’s in the movie biz – doesn’t he know you never go full retard?

    1. could also be that the spotlight on national health care aimed at us Yanks who have dared to be skeptical about the wisdom of Obamacare. Most of the rest of the viewing world already has a socialized system of medicine.

      1. This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

        1. *Barf*.

          Call me an asshole, but I changed the channel when the NHS was brought up. It’s the fucking Olympiad, you moron organizers.

          1. When I changed the channel I found that apparently nobody wants to compete with the Olympics and I had to switch to Netflix. This is in marked contrast to the Superbowl, where other channels offer some good stuff to attract viewers when the game is shitty.

            1. Don’t be such an insular isolationist Yank. We must all watch the Olympics!11!!!1 Because global cooperation and stuff!

            2. Pirates game was on. And an exciting one, at that.

      2. Supposedly the NHS tribute had something to do with England’s “invention of children’s literature”, and the author of ‘Peter Pan’ devoted all proceeds from that book to a children’s hospital….

        Which is to say … it was really weird.

        1. My fave part was when they got to the bedtime scene and the announcer said “it’s like bedlam.” No, really it wasn’t. I suppose he didn’t know the origin of the word “bedlam” but hopefully has been told.

  10. I’ve never cared for the opening ceremonies. Its seems like a mostly nationalistic ego wallowing for the hosting country and usually not entertaining to anyone outside of said country.

    1. The Olympics is almost entirely about nationalistic ego and pride. Why else do so many of us spend a couple of weeks pretending to care about a bunch of silly sports that we really don’t give a crap about?

      1. I find myself singing the Team America theme song whenever I see Olympic stuff.

        1. I find myself screaming “Fuck yeah” when we wipe the floor with some shithole backwater and see foreign commentators explode with bitchy anti-Americanism. It’s always fun.

          1. USA Basketball is great to watch. No matter how lopsidedly anti-American the officiating gets, the USA still wins. Take that World!

            1. Except in 1972. Man that was some bullshit.

      2. because…women’s beach volleyball

        1. You, my good sir, are a real man.

          *High five*.

        2. So you haven’t actually watched the beach volleyball, then? Because all the chicks are bundled up in parkas and burkas and sweat pants and moon boots because it’s so fucking cold in England.

          1. I watched beach vollyball the other night. The Americans spent the entire night picking their bikini bottoms out of their ass cracks. I have never seen two women with such crawling problems in my life. I don’t know how they played. They would have been better off with running pants like the Ausies were wearing.

            And the whole thing is nothing but lesbian soft core porn. Every point ends in two women embracing and feeling up one another’s ass. NTTAWWT

            1. Great, now you’ve made we want to watch it!

              1. They have great bodies. But the women tend to be butter faces. The American team that is so good is a homely brunette and a tall skinny blond who looks like a stork. But they do have fantastic figures.

                1. Definitely hot bodies, but no tits (or at least they’re squished down to Planck length), and buttah faces.

                  But they really are all bundled up for the British summer.

            2. And the whole thing is nothing but lesbian soft core porn. Every point ends in two women embracing and feeling up one another’s ass. NTTAWWT

              *reaches for remote*

              What channel is this Olympics thing on?

          2. I’m already bored by the “OMG! I watch the Olympics looking for a reason to masturbate!” comments. And to think we’ve got another 13 days of them coming.

        3. Yeah, pretty sure that they could get viewers even if there was no ball involved.

          1. But more viewers if two balls were involved.

      3. I actually really like the sports. I get bored with the same old team sports all the time. I could do without the opening ceremonies and the rest of the pageantry and bullshit. If they did the Olympics in facilities that already exist and kept the bullshit to a minimum, it would be great.

        1. I do have to admit, I find it interesting to see all these unusual sports you almost never see on TV. “Alright, US ping pong girl!” Two weeks is about the right length, too.

      4. It’s not about anything so prosaic as sports. It’s about excellence and awesomeness and stuff, only way grander than usual.

    2. I was very entertained (in fact, blown away) by the Beijing opener, even though I was conscious of the fact that the reason it was so amazing was because of the conformist and totalitarian aspects of their culture and politics.

      1. They could have appealed to our leftists by highlighting their forced abortion policy.

        1. so how many black babies have you adopted?

          1. Not as many as you’ve paid to have aborted, that’s for sure. I do give to charity, so fuck off. Prior to abortion and child support laws, not many babies were born to irresponsible single mothers. You fucked up leftists have made it a national sport. You’ve left a trail of human suffering that rivals medeival Europe. Go kill yourself.

          2. Wait, I get it now, you don’t equate black people with personal responsability. Lefist racist is racist.

      2. North Korea’s Arirang is pretty impressive, too. And it also reminds you how fucked up a country has to be when they prioritize spectacle over the lives of their citizens. The collectivist metaphor is the same, as each person is a mere cog of the whole.

        1. The first time I saw footage of Arirang, I remarked how much it reminded me of the Beijing opener. But Arirang is very shouty and in-your-face. The Beijing one was well-choreographed and pretty.

          1. That dude running around the rim of the stadium was fucking awesome.

    3. China’s opening ceremonies four years ago were awesome. England’s were laughable.

      1. Sydney and Barcelona were nice, too. London’s were a mix of the sublime and the WTF.

  11. I wasn’t as ‘gobsmacked’ by the NHS theme as I was by NBC’s hosts that implied it was a truth that no one could dispute.

    1. that caught my attention. and the comment that the games universally were welcomed by the locals.

      1. I know at least two British businessmen working in London who thought it was fucking retarded for their city to be hosting the games.

    2. I was in Cozumel and the resort had the ceremonies projected on a big screen by the pool, so I couldn’t hear anything. What did they say?

  12. Hopefully Rio will just make a 50mil bonfire and keep the whole thing short.

    50M one dollar bills weighs out to about 11 tons. They should be able to keep the flame going for the entire games with a steady feeding of bills. Maybe with a pleasing pan-ethnic array of children to chuck money into the cauldron.

    1. “A Tribute to Quantitative Constriction”

      …as that money is taken out of circulation.

      1. And a giant rippling puppet of Krugman writhing in the grip of a deflationary nightmare.

    2. Man, the Rio ceremony is bound to be awesome. It would actually be fun as hell to go to 2016.

  13. I would be very proud of the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights of 1689 if I were a free Englishman. Sadly, no such creature exists in the world today; they’ve gone the way of the European Lion and the Auroch.

    1. Also, the execution of Charles I.

      But a tribute to regicide might not have gone over well with E2.

      1. I love driving through the Northeast where every state seems to have a town named after Cromwell.

        1. Being of Irish Catholic descent, I’d love to visit those towns to piss on the “Welcome to Cromwellville” signs.

          1. I’m of Irish and English descent – and let’s face it, the Irish backed the wrong side and paid dearly.

            1. ??? The Irish sided with their Church. I wouldn’t call that the wrong side.

              1. The Pope? How many divisions has he got?

      2. Hey if it wasn’t for that regicide, the Queen’s family would still be in Germany living in obscurity or have been killed during WW2.

    2. Couldn’t they also have put Mel Gibson in blue face paint on the big screen yelling “Freedom”?

  14. Any celebration of England that includes Mr. Bean but omits Monty Python is not fit to exist.

    1. Rowan Atkinson playing the one note bit from Chariots may have been the best part of the ceremony.

    2. that wasn’t Mr. Bean. that was the Black Adder.

      1. There’s a difference?

        1. Are you kidding? Black Adder was the absolute funniest show in the history of television. Mr. Bean is cutesy gimmickry that is best in very small doses.

          1. I’ve only seen Mr. Bean and it looked like he was doing Mr. Bean to me.

            1. He definitely was.

              But you should check out Black Adder. It was one of those rare shows (especially seasons 2, 3 and 4) where almost every single line was funny.

              1. But you should check out Black Adder

                You are like 437th person to tell me that. Some day.

                1. Make that 438.

                2. It’s on Netflix streaming, if you have that.

          2. I concur.

    3. Maybe the Python member had the taste class to turn down a part in the spectacle? I’d like to think so.

      1. Cleese would be the only one who would do it, but he would have wanted a big check. I can’t see Micheal Palin or Terry Jones agreeing to it. Although, Palin is a lovely fellow in the great British tradition of such. Palin would have done a much better opening ceremony.

        1. Not Python; Basil Fawlty. Insulting the IOC for failing to book his hotel and vigorously smacking Manuel throughout.

          1. That would be awesome.

  15. I watched Costas last night. His sunken eyes and cheeks made me think he was going through Heroin withdrawal.

    Then I went back to my regular view of “I don’t give a shit about nationalist celebrations of awesomeness” and turned off the Olympics.

    1. They could remove all the team sports from the olympics and it would improve. Although, I do tend to enjoy relays.

      1. They are getting rid of baseball and softball, thank merciful FSM.

        1. No getting, already gone. Were 4 years ago also, they are trying to get them back in in 4 years.

          1. Oh cool – I thought they were going to be taken off the docket after this Olympics.

        2. Baseball is a real sport played by millions around the world. Why dump that, when they have all those other odd events?

      2. At the very least they shoudl can the team sports that already have large international organizations and championships, or are dominated by one country. No one cares who wins olympic soccer or basketball or softball.

        1. Considering none of the best players play soccer, there is no reason for it.

          1. They have 3 overage (i.e. star) players on each team. There’s plenty to watch. I had rowing on the other day and I was like, “why am I watching *rowing*”?

            1. Because it’s fun to sing along. “Row, row, row your boat…”

            2. Rowing is cool to watch. For a few minutes every four years.

          2. No reason for men’s soccer, maybe. Maurine Goncalves (SFW) is reason enough for the women’s game.

    2. His wardrobe always looks like it came from the boys’ department at Sears.

  16. Yeah, back off! We kicked your ass in World War II, and we can do it again!

  17. I like sports where ungainly objects are thrown from awkward positions.

    And where the hell is sumo this year?

    1. I was enjoying fencing the other day. Hot italian chicks hitting each other with swords, whats not to love?

      1. They were fiery too.

  18. I work for and with Brits, and it’s hilarious how they think of the NHS. They’re just proud of it. Even the ‘conservative’ and mostly libertarian skewed ones.

    It’s basically a patriotic issue for them – think of it as the equivalent of putting something celebrating the 2nd amendment in an opening ceremony (only you’d have to also assume that the American left was staunchly in favor of the 2nd Amendment).

    They truly, honestly and hilariously see their stuipd NHS as a patriotic and not a political entity. I bet even the two registered Scottish libertarians also support the NHS in their virulently evil Scottish bones.

    I mean a giant Voldemort fought something and then Mary Poppins turned it into a giant baby.

    They had disabled kids out there singing as a big V-shaped finger gesture towards China.

    They freaking played Eclipse as the torch was lit. I may be an Anglophile, but I’m going to give them a pass on the NHS worship just this once.

    1. the Brits were just a lot poorer on average than Americans. Before the NHS they really didn’t get any medical care. So they accepted a level of care and incompetence that would have never been accepted in America.

      1. The Brits are all subjects of the Crown. Whereas Jefferson declared that “all men are created equal”, meaning not under the control of another. Unless and until entering into a contract, without force or fraud. If the Queen were to spit in a Brit’s face, it would be the highlight of their life.

        1. The Brits have also killed a couple of kings. And the Hanovers run the monarchy because they needed a family that was reliably Protestant and sufficiently stupid not to any ambitions of running things.

          1. And they are still glad to be subjects of the Crown, no matter how powerful or week or meaningless it is. We too have given up our individual sovereignty to be subjects of the welfare state.

            1. They would be better off if the crown still had power. It would keep the mob from doing a lot of the stupid shit they have done. Our whole government is based upon the model of the glorious revolution. Fuck pure Democracy. The 17th Century Brits got it right.

              1. I agree, fuck pure democracy. And fuck the monarchy. In a Republic, which we were, the individual was safe from the mob and the gov’t.

                1. Apparently not.

                2. For a few minutes.

      2. The NHS was also put into place in the era of war rationing and command economy. The people were used to waiting lines and government mishaps at that point.

  19. The point of the opening ceremonies was to sell the British public, and especially those on the east end of London, that all the money they’ve spent on the games was in the best interest of–peopel who think the NHS and handouts in general are a good thing.

  20. An Iron Maiden concert interspersed with Monty Python scenes between some of the songs would have been the greatest thing ever.

    Kill the lights and open with Churchill and Aces High. Maybe a Piece of Mind era Eddie with the Olympic logo as his chains.

    1. Maybe some “Run to the Hills” at the end to tell the audience/population what to do. GTFO.

      1. No way mate. Aces High all the way.

        1. Aces High is a better song, no doubt. Just would like some anti-NHS message, overt or implied.

      2. I was waiting for Benny Hill to start chasing the NHS nurses around the stadium while that funny song plays.

  21. note: these are the same decisionmakers that rejected a moment of silence for the 40th anniversary of the munich massacre… y’know the ones where olympic athletes were murdered by terrorists within the olympic compound itself.

    motto for the munich olympics (fun fact): “the happy games”

  22. When I exhibit my PowerPoint presentation seeking funding for a plan to crush socialism from the human conscious for good, Olympic NHS is going in the presentation. I think it may even be lede material.

  23. Danny Boyle is the mastermind behind the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony

    I approve the use of “mastermind” in this context.

  24. If only the High Speed Rail line had been runnig from Orlando to Tampa these games would be playing in Greater Taintsville right now.

  25. the cumulative stupidity you people display is astounding..the opening ceremony was supposed to be a celebration of civilizing achievements of the British people, one of them being the fact that nobody in Britain will die in the streets from treatable diseases..it is a decision of a society to just simply not allow barbaric things like poeple dying from treatable diseases to happen in their midst..Americans prefers to let people who get sick and have no means fight for their life on their own, which is fine..but when civilized nations celebrate their history, barbarians like you should just be quiet

    1. Yes, one of the things I hate about America is the way I’m always tripping over dead people in the streets.

      Oh, that and the way their blood gets on my spats. My man has a terrible time getting the stains out.

    2. Instead of dying in the streets from treatable diseases, Britain’s crowning achievement is that their people will die of treatable diseases in the corridors and in waiting rooms of NHS facilities.

      That’s certainly something to celebrate.

    3. Good to know that no one ever dies from treatable diseases, thanks to the NHS.

    4. “___ like you should just shut up” should be added to the list of go-to replies for people who have absolutely no point to make, or the intelligence to make one. The list so far:

      1. Ad hominems (barbarian, racist, etc.)
      2. You don’t understand (false consciousness bullshit).
      3. That’s just ignorant (when presented as self evident, with no followup explanation as to how it is ignorant or of what fact it is ignorant).

  26. Always interesting how you American wannabe “libertarians” (the correct term, which you have perverted, is “liberal”) insist on everything having to be a “private market” (which is a joke given that so many US industries, including your professional sports are more “socialistic” than European counterparts), including public health, when you seem to have no problem with government providing comprehensive service in public safety and national defense. Sure, let’s spend trillions on being a police state with the biggest armed forces in the history of mankind, but God beware the government wants to give health care to dying kids..you are not just barbarians, but also a bunch of phonies

    1. Interesting how you morons can’t find any position that Libertarians (because the statist Progressive/Democrat/Liberal party has coopted the term “Liberal,” a crime about which we bitch and moan fairly regularly here) actually hold to criticize. No one here is in favor of spending trillions on being a police state, or of the government spending trillions on anything, really. We generally want to cut defense spending down to what is necessary for defense, stop wasting money and lives on the drug war, and let the market improve the price and quality of healthcare for everyone. What is astounding is how people like you can blatantly ignore the myriad horrible outcomes that are allowed and even encouraged by socialist healthcare systems like the NHS in your blind worship of the state. You are not just an idiot, but also a horrible person.

  27. Horrible outcomes? WTF are you people talking about? Take a good look in the mirror, Mr. “I live in a banana republic”. BTW, I am German, not British, and compared to the German health care system, America looks like a fucking 3rd world country, just like the rest of your pathetic infrastructure..do you freaks even know that the power does not go out during every storm, if you put the power line UNDER the ground? retarded people is what you are

    1. You can’t argue with this combination of sanctimony and blind self-worship. So, I’ll just get down do his level. Call me when you’re from a country that hasn’t murdered 6 million people for fun, shithead.

    2. Herr Schvoogle, in the hurricanes that hit Central Florida in 2004 power did indeed go out in some parts of Orlando because the underground power lines were torn up by the roots of the trees that were torn out of the ground by the high winds. It was reestablished within hours (in most cases) by competent crews who were brought in from two and three states away working around the clock. The same thing happened in ares where we have overhead lines.

      Take your Prussian superiority complex and your cartoonish ideas about the US (“poeple(sic) dying from treatable diseases”…”in the streets”…doesn’t happen…except in Michael Moore “documentaries”) and shove it up your Teutonic arsehole.

      To quote Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison from The Americanization of Emily, “I’ve had Frenchmen call me a savage because I only took half an hour for lunch. Hell, Ms. Barham, the only reason the French take two hours for lunch is because the service in their restaurants is lousy.”

      Oh, wait, the quote I really wanted was, “I’ve had Germans and Italians tell me how politically ingenuous we are, and perhaps so. But we haven’t managed a Hitler or a Mussolini yet.”

      1. Oh, and I say that all as an American of (predominantly) German ancestry.

        Although your Fuhrer would have dismissed me as a mongrel, I’m sure.

      2. But, of course, you should be forgiven, since Germany rarely suffers the kind of extreme weather events that the US does.

        Must be nice.

  28. Ain’t no party like the Communist Party ’cause the Communist Party don’t stop.

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