There's a real smell of Nuremberg about the Olympic Opening Ceremony

I am sure it is not just me who feels that the Olympic opening ceremony looks like "The Triumph Of The Will", the infamous film of the 1934 Nazi Nuremberg Conference.

The scenes of children marching in lines, eulogising the flag and the party, everyone in the stadium organised to stand and applaud at the right times. Jack booted soldiers marching with a high kick step (like Basil Fawlty's famous impression of the German's in Fawlty Towers) as they carry the flag aloft, and most bizarre of all children standing with their right hand aloft in what appeared to be a sort of Nazi salute as the Chinese flag was raised.

I saw "The Triumph of The Will" at university when studying The Third Reich, and the similarities are chilling in that 75 years on a government still seeks to control, organise, co-ordinate and subjugate in this way.

I know that all opening ceremonies have a high degree of co-ordination, but this takes it to new highs. Aside from the Nazi salutes, goosestepping soldiers and the co-ordinated applause, perhaps the most odd was the way that children dressed in ethnic dress walked in with the Chinese flag, supposedly symbolising the different ethnic groups that made up China. For me, it just showed all the ethnic groups oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party who seek to stamp out ethnic ways and make everyone ethnic Chinese.


Anonymous said...

Being of the view that 'everyone else is doing/watching it' is no good reason for doing/watching anything I studiously avoided watching it.

Doing my best to ignore the Olympics altogether - since when the winner crosses the line one has to wonder about what sweeties they might have been taking. On those grounds - not worth bothering to watch any more.

Anonymous said...

This struck me as an atypically mean-spirited and unappreciative posting, Nich. While fully accepting that China's human rights record has been dire, there is no doubt that it is improving - and improving pretty rapidly before our very eyes (no more the secret society I witnessed in the early 1970s). And frankly the parallel with 1936 Berlin or Nuremburg rallies is hopelessly overdriven. The Chinese President who actually and (quite unprecedentedly for China) publicly apologised to people for failure of the railways to cope with holiday season traffic last winter hardly strikes me as a new Adolf Hitler.

Norfolk Blogger said...

and it wa mean spirited to make reference to jack booted goose stepping soldiers with children doin Nazi salutes ?

Anonymous said...

My main motivation to watch the ceremonies was to analyze how china would handle it. Of course it is allllllll about politics and nationa pride for the Chinese. Too little reference to sports and Olympic history and too much reference to the great history of China made that clear. As those thousand men drummed and chanted and tried to remember to smile I had images of a million man army marching in to central asia and on to the middle east securing the strategic oil reserves. I was chilled by it, definately awed as intended. But I've seen the North Koreans do ceremonies-though not on this scale-and the theme and style were the same. It's enough that people are debating the intimidating and foreboding aspects of the ceremonies. China wanted to send a message, it was loud and clear. If you didn't hear it get your head out of the sand.