I’ll have one theatre grande, hold the human rights

by jenthorn

I couldn’t help myself.  Olympics time has always been big news in my family.  We would all watch nightly on the couch together and cheer for our favorite athletes.  The excitement in my home was akin to Christmas.  My parents love the Olympics and they passed their fever on to my sister and I.  So this year, despite my mixed feelings, I tuned in to the Opening Ceremonies as if opening a present from Santa.  I knew they would be extravagant.  My husband said they spent 40 BILLION dollars on the ceremony alone.  I don’t know if that’s true but he is sort of a fact hound.  I felt so torn.  It was beautiful. A massive stunning theatrical event with thousands of people stepping in time in glowing garments.  I was so moved by the sheer numbers of people involved and their obvious commitment to achieving something close to perfection.

I especially enjoyed when they panned to our president who was checking his watch.  Obviously he was checking in hopes that there were hours more because he truly appreciated the incredible effort made on the part of the Chinese, which bring me to the political side of this all.   I feel so torn about whether China should have been able to host the Olympics at all.  What with the pollution and oh…..the opression of and entire people they are currently wrapped up in.  Free Tibet…..but first lets all watch a really moving light show that costs enough to feed the hungry.  And to sweeten the deal, as the Russains enter let’s remind everyone at home that they have no clue war has broken out and their country killed an estimated 1,400 people in an “aerial bombardment”.  And then Iran enters the stadium to cheers.  What is happening to my Olympics people?

Is it ok that I just loved the show? Should theatre transcend the current political climate?  Should we make and enjoy art together while putting aside our current differences? I don’t know the answer to that anymore. It sounds beautiful but is it realistic?