The critics are saying "the best closing ceremonies ever". I didn't love them. There were highlights but the images of all the people going up and down the tower was a little disturbing to me, although I can't tell you exactly why. There was something very robotic about it all. And that singing by the reigning rock stars of China was grating at best. It felt like each of them was trying to outdo the other with vocal gymnastics.
The Olympics are a fascinating spectacle. It's not supposed to be political but it is so very political—which country got the most metals; US criticizes China for not allowing more protests; Bush visits and games and takes care of international business; Russia invades Georgia on the first day of the Olympics (coincidence? They've done this before). It's interesting that China wants to be a world leader and yet they aren't too hot on playing by anyone's rules but their own. Control is everything to them. Rather than focus on the money spent and the human toll, they want us only to see the spectacle, the glitter. But how can we not take notice of the mechanizations that went into it all and frown.
But I loved watching the athletes and the challenges they faced. That ultimately was what it was all about and it didn't feel political when you're rooting for an underdog or watching a simply amazing talent. I enjoyed it and looked forward to watching everyday.
So now we move on to local politics. The DNC is well under way and the RNC is soon to follow. It should be interesting.