Saturday, August 6, 2016

Olympic Openings: Creepy-Crawlies or Star Wars?

As we sacked out around the TV this morning, eating blueberry corn muffins and watching the strange crawling monsters slide across the Olympic stage in Rio, my husband asked, "Are those Star Wars ships?"
I put down my coffee cup and watched a jointed mechanical leg clip across the stage, green streamers and lights flickering.
"It's a praying mantis from the jungle," I said. 
Amazonian warriors were dancing to something that only Busby Berkeley could have choreographed.
"It's a spider!" said my daughter.
"They're getting the athletes prepared for what they'll find in their hotel rooms," said my son. 
On came the Portuguese conquerors, on came the slaves, feet clamped to blocks of stone. Meanwhile, outside the arena, the workers, the professors, the nurses, the doctors, who haven't been paid for four months, let their discontent be known. Meanwhile, the German rowing team is told not to dip their hands in the waters as they row, nor allow a drop of that water to enter their mouths. The pink flamingos observing the debris float by, the bloated dead fish on the beach, have seen it all and like Alice in Wonderland, remain unperturbed. The whole story of the conquest and colonization of Brazil had played out on the Olympic stage at the opening ceremonies--now the question remains: what will the people of Brazil take away from this particular pageant and contest?

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