Wednesday Evening – I am idly flicking through the television channels when I stumble across the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. If there is a less enthralling sporting event on this planet than the Commonwealth Games, I am yet to hear of it.
However, I found the opening ceremony to be quite entertaining. The display included many things considered synonymous with Scotland, and/or the great city of Glasgow. These included inflatable Loch Ness Monsters, giant Tunnocks Tea Cakes, a huge haggis, golf clubs, Scottish terriers leading out the forty-one participating national teams, and even an Irn-Bru Forth Bridge. Anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of a gargantuan fried Mars Bar, people drinking alcohol out of brown paper bags, or an enormous syringe were no doubt left disappointed. The mascot for the 20th edition of the Games is Clyde (see below – he is named after a thistle that grows on the bank of the Clyde river).
Rod Stewart sang, as did that woman from X-Factor I was hoping I’d seen the last of. We got to see the head of The Commonwealth, the Queen, and a glimpse of the star attraction, Usain Bolt, one of the few global athletic stars that isn’t either ineligible for the Games, or hasn’t succeeded in getting a sick note from their doctor in time.
Controversy was provided in the form of Dr Who actor John Barrowman kissing a man, before dragging him to the altar for a mock wedding. This new version of the Glasgow kiss was presumably not appreciated in the forty-two of the fifty-three Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is illegal. No doubt John Barrowman, who recently wed his male partner, isn’t planning to honeymoon in Nigeria or Uganda, where an anti-homosexuality act was passed earlier this year. Whether Barrowman’s actions are viewed as a defiant stance against homophobia, or symbolic of a prurient nation, is a matter of individual opinion. Quite what the Queen made of it all we can only guess.
That’s it for today. I’ve got to rush off or I’m going to miss The Solomon Islands efforts in the Lawn Bowl.