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August 13, 2012

You gotta love the British press at the Olympics: "A raucous pageant of popular culture".

When did America's Fourth Estate last use "raucous" in a headline? Ah, but Britain, she really did deliver, didn't she? See The Guardian's artful swan song for London's two week-long moment: "London 2012: This closing ceremony was a raucous pageant of popular culture." Excerpt from the piece by Richard Williams:

Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz performed from moving Rolls-Royce convertibles, like an extended advert for the best of British bling, while Russell Brand sang I Am the Walrus from a psychedelic bus that metamorphosed into a giant transparent octopus from which Fatboy Slim delivered a short DJ set. When the Spice Girls sang from the top of black cabs, the Olympics seemed to have turned into the Motor Show.

Last of all, after the speeches, Rio de Janeiro's preview of 2016 and the extinguishing of Thomas Heatherwick's cauldron, came the surviving members of the Who, closing the Games with the adrenaline shot of My Generation, although the real anthem of London 2012 had undoubtedly been David Bowie's Heroes.

There was no message, and nor did there need to be, except "Wasn't it fun?" and "Aren't we great?" But Damien Hirst's tie-dyed rendering of the union flag, filling the ground on which the world's finest athletes had run and jumped and thrown their way into history, reminded those suspicious of raucous patriotism of how great the union flag suddenly looked when it was ripped out of the hands of the extreme right and wrapped around the shoulders of Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah.

Pet-Shop-Boys-at-Olympics-008 (1).jpg

The Pet Shop Boys get down, as it were. (Photo: Julien Behal/PA)

Posted by JD Hull at August 13, 2012 05:12 AM

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