I have recently been relishing reflecting on how there seem to be funny little connections between all the truly awesome events in my recent life. Since moving down to London, I have had some great experiences, but what excites me is how they touch upon one another. For starters there was the big one – the Olympics. That event has personal resonance for me for a number of reasons: for a start, Lyn played at it’s finale, and you never forget something so monumental. The fact that the documentary which preceded heir performance cemented mine and Lyn’s relationship into the Symbolic made it even more special. Linked to that in another ceremony there was a reference to Chariots of Fire, which has quite profound resonance for me because My class and I performed to that very track for a wheelchair dance competition at school. Then, of course, there is my favourite:Happy and Glorious not only utilises my favourite Bond actor in what must be one of the most remarkable bits of tv ever, it also references the union jack parachute jump from the opening of The Spy Who Loved Me. Given that parachuting is not an integral aspect of the Bond character in that he is not automatically associated with that mode of transport, and that there were other options open to the ceremony organisers
(007 could, for instance, have chauffeured her majesty in his Aston Martin, perhaps even re-using the famous car barrel-roll stunt from The Man with the Golden Gun; or they could have had the helicopter land and had her majesty step out), that the two are linked is quite beyond argument. Danny Boyle and is team must have had the pre-credit sequence of The Spy who Loved Me in mind when creating the opening ceremony. While you could ascribe the pattern on the parachute to the patriotism inherent to the occasion, or point out that there were no solouhetted hands or Carly Simon, to try to argue that there is no relationship between the two would be virtually impossible. After all, unless I am very much mistaken, that is where the flag-emblazoned parachute device originated; and both use the opening of a parachute as a musical cue. I find the fact that the one ties quite irrefutably to the other a source of almost perpetual joy. I also love the fact that, at the beginning of Happy and Glorious, you can glimpse the ball-room where Lyn and the Paraorchestra recorded the anthem for the queen’s 2012 christmas address, giving me a second personal link to it.
Through that, the entire London 2012 olympic and paralympic event is linked to my Master’s work. Due to the echo of the flag-emblazoned parachute, the semiotic/linguistic link is inescapable. To me that is awesome. And, through my thesis, there is also a connection to the Ahab scene from First Contact, meaning it links to another of my greatest memories: meeting Sir Patrick Stewart. Thus the two are connected; my thesis straddles both experiences!
The third of my awesome events was, of course, watching Monty Python Live. While I do not use Python in my thesis, there is a link to london 2012 through Eric Idle’s bit. Again, the two echo each other. The two events are also linked through their use of Stephen Hawking, who in turn has a link to Star trek. And of course, through Python my web extends not only to my favourite traveller, Michael Palin, but also to John Cleese, who was in two of the Brosan-era Bond films. I still relish the memory of going to se Mr. Palin talk, yet another great event in my recent life.
I hope you et the picture. I love how linked all these things are; thinking up these connections has become something of a hobby. This is just an overview: there are many more links in this fascinating, often uncanny, web of life. Noticing them makes one realise how intricate and intriguing the world is.