VIA THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
January 7, 2012
TO: Mr. Flap Jacks
FROM: G. Elkington, Personal Assistant to Danny Boyle
Dear Mr. Jacks:
Thank you for your recent correspondence and suggestions regarding the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. Mr. Boyle was quite pleased to receive your letters (all four thousand pages) and some of your ideas are quite interesting – and, indeed, even somewhat duplicative of Mr. Boyle’s vision for the ceremony. Although at this point we cannot incorporate your ideas as the planning stage is quite completed and we are rapidly moving from concepts to realized, complete portions of the ceremony, Mr. Boyle wished me to address some of your ideas specifically, as he felt they might assist you in your future creative endeavours, which we note should not include the Olympics in any way.
HISTORY: Although we quite agree with you that the Olympic opening ceremony should indeed reflect the United Kingdom’s history and the things of which we are proud, we do not think your proposal to have a crowd of five thousand volunteers all simultaneously giving someone dressed as Adolf Hitler a middle-finger salute is appropriate for a family-friendly event like the Olympics. (It would also probably just embarrass Germany again, which would be impolitic in this day and age.) Similarly, your proposed salute to Sir William Wallace, while likely to delight extreme Scottish nationalists, would not be in line with the ceremony’s mission of celebrating peace and unity. Furthermore, the cow blood required for the staged eviscerations you describe would be budget-breaking.
FIVE RINGS: Your suggestion to revise J.R.R. Tolkien’s stanza describing the Rings of Power from his Lord of the Rings series by adding the line “Five to the International Olympic Committee, who think they’re so goddamn special, la dee dah” was, to say the least, terribly impolitic. Also, it does not scan well.
POPEYE: We understand that you are a fan of Popeye, but Popeye was created by E.C. Segar, an American, and is currently owned by an American company. Really, Popeye has nothing to do with Britain at all and is not appropriate for the opening ceremony, even if it would be exciting to watch him fight Aslan (whom we believe is who you meant by “that God-Lion, you know the one”). Other suggestions you made that have nothing to do with the United Kingdom fall into this same category: Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves, the re-enactment of a chase scene from the videogame Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (which is set in Rome, which is in Italy, not Great Britain), the army of dancing leprechauns (which are Irish, not British), and Spider-Man (who is portrayed by a British citizen currently but who is not, in and of himself, British).
WILLIAM REGAL: We admit that professional wrestler William Regal is indeed British, but we doubt that Prince Charles would agree to “tap out” to a commoner.
MASS EXECUTIONS: Your suggestion to reunite the cast of Monty Python and then squash them all with a giant metal foot was unfortunately not well-received, as the various Pythons all expressed disinterest at the idea of being crushed to death, even if it would be extremely symbolic. (Eric Idle was prepared to concede minor lacerations and one broken limb so long as he got to sing “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life,” but the other Pythons vetoed this idea.) Similarly, the cast of “The Young Ones” did not understand why they would be crushed by a giant foot, nor did Tom Baker, Jeremy Clarkson or Benedict Cumberbatch. Perhaps you are not aware of this, but not all British television actors are regularly crushed by giant animated feet (much less giant metal ones). Besides, none of these actors deserves to be executed on live television. At most, Jeremy Clarkson deserves a severe flogging rather than death.
MILTON KEYNES: We are not sure why you devoted 750 pages of your missive to a celebration of Milton Keynes, but in any case we do not agree with your proposals in this regard. Frankly, Milton Keynes is sort of depressing.
GIANT RAIN MACHINE: Finally, your proposal to “invent some sort of weather control device to ensure that it rains during the ceremony so everybody experiences Britain properly” is, unfortunately, financially and scientifically unfeasible. Besides which, it will probably rain anyway, so your secondary measure of a system of enormous sprinklers is, we feel, extraneous.
However, despite our creative disagreements, we do note that Kenneth Branagh was very taken with your idea of having him portray “an evil Bob Cratchit who is lord and emperor of all he surveys,” and we will be using elements of that idea without crediting you. Our thanks.
Sincerely, etc. etc.