Liveblogging the Sochi Opening Ceremony

This is a spur-of-the-moment thing, but let’s get this party started! (And, yes, I know I’m watching a tape-delayed opening ceremony. You’re not reading this in real time, either, so let’s call it even.)

8:07 PM: Hey everybody, let’s learn the Russian A B 3s!

8:15 PM: The whole “girl flying through a dreamscape” thing is actually really cool. It’s definitely better than our hoedown, which was the moral equivalent of America giving itself a swirly in front of the world.

8:22 PM: Whoever was in charge of that fifth Olympic ring is about to be spirited away by the Putin

8:24 PM: And heeeeeere’s Putin! (Arriving moments after dealing with the Fifth Ring Operator’s family)

8:32 PM: The lone red person who missed his/her mark, in the lower right of the screen, was Hilarious. Also: soon to be Putined.

8:37 PM: Is it IOC policy that the people with the country placards be dressed by someone certified batshit insane?

8:38 PM: Australian gal with the yellow kangaroo doll in her hood: I like your style.

8:40 PM: Wow, this color commentary is harsh. “This is the first and last time you’ll hear about Andorra these games.”

8:41 PM: Marin: “What is this music, anyway? Is this what it sounds like to be Putinized?”

8:46 PM: LOL Bermuda people are wearing Bermuda shorts. I can see their goosebumps in HD!

8:49 PM: I wonder how long the Russian sideline dancers can actually boogie—they’ve been doing this little coordinated dance for a while, now, and they’re wearing heavy(-looking) white coats.

8:53 PM: Wow, those German outfits are, uh, terribly colorful. Emphasis on terribly.

8:54 PM: China’s actually letting Hong Kong compete as a separate country?(?!)

9:03 PM: America’s Hat enters! (Yeah, I’m reaching.)

9:05 PM: Apparently China doesn’t know that they need to keep walking.

9:06 PM: Holy crap, is all of Latvia competing?

Boogie update: Cohesion has broken down a bit, but everybody’s still bopping to the beat.


(kidding, jeez)

9:13 PM: So the IOC banned India due to corruption? What the heck did India do?

9:25 PM: We really need to stop giving Ralph Lauren work.

9:27 PM: When did Shaun White become one of the more respectable-looking of our Olympic athletes?

9:28 PM: I’m not really competitive, sports aren’t really my bag, and I’m not super-nationalistic… but I still get a little chill when the United States enters the Olympic arena. The ideal of the Olympics still has some power, I guess.

9:40 PM: ok i’m done now when does this end

9:41 PM: Awww, why do the Swiss all have their jackets zipped up?

9:43 PM: I just heard the color commentary explain “YOLO” on national TV. Some things need to be looked up online, ya know?

9:44 PM: Something tells me that you don’t want to be the nation entering immediately prior to the host nation.

9:44 PM: Jamaica was very clearly using an iPhone. Samsung must be pissed.

Boogie Update: Boogie-ing is up 4000% as the Russians enter the stadium! Putin looks down, pleased. Many lives were spared tonight.

9:47 PM: The block of Important Russian People is trying to boogie. They obviously don’t do this very often.

9:51 PM: A thousand years of history in three minutes? They shouldn’t have!

No, really, they can stop now.

9:51 PM: Color commentary to the rescue: “you might not recognize these actors, but we think they might be noteworthy to the Russians.”

9:52 PM: I can’t help but feel like this history omits some important details.


9:55 PM: The three horses of the Russian Hoe-pocalypse! I can feel it coming!

9:58 PM: I like how Russia is using technology to animate breaking ice flows and stuff. China would have used thousands of people to get the same effect.

9:59 PM: This is totally the Russian hoedown, yet it’s still nowhere near as traumatizing as our hoedown was.

10:03 PM: Who thought that air-flute and air-drums were a good thing to show off in front of the world?

10:07 PM: I assumed the Russian hoedown was done. I assumed wrong.

10:08 PM: The right line isn’t looking very straight. The camera cuts away to Putin jotting down names.

10:09 PM: This “ballroom dance” doesn’t have very much ballroom or very much dancing. Oh, wait, I see a couple in closed position!

10:11 PM: Holy crap something that approached actual dance!

10:12 PM: They actually are doing some really nifty stuff with contrasting light and shadow, black/white and color.

…And then they decide to give everyone an epileptic seizure.

10:20 PM: Why is everything suddenly red? Is this some sort of symbolism or something that I’m just missing?

10:30 PM: A bunch of people just got married (not to Macklemore), and then an army of milkmen delivered baby carriages. Hrm.

10:37 PM: Putin doesn’t look pleased with the guy giving a speech right now. The guy notices, and his hand tremors ever-so-slightly.

10:38 PM: “Dear Olympic athletes…” that’s why my back is to you for the remainder of this speech.

10:39 PM: I hope this speech ends with a reminder not to use the water on your face.

10:43 PM: The Russian “dove of peace” (?) appears to be a jellyfish.

10:44 PM: Spinning women! Now this is what I like to see!

10:46 PM: OOOOH! If you just pay attention to the lit spinning cords when they’re to the left and right of the dancers, they look like wings! (Being serious, this time: I totally missed that for the first half of the routine.)

11:14 PM: OK, that was actually pretty good, as far as Olympic opening ceremonies go. Russia has nothing to be ashamed about.


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