Video: Blogger still struggling to cope with that “I Am the Walrus” cover at the Olympics last night

posted at 6:41 pm on August 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

To cleanse the palate. I turned the closing ceremony on early, soon enough to suffer through the treacle-upon-treacle child choir’s rendition of “Imagine,” but otherwise watched without paying close attention. Then this happened and for the first time ever I had the same gut reaction as Gawker, right down to their choice of analogy: “[A] low point in pop culture. It’s Snow White-at-the-Oscars bad. Shame.” Yep. I used to think Slash performing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with the Black Eyed Peas at the Super Bowl was the low point, but if the Olympics are about anything, my friends, they’re about setting new records. On Twitter, Anthony Bourdain is at 1,200+ retweets and counting for this:

Click the image and skip to 35:00. The thing is, there’s no single obvious flaw. Brand carries the tune well enough, it’s well-choreographed, colorful, etc. The reaction, I think, is due to a perfect storm of lesser irritations: (1) He’s tremendously annoying generally, at least to American eyes; (2) it’s not just any song but a Beatles tune that’s being enlisted as a vehicle for his druggy libertine persona; (3) the fact that he’s performing in character as Willy Wonka makes the whole thing excruciatingly campy. The idea, I guess, was to present a “dangerous,” more hallucinogenic version of Wonka, but there’s nothing dangerous in a big, gaudy, kitschy pageant like the closing ceremony. It’s danger through a filter of cuteness and mass appeal. I half-expected Snow White to dance out there and get a sexy-yet-playful whack on her bottom from bad Wonka/Brand. That’s all that’s missing.

I don’t mind telling you: I’m thinking of making this our new “bad news” mascot video in lieu of the melting bunny.

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Allah, I looked him up. Still not sure why he is relevant to anything. Or why I should need to know about him. Him.


Brand and several other celebrities wrote to The Independent (as supporters of the Hoping Foundation) to condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza, and the “cruel and massive loss of life of the citizens of Gaza”.[89] In February 2009, Brand and several other entertainers wrote to The Times defending Bahá’í leaders then on trial in Iran.[90] In April 2009, he attended the 2009 G-20 London summit protests and spoke to the press.[91][92]

Bmore on August 13, 2012 at 10:06 PM

I just watched it. I think the muslims might have a point about the west.

BoxHead1 on August 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Facebook only commenting? Well, that’s one way to destroy value.

Over50 on August 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

“My name is Yoko Ono, and I approve of this song cover.”

calbear on August 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Allah, I recommend that you check out the Quotes of the Day thread last night. We were having a good ole time with it here.

Lawdawg86 on August 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Lawdawg, you totally rocked that thread with your great commentary! I was laughing all evening!

Re facebook commenting, ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE idea – now that I’ve thought about it more. Would totally ruin Hot Air as I know it. All the great commenters here will leave. Would make New Coke sound like a good idea.

The commenting features are great, being able to bold or italicize text, respond to others by quoting their posts, easy linking to other sites, including some great music, and so on. Please keep it!

22044 on August 14, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Blended traditional / FB is also a lousy idea. HA stands out primarily because of its comments sections. Why water them down?

ChicagoJewishGuy on August 14, 2012 at 12:26 AM

So “I am the Walrus” is now Musak? Meh.

I refuse to watch “The Who.” After Entwistle passed on, The Who were no more. Now it is two silly gits still flogging that horse trying to earn a check.

Mallard T. Drake on August 14, 2012 at 12:28 AM

John Lennon would be seriously dismayed at the almost religious zeal that Baby Boomers adopt to protect the Beatles canon, as they see it.

So tired of it.

Imagine this: Still reverentially regarding the Beatles as untouchable in 2012 is the same as someone in 1945 saying “The Band Played On” from 1895 cannot be re-interpreted.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Sorry,Allah, but I think the rest of the world pays more attention to the response of the Aussies whose 2000 Sydney Olympics were regarded universally as the benchmark of success. They rate the 2012 Games as even better than Sydney and, coming from Oz, that is praise indeed.
The closing ceremony is more of a party atmosphere and the audience and the athletes obviously enjoyed it. In any pop concert there will always be low spots and Russell Brand fits that bill admirably but, as some comments have indicated, there were plenty of high points as well.
But then Hot Air has systematically waxed eeyore over the Lonbdon Games. That might be because of an inbuilt tendency to regard anything outside the USA as weird/outlandish but it is more likely to be due to the fact that 1996 and 2002 proved that Americans appear to be incapable of organising a summer Olympics that is not a clusterfark (Atlanta) or a winter Olympics not enmeshed in bribery and corruption (Salt Lake City)

callingallcomets on August 14, 2012 at 7:53 AM

wow. You mean I actually missed a childrens choir’s rendition of “Imagine”?

Now I’m REALLY glad that I didn’t bother to watch the closing ceremonies.

dissent555 on August 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM

What happened with the FB commenting? Where is this info coming from? What did I miss?

GWB on August 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I am still trying to figure out why this guy is famous. He is like a Kardashian without a realty show.

jeffn21 on August 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I was nauseous through the Lenon and Walrus stuff. Imagine is arguably one of the worst popular songs ever. The octopus coming out of the shoolbus with Fatboy Slim was kinda cool. I also liked Brian May and that female singer. Jessie J?

My favorite part was introducing the next hosting nation, Brazil. Marisa Monte and PELE! My whole family stood up in our living room and clapped! But we are biased as the wife is from Sao Paulo.

shick on August 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

I have them recorded but haven’t seen them yet.

theCork on August 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Answer: Revelation of the next hosting nation=Brazil. Was cool.

shick on August 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM

You know things are bad when the highlight of the night is George Michael.


To be fair, though – the very end when they finally brought down the Olympic flame and the fireworks was pretty cool.

catmman on August 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM


shick on August 14, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Best performance of the closing ceremonies was by Freddie Mercury.

And he’s dead.

But seriously, that looked like it was going to be the most epic rendition of “We Will Rock You” ever until Jassie J (or whatever her name is) started singing it.

JimLennon on August 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I thought she did fine for a noob.

shick on August 14, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Where were the friggin’ Rolling Stones?

They don’t look like they can still entertain.

Def Leppard?….c’mon

ted c on August 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Not as popular. (but I think they would have been a better pick that Brand.

I was personally dissapointed that Clapton or Plant didn’t participate.

shick on August 14, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Was Handel ever a part of the opening or closing ceremonies?

He should have been. One of England’s finest masters.

shick on August 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM


abobo on August 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM