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O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics in China

Okay, watching the opening ceremonies. Holy frack. That LCD panel, wow, just fargin wow. Now that is a nice piece of kit, and the usage (so far) has been spectacular.

But those Fou Drums. Does anybody out there know more about these. All I can get (after 15 minutes of searching) are all links to "hey look, they were used in the Olympic opener, discovered in a tomb in 2005." Yeah, great, thanks. Are these martial drums (used to call the order of battle, like some of those large bronze bells)? They look and sound like they could be (although being a standard musical instrument may not be out). Are they temple or palace drums? Just what are they. I can't find anything else, no archeological data, specifications, nothing. Yeah, I'm an ancient warfare wonk. Hell, how many of you knew that the ancient Chinese used bells to call the order of battle?

Oh, and because most commentators are missing it, there is a message in the opening ceremonies (I'm up to them finishing the "we were great mariners once" stage). It's "we've got the people. We have the tradition. You can no longer ignore us." It's a very nationalist message. And can I say that watching Communist China glorifying it's dynastic ages, mind boggling.

3 comments:

Random Michelle K said...

We're watching it here too. (Well, Michael and I are watching, my grandmother is mostly dozing) and it's simply amazing.

(We're watching the Tai Chi bit right now.)

Todd Wheeler said...

It was amazing. Commentary by that Ramos fellow was helpful, otherwise I wouldn't have followed all the symbolism.

Steve Buchheit said...

Random Michelle K and Todd, oh yeah, it was just incredible. The timed choreography of all those people, the costumes and the ingenuity, wow. That was a sales pitch if I've ever seen one. And I really want that LCD scroll. That was just amazing.