Danny Boyle’s Olympic Magic: What Would Bruno Bettelheim say?

July 28, 2012 — 2 Comments
Danny Boyle's Magic Opening.

The 2012 Opening Olympic Celebration

I loved the Olympic opening ceremonies. Danny Boyle and his team did a marvelous job. I wish the Queen would have smiled after she “parachuted” in and arrived at the podium….

I loved everything in Danny Boyle’s production except for the British fairytale Part.

It creeped the hell out of me!

Why shouldn’t I be creeped out? It was underscored by the most famous piece of music associated with the occult, Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, made famous by the motion picture, The Exorcist.

Little girls in white beds screaming in pantomime, zombie nurses in blue and white skipping about… Then of course, thirty Mary Poppins floating down from the sky in their magic umbrellas, only to duke it out with a sky-high black  Lord Voldemort puppet with a magic wand!

Did anyone else  have the same reaction?

Then we have J K Rowling reading from J.M Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan.

It was a dark and upsetting vision.  I don’t know that Danny Boyle and his team were even conscious of what was happening.

Dark forces might have been at work. I believe in the “prince of earth”  because Jesus warned us about him. For those who are not  following me “the prince of earth” is often times known as the devil, Satan, Beelzebub…that creature.

What creeped me out is the dark magic vision of the piece. Magic was everywhere.

Our postmodern culture views these  magic fairy tales as harmless, kids stuff.

But really is it?

Giant wizards, zombie nurses, magic nannies, flying boys who don’t want to grow up?

John the Apostle says,  “test the Spirits” (1 John 4: 1-3). I don’t think we can safely say that the Spirit of God was moving through that highly staged number.

I wonder what the  brilliant psychologist,  Bruno Bettelheim, author of The Uses of Enchantment, would say about  this? His research studies dealt with the importance of  fairytales in bringing a child to  an understanding of his or her place in the universe. He was a Freudian and his book is seminal reading for Hollywood screenwriters. I bet Danny Boyle has read it.

But Bruno Bettelheim would probably never have  dreamed that the fairytale would become so lavish, so complicated a mash-up as we saw last night… where magic is all and the consideration for good and bad, or light and dark. The magic of the night was lost in the chaos of magic,  itself.

We can’t really ask Bruno Bettleheim anything.

Unfortunately, the trailblazer in modern psychology committed suicide through a self-induced asphyxiation by placing a plastic bag over his head.

J.M. Barrie_Travels in Transmedia

Dressed as Captain Hook, author J.M. Barrie, wrestles with Jack Llewelyn Davies in Kensington Gardens, London, 1904

I am not suggesting fantasy is wrong , but when it comes to “magic”, “test the spirits”.

The “Magic Kingdom” and the “Kingdom of God” are two distinct and very different worlds.

According to Scripture, one Kingdom is ruled by the prince of the earth and the other is ruled by the King of Kings.

 

 

 

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2 responses to Danny Boyle’s Olympic Magic: What Would Bruno Bettelheim say?

  1. Hi David! Found this while doing my own research on what just happened! Thank you for the further connections. Writing a ton on Facebook about it right now and posting every link I find. I am a writer of fairy tales and articles about fairy tales and their meanings and this has gotten me very wrought up. Come see me on FB if you want to see some of my research. And thank you for your!! Christine Natale

    • David Kirkpatrick July 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Wow! Thanks, Christine! I am definitely going to check out your research. Seems like a lot of folks have forgotten the deeper underpinnings of the fairytale!

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