What Mary Poppins (the Nanny State) & Lord Voldemort Have to Teach Us About Our Own Slavery
Typical reactions to the 2012 Summer Olympics “Bedtime Story” performance have been “Awesome!” or “He shoots sparks out of his wand!” or some other exclamation of excitement and wonder. And it was awesome. It better have been for 42.5 million dollars worth of production. And that’s the official number.
42.5 million dollars worth of production was apparently well invested as it has thoroughly distracted the public from the real message of the opening ceremony. This would be funny, as it is a practical metaphor for the story onstage, were the message not so insidious. In fact, listening to my friends reactions as they were taken in by the facade of the production reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite Broadway shows, Chicago.
In the scene, Roxie, who is on trial for murder (and guilty) has last minute jitters before her trial. Her lawyer, Billy, eases her mind with a little practical advice that, I think, could not be more appropriate for what we saw at the Olympics:
Roxie, you got nothing to worry about. It’s all a circus, kid. A three ring circus. These trials, the whole world, all show business. But, kid, you’re working with a star. The biggest!
Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle ‘em
Give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give ‘em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather ‘em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?
What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you’re just disgusting?
Razzle dazzle ‘em.
And they’ll never catch wise!
Even those not so easily distracted by the old ‘razzle dazzle’ have had little to say on the “Bedtime Story” as the whole dark and confusing spectacle has rendered them speechless. Independent media and free thinking bloggers’ haven’t been able to sum up their feelings on it much beyond describing it as ‘weird’ or ‘creepy’. People are bothered, but they don’t know why. It left a bad impression. It was scary. The Queen made an ugly face.
I feel that every aspect of that performance was deliberate and symbolic. When examined separately and then put together all the elements are an allegory of what happens when people allow themselves to be governed by fear.
The Bedtime Story for the 2012 London Olympics tells the literal story of the Anglo-American people’s slumber and the rise of nanny-state Fascism. It also proves that we, the masses, are viewed as no more than unruly children incapable of taking care of ourselves.
This segment of the ceremony was opened with the very memorable “KAOS” Children’s Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children singing “God Save Our Queen”. Are deaf children used here to symbolize our own deafness to the truth that our leaders despise, infantilize, and betray us?
After that touching moment we are transported to an even more heart-warming scene, a hospital. The Bedtime Story segment is a tribute to the National Health Service. Hospital beds, sick children, nurses, and white-coats flood the stage. Because nothing says “Let’s get this party started!” like sick children in a hospital.
The blankets on the hospital beds light up in the shape of a crying baby’s face with “GOSH” for the Great Ormond Street Hospital spelled out beneath. I feel that she is trying to tell us “Gosh, this nationalized healthcare system hurts.” It’s a reality the United States can look forward to – one in which an 83 year old woman can be denied healthcare from her doctor of many years because the two miles she must drive in order to get to work leaves too big a carbon footprint.
To the producers credit they have kept one thing accurate in their depiction: all of those hospital beds are full!
The scene starts with nurses sitting down with a story book to read to the children in their beds. Stories and the make believe can be all the more convincing when told from an authority. But the kids don’t want to be blabbed to so they start jumping on the bed.
Suddenly the doctors in long white coats start flipping around and swing dancing with each other while nurses try to wrangle those pesky kid patients into bed in the center of the stage. For a tribute that is meant for an organization based in the UK I am really intrigued by the amount of American choreography used in this sequence. Perhaps it is not too far fetched to interpret it as bearing some significance to Obamacare in the US. The timing is certainly suggestive. Perhaps instead of THE National Healthcare Service we are saluting Nationalized Healthcare Services of the United States.
Anyway, back to the unruly kids and how those nurses are going to get them to sleep. I have an idea! Let’s give ‘em some tranquilizers. Nurses wag their fingers in the children’s faces and dance around them. Then up to four nurses can be seen surrounding each the children on their beds and miming what looks like writing prescriptions and then handing them to the children as they hop around. Of course the camera never focuses on this long enough for you to notice, I had to watch it a couple of times to catch it. The message is clear. You are surrounded. You’re going to take your medicine.
I wonder if this is a nightly routine at the Great Ormond Street Hospital and others that are so esteemed to be part of the healthcare system in the UK.
The lab-coats continue their jolly swing dancing around each other on the outside of the action until the tranquilizers start taking effect and the children start getting sleepy. As the children tuck into bed and slowly fall asleep the nurses put a finger to their lips for quiet.
But one little girl still can’t sleep after taking her pills so she stays up to read Peter Pan under her blanket. Suddenly we are watching a closeup of the girl reading with her book open to a picture of Captain Hook. J.K. Rowling narrates a passage about Neverland as black goblins fill the stage and a transition into a child’s nightmare begins. Soon the stage will be filled with villains and monsters from popular children’s tales. The use of these specific villains serve to address the fears that are used by our captors to control us.
I don’t really see what the NHS has to do with Neverland and these giant monsters unless they’re making a reference here about the hallucinations that all of those prescription drugs are going to cause. It’s pretty clear to me that this has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with fear and manipulation. Let’s take a look at these villains.
First, we have the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He rides in with a giant cage being led by horses. Caging and confinement. How overt can you get. The Child Catcher snatches and imprisons children in the fictional country of Vulgaria. The Child Catcher represents our fear of kidnap and imprisonment.
Then we see the Queen of Hearts and Captain Hook. Carrol wrote this of his infamous Queen in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said, without even looking round.” The Queen of Hearts represents capital punishment and our fear of living under the rule of a tyrant leader.
Captain Hook is an important one for this ceremony. It is important to understand the significance in Neverland and the use of children in this show to get the full picture of its message. We started this nightmare sequence with a passage about Neverland and the little girl with her book open to a picture of Captain Hook.
A quick search about Neverland pulls this up:
- “Although not all people in Neverland cease to age, its best known resident famously refused to grow up, and it is often used as a metaphor for eternal childhood (and childishness), immortality, and escapism.”
- “A map of a child’s mind would resemble a map of Neverland, with no boundaries at all.”
Neverland can be used as a metaphor for our freedom. Peter Pan, that famous resident of Neverland, refused to grow up. Captain Hook’s motivation is to murder Peter Pan, the boy who cut off his hand. Captain Hook represents the death of our childhood and the end of our dreams.
After we are introduced to Captain Hook and The Queen of Hearts we see a huge Lord Voldemort rise to tower over the stage. Sparks shoot out of his wand which looks much like a conductors’ baton, as he waves it back and forth over the scene below. Lord Voldemort’s favorite spell in the Harry Potter series is “Avada Kedavra”, or the Killing Curse, of which the effect is instant death. Dressed as the Grim Reaper he represents the executioner and he is orchestrating the terror below with his death spouting baton.
Such fine taste being displayed at the Summer Olympics this year. Children patients are terrorized by the materialization of their own deaths.
Finally in the string of villains, Cruella de Vil springs up with a gaggle of dalmation puppies around her that she is blowing cigarette smoke in the face of. Maybe that is a reference to the poison being blown in the faces of the general populace with the chem-trails they spray in our atmosphere. In 101 Dalmations, Cruella hires cronies to steal the dalmation puppies so that she can skin them for their soft fur. She represents what is far more terrifying to many than death itself- the fear of the ones we love being taken from us and destroyed. Also, the cigarette reminds us of cancer and smog. Interestingly, I had to sit through a commercial during the break that reminded me to use power-saving strategies to reduce my carbon footprint.
What’s going on below with the children, white-coats, and nurses? The children are being chased across their hospital beds by goblins, who either represent the lower socio/economic classes or general baddies. The nurses and doctors are doing a creepy hand puppet dance with zombie-like blank stares and, not surprisingly, miming the shape of a hand holding a pen to a pad. This is actually the most realistic depiction of healthcare workers that you see in the show. The puppet writes the prescription like they are told to, no emotions involved. And everyone gets the same treatment.
Smoke and lightning are the backdrop to this macabre spectacle. Goblins chase sick children, zombified doctors and nurses dance to the dark music, and the villains, our fears, weave in and around children’s beds as Lord Voldemort conducts from above.
But who will protect us from our fears? Who will save us from the boogeyman and make sure that our prescriptions keep getting refilled?
Who else but Mary Poppins, of course. Who else but our nanny, dressed similarly in all black, like the Grim Reaper. How appropriate. To save us from our fears we put our trust in the REAL thing to be feared. Equipped with her light-bulb bedazzled umbrella she falls in from the sky and chases away the monsters. We see Lord Voldemort deflate and all baddies leave the stage. Light bulbs signify the Illuminati and the umbrella means protection from the storm.
As the bad guys are being chased from the stage, the nurses can be seen dancing joyously and miming punches. Is this the literal interpretation of the nanny-state coming in to dole out some punishment and put things back in order?
Once all the scary things have left the stage, the nurses, doctors, and children come together and perform a folksy dance palm to palm and everything is safe, and bright, and perfectly boring again. Movements are even and paced on every beat. Everything back in line.
This is the perfect allegory for the effects of fear-mongering mainstream media and how it has laid the foundations for all of our freedoms to be stripped away from us “for our own protection”. The worst part is, we give them the power to do these things by allowing fear to govern our choices and putting our trust in the hands of a small group of rulers instead of ourselves and each other.
Of course, the most disturbing scene was the last one where we get a view of a giant, gray baby being worshiped by the children, doctors, and nurses. The baby looks like it is made out of fabric like a mummy. The midsection blows in the breeze and only the head and foot look solid. On the head there are two grooves running vertically and horizontally like a cross.
One of the hosts for NBC couldn’t decide whether it was “cute or creepy”. He was hushed by his co-host who nervously laughs and tells him not to say that so loud. “It’s big”, she says, “let’s just leave it at that.” Is she talking about the structure or what it represents? I’m leaning toward the latter.
To be honest, I don’t know WHAT to make of the giant stone baby. I hope that we will be hearing some explanations for it. Vigilant Citizen?
Speaking of VC, he has this to say in his analysis of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” song about being taken under the care and protection of another entity:
“When you are under something’s protection, this something has more power than you regarding your own security. You depend on it. It has control over you. IT possesses you.”-Vigilant Citizen: http://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/occult-and-prophetic-messages-in-rihannas-umbrella/
Funny that you should mention possession, because there was something oddly religious and dark about those last few moments there…
We need to collectively wake up as a society and stop believing in monsters. In Neverland, all you have to do to kill a fairy is to stop believing in her. If we simply stop believing in the monsters they will no longer hold any power over us and we’ll be able to see the REAL monsters pulling our strings.