I think I can trace my love of opening ceremonies back to the ’84 olympics, and, in particular, the bloke on the jet pack, as well as my general love of international sporting competition of any sort. I try to rationalise with phrases such as “the synthesis of sport, art and community” but all that really means is kids running about a pitch making pretty pictures to various types of “world” music. And so we come to the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony which starts well Nigel Starmer-Smith mentioning Cathy Freeman lighting the torch of the Sydney olympics in this stadium within the first 10 seconds of his commentary. Then we cut to people on the harbour bridge and the opera house pretending to play drums with big glow-sticks, how can it get any better? Well by having 711 schoolchildren put multi-coloured blankets over their heads in order to make a giant moving picture of a rugby player of course! Frankly it’s all down hill after this, we have some fire sculptures things and blokes on poles swaying about (“a surreal tableaux” is how starmer-smith describes it and he describes *everything* in great detail) and then John Howard, australian prime minister, seemingly being booed by the crowd as he welcomes the world to this great sporting event, but that’s about it to be honest, I wonder what the Portuguese will come up with for Euro 2004 (clue: children and world music will be involved)