I'm here in Beijing right now watching the Opening Ceremonies on TV, which is actually the best view for both Opening and Closing Ceremonies, I've found out. The TV cameras can zero in on things a lot better than the human eye.
Most people will watch it tape-delayed tonight on NBC, or else yawn and flick right past it. But I'm here to tell you that you need to give this one a try. No need to watch the entire thing -- you can get the idea in just 10 minutes if that's all you've got. But it is utterly spectacular, and I say that as someone who generally skips this sort of stuff. I'm not sure how China will do during the un-choreographed part of the Games -- see my column today about this -- but the country did a smash-up job on the OC.
So far there have been about four parts of the performance where I've gone "Now how did they do that?" There's one part fairly early on where they turn some people into human Christmas-tree lights, and it's awesome. There are a ton of illusions that look very real, and I think about half the people in China are actually going to be in the thing by the time it is through. You don't need to give it three hours by any means -- skipping all or most of the athletes' (snooze) parade is a fine idea -- but it's worth a look.