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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Goodbye, Olympics...

Author Topic: Goodbye, Olympics...
John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 10-01-2000 05:43 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Love, Sydney

By Rick Reilly...Sports Illustrated...18th September, 2000.

I know who should get the 2008 Games.


Also 2012. And 2016. And 2020 through 3000.


Let's make it official. Sydney is now the Olympics' permanent home. Who keeps dating when they've already had Cindy Crawford?

OK, we're going to have to get a little creative for the 2006 Sydney Winter Games, but it'll be worth it. Somebody figure out how we can put the ski jumping on Bondi Beach.

I give up. This is the single most beautiful city in the world. Paris looks like Lubbock, Texas, compared to this. San Francisco ought to just scrape off and start over. You can't go 20 feet without bumping into another living postcard. Clean as Oprah's fork. Stunning views. The most breathtakingly blue harbor in the world. White city beaches. Cliffs. Parks. Koalas on every corner.

And the way it works! Great, gleaming silver trains come every two minutes to whisk you to great, gleaming new train stations, where great, gleaming Sydney volunteers practically pick you up and fireman's carry you to great, gleaming stadiums, each one cooler than the last, all of them made out of recycled pop bottles and running entirely on solar energy and two cups of fresh rainwater.

If I get pregnant, I'm naming my boy Sydney.

If it's a girl, Sydney.

Last night, I went to a party with a stunning view of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, all set against the spectacular hillside city skyline, all reflected on the dancing Technicolor waves of Sydney Harbour. Sometime just after Muhammad Ali wandered through but just before Chelsea Clinton -- right around the time the go-go dancer got up on the 15-foot-high fish tank -- a barge pulled up and started painting the sky with fireworks, just in case we weren't already catatonic with pleasure.

Athens is a year behind with only four to go, right? No worries, boys! Let Sydney take care of 2004 and you can have 3004!

I'm serious. Sydney 2008.

I declare the Sydney Games open.

May they never close.


Well, the closing ceremony is now well under way. Darling Harbour is a sea of people, fireworks are going off all around the harbour and the city and it's very much the party atmosphere.

Tonight I had my first real problem with the traffic. It was the men's marathon and it basically cut off my route from the north shore to the city, but really I think it has all gone pretty smoothly. I remember posting my apprehension about it all before it started, but it's been great and the atmosphere around the city has never been better. If that's the only thing I can comment about regarding traffic, then I'm a pretty happy film handler.

Regarding taking the Olympics as a permanent thing...

I think the rest of Sydney and Australia would join me in saying...

bring 'em on, mate.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

 - posted 10-01-2000 08:25 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Damn fine show, OZ! Samaranch wasn't lying this time when he called them the "best ever". Really showed the Aussie spirit to the world (well, all except for that whole cross-dressing thing at the end!!! ). I think you really "raised the bar" for how these things should be staged. I can't think of many cities as beautiful in the world as Sydney, perhaps our Canadian nomination might be Vancouver.
But there's a connection between us, Calgary 1988 Winter Games were regarded as another very well-run friendly games as well. Good show!

Dave (Olympic freak) Bird

PS- Look for a Canuck flag waving in Salt Lake next winter, under it might be me!

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

 - posted 10-01-2000 08:29 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
PPS- I'm now going to do a search for "Waltzing Matilda". Kids freak out and dance about when they've heard it these last two weeks, and my wife would like to sing it to them at bedtime.

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 10-02-2000 01:17 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Waltzing Matilda - An Interpretation
Specially prepared for non Australians wishing to know what the words to our most famous song actually mean.

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong...

Once - a single time
jolly - gay, but not in the same sense as that understood by the young men of Darlinghurst. (US readers subsitiute "San Francisco" or something similar in place of "Darlinghurst".)
swagman - itinerant worker, called a swagman because of the "swag" normally carried by such persons. A swag comprises the worldly belongings of the swagman, wrapped in a blanket and formed into a back-pack. A swagman is also known as a "swaggie"
camped - made camp (nothing to to do with the behaviour of the Darlinghurst set)
billabong - oxbow lake formed when a meandering river cuts through its own course leaving a segment of the river isolated from the main stream

Under the shade of a coolabah tree...
under - beneath. Implies that there is something above (this may be wishful thinking)
shade - half a pair of sunglasses
coolabah - type of tree which grows in some of Australia's wetlands
tree - a woody thing with leaves, which gets pissed upon by dogs

he sang as he watched and waited 'till his billy boiled...
and he - a distortion of the swagman's name (Andy)
sang - another distortion
watched - something the swaggie did while waiting
waited - something the swaggie did while watching
'till - another distortion. Not to be confused with the money receptacle found at the checkout in most stores.
billy - a tin can with a lid, and a looped wire handle over the top. Used by denizens of the Australian outback as a cooking utensil primarily for the boiling of water to make tea
boiled - what happened to the water when it was heated to 100 degrees. (This effect is not so apparent in backward countries like the US, where the water must be heated to over 200 degrees before anything interesting happens)

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me...

You'll - a distortion
come - no comment
waltzing - walking; the term used by swagmen to describe their means of travel
matilda - the name given by one particular swagman to his swag. Apparently the swaggie in question was a Dutchman who came to Australia after his wife, Matilda, had died. He adopted the swaggie's lifestyle, and named his swag in memory of his wife. Use of the name spread. (This is supposed to be a true story. Really.)

Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me...

And he sang as he watched and waited 'till his billy boiled...

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me...

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong...
down - opposite of up (see next line of song)
jumbuck - a sheep, specifically a young ram
drink - to swallow water or other liquid, to imbibe alcoholic beverages (the latter being somewhat unlikely behaviour for a sheep, so water is assumed - this assumption may not be correct however, since it is said "to drink at" as opposed to "from")

Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee...
up - opposite of down (see previous line of song)
jumped - to have performed a jump or leap, or in this case probably just standing up briskly.
grabbed - seized suddenly, snached
glee - Matilda had been dead for quite some time

and he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker-bag...

shoved - pushed, stuffed, packed. Presumably after skinning and gutting
tucker - food, hence "tucker-bag"
bag - sack, usually made of hessian. The term also refers to a woman of similar appearance (to the hessian bag, not the sheep.)

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me...

Down came the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred...

squatter - a landholder through occupancy rather than purchase
mounted - sitting upon (we hope this is not a reference to the Darlinghurst types mentioned at the beginning)
thoroughbred - a breed of horse. Not much use in the Australian bush or as a farm horse, but probably ridden by the squatter as a symbol of wealth. A similar phenomenon may be observed in Sydney, where one can see the odd yuppie driving his Ferrari over the Harbour Bridge in the peak-hour.

Down came the troopers, one, two, three...
trooper - outback policeman
one, two, three - just to show that the swaggie could count

Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker-bag...
a singularly redundant question

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me...
waltzing - a dance performed by sheep stealers whilst suspended from a gibbet by a rope
Waltzing matilda ... (etc)

Up jumped the swagman and jumped into the billabong...

jumped(1) - (see previous definition)
jumped(2) - in this case probably more of a misguided leap, especially when one considers the ending to the song

You'll never take me alive said he...

alive - what the sheep isn't

Now his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong...

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me...



I hope this helps those who would otherwise never have been able to decode this song.

Thanks to:

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Bruce McGee
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1776
From: Asheville, NC USA... Nowhere in Particular.
Registered: Aug 1999

 - posted 10-02-2000 09:37 AM      Profile for Bruce McGee   Email Bruce McGee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We learned a slightly-different version of Waltzing Matilda when I was in the third grade waaay back in 1965. That, and a short short chapter in the geography book on Australia.

I'll bet that after the Olympics clears out, the tourism industry in Australia will explode! What a beautiful place!

I saw a wonderful "filler" on NBC about the Indian-Pacific railroad that was beautiful. The train stopped in very remote areas and the cameras had a look around. Good stuff. If I ever get enough time off from work, with a paid vacation, I'd love to go to Australia.

Until now, my biggest exposure to Australian landscape was 4 episodes of "Whiplash," a 1960 AU. TV show with Peter Graves that was in my collection.

Again, what a beautiful breathtaking piece of the world you have!

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Paul Cunningham
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 146
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: Jun 2000

 - posted 10-02-2000 04:03 PM      Profile for Paul Cunningham   Email Paul Cunningham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi John,

I am glad the olympics were a success and there was no major dramas, I was very impressed with the way everything went. Unfortunately I worked on Sun night so missed seeing Kylie singing. There was a total of 20 people in all 4 auditoriums at the time, one of the other staff said the roads were totally deserted when they went home.

I've been on the Indian Pacific, sure it is picturesque but jeez is it boring, hundreds of kilometres of flat treeless land, and after that a few hundred more kilometres of flat treeless land. The train just stops every now and then to let freight trains past and it doesn't go that fast. But then if you have a few days spare to sit on a train go for it.


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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 10-07-2000 08:44 PM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...and one last special thanks to NBC for completely stuffing it up for USA viewers. Whoever thought that the mainland US wouldn't mind getting the feed 15 hours!!! after the event actually happened is, I hope, now enjoying unemployment benefits.

In this day and age, the country that likes to think of itself as 'right up there with technology' is getting the pictures 15 hours after they happened.

Geez...I could watch the event, hop on a plane to LA and still have been in time to watch it 'live' on NBC.

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