If you're among the BILLION people who saw the Olympics opening ceremony, you should be resigned to not seeing a grander one in your lifetime. Why?
It is not just about the planning, or the money spent, or the large number of participants. It is about the combination of all these with a couple of ingredients that only a couple of other countries in the world can provide - deep, rich and varied culture and imagery, and a discipline that is almost impossible to reproduce. Take 2008 performers and ask them to practise more than 8 hours a day for 4 months, and you'll see what I mean.
Of course, they're also spiritual enough to ward off rain!
Now couple all this with a little "creativity". Add a touch of moviemaking to the multimedia, and you have a pretty face with the song, and you can blow away the smog. It has now been revealed that the little girl who "sang" at the ceremony was a face for another voice! And the amazing fireworks footprints we saw thudding to the Birds Nest stadium in high definition were actually...er..."previously recorded animated footage".
All in all - give Beijing an A+ for hard work, national pride, impeccable performances and ....creative moviemaking!
They selected director Zhang Yimou for a reason.