I watched the Opening Ceremony (about ten hours after it happened) last night, and I did enjoy it. I am probably one of the few Americans who recognized without the help of NBC's commentary (which I didn't hear as I was on the phone at the time) that Kenneth Branagh was portraying Isambard Kingdom Brunel. I'm trying to imagine Americans revering engineers that way. It seems unlikely to me that the Brooklyn Bridge would have the words "J.A. Roebling, Engineer" engraved in letters you could see from far away in the style of the Royal Albert Bridge.
I love the parade of nations, and was amused that the parade was going so fast that the NBC commentators could not keep up with all of their notes on the various countries. I also hadn't heard about the Indpendent Olympic Athletes, which seems like an interesting development to me. I'm bemused to read that IOC rules claim that you have to be a "sovereign state" to have International Olympic Committee status, given that there are several sub-sovereign units competing, like Puerto Rico, Guam, and Hong Kong. However, I guess it's hard to expect the IOC to be consistent about anything.
I was surprised to hear that NBC cut out parts of the ceremony. I would have figured that if they were bowing to right-wing political pressure, they would have removed the NHS segment, not the 7/7 tribute. Was it just to fit in more commercials? If so, and since the whole thing was on delay anyway, why not run the whole thing a half-hour longer?