Depending on point of view, it was either 15 minutes of clever fun or 15 minutes of embarrassing folly.

People either loved or hated the kitsch-laden opening section of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at Celtic Park. No-one could doubt that it was cheesy or cliche-ridden; to the extent that Scotland, a country noted for its fecundity, was credited with inventions with which it had nothing to do. But that was the point, according to David Zolkwer, artistic director for the Games.

He tells The Herald today that the intention was to deflate the overblown celebrations of countries and cities that host major events by parading a series of tartan-strewn cliches about Scotland. Having got that out of the way, the rest of the evening could proceed. The joke was intelligent, irreverent and had an edge. Not everyone was in on it, as was clear from many contributions on social media.

Loading article content

It was, therefore, somewhat ironic that the Scottish cringe should come into play as the opening 15 minutes unfolded. It manifested itself in a po-faced response of the type the section sought to expose and undermine. On whom was the joke? Will ye stop your ticklin', Jock.