Monday, April 23, 2012

Those Olympics

I am a bad person. There are many people who wouldn’t question that assertion, and a few who would, at least for the sake of form. I can be friendly, sociable, generous, considerate, understanding, magnanimous, accommodating, encouraging, optimistic, entertaining, and a number of other desirable things, as long as there’s something in it for me and I have my instruction booklet handy. On the other hand, I have been thinking impure thought about the Olympic Games.

There, I’ve said it, a non sequitur slipped in at the end of a paragraph, almost hidden from sight, but I have said. I think bad things about the Games.

My impurity of thought has nothing to do with beach volleyball or Yelena Isinbayeva; it is a deeper, less human impurity. More or more I find myself hoping that they will be an abject, humiliating failure.

That they will be a crashing economic failure is taken as read, these things always are. That there will be utter chaos in London for weeks and a lifelong bill for the British taxpayer likewise. That the media will be full of self-important officials and inarticulate has-beens telling us (well, not me, I won’t be there) how to behave, and preening themselves over how much of our (your) money they’ve managed to spend and how they deserve get special traffic lanes and police protection and all the best seats that everyone else will have to pay through the nose for, because they matter and you don’t, is also a given. Such people are nothing to me, and don’t even notice when they are laughed at and ignored. Only humiliation is good enough for them.

The idea that they represent some kind of national pride or symbolic unity is utterly risible, of course, a marketing notion invented for the occasion, no more. It’s useful for getting people to put up with in and persuading thousands of children to work for nothing in the preparation, but it isn’t real.

But in most Olympic sports the Games are the highest prize there is, the culmination of years of work and dreams. That for decades the event has been organised purely for the glory of politicians and bureaucrats who care nothing for the people who create the show is not their fault, and I desire them no disappointment in the pursuit of those dreams or in the search for reward for their labours. I once had sporting dreams and I won’t crush those of others.

On balance, therefore, I see that the Games are of great importance to a lot of people, some of whom don’t deserve to be disappointed) and they won’t affect me one way or the other, beyond providing a bit of entertainment if I watch a bit of them, but, even so, a part of me, a part that will not be excised, would love to see the music files get lost at the opening ceremony, the terracing collapse on its foundations, the Zil lanes blocked by broken down buses, empty stadiums, bored journalists called home by their stations  because no one was interested, the right-on finding contradictory ways to denounce some aspect of the event, add your own if you wish.

I know it would give me pleasure, even though it shouldn’t, if it were a failure, and a lot of people deserve it to be.

Btw: when looking for the image that accompanies this post I googled ‘Lisa Simpson blowjob’ (for reasons which I hope are obvious). I can state without reservation that this is a bad idea.

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