Friday, 27 July 2012

Chariots of Fire

Grrrrr. I knew this would happen. In the last day or two Google has become slow and buggy, and it's because of the Olympic Games starting in London.

The servers are all getting clogged up with vastly increased traffic. When I heard that the mobile phone companies expected breaking-point pressure on their airtime capacity, and welcomed people using wi-fi as an alternative if they wanted to stream stuff to their mobile screens, it became utterly predictable that the Internet would choke up. It's bad enough that TV is dominated by Olympic events. It's doubly aggravating that computer services will also suffer from this plague. I blame the ancient Greeks as well. They should have known better.

Really, if you're simply not interested in sport, you are likely to get seriously hacked off by all this medal- and money-driven frenzy. I am personally going to explode with irritation if I'm not careful, and it's not hormonal. 'Look' (I'd like to say to any to anyone DARING to ring my doorbell, to sign me up for Sky Sports or whatever), 'I'm FED UP with all this. I DON'T CARE if Great Britain wins every gold medal going, or if all previous attendance and income records are vastly exceeded. It's a nuisance and a bore. And if you think I want to sign up to WATCH any of it, you are greatly mistaken and risking my simmering wrath, which I assure you is deadly at twenty paces. GO AWAY.' Same to anyone plugging any aspect whatever connected with the sporting activities that may spin off these Games. Watch out: don't push me too far.

If you have got the drift, that I am not even mildly intrigued by the circus going on, then you'd be spot on. As for buying tickets, well, what do you think?

I might take a retrospective interest in it as a social phenomenon. An historian's view. And I hope it does prove to be a huge boost to the government's Economic Recovery Plan. But no doubt it will really be just a cynical money-making exercise full of fraud and personal pocket-lining and every kind of scandal  - just wait and see.

The final Closure Event might be worth a look because of the fireworks, but I probably won't make a big effort to sit down and view it. I'm not knocking the athletes' personal ambitions, but they can't make me share their competitiveness, nor their tears if they lose by three-hundreds of a second. And if they behave badly, they can't expect any sympathy and support from me. Sports people are not divine. If they fall, they deserve the same censure an ordinary person would get.

The slightly gimmicky countrywide torch-bearing is now over. Did it really make the country as a whole feel they were part of the Games? Quite possibly it did. I didn't get to see any of the torch-bearers, but I think it might have been a bit like witnessing a beacon being lit for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee: the same ignition of community spirit. A little more more stage-managed perhaps, with more crowd-control, but still tapping into local feeling. Bearing a torch might even have had more to do with the pure ethos of the Games than the sporting contests themselves. Yes, maybe I missed something there. I nearly got in the way of a torch-bearer when threading my way through the middle of Cirencester, with the caravan in tow, but that doesn't count.

Despite my antipathy for the Games, one question bothers me. What would I have done if approached to be a torch-bearer? For my past services as the Village Tranny perhaps, or in recognition of my Contributions To Blogging? Would I have refused, or would I have simpered with delight, and done my hundred-yard dash for Mid Sussex? The big scene from Chariots of Fire, all over again. Vangelis playing in the air. Hmmmm.


  1. I've had a good laugh with your comments! Here in America, we get a lot English Comedy Programs. So.. I'm thinking "Mr Bean" and I think I see you on a corner street intown, when the Torch-bearer comes bye...She stumbles, So she motions to please continue down the lane... So you do ( imagine Lucy.. in heels running!) And then like Mr Bean.. As soon as your out of sight.. you toss the torch in bushs and quickly move away... smiles:)
    I love your Blog Karen

  2. I'm afraid I never wear heels, and I detest Mr Bean! And if stuck with the torch, I would do my best, not toss it away.

    I've just seen some highlights of the Opening Ceremony on the 10.00pm BBC2 News, and I admit it was very well done, certainly a spectacle to remember if one was there.



  3. Oh Lucy, you arena Olympic fanatic compared to me!

    Two highlights so far, North Korean shown south Korea flag shows British sense of humour and some woman decided to get a tattoo to show that she had carried one of the 8,000 torches and Olympics was spelt incorrectly...

  4. Yawn............Well you know my thoughts on the subject. I like the sport but not 24/7 and not all of them, so I shall watch some of them, the ones I find interesting but the rest? I think not. I am not into all the hype either Lucy, it bores the ass off me! However, I did watch the opening ceremony and thought it was an excellent display throughout but until the athletes began to parade into the arena I was at a bit of a loss as to know what the actual connection to the games was. It made great entertainment as a fragmented and brief history of the country and what we are all about but it had nothing to do with the Olympic Games. Had I been asked to run with the torch I would have declined. As you say I don't think the torches journey drew the nation together at all. Most people go and watch things and the next day have forgotten most of what they'd seen. When the torch came by my town (and it passed by the bottom of my street, a hundred metres away) I was out at work. The whole affair is a far cry from its original intentions and has been spoiled by commercialism. Why do we have to make everything we do a drama? Just look at the BBC's approach to it all, drama, drama and more drama. They do the same with everything though, not just the games. I'll be too busy working most of the time to even watch those events I am interested in.

    Shirley Anne x

  5. Pardon me, there was/is no intent to offend you. I sometime let my mind run away.. my deepest apology.


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