Oh oh oh what a lovely Olympics!

to love the Olympics

This orchestrated attempt to make the modern Olympics likeable is beyond parody

There’s been a joshy and generally good-natured Twitter exchange between The Slog, Daniel Finkelstein, and a few others this afternoon in response to @DannytheFink and his demand that we should Get Behind London 2012, and stop being such naysayers. The day after we won the venue in 2005, I got a considerably more vitriolic postbag on account of  saying we would rue the day we were appointed hosts. Had we the choice today, I severely doubt that many in the political and media Establishment would take up the barmy idea of blowing 12+ billion quid (roughly the same sum as Draper Osborne has ‘saved’ so far in his doomed attempt to clamber out of Britain’s debt pit) to stage a range of minority sports of little spectator attraction and even less excitement.

As a footie fan, I’d have thought Danny would be able to spot the difference between the floodlit excitement of what is still the most fascinating sport on the planet, and somebody vaulting over a gym-horse. In fact, it says a lot about football that – despite Finky’s employer doing his best to bugger the game up entirely – it remains intact as a thoroughly engaging, and at times mesmerising, team activity. Either way, it is the unenviable (but inevitable) role of the person who says, on August 5th 1914, “This is a bad idea” to be cast down as a glass-half-empty miseryguts.

It’ll all be over by Christmas you know, this, um, debt thingy. Things will be sorted out, and everything will be nice again with God in her Heaven. But in truth, the inability of otherwise intelligent people to see what bonkers ideas derivatives, the euro, globalism and deregulation were is inextricably linked to why I deplore almost everything about the contemporary Olympic Games, and all the insistence by those who ruined them that we should carry on enjoying ‘the spectacle’.

In 1948, the BBC paid 1,000 guineas for the right to televise the event. Every last competitor was an amateur whose sole sponsorship consisted of blagging some understanding employer to give them time off work to train, and some under-the-table help with the cost of getting to the host country. The opening ceremony consisted of the athletes walking round the track perimeter and waving at the crowd. The very simplicity of the occasion gave it gave it an awesome, glitz-free quality. The very amateur nature of the struggle to be there was an integral part of the personal endeavour involved in reaching the heights.

In a nutshell, the Games used to comprise a nationally hosted theatre of amateur-status giants from around the world at their peak. What the Olympics have been for some years now is a State politicised goldfish bowl of amateur-night organisation bankrolled by fascist brand globalism, and performed by OCD athletes who may or may not be using preformance enhancing drugs . Indeed, it is I think very telling that Locog’s ambition in preparing the Games was obviously – despite protestations to the contrary – to outdo Beijing’s self-glorification of State-guided growth with a twee, luvvie-leftie history of Great Britain, and glorification of its State health service. Danny Boyle’s creatively arid and politically altered version was really nothing more than a reflection of why we are hosting the Olympics this year: because an empty waster called Tony Blair wanted us to.

The first gangsters to see the Games as a vehicle for State bollocks were the Nazis in 1936. Riefenstahl filmed the athletes as a platform for Aryan superiority complex, Goebbels exploited the event as a way to make Nazi Germany smiley and acceptable, and Speer lit the whole thing as only a hubris-driven architect might. As a trained political historian, yes, I admit: it makes me thoroughly miserable to realise for the nth time that even apparently civilised and sophisticated observers truly cannot grasp the obvious parallel, or even ask themselves the simple question, “What on earth has British socio-political history got to do with the Olympic ideal?”

We should reverse that phrase, and ask ourselves what the ideal Olympics is today for the commercial, political and media elites. This too should be not so much a pause for thought, as something perverted enough to make the neck-hairs stand bolt upright. These are the key elements:

* A shady banker in charge of Trade & Investment benefits

* Ignoring the citizenry in favour of unearned VIP privilege

* Telling the taxpayer impolitely to get out of the way

* Putting State prestige far above athlete care

* Keeping a balls-tight grip on the media

* Hyping the host-nation’s medal chances

* Poor execution of the security brief, but…

* Credible denial of the existence of cockups as and when they appear

* The appearance of political egomaniacs ‘hailing’ every national success.

More specifically, these features can be applied to London 2012  as Lord Green, empty seats, Zil lanes, Boyle’s farrago of fantasy, write what I say – not what I do, UK Gold haul to exceed Beijing says Hunt, G4S, Lord Coe lying his head off, and David Cameron on the subject of female rowers.

Daniel Finkelstein’s response to my critique was a somewhat feeble, “and there are holes in the gruyere cheese”. Well Daniel, gruyere cheese is a tasteless and rubbery concoction I wouldn’t feed to my dogs: give me a French Cantal or Tom de chevre any day. And while you’re at it, give me the green peace of Lot et Garonne, give me Pays D’Oc Merlot over Coca-Cola, an honest ouvrier’s lunch above a McDonalds bowel-blocker, and life among the real people of Dorset, Devon and Aquitaine – most of them miles ahead of London’s deluded 2012ers in the marathon of life.

Closely related: How the Glazer gargoyles plan to rape both the investors and Manchester United.




64 thoughts on “Oh oh oh what a lovely Olympics!

  1. Pingback: What is Happening to the Euro ! | Topical Posts

  2. I’m glad it was a ‘good-natured’ Twitter exchange. You wouldn’t want the rozzers pulling you out of bed at 2.45am tomorrow morning, would you?


  3. Belter!
    Apart from, as mentioned by David Blackie above, the Gruyere bit. Wonderful cheese-but not for the cholesterol levels presumably.


  4. Don’t give Coco cheese, it is meant to be bad for dogs – although my whippet got on the dining room table and nibbled all round the stilton one Christmas – he wasn’t very well but he survived. Apparently chocolate is bad for dogs too.

    Which is worse, the Olympics or the Euro thing? Both seem to be going on for ever!


  5. Be careful The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham, does not read you. If so she might very well say “Dear Slog, don’t be so defeatist, it’s so middle class”


  6. Having just looked through Riefenstahl’s Olympia films from 1936, it seems that all Boyle did was to transform her filmic prologue into a live stage show; changing her stupid but visually powerful images of modern Acropolis in ancient Greece into stupid but visually powerful images of GB’s evolution.

    76 years on, plus ca change…


  7. The first gangsters to see the Games as a vehicle for State bollocks were the Nazis in 1936.

    And the second was Blair in 2005…how he would love to be the centre of attraction right now.


  8. I can’t disagree with you there Mr Ward.
    The politics aside for a moment, I have more gripes with the opening ceremony as in it just didn’t make any sense.
    The continuity of it, cutting to pre filmed clips of nonsense and if you watch it again, which I recomend, (just to tell me i’m insane) look at the periphery, there’s no one there in the crowd at some points then there is at others. And even then they were only dignitaries of the olympics squads.
    London was in lock down. Why?
    David Beckham was doing his usual suit modelling turn like the last world cup. Piloting a speed boat down the Thames to do what ? Help the obviously weak and unable to light the flame himself Sir Steve with dipping the end of the torch into the flame on the boat a meter away. You’d think the banks of the Thames would be rammed with folk looking for that spectacle, if not just get a cheeky glimpse of what was going on.
    When the athletes turn up to do their procession, the same footage of the same parts of the crowd is constantly used, where are the ordinary Chinese, British and French waving there flags in the crowd. Where are the leaders of the competing nations? Why was the Queen looking at her fingernails looking like she wanted to be somewhere else when the British contingent appeared? Her feelings on the olympics aside, my Queen would not make that mistake, was it pre recorded rehearsal footage?
    Why were some British athletes in Portugal during the opening ceromony? if not all!! Is it not kind of important to be there. As its about athletes. How can athletes not be there. At the start of the “coverage” the BBC interveiwed the olympic team captain Dai Greene in Portugal????
    I was given the impression that it was the live opening ceromony that I was watching , not a tv production.
    Unless you know someone who attended and I’m imagining everything. Were there 80000 people there seeing the same things that the majority of earthlings were seeing on their tv’s. Some parts live, some parts pre recorded and I don’t mean the cut scenes of Daniel Craig and the Queen.
    Did they really send the olympic rings from the stadium to the edge of space on giant balloons. Because I keep reading when searching for the footage of this happening that they did, you try and find some photo’s or footage of that happening because I cant. There’s a picture which they used during the opening ceremony of the rings in space which is so pathetic, I could have got 5 elastic bands in front of my monitor and zoomed out on google earth and created the same effect.


  9. One of the easiest ways to get a dog to swallow a tablet is to mould a small lump of cheese around it. You wouldn’t give it to them under normal circumstances but occasionally it’s a god-send.

    As for human chocolate, that’s a real no-no, it can kill them. Chocolate contains theobromine, a central nervous system stimulant that may cause seizures, excessive urination (leading to dehydration), and heart damage.
    The half-life of theobromine is approximately 17.5 hours, after that he/she ‘should’ be ok as it will be eliminated from the system.

    Although we once had a cocker spaniel who ate a whole layer of Milk Tray with no obvious side effects, apart from shinning up a rope to get into a lady’s bedroom.


  10. You are ALL sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo boring, unimaginative and desperately dull. You are ALL the sort of folk who used to funk PT at school with a note from your mum to say you jolly well couldn’t do sports cos you’d got a pimple on your winkle.
    Boily was weird, bizarre and delightfully impenetrable to foreigners, especially anyone from the USA. Just right.
    OK the whole blooming thing is way OTT, way overspent, vastly overblown and full of ludicrous over-excited commentary. But so is everything in this stupid celeb ridden, mass media, hyped up age of entertainment trivia. No denying all of that. But if it pisses you off, turn off the telly and take the dogs for a walk.
    Your repetitive negativism however puts you, John, and all your negative, naysaying followers into a silly miserable class of your own.
    You’re an antisocial, bitter, bleak, boring, cantankerous, cheerless, choleric, churlish, contemptuous, crabby, crotchety, crummy, crusty, cynical, deeply depressing, utterly derisive, desperately despairing, despondent, destructive, disbelieving, discouraging, disparaging, dispiriting, downheartening, gloomy, glum, grouchy, hopeless, hypercritical, ill-humoured, ill-tempered, irritable, maligning, melancholic, misanthropic, miserable, mocking, morose, peevish, perverse, pessimistic, petulant, sarcastic, scoffing, scornful, sceptical, sneering, sour, splenetic, surly, unfriendly, unsociable, up-tight, woebegone lot.
    £12bn badly spent – of course. We all know the British elite are a crock of sh*t when it comes to organising a beer fest in a brewhouse these days.
    But I suspect the lot of you enjoy a wretched rant to a good day out any day.
    May all your days be full of rain. May all your glasses be forever half empty. May all your squalid lives be spent in vile discomfort.
    You miserable bunch of wet freaks.


  11. @braindirt: You raise a lot of exellent points, many of which crossed my own mind at the time and after. The whole TV production seemed to be a mish-mash of live activities with pre-recorded film clips spliced into it. Very confusing.

    Why was the Queen looking at her fingernails looking like she wanted to be somewhere else when the British contingent appeared?

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed this oddity…


  12. Doctor says that your blood tests are showing far too high alcohol enzyme content which will be causing your acute grumpy condition.


  13. JW, all modern sporting events are driven by the vacuous and perverted values/behaviour you list. (And now we can add throwing matches to bungs and drugs). Spare a thought for the majority of sportsmen and women who find themselves, whether winners or losers, having to perform under the pressures of this circus.

    btw ever thought of auditioning for Grumpy Old Men?


  14. @braindirt & BT The splicing of live with recorded was very unsettling- the old Communist practice of photo-tweaking came to mind.

    As to the rings, have you checked iplayer footage of the event? Looked real enough to me- I thought one could see the mechanical devices used to lever the rings across the stadium into position but maybe I’m wrong…. though I didnt notice any balloons.


  15. Well Mr. Slog, I find football intensely boring and the worst sporting representation of the kind of corporate crap you otherwise seem to despise. I think Gruyere is delicious in a way few other cheeses are and I have tried many, and I was born in Dorset and I’m afraid your description of the inhabitants is rose-tinted at best (with the exception of my dear old Mum of course).

    I do however agree with your general tone about the Olympics and am finding most of this peculiar farce as revolting as the Premiership is every year, but despite all its faults…….. WAY TO GO WIGGO!!!!!! \o/


  16. Daniel Hannan in The Telegraph points out that no-one would be cheering on Team Europe. These games underline the fact that we are separate nations and whatever pride and allegiance we have are in our country, not in our political alignments.


  17. I’ve been enjoying having a whole raft of sports to watch easily and without paying (I’m not a UK taxpayer either). I love seeing these amazing athletes who’ve obviously been working so hard for years, have fantastic physiques (especially the male swimmers) and give us such a thrilling competition to watch.

    Go Wiggo, go Team GB, go everyone who’s competing. Watching the best in the world competing in each sport is frankly a joy. I’ve been watching the swimming (obviously), water polo, archery, gymnastics (love that one), canoing, weight lifting (last night), cycling, women’s beach volleyball, hockey and a little of the horse-riding.

    I find footie boring beyond and think footballers are offensively overpaid.


  18. Someone has to have the thing in their backgarden every four years , so it’s our turn. I have little interest in sport/competion normally but so far have enjoyed watching bits and bobs of what is going on.
    As English living abroad, north of Dept 47, we have the satellite coverage of the BBC’s offering. My gripe is that if you want to watch something interesting all the way through you may well have to change channel mid view and be available to watch it live as you appear to be unable to record when ‘on the red button’. I missed Wiggo-go as I had a rdv with the Vet.


  19. But guess what, our footy players are doing well so far (male and female). Amazing really, but i understand the quality of all teams is lower than would be for a big comp. Still it is good to see us doing well consistently for a change.

    I think the games are great and just dont get why you all have to keep up the cynicism. Can’t you just go with the flow for once. It is great deconstructing the bollocks, but we all need to go with the flow a little. It must be so hard being out there on your own seeing the world as you do. There is no way you will live very long. I think what you do is great, but even so you must watch your health.


  20. JW Football is the game for morons. The players are grossly overpaid thick heads who can just about read and write, judging by the comments they make. Their behaviour of the field lands them in court regularly.
    Their management is crooked. Look at MU and the antics of their owners.
    The olympics are over hyped and cost far too much in a time when we cannot afford it. It is organised in a fashion which is typically british – so don’t complain – You political analyses are usually spot on and are appreciated, however your grumpiness about everything and anything is taking its value down. We know you trained as political historian you tell us so at any opportunity. No need to do so, we know your are good otherwise we would not be avid followers of your blog. So with otherwords lighten up please times are bad enough without having it rubbed in on subjects which are not important.


  21. Why were most of the British athletes in Portugal for a few days before the start ?
    Well, you wouldn’t want them anywhere near all that clever drug-testing mallarky until you knew for sure that they were all showing ‘clear’, would you ?


  22. When the American girl wondered out loud if she might find a loophole that would allow her to wear her main sponsor´s logo while running, I thought it about time to strip away all the bollox and get back to simple thing like running, jumping and chucking things.


  23. As host country with all our British Tradition behind us, perhaps we should have insisted on reviving some of the good ole London 1908 events
    ……if only to fiddle a few more UK Golds !

    Back then we did jolly well in the Water Motorsports (apart from one incident of running aground on a mud flat and letting a Frenchie in)……….

    The Tug of War was perfect for the UK once the Germans and Greeks dropped out and London City Police beat Liverpool Police in the Final (assured of medals that way !)…London Met Police got the Bronze too !

    Perhaps we could also have revived Running Deer Two Shots in the Shooting …..again with a more much contemporaray theme..

    ……..How about…Running Banker Two Shots ? ;))

    …after all…the French shot at live pidgeons in Paris in 1904 !!


  24. Latest Olympic News: JW wins Gold in the Over 60’s Pentupthalon. Tired, but not yet emotional, John Ward said afterwards: ” It was a target rich environment – how could I possibly have lost?!”…..


  25. Poor old QE2, dragged out on these occasions to sit for hours after saying about 10 words. No wonder she was looking at her nails! It could be worse, Brown would be chewing his. And that ceremony, good in parts… and far, far too long. Had it been shorter, it might have been possible to discern a theme…


  26. The world is a completely different place now as compared to 2005……as epitomised by the British ecomomy and the chronic shortage of wonga for big outings like this….a lot of the critism would be diluted were it not for this fact.
    Not that I want to miss out on an opportunity to blame Tony Blair……….


  27. It could be the same back garden every year, some nice spot somewhere in the world that’s relatively neutral, no silly excuses about building flats and media centres for legacy purposes, no need to compete for an ever more futile opening ceremony, no greedy corporate sponsors… just Olympic games. Now that would be worth doing.


  28. @ Dunc, thanks for your good wishes and delivered with humour.

    Just to settle my age driven confusion, was the absence of obvious irony accidental or deliberate? You know to what I refer I expect, you are ranting against the ranters, not because they are incorrect in any material detail, but because thery are depressing you by being so dastardly accurate?

    Then there is the jolly sound advice you give that they could always switch off the telly, presumably along with the radio and web. Had you seen any irony in the fact that you could avoid the ranters by doing much the same? Although I suspect it would be a lot easier for you to avoid the dissenters than it is for them to avoid the object of their dissatisfaction.

    Hey whatever floats your boat, I’m enjoying reading both sets of ranters, it takes my mind off the trivial little details like the obscene cost, and I find it keeps the blood pressure under control. Therefore contrary to your conclusion, I think the vocal dissent is actually prolonging my life. I hope your rants have an equally beneficial effect on you too.


  29. But part from that Dunc…
    So why come here then?
    Leave the Aquavit in the cupboard, mate: it doesn’t agree with you.


  30. Well everyone
    I think that went rather well, don’t you?
    I had a feeling that the Grumpy Old Man with blood pressure gags would be trotted out as per usual. How about a few on mothers in law, priests, folks in wheelchairs, gout, ear trumpets, fat lesbians etc etc?
    Two people have been banned for personal insults (not as if it’s a new rule) and Dunc is saved only by at least some use of alliterative imagination.
    However, I still can’t find anywhere in this lot a reasoned critique of this bottom line:
    ‘We should reverse that phrase, and ask ourselves what the ideal Olympics is today for the commercial, political and media elites. This too should be not so much a pause for thought, as something perverted enough to make the neck-hairs stand bolt upright.’
    If you don’t agree, tell me why. That’s all I ask. Old Chinese proverb say man who point out King has no clothes not voyeuristic criminal .
    New Slog proverb say those who can’t, Troll; those who can write.


  31. Quick multiple choice.

    Who would make the best role model for Britain’s youth today?

    A) David Beckham
    B) Bradley Wiggins
    C) John Terry
    D) Any of the men’s gymnastics team
    E) Wayne Rooney
    F) Rebecca Adlington
    G) Rio/Anton Ferdinand
    H) Chris Hoy
    I) Ashley Cole
    J) Helen Glover/Heather Stanning

    I could go on. You get the gist……….

    Jesus, it takes a genius to drone on about the blatant flaws of this corporate road show don’t it? Is it really asking too much to maybe have a word or two to say about the real sacrifice and endeavour taken on and committed to by kids (not even in their teens when they set out on their journey) who manage to overlook the X-factor riddled dreams of their peers in order to, in the main, just attempt to get close to the inspirational dreams of their own?

    Don’t stop at one bottle of Merlot.


  32. Apparently Oxford St. tourist trade for the high season of August has faltered…

    Who will compensate the stores for their losses?


  33. It’s true that the Olympic Rant has become tedious…

    Dunc is correct….

    Let’s get on with reality….Where are the Troikanauts today, has Rupert reached Israel yet, etc….of far more importance.


  34. @aflatoxin: A problem for me is that the live footage I watched here in Brazil (flicking between TV Record and Globo TVSport4) may/may not have been exactly the same show that people were watching on BBC UK domestic. For sure, both Brazilian channels had their own cameras in London and when I channel-hopped, I saw slightly different images or even very different ‘things’ going on. So I don’t think there was a common TV feed as there so often is with live events. On the rings…I was never sure if they were real or just good computer graphics.

    @Carys: Indeed, the sight of Gordon Brown chewing his nails and perhaps showing eagerness to start a lecture would have caused me to vomit and switch off…or worse. Four hours was way OTT.


  35. “We should… ask ourselves what the ideal Olympics is today for the commercial, political and media elites”
    Advising the IOC on how to improve the Stratford Funfair Experience is a task well above my payscale to attempt; they’ve done a great job of adjusting reality to suit their taste and fill their wallets.

    However, I vividly recall an idea which broadcaster Johnny Vaughan floated a few years ago:
    Turn the thing into two parallel events – one for athletes who submitted to a regime including strict and regular control of proscribed substances and another (which should encourage the proper competitive spirit between the world’s pharmaceutical and engineering specialists) which operated so as to -encourage- their use. The naming rights would be sold to the highest bidder, rather as hosting rights of the modern olympiad currently are.

    Which 100m event would be most watched – the one which lasted a shade under ten seconds, or the one which was safely over in five?

    Athletes would be reminded of the historical precedents for drug-enhanced Olympic performers – somehow always from the former -Ostblok- and be required to provide proper and informed consent.


  36. A) and B) are good role models. E) is definitely bad bad bad.
    Don’t know all of the others well enough to make a fair comment…


  37. hi folks, actually i have decided to boycott the london 2012 olympics because of the extremely cynical politicization of the event – the overtones are far too socialist for my liking and consequently both myself and cherie do not wish to be associated with the event. i hope this explanation makes sense and answers any questions you may have about my involvement.


  38. john telly. he play on level footing field with men of multi-colour. he fight racism. he win place with boot-skill. not like cyclo-crossman – if wiggo woz woggo he not get in 50-mile exclusive zone of bike-club.


  39. obviously d) – the men’s gymnastic team made absolutely no complaint about their japanese rivals demanding an enquiry and lobbying for points to grab medals which, up-to-that-point, they had not won in normal competition. our boys have grafted magnificently over the past few years to reach a standard at which they are capable of beating the russians and americans – a feat unheard-of for we elder generations. discipline, manners and sportsmanship – a marvellous all-round display…and they’ve all got really fit bods too. oh yes one would.


  40. what’s your view on the wearing (or not) of cycle-helmets john? in a solo bicycle spill (where motor-vehicles are not involved) a head injury can be fatal and protective nut-gear can be a life-saver – but when you’re run down by a 40-ton official-bus full of fat-slob booze-swilling journos racing to get to a state-approved interview with golden-buttocks wigley, the casque (head-basket) probably don’t help a great load. a really tragic incident – and sadly symbolic of the arrogantly cynical ‘propaganda-trumps-any-concern-about-plebs-lives-and-livelihood syndrome’ which has afflicted these olympic games and has facilitated the ignorant brushing-under-the-afghan-rug of suffering families who are being slaughtered by our military in the middle-east.


  41. ok ya…none of the above – my personal nomination would be for the chinese authorities (lick lick kiss kiss) who confiscated their badminton-players’ rackets and used said equipment to give the little devils a jolly good public spanking (namely for unolympic activities, bad sportsmanship and, worst of all, getting caught), however, i find it highly difficult to credit that those miscreant shuttlecock-slappers were not in fact acting under strict anti-social orders from party officials…ya, so, to be absolutely precise, the beijing diciplinarians were actually indulging in a spot of closet self-flagellation…very kinky…wouldn’t mind giving the rear-ends of the inscrutable suits a few strokes myself…or maybe they’d grant me special dispensation to chastise those naughty girls and smack their little bumbles personally…oh ya, and after i could lend them my favourite horsey-switch and the whole team could line-up to take turns punishing me for my wacky thought-crimes…oooooooeeeeeooooooooooaah…mmm

    whoahh..gee-up and go-go girls we’re all equal in the hayloft


  42. oh my goodness, the special-ass-service strikes again…makes you proud to be british…well yes, obviously the chinese olympians don’t do drugs, there’s no shortage of talent over there, they’ve got billions of the little buggers to choose from…it’s quite simple you see, first thing each morning the entire population has to jog ’round the perimeter of the country, then the talent-spotters choose the best of the bunch, confine them to an intensive win-at-all-costs training-camp from infant-to-adulthood and if the kids fail to sprout gold-medals by the bloody bucket-load, the central committee bungs the families into labour camps for a crash parenting-course…it’s a superlatively effective system…bit like traditional british public schools really…except here, if your children don’t produce the goods and help you pay back the bank-loans for school-and-uni-fees, you get made bankrupt and end up living on a council estate voting labour…we all live in a dog-eat-dog world, or man-eat-dog, or dog-eat-man, or whatever you fancy really, but what’s most important is to realize that it’s essentially a free world…except that some get to ride through it on horses and ponys, some mess around in boats and other poor sods have to slog their guts out running around in circles getting nowhere in particular (well, correctly speaking, lord coe didn’t have to go on the eternal jogging-mill, he was just born like that you see)…but anyway the important thing is that everybody gets a medal when they finish…except some medals are worth more than other medals and some medals are magic invisible medals which you don’t even know you’ve got and which you are awarded posthumorously…well anyroads it’s a wonderful wonderful world and i vote for it every time and suggest you do too…and if you happen to catch me saying anything to the contrary it’s because i’m attempting to produce enough ecologically and ethically-sound guff to power britain’s wind-turbines which in turn will hopefully generate sufficient electricity to light the bombed-out hovels of those unfortunately located brown people whose oil, land and other valuable resources we’ve sold up the suwannee river. gosh can’t i spell good?


  43. JW… you might enjoy this piece from Kathimerini about the problem with the olympics not adapting to the time… and remaking it to reflect Greek life today…

    “Today’s Olympics are a gross commercialization and a warped exhibition of old warrior virtues and skills, which now involve an elite few and do not reflect the concerns of the many. We could change this and, from the bottom of the pile, we could leap to the forefront again, instituting new Games more in keeping with our age.

    With the aim of determining and distinguishing those who are most skilled in arts that are useful to us, to our city and our country, we could establish new sports. Running and equestrian events could be replaced by a series of new competitions. Among them: the delivery scooter slalom, with a telephone in the jockey’s one hand and a frappe between his knees; getting to a meeting on time while using only mass transportation; getting a sick person to a hospital by car when the streets are filled with protesters.

    Wrestling, boxing and other confrontational events would be replaced by tests of endurance under conditions faced by Greek workers and the unemployed. This category would include transferring ownership of a used car, with repeated visits to tax offices, banks and Transport Department offices; the survival struggle of new pensioners, who have to wait for two years before getting their first payment, only to discover that it keeps shrinking; a patient’s efforts to get treated in a hospital and his or her struggle to receive medication. The new pentathlon would include the above sports and would reflect the effort to meet ever-greater expenses with ever smaller incomes.

    The essence of the Athenian Games (in honor of our capital and inspiration) will combine personal skills with the skills stemming from the storied DNA of the Greeks. The modern marathon will be measured not in kilometers but in years – in the lifetime of each citizen. The prize will go not to those who finish first but to those who endure, who do not succumb to despair, who do not break out violently against themselves or others. Winners will be those children, women and men who can survive repeated disappointment, unexpected temptation and endless obstacles. With the odds against them, the victors will be those who survive, who can still hope. That’s where we’ll be unbeatable.”


  44. michael longjohn - emeritus professor of unintentional consequences and practitioner of darkest dodgiest black humour

    well well…an absorbing study of sociology as it pertains to our contemporary slide-ruled universe, baron m…and strangely enough, i myself have noted some anthropological idiosyncracies which i would like to share with members of the intellectual fraternity who are in the habit of visiting this blog:-

    the first consequential oddity which i lay before you is reasonably straightforward to grasp and concerns the brave soldiers whom our political betters have sent to the maddened east on a mission to save the local indigenous people from themselves and to bestow upon their souls a more peaceful and democratic life than they could ever have imagined in their wildest craziest dreams…for although many here in the west are wickedly weighed down under the unfortunate misapprehension that our military are thus so deployed in order to insert themselves right up the nasal cavities of the various muslim populations and foster (with the holy assistance of the latest upgrades in people-vaporizing technology) as much international intra-faith enmity as is inhumanely possible…in actual fact, circumstancial clues on the ground have led me on a weird-and-windy track to the completely contrary conclusion…because by setting our christian crusading do-gooders in violent opposition to the fervent followers of islam, our wise and farsighted leaders have seemingly scored a mighty counter-intuitive moral victory such that, from the combatants’ proud and bitter ensuing struggle, a mystical mutual respect has, over the time allowed, gradually evolved and colluded to encourage all sides in the cruel conflict to throw away their arms and voyage here to london town for to partake in a ceremonial celebration of soccer-football the like of which will probably never again be witnessed in the history of mankind.

    the second instance of this paranormal phenomena, as summarily subjected to my innately instinctive powers of investigatory research, bears on the hitherto unsolved conundrum as to how jamaican chappies can run like the mother-flipping clappers…and, since i have made a long and involved television programme on this irritating example of divine intervention, it must suffice for me to divulge that ragga-rapidity derives from the inadvertant side-effect of a charles durbrain experiment in maliciously unnatural selection which went horribly awry.

    now to my final example, which comprises a study of the other side of the slave-driven coin (as described in the previous pertinent paragraph) and examines (with the aid of a pedometric analyst whose identity shall remain undisclosed) how this former despicable situation relates to a continuing historic pattern of econo-cultural interaction between tribal african persons and their respective interfering imperial powers, ultimately resulting in the north, south and east african regions producing many fine olympic track-athletes, whilst inhabitants of the western mother-continent have been, when in the process of walking, by-and-large loathe to break out of extra-slow-gear unless presented with the racing-certainty that a leather ball might be profitably walloped into the back of a goal-net, thereby ensuring the protagonist a multi-million pound sports-club-contract…and, after extensive research, i have subsequently reached the sobering conclusion that this apparently wilful protest of physical inactivity is directly linked to the serious likelihood, in past epochs, that any overt display of sprightliness or vigorous behaviour would inevitably culminate in the individual in question being swiftly granted the unequal opportunity of drawing first-prize in the lottery for an all-expenses-paid cruise to the new world – an outcome which, at that period, was certainly no laughing matter.


  45. Saushagesh
    Yes, it’s asking too much because it just lulls the idiots into a false sense of security.
    The job you’re describing is already done by the Mirror and, every now and then, the Express.
    My job is to wake people up, not soften the edges of reality.


  46. @professor longjohn

    an outcome which, at that period, was certainly no laughing matter.

    nor a joy-ride, miss zara


  47. Pingback: OLYMPICS: Business slump rocks Hunt, Johnson | A diary of deception and distortion

  48. Why? There are plenty online. Besides I collect adjectives about depressives like Wardy’s followers. They LOVE their manias. What is it that attracts you to this morbidly miserable bunch?
    I admire John’s wonderful journalistic powers of investigation and analysis. Even so, his euro-economic outlooks are always apocalyptic.
    The eurozone may well collapse, indeed it’s pretty inevitable unless Berlin/Sprouts take fiscal command – but I suspect it will be a process of long drawn-out, ever more depressing politics and ‘austerity’.
    Which is why Wardy should keep to this and other similarly depressing subjects – like the slow death of the Tory party and the uselessness of Whitehall and the elites.


  49. Because John, as I said, I admire your wonderful journalistic powers of investigation and analysis. But I just laugh my boots off at your splenetic moaning and groaning about stuff like the Olympix and Tesco prices.
    When, (apart from a decent bottle of wine), could you actually say you enjoyed anything someone else had built, made or created?
    But, like most critics, you are far more interesting when spleening than praising! So I’ll keep coming here even if it’s just to laugh at your miserable followers and occasionally amusing (but mostly boring) trolls.
    More spleen.


  50. TOTALLY agree with your thoughts about purpose and meaning of Olympix, overblown hype, corruption of all management concerned and etc etc as you say. We ALL agree. We really, really do. When you’re ready and can come up with a (realistic) wheeze which will change it all let us know. Meanwhile sit back and make the bl**dy most of it.
    Unless of course it really is just spleen-venting you enjoy.


  51. Pingback: These shambolic, divisive and political Olympics | Orphans of Liberty

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