Anything that is attracting so much public expense is going to have a rough ride on its worthiness – not least The Olympics. So leaving actual efficient management, politics and spending aside – one of its detractors along the way seem to be groups who feel they are more worthy of funding ie; the arts in particular, well yes you have to shout to be heard or disappear where funding is concerned but the Olympics does encompass a lot, not just sport and until someone raises the bar and creates an arts Olympics this is the best we’ve got to a global fest in any sphere. So it was a great relief to hear Eddy Izzard giving the Olympics a big thumbs up the other day – not just as a great opportunity for athletes but sport in general at a time when malaise and get up and go certainly seems to have been left to the Jane Fonda fitness videos of the eighties, at the end of a decade when sitting watching others on one screen or another with or without a game stick became a national sport. So anything that gives a fun big-up to a sports event, that however finely tuned and steeped in athletic prowess and tradition, is beginning to look like an expensive and ageing white elephant has got to be good.
Grayson Perry gave a very funny take on how our Olympic torch should be lit – the building work just scraping in on time picture the last high visibility workman flicking his final fag butt into the torch …and… poof! It would be lit, seamless, and somehow very British – no airs or graces very matter of fact and by accident.
Brazil are going mad at the thought of hosting – no doubt seizing every given opportunity to engage and promote. Britain is not prone to wild spontaneous fiestas in the streets. But Eddy does have a point a really great opportunity is in danger of being missed in the UK through what seems like inward looking squabbles and that great British trait of not having much pride – cos you know what happens there – too much pride comes before a fall. And we should know we’ve knocked enough people of their so called pride pedestals to prove it.
Grayson and Eddy both have a point we should take our own pride in how we approach and do this event, not least because we need some civic and social big-ups – some social mutual respect, that can be shared through this event (even if the majority is taking place in Londinium) but that’s another story – or maybe it isn’t….
Someone pointed out to me recently that in the olden days when it had snowed you would help to clear the pavements, so neighbours could walk ice free, done as a mark of social respect and just plain neighbourly-ness. A sort of collective respect that for many has all but disappeared. He juxtaposed this remark with the pride of someone chucking a Maccy D’s carton on the ground and in the same breath purporting to be full of national pride and respect.
Quite, I agree, sport the arts or whatever national (nay national/ global!) event it is that brings us together, it its well past time for in-squabbling and time indeed for a group hug and more power to the high viz jacketed guy and his fag butt lighter…it’ll never happen the responsibility of physical health and safety is way too important …Would be funny though, maybe Grayson and Eddy could do a double torch lighting act; Eddy sprints up the stairs hands the torch over and Grayson curtseys’ to Her Maj and lights the flame like a modern day Alice in Wonderland reaching up to that giant tea cup of Olympic togetherness on its pedestal.