Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.

Monday, 13 August 2012

It's all over now.

WELL, now what?

This must be how John Lennon felt after he surfaced from his epic 1974 bender on Brandy Alexanders with Harry Nilsson. You wake up, you wonder how all those things happened, and you decide that while it was fun you couldn't do it again.

For the past fortnight, regardless of what economists and politicians might say, Britain stopped doing what it normally does.

We stopped whining, quite a lot of us stopped working, and football became our least favourite sport. We buried ourselves in Clare Balding (which not many can say), we realised we're not always rubbish, and we almost grew to like Sebastian Coe.

We forgot the fact we're in a recession and living in a country run by clueless rich boys with zero idea of how the other 99 per cent live and instead enjoyed the spectacle of them being inept to the tune of 'zig-a-zig-aah'.

We had a national immersion in the moment, a bit like when Princess Diana died. In a day or two we'll probably have the same head-shaking 'did that really happen?' change of mood, the one where you realise it was silly to chuck roses onto the M1 or dress up as an Olympic mascot.

The problem with suspending your scepticism so completely is that you lose the critical eye with which you can notice the more important stuff. The wood among the trees, the prettiest pebble on the beach, the things which make you think.

And that's what journalists are for - or at least, the ones who weren't busy writing reams of colour about the atmosphere in the velodrome and instead wander off and poke about at things.

So you may not have noticed it, but it should be noted nevertheless that:

* We suddenly know a lot more than we used to about fencing. And not the kind you paint green so it blends in, I mean the type with floppy blunt needles and illogical costumes. Can anyone explain the socks?

* The Queen is the only person in human history to skydive and not be glad she survived.

* If Boris cycles everywhere, and Bradley Wiggins cycles everywhere, how come Boris is still a twat?

* It is now socially acceptable to have a Union Jack outside your house, office or car without being seen as a racist (Union Jack flag pedants please read this).

* Union Jack gimp suits are never acceptable.

* The Americans accused the world's best female swimmer of being genetically modified. At the same time the Americans are trying to genetically modify their own soldiers. Sore losers, the Yanks, and hypocritical with it.

* While athletes at their physical peak were grateful for taxpayer-funded rooms and a canteen providing free chicken nuggets, members of the House of Lords on £300 a day just for turning up have moaned their pork escalopes are dry and the subsidised wine's not good enough. Fine. Let's move the politicians to single beds in the Olympic village and wave goodbye to second home expenses while we're at it.

* There's no way West Ham are going to be able to fill that stadium. Let's give it to Leyton Orient for free instead and see what happens.

* Red trousers are no longer just for toffs.

* Troops drafted in to sort out the mess left by a private security firm and idiot organisers and had their leave cancelled are going to get a commemorative coin. Money that's not even legal tender. I reckon they'd be happier with a few days off and a season ticket to the new Leyton Orient ground.

* Two weeks ago immigrants and benefit claimants were regarded as the worst people in the country. Now a Somalian refugee and a black girl from a sink estate in Leeds are national heroes. If we're very lucky the Paralympics might shut Iain Duncan Smith up permanently.

* David Cameron has had a fortnight of duvet days, the lazy, bloated public-sector, state-funded shirker.

* There are females who are famous for something other than sleeping with someone. Isn't that nice?

* The biggest Olympic legacy for most of us is going to be the large dent in the sofa which will lead to a trip to the furniture shop and a mini-boom for chiropractors.

* The opening ceremony was brilliant because it showed what Britain is good at, and the closing ceremony was rubbish because it showcased the stuff that's left over - shallowness, drug-addled celebrities, mainly miserable songs, and noisy dustbin lids.

* Russell Brand is finished.

* And finally, of course, that as a nation we may have a stiff upper lip but the lower one wobbles quite a bit.

But it's over now. Time to go back to work, count what's left of our money and vow to behave more sensibly in the future.

Until next time.

 "Brandy Alexanders? Oh Jesus no..."


Anonymous said...

best 2 weeks of my life - irrational since I wasn't involved in anyway other than screaming and crying a lot on my sofa. I think we needed a couple of weeks break away from the grim reality. Now we can all get back to being cynical and miserable and dissolutioned with it all... Nice whilst it lasted though :)

jaljen said...

All true. All excellent points.

I missed the opening ceremony as I was in full-sceptic mode at that point and (perhaps more pertinently) enjoying cocktails and poker in a bar in Croatia but stupidly tuned into the closing. BIG mistake. Huge.

I'd like to ask why we GIVE athletes money to get a little boat from A to B once every four years but we only LEND money to students training to become medics, teachers and become actually quite useful on an almost daily basis. WHY???

Vicky Cooper said...

The way I saw it, the opening ceremony was (thankfully) amazing, the games went off without much of a hitch and our athletes did superbly. Frankly, I'm glad the closing ceremony was rubbish. Great Britain is never normally this happy. With the closing being so bad, it is a good way of remembering how good the rest of it really was.

Anonymous said...

What does it say about britain though ... that the most memorable part of the opening ceremony was Mr Bean, and the most memorbale part of the closing ceremony was Eric Idle ?!

Sukie said...

What Anonymous said ^^

Lara said...

If anyone had asked me beforehand I would have replied that I was completely indifferent. It took all of five minutes for me to be sucked in. Great Britain's best two weeks in its modern history. Shame about the closing ceremony, but you can't get everything right!

megabitch said...

"I'd like to ask why we GIVE athletes money to get a little boat from A to B once every four years but we only LEND money to students training to become medics, teachers and become actually quite useful on an almost daily basis. WHY???"

Abso-bloody-lutely. Currently helping one offspring through uni, second one due to start next month *tightens belt to final notch*

I saw the Opening courtesy of BBC iPlayer the following day after my son started trying to describe it. Missed everything else except the odd partial interview or clip on the news - mostly down to me recovering from spine surgery and being flat on my back for 21 hours a day. I suppose that if I'd really been eager to see it I'd have found a way, but I just wasn't that interested.

I'd much rather the billions had been spent on more important things. But we seem to be falling back to our lords and masters handing out "Bread and Circuses" to keep the populace happy... without providing any bread, either.

Matt said...

Welcome back Foxy, hope you enjoyed your break.

I will happily admit that being a Londoner I thought having the Olympics would be a nightmare for us who normally live here but was surprised and pleased that was not the case and that as a country the games exceeded everyones expectations.

I was off work for the first week of the Olympics (although still stayed in town) and was pleased to find the tube was better than expected and central London on my trip there was pleasant and nice to visit.

The opening ceremony was crazy and fun, from the comments I have seen I am glad I missed it due to being on the train on my way home from a weekend at the Edinburgh fringe.

Just one thing that bought me down, people RT Piers Morgan complaining about athletes not singing the anthem. He is a massive bell end (I cleaned that up for you). The athletes have worked hard to get where they are and don't need some sanctimonious little tit commenting on them when he has got to where he is by lying and bullying (*allegedly).

Soap said...

You realise that most of the tax money spent on athletics goes on training facilities while the athletes themselves earn a living from their sponsors don't you? If you noticed during the intro videos to all the cycling, for example, they were all wearing the Team Sky Cycling gear meaning they get paid by Sky and Sky fund a lot of training for most of the year.
The total UK sport funding for Team GB since 2008 is £260million, which sounds a lot but when you take everything into account it's not a lot really and far less than funding all students in the UK. I don't agree that students should have to pay at all but to compare the two things as if athletics is sucking money away from students is ludicrous frankly You also have to take into account a lot of the funding for Team GB goes on sport science development which is all undertaken at universities, so in fact universities and as a result the students do benefit from the funding 'given' to these athletes.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I find it astonishing that you are so willing to lambast all the Conservative politicians who have made every effort to be at so many events, cheering merrily. As a contrast, I didn't see a single Labour or Lib Dem (Campbell at the closing ceremony?) at any of the events.

I think, essentially, this lefty hatred of competitive sport and anyone who enjoys it is juvenile at best and downright nasty at worst but, either way, it's completely unwelcome, especially now.

Foxy said...

I have to say, I find it astonishing you think my mentioning the PM is the same as lambasting every MP in his party.

He's the man we pay to run the country. Regardless of his politics, he ought to be running it not sitting next to David Beckham so he gets his picture taken.

Labour aren't running the country, so by that comparison they can do as they please. Don't let's get started on the Lib Dems.

And for the umpteenth cocking time, I am not a member of nor do I support any one political party over another. I hold all politicians in equal disdain.

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