Friday, 4 April 2008

2012 reasons to be cheerful

I just want to say this. I'm sick of people moaning about what a terrible thing it is that the Olympics are coming to London in four years, and that it costs a bit of money and there's a bit of building work going on and it might cost a bit more than someone originally thought. (Is anyone at all surprised by this? Has anyone ever employed under-budget builders?) I was watching the regional news yesterday (admittedly that was my own stupid fault) and they reported that six out of ten Londoners said there was nothing in the Games for them.

Nothing in it for them? Who are these emotional zombies? I can't have been the only non-member of the bid committee doing a little on-the-spot dance of joy in my personal space, wherever it was, when I heard the news. Actually I remember. I was standing in the More magazine office, and the only other people who seemed in any way excited were people who'd recently bought property in east London and were going to be able to cash in on it. Like, go team GB. 

There hasn't been an Olympic games in London for over 60 years. That's a long old time. If it were a comet that hadn't been seen for 60 years, or a rare classification of kestrel, everyone would be far more excited. OK, that's because those things are free. And Olympics cost billions of pounds, and sometimes have to borrow those pounds from other places. I don't know where the money should come from. Regular readers will know, I don't like to trouble myself with reasoned thinking. But the fact is, great feats will be accomplished. People will do things higher, faster, stronger (I'm paraphrasing Daft Punk here, obviously) and more perfectly than mankind has ever done before. Events of magic and wonder will happen, in the very city where we wish for them every day, on our journeys to and from work, or while we're putting the rubbish out, or doing a little jig to avoid stepping in some dogshit, or pushing a trolley around the supermarket.

And best of all, there will be many brilliant montages to music to watch on telly afterwards, which is practically my favourite thing about any major sporting occasion. Fields Of Gold by Sting, will be used many times, and I will weep during each of those times. Actually, being in charge of making montages-to-music might be my ideal job. But I digress. 

I do believe that half the population do have an interest in some kind of sport – boxing or football or tennis or things with people on horses (I mean, some people really, really like horses). And for people who don't, there's synchronised swimming. And even if we all hated all of it, what I want to say is: Where's the famous British emotional repression when you need it? Why is everyone suddenly vocalising their disapproval? Having an opinion? 

I want to see the British doing what the British do best – which is certainly not actually any of the Olympic disciplines. I want everyone pretending that everything is just fine, pretending to like things they don't like because they don't want a fuss, and that it's all OK, no really, I mean, the Olympics is not really our cup of tea, but nothing ventured, eh? I want to see the whole population pretending they're terribly, terribly excited, forcing out the words through gritted teeth, mangling the sounds through forced, rictus grins.

Never mind chivalry. I honestly believe that enthusiasm is a dying art.


In other competitive sport news, the other night I went to the local pub quiz with my mum. We came equal fourth, which I consider highly respectable given our number. If either of us had been dog enthusiasts – and I certainly have a brown and blue checked winter coat that makes me look a lot like one of these people – and been able to identify various species of canine, we would have done even better. There was a gang of brayers on the next table. I heard one of them say to the group: 'Do you think you have one side of your face that's better than the other? It's such a nightmare when you go to read for a part with someone and they put you on your wrong side.' He was like Mariah Carey in a striped sweatshirt.


Miss W said...

Miss Jones, is it possible that you and I have never discussed musical montages before? Perhaps we have, but if not, let me just put it on record now that I absolutely freakin' LOVE a musical montage! When I was little I would on-purpose watch the highlights show on the last day of Wimbledon, or after the FA Cup, or when any other major sporting event - which I had no actual interest in, obviously - had been on just because I knew there would be a musical montage to look at.

'Dry Your Eyes' by The Streets, 'Everybody Hurts' by REM and 'The Scientist' by Coldplay are also popular choices, especially if we have lost something. Which, let's face it, we usually have.

Miss Jones said...

God, this is indeed impossible. We should have a celebratory evening with my friend Stef, who also loves a montage. I love that one about Zidane and his big sad eyes. I remember Walk Away by Cast (perhaps Euro 96). I remember Elvis's If I Can Dream, strongly featuring David Beckham, some years later. And unlikely, but brilliant, Marblehead Johnson by The Bluetones, when in some tournament or other, England were failing to beat run of the mill teams in the group stages and making life far harder for themselves than they should: 'And now the heat is rising/The time has come to stop apologising/Cause when the skies go clear/The threat of rain is always here with you.'

I am surprised to find myself quoting The Bluetones.

Basically this means I can get no work done for the rest of the day because I will be watching BBC montages on youtube. I hope you're pleased with yourself.


Anonymous said...

Don't get me started on Walkaway at the end of Euro '96. I can't listen to it now without feeling choked. Miss Jones, I love you for many reasons but the fact you remember the If I Can Dream montage is one of them. It culminated with Beckham scoring a penalty against the Argentinians (World Cup 2002 fact fans) thus putting to rest the 1998 debacle. Frickin' genius.