Friday, 27 July 2012

The Olympics.

I've been dreading this, I did the monarchy (figuratively, not literally) and now the Olympics are upon us, like a sexually transmitted disease and almost impossible to avoid. The build up has lasted months with the torch doing the rounds, thousands of gurning clueless school kids bussed in to clap and cheer in a slightly vacant way as a stranger runs past with an upturned spliff. Tonight before the athletes can get down to the comparatively dull business of running, jumping, skipping, swimming and throwing/balancing stuff on or around themselves, the build up climaxes in an opening ceremony that will show Seb Coe and Jeremy Hunt etc ejaculate quietly but enthusiastically in their pants as the Olympic flame is lit.

Today on the news, broadcasters and members of the public who can charitably be described as total fucking weirdos have been excited to the point of spontaneous televisual combustion, where do they find these people? Is there a database of prime time TV audiences that can be tapped into when an enthusiastic-but-dim crowd are needed? This morning they rang bells for three minutes at 08:12hrs, there was a man so keen to participate, in the absence of a bell, he jangled his house keys. Meanwhile a familiar looking boat was being rowed down the Thames (again) bearing the Olympic flame... I... It... Oh, I can't be bothered...

The Jubilee thing was easy to be cynical about, the entire premise was ropey, the Olympics on the other hand should be a celebration of sporting prowess and excellence, we shouldn't be cynical about it and I was hoping it would require a conscious effort to be so. But, in swept Locog to sell every single thing they could in order to raise money to spend on what has turned out to be, essentially, and there is no easy way to say this so I'll just say it: the British Establishment giving it's ego a vigorous wank in front of the international community... In front of the entire world, with its cock in one hand and a big mac in the other, Great Britain is finally great again, sort of.

But great at what exactly? we've had the stories about G4S and its short comings, ZIL lanes, (Zil for our younger viewers were a type of limousine favoured by very high ranking communists in the old USSR, they had lanes running down the centre of Moscow's various boulevards in which only they could travel.) Bus loads of athletes being lost for hours in London (having been lost myself in London for what seemed like days, I can relate) and the construction staff not being allowed chips if they weren't having fish in the Olympic village canteens. Do you want me to repeat that? Since Locog sold the food and catering rights to McDonald's, you can only eat their fries unless you're having fish, in which case you can have non-McDonald's chips.

I could into details about the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 but I won't bore you, except to say, the law above gives something called the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) the kind of powers Darth Vader would be proud of, road closures, right of entry to private property and business to remove signage which either contravenes the ODA's rules or the law mentioned at the top of this paragraph, if a kebab shop sticks a hand written sign in their window saying 'Summer 2012', they'd most probably be prosecuted.

They even have a dress code for spectators, presumably no trainers allowed... Hold on, how will that work, brogues or wellies only? If you're wearing a t-shirt advertising any fizzy drink other than Coca Cola you may be shot on the spot, same if you're not using an official Olympic Digital Camera (Panasonic if you're at all bothered) you will be chastised by Seb Coe, possibly spanked, (he's a tory, they're all in to it.)

There will be over 12000 soldiers on duty with a further, well, we don't really know how many security staff G4S will be able to rustle up because they're only paying them by the day so for many its not worth coming off benefits. But listen, its fine because they have missile batteries on the roofs of surrounding tower blocks, not for attacking threats from the sky you understand, its for any one seen with a KFC Boneless Banquet in the Olympic village.

In summary, I feel Locog have lost their focus somewhat, its less of a sporting event than a heavily sponsored military-civil security exercise, its almost as if an arms conventions has crashed into a franchise fair

In between people being searched for illegal contraband (a Double Whopper?) occasionally we'll see some sport. I suppose I still hope it goes well, they already fucked it up enough for there to be months of entertaining blog posts and news stories to be getting on with.

I think the sport will be fine, as for the rest, I think we're all waiting for the next thing to go wrong and it shouldn't really be like that.

Now, where can you go in order to avoid the whole thing? That's easy; your local Burger King Franchise.

Monday, 9 July 2012

The Monarchy.

I did try to think up a more pithy title, unfortunately the words 'The Monarchy' now engender in me such a deep cloying sense of ennui, its all I am able to do to stop myself placing one eyeball against the corner of my desk here at work and have a colleague kick me as hard as he can in the back of the head.

Not that you give a shit about what I mind or don't mind about, the monarchy (its not getting capitalised any more) was always a source of indifference to me, I thought of them all as a kind of living theme park where some odd people swished or sashayed around different parts of the world being a bit distant but largely inoffensive (except for Prince Phillip) with the locals and raising some money for charity, which is good.

Over these past few months though, I've gone right off them. We had all assumed that the Jubilee would be a reassertion of Great Britain, a huge boost for British morale and a shot in the arm for the Great British Way of life. I am a disgustingly average person and where before I was indifferent I'm now firmly against.

The boat race, was it a race? A regatta then, was boring but even then, I felt sorry for Liz and Phil as they stood for hours in the rain in what was, lets all be honest now, a really boring afternoon. The concert came along and I thought, ok, it looks alright, that was until the various celebs stumbled on between songs to offer crushingly sycophantic gushes of bootlickery, I mean to say, who except for the most brazen psychopath would be able to sit through some of the accolades being made and not cringe so much they shrivelled up and turned inside out with shame and embarrassment?

I watched as much of it as I could, which was to say until Rolf Harris came on and started in on the grovelling, I had to turn over before I boaked all over the axminster. I don't think I've seen quite so many people quite so keen to trip over themselves to kiss the arse of any one, at least not since Bill and Katey tied the knot, Pippa must have been livid with the old boot's arse for stealing her backside's limelight for the night...

Most recently though we've had the Queen up in Edinburgh giving Bill a gong for, well I'm not sure what for. Its the Order of the Thistle, which is the highest award you can get from the Queen in Scotland, I think... Some say its been given to William in order to cement relations between Team GB and Scotland. I say Team GB because that is all this really is, it turns out Scottish Nationalism is bad but British Nationalism is good. Indeed, we had Michael Forsyth clarifying the point by explaining, when unionists promote their argument its patriotism (which is good) but when Nationalists promote theirs its Nationalism (which is bad.)

He didn't explain the substantive differences between nationalism of patriotism for two reasons, a) there isn't one what with patriotism actually being a by-product of nationalism and b) because on things to do with Scotland, when Michael Forsyth speaks, what actually happens is, an orifice opens at the front of his head and arse-gravy pours out. It should also be noted, he is one of many with a vested interest in the status quo in-so-far-as he'd be out of a job if Scotland says yes in 2014 (which we absolutely should.)

Anyway, digressing slightly, if the idea behind all the royal shenanigans was to promote Team GB, I think it may have backfired a wee bit. We have the Queen having her arse kissed so enthusiastically it has its own facebook page (I have no idea if that is true but if it is, it means we could all go a poke it too) various people running around the place with a big golden spliff they prefer to call 'the olympic flame' and Prince Bill having the Order of the Thistle pinned to his fancy dress costume. I used to think it was all a bit of a show for the tourists, that it was good because it brought in tourist money, but now its just a political football and where before I liked to think the Queen assiduously kept her role to the ceremonial, they're now making it symbolic of Britain (which it always sort of was) but with the express motive of stifling Scottish Patriotism, sorry, I meant Nationalism.

In short, by allowing the Royal Theme Park to be used as an active Trojan horse for Unionism and in such an in-your-face relentlessly unending (suicide-inducing) way, they've actually turned a great many people off the monarchy and by extension Team GB who before might have been merely indifferent.

I would offer a more in depth explanation of what The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is but on flipping over to the wiki entry and reading the first two or three lines, its actually boring as fuck. I don't see the point in repeating what's said when you can go yourself one evening if you've ran out of Nytol and can't get to sleep. What I would say is it has a delightful green ribbon and the medal itself would make a handy Ninja throwing star should the wearer ever have the need to defend himself.

I'm somewhat surprised I managed not to use the word nepotism, I'm deploying it now because in terms of the Order of the Thistle and it being given by the Queen to her Grandson, it would be oddly remiss of me to not point out that it really is very nepotistic indeed.

I also cast an eye down the wiki article and couldn't help but notice I actually know someone who has a KT (yup, that's what it is when shortened, the burds get an LT.) He's Garth Morrison, ex-chief scout and native of East Lothian. I say I know him but I don't really, I once put a marquee up in his garden after which I was given a piece of carrot cake by his wife, which in and of itself isn't particularly interesting and probably still isn't if I said this was the occasion I found out carrot cake actually had carrots in it. A real epiphany I'm sure you'll agree.

If I was ever awarded a KT, I know it goes against the grain but I'd have to accept it. I'd invite the great and the good to the ceremony, including Michael Forsyth, on being awarded, I'd perform a Ninja roll off the stage and embed the medal in his coupon for talking shite on the telly.

Perhaps I could persuade Rolf Harris to come along and kiss my arse as well.