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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Canada goes for gold


I read The Guardian. Here's one reason why.

Two years ago the newspaper described the Vancouver Winter Olympics as "the worst Games ever". With this in mind, and in true Olympic spirit, The Guardian invited Harrison Mooney (Vancouver Sun) to return the favour by writing about the present London Olympics.

Today: "We learned that the authorities lost the keys to Wembley Stadium (one of the Games venues) last week, an admission of incompetence that serves to explain why the police were never able to catch Benny Hill."

On Monday: "The London Games is looking ugly, and I mean that literally. It started... with the unveiling of that painful logo... (apparently) inspired by a Nike catalogue. It resembles either Lisa Simpson performing a sex act or a child's illustration of the breakup of Pangaea."

On Tuesday: "The North Korean women's football team were greeted by the wrong flag - nay, the wrongest flag possible - before their opening match. There is, I would remind London, a great difference between North and South Korea and the implication that 'once you've seen one Korea you've seen 'em all' is not going to fly."

I have no opinion on the Vancouver Games. But I do applaud paying a foreigner to be nasty to us.
As GB's medal tally rose, Mr Mooney started getting nastier.

3 comments:

marja-leena said...

Is this a teaser for me, a Canadian? I remember the mention about the Guardian's comments on Vancouver's Olympics, and the reaction that it will be 'tit for tat', which seems to have now happened. (I could not find the said articles.) As I'm no fan of the Olympics, I can't get excited by these antics, including the kafuffle over NBC's lousy reporting. I just think the Olympics have become way too expensive for each country, for the sports men and women and for viewers. The security costs are obscene!

I'm most interested in what you think of the Olympics in your home country, dear LdP, even if it is not about the music.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

M-L: I can't pretend I didn't put together this piece with you in mind. And to some extent you have provided the perfect answer - a question.

Because this is not tit for tat. That quick judgment demeans what happened. To provide a forum for a representative of the aggrieved nation to be equally (preferably more) censorious of the insulter is a peculiarly English gesture. In fact if I have any criticism at all it is that Mr Moon's responses were too feeble. With such a huge target to go at he ended up being far too gentlemanly. And gentlemanliness wasn't called for here. In fact the Guardian itself has been far more nasty about the Games than he was.

As to the Games I loathe them for the ancillaries they attract: the posturing of the politicians and the hideous Nazi-like opinions of those who come to watch. I watched the individual cycling time trial because it featured an Englishman, Bradley Wiggins, who a week or so ago became the first Brit to win the Tour de France, but I frequently had to mute the sound because of the uncaring sentiments of the commentator who jeered at the great cyclists (one a German the other Swiss, both injured before the event, plus a Spaniard whose chain broke at the start) that Wiggins went on to beat.

It is my hope that all future Games will be taken up by a series of countries on the brink of bankruptcy and who become bankrupt on the day the Games start.

One of the strangest gestures ever to emerge from the Games occurred at the Moscow Olympics when countries were implored not to take part following a long series of civil-rights abuses by Russia. The first British group to pull out were the horsey competitors, all rich and many with aristocratic connections. Asked why, a spokesperson said: "Because most of you (ie, the press, the politicians, and (ugh!) the "fans") probably wouldn't expect people like us to do so."

Now that was the Olympic spirit. And I hate horsey events.

Plutarch said...

Once upon a time winning didn't matter. Or was supposed not to matter. The joy of competing was what it was meant to be about. A modest acceptance of gold, silver and bronze, when awarded was enough. The din of applause and self-congratulation and/or self-pity needs now to be abated. The media are most to blame for the hysteria whether they praise or abuse. Canadian or British. As this is a music blog will someone now switch off finally the Chariots of Fire theme. Thank you.