I have snookered myself – again. I have seen this 2012 bash as a piece of idiocy from day one and I have shared this view, liberally. I still see it as a commercial opportunity for the sale of sports gear fizzy drinks and burgers. And then there is the patriotism which is another pet hate of mine. I have always thought patriotism a slightly lunatic idea that we bring out to persuade armies into war. We, like most nations are mongrels and it has never seemed a valid cause for pride to have been born in some part of the world. We are definitely not responsible for our birthplace so why be proud? ‘The last resort of the scoundrel’ sums it up for me.
Add to this the fact that I spend a lot of my time in Greenwich where they snaffled our lovely park months before the event and the barrage of publicity has irritated me into very firm stance.The missiles stationed just up the road on Blackheath common didn’t enamour me either. I reckoned that if they went off they would land on us.
The Result? I refused to watch the opening ceremony and it was apparently marvellous fun! Who would have guessed it? Then some right wing MP described it as ‘Leftie multicultural crap.’ Exactly my kind of thing! Chagrin hardly comes close to describing my feelings and now I hear on radio 4 that it was also free of sexist images – had suffragettes and other heroines represented plus the Queen and her CORGIS, not my favourite breed in either case but I am glad that dogs were included in this celebration of British culture.
I dislike watching sport as much as I disliked taking part on freezing hockey fields in bottle green knickers and aertex shirt. I can understand that people do like running around kicking balls or standing for hours in the sun waiting for something to happen. Fair play to them. I neither want to take part nor watch them so the Olympics are lost on me. It annoys me that the newspapers are awash with pictures and yards of print showing these activities. But I don’t have to read them.
So what do I take away from this experience? I must not be such a stringent kill joy in future? Probably impossible. But the most cogent fact: I shall not share my opinions quite so vigorously. I don’t have to watch any of the prancing or swimming or other cavorting over things against other competitors. I am free not to watch but I shall be more careful in future about what I steadfastly ignore. And a small confession I was slightly glad when a Brit won the Tour de France. But then he was the underdog.