The Corner

The Coming London Olympics

While one must still loyally hope that London can be spared its upcoming Olympics scourge, I’ll confess that reporting like this (from the First Post) makes me think that London 2012 may, like Tim Henman and the Beagle 2, be a source of unexpected delight:“And then came Bojo [London mayor Boris Johnson], the entire stadium bathed in the glow of his custardy bonce, to formally take possession of the Olympic flag, symbolising the passage of the Games to London. His outlandish presence spoke of a change of tone and style. The next Games, it seemed to be saying, will be a complete shambles, but, probably, much more fun. To give the 1.6 billion people watching on television a taste of modern Britain’s cutting-edge sophistication, a double-decker bus lumbered unsteadily into the stadium, eventually disgorging a multi-ethic troupe of dancers waving umbrellas. I was expecting a couple more to arrive at the same time, but, instead, the top opened and Jimmy Page, the raddled former Led Zeppelin guitarist performed a Bowdlerised version of Whole Lotta Love, accompanied by X-Factor winner Leona Lewis. Then David Beckham booted a football, which was meant to land in the crowd, but missed and floored a Chinese acrobat. At least Boris didn’t have to make a speech. The day before he had bewildered much of the world’s press with scathing references to “Olymposceptics”. Then he answered a question about whether he might become prime minister with an allusion to a long-forgotten politician in ancient Rome. “Were I to be called, like Cincinnatus from my plough,” he proclaimed, “obviously it would be a huge privilege to serve.”

Citius, Altius, Fortius, Ludicrous.


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