Monday, 16 July 2012

Pop: Olympian > every one else

We were all told as a country that the Olympics were for us, the normal people. We were supposed to be excited about the whole thing because we ‘identified’ with all the other normal people who were involved, and even had a chance to be involved ourselves. 

This is what they said when the first complaints started to appear near the time when we won the right to hold the Olympics, the complaints about the fact that with the rest of the country being ignored most of the time anyway the London Olympics would have no relevance to anywhere outside the capital.

We are now a couple of weeks away from the actual event. The Olympic torch was carried mainly by sports people and celebrities, even when finally a normalish member of the public would be allowed to touch the fiery torch the news would suddenly lose interest and refuse to show it so all the coverage that we got was some American singer or a Romanian pole-vaulter carrying it through the streets of some backwards town and then making vacuous comments to fawning journalists. 

There are traffic lanes to specifically tell all the normal people that they aren’t as special as the people who can run fast. For the tiny amount of cars that are related to the Olympics they have declared certain lanes ‘Olympic lanes’ and so while the traffic builds up and up on the roads, the normal people can look on the empty lane to their side and know that they mean less. 

There have been events ‘up and down the country,’ by which the people in charge mean London and the area surrounding London. There has been more interest in educating the young people about sport and encouraging people, by which the people in charge mean the South. 

There are dangerous missiles and planes and terrifying weapons on the top of people’s homes, people who went to court to complain about the danger to their health and were ignored and subjugated because their lives ultimately are less important than the lives of people in tracksuits.
And finally not only do the Olympics mean nothing to the normal people in this country, we are encouraged to feel like nothing. Continually on the news we are told that these athletes are ‘superhuman’ and amazing just because they can ride a bike faster than us or dive with better technique. They fill up adverts, they are allowed to spew out their vacuous opinions on any issue that is affecting the country and they have entire TV programmes about them. People who aren’t sporty are made to feel like they are lesser and like they mean less to the country, which in truth they do. I could write a book that makes the world fall back in amazement but if I don’t have a medal that says I beat a German, my achievements are not worthwhile.  

The Olympics belong to who we all always thought they belonged to, the minority of people who are performing in them or who are organising them and the celebrities who have enough influence to squeeze publicity from them.  

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