Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Are you excited, peasant? Well why not?

Wolfers' note: Also available at the new 
Pravda is almost exploding this morning, you see it is a year until the Olympic Games starts. The breakfast show seemed to be coming from the olympic park on Radio 5, and there have been regular live links to the venues on the TV breakfast show. I've learned that the stadium is quite big, the aquatic centre has a pool, and, wait for it, hairdryers in the changing rooms! We've also learned that the site isn't finished yet.
The media is trying to chivvy us along on a wave of faux excitement, yet surprisingly, not everyone is feeling it. I'll let Christina Ohuruogo take over:

Whaaaaaaaat? The ungrateful little bastards. This has all been for them. This will be the event of their lives, and they're not interested? Do you think the politicians have railroaded this through for their own satisfaction and vanity? No. It's all been for the kids. Bloody hell.
Ohuruogu told the BBC: "I've seen, not apathy, but it is like, 'We don't take part in sports, what's in it for us?'.

I'd love to see your definition of apathy then, because that sure sounds like it to me. Shall we investigate why the kids don't take part in sport? I'm not sure if I'm certain what the answer is, is it because most of our playing fields have been sold off and had houses built on them? Is it because on the remaining patches of land signs spring up saying 'no ball games'? Is it because anyone who wants to run a kids sports club is treated like a prospective paedo and has life made as difficult for them as possible? Is it because parents and kids are conditioned to think that as soon as they set foot out of the house that the child will be leapt on by the pack of nonces lying in wait in the bushes at the end of the road? Is it because the government is so keen to harvest our taxes that it makes it impossible for women (or indeed men) to stay at home to raise the kids due to an eyewatering cost of living and guilt trips about not going back to work as soon as the umbilical cord is cut?
And she added: "The general impression I get is that they are not really interested.
"I am fortunate enough to have been to two Games so I know how brilliant it can be.
"They don't really see what is there for them. It is very hard to get people to understand how amazing it actually is.

Well, Christine, sweetheart. I'm sure when you're training seven days a week with a definite goal in mind and you then find yourself wearing the national vest in a full stadium with the gaze of the world's media on you as you get a gold medal it is pretty fucking amazing. But if you're a 14 year old abandoned in a sinkhole school with a system that couldn't give a damn about you, no future or aspiration surrounded by debt and urban decay, I'm not sure how interested you're going to be in the 5km steeplechase.
"It is almost like it is for everybody else: people who are athletes, the sponsors, the older generations, all the ones who have money.

Well, I'm sorry, it is. The games are all about corporate money. It's the only way this behemoth will return any of the piles of cash it has had poured down its maw. The irony being of course that the people of London have had their taxes ramped up to pay for this, assuming the games return a profit, and there's a decent chance they will, I can't help but wonder how much of a tax cut the people of London will receive.
"I think that is a shame and there is more that needs to be done over the next year to make sure we include our all young people."

Yes, absolutely. But how do we do it? I'm not sure, but I'm certain it isn't this:
Earlier this month it was announced 2,000 people aged 16 and 18 were being sought to help out at the Games alongside the 70,000 adult volunteers.

A separate scheme will create young ambassadors from across the country whose challenge will be to help increase participation in sport and physical education.

Other school programmes include lessons in entrepreneurial skills, citizenship, healthy lifestyles and the Paralympics.

Oh, Jesus. Really?
So, you're after two thousand kids to 'help out'? I'm guessing they'll get the job no-one else wants. I'll guarantee you this, you'll not see a 16 year old showing the VIPs to their seats in the royal box for the opening ceremony. Before the men's 100m final starts you'll not see a 17 year old stood behind the blocks collecting the kit or manning the little warning markers they put up for a false start. Unless these kids know they stand a fighting chance of getting some of the good stuff, they ain't going to be interested.
Then we get on to 'Young Ambassadors'. I'm always naturally hostile towards anyone who is nominated as an ambassador if they don't work at an actual embassy. You want to know who'll get into that gig? I'll tell you, it will be the kids doing their politics and sociology A-levels who want to go to Uni to do their politics degrees who can then go into the party machineries. You're breeding the next generation of party drones.
And for those who don't have the wit or inclination to be part of the machinery? The citizenship lessons and health nazi bullying.
This isn't a global sporting event, this is social engineering.
Still, only 380 or so days until it is over. 

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