Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Old Lie

Jonathan Ross once tweeted,  when he was still on The BBC's film programme , in reply to a 'fan' who told him on Twitter that he should stop , it was boring,  " I'd just watch something else if I were you "

The trouble is , I suspect that from the 24th July onwards,  there will be precious little on TV to watch apart from the Olympics. I quite like sport but in small doses . I resent the over-blown commercial nature of the Games and the fact that every poster I've seen to date, depicts an air brushed super-model in some form of lycra. Can't sports men and women just look normal ? Fit by all means but normal.

Every Sunday glossy magazine has a bunch of Team GB glamour girls done up to the nines in evening wear and killer heels. is it not enough for school children to try their hardest at running, jumping , throwing and catching without having to look as if they've just entered a beauty contest ? And god forbid if you can't run a triathlon or two before teatime without breaking into a sweat. That would imply that we just aren't competing hard enough or are is some way , grossly inadequate.

When I was about 9 or 10 , as soon as Wimbledon came on the telly , all of us would be out in the street knocking about a few balls with our trusty Dunlop Maxplys. That wouldn't cut the mustard these days. If you hadn't been enrolled into tennis camp by the time you were 5 , or been spotted by a tennis scout for Junior Wimbledon by the age of 8, you'd be deemed a write-off. It's all about being better , stronger and sadly angrier . You only have to look at the furious and contorted grimaces of some of the tennis players these days as they score another point against their opponents, to notice that their demeanor is more that of a gladiator , fist triumphant in the air , the sniff of victory in their nostrils, rather than that of a conscientious sportsman. And as for all that grunting on court ... oh please.

And since when did MacDonalds and Coca Cola have anything to do with a healthy diet such as might be promoted in the pursuit of sport ? It really is all about money , nothing more and nothing less ... oh and being better than everyone else at the expense of true sportsmanship. When Rupert Murdoch can pay £3 billion pounds just to show Premier League football for 3 years, then you know the world truly has gone mad. Doubtless that could write off a sizeable chunk of third world debt, releasing millions from a life of poverty and disease but no , lets spend it on fueling the millionaire footballers lifestyles ... after all their WAGS can never have enough handbags. Don't get me started.  

So I'm afraid I've turned into a grumpy old woman with regards to this Olympic nonsense . At the risk of offending sports fanatics, I've written a poem , which anyone studying English Lit for GCSE will immediately recognise. With apologies to Wilfred Owen .... 

Spent double , like old suckers, over-taxed
Squeezed dry,  coughing up like saps, we cursed through drudge,
Till on the telly we turned our backs
And towards our PCs began to trudge
Politicians droned on, many had lost their wits
But carried on, regardless, regurgitating spin 
Drunk with fatigue , deaf to their endless drivel 
About “The greatness of The Olympic Spirit”
Tickets ! Tickets ! Quick boys , they’re on the internet,
Filling in the clumsy forms , but not in time
Someone was still desperately fumbling for the synchronised swimming
Flound’ring like a man posessed
Dim through the misty screen and tawdry 2012 logo
As if under a spell, I saw him paying thousands.
In all my dreams, with wallet open
He plunges at me , greed infested whining
If you too could see, on the Olympic site
The pathetic goading of self interested, hyped celebrity
of being proud to be a part of this scandalous hoax
And watch his credit card ignite with debt
His gloating face , pound signs rolling in his eyes, 
If you could fathom how thousands for a seat at
some indulgent Opening Ceremony farce can be accepted,
Whilst half the world lies dying of starvation
Obscene consumerism at its worst 
And in the name, supposedly, of sport
Of vile corporate hospitality and MacDonalds sponsorship
Thinly disguised as ‘ uniting a nation’
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate Wayne Rooney style glory
The Old Lie : Dulce et decorum est pecuniam donare quam perdere caritatem et salute *
* Roughly Translates as “ It is good and fitting to waste your money instead of saving lives by donating to charity

1 comment:

  1. Love it! You are such a star Claire, there's nothing like a healthy dose of cynicism doused with a lot of humour. I've had a great laugh. More please!