Wednesday 6 July 2005


So, London's won the Olympic bid. Easy to say this now, of course, but I thought they would. Paris is a grossly overrated city, still cunningly hawking its own propaganda from the last time it was in any way romantic, circa 1927. City of romance? City of dogshit and prostitutes, more like. I'm not a big fan of London, but it is considerably nicer than Paris. The IOC presumably actually visited Paris, thought "Hang on: this isn't the place we saw in that Truffaut film. No, I don't want to buy a crappy beaded handbag; go away. What's that smell? Please stop shouting at me," picked London, and spent a few weeks claiming that Paris was a real contender so as not to stoke any of that dangerous Gallic ire.

(OK, to be fair, La Defence is fantastic; one of the greatest pieces of city-centresque business-district-type developments ever. And it's about as representative of Paris as Pollokshields is of Ulaanbaatar.)

Anyway, so now we're stuck with a colossal waste of our money, but I can't say I'm that bothered. Anyone who thinks that Our Beloved Government weren't going to waste a colossal amount of our money if London hadn't won the bid is a cretin, and probably smells of Paris.

And can Londoners please stop going on about how wonderful it is that their aged decrepit terribly awful public transport will finally get the investment it so desperately needs, so that they can expect a tube every minute instead of every two minutes? London has the best public transport in the UK by a mile. No, please don't tell me about the Northern Line again. I've been on the Northern Line many a time, and it's far far better than what most of Britain gets. As are London's other tube lines, buses, and trains. Anyone who thinks London transport needs more investment should get out of the bloody city for once in their lives and try using the public transport in Leeds or Glasgow or Manchester or somewhere. Londoners, you don't know how lucky you are. Oh, and you're all wankers.

David Beckham said the other day that one of the great things about London getting the bid would be that a generation of young Britons, seeing the games in their own country, would be extra-inspired to take up sports and become champions. This might have been true in the 1950s, but is probably bollocks now, thanks to the recent amazing breakthroughish invention of the televisual picture-box magic reception device, of which David may have heard. Roger Federer says that he was inspired to take up tennis by seeing Becker win Wimbledon for the first time. Federer isn't the same nationality as either Becker or Wimbledon and wasn't actually anywhere near Wimbledon at the time, but was able to watch the match from afar, almost as if the images were being electronically encoded, transmitted in the form of electro-magnetic radiation, and decoded by a machine in Federer's house. London isn't a particularly convenient destination for most of the UK, so I reckon most Britons will watch the Olympics in much the same way. That's not to say they won't be inspired by the events; just that they won't be much more inspired than they would have been watching the same games take place in... well, OK, not Paris, but somewhere nice. I wonder how many of the players by whom Beckham was inspired he saw play live? I know sod all about football, but I'd be willing to bet (for chocolate money only) that Beckham was inspired by, among other things, George Best and the bloody 1966 England World Cup Victory, and he only ever saw them on telly. Then again, maybe he has a point, in some way that I can't be bothered defining.

Oh sod it. I'm not that interested in any of this, you know.

So, anyway, yeah, Olympics, London, eh? Does this mean we have to put up with seven years of hype? I suspect so.

I'll stop now.

No comments: