LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
29 July 2012
All Together Now

Lizzie Armistead won the first Team GB medal after a thrilling road cycling
race: oil on the track, grit on the face, punctures, piles ups, torrential rains,
lightening. A shame so few people bothered to show up to support her - aside
from those close to the finish line. "We're here waiting for
women cyclists?
Really? Why?"

Two hours before the race there wasn't a single supporter on the route. Not
one. When the men ran the route it was sardine-packed on a lovely sunny day.
As we know, Mark Cavendish came in medal-less coming in at 29th. The
women's team have no sponsors.

Meanwhile the place to be was where men in metaphoric raincoats could enjoy
pert bottoms bending over and bouncing in skimpy bikinis in sand. Clearly the
ultimate of all Olympic sports.  It's been wink, wink, nudge, nudge since 1996.
This year we had leg-kicking nubile beauties 'dancing' in bathing costumes - to
'excite' the crowd? Who exactly makes these decisions? Sponsors with bulging
wallets and their hands down their pants. Sad. In rather severe contrast, their
male counterparts wear totally baggy, loose fitting knee-length shorts and
voluminous vests. Who exactly makes these decisions? Visa and Coca-Cola?

I love Danny Boyle, I love Jerusalem, I love the NHS, I love sheep. But perhaps
a bit more homage to innovation and a bit less of narrative nostalgia? But then
again, it may have been the last time we could collectively reflect considering
the Tory driven obsession with privatising absolutely everything their small
minds can plot. But lest we forget Britain has shown the way, been at the
forefront, changed the world in all areas: humour, art, architecture, advertising,
music, multi-culturalism, fashion, film, pageantry, science, sport, education,
exploration, evolution,engineering, technology, theatre, television,
code-breaking, computer science, comedy, culture, design, literature,
language lighting, law to list a few. Ah. Isles of Wonder.

The pyrotechnics and the films were creative, fantastic, stunning. All that
dancing around and that ipod relationship - not so dazzling. Ooh - and Sir Paul.
Please someone tell him he cannot sing. Augh. And why Hey Jude, other than
the fact that he wrote it. But he wrote it for Julian when John left Cynthia for
Yoko - so how is it appropriate for the opening ceremony? 'Hey Jude, don't be
afraid, you were made to go out and get her. The minute you let her under your
skin, then you begin to make it better.' Huh? 'Na na na, na na, na na na na
yeah'... no.

Don't forget. If you do get one of those empty seats and you get a bit peckish,
you can only pay with your Visa card. Corporate fascism? Surely not.          
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