Sunday, 29 July 2012

Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises...

ALERT: a public display of patriotism is about to take place. Shield your eyes, wee and impressionable folk.

The Olympics opening ceremony inspired me to clarify how I really feel about my own country. Having suffered from a case of wanderlust from a tender age, I have never felt a true sense of patriotism. Nevertheless, reading back over my thread of tweets from Friday evening I was appalled to find I’d morphed into a monstrous drooling, brainwashed CHAUVINIST*: quips such as “Urghhh america does NOT rule the waves I tell you! #rule Britannia” can be found lurking amongst my more defiant messages of outrage at the MET’s Critical Mass arrests.

I have been apprehensive about the future effect of London 2012, not least; the financial burden it might unleash – Greece is living proof that an economic boost is not guaranteed. But for what it’s worth, Danny Boyle and London 2012 have undoubtedly managed to ‘inspire a generation’: not solely in sport (my own bum will forever remain comfortably glued to this sofa) but in remembering that we’ve all got a part to play. Symbolic of this, were Boyle’s use of ordinary citizens rather than expert dancers and actors, and his granting of the cauldron lighting honour to this generation’s most promising athletes.

Danny Boyle did Britain bloody proud, especially those of us sitting smugly in the left-wing spectrum: I was pleased to see the glorification of the NHS, the CND, multiculturalism, the industrial revolution, the suffragettes, the evolution of social media, and London’s hip-hop scene. Everything I personally hold close to my red, white and blue core was showcased to the world. It made me shamelessly proud of my country and the British people. In a nutshell, Boyle artfully presented the humorous and eccentric face of modern London that is so different to the traditional image of monarchy, bowler hats and tea. I salute him.

My contempt for the British political system was also given a well-deserved slap. Whilst our politicians are, for the most part, total slimeballs (ironically exemplified during the ceremony by Aidan Burley, MP for Cannock Chase, with his insensitive tweet: "Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap...") it was a fairly poignant moment when I was prompted by a fellow tweeter to “try counting up how many of these countries are actively killing their own citizens right now”. Indeed, the “bigger picture” question for me that evening was: what is the weight of a biased electoral system in comparison to the daily, brutal massacre of hundreds of innocent men, women and children?

My mum was convinced Kenneth Branagh was Bradley Wiggins...Can't blame her really

This moment just ROCKED.

*Readers: if this confuses you, familiarise yourself with the original meaning of this word... i implore you

© Francesca Ebel D-504 blog