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09 July 2012 @ 02:17 pm
The Olympic Torch  
On the 24th June the Olympic torch went past the end of our road - admittedly at 7.30am which was not entirely civilised for a Sunday morning. However in the name of small-children-present we dragged ourselves up and stood with a small crowd.

One of our neighbours thoughtfully took a photo and then, photoshopped other neighbours who were standing on his side of the road onto the other side of the road in order to capture the spirit if not the reality of the occasion:

I think the torchbearer is Muaaz Khan who apparently had a kidney transplant at the age of 10 and now works with children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I wasn't actually aware of the torch relay's connection with Hitler but it was an event, much like the Royal Wedding and Jubilee about which I had somewhat ambivalent feelings. I hope, if I'd actually bothered to think about it properly, I'd have come to conclusions similar to this thoughtful post on the use of ritual in modern public life.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/72679.html.
Mayrain_sleet_snow on July 9th, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
The Hitler Olympics fill me with ~feelings about state propaganda, bread & circuses, and so on and so forth. (The last primary school I went to, the Headmaster - a gentleman universally known as the Colonel - had been called upon to translate for Hitler as a 20-something army officer who had taken a couple of Blues and bust his Olympic hopes in a skiing accident, and apparently took a violent dislike to him. The Colonel had a very powerful personality. I hope he made the Fuhrer's life as difficult in 1936 as he did in 1939-1945). But I do think the relay is a great way to share the actual physical presence of part of the Olympic Games with a lot of people who might not otherwise come within a mile of it, and that using it to recognise people like Muaaz Khan is a great idea.
louisedennislouisedennis on July 9th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
It's been interesting seeing photos of the torch relay popping up all over my flist for the past few weeks. Suggested that it's having its intended effect which doesn't appear to be a bad thing!
adaeseadaese on July 9th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
I hadn't planned to see the torch, but did plan a trip to Cornwall with a Californian cousin of mine, and when she found out we were going to be there the day the torch started its relay, she wanted to see it. I was very impressed with the sense of community spirit - the torch was preceded by a procession of local children's sports groups, brownies / scouts etc, and local sporting heroes. It also became something of a running joke that wherever we went, the town put the bunting out for our arrival (apart from that one day, we were fairly consistently one day ahead of the torch).
louisedennislouisedennis on July 9th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
There wasn't much of a procession when I saw it (apart from the sponsorship vans) but then it was 7.30am on a Sunday morning! But quite a lot of the neighbours were out to see it and the children were very excited by the whole thing.
adaeseadaese on July 9th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
It was the very first day, so no doubt got a lot of extra attention. The crowd-handling was very well done - whenever things got quiet, stiltwalkers or jugglers came along and distracted people (the crowds had started building up a couple of hours before the torch itself came through).
fififolle: Ben Miller - thermometerfififolle on July 9th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
That's very early in the morning! I agree with the post you linked to, it seems churlish not to pop to the end of the road *g* Personally, I was smitten with the Samsung bus and want one :D Also, police bikes. What's not to like?
louisedennislouisedennis on July 10th, 2012 07:53 am (UTC)
I'm not surprised you like the police bikes - but the Samsung bus? Maybe we were put out since they were only giving freebies away to people on the other side of the road to us.
fififolle: Mark Wakeling - grumpfififolle on July 10th, 2012 07:59 am (UTC)
All I got was a ribbon on a stick from Lloyds - only thing a bank has ever given me?? LOL. I was desperately disappointed not to get a long blue Samsung sausage *g* But I did think the massive TV on the side was wicked :D