National Pride

The Olympics seems to be finishing up, at least until the Paras kick off in a few weeks. I can tell because the stadium is particularly noisy tonight, and lots of humans are swarming out of the train station, presumably off to Victoria Park to watch the closing ceremony on giant screens. One of the helicopters is back, circling noisily above,  but it's nothing like that first night on July 27th, or the 5 nights previous, when Hackney Wick felt like a Vietnam movie.

People ask me often what it's like living next to The Olympic stadium, expecting tales of madness and frivolity and brushes with celebrities and things of that nature, but there hasn't been much to report, apart from those Yankee chaplins I met the other week. The organisers have done a very good job of making it so that everybody enters the stadium via the massive Westfield, their great big fuck off Church Of Consumption, and goes nowhere near we locals. Most of them won't even see old Stratford, the traffic is routed so firmly. I sold some Fuck The Olympics shirts to a local shopkeeper last week, who told me about the hundreds of thousands of shoppers she was told by local authorities to expect, and how when it came down to it there was actually less footfall than usual, as people had been scared into staying home and not going anywhere near this part of London for fear of being stampeded or killed by snipers.

From those that read newspapers and watch television, I hear rumours of a shift in the national mood, but I haven't personally noticed any change in the attitudes of the humans I speak to. People seem much the same. Maybe its because I take the time to talk to people while I'm on the train or in the Post Office queue or wherever, regardless of what's going on in the area of Sporting Events Occult Mega Rituals, but I find that folks are usually pretty nice, friendly, and a lot more cheerful than you'd expect people living in a police state to be.

Perhaps the biggest difference round these parts has been Stratford Station itself, which has had its interior wallpapered with McDonalds murals and logos, and the outside covered in a gigantic bank advert. A one way system has been set up inside, and a number of stairways closed down, making traversing the place something of a Krypton Challenge, and there are fat bald men in fluorescent orange flack jackets at the mouth of the platform erecting similarly hued plastic gates to stop people running for trains as they're about to depart and barking unintelligible gibberish through bullhorns. Outside the front of station, the area I have inaffectionatly called The Hellmouth since that obscenity of a Westfield opened up last september, representatives of seemingly every religion on earth scream and holler and hustle, waving ominous placards and making rude and outlandish proclamations. "YOU'LL REMBER MY FACE WHEN YOU GET TO HELL!" raged one lost soul at a hundred or so of us funneled into some plastic fences as we tried to cross a road.

Amidst them soldiers mill about, as do "tit-headed" (as an old lady on the train laughed this afternoon) British polices armed with disproportionately huge and ridiculous weaponry, while poorly disguised undercover American agency types with massive forearms and Matrix sunglasses  stride backwards and forwards, repeatedly shoulder barging the "Team Muslim" representatives and snarling at the flower vendors. It isn't a very pleasant scene, if I am being honest. I suppose that makes me a negative nancy.

Being shouted at, being intimidated, being made to feel an unwelcome inconvenience in my own home. Having that home vandalised by poisoners and thieves and swine. These are the things I will remember about the XXX Olympiad. But then, I didn't watch any TV or read any newspapers. So if there has been a national mood change, then the propagandists and social engineers must be doing their jobs well.

Anyway. I just looked out my window to see what's making this new bull-horn-sounding racket, only to see a fresh wave of humans streaming out of the station, amongst them some bright orange ladies in union jack dresses. Apparently a reformed Spice Girls are playing this closing ceremony. They must be very happy to be living under Tory occupation once more, for all the difference it makes. I think I'm getting that "deja vu" thingy. Last time I remember seing so many union jacks around the place was just before we invaded Iraq. Energy flows where attention goes," as someone said on that amazing mixtape I dropped last Thursday. I wonder what our custodians plan to do with all this "national pride".