|Started at the top, and it never came down.|
Sometime last year, I stopped believing in magic. I am not talking about Uri Gellar’s bullshit spoon bending, or Paul Daniels pulling a live chicken from his arse. I refer to the idea life can throw moments at the human race (whether in singular form, small groups, or – on the rarest of occasions, entire generations), so powerful, they take away the stupid perception any of us are actually any different, and unite our species; if only for a moment of global clarity.
Maybe writing burned me out. Perhaps I had spent too long in dark places with dark people. Or possibly an immature past had caught my tail – it didn’t really matter. All I knew was for those past fifteen months, the ability to see humans as, well, human – in many ways the core of humanity, had escaped from my heart. If anyone has ever lived within this solitary confinement, I need not explain there is no worse kind of feeling, than feeling nothing whatsoever.
Three weeks ago I was waiting for the Olympic Games to roll into my hometown. The negative comments by the media never fazed me. The possibility of Team GB choking was not a worry either. And any difficulties in transport of weather were all a portion of life in London; the Olympics would have to put up with it. All in all, I expected a base interest, a few medals, and a personal feeling of satisfaction in at least seeing London take the Games on; my only sadness, the knowledge I may not get to the Olympics – due to the immense level of ticket sales.
As the early days passed, a euphoric wind of change was starting to blow across the UK; people were smiling, clouds were disappearing, and Team Great Britain – who teased us all with four Goldless days, were actually delivering the goods. Medals - many covered in Gold, came around like London buses; Wiggins, Pendleton, Ennis, Ainslee (a personal favourite), to name a few. By the time Andy Murray won Wimbledon Gold against Roger Federer, success was bordering on ridiculous. Another seven days of triumph, equalling over two weeks of the media printing nothing but positivity, and this little Island in the North-West of Europe was in raptures. The negative doomsayers noted the shallow nature of the support, but it didn’t matter; for magic is not about depth, it is about the power it affects those it touches – and in differing ways, it touched us all in a land Pope John Paul II once described as “devoid of miracles”.
During this period, we were the focal point of the world’s eyes; showing them a sight which encapsulated not only everything which put the Great into Great Britain, but displayed a reality how the human race are capable of making its own form of magic; when they lower the iron guard created by the few, and remember the only true enemy lies not in remembering we are different from one another, but in forgetting we are all exactly one and the same. When millions of Brits cheer a citizen once arrived as a Somalian immigrant, and no one even considers his heritage a factor, it is a form of majestic poetry, firmly in motion. As for the British, we had regained a self-confidence destroyed by a decade of reality TV, Chav culture, patronising media, riots, and a loss of national identity born from all these elements.
London 2012 is over now, and life will go on. The media will return to printing negative garbage pertaining to life in Great Britain; promoting a fantasy they are speaking for a nation, as opposed to the reality of continuing a culture of fear, in order to remain slaves to the notion of personal ambition. The rain will strike us once again, trains will be late, traffic will be noisy and annoying, the England Football Team will lose, Politicians will patronise, and Morissey will piss and moan purely for the sake of it. But I will never forget those glorious sixteen days, lost in the summer of 2012. I thought I would never make the Olympics, but I never needed to. It’s warm glow, passionate energy, and magical essence, came to all of us in London, in England, and the whole of Great Britain. If the Games were a virus, we were all struck down with a ubiquitous fever. It is a virus I never want to be cured from, but have to accept cannot last forever; I expect it to strike Rio in August 2016 - the Brazilians, like us, will deserve it just as much as we did.
The Paralympics begin in a couple of weeks. Our nation will attempt to recreate the events of the past month, but it will feel false and contrived – and we will not say this with words, but know it in feeling. For this is both the beauty and frustration with real magic; it cannot be created, nor can it be replicated. And once it is over, only will you know just how truly magical it was. I guess, in many ways, this is a metaphor for life itself; a form of magic, we forget actually is. Once more, I truly believe in magic; Uri Gellar’s spoon bending, however, is still a crock of shit.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my Olympic Files; I hope you enjoyed my musings and bullshit...