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Olympia Mild Hysteria

July 31, 2012



In 2010(ish) Europeans were surveyed regarding who they thaught was the most significant British person ever: Shakespeare you’d imagine. No? Isaac Newton? Steven Hawking? Winston Churchill? Still No? Ok, erm… Jon Lennon? That dude who invented the world wide web? David Bowie even? Still no? Hmm…

Well the results came in and this is it, the most significant British person ever, drumroll… Mr Bean. Of course.

I guess Mr Bean’s market appeal as an export is that he doesn’t speak and therefore you don’t need to understand English to enjoy his capers. But most significant Brit ever? I watched the Olympic ceremony in a bar in Thailand at 4am after rather a lot of beer and by a significant measure the biggest cheers and whoops of the night, screw James Bond and the Queen, belonged to Mr Bean who inspires international joy and hysteria to rival the Beatles. Mai Pen Rai.

I love the concept of the Olympics but rarely the reality too much, people bang on about who placed where endlessly and it bores me to tears. I also don’t like the point-scoringly political aspect of the modern Olympics and the way that it’s funding is left solely to the host nation, regardless of whether that nation is able to afford it (Athens?). Plus, the word medal is not a verb. Anyway, the things I don’t like about the Olympics is a blog for another day and a worse mood.

My local bar has taken to showing it constantly and it’s great to cheer along with the Thais. They are all very proud of the fact that last night Thailand won the bronze for female weight-lifting, astonishing considering Thailand is known for tiny people! Yes this is a woman:

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 31, 2012 4:11 pm

    I have left a reply before, but it seems to have been lost in the ether, so I will try again.
    I am delighted that British culture is so much appreciated. It is interesting that the Europeans were so keen on Mr Bean, as in the 2002 survey of the greatest Brits by the Brits, he did not rank in the first 100.
    As to the opening ceremony I would also be interested to find out how it was received by non-Brits, above and beyond the joy created by Mr Bean.
    I must admit that I am a little concerned to hear that the corporate games are causing such interest around you. Apart from flying half way across the planet to see you, we were hoping to escape as much of it as possible. The fact that someone here can complain about an athletes’ failure to get a gold (having ONLY got a silver) and not even mention who and which country did is putting my blood pressure up. The Olympic spirit is well and truly dead here, with a total fixation on what we do, or more accurately what we fail to do.
    Sporting matters aside, I do think that the opening ceremony was well done and that we are pretty good at putting on a show.

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