Monday, 7 April 2008

At last some good news!

I've just read that the Olympic flame had to be extinguished no fewer than three times today, thanks to the presence of dozens of pro-Tibetan protestors in the French capital. This is the best piece of news I have heard in a long time. (I'm just wondering how long before the Illuminoids decide to stage the Olympics and/or World Cup in Israel. Now that would be interesting.) A vox-pop from the Evening Standard made me chuckle. Poor Hoffen He, 27, a Chinese student living in London, who described the presence of anti-Chinese demonstrators as 'stressful.' "Everybody has a free right to make their point," said He, "but they do things like that and it meant we could not see the torch." (Aww, diddums.)

I was also interested to see that the symbolic 'final resting place' of the Olympic torch- on its London leg- was none other than the O2 Arena, the former Millenium Dome, in Greenwich. Here the IOC installed their magic cauldron for Dame Kelly Holmes to ignite. Very interestingly, the torch was also made to pass by St Paul's Cathedral, closely associated, of course, with Freemasonry and Zionism; and was then taken by open-top bus up the Whitechapel Road to Stratford, as a nod to the importance of that particular site to the London games in four years time. Its next stop- on the Docklands Light Railway- was Canary Wharf, somewhere we have mentioned several times on this blog; before being taken to Greenwich (around a famously meandering stretch of the River Thames) by boat; passing the Old Naval College- now Greenwich University- in the process.

(Its starting point, fittingly, was the new Wembley Stadium: whose giant Masonic arch is a familiar addition to the Brent skyline. This was built over the wreckage of the old Wembley- the Empire Stadium: with its White Horse and twin towers; the destruction of which, in 2003, corresponded with unerring accuracy to the events of 911.)

These games, of course, were always going to be a nauseating spectacle. From the official slogan- 'One World. One Dream'- to the 'Happy Man' insignia, apparently borrowed from secular humanism, this Olympiad seems designed to showcase the lighter side of one of the world's most barbaric regimes; and America's new-best-friend.

3 comments:

Glasgow Greensmoke said...

For once I'm not sure I entirely agree with you Ben, old chap. At least on people trying to disrupt the torch procession as being a good thing. Call me a romantic but I feel the Ancient Greek tradition of everyone having safe passage from their home to the games during the Olympiad no matter their nationality or political beliefs etc, even in times of total war, is a noble and honorable gesture of universal respect for human kind. I find it sad that thousands of years later we appear to have taken a step back toward hateful intolerance and condemnation. Yes China may be a hideous totalitarian nightmare (I don't know for sure, I've never been there, for all I know China could be a made up country) but hey, 'the west' fares no better under close examination.

However, on the significance of the route, the symbolic nature of the torch, the close proximity of the blue peter badge etc. I'm sure you are spot on and have a lot more to tell us.

I only just found out that Greenwich was the industrial estate responsible for producing the UK's plate armour in the middle ages. Also that the Isle of Dogs declared itself an independent nation state in the 1970s.

And again I am reminded of the Watkin's Tower, which stood on the Wembley site prior to the stadium construction.

Ben Fairhall said...

I'm sure you're right, GG. I will admit I was in a fairly rotten mood when I wrote that first paragraph, which accounts for the dark endorsement of disorder.

Yes, the route of the flame is highly symbolic... and I thank you for these additional pointers. I will be returning to the subject of Greenwich, the City, Southwark, St Mary Ovarie, etc, in the future.

All the best,
Ben

wise woman said...

I'm kinda with Ben on this, I believe he talks of the frenzied hype of the flame & not the deeds of protestors.
A flame that is lit and carried with the nobility of the human spirit in mind would be great. The symbolism attached to this flame does not seem to be connected to such an ideal.

I was in Sydney last year for the marathon, I didn't so much see a race, as a meltdown past symbolic monuments.