London's Honour: An Olympics So Modern and Remembered

You Britons, you Celts, you English lads and lasses, gentlemen and gentle women, and your mighty cousins from across what we all lightly call the Pond, but which Drake and Raleigh and Hornblower and Cook knew to be a mighty sea, gather around, you happy billion.

Years from now, when you skype your grandchildren, you can tell them—and show them on YouTube—that you were there, when Britain and America rose to great heights, when the crown and all our Londoners, and merry men and women along with our cousins shone like a billion stars at an Olympiad unmatched in the history of Olympiads because those who spoke the English tongue, and those who spoke American with all its discursive magic were the stars in the firmament here thanks be to selective television coverage.

Though presumptive American president Mitt Romney questioned our resolve, we showed him, although he had gone to Israel and Poland and did not see his wife’s horse do dressage, which was sad.

Years from now, we will tell tales of courage, glam, great deeds and flips, and heroics aquatics, of dazzling speed, and wheelies, of batons passed cleanly, and of battles on the beaches with bikinis and you could tell of the night when the queen did fly and the corgies did not.

The names and videos shall resound around the campfire of the world internet, familiar as household words resound again (and in instant replay again still and on Facebook still again): McCartney, and a lot of Harry in the nightclubs, and Phelps in the water, and a flying squirrel astonishing to behold except to fashion critics, we shall talk of the Bolt, and the tall, Guinevere-like dolphin named Missy, and the fabulous millionaires of basketball weeping in triumph at having vanquished the Spaniards. We shall wade again through a sea of tears, of silver medal winners—second place to you, bub—and bronze medal winners—seriously?—and those who did not win at all, who we admired for their spirits to their face and on television, but called losers behind their backs, because, well, they did not win.

Watch again as Britons—including, of course, the Scots—won more medals and gold than ever won by Britons, except for the ransom of noble French prisoners at Agincourt. Remember the mighty leader of London named Boris—seriously?—taunting the world with the spectacles that were staged in our fair city by the Thames.

Remember where you were when, like Ladies of the Lake of old, like Made Marians, there arose from their urban chariots Posh, Ginger, Sporty, Baby and Scary (indeed, and still), spicy very much so, and George of the Michael claimed Freedom for us hearty, irreverent of souls, and thousands yelled, and the ghost of the Lennon arose in the night and we imagined and wept, and the unforgettable Jessie J exhorted us to dance, some of us did, and some of us, sadder and wiser and sitting down did not.

He—and she—that did live those 17 days of the London Olympiad and survived shall never forget what was done here, and will count those days as a treasure and remember Paul Ryan singing “I Am the Walrus”—or was it another dark balladier?—for Ryan was ever present during that time. Yet Who did strive on, in the very final act, to see, feel and inspire another generation?

All of us, we few, we happy few billion, we connected on tape delay band of brothers shall always remember the London Olympics.

But for now: Whom will the Nationals play tonight? Where is this knight named Robert? And did I hear that Jennifer Aniston is now fully engaged?

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Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:35:13 -0500

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