Friday, 31 August 2012

Paralympic conundrums

The Paralympics are a bloody nightmare that are destroying the very definition of what is and isn't acceptable in this country. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what's commonly considered to be a highly unpopular sentence. And with good cause. It is however, awkwardly, true.

Now, put your pitch forks down, and stop burning my effigy. Again. It's making a horrible mess, and you're making yourselves look like fundamentalist window lickers.

Allow me instead, to explain.

The Paralympics are brilliant. Never before have I genuinely been so staggered and impressed by the strength of character, talent, and sheer will power and determination displayed by such a remarkable group of people. They are literally making me feel like a weaker person, chained down by my own various inhibitions (fucking Wasps!), that mean less than nothing compared to what each of them has achieved. Sure, I've lived through other Paralympics, but given that they've been a) nowhere near as popular over here, and b) in other countries (which largely explains 'a' to the British public, but we all seem to have forgotten that in a wave of national pride), I've never really paid much attention. Which, incidentally, is exactly the same stick we're embarrassingly attempting to beat the Americans with in some kinda of surreal exercise in guilt tripping a nation thousands of miles away into agreeing with us on everything.

Pot, meet kettle, now comment on each others colour.

None of this though cuts to the heart of the matter as to why the Paralympics is screwing with us as a nation. But when you're sitting there cheering on ParalympicsGB, just like me (remember that, pitchfork lovers), while quietly hoping our athlete's nearest competitor falls over to secure us a medal, remember, what you're actually doing is secretly hoping that someone with some life changing injury/illness, who has over come massive amounts of adversity, fails miserably in their quest to prove that nothing can stand in their way.

Now how do you feel?

It used to be so easy, you'd get up in the morning, get on with your life, and try not to be a total arse. Not any more. Two weeks of national pride from the Olympics, and we've all raced headlong into Paralympic excitement, and discovered that when it boils down to it, we're really complete and utter gits.

And don't even think about saying something like 'well, in the end they're all winners' as that'll just make you a patronizing bastard.

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