B Is For Bolt
Eyewear was in the Olympic Stadium last night for the greatest show on earth - Usain Bolt's run into history, as world's fastest man, redux. First, let me say that if Britain was run like the Olympics we would all be better off - it was efficient, uniformly friendly, and upbeat. Britain isn't broken, it just needs to rise to the occasion which it is doing for these games, splendidly. Secondly, let me note that poetry is not as great as sport. Hearing and seeing 80,000 people erupt in joy after Bolt ran is a corrective to the notion that poems just need to be clearer, or rhyme, or be in traditional forms, or funny, to "win an audience". No, to win an audience these days, one needs to genuinely enthral, thrill and impress, with something astounding. There is no sense of cheap faux celebrity about Bolt. The greatness is in the doing, and the deed is heroic. Finally, on the subject of Bolt's authenticity - God, let's hope there's no doping involved, as with Canada's Ben. The world may be in severe crisis financially, and politically, and environmentally, but we can still dream and cheer. It would be splendid to know that what we are cheering is the Real Thing.