So yesterday the Olympic torch came to Aberystwyth.
I can’t remember why I went to go and see the Olympic torch because by time it actually got into Aberystwyth I didn’t care and would’ve gone home if I’d had to wait any longer. It was late, because someone had seemed to forget that it takes at least forty minutes to get from Aberaeron to Aberystwyth by bus, without stopping off in two villages to run for a mile.
As it turns out, whoever was in charge of organising the event in Aberystwyth couldn’t organise a party in a brewery (or any other more impolite versions of that saying). Basically, they could’ve come and punched us all in the face and it would’ve been better. Mostly there was just sitting in a field listening to rubbish, and adverts. And at other points very little. Whoever did the sound needs a good kick in the pants too.
The presenter, who we were supposed to cheer for as he came on but we didn’t even know who he was, couldn’t say Aberystwyth properly, even though he could speak Welsh; which I found a bit odd. Then it became apparent that of everyone his pronunciation of Aberystwyth was the best. He tried to get us excited about David Beckham, but in a country where a) we prefer rugby and b) we don’t like England, trying to get us even moderately interested in an ex-England footballer was never going to be a winning idea. We could here him clearly enough though, but as soon as the school choir started to perform we could barely hear anything they were saying/singing/performing.
We were a bit sedate for perhaps what they were expecting all round. There was a DJ, (a ‘famous‘ one, but no necessarily a good one), who played 15 seconds worth of songs (royalty-free) and the bass was so loud it actually churned up my stomach. I wasn’t at the front you know, we were some way back. He was there with Twist and Podge, who were actually called Twist and Pulse I think, and were there not to dance (like they are ‘famous’ for) but to sell us phones. For twenty minutes. I think there was dancing, I sat down again when I realised they were just shills for a phone company. Twist and Podge rambled on about the Olympics for a minute, tried to sell us some phones and did something that might’ve been dancing to music that had the bass turned up so loud it made it incomprehensible.
Besides the kids at the beginning and end (who performed again after the flame was lit and two-thirds of the audience had left), there was the bare minimum of Welshness about the event. No Wales flags, bar the one my fiancé had bought the day before in Aberaeron (where the torch was carried by a girl on a Welsh cob horse). Things were said in Welsh and English by the presenter, but it didn’t really bring the Olympics to Wales, or to Aberystwyth, the entire event just tried to sell us stuff.
I mean pole dancing, really? Croeso Cymru pawb.
Okay so Kids In Glass Houses were good and from Wales (but still couldn’t say Aberystwyth properly) and I do like their music and I enjoyed that. Plus the little kids I saw seemed to be enjoying themselves, but they had all had free fizzy drinks full of caffeine and were given inflatables by the phone company to hit each other with.
The flame was cool to see, and seeing the cauldron being lit, but it wasn’t the experience it should’ve been. The presenter insisted we were now a part of history, but I was insulted, my friend was offended and the field it was held in was covered in ‘freebies’ from the companies that eighty percent of the crowd had left lying on the grass. I didn’t feel like this was a history I wanted to be part of; history is made up of good and bad, and this, this was not good.