The London Olympics are off to a start in a blaze of light and noise and inconvenience for anyone who happens to live even remotely near them. Not even in the Blitz, it is said, were Londoners subjected to so many restrictions on their movement, or to so many unelected and unaccountable petty fascists pushing them around and telling them, in the name of "security", what they cannot do and where they cannot go. Those Australians who have not had the dubious fortune of finding themselves in the midst of this meretricious babel of aggressive competitiveness and shameless squandering of public money can now settle back in front of their plasma screens and look forward to an orgy of commentorial whingeing whenever one of our national representatives fails to win all the gold medals in whatever category his or her (sometimes at the Olympics this is not clear) palaestric abilities are deployed.
Alternatively, stay-at-homes regretting not having made the pilgrimage to London can book now for a box seat at the Burchett Hill Olympics later this month. Though necessarily on a restricted scale compared with the London version, the first Olympiad to be staged by this progressive inner-city municipality will vie with the former in interest and excitement, including as it does a number of areas of sporting endeavour not normally associated with international competition.