July 06, 2005

What Is The Matter With You People?!

So, the G8 starts today. Already, protestors have trashed Stirling, crowds are swelling in Gleneagles, and apparently there's yet another gathering of anarchists in Edinburgh's West End.

Now, being as I am, um, about ten or fifteen minutes walk from Edinburgh's West End, I have something of a vested interest in whether or not anarchists are gathering there. So I turn on the TV to try and find out for sure.

And out of the three 24-hour cable news channels I get, not one of them is covering the G8. The eight most powerful men in the world are meeting in Scotland, violent protests are breaking out across the country, and what is everybody reporting with rapt attention?

The International Olympic Committee's meeting in Singapore, which will in an hour decide where the 2012 Olympics are going to be held.

Note, they haven't decided yet. They are an hour and a half away from deciding on the location of an event that is seven years away. But instead of cutting to ACTUAL F**KING NEWS for that hour and a half, they are showing a constant live feed of the IOC's voting chamber. Which might be understandable if, um, I don't know, the IOC were doing something interesting. But this is what has been happening for the last half an hour:

Commentator: ...And now, the President of the IOC is going over by-law 83C#15F, which governs which delegates are in charge of brewing the coffee today.
President: Would the delegates from France please confirm that they are insufferably smug?

[murmurs from the crowd]

Assistant to the President: The voting handsets must now be tested. Would all delegates please pay attention?
Commentator: Now, the voting handsets will be tested.
Assistant: Would ALL delegates please pay attention? I'm looking at you, Turkey.
Commentator: ...And Turkey providing some much-needed levity to the proceedings. It appears that their delegates are engaged in an argument with Finland over who gets the chair with wheels.
President: Ladies and gentlemen, please. I have a roast in the oven.
Delegate from Germany: [shouts from back of room] What kind of roast?
Assistant: Delegates will refrain from discussing the President's roast.
Delegate from Germany: Fascist!
Commentator: Of course, it is considered improper to discuss the President's roast, in case it unfairly biases any of the delegates' decisions.
Assistant: Will delegates kindly pay attention? It is imperative that we test the voting handsets.
Delegate from Italy: I don't have a voting handset.
Assistant: I-- what? Where is your voting handset?
Delegate from Italy: I don't know. [nudges neighbour] Do you have it, Vito?
President: May I remind delegates that the nudging of their colleagues is forbidden.
Assistant: Have you located your voting handset?
Delegate from Italy: Yes, sorry. It was in my lunchbox.
Assistant: Well then, let's continue.
Delegate from Italy: Does it matter that my voting handset has salami stuck to it?
Assistant: I don't know. This is why we have to test them.
Delegate from Italy: Oh. That makes sense.
Commentator: This is reminiscent of the draw for the 1992 Olympics, when the delegate from the United States mistook his voting handset for a cruller.
Assistant: In order to test the voting handsets, we ask that you all cast a vote for your favourite character from Saved By The Bell.
Delegate from the United Kingdom: The original series or 'The New Class'?
President: The original series.

[murmurs from the crowd]

Commentator: Now, the test vote has opened. And it looks as if A.C. Slater is taking an early lead. [chuckle] Obviously they never saw Kelly in a two-piece!
Assistant: The test vote is complete. You have selected Mr Belding. Dennis Haskins will now be set on fire and used as the Olympic torch in 2020.
President: Are there any problems with voting system?
Assistant: The delegates from Japan are holding their voting handsets upside down.
President: Will the delegates from Japan please turn their voting handsets the right way up?
Commentator: A good decision, there, by the President.
Assistant: The official voting will now begin.
Commentator: Of course, even after the voting is completed, the committee will not announce the results for a further two hours...


In the meantime, the G8 protest march has been cancelled due to safety concerns, and violence and arrests continue through out Perthshire. But who cares? London might get to host the Olympics!


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