LONDON 2012: FOR SADDOS & GYM FETISH HERMITS
Image by Dave Bell
It all started like this: my friend told me “we’re going to be dishwashers”. Such a lofty proclamation, but he had connections in the Berlin kitchen underground so we set off in the hope of becoming dishwashers in the grand tradition, in the Orwellian sense, as life experience, as we kept reminding each other and, of course, for the cash. Anyway I was determined to ride out this monsoon season that had descended on the city, never again would I retreat with my tail between my legs back to England for money. I was staying this time. My saved up dole was gone and I was losing patience with having to ration my beer consumption.
I hate working. I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I can’t be the only one who resents the theft of my leisure by myself, but I’m certainly one of the most vocal supporters of long term unemployment I know. Like Wilde said ‘just cause one half of the country works in shitty jobs knee deep in jobsworths and idiots, does not mean the other half should’. We should all be aristocrats, people of leisure. Race up not down! Halt your fetishistic effort! End your masochism! You jobsworths, you make me sick, taking pride in your work! Take pride in your accidents and luck! There is no glory in success if you work for it! Accidental genius - that's heaven!
Deutschland United is a nation of jobsworths. Every job I’ve had here, they always tell me ‘control yourself, look what you do, be fast and efficient’ patronising me in broken English. They work the longest hours in Europe. It was into this maelstrom of idiocy, jobsworthyness and hot water that I dived and came up with heat rash. Anyway the money was good and the tips were better and as they kept telling me that when I’m quicker I’ll make an extra Euro an hour!
The call has come in - from on high, from the bowels of the great corporate lion that is beginning to produce stomach acid, semen and merchandise in anticipation of the London 2012 Olympics. I’ve been drafted (economically coerced) to return to Blighty, to London, to that steel and glass scab of a city, to spend two weeks on the frontline of 2012, the most apocalyptically anointed year yet. I’m hesitant to decide how I feel about the threat of Mayan time bombs and extraterrestrial holocaust, even the mundane threat of a terrorist attack at the Games doesn’t particularly fill me with fear or anticipation. It’s not even the money that's bringing me back to London - although I’m skint I can only stomach swimming so deep in sponsorship and titanic commerce because it is, I know, something that must be done. There is no escaping the world and only a coward would run from it. Since I can’t take it in small doses, day to day that is, in the form of shopping centres and office banter I’m inclined to attend at least semi regularly gross moments of cultural indecency. At first I decided I didn’t need to go to London. Fuck the Olympics! Let London burn! I’m only going to move back when the whole blemish has been levelled so we can start again, such a long history made ugly and boring in such a short time. There is nothing more Bosch than the Olympics: athletes committing seppuku at the behest of logos and countries suspending their hard fought for systematic racism, turncoats cheering as another black sprinter brings home a gold. The crowds are squeezed into the stadiums and choked on the smoke of their own burning money - there is nowhere else I could in all truth find myself this summer other than at the London Olympics.
The Olympics is of course the height of all jobsworthyness. Be the best at exercise! Time + Time x Time = Muscle. Obviously there are some real sports in the Olympics, metaphors for violent conflict that require some skill beyond mere commitment, mere commitment, but for the most part it's a gala for jobsworths and geeks; corporate sponsored gym hermits all trying hard to make their piss seem legal while pumping God juice into their already swollen, embellished arteries. Let them take drugs, make it compulsory, let them have bionic limbs and engines sticking out their over sculpted arses. Chop chop chop money and flesh sculptures coming to remind you that your life might be drab, mundane, bathed in the light of weak light bulbs and soaked in the smell of your workmates sweat that you can never wash out because you only have time to wash your work clothes once a week, but the supermen are out there spending Time like it's a devalued Eastern European currency and making us all proud to be human! Fuck the ants!
My mission is clear and set down in writing: I am to ingratiate myself with the public and pillage their wallets. I must not concern myself with their innocence. No one is innocent in war and everything is war! This command has come directly from my bosses. It’s the only instruction I am to receive, the managers have got a lot of work to do, they’ve got the hard task of ensuring that every scam is pulled off to perfection. Every digit on every form must be thoroughly corrupt and shot through with inaccuracies. They must take every single entity private or public for all they are worth! I’ve got friends in the higher rungs and I know what they’ve got in store. They’ve been training for years, learning how to miscount T-shirts, how to make an empty box of posters look, feel, smell and taste full. This is the big dirty, everyone from David Cameron right down the scouse skinhead who first initiated me into this horrible industry is aching for it to begin, a free-for-all to surpass last year's pathetic proletarian riots and invigorate the British economy.
I’ve been a sent a schedule. I memorise it and delete it from my computer. It would be foolhardy to keep records pertaining to a robbery of such a monumental scale. I quickly scan the news: missiles are being attached the roofs of properties near to the Olympic venues in order to combat possible assault from the skies. Do you remember 9/11? People are so forgetful these days. I hope the kids of Bow and Newham have their wits about them. There are people as close as Stoke Newington who would pay tip top prices for such high grade military hardware. Reach for your crowbars rudeboys! England is with you! The theft must start somewhere. David Cameron's been in the Midlands reminding people about the huge economic boost the Games will be bringing to the region, job creation on an unheard of scale. Cameron’s pointed his shrinking-ray gun at Birmingham’s unemployment statistics; 520 million quid's worth of contracts have been awarded to the regions best thieves-in-law. Through a careful system of laundering the money is to be filtered via non existent jobs, finding its way back to London as quickly as possible while leaving a paper trail of fraudulent employment that can be used to guilt trip the Midlands dole seekers. You're lazy and shouldn’t even be alive. You’re the flab of industrialisation and Cameron is the slimming aid. Anyway the moment is at hand. I’ve sent off my email confirming my shifts. I’m going to London to drown myself in the anxious sound of money.
Read part two HERE