Earlier this week, Twitter revealed the UK top trends list of 2012: top of the list came Boris Johnson dancing with the Prime Minister at the Olympic closing ceremony — a moment we’d probably rather forget. Amidst the Bullingdon Club membership and the shaggy blonde hair, will we ever learn to take Boris seriously? Here are five reasons why he deserves the Twitter accolade this year.
First, let’s remember exactly why he topped Twitter trends this year: the Olympics may have been geared to the future, but Boris’ dance moves certainly are not. Accompanied by Mr and Mrs Cameron, he became part of the spectacle at the Olympics closing ceremony by showcasing that awkward rock-side-to-side, swing-arms-back-and-forth motion that your dad was always so proud of. Thank God the above clip is only six seconds long.
During the Olympics, Boris was featured as a “special guest” for the 320m zip wire in Victoria Park, London. It was all fine and dandy — that is, until he ground to an awkward halt halfway through his journey. He was left dangling in the air for a good five minutes, waving his Union Jack flags and trying to hide his discomfort. He was probably nursing his bruised behind — not to mention his ego — for weeks afterwards.
Boris was on particularly good form in his appearance on the David Letterman show back in June; this YouTube clip features two golden blunders, as he starts off claiming that America is “the proudest creation of London”, then argues that the Americans are fatter than us Brits. Well, he’s not wrong. And at least he’s sticking up for our side of the pond, eh?
… Oh wait, he hates half of us too. We get that you’re the Mayor of London, Boris, but that doesn’t mean you get to backstab every other British city. True as his scathing comments may be, a little tact would not have gone amiss here:
Boris on Portsmouth: “Here we are in one of the most depressed downs in southern England, a place that is arguably too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs.”
Boris on Liverpool: “They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status, yet at the same time they wallow in it. Part of this flawed psychological state is that they cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance against the rest of society.”
Ouch. In the end he received a well-deserved “kick in the pants“ from then-Tory leader Michael Howard, who sent him to Liverpool on an apologetic pilgrimage.
In his Telegraph column, the mayor named 20 “jolly good” reasons to be cheerful about the Games — number 19 of which caused a bit of a stir. But really, how did he expect us to take, “As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade … They are glistening like wet otters”? There’s a thin line between witty and pervy, and he’s hurtling in the latter direction with this one.
Love him or hate him, Boris has provided some fantastic entertainment over the years, and long may he continue to endear (and embarrass) us. As he himself once said, “There are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.”