’Tis apparent to all that the high lords and ladies here in the Kingdom of Boston desire to host the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in the Year of Our Lord 2024.
But what thinketh the commoners of the kingdom on that matter?
Verily, their opinions may be wayward, given that those who but live and toil in the kingdom — and thus are spared the fret and worry of directing its affairs from high and self-appointed posts — are at present but lightly informed on the topic. Which, I hasten to say, is perfectly understandable: The city’s dukes, earls, and barons have not had the time, amidst the royal bustle of their lives, to share their grand vision for us with us.
But that ever-so-slight oversight will, wondrous to relate, be rectified next week, when there will be an unveiling by the Private Privy Council, also known as Boston 2024, of their Olympic intentions. That moment will no doubt rival the halcyon day when Queen Victoria announced plans for the Great Exhibition she and Albert held in London in 1851; the “Crystal Palace” proved a favorite target for pigeons until it was ravaged by fire some 80 years later.
Certainly the curtain-lifting on our own civic royalty’s plans is something we scribes eagerly await; why, it will impart that delightful sense of knowingness a page or squire feels when his master confides a delicious piece of palace intrigue.
Strangely, however, the citizens — excuse me, subjects — here in the kingdom have already taken the liberty of forming some initial opinions on this matter, which they have conveyed to people’s pollster Lou DiNatale in a new automated telephonic survey conducted in conjunction with the consultancy Sage.
Overall, a slim majority of both Massachusetts and Boston citizens smile upon the notion. Realm-wide, 52 percent say they would be strongly or somewhat pleased to have Boston play host. Fifty-four percent in Boston venture the same. But notably, at least 39 percent of both polities declare themselves opposed.
And if the royal treasury need be tapped as part of the endeavor? Then 61 percent say fie on the Olympics, reports Pollster DiNatale.
Much as this will pain the Privy Council, that level of support can’t truly be called vast. Which raises this question: When all is said and done, how, exactly, shall the nobility decide whether there’s sufficient consensus to proceed apace with their Olympic endeavor? And: Will we peasants be permitted a vote on the issue?
So far, the high lords and ladies in charge of this regal effort have said only that they will hold informational audiences throughout the royal city and entertain queries and concerns.
That vagueness has alarmed the anti-royalists over at No Boston Olympics, who worry we common folk will have no real say. “They” — that is, the nobility — “feel the decision has already been made,” declareth Chris Dempsey.
Could that really be so?
This week, I made bold to pose my questions to Lord Dan O’Connell, president of Boston 2024. Alas, extracting a straight answer from Lord O’Connell was akin to pinning a drop of quicksilver to a sheet of wax paper.
And yet, I can now say this with certitude: Our civic royalty has no plans to let the commoners vote. No indeed. Rather, they will listen at the kingdom community meetings and then take their own measure of our sentiments. And, provided they have the imprimatur of Prince Martin the Mild, push ahead with their plans.
So how to resolve this vexatious matter? Puzzlement thereupon prompted me to converse with Secretary of State William “the Great Commoner” Galvin. His reading of the law is that it would it be easy for the Boston City Council and Prince Martin to place an advisory question on the ballot for November’s municipal elections.
We commoners could then cerebrate upon the nobility’s plans and perhaps even hie ourselves thither to one of their public audiences. And then once the fall harvest is in and we troop to the polls to cast our votes for our favorite court jesters — pardon me, city councilors — we could register our sentiments on the Olympics as well.
Mind you, that vote wouldn’t be binding. But at the risk of seeming presumptuous, it’s my hope that our feelings, simple and unlearned though they may be, might be taken into consideration.