Jarv V The London Olympics
I live in Central London, so let me count the ways I hate them. I know this is meant to be a great celebration of our national identity and a big shiny party and whatnot, but I’m a seething mass of barely disguised rage over it. As a rule, I don’t like the Olympics anyway, for various reasons that I’ll go into below. However, this time the IOC and the cretins running it have gone out of their way to be as corrupt, wasteful and embarrassing as possible.
Buckle up, this one’s stormy, because below are a handful of features of the Olympics that really try my patience.
Why? Why would you do this? It looks like Lisa Simpson performing an act of unspeakable depravity on a fruit machine. Just looking at it drives me into paroxysms of rage, but when I consider that it also induces epileptic fits in those susceptible, I can feel my blood boiling. Furthermore, the damned thing cost £400,000. How? How could you squander that amount of money on “Brand Consultants” to produce something so blazingly inept? Christ, give me a tenner and I’ll spend a couple of minutes on photoshop and do something that, you know, doesn’t make your eyes bleed and furthermore actually has something to do with London. This is just typical of the sheer wastage involved in the whole embarrassing charade.
As if the logo wasn’t bad enough. Can someone explain to me what the hell these two things are, and what they represent? I dread to think how much they cost, but really, if these two stupid Cyclopean mutations are the best that the designers can do then I’d be very surprised. Why do we even need “mascots” anyway? What purpose do they serve, other than being consistently lame and massively shameful. I suppose it’s a merchandising opportunity, but which is going to sell more: two freakish things vaguely resembling a melted dildo, or a stuffed Lion in a t-shirt with the Olympic rings on it? When you take the logo into account as well, then I’m starting to think that the agency is intentionally committing some kind of dark satire showing up the stupidity of those with their fingers in the public purse, because I struggle to believe that this was an accident.
What was the original budget of the Olympics? Anyone know? Well, I happen to, and the bid was won with a £2.4 billion predicted spend. That, I do believe, is an absolutely enormous amount of money. Want to know what the budget is now? Yes, that will be a monstrous, and truly shameful, £9.3 billion. That’s nearly 4 times over the predicted original spend. If I went four times over my budget at work, then I’d get fired. Why has nobody been fired? Seriously? And where’s this money coming from? Oh, yes, that’s right, my taxes. Well, I didn’t want the damned games in the first place, and it infuriates me to see the money that I work hard to earn being squandered in this fashion. Then, as if that’s not insulting enough, they’ve recently announced that they’re going to be £476m under budget. No, you lying scum, you aren’t. In reality you are £6,433,000,000 over. Congratulations.
The waste and the lies around the Olympics are just scandalous. It’s apparently going to have a “great legacy” for East London, but let’s ask Montreal how that worked out for them. Or Athens for that matter. What it will do is leave a load of pointless, expensive to maintain, White Elephant stadiums in various bits of the London and the UK that nobody will ever be able to work out what to use them for.
It drives me mad, actually. The economy is right in the toilet, and we’re spending the national debt of Bolivia on a corporate shindig for no obvious benefit. I can think of so much that £9.4 billion could have gone towards, like maybe making people’s lives better, but nope, we’ve got a party instead. Yay.
The Corporate Whoring
Sponsorship is clearly an important part of the Olympic experience. So, let’s have a quick look at some of those sponsors: Coke, McDonalds, Heineken leap out immediately. Yes, this is appropriate, let’s celebrate the pinnacle of athleticism by, er, encouraging kids to eat garbage and drink fizzy crap. And we wonder why we’ve got an obesity epidemic.
To make matters more annoying, our Government, being the disgraceful whoremongers that they are, are bending over backwards to trample all over our civil liberties by doing stupid things like banning non-Mcdonald’s chips (actually, in the name of accuracy, this was the organisers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/11/mcdonalds-olympics-chips).
There is an exclusion zone being enforced across the city, which means that unless you are an official corporate sponsor then they have the power to take down anything that doesn’t comply. This is to be enforced by some kind of Orwellian nightmare “Brand Police“, who have ludicrous powers. How is this even legal? I’m not saying that Pepsi, for example, are some kind of benevolent force, but say you display a Pepsi poster in the window of your own house, then in theory these no-mark thought police jobsworth scum are allegedly within their rights to remove it.
These are apparently the most stringent restrictions ever applied, and given that the last games was in flaming Beijing, that’s some achievement.
Big Brother is really watching us, and the toad has been bought and paid for.
Public Transportation and the Unions
This one gets on my goat. The tube is barely functional at the best of times, so how the hell is it going to cope with an influx of 11m tourists crammed on to it? I’ll tell you- it isn’t. It’s going to collapse, and although Droid may be ecstatic, because this means that he can work from home, it strikes me as a disaster waiting to happen.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our craven and embarrassing politicians have realised that this may be a bit embarrassing for the city, so are taking measures to mitigate it. Not, as you might think, fixing the tube, no instead the plan is to cut off many of the traffic lanes so that they’re for the exclusive use of IOC officials. Yes, that’s right, the geniuses are taking one of the most congested road networks in the world and are intentionally limiting those that can use it.
Then there’s the beloved RMT. I hate these scumbags and their perpetual holding the city to ransom. However, this time they’ve really outdone themselves. Model socialist Bob Crow (one of the most punchable people in the UK), a massive hypocrite who lives in council housing despite drawing a 6 figure salary, has been playing Brinksmanship with London, demanding quite frankly ludicrous pay “bonuses” for his already overly remunerated staff. Tube drivers take home £50K per year for basically doing a job an untrained monkey could do, and the chimp would probably do it better. Yet, for, er, turning up at work they’re going to receive £850. Sorry, that’s harsh: they also press a button marked “Start” and another one marked “stop”.
Why? Why are they getting this? I have to come in to work during the whole pathetic farrago and I’m not getting a brass farthing. Scum and vermin, and TFL should have told them to strike and be damned. If they had the balls to go through with it, they’d have forfeited all of the limited public sympathy that they have and we could have fired the lot of them. Sure, it would have been a rough few months, but we’d have a non-striking transport network run by reasonably paid people, or better still, automated.
To hell with the whole greedy lot of them.
The Opening Ceremony
These things are always lame and embarrassing. This one, despite being directed by Danny Boyle, promises to be even worse.
They’re usually a weird and useless synchronised dance event with the poor performers dressed in laughable outlandish costumes and meant to look like the progress of the Yellow River to the Indian Ocean or some such drivel. Nobody can work out what the hell is going on, and I always wish that they would just light the flame so we could move on to the actual athletics.
This time around, though, we’ve got an Oscar winner directing it. He’s promising “Our ‘green and pleasant land’ is being recreated, complete with real sheep and cows, as well as a live cricket match and gritty representations of the Industrial revolution.” I can see the embarrassment coming from a mile away: it’s going to be some celebration of our Britishness, probably involving village greens, morris dancing, crap dentistry, chavs, teenagers vomiting in the street before going and impregnating each other and so forth. To be fair, I’m joking about some of that, but really, it has been described as “Splendidly British and magnificently bonkers,”
A bit of my soul died when I read that. What the hell does that even mean anyway? Are they all going to get pissed and have a punch up?
A bugbear of mine, this. The full list of events is a joke. Aside from the Track and Field, and the Swimming, the Olympics is riddled with pointless and easily predictable events. Why, for example, is Football an Olympic sport? Or, better still, Basketball? Tennis? Hell, even the sailing nonsense is over the top. These are all highly remunerated professional sports, and an Olympic title is not the pinnacle in them. It’s an absolute farce that they’re included.
I haven’t even talked about the sillier events such as synchronised swimming, because we all know that’s a joke anyway, and Beach Volleyball only gets a pass for shallow and very obvious reasons.
The Olympics should be an extremely limited affair- with the traditional “athletics” type of events, swimming and so forth- there should not be one “sport” in it.
Say, hypothetically, that I was a female sprinter. It would piss me off no end to know that no matter how well I did, no matter how much training I put my body through, I was never going to get anywhere near Florence Griffith Joyner’s time in Seoul.
She still has all three of the fastest 100m in history, and no woman has got within .3 of a second of her 200m time. There are, actually, only three female athletes that have ever got below 10.7s in the 100m and 2 of them, Flo Jo and Marion Jones, were dosed to the gills.
In the same time, the men’s 100m has been broken 15 times. FIFTEEN TIMES! Why are her records still on the books? And don’t get me started on the East Europeans.
The whole affair is a farce, and any record set before 1990 (which is when drugs testing started properly) should be stricken from history.
As an interesting side note, in the 100m final at Seoul, 6 of the 8 men’s finalists were either under suspicion of doping, or would be caught at a later date. What a farce, although it does make me think that Ben Jonson was hard done by, considering he won by being dirty against a dirty field.
There’s no way that there won’t be at least one doping scandal.
There’s nothing we do as well as a cock up. So far we’ve cocked up the ticketing, the security, the Korean flag, and I bet you that there are plenty more to come.
What a great advertisement for London: Come here to celebrate The Olympics and watch us make a complete horlicks of something that any other city in the world could get right.
Brilliant. Makes me proud to be British.
Basically, at the end of the day, there’s nothing worse than being forced to have fun, and that’s precisely what these Olympics represent. Even if you ignore the corruption, waste, cheating and damned pointlessness of it, then it’s still completely naff.
As a wise man said, if you live in London, the Olympics are an expensive inconvenience, and if you don’t they’re an expensive irrelevance.
I wish Paris had won the bid, but they didn’t pay enough in the way of bribes, and I can’t get to Spain fast enough.
Until next time,