Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Love the sports, hate The Games

So, the Olympics is nearly upon us, and as I've said before, I am excited by them. But this is more for the sporting side - I love watching and playing sports. But the spectacle of The Games itself (am I allowed to call them that?) with organisation by LOCOG is, in my opinion, appalling. 

From the big sponsors like Coca Cola and McDonalds whose products are all about a sporting, healthy lifestyle, to the draconian "brand police" enforcing copyright, right down to a local village magazine

As Natalie Haynes said "At no point does it seem to have occurred to them, in their mesmerising arrogance, that every London council tax payer is also one of their sponsors, and has been for years. It also hasn’t occurred to them that they could always have simply spent less on their massive school sports day, instead of tanking billions and then telling us we should count ourselves lucky that McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Adidas will pick up a tiny bit of the tab."

It seems to me that Martin Polley was spot on when he said "While one can understand the need to protect commercial concerns, the games, which were sold to Londoners as inclusive, community-enhancing and all those nice things, are taking on the feel of an authoritarian imposition on peoples lives, rather than something to be celebrated."

Not to mention Saudi Arabia's ban on female athletes (why are they welcome then?); the cock ups with security; more human rights infringements; the refusal to have any commemoration for the Munich Olympic murders 40 years ago; the "Games Lanes";

Of course, I'd link to the Olympics site, but then LOCOG want to change how the internet works, from their Terms and Conditions:

"Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted. View our guidelines on Use of the Games’ Marks."

Even if the "spirit of the Olympics" is more of a modern, noble idea (the Olympic Torch was started by the Nazis; and the Olympic Rings may be made up of five colours that you can find on all the flags of the world, but blue used to represent Europe, green Australasia, red America, yellow Asia and black Africa. I like the retcon better) I do like the ideal, and am looking forward to seeing Olympic tennis and judo live. 

However, I've come to conclude that whilst I love the sports, I hate The Games.

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