The London 2012 Olympic Games are upon us and already there has been a few mishaps. In terms of design the games have been a success with Studio Barber Osgerby's fantastically designed torch. Not only a wonderful sculptural form but symbolic with the each of the 8000 holes representing all of the torch bearers. The games are open, vulnerable and that makes it prime target for cynicism.
Cynicism is one of the greatest characteristics of British humor. It, along with sarcasm, is what separates our comedy and culture from our cross Atlantic buddies. It is to be expected that the Olympics being held in London, in one of the worst recessions in recent history, was always going to be subjected to ridicule. Even before any plans for the games had been released, it was already rumoured that the budget was so low that the opening ceremony would just consist of Ray Winstone flicking the stub of his cigar into a disposable barbecue lighting the Olympic flame.
An eclectic mix of cynical memorabilia is available as seen above, and this is albeit very clever and true. The Olympics will make travelling in London via any mode of transport a near impossibility. It would be actually quicker to walk to any destination and it's free. Although if you really want a value for money bus ticket London is currently the place to be.
The opening ceremony hasn't even commenced yet and the games has already been subjected to its first piece of controversy in the Women's football. It seems that the football organisers didn't pay too much attention to Geography or Historic conflicts getting the North and South Korean flag mixed up. Talk about a big whoops...
Next time just remember that the North Korean flag looks like the Texaco logo.
A lot of people have been asking why the football has started early. Well you see these over glorified, over pampered pre-madonnas want to start early to get them ready for the opening of the greatest show on earth... The Barclays Premier League. To the delight of BT and Sky.
It's also great to know that the Olympics will be secure with thousands of our armed forces and security guards from G4S making sure that nobody enters the Olympic park with any unauthorised food and drinks. So much so that it now seems that the boarder gates are wide open to any 11 year old boy who wants an impromptu trip to Rome. I knew Ryanair were cheap but that's just ridiculous!
The one thing that the above comments prove is that people aren't down on the Olympic games but actually just very annoyed with the fat rich idiots that make these decisions on behalf of us as a country. People that seem more concerned about getting Coca Cola as a sponsor and somehow trying to convince the nation that to get fit and healthy all we need is a can of Coca Cola. They might as well have had Tennents as the sponsor, it would communicate just about the same message but promoters would have so much more fun in the process. It would be fantastic seeing Usain Bolt just decimate the 100m record once again and just very cooly open a can of Tennents posing in front of a flock of cameras.
I however would like to see beyond the politics, the money and the obscene attempts of the rich trying to get richer in one of the poorest parts of London. I say that the Olympics has already been a success in terms of the design involved.
The official logo, by Wolff Olins, has come under tremendous stick from a variety of people globally. I personally think that doing something like this was a risk and people don't like it because it's different and has actually been designed. In a society where we think that Primark is high-end this would obviously really not communicate to the masses of idiots. Let's just look at previous Olympic logos, I know which one I prefer...
The London 2012 logo breaks the mundane past of previous generic logos, it pushes boundaries and questions the importance of design. It may not be loved but people automatically know what it means and what it's for, which is exactly what the organisers wanted.
We have managed to create some iconic architectural pieces and regenerated a deprived area of London. The proof of this investment will only be credible and visible in the actions that happen after the games have finished. We don't have a spectacular stadium like Beijing's Bird Nest, but then again China had an agenda to announce themselves as the emerging superpower and to show the west it had something to worry about, we don't need to do that.
We will always have the politics, the scandals, the cock ups but then again so has everyone else. We should be proud and optimistic for the revenue, the international investment and worldwide presence the Olympics will bring to London. Cynicism makes us laugh, it pokes fun at society and those who run it and truthfully we all need it. Roll on the games!