Tuesday, 17 July 2012

This is NOT the Official Blog of the Olympics

The media coverage of the upcoming Olympics has vexed us greatly. First, we see a number of large companies jumping on the advertising bandwagon. We have Lloyds TSB, the official bank of the Olympics and McDonalds, the official Restaurant of the Olympics. That's 'restaurant' in only the most literal sense of the word; a place where you can sit down and eat. I suppose that makes the pavement outside the local kebab shop a 'restaurant'. And also a 'toilet'. We have Panasonic, the official television of the Olympics and Coca-Cola, the official drink of the Olympics. We even have Harvest Morn, the official breakfast bar of the Olympics (they're like little slices of chipboard) and Proctor and Gamble, the official soap manufacturer of the Olympics. Although in P&G's case, their soap is probably more nutritious than McDonald's sludgeburgers.

Does this mean that the athletes from the competing nations will be living off a feast of chipboard, burgers and fizzy pop for the period of the games?

No. It means that you, the average people of Britain and the World will only be permitted to eat and drink crap while you are inside the Olympic area. Which is everywhere.

The British government has even passed a law that protects the use of the Olympic logo. Good old trademark law wasn't enough, we had to have a brand new law protecting the advertising revenues of the Olympic organisers. Rapists and child molesters are walking the streets, looking through your bedroom windows and photographing your children through the school gates because the government was too busy passing a law to satisfy McDonald's marketing department to look at all the other, low priority laws that need their attention. Sorry, I was channelling the spirit of the Daily Mail for a moment there.

However, bear in mind that this law is absolutely fine, the government says (on Radio 4's Today this morning) because no-one has been sent to prison yet. It's not an infringement of our rights to prohibit us from showing our support for the Olympics in any way that we bloody well want unless we buy the officially endorsed flags, face paints and assorted crap that will festoon every car, house and small child up and down the country because no-one has actually been prosecuted yet. Well that's OK then. The government's QUANGO, LOCOG, is responsible for policing any infringements of the Olympic committee's intellectual property. The alternative title of this blog post is therefore "You've been Quango'd".

Would you believe that a butcher who had arranged sausages in his shop window in the shape of the Olympic rings was told to remove them? The reason being that he was not a sponsor of the Olympics and was therefore using the logo illegally. Hang on - maybe he was advertising Olympic Airlines who have the same logo? No, his was not the official sausage of the Olympic games. AS IF ANYONE WOULD THINK IT WAS!!!

Which is more likely; I buy some sausages purely because I am influenced by the Olympic logo in my desperate need to give more money to multinational crap merchants, or a local retailer shows his support and inspires his community to do likewise?

LOCOG has published a list of words which must not be used. Olympic, Games, 2012, Gold, Silver, Bronze, to name but a few. Now let's be reasonable. I don't want to see illegal fly pitchers outside the Olympic village selling genuine 100 carat gold replica Olympic medals. That's quite reasonable. But why is the Olympics special? Why should the Olympics get any more protection than any other trademark? And why are we paying through the nose for it? Oh yes, because the Olympics will bring jobs to Britain. Such as jobs for security guards. Which the Army and Police end up taking over, costing.... US! Again! 

If the people of Britain want to show our support for the Olympics, we can do it the good old fashioned British way, by BUYING the fine products of the sponsors of the games, by BUYING the Olympic torch that those sponsors BOUGHT to give away as prizes and sales incentives, by BUYING tickets to the games, by BUYING the overpriced unhealthy crap that is sold within the Olympic areas, by PAYING FOR the right to park a boat in the sea off the Dorset coast because the council have erected concrete barriers so people can't stand on the beach and watch the sailing for free instead of PAYING to get into the Olympic area.

I tell you what, there's no way we're hosting it next year...

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