Cynicism as an Olympic sport

I just missed the Olympic Torch passing by.  Deliberately.

Working just off the Kings Road in Chelsea I encounter all kinds of posh lunacy every day, but few of those can rival the squandering of money, time and democratic freedoms that characterises the 2012 London Olympics.

The torch passed by about an hour ago, 20 yards away, at the end of the road; but I alone in the office elected to give it a miss.

Olympic rings as handcuffsSure, I felt a bit like Scrooge, but not much, because every time I read about the security measures and the cost and the whining of commercial sponsors and the Olympic lanes and the transport chaos and the missiles on top of council blocks and the shameless grasping for profit by private security firms and another “Official [insert inappropriate, tenuous product here] of the Olympics”…

Every time more of this is revealed my cynicism and exasperation with the whole damn thing grows.

And this is before all the bloody sport begins and my home city’s transport system is clogged with people who don’t know what they’re doing or where they’re going.  And even if they did know they couldn’t get there because half the roads have been reserved for executives of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

Every morning this week I have seen police armed with automatic rifles when I got off the train at Charing Cross station.  Who are they protecting?  Is it us, or is it the money behind the games?

Private sponsorship of the Games is bugger-all compared to what we, the public, have paid; but still McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical get to dictate who can come to the games, what they can wear, eat, drink and even say.

That’s why I didn’t cheer the Olympic flame today.

The Price of the London Olympics.



  1. I was fine with the Olympics taking place here, Mel – it’s not my thing but well done for getting it and I could see people were excited and pleased.
    OK, so it would make London life a little difficult for a couple of weeks – but what the hell, it’s only two weeks.
    What angers me is the ridiculous security and rules and bureaucracy and armed police and the elevation of money and commerce over *everything* that the Olympics is supposed to stand for.
    It could have been amazing, but instead it seems more like a massive McDonald’s franchise. With guns.

  2. I refused to go to the end of my street to see it Stu ..I refuse to have anything to do with any event sponsored by Proctor and Gamble…I even wrote to my MP but he basically told me he couldn’t give a shit

  3. If you’re not keen on the sport angle please check out my friend Sarnath’s work, who is a graphic novellist who was commissioned to do street art on the Olympics. He came up with an “Olympics of Losers” – there’ll be more losers than winners at the OLympics. See his posters which are all over East London here:

    In India, while the BBC is voicing the criticism surrounding the games, there is not even half of the tone being communicated – it seems more gung ho. If you don’t read a Brit newspaper, you’d never know that a lot of people thought the games sucks

    • I don’t think “a lot of people” think the games suck, but many just don’t care about them – even in the face of relentless coverage.
      If it weren’t for the corporate takeover I’d be fine with the games taking place, the same as I am with, say, the lacrosse world cup. I just wouldn’t be interested…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s