Far fewer links this time around and slightly less apoplexy, which is the case because I have a debilitating chest infection. As a result rage makes me cough so hard I get black spots swimming in the edge of my vision and laugh, momentarily starved of oxygen, like Mutley. Which undermines my righteous indignation somewhat.
So I’m focusing on one story, a story that is –almost– so absurd as to obscure its more sinister aspect, the inevitable capitalist dystopia (its opposite is impossible) brought one step closer wrapped in a disturbing mixture of flags and vouchers for heavily discounted junk-foods.
Martin Hickman: BRITAIN FLOODED WITH ‘BRAND POLICE’…
I’m not generally a supporter of thin-end-of-the-wedge or slippery-slope arguments, since they’ve almost invariably been the go-to for bigots looking to oppose any form of change they were too afraid to face, but in the cases of civil rights attrition and the encroachment of commercialisation there’s at least something in such opposition.
If nothing else then, given how much this absurdly expensive sports-day is costing the unrecompensed and unrecognised sponsors who have paid via their taxes and how much the event’s organisers and cheerleaders like un-Cultured Secretary Jeremy Hunt and buffoon-Mayor Boris Johnson are smiling falsely whilst promising a lasting legacy, the Olympics ought to be an inclusive event which promotes the city and the country as a whole, not something that combines the oppressive corporate monopolies of Blade Runner with the mindless oppressions of 1984 and Brazil.
Some of the sponsors mentioned in the article; Adidas, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are so huge they can’t possibly be at risk from the sales of knock-off Olympic t-shirts, fish & chips or ginger beer even if, like McDonald’s, they are shamed into foregoing the vast tax exemptions their involvement would create for them. Furthermore the exclusion and removal of the banned foodstuffs seem to undercut the idea that the games have anything but a geographical connection to the city or the country which are ruining themselves in order to host such an overblown circus.
That small businesses (relative to the giant multinationals who can afford to sponsor events like the Olympics) might not be allowed to be called “The London whatever” or “The whatever of London” is just idiotic, that the colours gold, silver and bronze are similarly “protected” equally both mad and maddening. I imagine jewellers, antique stores and tanning salons will be particularly hard hit by these last restrictions, and that businesses who have the word London in their name will be issued large adhesive asterisks so their signs read L**d*n.
Perhaps since these are the London 2012 games, businesses ought to be forced to stop using the name of the city not just in their names or their marketing but in their address too, in case they are mistaken for Olympic sponsors. How about the “2012” part, is that protected now, a privileged piece of copyright? Maybe we should make it simple, and just force all non-sponsors to board up their businesses with planks which give directions to the nearest McDonald’s?