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Monday June 04 2007

Here’s the new Olympic logo.  Or perhaps logos.  Cost them four hundred thousand quid, apparently.


I don’t hate it (them), because I hate the whole idea of the Olympics coming to London, so the worse the logo is the happier I am.  But most of the people who actually want all these crazed contests to happen in London for a few weeks (provided that I and all the other anti-Olympians share the grotesquely huge bill for it all with them), well, most of them apparently do hate it/them.  Good.  They all deserve to suffer for their idiot enthusiasm and enthusiastic tax guzzling.

Said Iain Dale, earlier this afternoon:

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. A successful logo should at least give some hint at the activities of the organisation it is meant to depict. This looks like the logo for the Annual Rabbit Shagging Championships.

Apparently Lord Coe and Tessa Jowell were going to do enthusiastically idiotic interviews about this ugly looking creation on the early evening TV, but then they became “unavailable for comment”.  Excellent.  They’re panicking already.

UPDATE: Norfolk hates it too.

It is seriously Cak and thare some cracking parodies appearing all over the place, some of them delightfully offensive.

Posted by Ian grey on 05 June 2007

It looks like a shattered swastika to me.

Posted by Tat on 05 June 2007

This is my second Olympics. (I was in Sydney for the building to 2000. One amusing thing is that the same exact things are happening. These go from the deeply worrying (the “fully costed” estimates of what the games will cost turn out to be made up by two people in a room and written down on the back of an envelope) to the vaguely amusing (to great fanfare the organisers release an unspeakably ugly logo that has cost four hundred thousand pounds. You should look forward to the announcement of the olympic mascot by the way. That is certainly coming soon, and it will certainly be worse.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 05 June 2007

They could at least have spelt London with a capital L.

Michael, email me about the mascot, as and when, in case I miss it.  I can then quote your comment above.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 05 June 2007

The animated version - God! - it doesn’t bear thinking about! - has already been taken off TV because it is causing fits in viewers prone to epilepsy.

Dozens of people on the blogs I have read have referred to the swaztika.

The Beeb - yes, dear reader, it was they! - had a contest and got at least two very interesting and clever logos for free.  Knocked up in a couple of days.  Not 18 months with a full team of opinionated twits giving their “input” with an adolescent desire epatter les bourgoises.

I am looking forward to the immense costly failure of the London Olympics.  Do you remember the Millennium Dome?  (Tony Blair said the world would be looking at Britain when the century changed.  The moron.  The century didn’t change until a year later - du-uh - and New Year came to Asia first.  Du-uh.  He didn’t even know that.) What is the rat population in the long, long, long empty Millennium Dome these days, seven years later?  Seven years that non-popularity happened.  Otherwise known as failure.  With taxpayer pounds.

London Olympics.  Look for more of the same under the same team.  The Tories could get in, even under David Cameron, if they promised to scrap the games.

But as someone said on another blog, what is wrong with the logo?  David Blunkett thinks it’s great.

Posted by Verity on 06 June 2007

The BBC had a competition in which readers could send in their own efforts.

What was wrong with something like this?

Or, my favourite:

Although I’d obviously remove the tacky slogan.

Out here, we’re all on for the 2010 World Cup, although we don’t have any stadiums, everything is over budget already and the logo is utterly horrible.

Anything sound familiar?

Posted by 6000 on 06 June 2007


Verity: David Blunket. Ha ha. :@)

Posted by 6000 on 06 June 2007

Comment at Guido:

since the “lisa simpson giving a blowjob” meme is now firmly established in the minds of people, corporate sponsors wont touch it with a bargepole.

probably the biggest PR fcuk up ever.
and thats just the friggin logo.

this is going to be Millenium Dome times hundred.

It is starting to look that way.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 06 June 2007

Isn’t it fun?

The Beeb (yes, even the Beeb!) ran 10 others that other people, some of them as young as 14, had come up with and a couple weren’t bad.  There were some on a blog yesterday and two of them were absolutely outstanding.  One was rather witty, and one was a “feelgood”.  Both worthy.

Apparently this is being giggled about in the media on the Continent.  I can certainly picture the French smirking with great satisfaction.

“6000” - the Blunkett gag wasn’t mine.  I saw it on a blog.

Posted by Verity on 06 June 2007

It is starting to look that way.

The games themselves will be pulled off with relatively few visible hitches. Everybody will enjoy it at the time. And for a decade afterwards it will be impossible to get anyone in government to admit to how much it cost. All the problems will be solved by throwing truly vast sums of money at the games. People involved in previous games will be brought in at considerable expense. (The real problem with organisation the Olympic games is that there is little institutional knowledge. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club knows how to run the Wimbledon tennis tournament because they ran it last year. Olympics organisers don’t). London transport workers will be bribed large sums of money to make sure that the tube works for 20 hours a day during the Olympics. The games themselves are quite enjoyable if there aren’t two many logistical problems, and the potential for embarassment is great, and the embarassment will (as I said) be avoided by throwing around large sums of our money.

That is the final outcome of everything looking exactly like what happened in Sydney. The organisers there looked equally incompetent this far from the games. (There was even an extremely funny “Yes Minister” style TV series made about organising the Olympics in about 1998).

Posted by Michael Jennings on 06 June 2007

Actually, there is something else to mind here. In the cases of both Sydney and London there was a logo for the bid, and then another logo later for the games themselves.

Sydney bid logo here. (Pretty simply stylised Opera House and Olympic rings). Sydney games logo here. (A dogs breakfast of imagery, and I have no idea what the yellow thing in the middle is although it is possible it is a Koala, but in truth not as bad as London’s. None the less, the much simpler bid logo was preferred by just about everyone). 

In the case of London, the bid logo is here. Again pretty simple and to the point. The games logo we have just seen.

In both cases they have gone from a simple, to the point logo to a dog’s breakfast. I think this may be a consequence of the aim’s of the logos in questions. The bid logos actually have to achieve something, namely they are about attracting votes of ICC members. If they are not effective, then you may not win the games. Actual games logos perform no such purpose. They are not going to change whether anyone is going to vote for anything or buy anything. So if you are asked to design one, you can just get down to some serious wanking at public expense.

Look for lots of serious wanking at government expense. The Olympic Games is amongst the best of all opportunities for government and government employed officials to do this. (In truth, various officials from London went to the Sydney Olympics, saw all the wanking, and decided they wanted to do this too).

Posted by Michael Jennings on 06 June 2007

So we have expert testimony on the 2000 games in Sydney, I can vouch for the 1991 World Student Games in Sheffield *grin*; Greece in 2004 JUST made it and the London 2012 costs are spiralling out of control and I can tell you from here that parallels are being drawn between Germany’s World Cup last year and South Africa’s in 2010.

Surely the real question should be along the lines of the level of expectation we set for ourselves when going into these massive projects and events (and the world student games of 1991).

Why should we expect anything to come in on budget, without a hitch and on time - it’s seemingly never happened before and it probably never will again. So why are we surprised and angry when problems arise?

Posted by 6000 on 07 June 2007


I don’t think we are surprised.  I and many of my Samizdata type friends opposed these games from the start, because we thought they would unfold approximately like this.  We didn’t all know all the details worldwide (although this is not the first time Michael Jennings has commented on the subject), but we got the general idea.  And we are not surprised.

But it surely makes sense to remain angry.  A crime that becomes persistent and regular isn’t any less of a cause for anger.  Maybe, arguably, more so.  Since people have ever less excuse for letting the crime be done to them.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 07 June 2007

6000: I think this Samizdata post summarises the argument before the London won the games quite well. Particularly read the comments, and note the “Things may have been done badly for previous games, but things are different this time and the costings are correct” argument. Of course, that was something I had heard before, too. And of course there is complete refusal to accept my statement that I had heard it all before and I just didn’t belive them. The only question is how many of the politicians and hangers on were deluded and how many were flat out lying and knew it. Not exactly in defence of these people, but self-delusion can run high in such circumstances.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 07 June 2007

There is no reason for the games to exist except to make money for sponsors.  If they called it Drug-Enhanced Performances from Round The World, it wouldn’t be so bad - although still jaw-crackingly dull.  But this air of righteousness ... is it post-irony, perhaps?

Those opening ceremonies, which I have watched for around, oh, 45 seconds, are so naff - don’t you love the gold-tone blazers? - it all says small town America Rotarians’ Convention to me.

The good news is, that even with megaton steroids, they can’t keep shaving 1 millionth of a second (yawn) off performances forever.  Little by little, they’ll have to drop the sporting events and do more Dancing with The Stars events. Aware of the way the wind’s blowing - they’ve already got synchronised swimming, for God’s sake, we’ll soon have Olympic Body Art, yurt-building, costume design and miming to ‘YMCA’, which will all be at least as interesting as watching people we don’t know pole vault.

Posted by Verity on 07 June 2007

2 interesting developments today.

First, of all the alternative Logos I’ve seen, the best, which seems to be widely popular, courtesy the BBC, is a simple Olympic Rings, plus “London”, with the “Lon” of London made to double up as “2012”, in a visual pun.  Neat.

Second, apparently the politicians are starting to get antsy about the official logo, and that could actually change it.  Mere people won’t shift them, but this is all a political exercise, and the politicians are the true “Olympic bosses”.  If they decide to dump the Logo, dumped it will be.  They will simply order the official “Olympic bosses” to make the switch.

Fun fun fun.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 08 June 2007

We can all calm down.  Via Dizzy, I clicked on the link to Danny Finkelstein’s re-arrangement of the four - “elements”, I guess you would call these blocks of junk - to spell Zion.

End of story. 

I bet it will have been pulled by tomorrow.  Too bad, because it would have been fun to have it blazing across the sky above that 70,000 mosque they’re supposed to be going to build.

Tee hee.

Posted by Verity on 08 June 2007

Actually, some of the US Olympics did OK financially (LA, Atlanta, maybe SLC after bribes IIRC), but I’m quite happy that there’s no chance of San Francisco getting the 2016 Olympics.

Posted by Tony on 08 June 2007

The whole Olympics concept should be dynamited.  Forcing this circus on the world is a dictatorial, Nazi-esque,thought controlling act of arrogance.  “Ve heff vays of making you like ze long-jump.”

If they want to have drug enhanced athletes running around and jumping, why can’t they attend to their perversion in the privacy of arenas they have hired for the purpose.  I don’t force my interests on other people.  Why should this vile Olympics Committee be given such Olympian status?

Why not have an international contest of clowns every four years?  It couldn’t be any more horrifying than these ghastly people with their ugly, muscle-bound bodies and tendons like ropes on their necks and legs. 

A cheetah can still run faster than any of them and is beautiful and elegant at the same time.  Also doesn’t need to be tested for illegal substances.

Posted by Verity on 08 June 2007

With respect to the mascot, I claim to have been right.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 28 May 2010
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