Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Monday, 16 July 2012

A bad case of Olympic ringworm

Businesses beware! The sinster, purple-clad London 2012 'Brand Army' is about to begin patrolling  Britain's high streets*, ready to denounce any enterprise presuming to make use of the words 'Summer', 'London' or '2012' in unseemly conjunction with 'Gold', 'Silver' and 'Bronze'.

Under legislation designed for the London 2012 Olympics, they will be able to bring court action against any business breaking the strict rules, with potential punishments including fines up to £20,000.
Jobsworths being what they are, we can surely expect to see several varieties of chocolate and tanning lotion relegated to a box under the counter for the duration - 'just in case' -  along, of course, with Roland Emmerich's best-selling geo-disaster DVD. Anything is possible in a climate that has seen the demands of sponsors place restrictions on catering, staff footwear and even the spectators' choice of clothing.

Of course, we're all by now familiar with the way the Olympic machine has sprung into action to 'protect' the symbolic rings; I have previously mentioned Olympic leeches feeding on the British Bulldog, but far more irritating is Olympic ringworm, the spreading and uncomfortable intrusion of the Games into the everyday lives of Britain's citizens - and particularly the unfortunate Londoners.

Meanwhile, it occurs to me that the purple people and their masters are in need of a marching song, a unifying corporate anthem to celebrate their tireless efforts to ensure that the games will be be a resounding and unequivocal success - for the sponsors, at least.

In keeping with the history (was recreating that really such a good idea?) of the Olympic Torch relay, that peripatetic beacon paraded the length and breadth of the land so that the masses might touch the hem of the bearers' garments (metaphorically, of course; can't have the plebs getting too near!), I have chosen a stirring tune from Wagner's 'Lohengrin', which some may find strangely familiar...

And in accordance with the prevailing spirit of protection for the sacred emblems and the intrerests of sponsors, I hereby declare that the tune of this new anthem will henceforth be off limits for everyone else....

Jogging along, hold high the flame;
Let those who infringe our copyright beware!
Striving for gold, glory and fame;
We might even give a few athletes a share.

London will welcome the fit and the strong
Once they've got through passport queues three miles long.
Cheer on those athletes, frantically running;
The Zil lanes are gridlocked, their bus won't be coming.
Forget all the millions we gave G4S;
We'll draft in some squaddies to sort out the mess.

Jogging along, hold high the flame;
Let those who infringe our copyright beware!
'Flourish those flags', LOCOG proclaim,
'It's not our money, so why should we care?'

*A tip of the tricorn to Longrider for the story; I can't link to his post because just after he published it, his blog went offline 'for maintenance'.
Under the circumstances, I find this rather worrying...

Update: He's back with a new-look blog - looks like he wasn't languishing in a hidden dungeon at LOCOG HQ after all (assuming, of course, that it's still the real Longrider...)


  1. "...along, of course, with Roland Emmerich's best-selling geo-disaster DVD. "

    Finally! This wretched overblown sports day has done some good!

  2. It'll all end in tears - I just know it.

  3. I'm enjoying it - I like a nice shambles.

  4. You surprise me, Julia; I'd have thought a rollicking end-of-the world scenario with added lava bombs was right up your street.

    In any case, you surely have to enjoy the way the plucky Brits, in dull sepia tones and hand-knitted woollens, offer such a marked contrast to the slick shiny scientists of the good old U-S-of-A.

    JH/AKH, I admit it has some of the same terrible fascination as a slow-motion collision.

    We could be heading here for a Schadenfreudefest of epic proportions - I suspect a majority of bloggers (in our neck of teh woods, at least) are not-so-secretly looking forward to it.

  5. I usually do, but the presence of John Cusack proved too much...