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IdleRich
16-05-2006, 09:49 AM
Where does everyone stand on this? Will Self isn't a big fan...

Last month, together with the writer Iain Sinclair, I circumambulated the London borough of Hackney. Our walk took us from the busy precincts of Liverpool Street Station in the south to the minarets of the Finsbury Park mosque in the west; from the Volvo-cluttered suburbia of Tottenham in the north to the light industrial wastelands of Stratford Marsh to the east.
In a way, this beating the bounds of a single borough was a highly contrived exercise. At ground level Hackney exhibits no coherence, or unity. But looked at another way, our circuit represented a synecdoche: taking a part of the great conurbation for its whole. Moving through time as well as space, we espied William Blake's decaying tomb as well as the diamond mullions of Thirties' suburbia; the 21st-century 'wharf' developments beside the Regent's Canal - each with its tacky accretion of eco-planking - together with the aspirational 19th-century ironwork of Victoria Park.
However, it wasn't until we stood on the grey-green football pitches of Hackney Marsh and looked south to where the brutalist skyline of Canary Wharf thumped the low cloud cover that I realised we were looking at the future. For here, in among rusty oil bowsers and light industrial hugger-mugger, is where Tony, Gordon, Tessa, Seb, Ken and all their yea-saying, log-rolling confrères are intent on building the New Jerusalem of the 2012 London Olympics.
If the idea wasn't quite so preposterous it would've made both Iain and me roar with laughter but as it was we meditated grimly on the plan to tarmac over the pitch we stood on and turn it into a colossal car park for spectators. This sacrifice on the altar of 'sporting excellence' is just one of the thousands of dumb little undertakings that, taken together, will add up to a fiasco of truly Olympian proportions. Take it from me, London - and Britain as a whole - will come out of 2012 with none of the following: a fitter and happier citizenry; better sports facilities; improved metropolitan transport infrastructure; a boosted economy.
On the contrary, the Olympics will represent a drain on our purses, a waste of our time, a new nadir in our national prestige and a political debacle that will have public servants blaming each other, with the requisite and costly inquiries, for decades to come. As Iain and I strolled on down Waterden Road, with the shattered remains of the Hackney Greyhound Stadium to our right and the polythene banks of the River Lea to our left, I thought back to Montreal in 1978.
Visiting my brother I hired a bicycle and pedalled around the mouldering remains of the 1976 Olympic stadia. Only two years after the event, their concrete was chipped and spalled, their cinder tracks filigreed with weed and an air of desuetude hung over the entire site, which was far more plangent than that of Delphi itself.
Ask the Athenians how they feel about their 2004 Olympic cock-up now. Ask the citizens of Beijing a couple of years hence. Granted, one or two cities have turned a profit out of the Games, but I wonder how much this is to do with the Olympics and how much despite them?
The most obvious fallacy on which the whole bogosity of the modern 'Olympic ideal' has been erected is that the Games somehow serve to promote 'fitness for all'. Setting to one side the ludicrous notion that many hours of vegetating on couches watching toned young athletes is going to make any ordinary person more sportif, we have the assumption that hosting the Olympics will galvanise a nation into investing in sports facilities and training for the young. Gordon Brown's announcement, in the Budget in March, of the Government's wad for 2012 should've put paid to that lunacy.
Of the £600m that the Chancellor promised to heap on this bonfire of the vanities in the next six years, only a third consists of new public money. Half - £300m - is already allocated through the National Lottery Fund, that well known tax on poor people's desperate credulousness - and the other £100m, it is hoped, will be raised by private sponsorship. Sponsoring what, exactly, isn't clear, because the London Olympic Committee itself already has to screw close to £1bn out of the private sector by flogging off its franchise on the interlocking rings of the Olympic symbol, in order to pay for all those soon-to-be-mouldering volleyball courts, velodromes and rowing lakes.
The bulk of this £600m will be spunked off on identifying and training elite athletes so that they can win medals. A leaked Treasury report in the run up to the Budget revealed the Government's dedication to pushing Britain to fourth place on the medals table [from 10th in 2004]. This bizarrely fascistic goal - reminiscent of a Hitlerian regime's window-dressing of muscled manikins - will see, according to the Government's own estimates, £10m spent on 'winning' each of the medals required to avoid national 'humiliation'.
In my experience, the last people who require costly investments in training and facilities are the elite athletes. Most of us have had that experience - at around puberty - of realising that, despite whatever efforts we put into our chosen sports, we will become at best competent. Whereas in each class, there are always two or three boys or girls who are out-and-out naturals. They run, jump, throw and catch comparatively effortlessly. It's us, the also-rans, who need all that money - not those already gilded by innate advantage. If the government announced that it was going to allocate a vast tranche of education funding purely to the pupils at the best public schools there would be a national outcry - and yet this is precisely what the Olympics represents in terms of sports funding.
Tony Blair made a statement at the beginning of April on his 'vision' for 2012 that displayed all his usual febrile rhetoric. It was debilitating to read about how the 'eyes of the world' will be focused on us. My eyes became unfocused as they struggled to absorb this pap. While Blair tootled the tune that London will 'rise to the challenge' and prove itself a 'dynamic, diverse and modern city', what was playing in the background was the same discredited theme of public-private partnership. The new schools, the 'walk-in' doctors' surgeries, the improved transport links - all of it is to be paid for on the never-never: public money acting as seed capital so that private business can extract a profit; the tab for below-spec' work to be picked up not by today's swing voters, but by our children and our children's children.
When Blair heard that London had won the bid, he grinned and punched the air, but within 24 hours he was reeling from the political impact of the 7 July bombings. It was difficult not to feel a little sympathy for the man at this point: his grip on posterity effortlessly loosened by the nihilism of the terrorists. But the idea that the 2012 Olympics will guarantee Blair's legacy is a delusion. In the past decade, central London has lost another 15 per cent of its Olympic-size public swimming pools; during the same period local authorities have continued to flog off their sports fields with gay abandon. The real legacy the Labour government has currently bequeathed us is a situation where my eldest son has to travel 10 miles from Shepherd's Bush to Twickenham for his rugby practice and my daughter gets one 45-minute period of PE a week. If you want to help with your children's sporting chances you have to scrabble tokens out of crisp packets and dig deeper to top up the school fund.
How is 2012 going to help any of this? Our bid for the Olympics was predicated on whipping up a kind of cultural revolution. Giant hoardings appeared everywhere showing an athlete performing the Fosbury Flop over the high bar of Fortune itself. If you weren't for the bid, you were against it. And being against it meant that you were a monstrous curmudgeon: against enterprise, against excellence, against jobs and money, opposed to the very future itself.
The yea-sayers said: 'See how the IOC brings with it the Crossrail project we've all been waiting for!' But I say: 'Why do we have to hang long-term and vital infrastructure on the most ephemeral of events?' Besides, no one wants to catch a train from Stratford Marsh to the central London terminuses; they want to go - in their tens of thousands - from Barking, Romford, Dagenham and all points east. These are vast dormitory suburbs, where the sports facilities are run down and the gutters are littered with crisp packets discarded by parents desperate to use the tokens inside for their kids' sporting facilities.
All of which explains why, standing with Iain Sinclair on the A115, looking over Bow Industrial Park and down towards the dirty old River Thames, it dawned on me that what we had been doing was not all that different after all from what the Government and its satellite sports quangos were intent on doing. But whereas Iain and I had traced only one, arbitrary and misshapen, ring on the ruckled fabric of this mighty city, they were intent on inscribing five interlocking ones. However, I feel certain that, in the long run, their imprint will be just as invisible as our own.
London is too big, too old and too anarchic to have its future determined by the Blair regime's Six-Year Plan. They may make compulsory purchases, tarmac over the sports pitches, roust out the travellers' encampments and tidy the urban detritus under their magic finance carpet, but very quickly it will all come tumbling back, the steely weeds of a city that has defied everything that god, men or even planners can throw at it.

don_quixote
04-06-2007, 01:28 PM
http://www.london2012.com/

VOMIT

john eden
04-06-2007, 01:48 PM
Good resources:

http://www.gamesmonitor.org.uk/files/gamesmonitor_logo.gif

http://www.gamesmonitor.org.uk/

and

hackney independent (http://www.hackneyindependent.org/index.php?option=com_tag&tag=Olympics%202012&tag_id=2)

Freakaholic
05-06-2007, 07:13 PM
Edit: apparently someone doesnt like you using their images.


Much more vibrant than ours:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ef/Chicago2016logo.gif

bruno
05-06-2007, 07:57 PM
turn that thing off!

mistersloane
06-06-2007, 12:20 AM
http://mushroom.nosox.org/b3ta/2012spack.gif



It does look like a big nuke going off over the Olympics, doesn't it? When you gif it like that.

Mr. Tea
06-06-2007, 01:33 PM
http://www.london2012.com/

VOMIT

It's a bit - well - 1990, isn't it?

Reminds me of day-glo Bermuda shorts and Global Hypercolor.

john eden
06-06-2007, 01:38 PM
The logo will be turned off, apparently because it's been inducing fits in epileptics.

Some good research been done there, well worth it for the thousdands of quids....

martin
06-06-2007, 01:46 PM
Jesus Christ, have you seen the fucking film?

Seriously, it's stuff like this that makes me wanna emigrate.

martin
06-06-2007, 01:51 PM
For the first time for a Host City, the new emblems for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are based on the same core shape, reflecting London’s commitment to hosting a truly integrated Paralympic Games.

mistersloane
06-06-2007, 01:54 PM
For the first time for a Host City, the new emblems for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are based on the same core shape, reflecting London’s commitment to hosting a truly integrated Paralympic Games.

I think that's way cool. The Paralympics are much more interesting than all the norms jumping around anyway, or are until they allow drug use and we get people jumping 200 feet and shit.

Mr. Tea
06-06-2007, 01:57 PM
I think that's way cool. The Paralympics are much more interesting than all the norms jumping around anyway, or are until they allow drug use and we get people jumping 200 feet and shit.

The goings-on here on Dissensus over the past few days reminded me of something a wise man once said:
"Winning an argument on the Internet is like winning gold at the Paralympics."

(In other words, you may have triumphed, but you're still a spastic.)

Edit: in what way are the people who compete in the Olympics 'normal'? They're freaks!

martin
06-06-2007, 02:07 PM
I think that's way cool. The Paralympics are much more interesting than all the norms jumping around anyway, or are until they allow drug use and we get people jumping 200 feet and shit.

I can't back this up with any evidence, but I believe that drug use was compulsory during the original Olympic Games in Athens. So was "baby darts" (ie- using newborns as darts), placing a severed bull's head on your plonker and using it to knock over dwarves, snake-wrestling, binge drinking without going to the toilet and dominoes.

Sorry, I can't get over that film, it's so cringeworthy I keep clicking on 'PLAY' just to revel in its awfulness.

mistersloane
06-06-2007, 02:13 PM
Edit: in what way are the people who compete in the Olympics 'normal'? They're freaks!

Totally, totally true, word! in fact, but y'know, I'd love to see them completely steroided off their faces and lifting the whole stadium and shit, as martin says above, when was the Olympics ever about being human? I wanna see people with extra arms and twenty legs doing all the activities of the pentathalon simultaneously...

Mr. Tea
06-06-2007, 02:30 PM
Totally, totally true, word! in fact, but y'know, I'd love to see them completely steroided off their faces and lifting the whole stadium and shit, as martin says above, when was the Olympics ever about being human? I wanna see people with extra arms and twenty legs doing all the activities of the pentathalon simultaneously...

I think competitions for 'super-athletes' - either outright genetically-engineered superhumans, mutants of some kind or people who've grown up on other planets with, say, very strong gravitational fields or wierd atmospheres - are a bit of a stock idea in lots of sci-fi. Dave Lister's favoured sport (for watching, obviously) is zero-g football, for example.

Something that did occur to me about athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs is the arbitrariness of it: why should nandrolone be banned while all sorts of special vitamins, amino acid supplements and whatnot aren't? All the top athletes have diets specially formulated for them by expert nutrionists; it's just like the super-high-tech running shoes, swimming costumes and so on. Why not allow them to take *any* substances they want - that way, if they're all doing it, it is at least a level playing field? Better still, we can have 'constructors championships' like in Formula 1: a certain sprinter represents Glaxo-Smithkline, another runs for Monsanto, you get the idea.

mistersloane
06-06-2007, 03:27 PM
I think competitions for 'super-athletes' - either outright genetically-engineered superhumans, mutants of some kind or people who've grown up on other planets with, say, very strong gravitational fields or wierd atmospheres - are a bit of a stock idea in lots of sci-fi. Dave Lister's favoured sport (for watching, obviously) is zero-g football, for example.

Something that did occur to me about athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs is the arbitrariness of it: why should nandrolone be banned while all sorts of special vitamins, amino acid supplements and whatnot aren't? All the top athletes have diets specially formulated for them by expert nutrionists; it's just like the super-high-tech running shoes, swimming costumes and so on. Why not allow them to take *any* substances they want - that way, if they're all doing it, it is at least a level playing field? Better still, we can have 'constructors championships' like in Formula 1: a certain sprinter represents Glaxo-Smithkline, another runs for Monsanto, you get the idea.

exactly, the 'athletes' would get better sponsorship through drugs companies and we'd all have a hoot at people jumping over the Empire State, what more could we want? Pharmacolympics ( TM ) here we come!

Mr. Tea
06-06-2007, 03:44 PM
exactly, the 'athletes' would get better sponsorship through drugs companies and we'd all have a hoot at people jumping over the Empire State,

And for added entertainment, no doubt every now and them one of them would undergo some sort of catastrophic cellular breakdown and explode in a shower of drug-laden organs and sponsorship logos.


what more could we want? Pharmacolympics ( TM ) here we come!
Fantastic name! If I were you I'd TM that for real, could be a goldmine...

STN
06-06-2007, 03:56 PM
I can't back this up with any evidence, but I believe that drug use was compulsory during the original Olympic Games in Athens. So was "baby darts" (ie- using newborns as darts), placing a severed bull's head on your plonker and using it to knock over dwarves, snake-wrestling, binge drinking without going to the toilet and dominoes.

Sorry, I can't get over that film, it's so cringeworthy I keep clicking on 'PLAY' just to revel in its awfulness.

Certainly nudity was compulsory, but I think we can do without that. I once worked on this book about drugs in sport and it cited a study that confirmed the old 'I'm better at pool after a couple pints' cliche.

As for the logo, was it designed by one of those buffoons off The Apprentice?

Mr. Tea
06-06-2007, 04:10 PM
As for the logo, was it designed by one of those buffoons off The Apprentice?

A reader's SMS in one of the crappy free papers yesterday said it looked like it had been designed by Nathan Barley. :)

martin
06-06-2007, 04:14 PM
The question is what's worse, the official logo or Dave Dunlop's alternative

http://www.london2012.com/joinin/create/fullsize/davedunlop.html

STN
06-06-2007, 04:19 PM
Mark Edwards's effort looks like some kind of 80s post-punk LP sleeve.

http://www.london2012.com/joinin/create/fullsize/RSBaLA.html

Mr. Tea
06-06-2007, 04:32 PM
Mark Edwards's effort looks like some kind of 80s post-punk LP sleeve.

http://www.london2012.com/joinin/create/fullsize/RSBaLA.html

My God, that one's PowerPoint-tastic!

Reminds me of something I made a while ago and stuck up around college (note date):

http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/5781/advertvd9.jpg

John Doe
06-06-2007, 04:53 PM
A reader's SMS in one of the crappy free papers yesterday said it looked like it had been designed by Nathan Barley. :)


Someone on another message board reckoned it looks like Lisa Simpson giving head...

Mr. Tea
07-06-2007, 01:00 PM
Someone on another message board reckoned it looks like Lisa Simpson giving head...

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people say that already - it must be really obvious to, er, a certain sort of mind.

swears
07-06-2007, 01:45 PM
My God, that one's PowerPoint-tastic!

Reminds me of something I made a while ago and stuck up around college (note date):



hahahaha

Loving the comic sans.

Mr. Tea
07-06-2007, 01:51 PM
It's the font of kings, and you know it.

tryptych
08-06-2007, 11:14 AM
Logo and super-human atheletes aside, is everyone in broad agreement with Will Self?

I know I am...

hundredmillionlifetimes
08-06-2007, 12:23 PM
Someone on another message board reckoned it looks like Lisa Simpson giving head...

And Lisa would then add that Britain and its body-postpolitic has suddenly become infected with a disease of unknown origin, Post-Political Korrectness: thank you for not smoking, it-looks-like-Leni-Riefenstahl-designed-it, we'll-find-Madeline-in-the-Vatican, let's-scapegoat-another-big-brother-sucker, etc.

And there we witness even George Galloway choosing to preside over the BB-Emily-Execution post-mortem, oblivious to the BB-producer-provoked theatrical histrionics: "'Ya see, if we kick her out just after we show her saying THAT WORD, then its okay to show it! See? ... Aren't we divine!"

STN
12-11-2007, 11:48 AM
Part of the Olympic village site seems to be on fire.

mistersloane
12-11-2007, 11:51 AM
Part of the Olympic village site seems to be on fire.

It's a huge fire, no?

STN
12-11-2007, 11:53 AM
Yeah, if you're in London and you look to the east, you'll see a huge plume of black smoke.

Mr. Tea
12-11-2007, 11:55 AM
Part of the Olympic village site seems to be on fire.

Yeah, I saw the cloud from my office, looked like a volcanic erruption!
It's dissipated now, though (from my POV, a first-floor window in WC1)

STN
12-11-2007, 11:58 AM
I can still see it from Euston Road, apparently it's in an area housing bus depots.

Mr. Tea
12-11-2007, 12:03 PM
It's a huge fire, no?

On the plus side, it *was* started by a guy in a wheelchair firing a burning arrow...

nomadologist
12-11-2007, 01:52 PM
Omg. In other fire-related news, they just found out that huge fire that destroyed most of the multi-trillion dollar houses in Malibu was started by a little boy who was outside playing with matches.

They're considering criminal charges. I don't see why, though, because it won't get the houses back.

mixed_biscuits
12-11-2007, 02:27 PM
They're considering criminal charges. I don't see why, though, because it won't get the houses back.

Too right - that's why we shouldn't prosecute anyone for murder either. :D

nomadologist
12-11-2007, 03:16 PM
Well, it was a child under age 10. It'll be a complete waste of tax payer's money to try him like an adult even though by law he can only get a certain sentence anyway. No U.S. judge is going to set the precedent that we make kids under 10 serve adult prison sentences...

noel emits
12-11-2007, 03:19 PM
There must be a lot of disgruntled and displaced east enders.

Mr. Tea
12-11-2007, 03:49 PM
There must be a lot of disgruntled and displaced east enders.

Dot Cotton's washing got ruined. :(

Mr. Tea
15-12-2011, 03:08 PM
Up to 13,500 military personnel will help to provide security at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Ministry of Defence has announced. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16195861)

mistersloane
15-12-2011, 03:53 PM
Up to 13,500 military personnel will help to provide security at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Ministry of Defence has announced. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16195861)

God the gay bars are gonna be packed

john eden
16-12-2011, 10:27 AM
"It's not like Afghanistan," he said.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

In brighter news, I actually have some tickets. :D

don_quixote
16-12-2011, 05:16 PM
i am working at it

im not in the army, don't worry

nomos
25-04-2012, 11:18 PM
http://shitlondon.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/vampyres-copy.jpg

http://shitlondon.co.uk/vampyres/

baboon2004
26-04-2012, 09:20 AM
Should always be spelled with a 'y'. Excellent work.