Boycott the Olympics [2]

From Metafilter:

“We thought we were hosts like the queen is at a posh garden party, when actually we’re hosts in the way that John Hurt is in Alien.” As the Olympics approach, the scandals, inconveniences, mistakes and problems keep mounting, ranging from the frustrating through the comic to the tragic. For your appreciation, a picture of the London Olympics 2012.

Public opinion on the games is tepid at best, with more that half of Britons saying they are not interested. Sold on the promise of encouraging public particpation in sport and exercise, despite a poor track record at previous Olympics, the UK government has actually cut the budget of the public sport authority and abandoned targets of getting people active. Meanwhile, the largest expanse of football playing fields in Europe, home to 1500 players and nearly 100 Sunday league matches has been swallowed up by an Olympic carpark. Even access to canals and walkways around the Olympic site has been throttled severely.

There are reports that ticket sales have sagged (when the sales website works anyway), with talk of corruption in ticket deals, while it has been necessary to give away tickets for some events.

Authorities have promised “inspirational stories” from the Olympic torch bearers. Strangely, the identities of many remain mysterious while others appear to work for game sponsors. With some torch bearers trying to sell their torches perhaps the sight of texting as he carried the torch through Somerset isn’t as out of step as it seems.

Olympic provider G4S has admitted to failing to deliver sufficient security staff for the games and is unsure if security staff speak English, with recruits complaining about no uniforms, no schedules and inadequate training. A whistle-blower has warned that a bomb would have a 50-50 chance of getting past security checks. Elsewhere, surface-to-air missiles have been installed on rooftops in East London. It’s been pointed out that any aircraft thus shot down would crash … on London, but perhaps it’s just for show.

Days after cutbacks in the military were annouced, the army has been called in to bolster staffing shortfalls. More soldiers will be deployed in the UK than in Afghanistan. Some have called for compensation for inconvenience, extra hours, cancelled leave and holidays, while others have said the solders should have taken out holiday insurance.

The traffic lanes dedicated to Olympic traffic (including sponsors) are kicking in, with some confusion. As a result, one central London road simply disappears as it turns into two lanes of which drivers can use neither. Others have pointed this is out of step with the Olympics focus on an active lifestyle, although it’s arguably in line with the policy of asking people to stay away.

Almost 300 “brand enforcement” officers are searching the country for unauthorized use of the Olympic brand, including use of the words “gold”, “silver”, “bronze”, “summer” and “London”. And thanks to a corporate monopoly, chips can only be served on the Olympic site if they are served with fish.

“The relationship between the country and the Games feels like that of a couple whose long-dodgy marriage is falling to pieces thanks to the stress of hosting a huge party. All you do is clench the teeth and hope to get through it without a bust-up”. Finally, some have noted the absence from the Olympics of the great British sports of cricket, polo, caber-tossing and cheese rolling.

posted by outlier (260 comments total) 132 users marked this as a favorite

5 comments for “Boycott the Olympics [2]

  1. T-Man
    July 18, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Spot on. I take it that you may or may not have seen the mercifully short BBC Olympic propaganda piece Eastenders spin off. I did and my first thought is ‘so this is how the BBC interpreted ‘Olympiad’, but with added incompetence.

    Now, don’t hate the actors or the crew taking part in this, they need the money too, just like any one of us, just look at the shallowness of the propaganda and laugh at it.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments of this post and I also say ‘Boycott the olympics’, but make those politicians who agitated for it for it pay at the ballot box.

    Recently in Seven Sisters in London I saw what to me was a microcosm of the London Olympics. It was a closed down public toilet, surrounded by various pools of urine, some dry, some drying, right in front of a council building copiously adorned with expensively printed flags saying ‘celebrate the games’.

  2. Trundlemaster
    July 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Spot on.

  3. David A. Evans
    July 20, 2012 at 12:54 am

    If there had been a referendum on hosting the Olympics given 3 choices…

    1) Yes
    2) No
    3) Couldn’t give a fuck

    Which answer do you think would prevail?


  4. Greg Tingey
    July 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

    It is much worse than that.
    The main stadium is 4km directly South of here.
    The olympics are, amongst my acquantances & friends & associates universally loathed hated & feared.
    There is, AFAIK, NO means of legitimate protest.
    The inconvenience is massive.

    London 2012
    In your face
    On your lap
    At our expense

    Heil Hitler for the insprational torch relay (not)

  5. 99 metre crawl
    July 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    It’s hard to believe that we in Britain passed laws that would empower commercial profits and militate against ordinary people who mistakenly thought they were joining in an ancient ideal called “the olympic spirit”

    We now not only have police more concerned with enforcing social media terms and conditions than catching criminals but we have to employ the army to check bags for the wrong soft drinks. Stretches of our roads are reserved for people who don’t pay for this shambles, but the people who do — you and me — can’t use them.

    Perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn I am not the least interested in this farce and won’t be watching.

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