June 06, 2007

Britain is Lost

IN 1912, THE SUN NEVER SET on the British Empire, which had achieved such economic and military power that even the least of its citizens could go abroad and potentially make their fortunes. In 2012, London will host the Olympic Games, which have the potential to spotlight the modern nation's significant cultural charms. Clearly the best way to do so was with this logo:

What's that? No, I didn't try my hand at the Windows paint program. That's the real, honest-to-God logo. The organizers paid £400,000 to have it created. What's that? Yes, I know I could have done better for roughly £40, which by my calculations would have secured my skills for roughly three hours of work in front of a computer screen. But there you have it: the official logo for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The organizers say it's bold! It's edgy! It's flexible!

It's so bold and edgy and flexible, in fact, that a film version caused seizures in epileptics. This might have troubled the average man on the street but the organizers, despite having been warned about the matter, apparently took Walter Duranty's view that one can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

How these Olympic organizers, and their consultants, ever got in charge of anything is downright incredible. Any rational adult can plainly see the logo is godawfully wretched and hideous, the type of decoration that human-rights experts would scream about were it displayed in Guantanamo Bay. That £400,000 was spent on designing the pathetic thing only adds insult to injury. True, it was paid for with private donations, but can you imagine if you had thrown in a few quid for the project and found out this was the result? You'd be furious, and rightfully so. Here you have the potential for a glorious, traditional symbol showcasing all that is good about London, and you get a logo that reminds visitors of the "artwork" drunken yobs spray-paint on private property in the wee small hours of the morning.

If there is any good news about this, it is that the complaints have come fast and furious. Many people have complained the logo looks like a swastika. Others have said it looks like collapsing buildings. Others have taken a more light-hearted view of the matter, remarking that it looks like a collapsing house of cards -- or, in an assessment I must unfortunately agree with, that it looks like ... uh ... well, that is to say ... er ... like the performance of a particular indecent act.

You know, I don't know what type of message London is hoping to send regarding the 2012 Olympics, but I have a feeling this wasn't the one organizers had hoped to get across.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 6, 2007 07:50 PM | TrackBack

Hilarious! I laughed the whole way through your post. Great sense of humour and wicked dry wit.

Posted by: kristin at September 25, 2008 12:09 AM
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