As we all are probably aware, right about now in a place formerly known as Stratford, the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Security Theatre and Censorship Olympic Games is getting under way.
With something like 20,000 members of the armed forces deployed to provide protection from ‘terrorism’ in ways which range from having HMS Ocean stationed in the Thames, RAF Thyphoon fighters on patrol, missile batteries deployed in various places around the captial (woebetide you if you object to having a battery on your roof as the justice system thinks that this is perfectly fine), as well as 12,500 police officers (some armed with SA80 A2 Rifles), the UK has excelled itself in producing a piece of security theatre to rival that of London Heathrow – but then again LOCOG and the IOC wouldn’t know about that as, like with LHR, ‘VIPs’ such as them don’t have to put up with all of that inconvenience… unlike us ‘little people’.
If that isn’t enough, a censorship regime which would have had Erich Honecker drooling with envy has been enacted. Legislation to protect sponsors and branding means, amongst other things, that, unless your company is a corporate sponsor of this bloody expensive shindig, your stores in the shopping centre next door to the pretty looking stadia can’t even mention that there is a wee sporting event going on least they fall foul of the branding police.
But that won’t bother the members of the Orwellian sounding ‘Olympic family’ as they won’t be shopping in Westfield – they, their relatives and hangers-on will be splashing the cash at the high end stores on Bond Street and the like, and will be using the specially created Zil Lanes to allow themselves to be whisked from their five star hotels in the west end of London to the Games on the east side. Should they feel it necessary to actually watch any of the sporting events that is.
In the mean time those of us who chose to use the Olympic Motto (Citius Altius Fortius’ / ‘Faster Higher Stronger) or common words such as ‘Games’, ‘Two Thousand and Twelve’, ‘2012’, ‘twenty twelve’, ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’, ‘Bronze’, ‘London’, ‘medals’, ‘sponsors’, and ‘summer’ in a sentence in the wrong combination and context – however innocently – might find ourselves in a spot of legal bother.
And of course I wouldn’t want to be someone who once again reminds everyone that the logo for this whole business looks like Lisa Simpson giving a blow job, would I?
The UK can at least console itself with the knowledge that, even before the sport gets underway, we are certain to win at least one Gold medal at London 2012 – in how to enact a quasi-facist state in order to protect corporate sponsors on a money-spinning brouhaha using income stolen from the tax paying public. Silver and Bronze medals won’t, of course, be awarded.
I wonder how if the people of Rio de Janeiro are yet aware of what their politicians have let them in for come 2016?
On a less sour note, all the best to those who are competing. You’ve all generally spent years training for this so it is just a pity that it should be against a backdrop of totalitarianism.