The 2012 Olympic Money Games
Welcome to the 2012 London Maximum Security Games! Battleships on the Thames, machine gun nests and surface-to-air missile batteries perched atop apartment buildings (residents are not amused). 30,000 security & military personnel, along with 40,000 police, versus 10,500 athletes. It looks more like a damn war zone than the setting for sports events. The very conservative Cameron government, as might be expected, contracted the security details to a private entity, G4S. And just as we would expect, they completely bollixed it (that’s a Brit term). There aren’t enough guards for all the gates for all the venues, so the military will fill in. The U.S. will bring a contingent of 500 FBI and another 500 security people, and the British are insulted by the idea.
The Olympics are easily the most ostentatious display of global corporatism, and you will see many more logos than athletes, not counting all the logos worn by the athletes. Some of the planet’s most predatory despoilers are generously spending millions to make these events available to the global public — isn’t that nice of them? BP and Dow Chemical represent the fossil fuel & poisons industries. Nike, Adidas, and others have plenty of athletic merchandise, made in child slavery shops far away. The fast food and drink industries remind us that we can’t have enough fast food. In order to fill the small gaps between commercial blocks, networks may be forced to air some athletic events. An activist group protesting BP’s involvement will be performing a Shakespeare-type skit around town, “BP or Not BP.” In order to ensure compliance with copyright laws, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) has branding police roaming the streets. A meat shop with sausages formed into the Olympic rings, and a local florist with flowers arranged similarly, were told to take the displays down or face a $20,000 pound fine. That’s the Olympic Spirit!
Much has been made about the United States team uniforms being made in China. I don’t know why; I thought everything was made in China. And if you wanted your athletes to epitomize what America is about today, how could you do better than those military-looking berets and outsourced uniforms?
The Olympic Motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.” More than anything else it may have meant originally, these days it stands for the competitive advantages that can be gained by the use of performance-enhancing drugs. 107 athletes were kicked off their teams by failing tests for banned substances, and that was before the Opening Ceremonies had even begun. In the long and honored tradition of really lame-ass mascots, we have Wenlock and Mandeville, two one-eyed costumed dorks supposedly representing drops of steel. Given the London weather of late, two one-eyed costumed dorks as rain drops would have been more appropriate to the occasion. As far as the official for the London games, I don’t even know what the heck that thing is supposed to be.
The original Olympics in ancient Greece featured athletes performing in the nude. Today we seem to have come full circle, as famous medal winners strike poses for posters and sports magazines, often in the nude.
Of course, we all anxiously await the equestrian events, especially now that the Romney’s horse, Rafalca, will be performing in the break-dancing competition. I’m told she was flown to London aboard Mare Force One. I’m damned if I can figure out what aristocrats in top hats and tails on horseback have to do with the spirit of athletic competition. This is basically rodeo for the 1%.
We have been told that 150,000 condoms will be distributed among the athletes at the Olympic Village, where most of them will be staying. These are beautiful young people at their peak of physical fitness; folks are bound to want to touch one another, and create Olympic moments of their own.
Better writers than I have said that sports are analogues of real life problems and their resolutions. An example is American football as ritualized combat. Many other sources will report on Olympic events over the next 17 days. Why don’t we look at some sports and their analogues, especially as expressive of conservative ideals. Let the head games begin!
Fencing — they want to build a fence along the border with Mexico to stop the hordes of brown people taking jobs Americans won’t do.
Swimming and diving — millions of Americans being underwater with mortgages, meaning they owe more on their homes than they’re worth.
Target shooting —lax gun laws that enable homicidal maniacs to buy assault rifles and ammunition on line, then going on mass shooting rampages.
Equestrian (horses jumping over hedges and barriers) — barriers to social mobility due to class or race, erected by wealthy horses’ asses.
Track and field — the national security state tracking all our texts, tweets, emails and phone calls, relaying data to agents in the field.
Gymnastics — Mitt Romney doing back flip-flops, verbal somersaults, and treading ever so carefully on the political balance beam.
Relay races — Mitt Romney taking a $1.3 Billion government bailout for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, and handing millions off to real estate developers and other rich Utahans.
Wrestling — Mitt Romney getting caught in a reverse, thereby awarding points to his opponents. For months he’s been going on about President Obama always apologizing for America. Then, only a day or two after Romney hit London, America is having to apologize for him.
Tennis — In an unforced error known as a double fault, Mitt Romney was being interviewed just before departing for London. When asked about the Olympics, he voiced concerns over widely publicized security and transportation problems, and hinted that London was less than ready. In answer, Prime Minister served up an ace by referring to Mitt’s involvement with the Salt Lake City games: “This is one of the world’s busiest, bustling cities. Of course it’s easier if you hold it in the middle of nowhere. Game, set, and match.
Lest readers find this report overly cynical or sarcastic, I confess that I’ve been glued to every Olympics, Winter or Summer, since Rome in 1960. I’ve always been a huge athletic supporter — pun intended. And when it comes to sports drama, I can’t imagine anything that competes with an Olympic final. So I’ll inhale these games as I always do, and be a little sad when they’re over. The athletes will rise above all the hype and hoopla.