The Olympics are the oldest and most prestigious sporting competition in the world and winning the bid to host the games is a great honor but also a huge responsibility.
After China’s spectacular opening ceremony and games in 2008 it’s now up to London to try and top them. It seems however, that when the organizers were compiling the list of the things they need to copy from the Chinese in order to make the games successful, “Complete and utter disregard for our citizens,” ended up at the top.
How else do you explain…
1) Forbidding local businesses from capitalizing in the games
Hosting the Olympics is ridiculously expensive.Iin fact, London 2012 could end up costing the British taxpayer about 11 billion pounds. For that kind of money they could have filled every Olympic swimming pool in the country with cash and just let each citizen pretend to be Scrooge McDuck for a day. The staggering cost almost doesn’t seem worth it when you realize that in the end it’ll probably be some athletic Kenyans going home with all the good medals anyway.
Still, countries compete for hosting rights because they know that, as expensive as it is, the Olympics also bring a lot of money into the economy. As we speak, thousands of people from all over the world are flocking to London to watch the games, see the sights and mock those Buckingham palace guards with the funny hats.
All those tourists are spending money on food, transport and accommodation, helping to boost the local economy and keep small businesses afloat. Or at least they would if the organizing committee hadn’t decided to be cartoonishly evil about the whole thing.
The committee, in an attempt to protect sponsor companies’ investment, has made it illegal for non-sponsors to use the Olympic Games to increase business. What do we mean? Well, we’ll let them say it in their own words (Try not to picture them saying this in a hollowed-out volcano while stroking a white cat).
Any use of the five ring Olympic symbol, the 2012 logo, the words ‘games’, ‘2012’, ‘two thousand and twelve’ in combination with each other or with London, gold, silver, bronze or medals is illegal and can attract the wrath of LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) and a fine of up to £20,000.
Yes, one of the largest sporting events in the world is happening in your city but, if you don’t want to become intimately acquainted with McDonalds legal team, then you better not acknowledge the fact in any way.
So for instance, the laws mean that a London hotel is forbidden from advertising “Special London 2012 rates” and presumably has to use something like “Special multi-room offer for the duration of the ancient, international athletic competition happening in this city…you know the one.”
You’re probably thinking that this rule only applies to large, multinational corporations trying to get a bit of free publicity but recently a local florist was ordered to remove a display she’d created featuring the five rings and the Olympic torch and a butcher was told to remove a display of sausages twisted into the Olympic symbol…in 2006. Yeah, he was threatened with legal action over something that wouldn’t happen for another 6 years. We’re pretty sure that was the plot to Minority Report.
If this seems like the British government is prioritizing international sponsors over their own local business then don’t worry…they’re also prioritizing them over everyone else as well.
2) Prioritizing road lanes for “VIPs”
Organizing the Olympics is a logistical nightmare. Not only do you have to feed and house thousands of athletes but you’re also responsible for getting them to and from their events on time. If you’re not careful things could end up like Atlanta in 1996 where traffic delays caused several athletes to be late for their events and some to miss them entirely.
London is generally only one Black Cab accident away from total traffic standstill at the best of times so obviously drastic action needed to be taken so that things would run smoothly. Well, smoothly for the Olympic organizers anyway, not the millions of other Londoners because screw those guys!
The committee decided to create special “Olympic lanes” for the games that only designated Olympic contributors can use.
Now if you’re wondering how they managed to “create” an entire separate road lane and suspecting that maybe Hogwarts is real after all we should probably clarify. They essentially took about 30 miles of existing roads and told other drivers to go screw themselves because if they wanted to get to where they were going on time then they should have worked harder in gym class.
And those “Olympic contributors” don’t just include the athletes, coaches and whoever it is that’s in charge of tranquilizing the weightlifters if they go on a rampage. It also includes Olympic VIPs which is a pretty transparent code for “extremely rich people.”
Yes, executives from sponsor corporations, politicians and anyone else who’s rich enough to be considered too important for traffic jams get to use these special lanes while everyone else not wealthy enough to sponsor a gymnast gets to suck idling exhaust fumes and experience some of the worst traffic jams in living memory.
Oh, and the emergency services? They’re only allowed to use the lanes when they’re responding to an actual emergency. Looking at the pictures of the traffic jams we’re assuming that the paramedics must take turns stabbing themselves in the leg rather than sit in bumper to bumper traffic for the fourth consecutive hour.
But still, how are they going to enforce these laws? We mean it’s not like the government has installed high-velocity missiles on buildings around the city.
3) The Government has totally installed high-velocity missiles on buildings around the city
With such a large international event occurring in a major city security was always going to be huge issue. Ever since 9/11 governments have had to be much more vigilant and pro-active when it comes to ensuring the safety of innocent people and London 2012 is no exception. The British government is doing everything in its power to make sure that their citizens are safe, even if that means putting high explosives on the roof of their houses.
Residents of Fred Wigg Tower (an apartment complex in London) were surprised when they received a leaflet stating that their roof garden would now be sporting a “Starstreak” high velocity missile system instead of the usual cat $#!+ and sickly weed plants that the creepy guy in 3B was growing.
The Ministry of Defense reassured the residents that the missile system was part of a city wide network that was in place to shoot down any aircraft hijacked by terrorists and would only be used as a last resort.
Just for future reference Ministry of Defence, “Yes we did put military grade explosives on your roof but it’s okay because we also made it a target for every terrorist in the country” is a terrible way to reassure people.
Richy Craven is an Irish freelance writer and semi-professional idiot. You can check out more of his stuff over at Cracked, A Series of Terrible Decisions or keep up with his ongoing quest to find gainful employment on Twitter @RichyCraven.
Richy’s previous foray into awfulness was the hilarious Bat-Villains Too Lame to Be in a Dark Knight Movie. –>