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A real world distopian sports event
April 28, 2012 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Not content with displacing the poor, menacing photographers and blocking ambulances the london olympics now wants ground-to-air missiles, presumably to shoot down rogue skywriters who might misuse it's brand.
posted by Artw (68 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
You don't want to piss off President Snow and everyone in the Capitol on this eve of the games...
posted by mathowie at 9:39 AM on April 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


Scratching the mahogany results in an instant pepper spraying.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Since the Sydney Games in 2000, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has required bidding governments to commit to introducing bespoke legislation to offer a further layer of legal sanction.

"Bespoke" makes it sound almost charming.
posted by Trurl at 9:44 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


maybe the dystopian Olympics are in fact a huge subsidy to UK SF writers to give them material and inspiration.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 AM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


The IOC is misusing its own brand.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:46 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


"In what's considered the most spectacular suicide ever witnessed, a young gentleman by the name of Bathtub Bobsled flew his personal aircraft over the opening ceremonies, towing a banner that read 'Hey, limeys... check out this shit!'"
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:47 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]




President Snow, what about Thorne?
think of the Lowes advertising dollars
posted by clavdivs at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2012


or a big juicy steak.
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 AM on April 28, 2012




"Bespoke" makes it sound almost charming.

We can't have off-the-rack legislation for the Olympics! What will the befuddled visitors and displaced locals think? The Olympics also only buys free-range organic-feed politicians.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, the legislation passed suspending civil liberties for the good of McDonald's and Coca-Cola tends to stick around, as it can be very useful to current and future governments. In Sydney, for example, legislation against protests passed for the 2000 Olympics was used to crack down on protests against the Catholic Church's "World Youth Day" event some years later.
posted by acb at 9:57 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Every time people talk about deploying surface to air missiles in a city I wonder; what do they think will happen if they shoot down a plane over a city? That plane is going to come down, quickly, in the middle of the city. Is that really your best plan? The White House has SAM batteries on its roof; it's an implicit assertion that the lives of the residents of the White House are more valuable than the lives of the people living in the houses nearby.

I'm sure Artw meant the skyrwriter thing as a joke, but we actually have something like that in the US. Ever since 2003 there has been a permament temporary flight restriction over Disneyland and Disneyworld. It only goes to 3000' and 3 mile radius, or about 2 minutes' warning if a plane were trying to attack. It provides no meaningful security. It does, however, prevent anyone carrying an advertising banner. We have similar permanent temporary flight restrictions over sporting events: football, baseball, Nascar. The pretense is security, but the reality seems to be protecting commercial rights. It's annoying.
posted by Nelson at 9:59 AM on April 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


Presumably they are hoping it will land on a orphanage or a home for lost kittens, and not an IMPORTANT OLYMPICS THING like a sponsors billboard.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


The 2010 Vancouver Olympics also included a ridiculously huge security bill... The whole cost to BC taxpayers for the Olympics in Vancouver was about $10 billion, roughly the same amount as government deficits over a 3-5 year period. So, the cutting of services began shortly afterwards, accompanied by a rise in tax burdens. Of course, we live in The Best Place On Earth, so no one would ever admit to that.

Amateur sport is incredibly important, and it's a shame that it is tied to such a villainous organization like the IOC.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:00 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Presumably they are hoping it will land on a orphanage or a home for lost kittens, and not an IMPORTANT OLYMPICS THING like a sponsors billboard.

The former residents of the residential houses which are now a smoking crater will understand that we all have to make sacrifices for the common good of McDonalds' and Coca-Cola's bottom line, and this time, it was their turn.
posted by acb at 10:04 AM on April 28, 2012


Fuck the Olympics. Really.
posted by Grangousier at 10:05 AM on April 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


How the build-up to the World Cup and Olympics is affecting Rio's favelas ...not just London. Fortunatly the WInter Olympics will be in Russia, which cannot be made more grim.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


They might as well skip all the actual sport competition and just having as a single event "how big of a dangerous asshole can you be", if they keep planning it in this way.
posted by Iosephus at 10:07 AM on April 28, 2012


Fortunatly the WInter Olympics will be in Russia, which cannot be made more grim.

In future, the Olympics should be restricted to totalitarian states only. They already have a philosophical synergy with the idea of the mass spectacle and the infrastructure to ensure an optimum branding experience.

I bet North Korea could organise a totally bitchin' Olympics.
posted by acb at 10:07 AM on April 28, 2012 [20 favorites]


I was really hoping the article would explain what sort of threats to the Olympics they believe warrant ground-to-air missiles. The evasiveness is very telling. My guess is it's not a security measure at all, but they're actually planning a totally awesome birthday surprise for a close friend, and will be firing enormous balls of confetti into the sky.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:10 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


What Olympic Games?
posted by Jehan at 10:11 AM on April 28, 2012


When Bush visited to suck up to the Queen he only warranted miniguns. Logic tells us this means the Olympics are way bigger assholes than George W Bush, which takes a lot of doing.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on April 28, 2012


Look, there's no need to worry, we already know that The Doctor will take care of everything.
posted by jcreigh at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's somewhat well-known that the White House has similar surface to air missiles around it.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:22 AM on April 28, 2012


Well, they had to replace those solar panels with something, and windmills just didn't pull the look together.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:25 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Olympics have always been a bit fascist

The New Statesman article you linked mentions this at the end, but I just want to reiterate that they were run by an actual fucking Falangist until a decade ago.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 10:43 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


From the "misuse it's brand" link: Locog... spokeswoman said: "If we did not take steps to protect the brand from unauthorised use and ambush marketing, the exclusive rights which our partners have acquired would be undermined. Without the investment of our partners, we simply couldn't stage the Games."

There's absolutely no way to get a bunch of people to compete athletically to be the best in the world without Coca-cola and McDonalds and Adidas. Got it.
posted by carsonb at 10:51 AM on April 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


They will probably just have some MANPADS on hand. Not a big deal, really.
posted by colinshark at 10:54 AM on April 28, 2012


Man, what is it with the Olympics and giant assholes?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:57 AM on April 28, 2012


When did the Olympics stop being fun?
posted by zzazazz at 11:00 AM on April 28, 2012


Man, what is it with the Olympics and giant assholes?

Just wait for them to float the quad-hull airships overhead...
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on April 28, 2012


IOC: "Bend over and assume the position."
UK: Looks back over her shoulder and smiles.

"In 2006, accordingly, parliament passed the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act, ... A breach of these acts will not only give rise to a civil grievance, but is a criminal offence."
posted by w.fugawe at 11:01 AM on April 28, 2012


Jesus, corporate fascism enabled by a right-wing government, all paid for by us poor fuckers. How much is this shit costing? All so McDonalds and coke can make money? Fuck off, do not want. I hope people start stupid memes that use things that are nearly but not quite olympic TMs. So for e.g. You could use "Stratford Games" as that is where its based. Or McRonalds. Anything really to piss off locog and Coe and their coporate masters.

On Have I Got News For you they showed a cafe called the Olympic Cafe, and Locog made him change the name, so he painted out the O.

The lawyers are moving in for the kill though, in the first wave of what legal analysts warn will be the toughest enforcement of marketing rules yet at a major international tournament.

The Café Olympic is already receiving the unwanted attentions of the council. Manager Kamel Khichane named his upmarket diner three years ago, after the Olympics was awarded to London, but claims he checked with the council.

posted by marienbad at 11:14 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is me at the Olympics. This is me wife being dragged off by the brand cops....
posted by mule98J at 11:17 AM on April 28, 2012


Is there actual claims that they will use missiles to shoot down unsponsored ads or is that editorial/joke?
posted by mulligan at 11:34 AM on April 28, 2012


"Blocking ambulances"?

Meanwhile ambulances will only be allowed in the lanes if they have their blue lights on.

So they can use the lanes whenever they have a case urgent enough to turn on their emergency lights. Not seeing a big problem with this.
posted by yath at 11:40 AM on April 28, 2012


Someone (with a stronger stomach and better photoshop skills that me) should make an Olympic's five-ring image out of five tinted copies of goatse.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:04 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're like 3 months away and the prevailing mood of the country seems to be "oh fuck, is that this year?"

When David Blaine suspended his plastic box over the Thames a young man picked up his club, walked to the middle of the bridge and proceeded to hit golf balls at the giant illusory bellend.

It is with this spirit in mind that I hope these games are the chance for Britain to give back to the Olympics that which it needs the most. A sense of fucking perspective.
posted by fullerine at 1:27 PM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


When David Blaine suspended his plastic box over the Thames a young man picked up his club, walked to the middle of the bridge and proceeded to hit golf balls at the giant illusory bellend.

I'm sure that, in 2012, that would be considered a terrorist offence.
posted by acb at 1:56 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If this is all true, it is extremely sad. Why can't the olympics be about the sports, and not so much about the opening and closing ceremony? What about all the waste with building fancy and extremely expensive stadiums?

I think there should be simple sports facilities and the event tightly focused on the games. I'm tired of hearing of countries being bamboozled into spending billions on facilities while neglecting other necessary expenditures. The old line that the games stimulate the economy and repay the expense via increased tax revenue has never been shown to be true.

Anyone remember the waste and corruption of the Greek Olympics? It was supposed to boost the economy and increase the GDP due to tourists. Of course, that didn't happen.
posted by uswestcool at 1:57 PM on April 28, 2012


The Olympics have always been a bit fascist

No. The Olympics used to be pacifistic to the point where countries which violated the Olympic truce were banned from competing and heavily fined.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:00 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


This isn't as dystopic as it seems. The truth is that ground-to-air missile shooting is a new Olympic event.
posted by asnider at 2:03 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Chicago sure dodged a bullet.
posted by ocschwar at 3:16 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


When David Blaine suspended his plastic box over the Thames a young man picked up his club, walked to the middle of the bridge and proceeded to hit golf balls at the giant illusory bellend.

I'm sure that, in 2012, that would be considered a terrorist offence.
posted by acb at 1:56 PM on 4/28
[+] [!]


Blaine's stunt of being suspended in a glass box by the River Thames without food for as long as he could hold out (44 days in the end) was back in 2003. It attracted quite of lot of mocking backlash from Londoners which shows how much he misunderstood British attitudes. Tricks played on him by locals also included sending an unreachable burger meal up to him by toy helicopter, plus more than once using a red laser pointer to "paint" him from far away at night as if he was a sniper's target.

The grave mistake Blaine made was that he should have done this in the British style as a sponsored starvation stunt for charity, wearing a funny (drag and/or children's TV character) costume and being jokey throughout. Only this would have gotten him acceptance from Londoners.

Come to think of it, they should do that for the Olympics too.
posted by Bwithh at 3:46 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Look, there's no need to worry, we already know that The Doctor will take care of everything.

So I can also blame the Olympics for that awful fucking episode?
posted by Rangeboy at 4:49 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


And it's not just McDonald's and Coca-Cola that use the olympics to polish up their corporate image, you've got the likes of Dow chemical and BP as well.

There was an interesting article on CBC a couple of weeks ago about plans to protest Dow's involvement in the olympics, because some in the Indian community in England feel that they haven't taken enough responsibility for the Bhopal disaster since buying Union Carbide's operations there. Anyhow, Dow and BP are some pretty big targets for protesters.
posted by sneebler at 5:17 PM on April 28, 2012


I would like some bold company to test the limits of the Olympic ban by launching a series of products with ridiculous pun names which are not officially of the olympics, but close enough to make the organisers a bit cross.
For example, a range of citrussy tangy children's sweets called "Oh! Lime Pigs."
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:39 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Despite all the moaning here, I think it is important to join in with the occasion.

I'm not normally keen on sport at all, but even I'm going to try my hand at some events like Queuing To Get Home Via Terminal 5 At Heathrow, Trying To Get On A Jubilee Line Train To Get To Bloody Work, and even Attempting To Drive Through London.

Haven't got a lot of choice, really.

I'm hoping that after the event some clued up economists tell us how much it all cost, how much benefit we got from it, and how much better spent the money could have been...
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 6:54 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like some bold company to test the limits of the Olympic ban by launching a series of products with ridiculous pun names which are not officially of the olympics, but close enough to make the organisers a bit cross.

For example, a range of citrussy tangy children's sweets called "Oh! Lime Pigs."
There is a precedent.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:58 PM on April 28, 2012


> Man, what is it with the Olympics and giant assholes?

> Someone (with a stronger stomach and better photoshop skills that me) should make an Olympic's five-ring image out of five tinted copies of goatse.

ISWYDT.
posted by ostranenie at 8:52 PM on April 28, 2012


Diamond Geezer has already published a full risk register.

Description of risk: Rogue vuvuzela slips through scanners at beach volleyball event
Risk: Plausible
Impact: Ear-splitting
Mitigation/contingency: Locate trigger-happy Met Police marksmen amongst crowd

Description of risk: Radicalised schoolgirl detonates home-made explosives on platform 2 at Stratford station
Risk: Realistic
Impact: Shocking
Mitigation/contingency: Impose curfew to force entire population of London to stay indoors during the Games, for the sake of national security

Description of risk: Space octopus descends during Opening Ceremony and consumes crowd
Risk: Remote
Impact: PR disaster
Mitigation/contingency: Point TV cameras the other way and hope nobody notices
posted by Acheman at 2:11 AM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


/sheepishly adds "sports" and "athletics" tags... easy to forget those parts.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on April 29, 2012


they have sports at the Olympics now?
posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on April 29, 2012


In between the events where the Champions of Capitalism march over the broken backs of the proles.
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on April 29, 2012


I love this hilarious, and no way provocative and falsely alarming, 'artist impression' from the Mail (courtesy of Dangerous Minds)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:12 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like hoe the explosion is big enough to make a (small) mushroom cloud yet has not affected the surrounding stadium in the slightest.
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on April 29, 2012


what if it was a BOMB that scattered ASYLUM SEEKERS with GUNS that give GRANDMOTHERS full of CANCER?
posted by The Whelk at 1:19 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


has not affected the surrounding stadium in the slightest.

Proper British craftsmanship can stand up to a nuke with ease (obviously no Polish builders on the job)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:35 PM on April 29, 2012


what if it was a BOMB that scattered ASYLUM SEEKERS with GUNS that give GRANDMOTHERS full of CANCER?

This sentence does not make sense.

Did you mean, "what if it was a BOMB that scattered ASYLUM SEEKERS with GUNS that give GRANDMOTHERS full of CANCER pretty bouquets of wildflowers?"
posted by Sys Rq at 4:32 PM on April 29, 2012


It's the Mail. Don't think, hate.
posted by Artw at 5:28 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]




Fuck the olympics. Ain't going to watch, don't give a damn who wins, and won't set foot in the UK until it's well over. I used to enjoy a chunk of it. All the nonsense and marketing crap has ruined it. It's a stupid commercial mess. "Amateur" sports, professional ad men. Who needs it?
posted by Goofyy at 5:00 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goofyy: make an exception for men's synchronized diving. Because regular men's diving isn't homoerotic enough.
posted by Nelson at 8:52 AM on April 30, 2012


Also, Stratford isn't on the Thames, it's on the Lee, and is over 3.5km from the Thames. So smuggling a bomb up the Thames probably wouldn't do much to the Olympics unless it was bigger than 21kt.

I mean, it's level Canary Wharf, but you could do that any time, so where's the fun in that?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:44 PM on April 30, 2012


Nelson: Synchronized diving events take place in my bed on more days than not. ;-)
posted by Goofyy at 11:10 PM on April 30, 2012




He said it would be used primarily in loud hailer mode to issue verbal warnings to any boats on the river Thames that were causing concern.

e.g. boats containing non-British rowers
posted by Sys Rq at 12:28 PM on May 12, 2012


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