Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Storm Before the Probably Even Bigger Storm

The 2012 summer Olympics are coming in just under a month.  And even though there is a lot of speculation, no one really knows what will happen.

There is also a lot of excitement projected outwardly.  And the people going to events are genuinely excited about it.  But there is also a lot of inward worry and annoyance about what is going to happen to our normal lives.

I can still hold out hope that there will be a balancing effect between Olympic tourists and all the other tourists who would normally come to London but will be avoiding the city like the plague.  Maybe these two numbers aren't even close, but I don't know.  No one knows.  Yet.

What I do know is that I have personally had the entire length of the olympics marked out on the calendar for over a year and anyone who considered a visit during hat time period has pushed off of it.  I assume everyone else who lives in London has been telling their friends and family the same thing.  I doubt there will be any non-Olympic business events or conferences happening here.  No companies are going to bring international employees over for training.  No families bringing the kids into town town see the Tower or the V&A.  Even the people who live very close to London in places such as Oxford or Birmingham are not going to be visiting their friends or family.  Maybe it will balance out.  Maybe it'll be even be a bit easier to get around during the Olympics since the infrastructure will all be running at full capacity all the time. But I doubt it.  Everything will probably suck.

For those of us who live here, individual events may be compartmentalized, but the Olympics as a whole will be measured by disruption of everyday life--especially the commute.  I'm pretty lucky and don't commute and probably won't feel the effects too much.  Alice commutes across town and may face a great deal of disruption.

Alice's 7.5 mile commute takes between 55 minutes and 1:15 (each way) depending on trains, busses, and traffic.  If her commute bounces up to 2+ hours then we're both going to really hate the Olympic games.

We'll see soon...

I can't believe how terrible the Olympic logo is.  It is an abstract representation of "2012" but if you don't know that, you may never notice.  For a long time I thought that it was either a representation of a map of London or a representation of England, Scotland, Wales, & N. Ireland and I was just too much of an outsider to recognize it.  Nope.  It's just the stupid year written in a font you can't read.  (Although there was some racist group who thought it spelled 'zion' and were angry about that, so I have to give the logo points there--pissing off racists is a good and honorable thing.)

What is really shocking is that they must have commissioned dozens if not hundreds of designs for this--designing an Olympic logo must be quite the score for a graphic designer.  And somewhere along the way, they set out the final 10 designs on a big table and a group of people chose THIS ONE over whatever the other nine were.  Epic fail, as they say.

And then they all had to smile and say how great it was.

Gold medals have been on display at the British Museum for a while.  And the Paralympics medals are much cooler looking than the regular Olympics medals.  This is largely because the regular Olympics medal features the ugly logo much more prominently.
The back of the Olympic gold medal has the dumb logo in front of a bunch of random lines (like Eddie Van Halen's guitar from the 80s) and it looks like someone tried to scribble out the horrible logo but couldn't make it go away.

The Paralympic medal tucks the logo into the corner (despite being round) and has a cool design that looks like an ocean wave crashing.  Score 1 for the Paralympics.


Bo J. Howell said...

Of course the Paraolympics are cooler. Everything is cooler when you do it while jumping out of an airplane.

This reminds me of a great joke. What's the main difference between gold and skydiving? While playing golf you hear "whack" and then "shit". In skydiving you hear "shit" and then "whack".

Unknown said...

Cumberland Harbour