Me, I'm an SF illustrator so it's unsurprising that I'm not crazy about sport, but that doesn't mean it's not vitally important, both to people's lives and as a massive part of our lives and economy.  Chances are that your local sports centre, playing fields, swimming pool or allotments have been closed for development. The money will go, via the 2012 Olympics, to developers to transform into prestige projects for the Rich and Outside Investment. The whole deal is sweetened by a minimum of 9.3Billion of Taxpayers money.

 

In London itself, the new Westfield Shopping Mall directs tourists away from the local shops to the multinational megastores with the Government contracts.  The liklihood of the taxpayers getting to see this sporting spectacular is slim. It's an event for shareholders from all over the World with some tickets at a face value of 3,000.  The event has been an excellent excuse to 'increase security' for the tourists, with No-Go zones, armed guards, patroling helicopters and camera seizures and the right to use 'reasonable force' to enter private residences to 'remove advertising of a non-commercial nature'.  The public will be tracked by the police via their tickets.  It's legal to arrest a taxpaying ticketholder for wearing a Pepsi T-Shirt because the event is sponsored by Coke.  The event is being seen as a 'dry run' for more rigourous surveillance of the public by private companies via the police.

 

In short, a golden opportunity to privatise public land and assets to benefit rich private companies and at a time when basic public services are being scrapped wholesale.  Also an advertising bonanza for the corporations that sponsor every Olympics, irrespective of which country is paying for it (Like McDonalds and Dow 'Those people who gave you Napalm' Chemical) as their logos are placed as 'Ambush Advertising' all around the public spaces of the city.

 

Criticising this process is unthinkable because the whole thing is cynically publicised upon the high ideals of those who spend years of their lives training to compete in the events for free.  Also free is much of the labour suppied by volunteers, inspired by the 'Olympic Ideal'.

This is a part of what is going on all over the world - a loss of Public Space, owned by the voters of a country to become Private Property of a Multinational.    This process was widely commented on during the Beijing Olympics and the world was assured that 'Everything was fine'.  In fact, they lied. When we do it, we somehow believe the same process does not apply to us.  In fact, the Olympics lower the standard of living of the indigenous poor wherever they are held.

 

If you like sport, gardening, walking the dog or just mucking about (the traditional sport of kids for millenia) then you need local space to do it - and room to do it just for FUN.  That's what it's FOR.  Watching a superhuman display on TV to advertise Coke, Macdonnalds or Snickers is NOT the same.

 

Oh yes, and that offensive logo by 'Kino Design' cost the taxpayer at least 4000K.   Now, THAT's offensive.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/15/ghost-milk-iain-sinclair-olympics

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/aug/26/ioc-london-2012-olympic-games

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2011/nov/09/london-2012-olympic-torch-route

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/jan/07/lord-moynihan-olympic-policing-2012

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inside-Olympic-Industry-Politics-relations/dp/0791447561/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=928eDiPv3K8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false