I don’t like that the Olympics are every two years now. I just don’t. It’s less special and there’s something lost when you can’t switch between summer and winter sports at the same time. That’s a pretty neat trick.

Whether you like sports or not, I think most people are interested in the opening ceremony, especially since China’s splashy show in 2008. It really raised the bar into grand spectacle. Film director Zhang Yimou helmed that show and was aided by the simple fact that China was the host and it was 2008. I don’t know if any other country can compete with China in the saving face category. They have literally had thousands of years to perfect that. Also how can you compete with a country that is still basically third world but somehow built up the cash and has the population and landmass to be a world player? It was like China was the Beverly Hillbilly trying to justify its existence in the world stage. And remember before the summer of 2008? Pre-recession, China had the cash to blow and something to prove.

And they knew how to spend their money and their manpower. The bird’s nest stadium and aqua cube water arena were impressive but the opening ceremony was China’s chance to show they belonged in the deluxe apartment in the sky. The thousands of performers, the crazy giant Chinese printing press, the human bird’s nest recreation and that giant LED scroll with human paint brushes still are the first images in my mind when I hear opening ceremony.


I don’t think London or anyone else can compete with this. I don’t think there’s another country that has the will of people behind it as China did. They spent crazy money. They also cleared out people and homes to make way for stadiums. Is there anywhere else where some people would actually be happy about this? Not everyone to be sure, but the success of the opening ceremony was and is a moment of great national pride. And even now, the empty stadiums stand as monuments to their shining moment on the world stage, though already past, like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. London doesn’t need it like China did. If China is Elly Clampett, then London is Mr. Drysdale.

Danny Boyle is the head honcho for the London opening ceremonies. I don’t know if employing another film director was coincidence or genius. We’ll see. I think Zhang Yimou has achieved more visually than Boyle though I am a big fan of both.

But I have reservations because of what I’ve seen already from the London Olympic Committee – their logo and the mascots. They suck.

I downloaded the app on my phone, which has an even uglier purple background, and I didn’t realize until the next day that the graphic is 2012. Not a good sign. I much prefer the rendition at the top of the post. It has much more personality, is more visually interesting and hey, it’s even a quick read and legible. Also, the mascots.

What the hell are these things? And even with all this explanation of their lame details – personal best timer? – I still don’t understand WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE THINGS? And what’s with the cameras?  I believe London is the city with the most surveillance cameras in the world. Is that where we’re going with this? Probably not but otherwise, is this a social media thing? A comment on the immediacy of information now? Or is it just an eye that does not look anything like a fucking camera. Not only do the mascots seem to be poorly designed, it seems like poor marketing. London, like everywhere else, is broke. They need to make some bank on these Olympics. These things just aren’t cute enough. Don’t we all know this? Make it cute and they will buy.

China knew it.

Vancouver knew it.

London does not know it.

These guys are weird. It looks like Weirdo #1 has gastric distress from the ingesting the awful logo which seems to have freaked out Weirdo #2 into peeing himself with weird blue pee. London is better than this. England is responsible for centuries of culture and continues to be ground-breaking and relevant today. How did this happen? I just hope Danny Boyle didn’t sucked into what looks like design by committee. Here’s hoping for ya Danny!