If the world does not come to a cataclysmic end in 2012—and the jury’s still out on that—then we’ll all be around to enjoy the London Olympics. You may remember the Beijing closing ceremonies, where 20,000 fresh-faced Chinese acrobats magically ascended into the clouds. Later, the London contingent arrived: some aging rock stars riding in a tour bus with parasols. That’s the way I remember it anyway. The point being that London couldn’t hold a candle to the spectacle that was Beijing. I was a little embarrassed for London that night, but I’ve had some time to reflect.
China was trying to impress the world and it did so in grand fashion. London, it seems, was telling the world who it was, who it really was—rock stars, parasols and all. After all, the Brits have a reputation for being a bit eccentric, so why not play on that? Well they have, in a big way.
First, there is the London 2012 logo. Graphically speaking, it’s a train wreck. It’s a jumble of abstract shapes which one blogger described as "Lisa Simpson doing something naughty." But in it’s own primitive way it conveys the eccentricity and energy of the host city. And then there are Wenlock and Mandeville, the Olympic mascots who I describe as part Gumby, part bowling pin.
Will all of this come together to create a great and memorable Olympics? I’m not sure, but one thing is certain, it’ll be fun!