Like many people I was drawn to the Olympics handover video clip like a moth to the flame. Expecting the worst I sat agape as the lameness unfolded in front of me. Comparisons to China’s efforts in spectacle are, in my view, lazy. Different cultures, different motivations, different goals. What matters is the British effort was objectively quite, quite awful.
And, thinking that while it was bad it was nothing to do with me really, I filed it away with all the other things about this country that are nothing to do with me really and got on with my evening. Until I came across this post from Friends of the Stars where Craig unearthed this frankly wonderful video of Abba, Olivia Newton John and Andy Gibb having a sing-song.
While I wouldn’t want to compare that to the British handover effort, Craig’s closing comment echoed in my mind:
You can see why Punk happened.
Punk needed something to kick against and it was this sort of unbridled hippy shit, not to mention the prog rock epitomised by Rick Wakeman, that created the punching bags. Artistically at any rate.
The sport itself doesn’t interest me and I wouldn’t want to comment on what the athletes get up to. What bothers me is the carnival that surrounds it all. This, as it happens, has a name. It’s called the Cultural Olympiad and it starts today, effectively taking a bunch load of arts and culture money that was being used to do art and culture and funneling it back into the arts and culture with a stupid logo slapped on it (and a nice slice taken off for admin costs, no doubt).
There was an event in Birmingham a while back about the Cultural Olympiad and how the creative sector here might get involved. Here’s the CiB post about it. It has the potential to be good, or at least okay, but there’s a niggling in my brain that this is all kinda wrong and really needs to be dealt with properly. It reminds me of the millennium celebrations, specifically the KLF’s Fuck the Millennium concert and song. It struck me that the best way to comment on the Olympics from a cultural perspective was to do so in a similarly inarticulate manner. So it was with a degree of pleasure that I came across fucktheolympics.com today consisting of one image:
and the ominous promise “Coming Soon…”
I hope whoever owns it does a good job. (And no, it’s not me. I do have my eye on fucktheolympiad.com though…)