We’re a few days off of the London Olympics. In case you’re not dry-retching at the mention of the word, here’s the Zeitgeist Tapes guide to pop culture and the Olympics.
First up – the Olympics song. Doubtless you’ve been humming this for the last few weeks, whilst drinking pepsi, eating burger king and wearing your nike trainers. You may even have chosen it for any important services on the horizon (weddings, funerals, boat launches etc). It sounds exactly like a Queen single played backwards and we can guarantee it’s the worst song you’ll hear today. Rather than conjuring images of international participation in an event on an unprecedented scale outside of war, it prompts the sensation that you’re watching a bad 80s film about some kind of confusing international conflict. You’ll probably hear it through someone else’s headphones whilst being stuck for three hours on a packed train. You won’t be grateful.
After that godawful harbinger of overblown, pompous arseholery the G4S corporate anthem doesn’t sound too bad does it? At least it’s sort of upbeat and you can hum it without imagining it playing in the office of the budget writers they bring in to do cheapo Dr Who episodes every now and again. ZT is no fan of private security firms at the best of times, but we can safely say that the Team America inspired ‘Securing Your World’ is our favourite thing about the firm.
The Olympic mascots are the relentlessly inexplicable Wenlock and Mandeville. These ominous, cycloptic cretins are the cheerful child-friendly face of sportsfest 2012 and you will see them squidged behind police motorcade windscreens, badly-printed into cheap t shirts and installed around zone 1 as giant, un-climbable stereotypes. You can tell them apart because Wenlock looks like it is smarting from having been struck several times with a police baton. Mandeville looks as though it has pissed itself. Here’s their story:
You can buy your own mini mascot on Amazon, kitted out in police regalia. 94 people have reviewed the figurine at time of press, and they are all hilarious.
As the Olympics seem to be cracking down on sponsorship, plenty of people aren’t selling merchandise. One shop who definitely isn’t infringing on anyone’s rights to anything is thatbigeventinlondon.co.uk. They’re offering three slogan bags, at £15 each. Zeitgeist Tapes’ favourite is “it only took me 3 hours to get to work this morning.”
Speaking of travel, you’ll be aware that you have already been advised against going anywhere. British Airways have used ‘London Calling’ to advise people residing in the UK not to fly. We’re not entirely convinced BA execs listened to the words before they signed it off. Engines have stopped running, war is declared and battle comes down aren’t the vibes I look for in an airline, and nor is the fact its managers may be thick enough not to listen to the song that’s soundtracking their adverts. Still, it’s probably better than Muse and at least they’re not Ryanair.
The Londonist have put together the most practical guide to Olympics commuting you’re likely to come across:
“Walking is a great way of getting around London – and quicker than you think. Walking from Trafalgar Square to Croydon, for example, can take as little as three and half hours. Great exercise, too!”
If you’re staying at home you’ll be spoiled by the BBC’s Olympic offer. Here’s a list of Olympic programmes you might enjoy. As well as the Olympic Torch charade you can also catch the Olympics on a bunch of other shows. There will be profiles of athletes like Tom Daley and Victoria Pendleton. Your full BBC Olympic viewing experience might include:
- Absolutely Fabulous, Olympic special
- A Question of Sport, Olympic special
- Faster, Higher, Stronger, stories of the Olympic games: 1500 metres
All these programmes were broadcast on Monday 23rd of July on BBC London. To mark the Olympics fictional mishap Billy Mitchell carried the Olympic torch around Albert Square. Being Eastenders the Olympic torch storyline was juxtaposed with someone giving birth in a Kebab shop. (At least the square’s residents didn’t need to get the bunting out twice.) The Eastenders torch relay was a surreal touch given that had it been real, Albert Square probably would have been levelled for the games and its once-fictional E20 postcode has been given to the Olympic Park.
The live broadcast was almost stranger viewing than seeing Black Eyed Pea Will.I.Am tweet his way round Somerset, torch aloft.
The Opening Ceremony sounds seventeen kinds of crazy. And as for Friday’s weather?
Ah well, it should go well with that Muse song at least.