Packaging News, July 2012
Ok I admit it: I am a curmudgeon, a grump, an intolerant opinionated cynic with a hair-trigger response to bogusity, pomposity and sham. (Esteemed editor to Kelsey-“‘bogusity’ isn’t a word.” Kelsey to esteemed editor, “It is now!”)
But even I have my limits!
Yours truly admits to being confused about the Olympics.
I had vague notions, derived from a fine secondary school modern education, of the Olympic heritage stemming from a bunch of well-oiled Latins running about in the buff. Therefore it came as something of a surprise four years ago, to learn it was actually all about emerging superpower politics, exotic architecture and a simply titanic band of madly-grinning percussionists. It was frightfully impressive at the time and I remember thinking ‘pity the poor fools who have to follow that!’
It also made some sort of sense.
The world might be a bit worried about some devilishly complicated technical chicanery in a remote banking sector, but prospects didn’t look too bleak and China had clearly arrived on the world stage. It chose to do so formally in a blaze of hi-tech showmanship that was, if anything, more exciting than the sports that followed. Clearly, China had taken the Olympic virtues of sportsmanship, athleticism and getting along together and shut them away in a cupboard in order to indulge in a bit of Sinoese jingoism amped up to a globe rattling volume. Can’t blame them, they have done very well.
In the global competitiveness stakes they had already grabbed all the golds.
Clearly, my history master had misled me greatly and the Olympics is as finely attuned to sporting prowess, gentlemanly conduct and taking part as Attila the Hun was closely attuned to crochet. In the 21st century the Olympics is about global displays of competence and power.
So what have we got for London 2012?
Well, so far the Olympic venues appear to be on course to open on time — jolly good start, and some of the architecture is stunning. I particularly like the Velodrome by Hopkins Associates — and rescuing the septic blight that was the Stratford industrial park has been a triumph (providing you ignore the one hundred tons of radioactive Thorium and Radium laced waste that has been discovered buried on the site). After that, for me, it’s a bit downhill. The Basketball Arena looks a bit like a tent, the Olympic Stadium itself - a tent without the canvas and if anyone can look at Anish Kapoor’s ‘Orbit’ and not think about intestines I would be amazed. I really don’t want to be to be critical, but it’s all looking a bit undernourished and its ribs are showing.
However, I am sure we can put on a good show. It’s what we are famous for after all. So what do we have to divert the world from the tents and the intestines?
According to Danny Boyle, we are going to have a ravishing show that would ‘create a picture of ourselves as a nation’ and ‘would be about a land recovering from its industrial heritage.’ Oh dear, that doesn’t sound right to me. Apparently this is being achieved by a happy collage of farmyards and moshpits, maypoles and a rave duo from Trainspotting.
It isn’t just me, is it?
An article from Packaging News by Steve Kelsey