Friday, March 30, 2007

An obituary for the Olympic spirit.

The Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee has an excellent article on the new Olympic spirit infesting Vancouver, let's call it litigious and monopolistic over reach. The Olympic spirit used to mean bringing the world together in friendly competition. Sure, it hasn't always worked out that way. The cold war shenanigans of the L.A. and Moscow boycotts sullied the games and sent it skidding toward irrelevance.

Gone are the days of protecting the honour of the games. Now a cloud of lawyers hover, ready to file nuisance lawsuits by the thousand. They are claiming special brand protections under Bill C-47 the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act. Now, one would expect and understand protecting symbols like the rings, the torch design and the name of the games. But the new Olympic culture of unfettered greed has other ideas. From Lee's article, here's a partial list of some of what they are claiming as protected intellectual property:

See You in Vancouver
See You in Whistler
See You in Beijing
Let the Dreams Begin
Sea To Sky
We're Next
Road to Beijing
Driven by Nature
Road to Vancouver
Road to Whistler
Driven by Dreams
Celebrate the Impossible
Vancouver '10
Vancouver 2-10
Vancouver 2'10
Gold Medal
Game Plan
Host Country
Bid Booster
Bid Champion
Beijing and Beyond
I'm Backing the Bid
It's Our Time To Shine
For The Fire Within

They are claiming rights to entire calendar years and seasons and a host of words that might be of vague associative marketing value. This is predictably being sold on the cheapest and nastiest rationale (from the article), "We owe it to Canadian athletes and the Canadian public to police the brand, and we take that very seriously. But at the same time we owe it to the same Canadian public and athletes to police it in a way that makes sense," he said."

I'm sure the athletes and all of Canada support the noble efforts to protect such terms as "Game Plan". Just like musicians appreciate corporate media giants suing their fans and kids. Because nothing says Olympic Fucking Games, like game plan. Hell, when I watch teh hockey and the commentators start talking about a coach's game plan, I have to scratch my head. Why are talking about the Olympics? Jeziz. What a load of dog shit. They owe it to Canadians to practice restraint of trade and quash entrepreneurship and hold the language hostage to maximize corporate profits for sponsors. Wow! Thanks Vancouver Olympic Committee. Your boundless greed has shown me the true state of the Olympic spirit in the 21st century.

The Olympic spirit is dead. RIP. You used to mean something once. You used to inspire. No more. My condolences to the athletes who have given their sweat, sacrifice and dedication to the pursuit of excellence. Your noble efforts have been reduced to a veneer, an image to move the brand. Death by commerce is the ugliest way for the Olympics to pass, a systemic creeping corruption of spirit. So fuck all of the official sponsors and fuck all of the committees. Fuck all of the disgusting legally empowered thieves of language and ideas. Fuck the Olympics, you are no more than the ravening, zombie shell of what once was a beautiful and noble ideal. That's not something I can look at.


Michael said...

Vancouver 2-foot-ten (2'10)?

What the hell's that? The short jump?

Randall said...

They want to claim 2010? I believe Arthur C. Clarke's lawyers have something to say about that.

Not to mention MGM.

Chimera said...

"Fuck the Olympics."

I may quote you. Frequently. In return, I shall offer you payment (for your intellectual property) of several large, rather alcoholic concoctions. Please signal acceptance of these payment terms by saying "when."