Is the London 2012 logo a racist, Zionist plot?
In a letter to IOC boss Jacques Rogge, Iran’s Olympic Committee chief Mohammad Aliabadi has today declared the London 2012 Olympics logo racist, because apparently, you can see the word Zion in it, if you twist your neck 45 degrees and drink half a bottle of the kind of spirit which is heavily frowned upon in Iran.
The obvious cynical, Western reaction is to point out that Iran is trying to distract its own populace from overthrowing the state by drumming up anger about yet another trumped-up fiendish Israeli plot.
But here at The Punch, we’re not so sure. We think the Iranians may actually be onto something. Because if you look at Olympic logos down the years, it appears many of them were trying to tell us something we were all too swept up in Olympic fever to notice.
Let’s start with the Montreal 1976 Olympics, which set a benchmark in sending a city broke which even Sydney is yet to match. Look at the logo, and tell us the French Canadians aren’t displaying their trademark hospitality by telling the world where to go.
The 1996 centenary Olympics in Atlanta were the seventh summer or winter games America has hosted (the corruption-tainted Salt Lake games were the eighth), and widely regarded as the worst anywhere, ever. That’s because the soulless games were corporatised within an inch of their lives, as evidenced by their logo. Go on, convince us that’s not part of the Coke logo in the flame.
Admittedly, some Olympic logos are not so easily deciphered. Barcelona’s looked like a gymnast doing the splits, but on closer inspection, a carrot and a banana seem to be involved. Is there a Picasso thing going on? A spooky premonition of the futuristic food of the great Catalan chef Ferran Adria? This we know for sure: those sneaky Spaniards were up to something…
Our own Sydney 2000 Olympic logo was hailed by some as a masterpiece of graphic design which cleverly combined Aboriginal, Sydney Harbour and Olympic motifs. Others said it was Ken Done gone mad. What now appears clear is that the logo accurately predicted three major events in Australian history.
The red boomerang symbolises the ascent of Julia Gillard. The red, of course, stands for Gillard’s hair, while the boomerang, which is a weapon, predicts the manner in which the PM would come to power.
The yellow symbolises the drought, which plagued Australia for much of the decade after the games. Some cultural theorists - who we can’t quote because we just invented them - say it also symbolises the 2005 Cronulla riots. Note that the yellow is in the middle, and the riots fell at the mid point of the decade after the Olympics. Note also the sun, which is the symbol of the lifeguard, and the attacks which sparked the riots.
And of course, the blue is the floods, which capped off the decade the Sydney games so spectacularly brought in.
So call those Iranians mad if you must. But as we’ve pretty much proved beyond doubt today, they’re onto something.
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