‘Is this yearning an eternal flame?’

‘The storm troopers arrive in Stoke Newington’: picture by Travis Elborough

Well, apropos our last item, the Olympic torch arrives in Stoke Newington today. The picture above was posted on Facebook earlier as the security troops arrived to keep the party fun. By the time the torch itself arrives, I will be on my way to a birthday party in Walthamstow. In the meantime, I wonder if it’s possible to go buy a birthday card in the bookshop? And getting to the Stow will be  bit of a feat, too, come to think of it. Roundabout bus route, here I come.

I can’t begin to keep up with everything; but following Sebastian Coe’s statement that visitors wearing non-Adidas-branded trainers would ‘probably’ be allowed in to the Olympic Village there was an outcry from Boris Johnson against:

the “brand army” which stamps on people using the Olympic rings symbol in the run-up to the London Games.

The London Mayor said: “If you want to stick five doughnuts in your window and call them Olympic rings then be my guest.

“Or if bakers want to make a gigantic Olympic pretzel in the high streets of London to advertise their wares then let them do so.”

The same article reports:

The organisers have been attempting to clarify their restrictions after the head of the London Games suggested a shirt bearing the logo of Pepsi – the arch-rival of Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola – would probably be banned from Olympic venues.

“No, you probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola are our sponsors,” said Lord Coe.

Any individual coming into our venues can wear any item of clothing, branded or otherwise,” the committee said in a “mythbuster” fact sheet.

I love this myth-busting factsheet. I was working in Tower Hamlets of course when all this stuff fist creaked into action in c2005-7, and the Olympic Committee basically took over public sector PR. People kept saying I should go for one of the jobs – but no. And now I bet all those PR people who did get the jobs will suffer no ill consequences at all as a result of the Olympics having such completely dreadful PR… Starting with that godawfgul logo, of course, which was supposed to look somehow ‘street’ – !

Oh, okay then. I’ll show you this:

The urban myths around the Olympics have spring up because they are, on some atavistic level, true. The people know this with the knowledge that is born of living in a place and just understanding it. The previous article continues:

Adidas is another big sponsor, but Lord Coe said visitors wearing Nike trainers would “probably” be allowed in.

And the organising committee insisted Nike shoes are definitely OK for spectators to wear – but not necessarily for Games staff or participants.

Guidelines sent to children who will be forming a guard of honour for the athletes’ parade on July 27 have been advised to wear “unbranded or Adidas shoes”.

Another friend on Facebook says, ‘Sebastian Coe is living proof that doing sports doesn’t build character.’

Some one else on Facebook says:

The whole O’s thing has been conducted in the manner of a 9 yr old child,who has built an intricate citadel in the living room and you ABSOLUTELY must not interfere with it in any way. After it’s finished with and they’ve lost interest it’s ok for ANYONE else to clear up the mess.

Anyway, shortly after Travis posted his picture, I saw this one below, and it couldn’t fail to remind me of our current situation.

Previous post:

Next post: