Archive for the ‘London 2012’ Category

Zeitgeist 2012: Year In Review

December 26, 2012

Google review of 2012.

ThePianoGuys, Pussy Riot, Neil Armstrong, the man who fell from the sky, London 2012 Olympics, Gangnam Style

No mention of tax dodging!

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The obscenity of Atos sponsoring the Paralympic Games

September 1, 2012

We had the obscenity of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola sponsoring the London 2012 Olympic Games, now we have the even worse obscenity of Atos sponsoring the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Whose Games?

Ever wondered the type of person who worked in a Nazi concentration camp? Take a close look at the scum who work in Job Centres and for Atos whose job it is to force people with disabilities off benefits.

People with disabilities, be they mental or physical, have a hard enough life. Benefits provide a little cushion to make that life a little easier. They are not living a life of luxury.

Taking away these benefits is like kicking a crutch away from someone crippled, or stealing the white stick from a blind man.

It is part of a deficit reduction plan, where the weak and vulnerable are made to pay, meanwhile tax dodgers laugh all the way to their off-shore banks.

If a disabled person is stripped of their disability benefits, they are also stripped of their Freedom Pass (Bus Pass outside of London) which enables them free transport on public transport.

What sort of sick society punishes disabled people?

Opening Ceremony London Paralympics

August 29, 2012

It is a shocking irony that Atos is a main sponsor of London 2012 while destroying disabled people’s lives on behalf of the government. — Tara Flood, gold medal-winning Paralympian

Why are broadcast contracts given to broadcasters who cannot deliver?

Live streaming by Channel 4 of the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony was a sick joke. Their servers were not up to the job.

First, before you could watch, was forced to register with Channel 4. Why?

Then forced to endure 2.5 minutes of commercials, then … nothing.

Tried again, reloaded page, same as before. Forced to endure 2.5 minutes of commercials, then … nothing.

At this point gave up. Later listened to The Proms live on BBC Radio 3, but apart from Imogen Heap, was not worth listening to as most of the concert was an awful noise.

It is an obscenity that Atos, who are denying disabled people disability benefits, are sponsors of the London 2012 Paralympics.

Disabled people are being driven to suicide by Atos.

Karen Sherlock had her benefits stopped by what she described as “this inhumane government”. Her twitter account – @pusscat01 – remains, where her biography reads: “Preparing for dialysis. Each day is tough xx”. Her kidneys were failing, but she had been found capable of some work and placed in an activity group with time-limited benefits. She died in June. As disability rights campaigner Sue Marsh put it: “Now she’s dead and she died in fear because the system failed her, because cruel men refused to listen and powerful men refused to act.”

You may wish to tell Atos CEO Thierry Breton what you think, thierry.breton@atos.net or call their public relations: 020 7830 4233. Tell them to stop wrecking lives!

Atos are running scared and have protected their twitter account in a crude attempt to silence critics.

Compulsory competive games

August 16, 2012
Martha Payne baking

Martha Payne baking

What legacy the London 2012 Olympic Games?

David Cameron, The Sun and The Telegraph want to see compulsive competitive games, at least two hours each and every day.

Sorry David, but you are wrong. It goes without saying The Sun is wrong. The Telegraph can go and sulk in the quad.

I can think of nothing more guaranteed to turn kids off any form of physical activity than compulsive competitive sport.

I remember Cross Country Running, and I am not talking of a few laps around the school playing field. I am speaking of the full Public School works, twice around a common that was on a hillside on a slope of a limestone escarpment. Come rain or shine, out we went, we got soaked, we got cold, we ploughed through bogs, and came back cold, wet and miserable. I do not remember a single boy, and it was only boys, who enjoyed it. I do not recall it turning out a generation of long distance or marathon runners.

The emphasis should not be on competitive sport but on getting kids active, enjoying being active.

What is wrong with salsa, yoga?

David Cameron denigrated Indian dancing. What he meant by that I do not know, but if it is what one sees in Indian films, I would have thought that would be quite active and very enjoyable.

I am not against competitive sports per se. If kids wish to participate in such sports then they should be given every encouragement, the facilities and the coaching. But that is not what we are doing.

How are we encouraging sport when we are selling off school playing fields and public parks, building on our green spaces, making it easier not harder for schools to sell off their playing fields?

One such school is Elliot School in Wandsworth where it is proposed to sell off a large part of the site to developers.

As children we played in the field behind our house, went for walks, cycle rides. In the field we created our own cricket and football pitch, we mowed the grass, levelled the pitch. I am not sure our activities went down too well with the farmer. The field is now one huge, ghastly housing estate.

Little kids are bundles of energy. They bounce around. The main problem is getting them to keep still. What then goes wrong when they become fat slobs?

It is vital we get kids active. We have a generation of fat kids who will die before their parents. It was an obscenity that Coca-Cola and McDonald’s were allowed to sponsor the London 2012 Games when we have an epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes (a disease normally associated with late middle age).

Activity itself is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, children have to learn how to eat, how to cook. Basic survival skills.

It is a pleasure when we see children like Martha Payne aka Veg (who runs the blog NeverSeconds) and my young friend Alice (who has the blog alicemck) not only taking a pleasure in cooking, but also in food.

Tending little minds is important too. Music, arts, culture.

Children have inquiring minds, again it begs the question what goes wrong to churn out brain-dead morons whose idea of food is KFC and McDonald’s, drink sports drinks, Coca-Cola, or heavily advertised lager?

Parents are to blame, though not entirely, the food industry too.

Children are having to have operations to reduce their stomach size. Children aged five and six waddling from side to side as they walk because they are too fat to walk. A child of six weighing 11 stone!

The state intervenes when children are beaten, starved. The state should intervene when children are grossly overweight.

This afternoon in a window of McDonald’s overlooking the street. One very fat woman, one very fat child, both stuffing their faces with Big Macs.

London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

August 12, 2012
The chimes of Big Ben at 2100 marked the start of the close of London 2012

The chimes of Big Ben at 2100 marked the start of the close of London 2012

London 2012 the world's biggest rock concert

London 2012 the world’s biggest rock concert

Spice Girls London 2012 girl power

Spice Girls London 2012 girl power

London 2012 Matt Bellamy of Muse

London 2012 Matt Bellamy of Muse

London 2012 Take That

London 2012 Take That

London 2012 The Who

London 2012 The Who

Britain we did it Right. Thank you. – Seb Coe

A happy and glorious Games. – President of IOC

To be or not the be, that is the question. – William Shakespeare

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, – Samuel Johnson

I missed the first couple of minutes.

Woman singing. Never heard of her.

Traffic driving round.? M25? People banging posts and pans?

Let us show the world the worst of the UK pop scene. A poor start.

Stomp, using dustbins for a drum routine. Brilliant.

Clever dance routine to Sgt Pepper. At last some decent music!

Brilliant! Kinks Classic Waterloo Sunset Ray Davies. Third time I have heard in 24 hours!

Black females singer, wonderful voice, awful hairstyle,. No idea who she is.

Entry of flags, followed by athletes. Having the athletes come in through the crowds was clever.

The choice of music was also clever as tied in with the Olympic spirit.

The Dhol Foundation playing drums! I saw them live in June! Excellent dance routine.

Kenya won more medals than all other African countries.

Yorkshire won more medals than Australia!

Wonderful John Lennon Imagine, preceded by Queen. Remastered by Yoko Ono, children mime, face formed on the ground.

Very clever use of graphics to show keyboard around the stadium for George Michael. Brilliant performance George Michael!

Fantastic Pinball Wizard The Who entrance on scooters, Kaiser Chiefs, but why not The Who! We got the a answer later

David Bowie!

English fashion, models on the catwalk.

Amazing entrance Annie Lennox on a flaming boat! Dracula theme.

Fantastic Pink Floyd number. Nick Mason, Mike Rutherford. Wish You Were Here clever on tightrope reproducing the cover.

More Sgt Pepper. Brilliant dance routine.

Great dance routine Fatboy Slim.

Price Tag I assume Jessie J

You should be Dancing Bee Gees classic.

Spice girls enter in London black cab taxis. Thne on top of cabs, whizzing around the tracks. As we have seen with Team GB medals, girl power.

Beady Eye Oasis classic.

More Sgt Pepper Mr Blue Sky. Amazing graphics around the stadium.

What seemed a celebration of musicals, not sure.

From canon man fired, then appears in net.

Muse. No idea who he is Heavy rock, choir, pyrotechnics. Brilliant!

Wonderful, Freddy Mercury. How he is missed. Where did the big screens appear from? Followed by Brian May on guitar as solo intro, then Queen We Will Rock You, with Roger Taylor on drums. Electrifying. Jessie J on vocals.

Brilliant, Usaine Bolt caught doing his trademark stance in the darkness.

Mayor Boris hands over to Rio, now their turn.

Samba!

Rio was good, and as a stand alone, would have been brilliant, but they had an impossible act to follow. It was like putting the warm-up act on after then main act everyone had come to see.

Excellent closing speech by Seb Coe.

Fine tubes holding the flame slowly lowering.

Just when you think it is over, Take That!

More than 200 ballerinas from Royal Ballet. Breathtaking!

Olympic flame extinguished.

The Who! The last time I saw The Who was not long after they played Woodstock.

What a finale, The Who My Generation with fireworks going off in the Olympic Park.

The fear was, what the Olympics would do to London. What we saw was what London did to the Games!

Absolutely no way should the stadium be used for football. It should be reserved for rock concerts streamed to a global audience.

The Closing Ceremony got off to a poor start, but it was brilliant. Think of a rock concert, then think of a rock concert two orders of magnitude and you get it.

It says a lot, the two bands that had everyone rocking: Queen and The Who!

Strange, I was thinking Imagine John Lennon, then BBC played it at the end with London 2012 highlights. Stunning images.

Before the Games started, there was little support in the country. This was entirely down to the tainting of the Games by corporate sponsorship by companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Corporate sponsors must be kicked out of the Games.

But once London 2012, opened with the amazing Opening Ceremony, we were all supporters of London 2012.

In Guildford, people queuing at the station wanting to go up to London for the Olympics. A friend Pandora and I wished to go, but could not get a ticket.

Before few were looking forward to London 2012, when it ended everyone was regretting it had ended.

London you did us proud!

And well done Team GB, you did us proud too, third in the medal table.

Rio, you have a very hard act to follow.

BBC are releasing on Blue-Ray and DVD the opening and closing ceremonies and highlights of the London 2012 Games. A must. For Americans forced to endure the absolutely appalling coverage by NBC and absolute must!

#NBCfail censored Kinks front man Ray Davies with his emotional rendition of Waterloo Sunset. What a bunch of arseholes!

And of the legacy. For that we wait and see.

Cycling’s for Athletes

August 9, 2012

It’s the Olympics

And cycling’s for athletes

So now i’m told

If your bike doesn’t fold

You can’t take it on the train

Cause of a silly flame

And i’m kinda pissed it came

Cause cycling’s for everyone

Not just the one’s that won

Everyone should run around

And now no one goes to town

Cause you’re worried it’s too busy

And now it’s empty in the city

You can’t even take your bike

They do whatever they like

Whose streets? Whose Games? Whose City? Whose Trains?

If you’re waiting for while

Make sure you wear a smile

If you suffer from Parkinson’s

Do Martial Arts demonstrations

And you’re waiting for the race

Cops will put you on your face

You’ll spend your daughter’s birthday

At the pleasure of her majesty

It’s the Olympics

And cycling’s for athletes

I don’t need to ask permission

If I wanna go cycling

I don’t wanna ask your approval

About where my bike is suitable

They want you to stay at home

Watch TV, have a moan

See all their advertising

It 10 percent of cost to cover it

With all their monopolizing

Every final Friday of the month

In cities, bikes give cars the shunt

It’s the anarchist Critical Mass

You don’t have to be top class

You don’t have to be Chris Hoy

They don’t care if you’re a boy

The greatest global bike event

And it doesn’t cost a cent

But it’s the Olympics

And cycling’s for athletes!

So when they ride to the stadium

For that opening ceromanium

Trying to get away from the vehicle

They arrest 180 people

Confiscate their bike

Police do what they like

Imprison them all night

In buses and a shed

Make them sleep without a bed

And no water and no food

The Chinese would think this good

Cause it’s the Olympics!

And cycling’s for Athletes!

— Catherine Brogan

Posted by Catherine Brogan on her blog.

Catherine Brogan is currently at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The London 2012 Olympics is to leave a legacy, or so we are told.

Try taking your cycle on the train. You cannot.

Try cycling around London. Critical Mass tried to do just that on the evening of the Opening Ceremony and go the shit beat out of them by the Police and mass arrests took place for the heinous crime of riding a cycle.

Huge projection overlooking Olympic park exposes Adidas exploitation‏

August 6, 2012
Adidas exploitation projection at Olympic Park

Adidas exploitation projection at Olympic Park

People leaving the Olympic Park last night after the men’s 100m final were greeted by this huge projection on a building, exposing the exploitation of workers who make clothes for Olympic sportswear partner Adidas. Yet one more example of the obscenity of corporate sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

While thousands of people who were at the London 2012 Olympics would have seen this, we want to make sure that thousands more see and share this image.

Please share with all your friends. Please tell your friends that Adidas sources its Olympic consumer tat from sweatshops.

The projection was made possible by the generosity of War on Want supporters, this projection can help shame Adidas to take action and end poverty pay. The more people who see it, the bigger the impact. Please share it now.

Please e-mail the boss of Adidas and demand an end to worker exploitation.

Adidas has already sold £100 million of Olympic clothing whilst workers making its goods around the world are paid poverty wages and are having to skip meals to survive.

This is exploitation. It wouldn’t be ok for Adidas to do this in the UK and it shouldn’t be ok anywhere else. Adidas must ensure that workers are paid enough to live.

Child blogs how to win friends and influence people at 9

August 5, 2012
Child blogs how to win friends and influence people at 9

Child blogs how to win friends and influence people at 9

The front page story on the cover of the Weekend section of The Times was Child Bloggers. Inside a two page spread and a centrefold picture of the child bloggers.

A diverse range of topics, fashion, politics, football, food.

Martha Payne aka Veg with her blog NeverSeconds writes on food. When she started her blog she expected family and friends to read NeverSeconds. It was quite a surprise to find the next morning 25,000 hits. She has had bully boys at her local council try to shut her down, these with the help of her friends and supporters she has seen off, an endorsement by Jamie Oliver, interview on the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, nominated for a Great Scot Award, has raised over £110,000 for a food kitchen in Malawi called Friends of NeverSeconds, in September she plans to visit Malawi for the inauguration of Friends of Never Seconds and from where she will blog about Malawi. To date her blog has clocked up nearly 7.6 million hits and they are running at about one every couple of seconds.

Adults, especially teachers and parents, get worried when they see children achieving something. Will it not interfere with their school work? The simple answer, so long as school work is not neglected, is no, it is part of life’s learning process and they are usually life’s high achievers.

Practice makes perfect. We learn to write by writing, and by reading good literature.

Watch Jamie Oliver cook. He makes it so easy. It is as though he has some innate skill. He has been cooking since he was a child.

People who are good at something, be it cooking, music, writing, usually have a love of what they are doing.

Adults too often underestimate what children are capable of or patronise them.

When my niece Jessica was at primary school she wrote about being blind. She did not simply sit down and write, she went and interviewed a blind lady, she wore a blindfold to experience what it was to be blind. I think she also edited a school newspaper.

In the New Year I showed a young friend Alice how to set up a blog. We spent about an hour together. She went home and within a couple of hours had her blog alicemch up and running and had opened a twitter account to promote her blog.

How do these young bloggers cope with evil trolls and their abuse? Easy they recognise them for the pathetic individuals that they are and ignore them.

Unfortunately The Times article on the young bloggers is not available on-line as The Times is owned by the Murdoch Empire and a pay wall intervenes. It is not even possible to find it using google. I read the article in Waitrose but on principle refused to buy.

To erect a pay wall goes against the entire ethics and ethos of the World Wide Web. During the Olympics Opening Ceremony a week ago, Sir Tim Berners-Lee tweeted This is my gift to the world.

The web is a global common of information for all to pick from. We pay back by doing what Veg and the other young bloggers are doing.

The London 2012 Olympics, with Bradley Wiggins and Andy Murray winning Gold, with Team GB third in the medal table, has inspired many youngsters to follow suit. Even if only a walk in the park would be better than sat in front of a TV.

But look at the winners. A disproportionate are from public schools and private schools, not state schools. Nothing wrong with that, but where will the legacy be for state schools when the kids lack the facilities, when school playing fields are sold off to developers, when parks are sold off?

If we can get to Number Three in the medals table for London 2012 without the state sector, think what we can do in Rio 2016 if we give them the help and support they deserve.

Contrast Martha with Coca-Cola and McDonald’s as main sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics. With an epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, which these sponsors are helping to fuel, what message does it send out?

I have nominated Martha and NeverSeconds for the Food and Farming Awards, will you?

I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for the Derek Cooper Award than Martha and NeverSeconds as a writer who has raised awareness of food, especially with children, and raised more than £100,000 for a food kitchen in Malawi for schoolchildren, to be called Friends of NeverSeconds.

The Adidas sponsored Exploitation Games

August 5, 2012
The Adidas sponsored Exploitation Games

The Adidas sponsored Exploitation Games

we are not in the welfare business. Our job is to make a profit. — Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer

Saturday War on Want put on the Exploitation Games, no corporate sponsorship necessary, outside Adidas flagship store in Oxford Street in London in protest at Adidas sourcing its Olympic consumer tat from sweatshops. Protests also took place outside Adidas stores in Manchester, Portsmouth and Exeter.

The Exploitation Games included activists confronting the hurdles faced by Adidas workers, such as poverty wages and up to 90-hour weeks, and, after the Olympics cheats scandal, badminton to symbolise alleged unfair play by Adidas.

War on Want sweatshops campaigner Murray Worthy, who stuck its anti-exploitation poster on the London store’s window, said:

These Exploitation Games expose the ugly truth behind Adidas’s failure to uphold the Olympics values of fair play and respect. Adidas must stop raking in profits at workers’ expense and instead ensure their pay reflects the vital part they play in its success.

Adidas are one of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic Games, but cannot afford to pay its sweatshop workers a living wage.

While Adidas reveals the company has already sold around £100 million of Olympic merchandise, War on Want points to Indonesian workers struggling to survive on pay as low as 5,000 rupiah (34p) an hour, and having to skip meals to get by.

War on Want stresses the stark contrast between workers’ poverty pay and the £529 million profits Adidas declared for 2011, as well as chief executive Herbert Hainer’s £4.6 million “compensation” last year.

It cites Adidas workers receiving far less than a living wage in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and China.

In addition, Cambodian workers earn £10-a-week basic pay, are forced to toil overtime hours, cannot afford decent food and live in squalid housing conditions.

In the run up to Exploitation Games thousands of people have written to Adidas, had tagged their clothes to expose the exploitation behind the brand, yet Adidas are still refusing to make basic commitments like paying a living wage.

No1 Top Story in The Exploitation Daily (Sunday 5 August 2012).

“You Brits are sooo arrogant”

August 3, 2012

Dear United Kingdom, You can be our colonial masters again if you bring @BBC #Olympics coverage with you. Love, America. — notLikeNormalPeople ‏@notlikenormal

Funny thing #NBCfail, the ads never freeze like your pathetic live stream does. You are abominable. I’d be fired if I did my job like you. — Steve Weinstein ‏@steveweinstein

I am starting to think NBC is intentionally nuking their streaming of events that will be tape-delayed. — Jeb ‏@tatsumaki4ryu

@TVvInce I am adopting the NBC approach to breaking news: my actual article will go up an hour or so after Twitter has learned about it. — Guy Adams ‏@guyadams

And while away on commercial break, NBC Sports Network missed Japan’s second goal. — Steven Goff ‏@SoccerInsider

It started off well enough.

Thanks to our dysfunctional public transport system I was queueing at Guildford Station to buy a ticket, even though I had completed my journey.

In front of me was an American woman, before her a young girl.

The girl had a Union Jack (British flag) painted on her cheek.

American woman: Are you going to see the Olympics?

Young girl: Yes.

American woman: What to see?

Young girl: Basketball.

American woman: Who is playing?

Young girl: Team GB and USA.

American woman: Will you be cheering the American team?

Young girl: No!

That did it. The American woman then tried to impress all with the fact that she had been at college with top basketball players and named at least one of them who was seven foot tall.

Does he drop the ball in the net?

What she did not seem to realise is that Brits have zero interest in basketball.

She then proceeded to slag off the BBC London 2012 Olympic coverage, their commentary was awful as they did not know what they were talking about (they referred to The Ukraine), and that NBC was vastly superior.

Really, NBC vastly superior!

NBC does not show the coverage live, instead it is delayed three hours for the East Coast, six hours for the West Coast.

When this was pointed out to her the reaction was, so. It seemed lost on her that the rest of the world saw it live.

And as for the commentary:

The opening ceremony was chatted over the top, as too difficult for an American audience to understand, Brunel was referred to as George Washington. Who is Tim Berners Lee? The tribute to the victims of the London 7/7 bombings was cut. Australia was apparently somewhere in the middle of Europe. Small countries were where the terrorists came from.

Last weekend the cycle route through the Surrey Hills was apparently lined with châteaus.

Such has been the almost exclusive focus on American athletes, that one person asked on #NBCFail had all the other athletes gone home after the opening ceremony.

Americans have been using the net to watch BBC because NBC coverage is so bad.

NBC has pointed to viewing figures but these are meaningless when NBC has a broadcast monopoly for which it paid a staggering $1 billion.

When Guy Adams, a journalist on The Independent, slammed NBC for their abysmal Olympic coverage, he had his twitter account suspended (now reinstated).

It was suggested to the American she watched through the net (she was complaining a limited choice), she said she had not internet. A little backward, no internet.

When a few of these points were made to her, her response was: You Brits are sooo arrogant!

A bit rich, an American calling Brits arrogant. The pot calling the kettle black?

She fortunately shut up. But at least she kept the queue amused whilst we patiently waited our turn to buy a ticket.

Brits get the BBC, which unlike NBC is there to serve its viewers not the markets. Brits also get free health care too, hence the NHS featuring in the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Tuesday 7August 2012).