Friday, August 06, 2010

'The effect being that the entire Olympic Park is contaminated with thorium at water-table level'

Slightly old, but still worth reading: Iain Sinclair's epic on the Olympic-sized scam crashing through east London. A stewpot of history, politics, reportage, comment and weary anger, if there is such a thing.
The Millennium Dome fiasco was a low-rent rehearsal. The holy grail for blue-sky thinkers was the sport-transcends-politics Olympiad, the five-hooped golden handcuffs, the smoke rings behind which deals could be done for casinos and malls: with corporate sponsorship, flag-waving and infinitely elastic budgets (any challenge an act of naysaying treason).
My naysaying credentials are impeccable: before we won the bid I knocked up some stickers pastiching the then ubiquitous leaflets that said "Back the Bid" showing swimmers diving off the Thames Barrier and a gymnast vaulting over the Gherkin or some such. My version had "Fuck the Bid" and showed the swimmers diving off a row of white elephants (biting satire, you see). Alas I was so convinced that we'd never win the bid - and also because I'm inveterately lazy - I never got round to printing them and quickly lost the Photoshop files. I did consider a post-bid victory version that said "(Give) Back the Bid", but by then the original leaflets had vanished down the memory hole. Anyway, let's hope that the Olympics don't suffer the same cuts as we all are going to, because that would be unsportsmanlike.