So here’s the logo that everyone’s getting so upset about, though I can’t honestly say I care much. I don’t care much for the London Olympics at all so the fact that they’ve spent Â£400,000 of their absurd budget on a logo that looks like a puzzle you get in a cracker makes no less sense to me than if they’d spent it on hurdles. (My personal feeling on the budget issue is that the one hope for arts funding in this country over the next decade is in persuading somebody to include theatre as a demonstration sport in the 2012 Olympics.)
From what I could glean from The London Paper and Metro the other day (yes, I read them both because I like to get a balanced view) the thing about the Olympic logo that is causing the most outrage is that people see things in it. One Metro reader saw a swastika. And in The London Paper a Mr Whyte described it as “a Tracy Emin piece of dog poo” – strong words indeed. Clearly it is a veritable rorschach blot of a logo. I don’t quite know what to make of the fact that I see a woman with a perm giving a man a blow job, though I am sure other people will think that they know what to make of it.
But I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to read in The London Paper that 56% of people – 56% no less! – said that the design is “not very inspiring”. And a whole 4% said that it is “awful”!!! That must be quite a kick in the teeth to Tessa Jowell.
Then I scanned down to the bottom of the poll and found a sentence saying “Source: our reporters spoke to 75 people on London’s streets tonight”.
75 people? So that means that the “4%” that said the new Olympic logo was “awful” was actually only three people? And the “56%” who didn’t find it inspiring was actually not even fifty people?
I mean, why not just speak to one person? Why not print the factually correct percentage “100% of Mr Whytes felt that the design resembled a Tracy Emin piece of dog poo”? London is not exactly bereft of people, and The London Paper apparently sent out “reporters” (plural) to talk to them – so to get the opinions of 75 people (even if we include the time it must have taken to listen to Mr Whyte ranting about Tracy Emin) must have taken, maybe, twenty minutes? If that? What exactly were these “journalists” doing?
I reckon they were in the pub. In that respect, they probably have a lot in common with the people who designed the new Olympic logo, though since they’re probably not quite racking up Â£400,000 for their work I don’t think we should hold it against them.