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Olympic Games: Just say NO

In Canada, as Cory Doctorow observes, the International Olympic Committee "has trademarked a line from the Canadian national anthem, "with glowing hearts," and is threatening to sue anyone who uses the line in Canada, as part of the Vancouver Games."

Lest you think that's just a bizarre one-off, here in the UK "The Olympics Act of 2006 bans the use of terms such as 2012, games, gold, silver and bronze in combination except by those who are official sponsors of the Olympic Games and allows the Games' authorities to control advertising around the venues used in the Games."

(That puts any jewelers who want to advertise the fact that they buy or sell gold and silver in breach of the law, doesn't it? Unless they pay protection money to the sports mafia.)

As Cory points out, "The Olympics cloak themselves in the rhetoric of international cooperation and development, but everything they touch turns to garbage: totalitarian surveillance camps where corporate greed rules all."

The London Olympics budget includes £1.5Bn for security and anti-terrorism (at an event originally intended, a century ago, to be a symbol of peace and goodwill to all humanity).

Meanwhile, the overall Olympic budget for 2012 is due to go over £10Bn (go on; that's US $18.5Bn — enough to rescue a medium-sized bank), a mere £168 for every human being in the UK, or about £500 per household. Excuse me, but speaking as a householder I didn't sign up for this exclusionary, discriminatory, offensive pig in a poke.

I am, in principle, in favour of exercise and sport and so on and so forth. But the idea that I'm being forced to cough up the thick end of £500 to subsidize the sport lobby's pet obsession and to subject myself to draconian anti-terrorist policing measures for the duration, while having my freedom of speech crapped on by a bunch of usurious "intellectual property" rent-seekers makes me want to spit. If the government seriously wants to encourage exercise and sport in the UK they'd do far better to spend the money giving everyone free municipal swimming and gym access for a couple of years instead of providing a junket for the elite — and it'd be cheaper!

Cancel the 2012 Olympic Games — cancel them now, before it's too late.



Hmm, I'd better check if the domains I registered at the time go against that Act...


OK, so our outlay is £10bn. Now do the tricky bit; how much can we expect to gain in revenue from the merchandising, tourism, and TV rights? Also, in terms of the good of the economy, how much of that money is just being circulated, and how much will actually end up in foreign hands?


"That puts any jewelers who want to advertise the fact that they buy or sell gold and silver in breach of the law, doesn't it? Unless they pay protection money to the sports mafia."

Errr. No. Gold, silver and bronze have to be used in conjunction with "2012", "Games", and a couple of variants thereof. So you couldn't, for example, create a "2012 Gold" product, but you could describe a gold product as gold, a silver product as silver, etc.

"The London Olympics budget includes £1.5Bn for security and anti-terrorism (at an event originally intended, a century ago, to be a symbol of peace and goodwill to all humanity)."

What, you'd prefer another Olympics like Munich in '72?


The anarchist/anticapitalist group Space Hijackers has already started a Free Hackney movement.


Is it too late to give the games to Paris, I wonder?


Actually, I think there was some talk of giving free access to municipal baths in the run up to 2012.


Yes, Ian B. @ 3, clearly Charlie would prefer another Munich '72. Schmuck.


I wish I could say I'm surprised at this, Charlie, but I'm not. For two reasons:

  • Pretty much all international sport is corrupt. That's not a refelction on sport per se; it's just that there is big money in many sports these days, and where you find money, you find corruption. The bigger the sport, the more pigs with their snouts in the trough. They don't care where the swill comes from as long as they get some.

  • Trademark law is a joke. I know of one situation where an author had given their new book a title that was also a perfectly common phrase (of the "out like a light"/"slept like a log" variety) and it was challenged by someone who had managed to trademark the phrase in the correct categories.

  • Question: what sort of idiot law allows this to happen? Answer: see above.


    Anyway, Charlie is missing the bigger picture. This could be the event to finally put London on the map!

    I worked for NYC during the 2012 initial-bidding and had a very small role in preparing some of the bid materials. I was so relieved when that nightmare cup passed us by. And then I move to the UK. At least I'm not in London any more.

    The whole modern Olympic movement is astonishingly corrupt and useless. We should just build a permanent facility in, oh, I don't know, Greece maybe? There could be a modest tax on participating countries to pay for upkeep. And a different sponsor country each year to blow few tens of millions on an opening ceremony. But no need to build ugly-ass not-really-reusable buildings. Cheaper, better, blah blah blah. But we can't even get rid of the 2p coin.


    I must make a slight counterpoint. I believe that the more we change our ways to accomodate "security" against terrorism the more we submit to terror as an legitimate influence on our lives.

    However, the Olympics are a lens through which the entire world will be focused intently on London for those weeks, and if an attack were to happen, that would steal that focus completely. If that happens, the validity of the draconian security hell would sink its teeth even deeper into the psyche of general populace. That would be a Bad Thing.


    As a Canadian, I wouldn't mind getting rid of the 2010 Vancouver games. Stories keep emerging about cost overruns, security problems, troubles with the roads leading to the mountain events, etc. However, the people of Vancouver did get to vote in a referendum on whether they wanted the games or not; 64% said 'yes', so they got to go ahead.

    One factoid about Vancouver 2010: several of the venues for the non-alpine events are going to be next-door to Vancouver's Lower East Side, which is Canada's poorest, roughest community. How they're going to keep its very poor, often homeless, drug-addicted or mentally ill inhabitants from bothering the Better Sort of people attending the games is a question that is getting serious attention.


    I think the shenigans (and trials) surrounding the winter games in Utah a few years ago show in miniature what power and money struggles go on around the Olympics, and why the Olympic Committee is not even remotely "all about the sport". And given the total clusterfuck that ensues in construction, traffic, and general ability to go about your daily life, I see absolutely no gain for the citizens of any place that hosts the games. Surely there are enough uninhabited deserts around that the Olympics could be put on far from people who'd rather get on with their lives.


    they'd do far better to spend the money giving everyone free municipal swimming and gym access for a couple of years

    And exactly what corporations would that enrich? Silly man.

    The greed and over-reaching doesn't offend me too much - that's exactly what I expect from corporations. It's the giveaways from the governments that makes me nuts, and it confuses me as well. There doesn't seem to be a single governmental organization able to say no to these clowns, whether they be the Olympics or a local franchise looking for a land & stadium handout.

    Some enterprising leaders have moved on to other giveaways. Here in the DC area we have the Silver Spring council getting geared up to do a multi-million dollar handout of a facility - built on the local dime - for Live Nation, a tremendously successful music venue company.

    I guess I could be really successful too if I never had to pay for a building and got big tax waivers...


    "If the government seriously wants to encourage exercise and sport in the UK they'd do far better to spend the money giving everyone free municipal swimming and gym access for a couple of years instead of providing a junket for the elite — and it'd be cheaper!"

    Er... not necessarily. Just handing out free tickets would result in massive queues, until most people realised there wasn't enough capacity and gave up and went home again. To deliver on this idea, you would need to build huge numbers of new swimming pools and gyms. That's a great idea, of course - but it would cost an awful lot. Although (belatedly dons arithmetic cap)... £10bn divided by about 50m people... Hmmmmm, that's almost £200 per person... including the old, infants, sick... OK, Charlie, maybe you have got a point after all! 8-)

    But it's far too late to "just say no". We have entered into a binding agreement, and whatever the legal technicalities the UK can't just change its mind with less than four years to go.

    I do agree with almost everything you say. World-class sport has been professionalized to the point where it should never need public funds. Those who choose the professional path should live or die by their profitability. And where's the fun in trying to guess whether Usain Bolt takes drugs or not?


    What you said, except we can stop the madness before it hits Chicago.

    Though, in the "it's an ill wind..." category, I think the economy will take care of that problem.


    I must say, sort of tangentially, that I really think it's cool to see "rent-seeker" used as a term of abuse. I'd like to see the concept become much more widely recognized; it explains so much about our current economic and political situation.


    As someone who has attended two Olympics (2000, 2008) I must say I am very much in favour of the "permanent location / rotating host" plan.

    Such a system would stand the greatest chance of being "all about the athletes" (in contrast to the current system which is all about the sponsors, chiefly because it's so damn expensive to build the infrastructure all over again once every 4 years).

    And it would put paid to the constant re-invention of crowd control / security. You'd make refinements and upgrades every 4 years to the existing known-quantity venues, and it would just get better and better.

    Coupled with a global lottery for, say, 30% of the tickets, (winners get to go watch, all expenses paid), and you'd have a system which actually achieved at least some of the "bringing humanity together" / "celebration of athletic achievement" / "youth of the world" goals.

    The current system achieves lots of nationalist chest-thumping, lots of waste, lots of corruption, and the ugly sight of the bored super-rich attending the "event" rather than actually thrilling to the sporting achievements on show.

    I second the nomination for Greece.


    I think the audience figures would, er, rise, if you revived the original Greek athletic costumes.


    You can thank Juan Samaranch for the commercialized Olympics. His unique blend of coruption and corporatism was forged, little surprise, during his tenure in Franco's dictatorship.


    I remember that the IOC tried threatening a California catering-truck company with lawsuits, etc, because it was named 'Olympic'. IIRC, they went away when it was pointed out that the company was located on Olympic Blvd (which was named in honor of the 1932 Olympics).


    I voted "Yes" in the plebiscite in Vancouver -- narrowly, mostly on the grounds that it would cause major infrastructure upgrades that ordinarily would go unfunded.

    I should've done more research.


    Ah, we'll make a libertarian of you yet!


    Just remember to use the alternate logo when discussing the Olympics.


    I think the shenigans (and trials) surrounding the winter games in Utah a few years ago show in miniature what power and money struggles go on around the Olympics, and why the Olympic Committee is not even remotely "all about the sport". And given the total clusterfuck that ensues in construction, traffic, and general ability to go about your daily life, I see absolutely no gain for the citizens of any place that hosts the games. Surely there are enough uninhabited deserts around that the Olympics could be put on far from people who'd rather get on with their lives.


    In some ways even more important than the money is the likely long term damage to the health and fitness of people in the UK. There was a splendid polemic in the Guardian last week, making the point that competitive sport is fine for the competitively sporty, but humiliating and counter-productive for everybody else - and the olympic rhetoric skews things even more.


    plok@21: The Olympics are the reason Sydney's public transport infrastructure is such a shambles. The "company" that was set up to create all the Olympic facilities (at a loss) was folded back into the NSW state debt afterwards, using money that had been earmarked for infrastructure developments.

    James Reynolds@11: Sydney again, all the homeless in the city were given bus tickets to Brisbane whether they liked it or not.

    Add me to the list of votes for one permanent Olympic venue. If nations want to get prestige from the event, they can try, y'know, winning some medals.


    I must admit that my knee jerk reaction to the morning after the night before "some other July thursday" was that Paris was pretty pissed about something. I wonder what would have happened if Paris had won instead.


    A reasonable argument against, maybe; we all understand about corruption and money in sports both on and off the field, however to dismiss pleasure for zillions and the unpaid efforts of thousands seems a little unreasonable (and patronising). Your argument smacks of more of Bah Humbug than anything else. Don't be such a spoilsport (literally) and by the way, whom do YOU represent ? The public must be kept entertained and politicians have profiles to maintain and votes to obtain, and anyway in 2012,won't there be a different government (in name) in office.


    Tome Welsh #14- the UK population is around 60.7 million, giving about 164.7 pounds each, which is what Charlie has in the top post...

    Meanwhile the loss of school playing fields and opening of new leisure centres continues, and what I have read in the media suggests that its sucking the very money out of the system needed to bring up the grass roots new players to compete in it.


    Its fairly obvious you are against the olympics and everything that goes with them. However they are going to happen so the more positive question is: "How do we gain the maximum value from them?"

    Oh, and if you were to title a fiction book "20:12 - Up Yours Sporty", do you think they would have a case to ban it?


    Olympics are stupid. Some of the winners get money for a while from endorsements, but most of the others go back to training other people or regular jobs. What's the big deal?


    It is too late to cancel. Tough if you don't like it. Deal with it. I'm not that keen myself but see sentences 1 and 2 above.


    I'm one of those who loves many Olympic events, wishes the competitors well, and enjoys watching a lot of the events.

    But my satisfaction isn't any longer worth the price paid by the cities and countries doing the hosting. Good security, for instance, is very important. But it should cost a lot less than what security providers charge these days, and it should be a lot more focused and accountable. The costs of facilities are insane - many of these simply can't ever be profitable, and too many turn out to be not only too expensive but fairly shoddy in detail, including poor visibility for people actually there, bad handicapped access, lacking in insulation, and like that.

    What I want to see, and what nearly every fellow Olympics fan I know would like to see, would actually be served well by much cheaper but more carefully designed facilities at a permanent locale.


    You don't have to be anti-pachyderm to point out that the white elephant, while cute when it was just a baby, has grown to such a proportion that it is now eating you out of house and home.


    Personally I'm really really strongly opposed to having a permanent site for the Olympics. The current system means that a lot more people get to have a games in a location somewhere near where they live. Plus hosting the games is both normally profitable (you get an enormous number of tourists) and provides the host with an opportunity to show off.

    As the host gets rather a lot of revenue from tourism so the idea of having a permanent host with a rotating sponsor is really unworkable, as it amounts to asking a country to spend a huge amount of money to benefit another country.

    The one thing I would change if I could is the length of the games, the schedule of the summer games is very congested so I think it might be better to extend it to, maybe, four weeks rather than two and a half.


    I'm sorry but as an athlete I have to disagree with what you're saying, well not about the IOC being a bunch of dicks, that's totally true. But what people often forget is that the Olympics is about the athletes, not the corporations or the guys who head up the IOC. At my peak of swimming, I was going 8 times a week, at least two hours each time sometimes up to 3 and a half, before and after school. I was working my ass off and that was just at the junior national level, so imagine how hard the Olympic athletes train. If you cancel the olympics, the ones who are most affected are not the corporate guys, it's the athletes who have trained for 4 years for just this one event. If you turn an athletic event into a political stage, all you do is hurt those who have nothing to do with and probably don't even care about what you're trying to push and that would be the athletes.


    Well said, Mr Stross. The Olympics are all about big business first, sports second.


    Brett @35: Proofy? I don't think any modern Games host has made a profit on it -- the airlines probably do, and the TV channels, but the host city? They get a collection of oversized white-elephant venues, and the joy of having their normal life completely disrupted for about a month.


    "The London Olympics budget includes £1.5Bn for security and anti-terrorism (at an event originally intended, a century ago, to be a symbol of peace and goodwill to all humanity)."

    -- well, the IOC are scarcely to blame for the prevalence of terrorists.

    Isn't that one a bit of a stretch? Not to mention blaming the person in danger of being attacked.


    No, Brian. We wish the Games were about the athletes. How 'bout we start pushing for IOC reform?


    There is a book that exposes the corruption behind the games, "The New Lords Of The Rings".


    Chris@26: at least I got to watch "The Games" because of Sydney! Funny show. I like dry Australian humour.

    Brian@36: Yeah, I'm pro-athletes for sure, no argument there. But man, don't you find it's getting harder to keep this business apolitical yourself? In Vancouver I had ex-Olympians on TV telling me that the Olympics is really a democratizing an argument for why the Beijing games shouldn't be politicized. But obviously, by giving out this boilerplate rationale they make them more politically-charged, not less -- they make the question almost impossible to avoid. Shouldn't we start to have qualms at some point, athlete or non-athlete? This system screws a lot of things and people up -- I voted to bring it to my home town. I don't see how I can just turn around and go "Who, Me?" after that.


    AT LAST!

    Thank you Charlie! Next time I'm in Dunedin, or you're in London, I'll buy you a beer ( or two! )

    I am unfortunate enough to live exactly 4km directly North of the main stadium. Our local council have gone all crrepy=fawning over this vast boondoggle. (Which reminds me, I have another FOI request to make of them.) NO-ONE AT ALL in the road in which I liove thinks it's a good idea, yet the politicos and the Journos are having public wet dreams all over the landsacape about this.

    Afte it's all over, we will be saddled with a huge debt, and it wil STIIL take 35 minutes to get from Walthamstow to Startford by public transpoet - because they flatly refuse to put back the railway-curve that is needed, or re-open Lea Bridge rail station.

    Greedy, stupid, muscle-bound-between-the-ears FUCKWITS the lot of them.

    I've got a set of "alternative olympic symbols" on my drives, but I don't presently have the means to put them up - they say it all - if someoen can point me at a public-host site, I'll semd them along, with a link ....


    Sorry about the TYPOS - I was so pleased to see someoene telling the truth about this.

    Of course, if you live in London, there's an EXTRA TAX for this sewage outfall.


    In todays current economic climate, I think it's important that we don't loose the skills of throwing sharp things, running fast or jumping.


    I have a different plan-the Olympics should be used as a new means of international sanctions. Countries that display bad behavior (warmongering, sponsoring terrorist groups, Stalinist repression, etc.) get their capital city awarded the Olympics, and have to foot the bills.

    If we sent the 2014 Winter Olympics to Pyongyang, I think there's no way the North Korean government would survive the strain.

    After that, we can threaten to award the 2016 games to Equatorial Guinea if they don't clean up their act a bit. (If we do that, I hear that Sir Mark Thatcher is a favorite in the "comically miscarried coup d'etat" event).


    Chris L @38:

    Montreal finished paying off its debt from the 1976 games 2-3 years ago. I kid you not-- they were on the hook for more than 25 years.


    I must say, all the Londoners and British citizens reading this have my sympathy. I'm from Chicago, and the spider web the current Mayor Daley is spinning looks likely to weigh heavily on the wallets of everyone in city of Chicago, Cook County, the state of Illinois, and the United States of America. All sorts of improvements are being promised if the city gets the games, but it looks to me like the primary result will be the economic cleansing of people living in areas Mayor Daley wants to give to his cronies and the building of monuments that will either cost a lot more than they're supposed to (like the Millennium Bean) or a seemingly interminable eyesore like Block 37 (although they have, after a mere few decades, actually built something there, so maybe there is an end to that story coming). I keep hoping that the folks who run the Olympics will decide to award the Olympics to some other city as a way of showing their displeasure with the doings of the United States this last decade or so.

    I'm not sure what Londoners have done to deserve an Olympics, but the Fates are often unkind, and not wont to explain their ways.


    MArty #48- most Londoners havn't done anything more than try and make a living in the city, they aren't to blame for the mess, except insofar as their lack of political action to stop it didn't help.


    guthrie @ #49:

    You would've thought having a poll on "Olympics or not" would be a good idea, but there wasn't one.


    Ingvar, I don't know how much you know about British politics and history, but in general, our lords and masters only allow a poll when it'll give the result they want or it is on a topic they are interested in. See the last 1,000 years of British history for examples, especially the last 30 or so years.


    What makes me terribly cross is that the Olympics is (are?) taking most of the Lottery money for the next X years - so my daughter's after school club (and zillions of other almost as worthy causes) can't get a penny. Obviously just selfish of me.

    As to the permanent stadium thing though - isn't there a plan that the top tier will be dismantled and sold off to the next venue? That sounds like excellent sense for once* - maybe they could extend the idea and build up a flat-pack Olympic infrastructure that could be passed round the world?


    *So probably not true.


    In many ways, the Olympics are a symbol of peace and goodwill, etc. If they are to many of the observers and participants, then indeed, it is. As far as the Games being a natural target for terrorists of any sort (see the PLO, for example), of course they are: symbols of peace and goodwill -- especially those with incredible worldwide press coverage -- are historically and obviously going to be targets. One identity does not cancel out the other.

    I chalk up Olympic boondoggles to the same general issues that plague public funded sports stadiums in major cities. It's almost a direct cash purchase for more pride and esteem for the paying polity, whether it be a city of a country. Well, that's what it's sold as, and it is part of it, but of course there's a measure of corruption involved. There always is.


    James Cameron: Right now they're cleaning up Vancouver by shipping them over to Victoria. Out homeless population here has swelled beyond all reality in the last few months.


    London is on the map.

    We are seeing an increase in people running and swimming, who are never going to be olympeans, and this is a general good thing. I wonder if the games should now be hosted by larger groupings than cities, or become smaller games.


    Plok @42: John Clark is a New Zealander :)


    Oh, I'm in trouble now. It's so wrong for Canadians to make that particular mistake, we look like hypocrites.


    If Tom Clancy can set an [UNLIKELY TECHNOTHRILLER TERRORIST ATTACK] at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, written before it happens, I don't see why Charlie can't se a near-future thriller set at the London 2012 Olympics.

    Other than the trademark laws above and the difficulties mentioned in the previous post, obviously.

    (Disappointingly the Mayan Calander End-of-the-world-thing is scheduled for 21 December, rather than 27 July-12 August or I'd be forced to write some Bob Howard Fanfic sort of story around a London Olympics Apocalypse)


    Regarding the supposed economic benefits of stadiums and professional sports teams, they've been rather thoroughly debunked by various studies, but somehow those studies don't get much media play when these boondoggles are put before the public for a vote.

    Some links:

    As far as I know, no-one has done the same economic analysis for hosting the Olympic spectacle, but I would be somewhat surprised if the results were not similar, writ large.


    I'm going to stand for election as mayor in 2012, the election being a few months before the games. I'll stand on a platform of doing everything in my power to fuck the games up so that we never ever get them again. This will include things like picking a fight with the tube unions so that they go on strike, scheduling road works, and I'm sure I'll think of a few more things.


    You're missing the point. The only way that we can remain sure that some people can run faster than others is by continual experimentation. What if it suddenly stopped being true and nobody noticed?


    From Wikipedia

    Los Angeles as host city

    Following the news of the massive financial losses of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, only Los Angeles and for a brief time Tehran expressed interest in hosting the 1984 games. This was seen as a major threat to the future of the Olympic Games. However, with the financially successful Los Angeles Games, cities began to line up to be hosts again. The Los Angeles and Montreal Games are seen as examples of what to do and what not to do when organizing the Olympics, and serve as object lessons to prospective host cities. While Montreal organizers ran up a substantial debt eight years earlier by constructing many new, overly ambitiously designed venues, the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee relied heavily on the use of area venues that were already in existence. The Olympic Velodrome and the Olympic Swim Stadium, funded largely by the 7-Eleven and McDonald's corporations respectively, were the only two new venues constructed specifically for the L.A. Games. The resulting low construction costs, coupled with a heavy reliance on private corporate funding, allowed the Games to generate a profit of more than $200 million, making them by far the most financially successful in history. The absence of the Soviet Bloc, and the domination by the American team, was also instrumental in making these Olympics a financial success.

    While later games haven't been as profitable, lessons learned from Los Angeles and Vancouver have allowed subsequent games to make a profit.


    Hmm. Brett, the kind of economic analysis I'm talking about is regarding the supposedly positive 'halo effect' that the Olympics have on the local or regional economy.

    The argument that these huge events provide a 'boost' to the economy in general (over and above any direct profits that get pocketed) is largely unexamined, and in the smaller-scale case of stadiums for professional sports teams (usually funded by private investors given large tax incentives by the local government in addition to the tax incentives given to the team owners) has been debunked (not that this has stopped anyone).


    I was just looking at the direct cost versus direct revenue of the games. If you can use mostly existing venues, get corporate sponsors to pay for others and any others be ones you were planning on anyway you can keep the costs down. If you then merchandise effectively and sell the TV rights and attract a lot of visitors you can gather substantial revenue.

    Even if the halo effect is limited the games themselves tend to make a direct profit.


    Brett, I'm sorry I wasn't more explicit to begin with. For stadiums, studies show that the halo effect is actually negative (ie. on average they depress, not boost, the local economy and wages).

    So, the overall result is just another wealth-transfer scheme from the general population to private pockets.

    I suspect that this may also be true for the Olympics.


    The economics of a one-off event are likely to be different than having a team based permanently on a site. While a sports stadium is likely to attract businesses targeting the fans on a relatively long term basis changing the economic make-up of the area on a permanent basis, a one off event will have a much smaller effect as it is only a short term event.

    The paper indicates that the development of service industries designed to cater for visitors and fans during repeated sporting events has a somewhat negative effect on the local market. A one-off event is likely to have a much smaller effect as a business cannot expect that volume of visitors to be repeated.


    Perhaps someone should suggest to the SNP that an independent Scotland wouldn't have to pay for the London Olympics?


    Surely Corporate sponsorship is the same as direct taxation? If the Government doesn't pay for the games and sponsors do, we all end paying higher prices. There is no such thing as a free lunch, I suspect that overall, the LA games did not make a profit.


    I'm going to take a contrary view. Like one or two earlier posters, I lived through the 2000 Olympics in my home city of Sydney. We bitched and moaned about the cost, the security, the sponsors, the wastage. Then September 2000 rolled around...

    There was this unprecedented surge of patriotic pride, courtesy of Jung's collective subconscious. Fascinating.

    The opening ceremony was fun (remember the urban men mowing the grass?) the event worked well, everyone had a good time. There was recognition that giant, (partially) public-funded projects could come in on time and succeed.

    Afterwards, our road transport infrastructure is a step change better, although state government (couldn't organise a root in a brothel) dropped the ball on rail. The stadiums are in constant use for sports, arts and commercial events (eg car shows etc).

    I'm reasonably confident in asserting that the tourism boom during and after paid for the whole shebang. Or maybe that was just the cubic kilometers of commodities we found in our backyard...



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