The Best Thing About The London 2012 Olympics?

[ 1 ] July 29, 2012 |

They let a Time Lord carry the torch.

Yes, I’m a huge sci-fi geek and have loved Doctor Who since it was on PBS here in the eighties. Shut it. Time Lords are awesome. Plus they have a sonic screwdriver and a TARDIS.

*My Husband read this and says I have the decade wrong for when the Doctor first appeared on American television. He claims it was the seventies. I reminded him that the Doctor I remember was the one with the fro and the long striped scarf, Tom Baker. He was the eighties version. So, yes, that’s when this show became part of my consciousness. By the way, Harry Potter totally stole his scarf from the Fourth Doctor. Just sayin’.*

The current Doctor, Matt Smith, said, “I would do it in my underpants – it’s the Olympic torch. I would probably get a bigger crowd for that. I don’t even know where I am running to. I try and run in a straight line.”

He was running an early morning leg around Cardiff Bay through Wales as the Olympic relay kicked off on May 26, 2012. Matt ran from the historic Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay to the National Assembly building, just before 6.30am. He passed the flame to 14-year-old swimmer Llio Roberts who is ranked in the top 3 for her age in Wales in the 100m freestyle.

The Time Lord admitted he was surprised at how many people had turned out to see him. He added, “I feel immensely privileged. The torch and the idea of the torch has been around a long time. I’m really excited about the summer of sport we have ahead. It’s wonderful. ” About the Olympics, he stated, “I think it is so dramatic and it’s wonderful for London and it’s wonderful for Great Britain. I think that they have done a great job, Seb Coe and his team.”

In a cool side note, the Doctor, in a previous life – then played by David Tennant – went forward in time and carried the Olympic torch on its final leg to light the cauldron at the London 2012 games. Looks like the Doctor Who creators/writers were thinking ahead. It’s funny how it worked out, considering the current Doctor regenerated from David Tennant’s version and Matt Smith did end up carrying the torch.

I love it when a plan comes together.

In other  London 2012 Olympic news…

Can someone please explain the British mascots to me? Were they made to cause nightmares in small children or just make everyone who sees them say, “What the fuck are those things???”

I have to ask, what in the hell were the designers at Iris smoking when they came up with the concept for these creatures???? And then to decide to animate them? For children??? And the LOCOG actually approved the drafts???

The world really is going to end in December. Just sayin’.

I give you Wenlock (right) and Mandeville (left), the official mascots of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

They shoot rainbows out of their asses.

Except that is not where rainbows come from. Unicorns fart rainbows. Everybody knows this.


And when they intentionally sideswipe a British Airways jet, their colors morph from the normal metal hues to full on Union Jack.

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these little things, replete with a rainbow expelling booty, coming at your plane while flying over the Thames river? It would never give you a full-blown panic attack and cause you to scream that the plane was going down, right?

These “mascots” are very creepy looking and not at all the kid friendly characters they are touted as being. You can’t cuddle with a metal object. Well you can, sort of, but that’s a whole other story not fit for publication on this site. Here is the official explanation for the aliens that will suck out your brains while you sleep London 2012 Olympic mascots:

Wenlock and Mandeville are animations depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton. They are named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner of the current Olympic Games, and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, a facility in Buckinghamshire that initially organised the Stoke Mandeville Games, the precursor of the Paralympic Games.

Wenlock’s name is inspired by Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England, where the Wenlock Olympian Society held its first Olympian Games in 1850, regarded as an inspiration for the modern Olympic games. He has five friendship bracelets on his wrist. Each bracelet takes the color of an Olympic ring. The three points on his head represent the three places on the podium. The pattern on his body with the logo of the games symbolizes the whole world coming to London in 2012. The shape on the front of his head represents the shape of the Olympic stadium roof. In the run-up to the games Wenlock hopes to make as many friends as possible and always looks on the bright side of life.

Mandeville’s name comes from the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England which organized the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948, a competition for injured soldiers; they are regarded as the inspiration for the Paralympics.

This is a video produced by the LOCOG on the origins of the scary mascots. Notice that no human in this episode can speak and the adults have giant heads. Also take note of what has ro be the poorest animation I have ever seen. It’s worse than South Park, and that’s saying something!

Dear God, they have their own dance…

While that little history lesson was interesting, I think I’d rather go with the description by Justin Peters:

Wenlock and Mandeville are bright silver globs of vivified steel, with single gigantic eyeballs where their faces ought to be. If the Teletubbies mated with the Cylons, their offspring would look something like this.

Cylotubbies. Brilliant!

Or the even funnier characterization from Seth Stevenson:

Sadly, Wenlock and Mandeville, the new London mascots, mark a regression to the terrifying mascot designs of yore. Those dark days when children’s dreams were haunted by creations like Schuss (the “skiing sperm” of Grenoble) and Schneemann (Innsbruck’s lumbering snowman, who sported two soulless, coal eyes)….Perhaps you feel differently, but in my experience there is nothing soft or furry about molten metal. Which makes me wonder whether children will be eager to cuddle with this pair of congealed steel pellets.

As for smiley-ness: These creatures have no mouths! Sweet lord, what happened to their mouths?? Instead, in the area where their faces should be, Wenlock and Mandeville each present us with a cold, steel panel punctuated only by an assessing, Cyclopean eye. This annotated explanation of the design specifically refers to the eye as a “camera” that allows Wenlock and Mandeville to “record everything.” This is an unfortunate reminder of London’s surveillance fetish—its panopticonic creepiness. Remember, kids, Big Wenlock is watching you.

And, oh my, those names. They are a far cry from joyful syllables like “Quatchi” and “Jingjing,” and are in no way redolent of childlike enthusiasm and wonder. “Wenlock” and “Mandeville” conjure thoughts of scuffed wingtips, soup-stained tailcoats, and crotchety bile.

That is actually a spot on assessment! Look at these things. I still can’t figure out why the costumes look nothing like the drawings. There is a fabric that will approximate the metal hues of the graphic mascots. It’s called lamé. Or fabric paint and glitter, in a pinch.  Maybe the London Olympic Committee ran out of money for the good material. Or they became befuddled by the idea that chrome, grey and white are not the same colors and thought no one would notice.

London 2012 Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for LOCOG.

They may look cute on the outside, but you know one of these days a laser is going to shoot out of their eyeball faces and incinerate every human in their paths! I know I’m going to have nightmares about Wenlock and his buddy watching me while I sleep, waiting for the right time to blast me. Or suck out my brain.

Can anyone say New Age Daleks???

I’ll leave you with this nugget about the official London 2012 logo:

Apparently, no one actually likes it. The colors are all wrong and the logo itself is believed to be many things it is not, the least of which being the worst example of graphic design for an international event. For the record, it is one of the worst designs I have ever seen. According to the official London 2012 Logo and Brand Identity page, the image was very carefully thought out by using font, color,  creativity,  utilizing interesting shapes and angles, and bright vibrant colors to convey a sense of energy. The various colors of the logo are a modern twist on the five colors of the Olympic rings. According to the site, “The colours are inspired by the world of media, communications and fashion. The addition of the buzz outline (seen here in yellow) adds to the feeling of energy.”


The logo on the left is for the 2012 Paralympic Games. All others are the official London 2012 logo in the “modern” variations of the original Olympic ring colors.
Who knew hot pink was an Olympic color?!?


I’m just not sure how hot pink, bright jailhouse-jumpsuit orange, electric teal, and shocking blue truly embody the same sentiment that the original Olympic colors convey. Nor do I think that anyone can easily decipher what the hell the logo says, other than “London”. It takes a bit to see “2012”. Even though I’m a graphic designer,  it took me a couple of minutes to make out that it is actually comprised of numbers and not some obtuse set of shapes. A lay person is going to have a much tougher time deducing what the official image of the Games of the XXX Olympiad says.

Other than the obvious “what the fuck was that logo designer thinking” reaction when any of the official images of the 2012 Games are viewed, there have been a couple of opinions about this logo that defy normal comprehension. Iran believes that instead of “2012”, the graphic actually spells out “Zion”. We all know how obsessively anti-Semitic that country is, but seriously? It’s a horrible typeface with crappy colors, nothing more. Although the font used, 2012 Headline, was named as the number one worst font in the world by Simon Garfield. But the best, and most humorous, impression garnered by this affront to logo and graphic designers worldwide is that it is actually a depiction of Lisa Simpson engaged in an unspeakable act.

Judge for yourself.




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Category: Pop Culture, WTF?? File

About the Author ()

I'm Shan and I 'm the creator of The Asylum and a magnet for The Free Range Stupid™. I'm a little nutty, a lot sarcastic and pretty damn smart. I am also a graphic designer, blog coder, virtual assistant, free lance writer and can whip you up a killer resume, media kit or press release that would make others green with envy. Go to Skewed Design Studios to check out my services. You won't be disappointed.

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  1. sarah says:

    Not a doctor who fan but love most british tv. boy do we get alot here in germany. Loving the olympics. The mascots are those seen in europe. i don’t understand them either.

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