London Organizing Committee v. Freedom of Speech

I was avoiding the Internet at all costs last week for fear that someone might ruin The Dark Knight Rises for me. Had that happened, I would had to have knocked out their teeth and, subsequently, probably would’ve been arrested. I’ve never been to jail, but I’m not entirely certain they allow blogging in there. So, I thought it better to just avoid the risk altogether, especially for the sake of my one and only reader from Thailand. Everyone knows the Thai are a notoriously habit-driven people and I apologize if it caused any duress. Also, might I say:


And speaking of the caped crusader… Colorado, huh? Jesus. I realize it would be in poor taste to make a joke right now. Even I have standards. But is this not further proof that Spiderman is the better superhero? I mean, no one released a bunch of lizards in the theatre during any of the midnight showings of The Amazing Spiderman earlier this month. Just sayin’. Anyway, down to business.

What’s that you say? The Olympics are starting? “But Ben, you just wrote a post about Olympic photographer Joe Klamar a few weeks ago and you’ve said you’d never write about the same subject matter twice in one month.” Listen, hypothetical person: I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. It was either this or an entire entry filled with inappropriate Batman jokes. Sure, you probably would have laughed at them and I don’t blame you. I’m hilarious. But is that really the type of fantastical man/woman/tranny you want to be? I didn’t think so. Now, just shut up and enjoy the ride.

As I’m sure you all know by now, the big games are being held in London this time around. Sometimes I wonder why America doesn’t perform better in global events such as these, but then I remember we’re all too busy exercising our right to say whatever the fuck shit piss we want rather than exercising our actual muscles. Evidently, this isn’t the case in jolly ol’ England.

“No city has drafted broader and more robust rules than the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which, with an assist from the British Parliament, criminalized the most egregious ambush [marketing] tactics and made lesser offenses punishable with fines of $30,000 or more.”  – David Segal, NY Times

Advertisers have been warned about marketing their brands with phrases that would tie them too closely to the games. Words like “gold,” “summer,” “sponsors” and even “London” (amongst others) are banned from use until after the closing ceremonies. I’m sure these outrageous laws are making it difficult for copywriters to sell products like jewelry, swimwear or London Fog raincoats but I have to admit, I’m curious to see how they manage to find a work-around. Fear not, fellow wordsmiths. If you lose your cushy copywriting jobs over this, you can always come to America where the rivers run with Coca-Cola, McDonald’s Big Mac sandwiches grow on trees, and you’re free to speak the Queen’s English in any manner you see fit.

Special thanks to Megan from TheYea for suggesting this topic.

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One thought on “London Organizing Committee v. Freedom of Speech

  1. Rachel C says:

    laughed out loud here at D4 when I got to the “my one and only reader from thailand” …made me loko pretty crazy in my glass office. anywhooo, this was extremlely scary/impressive how similar reading this felt like talking to you. cheers mate -R

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