I will more than likely annoy the very few Europeans that bother to read this blog with the title of this post, but in this instance I'm not referring to any "pretentious, narcissistic, metrosexual Europeans" but instead to the cultural refuse that floats across from the European side of the Atlantic to the American side of the Atlantic. In this instance, anything having to do with the 2012 Summer Olympics being held in London.
These photos were taken at a local Walmart earlier today with my very handy cellphone. I resisted the urge to further "enhance" them with a phone app, simply accepting what the built-in camera and stock software spit out with the press of the camera release. They're already ugly enough.
I wouldn't call Walmart the bastion of cultural excellence, but even Walmart's limited integrity is lessened with cheap products trying to leverage what little cachet the Olympics might still have. For $14.97.
While no Olympics has ever been without blatant commercialism, London seems to have gone out of its way to raise the bar (or lower the standard) on just how blatantly commercial an Olympics game can be.
London has made damn sure that no-one except those that have paid for the privilege can casually photograph or even blog/tweet about the games, especially the athletes on whom the games so vitally depend. This allows those who have paid for the privelege, such as Gillette, to sell advertising excrement such as THE GOLD COLLECTION Gillette LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES LIMITED EDITION shaving set.
THE GOLD COLLECTION comes complete with 1 razor, 1 cartridge, 1 shave gel, 1 body wash, 1 deodorant, and a cooling lotion to keep some poor sod from getting too overheated from using these LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES LIMITED EDITION male toiletries. All this for the incredibly low price of $14.97.
I am amazed that a culture that can trace, unbroken, it's place in history back to the Romans, that gave us the Magna Carta, Oxford University, and many of the greatest intellectual treasures the English-speaking world has ever known and still depends upon would so extraordinarily diminish themselves by their behavior during the Games. I can understand when we Americans act like fools, we haven't been around the world long enough. But not England, and especially not London.