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Everyone needs a hero (Part II)…

Jort asks the million dollar question…

May 6th, 2008 at 10:14

Thanks! Who do you want as an action figure?

Richard Wilkinson » Blog Archive » Everyone needs a hero…

So…

Erm…

(thinks…)

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris

….also known as Le Corbusier

Now he would make a good doll!

57 channels and no one left to watch…


“He couldn’t seem to puncture through his exterior wall, so he decided to fire his gun at the wall. One of the shots killed his wife”Man installing satellite TV kills wife – Boing Boing

Office Life…

Every business magazine gives a long list of reasons for why people buy iPods. Nobody ever mentions this…

“Now compare this to the typical office scenario. Most cubicle-style offices are plagued with distractions: other people’s phone conversations, music, and discussions. The annoying neighbor hanging over your cube wall, dangling his coffee-cup, talking to you about his new sofa. People shouting in the conference room next door. Big bells ringing when The Closer makes her sale. The incessant bellowing of the VP as he storms through the halls, entourage in tow, blackberries clicking.

You can’t turn these distractions off.”

Hivelogic: Offices and The Creativity Zone

Futility…

“It was as important to him as it was to them to underscore the horror and futility of it. More than anything, he was appalled that he had been made to fire on people he didn’t know and to whom he, too, was a stranger. These were fathers of children. He had no quarrel with them. C’est complètement idiot la guerre. His Italian Alpine regiment had once stopped firing for three weeks on the Austrians, whose language many of them spoke; they had swapped loaves of bread for tobacco and taken pictures of each other. To the end of his life, Mr Ponticelli showed no interest in labelling anyone his enemy. He said he did not understand why on earth he, or they, had been fighting.”Lazare Ponticelli | Economist.com

What happened at Sydney 2000?

In 2000 we traveled to Sydney for the Olympics; seeing the games was a childhood dream. When the sun set on the World Cup in 1998 we started planning for the games (to the extent that the first thing I did on arriving at Accenture was request a vacation to go to the games two years later, my manager laughed and signed on the spot!).

We’d been to Sydney five years before and would be traveling with friends; what could be better?

Well….the friends were wonderful as always and even managed to organize an amazing series of places to stay between Melbourne and Sydney. I’ll never forget the night on the farm in the Outback.

However, the games themselves were strangely annoying. Every press article I’ve read about the Sydney games said that they were perfect. I was reminded of this by reading this…

“I’ll stand corrected on the logistics: Sydney did a great job.”

Parisblog: Sydney 2000

However, the journalists traveled on a separate system from the fans to and from the venues. My memory was of packed trains, crowds of people being shepherded by volunteers shouting into loud speakers and train times being advisory at best. I didn’t mind particularly; but the exemplary logistics talked about in the press seemed to refer to their private car lanes and even a press ferry that went between the city and the main site.

The article that prompted the article above was from the Sydney Morning Herald…

“They were supposed to showcase NSW as the can-do state, as a place where travellers could be welcomed with warmth and joviality and exposed to a breathtaking diversity of destinations. But somewhere, somehow, it went pear-shaped, according to industry leaders.”

City’s big sleep since the Olympics – National – smh.com.au

So here is how I think that they went wrong…

  1. They shut the city down. Schools, local government offices and even some businesses all shut for the games. This was to reduce the strain on the transport system. Instead of visiting a vibrant city, we saw a strange sort of ghost town.
  2. They forgot that they had visitors. At the 1998 World Cup I was given a book which contained a football vocabulary in all the languages of the participants and as a Parisian was given a lapel pin of the languages I spoke in case anyone got lost.In Sydney, there was a public and hostile debate about foreign languages being used in the stadiums. Why invite someone and then not make them feel at home?
  3. They didn’t Celebrate Humanity. The Olympic Slogan is Celebrate Humanity, we witnessed some amazing moments and the games saw some amazing achievements. Redgrave won gold in a fourth games, David Douillet won a third Judo Heavyweight gold and I cried as Aguida Amaral from East Timor finished the marathon.Were all these events celebrated during the games? No.

    Television and even the announcements in the Olympic sites only mentioned Australian athletes. I learn of the judo results on the tf1 web site and Redgrave via the BBC.

  4. It’s not just for millionaires. The great thing about the games is that anyone can attend; however everything was done for the wealthy (the margins are better there) but not for those of us who learn less than a $1m a year!
  5. Build to last. Large amounts of the infrastructure improvements were temporary. Circular Quay was covered in scaffolding for the games as they altered it for the increased numbers of people. Yes, a central landmark was covered in steel and cheap wood!!!

The result was that Sydney seemed quiet, obsessed with itself and wealth. In 1995 on our first visit to Sydney I couldn’t wait to return; after 2000 I’m not planning on returning.

I’ve a bet that London will fall into the same trap. They’re already so obsessed with protecting the image that there is no participation, no sharing in the process of hosting the games and a structure in place to manage the news. They’re already obsessed about which British athletes might win; the best in the world are coming to perform; Celebrate Humanity – all of it!

The London games will be declared a massive success before they start (who’ll dare question the British press when they start getting protective and nationalistic?) and then a decade later someone will ask the question why nobody is coming back.

HHGTTG on campus…

“They wanted copies of HHGTTG on campuses in the US, and they wanted people to read it and tell other people. Word of mouth is still the best tool for selling books.”Why free reading is important – Boing Boing

OK, I didn’t study in the US but…

I think that every campus bookshelf had a copy in the 90s, most of my copies “went missing” during that period; I must have purchased a news copy every year.

Snigger…

I’m sorry but he left with a massive amount of publicity and got to……Calais!

Campaigner abandons cashless ‘peace walk’ from Britain to India – because the French thought he was an asylum seeker | the Daily Mail