August 10, 2004 21:59 | Culture

Oh it's about branding, not human achievement!

Olympian struggle - Fans face boot for eating or drinking wrong brands at games

Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games.

I am not shocked, dismayed or even surprised. I am merely curious to see how long this kind of stuff will go on for.

It is up to us, afterall. It is our minds and cultures they are corrupting.

us = all of us
they = corporations and marketing supported economic/political systems


It's not so precise. After all, those corporations and marketing supported economic/political systems are not machines -- they're run by people. So there's an overlap. A huge overlap in fact. To me, the really scary thing is the extent to which "us" doesn't care about this stuff -- in fact, so many of "us" work towards that kind of thing.

Those of "us" who work towards that, are part of that machine, and are devoured by it. I didn't include them in my "us". :)

This isn't a value judgement. Just an observation. (That should be my default disclaimer. ;)

To say that it's not about human achievement might not be the best way of putting such an observation. Case in point being it is still about human achievement, although only the achievement of the humans that are willing to get on their knees for a sponsor.

Even if you were being sarcastic, the big corporations would not be able to have a McDonalds Olympics to cheer on those who have ungodly amounts of money. Yes there is advertising and bad business ethics because of it, unfortunately that is the nature of the beast, until “we” no longer see such advertising as tolerable. Does the “they” include those that are simply willing to tolerate the silliness?

The real travesty in the matter is that it is the sponsor who really determines who goes to the Olympics in the first place.

I wouldn't mind some strict advertising here and there, that’s just modern business tactics that we have to suck up for now, but when one needs the proper funding from a company in order to compete in the games...that’s just shaving off those who don't want to follow the system of things or object to the ”they” corporations. Which is silly.

Advertising and selling products are not inherently bad, it's a matter of how one goes about it. My point was that, unfortunately, most people in our society are so brainwashed by advertising and desire that they don't even see anything wrong with heavy-handed actions like Boris described. You can guarantee that there are marketing people out there who see that level of brand exclusivity as a "score." The extent to which people tolerate this crap is, to me, the really scary thing.

The only thing I would argue with you there blork, is that while it is not necessarily "bad", the extent it has reached is... disrespectful, to put it mildly.
Absurd is another word I'd use. ;)

Yo, Boris, we're not disagreeing! That's exactly what I've said twice! Where we seem to disagree is that you appear to be hopeful for change, while I remain cynical!

Bare with me here...

If you are swarmed by bees or ants do you see them as hundreds of individual bugs attacking you or one dangerous mass?

Human beings have a lot in common with insects. Some are solitary bugs. Some are the head of hives, while most are part of the swarm.

The "us" vs. "them" mentality has some truth to it. Corporate methods are an attempt to turn people into a swarm of unthinking drones that follow the commands of a chosen few. Preventing others from consuming "forbidden" foods is all about control and domination. It's the corporate way.

If the corporate culture wants to *sway* me into buying their products, I'm okay with that but the minute any part of it tries to control me, or force me into decisions and punish me for maintaining a sense of individuality I get uncomfortable.

Next thing you know, I won't be able to shop at GAP unless I'm already wearing thier clothes.

blork: THAT is where we are disagreeing. Change WILL come, sooner or later, in one form or another. Or do you think this will last for eternity, this political/economic system? ;)

Paolo: You get uncomfortable. And then what? What do you do? Now imagine that swarm of bees got uncomfortable? Hrm? ;)