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London 2012 Gets No Medals For Its Dreadful Marketing



"Is this the worst marketing in the world?" asks France TV Info. Every Olympic Games has to have their official clip, logo, mascot and anthem, says the French TV news channel, but the choices made by London 2012 are just terrible.

• An animated clip that triggers epileptic seizures:

Charity Epilepsy Action, reports the BBC, has received calls from people who have suffered fits after watching the official animated clip. "This concerns a short piece of animation which we used as part of the logo launch event, and not the actual logo", said a London 2012 spokeswoman. She explained the incriminated section showed a "diver diving into a pool which had a multi-colour ripple effect".

Epilepsy Action said the images could affect the 23,000 people in the UK who have photosensitive epilepsy. The section of the clip has since been removed, but the original footage can be seen on You Tube (CAUTION: not for the faint-hearted -- or people suffering from epilepsy, obviously).

• A logo that is racist and obscene (and also too expensive):

Is it a broken swastika... or Lisa Simpson engaging in sex with Bart Simpson? There are multiple interpretations to London 2012's jagged logo. Iranian Olympic Committee President Mohammad Aliabadi wrote to his International Olympic Committee counterpart Jacques Rogge to complain about the fact that the logo can be seen as spelling out the word "Zion," which he considered "totally revolting."

The logo, designed by Wolff Ollins cost 400,000 pounds ($623,000). When the BBC website asked its readers to rate the design, 9.51% gave it a gold medal, 4.87% silver, 5.9% bronze and 79.69% a "wooden spoon."

• Mascots that are ugly and scary:

Wenlock and Mandeville are the Games' very kitschy mascots. They are supposedly made from droplets of steel (see video below) used to build the Olympic stadium, writes The Guardian -- but seriously, says the newspaper, these one-eyed aliens are the stuff of nightmares. What are they supposed to be?

• A dreadful anthem:

Muse had perhaps one of the more thankless tasks in crafting a song for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, says the Los Angeles Times: writing a song that represents the host country and doesn't embarrass it. What's more, the lyrics have to be easily translatable for the entire globe, and it should play OK on TV.

The result, writes the newspaper? Dreadful! Singer Matthew Bellamy doesn't even sound like he's having any fun, twisting his vocals into all sorts of strained contortions as he sings of staying alive and wreaking vengeance. This isn't a song for the Olympics as much as it's a song for "The Hunger Games."

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Shame On The García Márquez Heirs — Cashing In On The "Scraps" Of A Legend

A decision to publish a sketchy manuscript as a posthumous novel by the late Gabriel García Márquez would have horrified Colombia's Nobel laureate, given his painstaking devotion to the precision of the written word.

Photo of a window with a sticker of the face of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with butterfly notes at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Poster of Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Juan David Torres Duarte


BOGOTÁ — When a writer dies, there are several ways of administering the literary estate, depending on the ambitions of the heirs. One is to exercise a millimetric check on any use or edition of the author's works, in the manner of James Joyce's nephew, Stephen, who inherited his literary rights. He refused to let even academic papers quote from Joyce's landmark novel, Ulysses.

Or, you continue to publish the works, making small additions to their corpus, as with Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett and Clarice Lispector, or none at all, which will probably happen with Milan Kundera and Cormac McCarthy.

Another way is to seek out every scrap of paper the author left and every little word that was jotted down — on a piece of cloth, say — and drip-feed them to publishers every two to three years with great pomp and publicity, to revive the writer's renown.

This has happened with the Argentine Julio Cortázar (who seems to have sold more books dead than alive), the French author Albert Camus (now with 200 volumes of personal and unfinished works) and with the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The latter's posthumous oeuvre is so abundant I am starting to wonder if his heirs haven't hired a ghost writer — typing and smoking away in some bedsit in Barcelona — to churn out "newly discovered" works.

Which group, I wonder, will our late, great novelist Gabriel García Márquez fit into?

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