“A Fastidious Aesthete”

What exactly is the London Olympics Logo? After a minute or two of pondering, you might recognize the four outlandish looking geometric shapes vaguely representing four numbers 2-0-1-2. In the last summer Olympics, the mascots endured a similar degree of criticism when it was unveiled. The mascots of these games seem to have followed their predecessors’ legacy. Named Wenlock and Mendeville, these rather grotesque looking dolls are in essence, one-eyed monsters with no feet or fingers.

To what degree do these mascots represent Great Britain? I ponder.

Upon the unveiling of the mascots, one comedian said “having seen them, I now think the logo is really, really good.”

All laughing aside, the question remains: why are the designs of Olympic merchandises of these Olympic games so unpleasant to so many of us? I wanted to spend money to commemorate the athletes’ performances but was unable to bear the sight of some these Olympic souvenirs. In May 2008, I was travelling in Beijing. I grabbed the mascots off the shelf, but had to turn away and leave them with the cashier. They were just utterly unbearable. This time around, London’s mascots are even worse.

As one British commentator put it, these mascots seem to suffer from “design by committee” syndrome where these merchandises are required to have so many meanings put in them that they seem lose their appeals. On the contrary, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games mascots were quite appealing. People genuinely found them adorable. They were all based on real animals did not have a plethora of ideas stuffed behind. One mascot — one idea, I think that’s a good strategy to follow.

Without a doubt, when it comes to a matter of taste, it is impossible to satisfy everyone. Others might like it, but I find them quite distasteful and unappealing; somewhat similar to what this guy thought.


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