Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Thanks to Maxine at Petrona for passing on this anonymous comment:

"I think even the Italian mafia in Palermo is more open to "outsiders" than public libraries are. Not only are the responses ridiculous, but even in places where ten jobs have been advertised (eg Southwark) one doesn't get called in for an interview."

I read this and while musing on the similarities between Palermo and Southwark noted that £400,000 has been spent on the London 2012 Olympic "logo".
The blurb on the back cover of An Olympic Death by Manuel Vazquez Montalban came to mind.

Private Investigator Pepe finds himself forced to work for Olympic entrepreneurs for whom the only game in town is to make a fast buck.

I think it would be virtually impossible to try and justify £400,000 or even £40,000 spent on designing a logo, but I am sure they will try. The jury will be out for at least 5 years on the 2012 London Olympics, but I would not bet on an acquittal.

Petrocchi's definition of Mafia-maffia from Philology by Leonardo Sciascia:

"An association of people from all classes of society and from all walks of life, who lend each other assistance regardless of legal or moral principles."

Clientelismo: the culture of looking after friends and family, and thereby keeping outsiders and unknowns out of the loop.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Nature Publishing Group was formed and we needed a logo, a rep from each division sat round a table and we devised one, then asked our studio to produce it. Cost outside of (minimal) production costs: zero. At the same time, one of our sister book companies that shall be nameless, spent many thousands on theirs -- and rebranded within a couple of years.

Thanks for the mention, Norm/Uriah, much appreciated, as ever. I used to live in Camden which is probably similar to Southwark and Sicily (apart from the climate in both cases -- they do say that north and south of the river are different worlds).

12:51 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It took Montreal something like thirty years to repay its debt on the 1976 Summer Olympics, games that the mayor at the time boasted could no more run at a loss than he could have a baby.

I expect the logo's final cost to be at least £750,000.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

10:15 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter, the logo is the first matter on which I have ever agreed with London's Mayor Red Ken Livingstone. I read somewhere that our Prime Minister In Waiting's wife worked at one time for the design firm Wolf Olins. No comment.

Maxine, I lived north of the river for many years first in Chelsea, and then in Hampton Hill. I cannot imagine the trauma in driving to work south to north, because my journeys were hell travelling in theory against the main traffic flow.
I agree about in house design teams, I think 15 minutes doodling could have produced a better logo. What is really depressing is listening to Seb Coe and Tessa Jowell trying to justify the logo and presumably its cost. It won't take 30 years to pay for this Olympics but nearer a 100.

6:11 AM  

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