A few thoughts on the Olympics and our corporate sponsor overlords

I was listening to today’s Citizen Radio episode “(2012/07/30) What the Olympics and the Springfield monorail have in common, Georgia prison hunger strike” where Allison and Jamie were slamming the corporate sponsorship at the Olympics, specifically McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. These companies are so greedy that they have exclusive rights arrangements with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which means that your local pub can’t advertise the simple fact that they have a TV, and it can be tuned to the Olympics coverage on NBC. All of these things are facts about this hypothetical pub, but if they put a sign outside stating these facts, they will get their asses sued by their corporate overlords

OK, so the pub is a business, but it’s an example of a “small business owner,” and the mouthpiece (Republican Party) to our corporate overlords has repeatedly told us we should be looking out for small business owners. But hey, it’s the “free market,” right? There are winners and losers. That’s also something they have told us. I think this is a great example of how the “free” in free market has nothing to do with freedom. The “free” in free market means big businesses are “free” to piss on everyone else so that their share price can tick up another point and their outrageously wealthy executives can buy another yacht – or maybe a car elevator for one of their six homes. I hear they are all the rage.

Are we supposed to think that a steady diet of McDonald’s is common for an olympic athlete? To watch their commercials you would think that is the case. Same goes for Coca-Cola. What athlete doesn’t quench their thirst with a fizzy bottle of high-fructose corn syrup after competing? – This is literally the case in one commercial I saw.

I’m not even bashing advertising itself. Hell, I use ads to support the cost of this site. But with the size and power of the IOC, they can afford to be more discriminating in their choice of sponsors. And even if we accepted McDonald’s and Coca-Cola as sponsors of the Olympics, the heavy-handed restrictions imposed by these big businesses is unsavory to say the least. If it wasn’t for greed, I’d think these businesses were really insecure.

But this is all acceptable to us because its the free market flexing its muscle, and that is synonymous with personal freedom, because our corporate overlords and their mouthpiece have told us so.

Enjoy the Olympics!

image by Paul G

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The 'Free' Market

#big business#Citizen Radio#Coca-Cola#Coke#corporate sponsor#corporation#free market#freedom#International Oympic Committee#IOC#McDonald's#Olympics

  • Steve

    Glad to hear you’re listening to Citizen Radio! 🙂 I haven’t heard this particular episode yet, but in the past they’ve frequently called out the insanity going on around the 2012 Olympics. They also have a prohibition against using any photos that you take while enjoying the seat that you paid for to get into the events. If you post a photo that you took on Facebook or Twitter they can demand you take it down, sue you, etc.
    Also, the security measures they’re taking there are CRAZY, so I have to laugh when I hear they “don’t have enough” security there. If sound canons, rooftop snipers, and about a million other types of security isn’t “enough” then maybe these people shouldn’t be going out in public… 😉

    • Is it just me or does the Olympics feel less like a global community event to bring us all together and instead it’s more of a corporate sponsored display of police-state paranoia? Maybe that’s an over-the-top critique, but those elements are definite turn-offs.

      • Krys

        Definitely. I totally don’t even want to watch the Olympics because it seems like one long commercial with the occasional sports competition thrown in. And I actually commented the other day as I was driving up the highway and saw a sign for coca cola with the silhouette of a gymnast, that it is highly unlikely that she drinks coke at all, at least certainly not while training. Those companies are not models of a healthy lifestyle!

        • But they support the moderate use of their products as part of a healthy diet, right? 🙂