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London Calling

Revision as of 18:32, August 4, 2011 by Porterfield (wall | contribs)

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LOCOG, the organizing committee of London 2012, has recently been using the Clash song London Calling for their promotional material, causing quite a stir. Nobody is really upset about it (shame on you if you don't like the Clash or this song), but everyone is baffled. If you're not sure why this song choice is puzzling, just take a look at the lyrics of London Calling over at the Lyric Wiki. You could also listen to the song below, but good luck understanding Joe Strummer's every word.

The Clash - London Calling03:21

The Clash - London Calling

The Clash - London Calling (1979)

As you may have gathered by now, London Calling doesn't exactly paint a perfect picture of the city. Usually, organizers of an Olympics would want to employ a controversial-free song, that's both tourist-inviting and listener-friendly. The post-apocalyptic London Calling is not such a song, but quite the opposite. But instead of wondering why LOCOG didn't take the usual Mickey Mouse route, we should be thanking them.

I'm sure they didn't go out on this limb intentionally (admen are notorious for not actually listening to the lyrics or paying attention to details), but I praise the result. The titular call to London is a no-brainer, and although the rest of the lyrics are threatening, disturbing, and uninviting, it's a perfectly ironic message for an event that has been raising concerns over security and terrorism since London first won the bid. In my opinion, the only way to overcome fear and terror is by mocking it. Using a song about a flooded, zombie-infested London to bring people to the city is strange, yes, but it's so London, and more importantly, so 2012.

For more analysis of the matter, listen to NPR's story.

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