3Empty Roads for the Rich
It's an unfortunate happening, no doubt chock-full of enough wacky shenanigans to staff a Rob Schneider movie, but sometimes athletes have missed their events at past Olympics. But not this year: London has designated special lanes in the city not just for athletes, but for Olympics officials, people working for sponsoring companies and, hey, what the hell, anyone else rich enough to buy their way in.
"How can we take an institution beloved for dissolving barriers between people and make it the exact opposite of that?"
Not allowed behind London's velvet off-ramps, however, are ambulances carrying such trivial things as blood for donations and elderly people in need of dialysis. True, ambulances carrying people in need of emergency medical care will be able to turn on their sirens and use the special lanes if they absolutely have to, but unless you're firmly heading toward the light, you'll just have to sit in the unmanageable Olympics traffic with the rest of London.
Do try not to cough on any of the McDonald's or Coca-Cola employees as they zip past you, laughing and sipping champagne while bombing around their 39 miles of VIP roadways.
London's sanitation department will have to work overtime to clean up all the littered chalices and solid gold napkins.
2Big Brother Is Watching You (You, Specifically)
In Great Britain, everyone is a film star. That's because, while Brits are only around 1 percent of the global population, they're being watched by 20 percent of the global CCTV cameras. That's more camera surveillance than even communist China. But it's not enough to just have one camera for every 14 people at the London Olympics. So LOCOG is not just installing more surveillance equipment, they're also making it smarter.
There'd better be the disembodied brain of a wounded cop controlling that thing.
The city of London is being wired up with a new range of scanners, biometric ID cards, number-plate and facial-recognition CCTV systems, disease tracking capabilities, new police control centers and checkpoints. All of which will now be under a central control, and yes, that is exactly as sinister as it sounds. This means the cameras are capable of tracking beyond one location -- no more frantically checking every screen, trying to pick up somebody who's walked out of frame. Because the computer does that for you. It can now track individual human beings from camera to camera and plot their progress, location and habits on a live, constantly updating map of Your Business.
"That's expired salsa. Twenty quid says she poops within the next half hour."
And don't think you can get away in a lucky fog or sudden drizzle. CCTV isn't nearly as effective on days when it rains (which you'll remember from our hilarious accidental missile explosion joke earlier is every single day in London), so new thermal imaging technology is being introduced to the CCTV cameras. And not just to watch for suspicious terrorist behavior, like excessive hand wringing and sinister mustache twirling -- they'll also be used to prosecute people selling counterfeit Olympics goods.
That's right: They're arming Big Brother with Predator vision just to stop people from hawking unauthorized Wenlock shirts.
"Hi kids, I'm Wenlock! YOUR WORLD WILL END IN FIRE."
Because there's such an insane demand for merchandise of that adorable angry amorphous robot with the all-seeing eye. Kids just can't get enough of him; he's like Dora the Explorer ... if she were furious, a robot and always watching you.