The Olympic logo is many things to many people — forward-looking style icon, hideous malbranding, even hardcore porn. We can now add ‘racist’ to the list.
“The use of the word Zion by the designer of Olympics logo…in the emblem of the Olympics Games 2012 is a very revolting act,” says Mohammad Aliabadi, head of the National Olympic Committee in Iran, in an official letter to the International Olympic Committee.
In the same way that some people see Christ’s body in a dog’s arse, or the Virgin Mary on toast, the Iranians claim to see the word ‘Zion’ in the already maligned logo. And, yeah, it’s kind of there if you read top-left, down, up-again, then down to bottom-right, and tilt your head a little, and try and put Lisa Simpson out of your mind. But if you read left-to-right it might be a product placement for 1980′s toy line ‘Zoids‘. And if it does say ‘Zion’, perhaps the designer was a closet Matrix fan rather than a proponent of the Jewish homeland.
According to the Guardian, Iran may even boycott the games unless the logo is changed. Which ain’t going to happen. London would love to welcome the Iranian athletes into our city, but if their official representatives are going to get so uppity over some unintended pareidolia, they’re going to have a difficult time fitting in.