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Posted at 4:06 PM ET, 02/28/2011

Zion? 2012 Olympics logo is only offensive to good taste

By Alexandra Petri

The Olympics logo spells out Zion?


That's what the secretary general of the Iranian Olympic Committee claims. He wrote to the London Olympic Committee complaining. Now he's threatening to boycott the games.

This is like cutting off your nose to spite the London 2012 Olympic Committee. Iran only has 10 total gold medals -- it'll never beat China at this rate.

Besides, it took him a while to notice this. The logo debuted in 2007, with designers telling the unsuspecting public that it was designed to be "hip" and to appeal to the Internet Generation. Other than our ironic appreciation for bad art, I don't know why the Internet Generation would find this appealing. But, regardless, it's been around for a while. This would be like my suddenly announcing, "Wait, there are robots accompanying the sports on Fox? Must be a Zionist message."

Yes, the logo is a disaster. But not for the reason he cites. It could spell Zion. It could also spell, "ZOIN." Or, heck, "ZO-R," which might be offensive to Wookiees. It could also spell nothing at all. Honestly, it looks like an explosion at a tangrams factory. It looks like Picasso after the accident. It looks like angry red polygons decided to get together and hassle a small red quadrilateral. It looks like the universal symbol for Beware Bad Graphic Design. If your fiancé had this as a tattoo, you would break off your engagement. It looks like what you don't want your kidney to look like.

There were complaints when the logo debuted, as well. But they weren't pointing out that it was offensive -- at least not because it spelled Zion. The only thing this logo is offensive to is good taste.

By Alexandra Petri  | February 28, 2011; 4:06 PM ET
Categories:  Petri, That's awkward  | Tags:  Olympics, oops  
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From your first link:

"Ironically, in 2007, one Jewish person told the BBC that he believed the logo resembled the infamous Nazi SS symbol."
I think the artist stole the logo design from one of the Rorschach ink blots. What you see shows the inner feelings you are trying to hide. Iranians are afraid of Jews, Jews are afraid of Nazis, and Petri is in love with an imaginary Star Wars character.

But to me, the logo looks like a vagina! What does that mean, Doc?

Posted by: divtune | February 28, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Way late to the party & the live chat, but in the UK, common feeling, to quote a young boy: "It's rubbish."

Most popular UK opinion of what the logo looks like?

Lisa Simpson -- hmmm how to sanitize for a family newspaper? -- being intimate with a private part of London.

Posted by: dadada | March 4, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The red shapes are a stylized 2012.

Posted by: getjiggly3 | March 6, 2011 3:44 AM | Report abuse

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