Wedlock and Mandible

1 Jul

We’re a little over half-way through the World Cup proceedings, and I have completely missed the opportunity to rail on our mascot.

mascot zakumi

Zakumi the FIFA WC mascot

South Africa is ‘safari’ country, and we punt the Big Five all the time, so it is fitting that our mascot, Zakumi, should be some kind of big cat. I think he’s meant to be a humanoid leopardy thing. It’s hard to tell, because the much-vaunted AFRICAN World Cup has borrowed it’s aesthetic from Japanese anime. Obviously. Why would you not?

And when you come to the stadia, you will be eating American Mc-Cardboard TM and drinking breathtakingly overpriced Budweiser or Coke, and that’s about it. [I thought democracy was about choice?]

“Democracy: now on sale to the highest bidder!”

Our opening ceremony also featured one or two bad imitations of American Hip-hop, and I think one genuine bad American Hip-hopper. African-American Africans. That’s us.

Even Shakira’s WC song ‘This is time for Africa’, or whatever it is, features a distinctively Indian dance move at the chorus, which I suppose is meant to capture the average American’s grasp of world geography.

Oh well. Except for when he’s really badly animated (i.e. most of the time), Zakumi is pretty cute.

It could be much worse. It could be London 2012.

The Olympic Logo, which is just MTV circa 1987, apparently causes seisures, not (as far as I can tell) because it flashes too much, but just because the brain can’t handle that much ugliness at once without stroking out. The logo isn’t the only issue. Their Olympic mascots, known as Wenlock and Mandeville, have also received mixed reviews. While they haven’t just ripped off anime, my problem is that they appear to have ripped off Nickelodeon’s Plankton:

They were allegedly designed at unusually low cost, which — while commendable on one level — really shows.


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