Did you know that the London Olympic’s weird little mascots “Wenlock” and “Mandeville” has a camera for an eye?
Well they do — on official websites the eye is pointed to as a “Camera: Lets Wenlock record everything”.
Given that London is one of the most ridiculously over-watched cities on Earth (thanks to the CCTV cameras you see on literally every corner), this strikes us as a little weird.
Seriously, is this some kind of sick joke? How can the British authorities explain this?
In his excellent account of the build up to the London Olympics for Vanity Fair, Michael Joseph Gross put the question to London Mayor, Boris Johnson, who answered in a typically humorous, though weirdly evasive, manner:
Is the idea of giving children a surveillance toy, I asked Johnson, just a little creepy?
“Are you referring to Mandeville and Wenlock?” the mayor replied. “The thing that children up and down the country, indeed across the planet, are crying out to their parents to buy them for Christmas? Are you referring to our national icons as creepy? I think that’s—they will be, if they are not already, as cherished and as sought-after as—uh … Schtroumpfs. Or Smurfs. They are the Schtroumpfs du jour. They will be infinitely collectible. What to you is a creepy, monocular, Cyclopean android-type thing is to many children a loveable, hilarious, uh, individual—that will comfort them at night.”
“And watch them,” I said.
“And watch them,” he answered. “And look after them.”
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