Everything has to be sponsored these days. Watching ITV or Channel 4 means a bombardment of product endorsements and interstitials the like of which we have never seen. The approaching Olympic Games are simply one massive advert. Even West End theatres can't seem to get by without plastering American Airlines stickers all over the front doors.
Boris has allowed this (unconstitutionally, some might say) to seep into the (and excuse my London-centric views here. It's where I live after all) very fabric of life - i.e., our capital city's transport system - and its wonderful, iconic map. It started with North Greenwich receiving a footnote saying 'For the O2' and has moved through Barclay's Cycle Hire to the Emirates Cable Car, once again blighting that little loop of the Thames at North Greenwich. Here's an extract from the press
puff release in the link above:
"As title sponsor, Emirates will receive a range of naming and branding rights, including the right to name the scheme, its stations and the creation of a joint logo."
Pretty soon we'll be struggling to make out the names of the stations amid all the white noise of ads. Bond Street station, sponsored by Boots, Apple's Oxford Circus, or McDonald's Euston (TM). It's hardly as if, when we're on the trains, or trudging through the tunnels at the stations, we're not subjected enough to images of whatever shite they're trying to offload on us.
Mr Johnson was proud of his achievement in bringing sponsorship to Harry Beck's masterpiece, as if putting a commercial stamp on something makes it a good thing, rather than a Bill Hicksian, Satan's cock sucking vision of hell. It need not be said that this is all part of the vision BJ and Cam IDS and Liam Fox and Andrew Lansley have for us. Everything swallowed up by the can't-do-wrong commercial world. The all-conquering market which bestows the gift of choice on us all, whether we are in hospital or on a train, whether we are old or young, whether we want it or not.
Football is not exempt either of course: today's match ball is sponsored by VM Ware... Today's match program is sponsored by Demon Internet... And City, perhaps among the worst, with everything Etihad and our future mortgaged to the whim of an energy billionaire. For all that, an inspiring performance against the Dragons the other night, to nicely back up the stirring comeback in Porto. Just a shame that there couldn't have been a bit more vim at the Sty, with a good sprinkling of Ajax in Fergy's red eyes. Not incredible.