Iranian Semiotic Arousal and the 2012 Olympics

I have written a good deal (esp in my upcoming book) about “semiotic arousal” as a condition of the apocalyptic mind – everything is meaningful, patterns appear everywhere, nothing is coincidental. It is also a pattern of the conspiratorial mind (which, in many cases, is also apocalyptic). We’ve seen this among Muslims who can see either slanders of Islam or hidden support for the Zionists in various logos.

Now it’s the Olympics.

Iran claims London 2012 Olympics logo spells the word ‘Zion’
Almost four years after the logo’s launch, Tehran threatens to boycott the Games unless the design is changed

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
guardian.co.uk, Monday 28 February 2011 14.29 GMT

The London 2012 Olympic logo, criticised by Iran. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian
Iran has threatened to boycott the London Olympics unless the organisers replace the official logo, which Tehran claims spells out the word “Zion”.

The logo, a jagged representation of the year 2012, has been said by its critics to resemble many things, from a swastika to a sexual act, but the Iranian government argues it represents a veiled pro-Israeli conspiracy.

In a formal complaint to the International Olympic Committee, Tehran has called for the graphic to be replaced and its designers “confronted”, warning that Iranian athletes might otherwise be ordered to stay away from the London Games.

According to the state-backed Iranian Students News Agency, which is frequently used to convey official pronouncements, the letter says: “As internet documents have proved, using the word Zion in the logo of the 2012 Olympic Games is a disgracing action and against the Olympics’ valuable mottos.

“There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the Games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles.”

Nice touch. Just what values and principles are these? Paranoid hatred? England would be well served by the absence of Iran and any other Muslim country crazy enough to insist on this.

The letter, from the country’s national Olympic committee, leaves unclear what “internet documents” it is referring to.

It’s also unclear what is “proved” on the internet. High school kids have a better sense of what’s reliable. Here, I think the principle is: If it supports your point of view, it’s true. Alas, that applies to many people in this world of self-induced brainwashing.

Amid the popular uproar that accompanied the unveiling of the logo in 2007, there were some claims, particularly on conspiracy-oriented websites, that its constituent shapes could be rearranged to make the world “Zion” and some animations were posted on YouTube showing how to do it.

An IOC official confirmed that the Iranian letter had been received but said: “The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else.”

A spokesman for the London Olympic organising committee added: “It was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation. We are surprised that this complaint has been made now.”

Notice how the gauntlet has been thrown. England either backs down or the Iranians do. Soooo honor-shame. Watch this space.

Jeffrey Goldberg has a few choice words on this:

…the Iranian regime complaining that the 2012 Olympic logo secretly spells out the word “Zion” (they’re wrong, of course; the logo secretly spells out “Mark Spitz is Jewish, and Jason Lezak is Too, So Go Drown Yourselves in the Caspian Sea)…

For a summary of the anti-Semitic idiocy that increasingly tumbles trippingly off the tongue of people all over the place, see Zombietime.

16 Responses to Iranian Semiotic Arousal and the 2012 Olympics

  1. oao says:

    This sort of thing does not deserve attention.

    What does deserve attention is the high probability that the Olympic Committee will cave.

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  7. Francis James says:

    I think I can see where these delusional fruitcakes are coming from, but I read the logo as a veiled reference to Zoin. As a zoinist i can only approve.

  8. Walter Sobchak says:

    Funny thing is that Persians do not habitually use the Latin Alphabet, nor does most of the rest of the Mid-East. So, even if the logo were a coded message, it would not be directed at them.

    • Richard Landes says:

      It’s not that it’s aimed at them, it’s that it’s aimed at the rest of the world and might have the disastrous effect of making people favorable to Zionism. as for their use of their own alphabet, etc… one of the most interesting pieces of evidence about how thoroughly influenced by modernity even the most paranoid Islamic fundamentalists are, is the degree to which they use Western (gasp, Christian!) dating. Not only were there multiple Islamic publications predicting the Dajjal (Antichrist) for 2000 AD, but Hamas uses Western dating in its charter!

  9. oao says:

    It’s not the logo that bothers them.

    It’s their way to push the envelope in forcing the infidels to change their behavior to suit them. In the gleanings I provide Richard with was an article recently which compared it with muslim cashiers refusing to serve buyers of ham or alcohol, cabbies refusing to accept dogs, etc.

  10. JD says:

    Semiotic Arousal?

    Either that is the best inside joke I’ve read in a while,

    or a coincidence and you are not aware of the Lisa Simpson interpretation of the London logo. Google it!

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