Why hadn’t I heard of the Olympic Friend-Ship before?

This is an extraordinarily silly idea – now scrapped, sadly – but apparently there were plans to fill up a boat with philosophers and one or two others and send it round the world in order to… well, it’s not really clear. Help the UK redefine its relationship with world cultures, or something. Wow.

7 Comments


  1. I assumed this was a joke when I first read it but apparently it’s Jude Kelly’s idea.

    Quote | Posted 12 March, 2008, 10:03 am

  2. Whn you’ve had a shit day there is nothing like other people’s stupidity to put a smile on your face. A ‘Friend-ship’? Full of philosophers distributing the UK’s cultural wealth to the natives? It isn’t just dumb, it has the air of the Manson family or the Heaven’s Gate cult…

    Quote | Posted 12 March, 2008, 7:54 pm

  3. Though Lenin had a ship full of philosophers going out of the workers’ paradise, did he not? Not quite to the same intended effect.

    Quote | Posted 14 March, 2008, 10:11 pm

  4. I wonder, can I think of any philosophers I’d like to put on a boat for four years?

    Quote | Posted 14 March, 2008, 10:48 pm

  5. Can you think of any you wouldn’t?

    Quote | Posted 15 March, 2008, 9:43 am

  6. Fine for you British people to be all cynical. I on the other hand see some possibilities here. And not just Lenin’s Setting-Sail-for-Proletarian-Paradise ships or Hitler’s Strength Through Joy cruises. How about a full-sized reproduction of a Royal Navy Ship of the Line, circa say 1805, visiting the former colonies? (I can think of worse cultural-philosophical exports than Aubrey and Maturin.) Think of the encouragement it would give to aspiring olympic teams!

    Quote | Posted 19 March, 2008, 11:13 pm

  7. [[Can you think of any you wouldn’t?]]

    Surely there are one of two whom it would be safer to put in a submarine?

    Quote | Posted 12 April, 2008, 6:44 pm

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