Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Spirit, Canadian Style

Tempting as it is to seek ways creative or otherwise for completely avoiding the puffed up coverage of the current Vancouver-Whistler Dunciad, this would be to forego just too rich an array of the sort of hypocrisy, your Grouse feeds on like an orca on a stranded seal pup. Thus we shall probably re-visit the balmy melting slopes of the Winter Olympics as the transgression list inexorably lengthens.

Segueing in, I’ll begin by first linking to a short, perhaps a shade too obvious but still worth-marking angle not only on the dishonest claims generally made about any Olympiad, but also of the utter irrelevance of the ever-expanding array of obscure winter sports about which, at any other time no one gives a rat’s ass – nonsense like moguls, skeletons, snowboarding, and strangest of all, biathlon (as in ski, ski, ski, shoot something, then ski, ski, ski… etc.) Jason Zengerle, senior editor for the the New Republic mag concludes his article Why Bother with the Olympics by contrasting them with the merited worldwide adulation of soccer, which, “requires no affirmative action. People just like playing it and watching it.”

Yes, obvious, but amidst the jingoistic Canadian trumpeting of how we are "welcoming the world," it’s good to hear a stark reminder that, in comparison to the upcoming World Cup in South Africa, Vancouver’s Olympiad is truly small potatoes.

The unseemly haste with which the organizers – those long-notorious bullies called VANOC, released a statement exonerating themselves and their lightning-fast (read bloody dangerous) luge track, for the tragic opening day training death of Georgia’s Nodar Kumaritashvil. And I quote:

“It appears after a routine run, the athlete came late out of curve 15 and did not compensate properly to make correct entrance into curve 16. This resulted in a late entrance into curve 16 and although the athlete worked to correct the problem he eventually lost control of the sled resulting in the tragic accident. The technical officials of the FIL were able to retrace the path of the athlete and concluded there was no indication that the accident was caused by deficiencies in the track..”

Even run of the mill traffic accidents need more investigatory time to assign culpability than this self-serving “the-show-must-go-on” gutterwash. But, then, VANOC has never been known for sensitivity to what it breaks or whom it hurts in its fanatical headlong rush to these "games" (Read Read Read)


Item 2: Ah the glory of it, the exemplary spirit of true international sisterhood, seen in the opening game for Canada’s defending gold medal women’s hockey team! Saturday against the lowly Slovakians: they run up the biggest blow-out in Olympic hockey history. 18-0!

Was it really necessary to have laid it on so thick and humiliate an obviously inferior squad ? Sure, part of it, is that goal differentials affect final standings. But, get real: does anyone seriously doubt that Canada’s ice-borne amazons will make it to the final against their US arch-rivals? Lovely job of hosting, ladies, putting the lie once more to this “welcome the world” and “we-re a nation of nice ‘guys’ “ crapola.

* * * *
I can’t hardly wait to see how we’re going to follow-up on the first 24 hours of blaming the deceased victim of a dangerously-designed luge course and running up big scores against hapless underdogs. GO CANADA, GO!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Anticipating Schadenfreude from Vancouver Olympiad

Well, I have to say that with every rescue truckload of snow they have to drag onto one of the Vancouver Olympic sites, the tiny cockles of my mine heart go up a few degrees. Today, as the CBC and other dog-tails of the Canadian media are wildly wagging about, is day one of the massive bread-and-circuses operation that Gordie Campbell and his lightweights have been blustering about through most of their regrettable tenure as BC's government.

If I knew voodoo or other magical arts and could bring down a big wet heat wave from Whistler to the mountains of North Vancouver, I would do so. But there is an added glimmer of hope for we who would delight in the Olympics turning into a meteorological fiasco. The final carrier of the flame that has been traipsed literally all around Canada, is top secret. But word on the street has it that Wayne Gretzky got fingered (hey, I was fingering him long before this! Read here, here and here)for the endgame of that happy torch tradition that goes back to and still echoes Hitler's Olympiad.
Flash back to Turin in 2006 when the not-so-Great-One "managed" (no one ever explained much about what that management entailed) the Canadian Men's Hockey Team and they finished a dismal 7th. Remember ? - that was when the Whiner abandoned the team in the dying seconds of loss to Russia, wiping tears from his baby blues, a phony replay of the now immortalized weeping when he, quite voluntarily, deserted the Edmonton Oilers for fatter paychecks south of the border.

Or, more recently than that, note that in their first post-Gretzkian season the Phoenix Coyotes are actually winning again! You take my drift, eh? Have that arrogant, over-rated twit carry the torch to the lighting of the Olympic flame tonight and the whole dog-dumb spectacle that will inconvenience Vancouverites for the next several weeks, may be jinxed and flop as badly as his other recent sports involvements.

For me, avid antagonist of the Vancouver Olympics and of Gretzky, all that would be needed for the perfect storm at tonight's foolishness is to have Celine Dion sing a tribute to Princess Diana.