I'm already sick and tired of The 2010 Olympic Games.
And they haven't even started yet. Living so close to Vancouver
doesn't help any. The media over-kill is brutal. But at least
I'm not living on the Lower Mainland. Amid all the Hoop-la,
both pro and con, one has to ask the one big question-
"Is It Worth It?"
Is having the world (or those people in it who have access
to cable television) watch a two week long sporting event
worth what Vancouver (and Canada) have had to put up
with to put the damn thing on? In other words, what's in it
for us? We know the drill > jobs during an economic
slowdown > infrastructure > prestige > national pride
vs. the chaos and the clampdown. And the relentless
hype. Will the tourists flood our cities after this circus
leaves town? How much money will it cost to put on
the show? No one knows.
We do know that the "security costs" of 2010 are about
a billion dollars. And who, exactly, pays for that?
The one BIG problem that everyone seems to agree
Vancouver has, above all else, is the number of people
"living" on the streets. For a billion bucks you could give
a thousand homeless people a really decent condo and
a half a million dollars - EACH. It's nice to know we've got
our priorities straight.
We are told that these are tough economic times,
which is why Arts Funding have been cut in British
Columbia. As have School Board Budgets.
Sorry, our Government tells us, we just don't have
the money. But 15,000 cops and soldiers brought into
And if Canada doesn't win Gold in the hockey finals-
well, the terrorists have won.
There are enough reports on VANOC's bullying
antics to make most Canadian's cringe.
The most succinct critique I've read on what the Olympics
have done to the very spirit of Vancouver is written
by Vancouver's own Poet Laureate (and, please,
don't let that scare you away) Brad Cran in this wonderful
article he's just written >
hope the link works and you get a chance to read it.
Like most Canadians I'll probably watch some of the show
on TV. Cheer when we win, and get a little lump
in my throat whenever I see some kids singing
the national anthem. But I'll probably also wonder
who's paying for these fireworks?
How much for the smoke?
How much for the mirrors?