Archive for the ‘2010 Winter Olympics’ Category

How Much Did It Cost To Run The Winter Olympic Games?

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

vancouver

That works out to in and around 6 billion buckaroonies. I hope they kept receipts.

On the bright side, the poor of Vancouver will now have some pretty spiffy affordable housing. Yippy!

City under siege — Special Liberation Day Edition!

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Ladies, I'll see you at Republic

Cheers of jubilation ring through the streets today, as the citizens are permitted back into their offices and roam the sidewalks. The street bums are back in action, relinquishing their very expensive-looking protest signs denouncing Canada as a genocide state and back to breaking into our cars and urinating in our malls. The leaders of the First Nations have retained their ceremonial head of state powers and have overthrown the shackles of Ottawa. We’re under martial law once again, but with the aboriginals it’s more along the lines of the spiritual and green despotism we on the Left Coast enjoy.

Speaking of green, I noticed that the Olympic rings in the Burrard Inlet were only ever three colours–red, green, and gold. With the gold medal in men’s hockey last night, they decided to change it up, but the overall scheme is interesting. The bold symbol of red, a tribute to our love of communism here; a loving green, the only hope for our planet. The message to the world could not be more clear–come and get our stuff.

The men’s hockey game was the highlight of the Games for me, and I was delighted to see the country-wide view of different pubs and people enjoying the game. Molson House was turned into Hockey House, I believe there was Big Leagues in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia (home of Sidney Crosby), and when they flashed to Gretzky’s in Toronto, I thought I saw something strange. Is that…Jack Layton? Why should someone like that have to settle for being seated at the bar? Oh, because the camera was set up right there? Well, I suppose if Prime Minister Harper and Pharaoh Campbell get the premium seats during the closing ceremony, I guess a little video-bombing by the NDP is only to be expected. (Exactly how else is Jack Layton going to get his face on air without having paid for it with union contributions?)

Bearing witness to the incredible Sochi hand-off presentation put on by the Russians, I think the Canadians need to halt bids for any future Olympic games for a century while we get our culture in order. Surely we can do a little better than Mounties and flying moose! The Russians had opera, ballet, orchestral music, and ice dancing. What was that nightmare we had to witness on our end? Catherine O’Hara? Techno rats who play junk for a living? Oh well. At least we didn’t drag out the most embarrassing athletes to stand there. The Russians paraded out Alex Ovechkin (assaulted a fan after the loss to Canada) and Evgeni Plushenko (threw a tantrum after losing gold to Evan Lysacek). Canadian athletes were especially jubliant during these Games, but I would not say much of their behaviour was unsportsmanlike like these two.

As we Vancouverites tear down the road barriers, put away our “Death To Canada” protest signs (at least until the next Queen’s visit), and sweep up the remainder of John Montgomery’s vomit, we reflect on what the true meaning of these Olympics were to us–90% off clearance sales at The Bay. I’m off to Granville! Happy shopping!

I Love That Kind Of Soup

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

soup-of-the-day-whiskey

I remember a few years ago JoJo and her psychic network went bankrupt. It amazed The Mayor at the time because I thought to myself, “how the hell didn’t she see it coming?”

The answer is obvious, of course: JoJo was a fraud of the highest degree.

But that doesn’t mean every psychic is a fraudulent butt wipe. Take Dmorris, for instance.

Don predicted that the Canada – US game the other night would end USA 5 Canada 3.

He was dead on right.

Then Don predicted Canada would beat Germany last night by a score of 7 -1

The score ended up being Canada 8 German 2, but that’s pretty freakin’ close.

Tonight, Don predicted Russia will beat Canada 5 – 3.

If you don’t play Pro Line, you might want to learn how to right about NOW.

The Mayor says Canada will win tonight 6 – 3, I still have hope for our boys.

What says you?

Any prediction for the Russia – Canada game tonight? C’ mon, let’s see whatcha got!

City under siege — Day 21

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

did_you_ever_do_a_quad

Under the weight of partying revellers, Vancouver itself is sinking. This has only enervated the global warming debate further, as not only is there an apparent rising of sea levels to already panicked aging hippes here, but it has now effectively doubled the number of condos promising an oceanside view. Most of the flooding has engulfed the Downtown Eastside, which has ironically improved the smell.

In further accordance with British Columbia’s new draconian and unconstitutional, and yet feel-good, legislation, Quatchi has been arrested for uttering hate speech. This has been seen as a devastating blow to his life partner, Sumi, who claims that Quatchi has been an active participant in the community towards the physically challenged. Quatchi has been captured on YouTube parking across three handicapped spots. When told that he was unable to buy alcohol past 7 pm, Quatchi immediately launched into a tirade about how the liquour stores were owned by “the Trilateral Commission and the Jews.” Quatchi is appealling his case before the BC Supreme Court, normally sympathetic to diverse cultural views.

Meanwhile, Canadians are jerks. Apparently we work ourselves into a lather over curling:

“I could not control the weight on the last shot in the 10th. It should have been way slower, but when there are 6,000 people yelling, it’s pretty hard to find out how hard you kick off. It’s just so hard to focus. You’re trying, but it’s just not the same as if it was silent.

“If they were yelling this much when Cheryl was throwing, that would be more fair. You can’t hear anything. You can’t hear what your skip is saying. You can’t hear what your sweepers are saying. You just have to do your best under the circumstances – and we did, but it was hard in the 10th.”

This affected Madeleine Dupont so much that it brought her to tears. Denmark is now 3-5 after yesterday’s match, which if they had won might have kept their hopes alive. Hey, this is the one sport we have left, and if we can’t shut up during the event, c’est la vie.

That’s okay, though, as the US Hockey team hates us back:

Ryan Kesler calmly spit out the words and, a few minutes later, tried to grab them back. Well, sort of.

“I hate them,” said the American winger of Team Canada, the two teams meeting Sunday night in their final preliminary-round game of the Olympic hockey tournament.

“Well, I wouldn’t say I hate them. You have respect for the other team.

“But the Canadians expect to win the gold and anything less is not enough. It’s going to be fun to try and knock them off.”

Let the Games begin.

“Do I dislike them?” said American defenceman Jack Johnson. “Yes.”

Kesler’s “I do hate them, but I don’t” stance wouldn’t be so bad, except he plays for the Vancouver Canucks. Apparently Canada is just fine for accepting a paycheque, but he’s secretly harbouring a grudge against us. (Kesler is also that weasel that got the empty net goal in yesterday’s game.) He’s spent his entire NHL career here in Canada, and this is how he thanks us?

Well, typical divide and conquer for the Olympic Committee. They have been still insisting that the $100-million “Own the Podium” is working, despite the average amount of medals Canada is receiving. We also have that moron Elvis Stojko shooting off his mouth about how since no one is pushing the envelope in men’s figure skating and the American did not deserve his gold. (Hey, Kesler–if you and Stojko are ever sharing ice time, have at ‘er.)

Our games are likely to get nastier as we go on, fueled by the finest maple syrup wine and Kokanee available. (We are all vomiting in five colours, so it’s kind of nice, actually.) Let’s just chuck the sportsmanship next time and have a shouting and screaming match as an Olympic sport in 2012. We Canadians will be sure to own the podium.

City under siege — Day 15

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Still better padding than NOTHING

The occupied city of Vancouver, now broken up into the militant Sports Zone and the de-militarized Sanctuary Under Resident Reclamation of Egressing Youths (or SURREY), is despondent yet determined. Their recent sacrifice to the goddess Wiiw, the Tlingit deity of fixing sports, has allowed Alexandre Bilodeau to sail into Canada’s first gold medal on home ground. The immortal soul of Bilodeau was a small price to pay for the here and now.

While we’ve been having fun at the expense of the Games, we also had a very sad and likely preventable death of Nodar Kumaritashvili. If you had the unfortuity to witness the accident, such as I did via video, you will note that the end of the track had bare steel girders and an exposed running edge where anyone at all could have had a similar crash. I’ve seen garages that had the good sense to put foam padding and mattresses around girders, but not the Vancouver Olympic Committee.

What was VANOC’s immediate response? Blame the athlete:

Vanoc released a statement saying both the BC Coroners Service and FIL officials had investigated the accident. The federation concluded Kumaritashvili failed to make a correction once he entered the final curve and slammed into the pillar.

No one questions that danger of operating on a track that can allow a luger to travel at 140 km/h, but even the most rudimentary safety features weren’t there. I can’t say for sure if some sort of net or foam padding could have helped, but even the effort put into it would have shown a little concern. The viewers are not interested in the death-defying scarcity of safety standards. Too many blogs have been buzzing about how inexperienced the 21-year-old Kumaritashvili was. Why is it that after the accident, a safety wall was able to be put in placed the very same night?

The call for slowing down the track was already in place for nearly two years, after so many athletes and trainers were sounding the warnings. Anyone blaming a young man for the very steep, dangerous, and inadequately secure course is playing groupie for VANOC. It was just a matter of the Olympic committee before being a wasteful spender. Now they’re endangering lives and then passing the buck to the athletes.

City Under Siege — Day 7

Monday, February 8th, 2010

super-secret-sea-to-sky

Mighty Poseidon ravages our lands with his fury, decimating the snow and wreaking havoc with the climate. Aided by his upstart child with the Latin temper, El Neeeeen-yo, he has kept the temperature balmy. Our streets ache and crumble, parched from a lack of snow. The citizenry are frantically eating the drywall and drinking the gasoline from their own cars, desperate to stave off the embrace of death one more day.

The situation is so dire that the streets are now flooded with polar bears. Despite the insistence of Greenpeace, polar bears actually like warmth. Noted dignitary Al Gore had come to visit the city, thrilled with the new wave of these noble creatures. In a momentary lapse in judgment, Mr. Gore ran out into the streets to commune with these noble beasts.

I am sorry to announce that Al Gore was eaten by polar bears. It took six of them to drag off his carcass, leaving behind a putrid stench of entrails that could only be properly cleaned using recycleable materials–mostly pages from Earth In The Balance.

We would have used anti-Olympic pamphlets, but apparently those are illegal. After chasing down a story about the fellow who was denied entry into Vancouver and I came across a ditty about the Games. In it they talk about the by-law that prevents negative signs and campaigns against the Olympics. That’s can’t be true–this is peace-loving Vancouver! We have signs advertising that we have no nuclear weapons, and no one complains about those. Up on the City of Vancouver website, here’s what they say in the FAQs:

The December 2009 by-law, passed by City Council and amended from an earlier July 2009 version, is emphasized to show that they are merely clamping down on commercial advertising. Here are the stipulations for allowing any kind of signage to be put up:

Celebratory Signage
The new by-law provisions allow celebratory signage to be installed around the City leading up to and during the 2010 Winter Games provided:

* The signage is non-commercial in nature.
* The signage is celebratory in nature (for the 2010 Winter Games).
* A City permit has been acquired for the signage.

So Joe’s Fix-It Shop cannot post “Boo to 2010″ even if he doesn’t make the sign commercial and somehow manages to get a permit for it, just because it’s negative. The by-law then was changed to allow trademarks “to allow trademarks and other symbols of Olympic sponsors on celebratory signs.” Pamphlets and flyers were also included under commercial activity, likely because any anti-Olympic organization would either be incorporated, or the act of spending money alone to print the flyers would constitute “commercial activity.”

Now, the prospect of about a million Tide samples during the Olympics clogging the waste bins is purely logistics, but these rules are never enforced in the same manner at any other time. We even get free Vancouver Sun papers now and then–which seem to have nothing but glowing editorials for the Olympics anyway, so they will be covered as celebratory. Whether they fall under the “pamphlet” category is debatable–but just not among the public at large.

There are certainly concerns about security and civil order that would need to be addressed while the Olympics are in town, but the smaller details are also being lost in terms of our liberty. If an event has the capacity to close the entire 99 Highway to the public during peak hours (the only path getting to Whistler out of Vancouver) as well as nine other major routes in and out of the city, and establish their own “free speech zones”, there’s no reason that City Council couldn’t pass something more insidious in the future. They even wanted to shut down the city altogether at one point except to Olympic vendors.

Apparently dreams can go well beyond a gold medal. Sometimes they just involve dry runs for what governments can do the people, all at the request of the IOC.

City under siege — Day 3

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

ski_bummy

The citizens are in their usual state of panic, just as City Council wants them. Supplies of red mittens are running low, as the last of the free tickets to events have been sold online. People are frantically scraping the sides of their freezers for the precious ice particles, hoping that they won’t have to truck in any further snow. The homeless are huddled around a pile of burning Miga dolls, frantically trying to keep warm and cook their crack to a toasty golden brown.

We’re a destitute bunch, and the invasion force has not even arrived. We stand vigilant, gritting our teeth in the knowledge that our fragile bodies will be subject to the most violent of deluges. Crashing bodies hurling into us, so utterly devoid of mercy or even reason that they threaten to fracture our bones to powder. It’s not a SkyTrain; it’s a high-speed coffin delivering us straight into the gullet of hell.

For those of us who don’t thirst for the blood of our enemies gushing down our throats, we steel our genitals to face the horror of the desecration of the fair athlete:

Vonn is first a GREAT athlete, but she also represents norm of feminine attractiveness. The combination of athleticism and attractiveness make Vonn the likely poster girl of the US Olympic Team, and the media hasn’t disappointed in constructed her as such.

Not to be left out, Sports Illustrated is featuring Vonn on their Feb. 8, 2010 cover. For those of you who follow SI Covers, know that female athletes are RARELY featured on the cover.

This quote comes from the website WomenTalkSports, and apparently they don’t talk to all that so good-like. (I have my own mishaps with editing, admittedly, and maybe I am being fussy by counting “media” as plural, but oh my goodness.) The women female writers are upset that on that rare occasion when a woman is featured on the cover that she is posed “provocatively.” The only way that pose is provocative is if she positions herself over the salad bar.

Maybe only 4% of the covers featured women, but 100% of the Swimsuit Edition covers featured women. What is up with that? It’s like…I dunno…SI is just interested in catering to the massive demographic that reads the magazine or something!

It’s all we can do to stave off the creeping madness, clawing into our already fragile minds and destroying our souls. We say a silent prayer for Lindsey Vonn, the latest fatality in the Olympic onslaught.

City under siege!

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

stalinist_pokemon

Picture the stark horror of a city gripped in chaos–foreign invaders sweep the streets and capture your science building, shakedowns of ordinary citizens for their ID and subjected to security checks, police shutting down the streets and erecting blockades, a looting of billions from your treasury, disruptions to mass transit.

In other words, it’s Vancouver’s crunch time until the Olympics.

I don’t know what the Russians are up to in the Telus World of Science, but they have barricaded themselves in and poted signs everywhere saying they did so. My guess is they are cloning the new generation of chess players in there. Just so long as they don’t mess up the virtual snowboarding machine, it’s cool.

Can you believe people are complaining that there’s no snow here right now? I’m trying to grapple with what would happen to the soon-to-be clogged sidewalks, the traffic, and the mass transit schedules if you throw a variable like snow into the equation. I can see snow–it’s up on the mountains where it belongs, and I’ll get to see it until June like I always do. Don’t tease the fates.

Meanwhile, unless you have disposable income to shower on the downtown, stay the hell home. Such is the message from TransLink:

TransLink has backed off on initial warnings that passengers would have to wait up to two hours for a SkyTrain during the Olympic Games, saying new modelling suggests most queues will be closer to an hour.

Spokesman Ken Hardie said Monday the transportation authority had based its original projections on the waits experienced during the opening of the new Canada Line last fall when thousands of people snaked around the various stations, waiting for hours for a free ride.

But new modelling, based on travel patterns and schedules as well as the timing and size of “load-outs” — the number of people leaving a Games venue at one time — suggest passengers shouldn’t face the same situation when the Olympics are in town.

Gee, I’m inclined to believe Mr. Hardie, but I caught his lips moving. Besides, everyone snaking around to get the free ride on the Canada Line last year were there for the “I was first” factor, and the train opened to the public in the middle of the day. That also didn’t factor in that there were regular people trying to make it to work on a regular basis as they would for the Expo or Millennium lines. (I also have a feeling that that “modelling” exists on the same hard drive as the global warming “modelling” software.) So they have blocked off the roads at most of the key intersections in Vancouver, but they think that transit line-ups won’t be so bad. Oh, okay.

I guess they didn’t use the modelling simulation as far as venue line-ups:

Spectators should arrive two hours before city events, three hours before mountain events, and four hours before the open and closing ceremonies. Expect the sort of security screening procedures in place at international airports rather than typical sporting matches.

Wouldn’t someone be much more likely to want to harm Peyton Manning than, say, Jennifer Jones? I love curling, but I will guarantee you that the Super Bowl is going to draw a larger audience. (Torino got an average 20.2 million viewers in the US while last year’s Super Bowl got over 98 million viewers.) Despite widely increased coverage from 2002 in Salt Lake City, the viewing dropped way off. But for some reason, we need to shut the entire city down. I guess the Olympics are important. So important that the security measures for these Olympics will top $1 billion (compared to $300 million in Salt Lake City in 2002, and that was right after the 9/11 attacks).

We will bring you more from the city as events unfold.

Sonic Gun Has Nothing On The Cartman Weapon

Monday, November 16th, 2009

The dirty hippies are worried about a new device called a “sonic gun”, which can hurt the delicate hearing of people who don’t otherwise have to work for a living. The device is actually called LRAD, or “Long-Range Acoustic Device”, and could be used for crowd control in the 2010 Olympic Games in the dirty hippie capital of Canada: Vancouver, B.C.

According to the American Technology Corporation website, which makes the thing, it is a “high-intensity directional acoustic array designed for long-range communication and unmistakable warning”. In plain English, it’s really really goddamn loud.

The device can project a persons voice one kilometre away, and create a tone of 151 decibels at a distance of one metre, or 90 decibels at 300 metres. In plain English, that’s a distance between clubbing a hippie over the head, or sending a tear gas canister in his general direction.

The police say they have no intention on using this device as a weapon for crowd control, but could do so if they found themselves in a pinch. Still, I think it has nothing on the Cartman weapon. For dispersing hippies quickly and effectively, channeling death metal Slayer music into a broadcasting device is second to none:

slayer

Vancouver city of kings but short on thrones

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

davie_street_toilet

The coercive spirit of the 2010 Winter Olympics strikes again! Support us, or you hate Canada. This time, it’s all about a new definition of going for the gold:

Concerned that Olympic visitors will be frustrated by a lack of public washrooms, a downtown business association is asking its members to throw open their washroom doors.

Businesses should take down signs indicating washrooms are for customers only, said Charles Gauthier, executive director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, which represents businesses in a 90-block area downtown.

Ah yes, the typical “when you work hard, we all win” attitude of the Olympics has permeated to the DVBIA, or I should say “trickled down.”

“We’re not saying them to that you’re going to benefit financially, but it’s just being a good host,” Gauthier said. “Open your washrooms up and make them available to the general public.”

But the move could help downtown businesses in the long run, as happy visitors may return and pass along word of their good trip to others, he said. Each year, eight million tourists visit the downtown area.

“Hey, Sally! Remember when we went to the Vancouver downtown and they let us use the bathroom for nothing? Let’s go back there based on that one minor detail!”

This is Vancouver we are talking about, where the major public washroom is known as “the sidewalk.” The citizens of Van are fortunate that it rains approximately 350 days a year here, otherwise we would be knee-deep in it. Plus if you lay a picture of Jesus Christ on the sidewalk before doing your business, you actually qualify for a BC arts grant.

Why is the burden being shifted to the private sector? Why else? Piss-poor planning:

Vanoc will provide 1,600 portable toilets, mostly outside venues and 146 at “live sites” downtown, Vanoc said earlier.

Salt Lake City provided 2,600 portable toilets for the 2006 Olympics.

I guess it stands to reason that if you are planning a huge event like the Olympics, it’s best to severely underestimate the number of facilities needed to accommodate the visitors. Apparently the businesspeople aren’t getting squeezed enough when it comes to taxes, so now they get to enjoy homeless people barricading themselves in the bathrooms and sleeping for thirteen hours.

The BIA was already helpful in getting public toilets installed in Vancouver, teaming up with local police and even something called the Vancouver Network of Drug Users. That’s some pretty interesting company they keep, and is probably the large reason why they are so motivated to keep the streets waste-free. This Charles Gauthier bugs me, too. He’s the executive director of the DVBIA, who thinks we need butlers in the bathrooms:

“[We're] also looking at the possibility of having a greeter at the front door to help get people into the right lineup, be it a washroom lineup or a lineup to get a beverage or a food item,” said Charles Gauthier, the association’s executive director.

Yes, on top of having to mop the floor, some kid at a fast food joint now has to direct people who can’t tell the obvious difference between the wait counter and a toilet. (Actual quote from Charles Gauthier: “And really, people are going to shoot drugs wherever they want.” It sure does sound like it, Charles.)

Maybe instead of imposing the matters of waste on the people of Vancouver, the Olympic planning committees should have to plan on their own a little better. Maybe also the DVBIA can take the side of its members for once and stop acting as an advocate for more accommodations to the homeless, the number one nuisance to businesses in Vancouver.

Trick-or-treachery

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

hire_prettier_protestors

Yikes. I seemed to have found myself on the less friendly side in the Olympics 2010 debate. Someone has stepped over the edge and violated a sacred ground–Hallowe’en candy (story on page 3):

Anti-Olympic sentiment invaded the loot bags of young trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

When Vanessa Payne dutifully inspected the chips and chocolate her two daughters Mackenzie, 7, Kennedy, 4, and one-year-old son Lincoln brought home, she was disappointed to find printed notes, that read, “I hate the Olympics, send Car 87 for [Premier] Gordon Campbell.”

Campbell is certainly no stranger to police cars, and the Olympics are certainly no stranger to controversy. It’s not bad enough that we get the hippy contingent getting their little botched abortions kids carrying around their sandwich boards for them at the protests, but now they’re the target of a stealth leaflet campaign in their candy.This is worse than the old lady who hands out toothpaste!

By the way, are baby names getting out of control? Lincoln and Kennedy? Kind of makes Quatchi and Miga seem downright normal. Worry not, little Fillmore and Polk. The kindly old Olympic protestors are just quietly voicing their opinions, and they just need to borrow Hallowe’en for a while. You know, the one night of the year where adults can’t be arrested for wearing masks out on the street.

Well, “peaceful” in the hippy-dippy, one-way sense:

Police rerouted the torch to avoid a clash with the shouting protesters – wearing masks or face paint and hoisting signs – who had blocked the route by gathering at one of the intersections of the route.

Protesters also threw marbles at the feet of horses used by the Vancouver police mounted squad. “This was extremely disappointing considering the possibility that one of the horses could have taken a bad fall, causing significant injury to both the officer and the animal,” said Victoria police spokesman Sgt. Grant Hamilton.

I am guessing they are not a fan of the Equestrian Olympic events. You had better hope that the little trick-or-treaters like Van Buren and Palin aren’t fans of horsies. I can see this backfiring, as they grow up and find jobs in the nightstick-wielding industry.

Protest all you want, guerillas of Victoria, but it’s not doing any of us right-wingers any good, either. Maybe you can leave Hallowe’en to the kiddies, and find a method of protest that doesn’t involve barbarism against a horse.

We’re sorry that expensive party for rich jerks not to your liking

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

high-speed-camel-toe

People think that conservatives were rubbing their hands in glee over Chicago losing the 2016 Olympics. Jon Stewart  Liebowitz of The Daily Show had to track down some obscure conservative group cheering when the announcement was made that Chicago was knocked out of contention. I guess if you flash Glenn Beck’s face up fast enough and then tie him to a group he probably never heard of, that’s good enough proof for a fake news show. America’s newly most-trusted newsman is really scraping now that he painted himself into a corner worshipping the O-dharma. Obama was the one who made it a Chicago issue and not an America one, so the accusation of conservatives “hating America” kind of falls flat anyway. Plus, where are the “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” crowd when you need them? Oh, I forgot–they’re still slapping themselves on the back for all the “teabaggers” jokes.

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