Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Help! Help! I'm Being Oppressed!

Watching the news this morning, as I do every morning. I figure if I'm going to be writing newscasts in a couple of hours, I should get some semblance of what's going on in the world.

And the news has once again turned to Vancouver, and the protests that are starting to pop up over the 2010 Winter Olympics. In case you haven't heard, just about any ceremony to unveil something Olympics-related now involves a protest...several hundred angry people saying that the Olympics are a stupid idea. And I gotta say, I don't get it.

The first protests I saw on TV was over the twinning of the Sea to Sky Highway. For those who don't know, most of the skiing events will be taking place in nearby Whistler, which you get to on the Sea to Sky Highway. Naturally, they're twinning said highway to handle all the extra traffic.

The news reports on the protest said that they were protesting because of the environmental damage it would cost. My friend who lives in Vancouver tells me that actually, they were rich cottage owners who owned houses in that area, and the new twinned highway will reduce the land value. Now, I have to admit, I get a little cynical when an environmentalist's motives are, "It'll totally ruin my view." Don't get me wrong, but I always though an environmentalist's movtive is, "It'll totally ruin our planet."

The next big protest was at the unveiling of the countdown clock. That's the one that made headlines because a couple of the protesters stormed the stage, pushed aside the guest speaker, and started screaming, "Fuck the games!" into the microphone. Now, according to the news, they were protesting, because they figure the billions of dollars being spent on the games would be better spent on solving the homeless problem.

Now, I'll admit, I'm not fully educated on the matters. But has anyone pointed out to these protesters that the Olympics might actually benefit the homeless? I mean, in anticipation of the games, more tourist spots are going to open, and they need people to work there. That's jobs for homeless people! And, in my research of the Olympics, I also discovered that after an Olympics, it's quite common for some of the venues, namely the Athlete's Village, where all the competitors stay, to be converted into low-income housing.

Last week, the Olympic flag was stolen by a First Nations group. Gotta admit, don't know why they did it, but they sent a picture to the police showing themselves with the flag.

The latest protest was at the unveiling of the replacement flag. I think it was just a generic, "The games are costing too much. Cancel them." protest. But, of course, because of everything else, security is starting to get beefed up at all these events, and the protestors are being greeted with riot squads.

Gotta admit, Vancouver's kinda crushing my Olympic spirit. I always liked the concept of the Olympics...how the world just kind of forgets its problems for three weeks just to kick back and play some games. But protesters shoving over dignitaries, and riot squads being called in to answer them? Kind of doesn't work.

I still intend to go in 2010, though.

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