Olympic Fundraising

Awkward moments backstage at the making of a Conservative fundraising video attempting to leverage the Olympic event for partisan political benefit, featuring the morbidly corpulent senatorial douchebag from PEI and former host of CTV’s Mike Duffy Live program and Nancy Greene, the former Olympian turned wealthy real estate developer and another Harper-appointed political hack in the Upper Chamber.

Shed World

Impolitical wonders “what the wider reaction to this pavilion will be once it is opened on the weekend”… Many words come to mind — none of them favourable.

Just for fun, here’s a picture of the Canadian pavilion erected at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco circa 1915 built at a cost of $400,000 (approx. $6.5 million in today’s dollars by my rough estimate).

And here’s the Canadian pavilion that will be constructed for Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. The cost of this baby is $45 million.

Pretty swank, wouldn’t you say? Meanwhile, Vancouver gets something that, as Rick Mercer said a while back, looks like an homage to the typical design of duty-free shops at the border.

Olympic Parody

I think this deadpan (東京オンリーピック 開会式<フルバージョン>) animated take-off of the Olympics may be one of the subversively funniest videos of the year.

There’s something quite comically sublime about the giant motorized pigeons feasting on acrobats, amongst many of the delightful wonders of this remarkable little film… The giant Buddha sweeping teams of competitors off his tongue into the Olympic pool, or athletes self-immolating as part of their events, for example. Brilliant!

Jocks v. Artsies

It’s a little difficult to see how the Harper government’s plan to “redirect the savings” from the recent cuts to arts programs into Olympic torch relays and “Road to Excellence” program as part of an effort to help Harper government “achieve its domestic and international branding goals,” is going to make anyone overly happy.


A great day for Victoria and the Island. Oh, and Canada too, of course.

Show below, the Victoria City Rowing Club boathouse and Elk Lake.

Let the Whines Begin!

There was already a fair bit of derogatory sneering amongst “conservative” bloggers about the Olympics in general and our country’s “embarrassingly wasteful” team in particular, but those feelings are sure to turn into outright hostility following this story in today’s Globe & Mail about Canadian athletes blaming their lack of success at the games on government funding that “lags behind that of China, Russia and other modern countries.”

Doubtless, the assorted cranks and molemen of “The Blogging Tories” will soon be clambering out of their burrows to rail at what’s likely to be perceived as the ungrateful impertinence of our Olympic athletes. Oh look, there’s one now!

Do you really want to steal money from people and give it to some guy so he could learn how to run faster? Does a physiological freak (which is what most athletes are if you think about it) really more deserving of your hard earned money?

Toss another group of people that aren’t “ordinary” or “hardworking” Canadians onto the Conservatives’ free market Bonfire of the Vanities, I guess.

Fake Fireworks & Real Cranks

Irrespective of the surprising news today that most of the spectacular fireworks featured in the Olympics opening ceremony were actually computer-animated fakes, it can’t be disputed that the Chinese staged a thoroughly impressive show.

Or maybe not. Writing on his blog, architect Ai Weiwei, who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium, dismisses the whole extravaganza as nothing but:

”…a recycling of the rubbish of fake classical culture tradition; a sacrilegious visual garbage dump and an insult to the spirit of liberty; low class sound play that’s just noise pollution.”

Yikes! That curmudgeonly attitude would probably find a lot of sympathy with the Duke of Edinburgh, who previously has described Olympic Games’ opening and closing ceremonies as “bloody nuisances.” In the Duke’s opinion, such events destroy the spirit of the games, which should be strictly about competition. “They ought to be banned. They are a pain in the neck,” he added. The Duke also said that he hoped to do “as little as possible” during the 2012 Olympics in London by which time he will be 91 years old.

Stephen Harper: Not a Sports Fan

I haven’t really been watching the Olympics all that avidly over the weekend, but had vaguely wondered why Stephen Harper didn’t appear to be there. Now we learn the answer via this morning’s Globe & Mail:

“Why would a political leader go to a non-political event?” Secretary of State Jason Kenney said yesterday on CTV’s Question Period.

Well, of course. Why would there even be the need to ask? I mean, going to the Olympics would be just such a dumb thing to do.

Thank goodness, there’s at least one adult in the Conservative cabinet:

Mr. Emerson said the media and other critics of China’s human-rights record should consider where the country was 30 years ago.

“China has reduced poverty more than any other country in the history of the world,” he said. “Have they reached the Nirvana, the pinnacle of where we’d like them to be in terms of democracy and human rights? No, but they’ve come a long, long way.”