lying (low) with glowing hearts

Posted by Daniela Elza on Feb 02 2010

Yes, yes, the games are coming to town. I was trying not to think about it too much. But with all that is going on I am now more curious about the game behind The Games. Here is the official VANOC mission:

“The Vancouver 2010 mission is to touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world by creating and delivering an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting legacies.”

And here is one story of how VANOC can touch you and leave lasting legacies, or was that legalese? I feel sorry for the people at Olympia Pizza, and for all the others whose stories are not heard. Also for the people on the street, the homeless, who are more vulnerable now. The whole security frenzy is anticlimactic. Who will protect VANOC from themselves?

And who you might ask is VANOC? Who hides behind the five letter acronym? See for yourself. Here is one VANOC breakdown, and here is one more breakdown.
I cannot afford the tickets, but I just might be able to afford The Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games by Christopher A Shaw, in which disturbing questions come to light:
Why does the IOC pay no taxes?
Who are the real estate developers behind the Vancouver bid?
Why are mega projects paid for with tax dollars?
What are the true costs of the Games?

I have been lying low, even though not all has been quiet on the Olympics Front. I have paid in numerous ways with my time, frustration, proximity (lets not talk about tax dollars). This, when 800 teachers in our province are in danger of getting their pink slips. (Does that mean 800×30 student will also be fired, to make the numbers match?) This extravaganza amidst all the unreasonable arts cuts, library services cuts etc..

I still said nothing.

But when it comes down to owning language, VANOC you will not be getting any sympathy from me. (Sympathy is a kind of sponsorship). See, words are my currency. I do not claim to own them, but I do my work with them. They are my business. Hands off. Olympic, oLympic, olYmpic, olyMpic, olymPic, olympIc, olympiC, and OLYMPIC. I count myself a sponsor of the Olympics and not just by the sheer proximity to it. Since we are scrambling I am also a sponsor of the OilyPmcs, of MyPicols, of PimcsOly.

Which nicely segues into my main point: that the whole of Vancouver is a sponsor of the Olympics. And they might all spell it differently with their losses, patience, frustrations, putting up with years of construction for the Olympics. For a two week party some VACON, CONVA or some such committee is putting on. Businesses that went under because you turned their streets into construction zones. How is that not paying dearly? How is that not sponsoring the Olympics? (Have I said this word enough already?) Ok, I will say it again, OlYmPiCs (Oh, and by the way, I am copyrighting this unique way of writng it, OK?). Vancouver and its citizens have been paying for, and sponsoring, the Olympics. I bet with all the money we put in it we must qualify for an official sponsor.

And one more thing: the “with glowing hearts” bit. Can we use these words? Or are they VANOC property, on which we cannot tresspass? Which they have to figure out how to cover with snow? Slippery slope, this one. Where did you get these words from? Can we sing them now? These words. Perhaps not so glowing, but still words we share? I should hurry up and reserve the words with heavy hearts for after the OLYMPics, when there might be somekind of coming to our senses?
And the Inukshuk? The Rings? If VANOC claims to own them, then they must have stolen them first.

I am not so much into repetition really, but here saying and writing Olympics seems i r r e s i s t i b le. Besides, in my little play I came up with a couple of good scrambles, scipmylO, and scimpOly, which I think I will reserve for the name of something on a menu somewhere. Maybe I will offer them to the owner of Olympia Pizza and he could add a couple of items to his menu in honour of the Olympics and the hassle he has had to put up with years before the event through no fault of his. What’s in a name? What’s next? No, I wasn’t paying that much attention (since I was fed up with the whole thing at least a year ago) But now I am.

Just wait till you see those trucks full of snow rolling into Vancouver from (they say) Manning Park, 100km away? This was going to be the greenest oLyMpIcS, and it just might turn out to be. The dewdrops have been out for weeks, you can take a stroll among the crocuses. Were we counting on some freak snow? You can cover the hills with pizza here a lot easier than you can cover them with snow.

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