Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hate Lines


Line-ups. Shuffling paths of the morose. Processions entirely lacking in applause or dignity. Cavalcades of quiet retching and silent screams.

These are the gateway to any Olympic experience.

The venue, finally visible at the end, is often bitterly disappointing - like Quebec House, whose ten-minute line yielded a warehouse full of people all trying to find the exit (and a diner, and an empty stage...yay?) Saskatchewan House appeared similarly empty and desolate, though, to be fair, I think those qualities very much embodied the feel of Saskatchewan itself.

Rumors continue to fly - of good pavillions, and free goodies, hiding, somewhere (today apparently Bell was giving out headphones), but I can’t help but feel suspicious... Yes, we could let others know which venues are good, and which a total waste of precious time, but then, inevitably, everyone would line up at the actually good pavillions, and the lines would go from excessive to f*ing insane....and it’s already next-to-impossible to get into any venue with your sanity intact. Not to mention how especially difficult it is for those of us who actually live here, and have jobs, and can’t spend our youth trapped in a line, at the end of which there may or may not be a Vancouver-made "German sausage" of decent quality.

Ugh. Olympics. You had me so close to being won over with your promise of free goodies and plentiful free concerts.

But, no matter how much I love Corb Lund, I just can’t spend three hours in a line to get through security in order to see him, not after an eight hour day. I have puppies. They need me, and they pee on my floor if I don’t go home. And it’s not like I can take the puppies into the free concert, even though it’s located in a large park, because you’ve surrounded the park with chain-linked fences and forced everyone to enter through a single security entrance...which, even though there are 16,000 police in the city, the gate is so understaffed and slow that, even when there are no scheduled events taking place, the line is a half hour long.

Longest wait reported (for the zip-line, and concerts of well-known bands): 5-6 hours. I die inside.

Does security actually make anyone safer? If I were bent on causing terror, wouldn’t I just get on a bus, or a skytrain, or go to a movie theatre, or walk into one of the countless crowds of slow-walking tourists, milling in the streets like cholesterol? ...And would I really want to go to a Sam Roberts concert anyways? Really?

(For the record, I am not a terrorist, nor do I condone the terrorist actions of others, no matter how pissed off they may be. Please do not shoot me. God bless.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If Love Were Cows' Blood, I'd Be a Slaughterhouse

Dear Stephen T. Colbert of the Colbert Report,

I love you. Please marry me. I know you're technically already married, and may or may not have three tiny adorable children, and that you're a Catholic and I'm a heathen and so the church would never allow us to wed, but, whatever. My love knows no bounds.

Tomorrow, you will ride into my fair city on the back of your gilded eagle, and I will be at work, because I have to go to work. But, the day after that, I will NOT be at work, because I'm taking a vacation day, and then I shall go to you, where you are filming at that park near Science World - assuming the line's not too long, and that I don't sleep in, which could be an issue.

Perhaps you shall look across the sea of eager hipsters and spot me and declare, "that girl, the really short, funny looking one, I must have her!" and then we will ride off into the sunset and live a life of ironic fantasy. Or, perhaps, you will never distinguish me from the crowd, but still put on a damned good show for free, and I will brag to all my friends that you were within spitting distance of me, and now I can die happy.

So, I just wanted to say, in advance: thank you. Because no one in the Canadian press is ballsy enough to say, "Oh my God! Stephen Colbert knows where Canada is! And he's talking about us, and then coming to Vancouver! Eeeeee!" But we both know, that's exactly what they're thinking. And frankly, so am I. Eeeee!

FYI, I am totally not a stalker, but if I were to stalk you, I would be a nice stalker - I would bake you muffins.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oh, Canada

Oh, Canada.

During the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver Games, the cameras kept cutting to the nematode-like face of Stephen Harper. This was, at first, upsetting - I was trying to have a good time and get into the spirit of the white-clad celebratory dancers in their puffy, puffy skirts - the face of Stephen Harper was not going to help anyone do that. But then, as the cameras panned back to show the face of other dignitaries, the jubilant cheer of Joe Biden, the broad smiles and practiced looks of pride, I had to Stephen Harper capable of smiling??

The man, with his greyish, pasty pallor, and his beautiful, lesbos, news anchor hair...he does not know how to smile. He never has. Not once, ever, have his lips parted to reveal his perfectly nice, aligned teeth. And as a practiced shut-lipped smiler myself, I know that there’s a way to smile without revealing teeth that, while not jubilant or cheery, certainly conveys the message that you are, at least, trying to look a little happy. But not Harper.

He looks...bored. Despondent. Like a nematode. And as I continue to relay the inappropriateness of his face to friends and family, laughing at his expense, I begin to wonder...does Stephen Harper have Bush-like potential??

Because Bush was a very hateful and even evil president, but as a man, he never really bothered me. The problem was the systems which has put such a man into power and supported him along the way - the American populous, the Republican party, Bush senior, Cheney, oil executives, the CIA, Fox news, and so on - but poor George W. himself was just a horribly incompetent man. All he wanted was to roam free on a farm somewhere, shooting turkeys, drinking whiskey, talking about those damn Arabs.

Laughable, but lovable...that was Bush, to me. Terrifying when wielding even an ounce of power, sure, but...awww, he’s just a weird, racist old man who doesn’t know any better.

Now, I spent the better part of a year convinced that Stephen Harper could shoot laser beams from his eyeballs, so sweet, racist Southerner is not a look he’ll ever pull off. His look is best described as chilling, and sometimes, nausea-and-hives inducing. It’s a little like corporate evil, personified - the sort of person who, if they were to kiss a baby, would open their mouth wide, Dementor-style, and suck out the baby's soul.

But still...demonic nematode that he may be, Stephen Harper doesn’t seem happy. He’s not enjoying himself, licking his lips as he sucks the marrow from our country, tap-dancing as he demolishes our environmental accords...he’s not celebrating at all. The man doesn’t even know how to smile. He’s kind of...sad. Not in a capable-of-feeling, emotion-y way, but in a broken, robotic, ‘does not compute,’ ‘what is this wetness leaking from their eyes,’ programmed-to-destroy-but-secretly-wonders-what-it-would-be-like-to-receive-a-hug, kind-of way.

And whatever caricature we depict him as, he really is, in the end, a sad cartoon. A sad, incompetent, evil cartoon. God bless, Stephen Harper; I hope for your sake, and everyone else’s, it will all be over soon.