(Photo from Deadspin)
I have several questions about Vancouver’s shall we say, lackluster opening ceremonies on Friday night (and into Saturday morning because, damn, Canada, it’s not like any of us need to sleep or anything.)
For instance, I’m fine with First Nations and giving tribute to your ancestors and all that. Really, that’s cool. I can get with that. I can even get with a giant glowing statue of a bear because, while it’s not quite as awesome as the Alaskan ice bear or the other Alaskan ice bear. Or the Alaskan ice bear turned fighter pilot (seriously, watch those videos. You will thank me), I can get with some ursine imagery.
But slam poetry? Come on, Canada, you can do better. It’s not bad enough that we had to listen to Bob Costas proclaiming Canada a warlike nation before the actual ceremonies got underway, but then we had to listen to a Canadian slam poet telling us that Canada is not a joke, thank you very much and respect us, dammit. I mean please. If that’s okay with you.
Because the thing is, I totally respect Canada. It’s lovely and every time I’ve been the people have been nothing but friendly and welcoming and wonderful. But if your Prime Minister needs to hold a press conference to tell the Canadian people to not be afraid to be loud and boisterous while cheering for their athletes (essentially: “Don’t be scared of the obnoxious and batshit Americans”), then come on, Canada. It’s something you shouldn’t have to be told. We’re all for politeness and we do appreciate you hosting the world for this Olympics party but Canada, I have to tell you to grow a pair.
We like you, Canada, we do. Many of us have threatened to move there time and time again and we certainly do appreciate the influx of your hockey players. But stand up for yourself, dammit. And stop being so polite.
Buck up, little camper. We all like you just fine.
That said, my primary question about the opening ceremonies, other than it often resembled a second grade talent show where everyone who wanted to tap dance or spin plates got a chance, was that the organizers totally blew it when it came to lighting the cauldron. No, I don’t mean the technical malfunction, that can happen to anyone. I mean the actual manner of lighting it. Because what’s awesomer than a flaming arrow shot into the cauldron by an Olympic archer like in 1992 in Barcelona? What’s cooler than a scrolling screen of fire like 2008 in Beijing?
A flaming slap shot, obviously!
Dudes, Wayne Gretzky was RIGHT THERE. He was holding the fire even! No one thought to give that man a stick and a flaming puck and have him launch the Olympic flame into that cauldron to light the torch for the next two weeks? No one realized that not only would that be incredibly Canadian but also totally badass and it would make everyone forget about the slam poetry and the odd Riverdancing and the children wearing Christmas lights? Come on, Canada, I expected more from you.