Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Best Place on Earth?

Came over the border the other day back into British Columbia after a trip to see the Raptors take on the Trailblazers (that's NBA basketball for you hockey pucks). After clearing the customs gates we passed a sign that said, "Welcome to the Best Place on Earth".

I've lived in British Columbia all my life and I believe it is a wonderful place to live. But the best place on earth? Really? According to who? Us? And by us I mean British Columbians who had something to do with the idea to put up that sign (and the campaign that goes with it) and by association the rest of us British Columbians who didn't have that idea. It seems more than a tad absurd, naive, or at worst conceited. Although stupid comes to mind as well.

I have not traveled all that much in my life, but I've seen some nice places. Oregon seems great, Cape Cod was pretty cool, and Yellowstone Park seems like a pretty special place. Where do we get off saying we live in the Best Place on Earth? Even if it is true, it's pretty rude to go telling everyone. Am I right? I say bring back "Beautiful British Columbia" or "Supernatural British Columbia", or come up with something new like "A Great Place on Earth", but it is time to put this current slogan on the shelf.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If You Don't Like the Weather, Then Step Inside

Little Jackie Showers is reporting live from Whistler for this post. What a wonderful place Whistler is. This week I've eaten waffles at 6,000 feet up in a small log cabin and goulash at 7,500 feet in another log cabin. I'm sure I should feel guilty about such consumerism, but that is for more principled people than me. Oh and the skiing is pretty amazing too!

One silly bit of decadence that I've decided I can't go along with is the restaurant patio heaters. I must admit they are kinda nice, but really people, I think either you want to be outside enjoying the weather or if you don't like the weather you should step inside and enjoy the climate controlled great indoors. Am I wrong?

I await the will of the people on this one, and I'm hoping to see a few more voices than "The Big Three" chime in on this one.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Own the Immodium

Well the Olympics are over and despite all those people who said Vancouver would be hell during the Olympics, things seemed to work out pretty well. In fact, it seems all the premature judging of everything Olympic has so far proven to be wrong. The last hope for the doomsayers to be right is that the Olympics lose a lot of money and the taxpayers get stuck with the bill. And my money says they'll be wrong about that one too.

Meanwhile once the media stopped covering all the pre-Olympic concerns, they got onto the job of telling us how the "Own the Podium" program was falling short of expectations. In the end Canadians did pretty damn good. Maybe we didn't own the podium, but we did get to hear Oh Canada played at medal ceremonies an amazing 14 times. The media response during the games was akin to the half-time show of a football game declaring one team the winner. Whatever happened to waiting for the final result before proclaiming something a success or a failure.The media needed to take a collective dose of immodium to stop the analytical diarrhea. Okay, I'll admit the mascots did suck.

All of this pre-judging negative analysis is not surprising, but it is annoying. The same thing happened in the lead-up to the games in Athens and Beijing. The weekend that the Vancouver games were ending there was an article in the paper saying how bad an idea it is to hold the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Does the media think its job is to be negative or are they just incredibly inaccurate prognosticators?

There is plenty to be concerned about when it comes to the I.O.C., but it seems a lot easier to write a story predicting certain failure of the local organizing committees than it is to dig into the questionable antics of the I.O.C. Just like it's easier for the media to cover polls and the popularity of leaders in an election than it is to dig into the issues and differences between the contenders.

Yes, that's right. I am annoyed at the media. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.