Thursday, February 09, 2006

= Miss Newfoundland & Canada's Mick Jagger?

I know where I will be at 8pm PST tomorrow night...sprawled out on the couch watching the final four episodes of Arrested Development on Fox. But much of the country and world will be riveted by the majestic beauty known as the Olympic Opening Ceremony. An estimated 2 billion people will watch as athletes from 80 nations file into Olympic Stadium, serenaded by Luciano Pavarotti, thanks in part to a 2.3 billion euro investment by the Italian government. By comparison, the Super Bowl attracted 90 million viewers, a celebrity singer that nearly carried as much weight, and went on in spite of a $100k "investment" by Mrs. Wayne Gretzky.

But I've never been particularly interested in the Opening Ceremony. Why? For one thing, you can't bet on the Opening Ceremony (though I did win a $5 spot when the archer succesfully connected with the torch in `92). Secondly, no one loses in the Opening Ceremony. I mean it's kind of pointless to route against the Russians showing up at the ceremony. And finally, it is a total myth that the Olympics bring countries closer together, that it makes our world more peaceful. Remember Munich (the Games, not the excessively long Spielberg movie)? Remember Berlin in `36 ? OK, I'm having trouble thinking of examples that didn't involve Games in Germany. But my point is that the Olympics beget hate, hate and more hate. If you wanna watch something peaceful, watch these ...

The ridiculous news stories are already pouring out of Turin. As if 418 total hours of television coverage were not enough, every newspaper has a reporter "embedded" at the Olympics, lending itself to every single possible angle being covered. Example: this extremely short, extremely worthless Reuters article about 25 year old Brad Gushue, Canada's youngest skip.

A skip, for those not familiar with frozen shuffleboard, is the captain of the curling team. Gushue (pictured above) is a bit of sex symbol , attracting throngs of pasty white Canadian admirers. According to Gushue, "I did once have bras and underwear thrown at me, but not in the last 6-8 weeks." Apparently, Gushue studies at the William Shakespeare school of language. Anyway, the approximately 100 word Reuters article compares Gushue to the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. There are some obvious differences (age, drug use) and some very obvious differences (one probably gets laid all the time, the other is likely a virgin).

But what does this say about Canada? This is the country that brought us the Naked News, the Sex Party (the only pro-sex political party I know of) and some of the best strip clubs this side of Amsterdam. Have our friends to the North gone soft? No offense to Gushue, but he's no Mick Jagger. He's not even Elvis Costello. The guy is basically a glorified janitor. But Canada has gone ga-ga over Gushue. I think it's safe to say that he will be participating in an abstinence pact prior to the Games, though not necessarily by choice.

What are today's take-home lessons? Fox didn't kill Arrested Development, America's complete ineptitude and desire for fluff like Desperate Housewives killed AR. Watching the Opening Ceremony is great for people that hate to see people lose...or people that hate to see people win. And finally, in Canada you don't have to be good looking, muscular or athletic to get just have to do your best Cinderella impersonation.


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