Tag Archives: Vancouver 2010

Polo fits White Wealth Winter Olympics

Ralph LaurenYou might wonder why a polo player features so prominently on the official clothing of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Well of course, because the haberdasher au contract is Ralph Lauren, who one-upped Lacoste so many years ago when so many of the hoi polloi began sporting the little alligators that yuppies needed to differentiate themselves once again.
 
Of course a snotty sport like polo is not unrepresentative of winter sports. It’s exclusive, requires expensive equipment, and near full-time access to snow, meaning globe-trotting jet setters. What’s appropriate too about this logo is its size. You didn’t remember it being so big? It’s targeted at generation Ralph Lauren, now needing reading glasses.

Yanks overseas pretend to be Canadian but how do you do that in Vancouver?

Since the overt militarization of Pax Americana, US citizens traveling the world are advised to pretend they’re Canadians. It only took this week’s unexpected team USA victory over Canada in men’s Olympic hockey, to ignite anti-American feelings. Even before the games began, the USOC’s USA House was the only hospitality venue whose address was not made public, conveniently too because it was safely not open to the public. Now visitors leaving USA House are reminded not to wear or behave in any fashion that would distinguish them as Americans as they make their way to their accommodations.

Security warnings didn’t lessen even as Canada took revenge with a win against the US in Women’s Hockey. Canada’s speed skating victory wasn’t helped by Apolo Ohno’s complaint that his disqualification might have been owed to the supervising judge being Canadian.

Will a Canadian victory in the finals be enough to ameliorate feelings against Americans who dominate every other aspect of North American culture so obnoxiously? In either outcome I foresee American visitors and athletes taking their leave with as little fanfare as possible.

Just as McDonalds is uncontested as it pretends to speak for all Olympic athletes that their toxic McNugget is the “favorite of Olympians,” so is the American war machine able to coopt US athletes for their imperialist message. Critics of the Olympics are ridiculed for politicizing the games, yet militant nationalism pervades the ceremonies.

The television announcers remind us that the USA hockey players have been paired with beneficiaries of the Wounded Warrior program. Each stick-wielding, armored, helmeted ice warrior thus plays for the honor of an actual US soldier. A recognition I believe of America’s undying desire to have a second chance to kick ass.

I don’t know anyone rooting for Team USA, the finals rematch would seem to be an extraordinary opportunity for Obama-spirited diplomacy. These athletes are all NHL players of mottled nationalities, probably most Canadian as much as they are American. What better chance to let the victory to the host. Can you imagine the US asserting its dominance over its coalition partner? What could come of that?

Americans have precious few fans outside the homeland. Oh, they tell us, “we love Americans, just not America.” But in Vancouver this week, that was not true. Imagine Canadians added to the list of world people grown tired of the idiot American brute. Canada will take the sympathy of the rest of the Commonwealth with them.

After two weeks of patient cheerleading against US Olympic supremacy, suddenly I’m jumping up and down for a US win!

It’s just a game. The white man’s war on the world is not.

Norway ties USA for Olympic gold

Does it matter really in transnational games between warmonger countries? Nearly all Winter Olympic participants are NATO occupiers of Afghanistan. Though Norway was among several who condemned the Iraq invasion, its oil company is complicit in exploiting Iraq’s oil.

The gold medal tie between a nation of 309 million and another 1.5% its size is contingent of course on the outcome of today’s hockey match-up, a sport just as all-white as cross country skiing. It’s hard to imagine Kenyans not leading the pack if someone would jest give them skis.

The 50k cross country ski event is known as the King’s race, because the winner is king, metaphorically. It reminds me of my grandmother’s “queen for the day” award to my best-behaved cousins. The real king doesn’t of course participate in the race, but lends gravitas to the champion among his best trained men. The biathelon throws a rifle into this pursuit event, for those who having difficulty relating competition sports to military preparedness training.

Norway’s winner is named Northug, which draws a not inappropriate allusion to Norway’s historic contribution to modern Europe. After Rome’s collapse, it was the Vikings who restarted the West’s imperialist economic growth model.

Suomi hockey team beats Slovenska for bronze at 2010 Jeux Olympiques

Finland beats Slovakia for 3rd placeWhat does it say across the front of the Finnish hockey jersey “SUOMI?” Is that an acronym or an internet initialism? While it could be enthusiasm for Olympic mascot Sumi, Suomi is Finnish/Saami for what they call their country. Apparently the Finns didn’t get the memo about bringing Olympic text into uniform English-compliance.

Swedish jerseys use the abbreviation SWE for example, even though they spell their name Sverige. Similarly Austria, AUT, which otherwise goes by Österreich, and Japan, who spell it Nippon.

Norge, Polska, Nederland, España, Schweitz/Suisse, Belarus, Latvija and Kasakctah are perhaps close enough not to confuse American television viewers. Other hold outs are Hungary’s Magyarország, Germany’s Deutschland, and Russia’s ?????? -even the Asian nations know to romanize their Olympic alphabet. When in Rome, even the Greeks speak English.

It amazes me that American interviewers expect Olympic athletes to speak English. Where they don’t, their names don’t even get a mention. South Korean speed skaters are referred to only as “the Koreans.” Chinese free-style ski jumpers were given English nicknames so their “Chenglish”-speaking American coach could tell them apart.

Medal count reflects Wealthy Olympics

The US media ranks the US ahead in the Vancouver Winter Olympics based on most medals won. The non-American consensus rates competitors according to their gold, Germany often leading. If your average win is silver, it does seem queer to declare yourself in first place. Not to mention that total wins appear irrevocably linked to the size of the teams fielded. Inspired by 538 giving 2010 odds based on statistical analysis, I thought about other likely predictors. Number of athletes and population size are both outweighed by Per Capita Income as the deciding factor for final rankings.

Gold
Medals
Total
Medals
 
Country
Team
Size
 
Population
GDP per
capita
Prob.
Rank
8 32 USA 215 309m $ 46k 1
9 27 Germany 153 82m 39k 3
8 20 Norway 99 5m 77k 4
8 17 Canada 206 34m 39k 2
6 11 South Korea 46 50m 16k 9
6 8 Switzerland 146 8m 66k 5
4 13 Austria 81 8m 45k 7
4 10 China 90 1,336m 3k 10
4 8 Sweden 106 9m 43k 6
3 14 Russia 177 142m 9k 8

Vancouver 2010 Olympic destinations

Olympic sites

Amtrak Station 1150 Station Street
Apple Store at Pacific Center, 701 West Georgia Street
USA House at Level, 1022 Seymour Street
Hilton Metrotown 6083 McKay Avenue
Olympic Tent City protest encampment, 58 West Hastings Street
Adbusters Magazine Culture Jammers, 1243 West 7th Avenue

RED THREAD marks the 2/13 demonstration against Opening Ceremonies. Protesters assembled at the Vancouver Art Gallery, marched down West Georgia Street, south on Homer Street, around Public Library and unto Robson Street where violence erupted as they were blocked from reaching BC Place.

Forget Olympic Gold, US claims a ring

ringsThe Olympic rings represent continents don’t they? I can almost see the globe laid flat traversed by the five rings, even the colors seem culturally appropriate. B, Y, Bk, G, R are the US, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. What is North America but the US with its oil reserves isolated in the state of Canada and its cheap non-citizen labor pool confined in the state of Mexico? Actually the Olympic organization conflates South America with North to accommodate a ring for Oceania. Australia can have a ring of clear wallpaper. The indigenous revolution of Latin America deserves a ring of African dimension. If any powers can stand merging it’s US and EU. The Winter Olympics could be represented by a single white ring.

By an odd coincidence E.U. are the European Union’s initials for les Etats Unis, the United States.

McDonalds: Eat Like Fat Olympians

The authentic moment in the McDonalds commercial “Eat Like Olympians” is where an athlete walks amazed past tables of A-list Olympians stuffing their faces with Chicken McNuggets. He’s not starstruck, but dumbstruck at the sight of athletes poisoning themselves/selling out. Would they, could they? Not and hope to win. Center stage is US speed skater JR Celski and it’s a damn shame. I always hope medalists will seize their moment in the spotlight to hold their fists high like Mexico 1968. No, they’re so self-obsessed they shill for McDonalds and dope the minds of their admirers with Olympic strength toxin.

Canadian audiences have to suffer a wide campaign of misinformation from a handful of their Olympic hopefuls: Cassie Campbell, Brad Martin, Crispin Lipscomb, Cindy Klassen, Shawn Johnson, and Patrick Chan. Each pretending to eat the garbage.

How is being received? Have a look at this preteen rebuttal on Youtube entitled Olympics + McDonalds = Fat Olympians whose main character is a loving tribute to Shaun White.