Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pollster Shocked by Olympics Fatigue!

In a column by Gary Mason in yesterday's Globe and Mail, the results of a recent poll revealed that over 70% of British Columbians couldn't give a rat's ass about next February's Olympics, and that only 20% continued to think the Games were a good idea. Pollster Greg Lyle said he was shocked by the numbers.

Well, duh?!

When we are being bombarded daily with the latest announcement about how much further in debt we can expect to be after all this is over; when our civil liberties continue to be eroded in increasingly Kafkaesque ways (the latest directive being contemplated is legislation that would give police the right to enter the homes of people living within designated Olympic zones and seize any signs being publicly exhibited that promote a competitor of a Games sponsor); when we've been told that basically we should put a stop to life as usual and barricade ourselves in our homes for the duration of the Games, what did he expect?

Furthermore, given the recent pummeling that the arts and culture, publishing, and social services communities have taken as a result of the provincial government's financial mismanagement (which includes the costs associated with planning for the Olympics), who in their right mind would be in a mood to celebrate anyway? I for one will not be bullied into jumping on any boosterist bandwagons for the sake of our global image and collective civic pride. You'd think we were living in China...

Having got that off my chest, let me mention that colleagues in Urban Studies at SFU have organized another symposium on the Olympics and its legacies. It will take place this Thursday and Friday, October 22-23, at SFU Harbour Centre, and, among other highlights, will feature a "Mayor's panel" with Al Duerr and Valentino Castellani. The former was mayor of Calgary immediately after the 1988 Winter Games and the latter oversaw Torino's winning bid for the 2006 Winter Games. For information, see the following link.

More performance-related posts soon, I hope.


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