Thursday, January 14, 2010

A new year full of outrage, already

Tell me again why I should support the Olympics?

Besides the city of Whistler being made over into a venue rather than a community, it appears that Whistler's one public library will be closed to the public for the duration of the Games.
Why?
So that politicians, bureaucrats and Olympic committee members (and hey, maybe even a few elite athletes?) can have a private bar.

I keep trying to comment on that, and there's just nothing sarcastic enough to match the bare facts.
What else? Oh, Whistler library staff won't be out of work--they'll be seconded to VANOC and given vital Olympic duties like greeting tourist busses.

Reportedly the Olympic committee tried this in Vancouver--some of us see a library and think of reading, but VANOC members think of drinking behind locked doors--but was told no.
I wonder who told them no? I can bet it wasn't Jean Kavanagh, Vancouver Public Library's manager of marketing and communications.
She's such an enthusiastic booster (or do I mean enforcer?) of the Olympics that in October she sent a memo around warning staff that only the logos of official Olympic sponsors may be seen during public events. If a branch's AV equipment isn't made by sponsor Panasonic, then, well,
"I would get some tape and put it over the 'Sony,'" Kavanagh said. "Just a little piece of tape."
This doesn't just extend to inanimate objects, but to people:
“If you have a speaker/guest who happens to work for Telus, ensure he/she is not wearing their Telus jacket, as Bell is the official sponsor.”
No word on whether this will be extended to patrons who happen to be wearing brand-name shirts or hats.
I am somewhat comforted by the union stance (yay CUPE! my union!) as quoted on Quill & Quire:
"Our job as library staff is to not ever censor any information.”

To be fair, VANOC didn't ask Kavanagh to establish this policy. She did it on her own go, perhaps taking her cue from previous VANOC excesses like demanding that the Olympia restaurant (named after the mountain range) change its name before the Games.

4 comments:

avo said...

I wish my eyes made more noise when they rolled around in my head. The library management's behavior is appalling.

batgirl said...

She, for one, welcomes our sporty overlords.

For more fun, I've just read it was VANOC told the provincial gov't to legislate the ambulance paramedics back to work. And the gov't did.

Sports. Totally a force for good in the world.

Sharon Needles said...

Wow. Reading this made my blood pressure spike. I'm glad it's low as a rule.

I've just had it with the Olympics bullshit, and I don't even live in B.C. VANOC is out of control.

I have never been a supporter of sports. I know it's an old POV, but both the participants and the spectators permit themselves to behave abysmally. Although I can see a certain value in sports's catharsis, it's value ends there. For example, seeing a well-done version of The Phantom of the Opera has never made me want to set something on fire or throw a cinder block through a store window. Nor have I ever seen a soccer/hockey/baseball/whatever game that made me change my life or challenged my views on anything.

batgirl said...

While I personally loathe team sports, and consider that they foster bullying and exclusion (sports charities are the only ones that I will cut off and hang up on when they phone) I can see the appeal of physical activity, and of striving to excell.
If only sports came without fans and committees having major entitlement issues.