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.
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.