Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm sorry, but I can't help myself...


I live in a commuter suburb about an hour outside Vancouver. The Olympics are here and although I am well aware that it's a fascist, corporate, money sucking event that hurts almost every city that hosts the games, I can't help myself.... I got the fevah. *bites hand*.

Stephen Colbert is in town and will be taping his show here for part of this week (you can read why here). I'm failing to make my family understand the importance of this and why we must get up super early and catch the train to Vancouver. Stephen Colbert to me is like the Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana to an 8 year old girl, except I act all cool like and contain my screaming to inside my head. Both my daughters, age 8 and 10, reminded me that they neither like the Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana... so there. And in all truthiness, my love of sleeping in will probably win over any celebrity fan love.

I suppose another reason I should hang my head in shame over my Olympic fever, is that arts and culture funding was drastically cut in the Provincial budget to help pay for the Olympics. The gallery where I participated in a show last month, like every non commercial gallery in the province, is desperately trying to find ways to survive. I suppose the not for profits will have to be better capitalists and find innovative ways to sell, sell, sell to public tastes. In some cases that might not be bad, in other cases, it will be, as the bigger venues, might have to cater to watered down, mainstream interests to generate the revenue to stay afloat. Mc-art for the Mc-masses.

During the Olympics though, arts in Vancouver are heavily involved, both in public art displays and events. My sister is in town and gave a great, hilarious performance in Fear of Flight, a theatre event for the Cultural Olympiad. I'm hoping to see as much as possible, but that will probably be a harder sell than dragging my kids to see Stephen Colbert.

11 comments:

paula said...

you made me realize how sad it is that we feel we have to apologize just for liking whatever the hell it is we like. enjoy yourself and stop apologizing!

Ellen said...

But I'm Canadian, apologizing is what we do! No, actually, if you really thing about the numbers for them, 11 billion dollars to pay for the Olympics. People's taxes here (mine)will increase to pay for it, not to mention social programs that have and will be cut. I wish it wasn't so, but enjoying the games doesn't make me blind to the ugly side of them. But I am still enjoying them.

dinahmow said...

I'm fed up with the Olympics. Summer ones, winter ones, crippled ones.
I'd have thought, especially in Canada, the spectre of Montreal would have loomed pretty large. How long did it take that city to claw its way back?
Years ago, I proposed that the whole shebang be shipped back to Greece permanently.
And I had to Google your Mr Colbert.Quite amusing, for a Yank!
Oh, yeah, the cure for fevah is, I believe, a very large draft pf something. Bank draft?

dinahmow said...

When Andrea readds this she may never speak to me again!

paula said...

funny you...honestly i'm more bothered that you like colbert. i feel watching him is a huge waste of time. but then...who cares what i think :)

Vicus Scurra said...

Which event are you in? I will watch out for you.
Apparently we are having some sort of event in London in a couple of years, which will be equally devastating. I think the Olympian spirit is best represented by the way we take it in turns to go from city to city and royally fuck them up.

andrea said...

So many of my favourite people love Stephen Colbert and I've never seen him. Even once. I'm going to need to do some serious surfing on YouTube -- *after* I catch up on my sleep.

PS How could I hate you Di? Except that you're sounding a lot like my dad! :)

Ellen said...

Dinah, I understand your rant. Trying to maneuver through a wall of people on the streets of Vancouver yesterday made me even crankier. If it just stuck to the sports and not the wasted spectacle, I'd approve it so much more.

Paula, I care what you think. But feel free to roll your eyes and get annoyed while I explain why I think he's brilliant.

He's about satire and sarcasm and making a mockery of the right wing in America is just funny somehow. From up here and across the Atlantic, it sometimes looks like America has only a few decades left before it implodes on itself because of idealogical differences. I mean Sarah Palin gets as much support as she does??? She's an idiot. Bush Jr. got elected to 2 terms??? Glenn Beck even exists??? Colbert points out the absurdity of it all by pretending to be a goofball right wing pundit.

Ellen said...

Vicus, and your host to the big games that people actually notice. To ease the cost, London can borrow some of our opening ceremony props, like our 60 foot crystal penises, I mean, scultpures, if they want before they're listed on Ebay.

Andrea- you'd love Colbert. But I didn't get there early enough :(

Rebecca S. said...

Hi. I clicked on 'Fraser Valley' on my profile and there you were. Loved your Olympic post - I feel exactly the same way. I can't help but catch the awfully contagious fevah, even though part of me wonders how long such decadence can honestly survive in this world, and if it should.

Ellen said...

Rebecca - thanks for visiting! By the end, namely because of hockey, my fever completely won over. But then the inflatable beaver during the closing ceremonies gave me plenty to smirk about. Hmm, how much wildlife is killed in the name of the senseless plastic junk? To be self depreciating and make fun of the Canadian stereotypes using big spectacle kinda kills the joke. As for decadence, I think it's human nature no? from the pyramids of Egypt to the pyramids of Las Vegas, we're a silly people sometimes.