There was so much about last night’s Olympic Opening Ceremonies that reflected Canada’s best and worst qualities. I’ve been thinking about this since I began watching the pre-ceremony coverage and snarkily commenting on the weird coverage leading up to the big event. In the pre-show, there was a strange melange of Much Music hot tubs with tweens in bikinis and chicks doing body shots inside the pub to celebrate mixed with highly depressing discussions of the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, the cancer death of Jack Poole who was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Vancouver, and a news magazine-style feature about Irishman John Furlong, whose life contained a hefty dose of strife and darkness.
The show intrigued me, because as we are often wont to do in this country, we seemed to focus a lot on how ‘tough’ things all were and seemed to feel it necessary to ensure that we simply didn’t look with unchecked patriotism, enthusiasm and glee toward the spectacle that was about to be unleashed around the world, focusing on the greatest sporting event in the world that was about to launch right here in Canada, but instead strived to find balanced, meaningful content. We appeared to want at all times to keep our expectations in check and point out how hard life can be and how there is always tragedy to go along with the good. And my feeling was that BECAUSE life is such a struggle, it was alternately time to PARTY and ‘forget’ our troubles! (See hot tub above).
*Side note – you will notice that I have deliberately not linked above to any of the coverage of the death of Nodar. Every page and site I find has a video showing his death. I find this footage highly disturbing and inappropriate to show. Especially in slow motion. What are your thoughts? I fear that we are really taking things too far when we have no issues showing death happening like this, over and over, for the world to see. I have the same issues with 9/11 and the footage they always show of desperate professionals throwing themselves out of the WTC towers before their collapse. Psychologically disturbing and truly not necessary.