Friday, August 08, 2008

Bitter Pill

In case you didn't notice, the Olympics kick off today. The opening ceremony is finally wrapping up (NBC will show it this evening in their usual brand of non-live Olympic coverage). Let me tell you, this year is a unique one if you're in Toronto.

This city is still bitter about losing the 2008 games to Beijing. It was our best bet, and best bid for the games, and losing it, combined with the 2010 Winter games happening in Vancouver, means we'll be out of the running for a while (some rumbling about 2016). We were supposed to get 1996 before that, but Atlanta bribed their way to the pick (the fact the IOC changed their judging protocols to try and eliminate bribery after that bid is proof enough).

The human rights abuses, treatment of Chinese athletes, doping allegations, pollution, shoddy last-minute building, cloud-seeding, shortcuts, etc., etc... ah, but only if it was here, then much of this controversy would be avoided and replaced with local bitching.

Just shut up already! We lost the bid what, 7 years ago? Move on! The pundits, the columnists, and yes, the bloggers, won't let it go.

This years Olympics could be the most entertaining in years! China's pulling out all the stops to look advanced, proper, friendly, and perfect. Protestors and earthquakes seem to be bucking that.

Although I would have liked to see the waterfront revitalization come into play here instead of the piecemeal crap they still haven't managed to get right. Glad there isn't the traffic though.


Speaking of dissapointment - The Taste of the Danforth is this weekend in Toronto. What was once a great street festival with cheap eats, local flavour, and a fun atmosphere is now a corporate shillfest with overpriced sub-par eats, warm beer, no seating, and a lack of locals (since they wisely leave town for the weekend). A shame really. Between this and the Beaches Jazz Fest, I'm beginning to worry about the street festivals in my city. Maybe it's time to seek out the smaller ones. Then again, we still have Nuit Blanche and some cool Luminato stuff... maybe when things start off as corporate-sponsored events, they become harder to destroy, since there's so little soul to begin with.

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