Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Olympics

Nim and I live on the west coast of British Columbia, so of course we're inundated with Olympics propaganda. One city, Vancouver, chose to host the Olympics, but our tax dollars have somehow been dragged into this to the tune of damn near 580 million dollars. Hell of a lot of Gummi Bears that would buy.

Now, there are a lot of people unhappy with this decision, especially since there are a lot of Olympic protest censorship attempts going on behind the scenes. There are many people who are up in arms about the cost in the midst of a serious recession, environmental damage, insults to the native peoples of the lands where the Olympics are going to be held.

In the wake of all of this opposition, there are Olympics apologists writing about the 'whiners' who aren't 'team players' and are making the rest of Vancouver/BC/Canada 'look bad'.

I'm on the side of the protesters. I resent the use of my tax money for this. I have a boyfriend with kidney failure, a mother and aunt in their 70s, friends with student loan debts, friends with mortgages, bills to be paid, people to be cared for. I could not give two shits about who can skate the fastest.

Maybe the people bemoaning the 'whiners' have never had to choose between paying the rent and eating. Maybe they haven't had to wear ratty old shoes for a year longer than they should have because they didn't have the money to replace them. Maybe the loans we needed were just paid for by indulgent parents for them. I don't know and I don't care.

When we have a system where people could get post secondary education for little or nothing, when we can afford to keep competent doctors here and pay nurses what they're worth, when we have the resources to make sure that kids in the adoption and foster care system get more one-on-one care, when battered spouses and their children and their pets can easily find shelter and when we have more money to spend educating people so that they are less likely to fall into the traps that the world can lay for them - then, maybe, I will support the Olympics.

Future benefits of the Olympics don't mean very much to me. I don't bet on the outcome of profligate spending for the sake of having the "right" skating rink and the "perfect" ski run. I look around at my friends and family and think of the relief that even a fraction of 580 million could give to them.

So I won't be buying the red mittens or those unbelievably moronic "mascots" or anything with an Olympics logo or that damn license plates (I'd have to have a car first, ha!). No snow for the Olympics - if I was a believer in such things, I'd say it was a sign.

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