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live: opening ceremony for the vancouver winter olympics

Saturday, 13 February 2010

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It’s the most wonderful time of the Olympiad, and while I’m not exactly where I thought i would be right now (e.g. marooned in Austin waiting for DC to thaw) I’m still clearing as much of my calendar as i can for the Games. Thank God i had the sense to setup my TiVo before I left for Austin.

A few thoughts about tonight’s Opening Ceremony:

5:42 pm Wait, Jim Carrey is Canadian?
6:13 pm Is Lindsey Voss’ shin the new Dwight Freeney’s ankle?
6:38 pm Lindsey Jacobellis is never going to live down that awful, showboating mistake from Torino. I hope she gets a gold, just to shut the media up. Seriously, people. She was like 14. People make mistakes.
6:44 pm Wait, Michael J. Fox is Canadian?
6:44 pm Wait, Ryan Renolds is Canadian? I’m sensing a theme to my posts so far …
6:45 pm Wait, Erick McCormack? Kim Cattrall? I feel like the Canadians are an alien species, walking among us … unknown, undetected.
6:50 pm If I could rip on the new version of “We Are the World” without being a callow, heartless bastard … I would.
7:02 pm The opening ceremony starts with an video, which (*surprise*) ends with the virtual snowboarder actually *entering* the stadium. Who saw that coming?!?
7:05 pm This is going to be a long, cheesy night.
7:07 pm Rocky and Bullwinkle has completely ruined my ability to look at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with a straight face.
7:08 pm Wait, Canada has a military?
7:09 pm “O Canada” as a jazz ballad? Thank God there are no fundamentalist, patriotic Canadaians … else there would be rioting in the streets of the Canadian heartland tonight.
7:18 pm After the dance-inspired welcomes from the Aboriginal nations of Canada, who else was looking for the English tribes to dance in with tea, and the French tribes to dance in with pea soup?
7:39 pm It might have been the editing, but Georgia didn’t get quite the standing ovation that i was expecting after that horrific accident (the footage of which NBC has now shown three times in the last two hours).
8:12 pm The U.S. enters, looking not quite as jingoistic as i was expecting. Is this a reflection of the post-Bush humility?
8:19 pm Nelly Furtado and Bryan Adams. Insert your own punchline here.
8:33 pm Giant spirit bear emerges from the floor. Giant spirit bear is hungry. Giant spirit bear will now eat the dancing gnats before it. Mmmmmmm.
8:37 pm As screwed up as the United States is, at least we don’t count Sarah MacLachlan as one of our national treasures.
8:53 pm Tap-dancing, neo-punk wearing fiddle-players with sparklers coming out of their shoes. Now there is a stereotype of Canada that I missed somehow.
9:12 pm Canada has a beat poet. They found him on YouTube. I wish I was making this stuff up.
9:15 pm Maybe it’s too soon for perspective, but all the memorials for Nodar Kumaritashvili (the aforementioned Georgian slider) seem really forced. I wish they had found one really poignant way to remember him, instead of sprinkling in lots of superficial attempts.
9:33 pm Wow. k.d. lang. I didn’t know she was Canadian, but I’m really glad to know she’s not American.
9:39 pm Hey, i just *knew* Anne Murray would get dragged out before too long. Wayne Gretsky’s got to be next.
9:58 pm Gretsky. Spoke too soon.
10:00 pm One of the four pillars of the Olympic cauldron didn’t make it out of the floor, so one of the four torch bearers (Steve Nash) get’s screwed. Shouldn’t one of the other three bearers invited him over to “help” light their pillar? So sad.
10:07 pm Even worse, Wayne Gretzky gets to light *two* cauldrons? Now I feel REALLY bad for Steve Nash.
10:09 pm Who thought five minutes of Wayne Gretzky carry a torch on the top of a pickup truck was good television?
10:15 pm It’s over. It wasn’t great, but at least it didn’t feature thirty-six pickup trucks full of cheerleaders roaring around the stadium.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.