Sunday, February 14, 2010

Harper: Lest We Forget

What a very strange sensation to watch the Olympics in a foreign country.

I was absolutely crazy about the opening ceremonies in Vancouver on Friday night. But...they started out sketchy here in the States...Right before the opening ceremonies NBC dedicated the opening of the program to Nodar Kumaritashvili who lost his life on the luge. Although the newscasters warned viewers some of us might be upset by the upcoming scenes, I still never expected to see this fellow die right before the opening ceremony. How terribly sad for his family and for many of us watching this footage. I have mixed feelings. I was more surprised that here was a video being shown (3 times!) and yet the the complete set of media in U.S. will not publish war footage from Iraq or the returning lost soldiers coffins. What kind of logic is this. I believe in full disclosure. I believe Iraq and Afghanistan war should be televised. I believe the soldiers we've lost should be honoured on their return home even if it's in caskets. The only reason I can could see for justifying why CTV and NBC would release the video, during the opening ceremonies, was for full disclosure to help people understand what happened to this poor young brave fellow and not start rumours about drugs, substance abuse or juicing. The development of this luge track needs accountability.

But what kind of journalists would show this footage and not report and film the Afghanistan war? I just don't get it.

But on a lighter note, I repeat , it was very strange to watch this opening ceremony outside of my country. (okay, I'm a person with two countries, but you get my drift). I don't have any coverage on Canadian news sources here in Chicago. I guess if we had satelite I could CBC or CTV, but on our cable no Canadian networks. Hockey is strange for me to watch but hearing the perspective on Canada from Matt Lauer/NBC was pretty cute and pretty funny. At one point he says, Canadians are the friendliest and nicest people and I laughed. I had just said moments earlier to my friend Tricia as the camera highlighted Prime Minister Stephen Harper "What a fuckwad". I was like, "Oops, well, we're friendly and nice, but we don't have any respect for politicians and we'll stand up for ethics". I was laughing, even if we sound rude doing so. I don't know, the commentary on Canadina national identity was pretty funny and it kept on giving.

The "live" singing performances were a disappointment for me...except for K.D. Lang. She kicked ass. I thought Nelly Furtato and Bryan Adams were so milquetoast and not only did they lipsync they missed their cues. If they were going to lipsync why not fake a really good song with a pulse? K.D. Lang was fantastic (and if she was moving her lips to the song I couldn't tell) though and she owns Hallelujah. Sarah McLacklin was not bad, seemed to be lipsyncing as well though.

The fiddlers were absolutely awesome. Brock Jellison and Ashley MacIsaac killed the segment and made Canada look kewl. Wonderful.Love their clothes, their style, dancing and music! I loved everything about the show directed by Austrailian David Atkins who has directed several opening ceremonies for sporting events. Obviously I loved all of the First Nations content and dancing and presence. Way to go, and probably a credit to the director being from Australia where their sensitivity to First Nations has been a lesson to Canada. I even thought it was cute there was flub at the end. So Canadian!

But back to skin crawls when I see him. And I was so repulsed seeing him represent us at the games. What a loser. Why? First, he needs to be charged with breaking the Geneva Convention (by turning over prisoners of war to occupational forces practicing torture) And...lots of other reasons...

Straight Goods News reviewed recent Human Resources and Skills Development Canada grants and found a remarkable pattern in the list of HRSD grants over $25,000. Beginning in 2008, faith-based organizations began receiving large numbers of HRSD grants, mostly for local youth employment programs.

Feminist scholar Sylvia Bashevkin notes that a number of decisions including the Conservatives' gutting of the court challenges programme - which subsidised the funding of legal challenges of onerous laws and regulations by disadvantaged groups, including the poor, women and minorities - is a sign that the religious right has considerable influence in Ottawa.

From here "Harper Courts Right Wing, But Quietly"


Wandering Coyote said...

"Milquetoast" - I LOVE it! And I agree. The Furtado/Adams duet was horrid and a poor display of talent. I didn't get the impression Sarah M. was lip synching, though. Now that you mention it, perhaps Furtado-Adams were, but I am not sure Sarah was. She was quite emotional, too.

But K.D. kicked some serious ass!! She rocked that song to bits, man! That was the highlight of the evening for me.

SME said...

I was very creeped out that they actually played death footage on TV. I didn't watch it, but I heard a lot about it today from people who did. IMO it's disrespectful to the dead and to the man's family and friends, not to mention exploitative.

Candy Minx said...

Wandering Coyote, I think McLaclin's style was easier to look natural lipsyncing. I think she was, and I am disappointed in her if she did. Yes, she was very emotional and she was terrific entertainment-wise. I know that she can tune and choose the way her songs functions to help her voice so that is partly why it's weird she should lipsync. I am sure there is a lot of pressure from the producers to lipsync. K.D. Lang only had a piano, no big symphony behind her so she would be able to carry over the music. Pllus, the woman is so devoted to her own voice I can't see her agreeing to lipsync.

SME, I can understand playing the footage of the athlete who died during news programs. I get that. It just seemed weird to include the footage as part of the dedication to him. The thing is....aren't the commercials for these networks and their profits already sold months (years?) in advance? How can exploiting such a series of clips help the networks? I guess it could be for ratings.

TVo said...

Hey Candy, I was watching the Olympic coverage yesterday and broadcaster dude started talking about Nodar and said 'we are not going to show the crash footage now nor are we going to rebroadcast it anymore again'...or something like that. I guess they have been hearing plenty of feedback about it huh?