Please consider this edition a one-person show...
Fortunately, for those of us who missed the opening ceremony, the National Post's Vanessa Farquharson (pictured) proved to be ever-so-full of apposite observations during her paper's liveblog. It was just like being in Beijing. Here are some highlights of someone who wanted to achieve detached irony in the worst way:
"Why isn't Stephen Harper here? Every other president and prime minister is, what's he doing?"Stephen Harper, British PM Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Andrea Merkel, each of whom decided not to attend, reportedly spent Friday on a scavenger hunt. One of the items they were supposed to find was find French president Nicholas Sarkozy's balls, which went missing sometime during July.
"I can't help but wonder how the organizers are arranging all the country representatives in the middle of the arena. I mean, if we're going alphabetically, wouldn't it be kind of awkward to put Iran next to, say, Israel?"Well, that order is determined by the language of the host country -- not English. (Time taken to confirm this with Google: 9.69 seconds, a world record.)
Doesn't Iraq -- whether or not it would be able to send athletes has been in the news -- also come in between Iran and Israel in the English dictionary? Immediately after that trenchant insight, Post editor Ron Nurwisah not-so-subtly pointed out:
"(Iranian athlete): 'Excuse me Iraqi athlete, can you please tell the nice Israeli fellow to pass the salt?' (Iraqi athlete): 'Get bent!' Kinda like that, Vanessa?"The Post planned to something meta, a spoof of the routine associated with Macy's Thanksgiving parades. There's always the one host who's a walking Wikipedia with a pocketful of index cards. The other who says things like, "I'm so excited" and "Hey, there's Woody Woodpecker!" It's too bad this comedy trope became obsolete 10 minutes after Best In Show came out on DVD.
But why is it that the man gets to be the sage one and the young woman is cast in the role of the vapid idiot? This is patriachy in a can. That's for someone else's blog, though. Back to Brainlock Nessa:
"Either way, no matter how much or how little you know about sports, the fact is that when Celine Dion belts out a pop ballad in a giant bird's nest while fireworks go off in the shape of a happy face above, there's no question it's an event worth watching. It's also an event worth blogging about, so here I am with the Post's live coverage of the ceremonies. Please bear in mind that I'm an Arts & Life reporter who knows way more about Celine Dion than Simon Whitfield and I'm not quite sure what a heptathlon is."How ironic. One of the events in the heptathlon is the run-on sentence.
"Is there any way to speed up this process? They should have installed a moving sidewalk or something."You wish there wasa moving sidewalk, which would expand the Olympics' carbon footprint? That doesn't sound like walking the enviromental talk, Nessa.
"I want to know if anyone's majorly screwing up during this ceremony, and if so, what the repercussions are."They get reassigned to do high-tech surveillance work. Here's the catch. They're put to work listening to your conversations with your mother. Then again, they could have just read your last interweb thing, where you used "I," "me" or "my" twelve times in the span of the first three paragraphs. In the fourth graf, said you were reluctant to "cross-promote myself because it's more than a bit self-indulgent."
"Hold on, Chile was one of the original 13 countries at the first Olympics?!"Date of Chilean independence being formally recognized by Spain: 1844.
Date of Canadian confederation: 1867.
"Ugh. Is anyone else totally bored right now? Honestly, it's been three and a half hours of this."Please don't scream "ingrate!" Ms. Farquharson is doing this on her off-hours. Someone who, for a time, eschewed the term blog because it was too geeky would never accept pay for working in a medium that was originated and popularized by geeks, dweebs, dorks, spazzes and poindexters, right? (Actually, she already has. Good for her.)
"Yay, the happy-face fireworks!"Hey, is that Woody Woodpecker?