Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random Rants

OK, first of all I wait a whole week all atwitter in suspense and anticipation for the next episode of Republic of Doyle...only to be met with a rerun of the first episode at 9pm. What the hell, CBC?

And now that that is off my chest...

We (well, I, really) have been doing a lot of looking into the free/low cost events and venues we could hit whilst in Vancouver over the weekend, and the sheer multitude of possibilities makes planning some sort of schedule/route (which falls to my partner, since he is more familiar with getting around Vancouver) a little overwhelming. I have picked plenty of options and plenty of back-ups if, for some reason, they fail. However, what astounded me most of all was the amount of negativity expressed on some of the websites I've been searching in regard to wait times, disappointed reactions, and inconsideration/rudeness. I am sincerely hoping things are not as bad as those people are making them out to be or this will be shaping up to be a rather unenjoyable experience. While I can see the point of those people who have shelled out mega dough to take part in other Olympic activities, only to have an underwhelming, mediocre (or worse) experience, I think one maybe has to put it into perspective in this case and realize that these particular things are available for free or close to it and perhaps keep the whining to a minimum. Then again, I guess there is no real excuse for poor planning and bad communication in some cases. We will see what tales I can tell when I return though, hey?

The fact that the amount and/or lack of French content in the opening ceremonies is being so hotly debated is becoming a tad annoying, as well (Why all the fuss over French content?, Opening ceremony lacked French content, Fight over French sours Quebec Day at Games). Admittedly, I did perceive some noticeable gaps of French representation in the Olympic ceremony proceedings and it does irk me at times how some British Columbians view French Canada - then again there are people throughout the country who hold those views to a certain degree (as well as those francophones who happen to have more than their share of issues with us anglophones), although I think being so far removed from the eastern provinces contributes a little more to western bias. A simple illustration of it's lesser importance out here is reflected in BC schools, for example, where core French is taught from grade 5 to grade 8 by classroom generalist teachers and students are allowed to opt out if parents make enough noise. I am not sure how it stands today, but I know that when I went to school in Newfoundland, the importance of learning French was made known to me early on and core French was mandatory from grades 4 to 9 and taught by specialist teachers. However, I do think that VANOC did a decent job of including French in the ceremonies. And really, do we need another blemish on the face of the Vancouver Olympics right now or another excuse to keep the anglophone/francophone fight going? Why ruin the games by bitterly fixating on these things?

Moving along, I am a little disturbed at all the negative media attention Canada is receiving as of late - whether deserved or undeserved. I have always been proud of my province and proud of my country and seeing it's image being slammed from multiple angles has thoroughly bruised that pride. It is more than a little upsetting and embarrassing to see our reputation on the world stage becoming so tarnished. While I'm on that note, I am even more embarrassed to see the negative feedback on Atlantic Canada House at and a bit offended that someone wrote that Newfoundlanders are suspicious and rude in the comments section as well. I sincerely hope that is not the way we are being perceived these days, because that would be a real tragedy. We have always been lauded for our friendly, down to earth people and I would hate for us to lose that. I'm sure it takes more than one random comment from a single visitor to turn the tide, but still....

Finally, my partner happened to stumble upon PETA's newest logo which stems from the anti-seal hunt campaign via the Vancouver Olympics. While normally I would not even bother to acknowledge them and give them free publicity (which is also why I am not including a link or photo here), I have to say the ads and logos they have created this time are even more ridiculous than usual. And, seriously, other than Atlantic and Northern Canadians who have relocated here, how much of a connection do they honestly think western Canadians have with the seal hunt, good, bad or indifferent?...Although I will admit that I was appalled and incensed to the point of *almost* going inside to give the owners a piece of my mind to see a sign outside a hostel in Kelowna a couple of years ago declaring that Canadians are embarrassed by the seal hunt or some such nonsense to that effect...and I was also gullible enough to be brainwashed by the propaganda and be ashamed of that part of my Newfoundland heritage when I was younger. Of course, then I grew up and looked into the reality of things. I must say, it is amazing what you see when you open your eyes and look past the cute white poster pups they like to flaunt everywhere in the hopes of pulling your heartstrings and emptying your wallet for their cause. I know they lump the whole country together as taking part in the hunt and/or being responsible for it, and I get that it is about how they can portray us to the world at large and get them to buy in, but still it seems utterly stupid to me to connect the two.

On a completely unrelated note, I heard on the radio the other night that there is a raven at the Green Castle Golf Course that has been stealing golf balls...more evidence that I am right to be creeped out by them and their crow relatives...damned David Suzuki documentary...
Anyway, it's late, I've had a long, rough day and I don't even know if what I have written even makes sense at this point so I'm thinking it is high time I shut up and went to bed. Good night!

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