Breathtaking, if not scheduled too late for a weeknight, the world’s hosts in Vancouver (and NBC) were hard at work last night, selling us the abundance and appropriateness of Canada. The geographically longest Olympic torch relay in history was circuitously routed around the entire country, up into the Arctic Circle and everything, as if to bring the good news to everyone, no matter how frozen the landscape. I was impressed with the opening ceremony visuals, played out with many projectors inside the arena.
They opened with colorfully-clad dancers representing the four indigenous tribes in the immediate area welcoming the athletes, then settled in for some more amazing entertainment. One of my favorites was the sequence where the floor of the arena appeared to be a sold block of ice, but then it broke up, and the Indians chose which big pieces to stand on as the ice floated off to the edges of the arena, leaving a deep blue ocean covering the whole floor, with an amazing illusion of orcas swimming across from one end to the other. It was way cool.
The other one that got me was the boy running across the golden fields. The boy was wired up to the ceiling, and as he appeared to run, he was really staying in the same place in the center of the arena, while the projection of the golden field appeared to roll by underneath him on the floor, giving the illusion that he was running. That was way cool, too. The whole thing ran until midnight, which is why some of our star athletes didn’t participate, so they could get requisite sleep. But I stayed up with the rest of the world.
So for 16 days, much of the world will be focusing on these amazing things in Vancouver. The ideals and ethics may seem to contrast with the practices we keep hearing about from Washington, which could be why Joe Biden and frau are at the games. A little reality might sink into this administration after all. The patriots are still roaring in the aisles from the State of the Union address, and posting quotes:
"A man’s most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe." –Greek playwright Euripides (485-406 B.C.)
"The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency. It proceeds from not knowing what is going on in other people’s minds." –British journalist Walter Bagehot (1826-1877)
You get the idea. And that goes for a lot of other things we deal with every day, if you can handle being that suspicious. I think we’re up to our necks in charlatans who will do us in whenever we don’t expect it. So if you expect it, you’re less likely to be disappointed.
Case in point… when I finally cruised into my driveway after a few hours of hanging out at the wurk, there, waiting for me by the ditch, looking at the huge heavy stump I left there last spring, were two representatives from Comcast. Not expected, not announced, and when I asked what they were up to, one answered that he was there to save me money.
After we were done talking, somehow he got me to accept an increase in my bill, in exchange for an upgrade in internet service. So he’s not really saving me money at all. Beware.