Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Colonel Blimp, in the media center, with a word processor!

As day five comes to an end it seems that the International media, or truth be told the British media for the most part, have declared the Vancouver Olympics a disaster.

Never mind the stiff upper lip, for the ever popular British press its whining time at the media centre. For most of their time in Vancouver so far they have taken on the role of the extreme opposite of the cheer leading media, in report after report, they have become the purveyors of doom and gloom. No balance nor attempt at providing a full report on all sides of the issue, they have their talking point and they plan on making it.

In a number of dispatches from the colonies to the faded empire, the British press have spent voluminous amounts of ink to express their beliefs as only the most arrogant scribes of that land can.

Now while the British media, dressed in their Colonel Blimp outfits, humming along to Colonel Bogey's march and sipping on their Beefeater gin have had much fun with our very visible difficulties, one does wonder if perhaps we now understand how and why the British Empire came to such an inglorious end.

It was perhaps on the strength of their rather pompous public persona around the world, in their ability to find ways to raise the hackles of those lands to which they once explored and now in the modern era, their non stop ability to work up into a good whine over daily inconveniences.

The only true concern that they have raised of these games thus far was the tragic passing of the Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, whose death should not ever be put into the same tripe articles as concerns over bus problems, food line ups, rain or lack of snow. Though even in those accounts of the Vancouver Olympics darkest day, nothing stopped the British media from making their headlines from that incident in a rather ghoulish manner. Assessing blame and responsibility before any investigation, before there was time to pay respect or offer a vow to learn just what happened.

They need not worry about Canadian resolve, we're pretty sure that there will be a complete investigation into that death, Canadians for the most part are inclined to seek out the truth of tragedy. True, it sadly sometimes takes too much time and tends to drag on, but in the end we'll get answers and offer solutions, and forever carry the grief of young Mr. Kumaritashvili's passing. Something that doesn't seem to resonate with the British press corps, or at times to the nation from which they come from.

There of course have been mis-steps and embarrassments at these games thus far for sure, the troubles of Cypress are now very obvious, and the Monday morning snowboarders of the games will ask perhaps correctly, if a more reliable venue should not have been scoped out, considering the variety of weather patterns that cross the North shore in February.

The inexplicable erecting (ironically, something that went up properly it seems) of a wire fence that would do Gitmo proud, effectively shutting out the public Olympic cauldron from the public it is suppose to enthuse, is another Vanoc mistake, one which it seems is to be rectified within the next day.

The breakdown of that most iconic of Canadian items the ice surfacing machine, has proven to provide red faces at the Richmond oval, still in the scope of things it was not an insurmountable problem. In fact, as is the case in Canada, when a problem arises a fix is found, in this case having the old faithful of the Zamboni on standby, in case the Green mandated Olympia machines let them down again.

There have been transportation snafus and concession troubles, and indeed waiting for hours in a line up for a bottle of water or a snack is of course something no one should have to endure at an event, especially one that they are paying through the nose for. But we wonder if it's probably the wait for the afore-mentioned gin that has the angry British scribes in a snit, as the details in their efforts it seems are in the nit picking.

The CBC weighed in with an overview of the negative vibes from the world's media outlets as well as a little editorializing of its own, over at the National Post which is a partner with CBC, but where seemingly not everyone is on the same page, the nasty tone of the British media was getting a full review.

And it is those negative reviews of the Vancouver Olympics that is of interest, coming from many of those British publications which have taken a very public stance against England's hosting of the 2012 summer games.

One, the Guardian had already used the word calamity even before the games had been declared open. When you put their efforts into that perspective, you begin to understand just how insignificant their warbling of the doom song truly is.

And hey about those 2012 Olympics, that should prove to be a spectacular event, eh! What with England going broke , struggling to keep its deteriorating finances above water without the burden of the Olympics. We're sure nothing will go wrong in Merry Olde England, no weather concerns have ever been found in on that isle (ask the folks at Wimbledon) , no transportation problems befall the people there (this from the land of the endless tube strikes), surely no inconvenience will be found in the land that once ruled and er, lost.

Interestingly enough, there haven't been too many, if any, complaints from the actual athletes representing the United Kingdom, the curlers, skiers, skaters and such apparently far too busy attending to the task at hand and the camaraderie of the Athlete's village to work up towards a good whine.

Instead, its the free loaders, there for the meals and drink (when available, snicker) that do the most complaining.

Constructive criticism is always a good thing, like anyone we need to learn from the things that didn't work, and address the problems as they come up. There have been mistakes made in these Olympics and at times we seem to have taken on a rather un-Canadian frame of mind in pursuit of success.

But even with all of that, the current tone of the British media's vindictive pettiness, condescending in its nature and piled on in apparent glee, offers nothing of value to learn from, indeed Canada need not take instructions from this lot.

When these games come to an end, we'll bid a fond good bye to the athletes from the British Isles, congratulate them on their success and wish them well with our thanks for coming to the events of the 21st Olympiad, hopeful that they have found Canadian hospitality to their liking.

As for the British media, the ink stained louts who would be best to remember that the days of the Empire are done, their condescending pronouncements long since deemed irrelevant, we suspect it will be a case of good riddance to providers of bad rubbish.

For the keepers of that Empirical flame, these house guests overstaying their welcome that do nothing but complain throughout their visit, as we like to say here in the old colonial landscape, don't let the door hit you on the ass, or arse if you will, on the way out!

Below explore some of the tales from the high mount of Fleet Street, where seemingly it's not a good story unless someone is getting skewered!

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