COUNTDOWN TO GOLD
My friend Odeyah & I went down to City Hall today for the official Olympic flag-raising ceremony. Turns out I was standing 10 feet from Ben Mulroney. Ben & his sideburns are the epitome of Alpha Male in Canadian Culture: wealthy, young, handsome, tall, multi-lingual, his own TV show & it doesn't hurt that his father is powerful enough not only to have run this country, but to have tied on the rib bib & come back for seconds.
Seriously, though, I have nothing against our former First Boy & his winter tan. He's even more handsome & personable in real life than on TV. Just don't bring up the time his dad sang a televised drunken duet with then US president Reagan of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling". Those few moments symbolize the critical compromises our Prime Minister made with the US which left us diminished as a nation.
Grand colonial marches were played by the Vancouver Firefighters band, followed by speeches by a female Tsleil-Waututh First Nations band council member (whose name escapes me - sorry!) & His Right Honourable Mayor of Whistler Ken Melamed - a Jew - who was very comfortable delivering part of his speech in French. Then Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan spoke & hoisted the enormous flag assisted by men & women police officers as the band played the flourishing Olympic March. I spied all this from under the black skeletal trees on the back lawn next to the flag pole. Just as the last white-gloved hand let go of the bottom corner, the banner caught for a moment on one of the spindly branches. Just then a breeze lifted it & it unfurled majestically to the cheers & applause of all present.
Well, not all present. There were people protesting the negative impact the 2010 Olympics would have on the environment & social programs. They were lined up behind the speakers so as to get TV coverage. & good for them. Sustainability must be at the top of all our agendas. Don't forget what Kohelet/Ecclesiastes Rabbah 4:6 tells us: "Look at My creations, see how beautiful they are, how excellent. Make sure you do not ruin or destroy My world, for if you do there will be no one to repair it after you."
For more on what Jewish Environmentalism has to say, check out Adam Va-Adamah.
Don't get me wrong - I love the Olympics, & this year's Winter Games saw Canada bring home more medals than ever - over half of them by women. That plus most of our athletes being young means competing on our home turf in 4 years will make us a force to be reckoned with.
The politicians were all piped away at the end of the celebrations. I went & bought groceries.
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