The Vancouver Olympics isn't fooling anyone
Nick Paumgarten sees right through the pretensions of my beloved, but hopelessly insecure hometown:
It was a dispiriting day, for the hosts. The horrific death of a Georgian luger, on a dangerously fast course on which the Canadians had limited everyone else’s practice, to give themselves an advantage come Gamestime, had, fairly or not, exposed the seamy side of their medal-accumulation ambitions, which they’d been uncommonly open about. The Canadians want so badly for these Olympics to go off clean, and for their own athletes to clean up, that the show may have been fated to start off with an awful mess. Gottesstrafe, as the Germans say—God’s punishment. Tragedy aside, the torch-lighting snafu and the lousy weather—rain, fog, and unseasonable warmth, which have already postponed Saturday’s showcase event, the men’s downhill ski race, and Sunday’s women’s combined—are examples of the kind of bad luck that befalls overanxious wedding-planners.
Bravo to Vancouver Poet Laureate Brad Cran for boycotting the Cultural Olympiad. He wouldn't sign a contract promising not to criticize the Olympics.