Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bureaucratic Doubletalk

The Olympic fiasco has started. I watched about ninety minutes of opening ceremony last night and then was simply overwhelmed by the political correctness of the whole mess. The events are in Canada. They are in the province of BRITISH Columbia. They are right next door to Victoria BC which was named after you-know-who. They are 2000 miles from Quebec and those nut-jobs of Montreal.

So, riddle me this: why were all announcements made in French first and then English?

The Olympics are an international event, of course. And multi-language announcement is common. But the event is taking place in an English speaking region. And, while French is a perfectly acceptable second language, did anyone notice that there were more participants from Asian nations than France? Why no Japanese or Chinese? Why no Russian or eastern European? Why no African languages? And why not announce in the host nation language first?

Then there was the colorful head-nod to the native tribes of the Pacific Northwest. OK, I get it. You need some local color and culture. OK. That will pass.

The march-in looked pathetic. Country after country entered with their contingent of one, two or four athletes surrounded by a bloated coterie of coaches, masseures, equipment handlers, agents and clothing marketers. OK, I understand that snow sports aren't high on the African nations agendas, but where is the standard?

Yesterday was marred by a death on the luge track during practice. The fastest track in the history of the sport might have proven too fast. But here's the lightning fast response of the management:

Not The Track's Fault. Double Up and Prove It.

That is a lot like saying that the long fall didn't kill the jumper. It was the sudden stop.

Olympic officials decided late Friday night against any major changes in the track or any delays in competition and even doubled up on the schedule in the wake of the horrifying accident that claimed the life of a 21-year-old luger from the republic of Georgia.

They said they would raise the wall where the slider flew off the track and make an unspecified "change in the ice profile" -- but only as a preventative measure "to avoid that such an extremely exceptional accident could occur again."

That sort of doubletalk could qualify for a position as Robert Gibb's replacement in the White House pressroom.

If the track conditions and design were not causative, then why would they want to raise the wall and "change the ice profile"?

Sorry, but that is CYA in the first degree.

Then there was more:

Hold Your Torch, The Pillar is Late

In a typical nod to inclusiveness and the modern principles of "no losers in any game", they couldn't pick a single lighter for the cauldron but chose to have a committee honored in the role. Would have been weak but acceptable until the fourth hoist for a lighter failed to materialize on cue. OOoops!

And the eco-freaks outside the venue helped to add that last soupcon of political theater with a bit of trash tossing and traffic blocking to attempt to delay the torch relay.

They wouldn't have pulled that crap in Beijing or Moscow you can bet!


George said...

Having the opportunity to read intelligent and reasoned reactions to the televised events in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics is one the great benefits of the blogosphere.

Obviously, neither of those qualities applies to your piece. If I wanted to read cynic or snark, the Porch amply supplies oodles of both. If I wanted to read examples of comparative experiences at different Olympics, I'd be able to check out The Big Guy.

What did you bring?

At the end of your kvetching, it's obvious ... by your last sentence ... that you prefer the performances of totalitarian governments in their control of dissident voices.

I am impressed.


I considered checking your blog out on a regular basis ... mostly in honour of your past contributions and career providing a bulwark to American security. This entry of yours sucks big time, Ed.

Ed Rasimus said...

Sarcasm is sometimes lost on the reader.