Mark A. Carter

Vancouver OLYMPIC rudeness:
Canadian gold win, crude closing

World famous Canadian Science Fiction novelist Mark A. Carter gives his two cents worth about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the gold medal haul, and Canada's rude behavior during the closing ceremonies.

I am Canadian. I am unusually proud of Canada's medal haul during the 2010 games. Yet, amidst the braggadocio, I am also embarrassed. I am a quiet person from a country known as the quiet people. For us as individuals, as Canadians, and as a nation, to brag so much about our winnings during the games is uncharacteristic and unbecoming.

We used to and still do criticize the USA for being pompous sacks of shit for their bragging. And indeed their poor sportsmanship was seen in the faces of their female and male hockey players when they lost to Canada. They are great winners but poor losers. After all, their mindset is extreme. It's either win or lose. Black or white. And the USA always wants to see themselves as winners. Careers are made from it. Win gold and get your picture on a box of Wheaties. Win gold and garner corporate endorsements. To the loser ... nothing.

But our change of attitude, as Canadians, has taken us from the quiet people to a bunch of boisterous, patriotic yahoos. It has metamorphosed us from a people with a semblance of dignity and respect for others into the Americans whom we love to hate. We have become just as rude, just as disrespectful of the feelings of others, and just as much the pig-eyed sacks of shit that we once criticized.

Catherine O'Hara's routine, at the end of the games, is a point, in fact. Her supposed comedy routine during the closing ceremonies was embarrassing for me to watch, as a Canadian. It was crude. And it was rude. It was disrespectful. It was unbecoming. And it did not represent me, as a Canadian. Perhaps she has lived too long in the USA, working her career, to remember what being a Canadian is all about because, to me, she sounded like an American, like the worst type of American, like an ugly American. In her attempt to be bi-coastal, big city, hip, and with it, in her overcompensation to be American, I am sure that she even made Americans wince in pain. I wasn't laughing at her comedic stylings, and neither was anyone in the stadium. I'm certain that no one around the world was laughing either.

Once the celebration quiets, and we all get back to our daily lives, and back to work, we can reflect beyond our lack of manners that rubbed the faces of the world in our steaming pile of success. It is one thing to own the podium. It is another thing entirely to own, brag about it, and rub the faces of the world in it.

We have behaved disrespectfully to the rest of the world, in our immature exuberance. We have behaved like narcissistic children, much like the USA, in the face of our success. But we should always remember that things can change in a New York minute. When we look out at the rest of the world, at the disasters, we should always remember that there, but for the grace of God, go we. To brag, as we have been doing, to be loud and obnoxious, as we have been, is to garner bad karma, and it will come back to haunt us.

Walk quietly again, Canada. Be modest amid your sports accomplishments. Be respectful of others. Destiny has a way of knocking the teeth out of those who think too much of themselves. And we are smiling a bit too much.

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - novelist

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