Friday, March 12, 2010

Flight of the Butterfly

In watching the opening ceremonies of the Parolympic games I couldn`t help but truly be inspired by the athletes and the dedicated supporters, one by one courageous Olympians entered the stadium, men and woman from countries far and wide, some teams as small as one man one woman, to see these hero`s high fiving the spirited children lined along the gauntlet, clearly that was a defining moment for me.

Wheelchairs rolling in, missing limbs, sensory impaired survivors, no, that`s not quite correct, there were no survivors in our stadium tonight, there were achievers, men and woman striving for excellence, athletes of the highest caliber, bright beaming smiles who seemed as fascinated by us as we by them, beautiful souls with the inner desire to be noticed, I didn`t see any handicapped athletes,I saw the never say never attitude, I saw friendly cockiness and one upmanship displayed as the two ladies told the history of the Paralympics, the mention of three world records only to have 21 medals tossed back at her, brought a smile to my face and it`s been a while.

Walk a day in their shoes or should I say a day in their wheelchair, I spent half a year rolling, vision-less in one eye plus a few other little problems, nothing compared to the inner power displayed by the thousand plus athletes in our stadium tonight, perspective I have, perspective on many levels and that`s where this story goes sideways for me and I would like to share some personal thoughts.

The cheering crowd at our stadium tonight, I am sure there were thousands of volunteers, dedicated friends and family who are all too familiar with disabled children, wounded veterans, injured workers, accident victims, and I could sense that the cheering crowd believed we are a caring giving nation, that we have unlimited resources dedicated to making life easier for the less privileged, the autistic, the sick, the elderly, look at us, look at us Canadians we are a special breed of care givers and love and treat all equally, and I cast no aspersion to the thousands of volunteers, helpers and contributors who dedicate their lives to the betterment of others less fortunate, for I too have given less than is required, slowly even I will make amends.

Friends, I am not the forgiving type, fool me once shame on you, fool me a hundred times shame on me, these thoughts, I can`t keep these thoughts contained, writing, well attempting to write has been very therapeutic for me, let rip the emotions rather than bottle em up and have them destroy me from the inside out.

The camera pans the crowd, close ups of beautiful smiling children full of innocence, natural smiles that compel a smile in return, more cameras panning to bright eyed volunteers, dancers,singers performers, who shall I concentrate my gaze on, you can`t watch everything, no one can see all the moving parts in isolation, and maybe knowledge is dangerous, there are times when ignorance is bliss, imagine not knowing, no cares, no worries, a comic book life with a fairy tale ending.

Then the wretched camera, the hideous device that takes my spirit for a ride, brings tears to my eyes and in a blink it`s gone, VIP section, very important people, masters of the purse and destroyers of life and ignorance was never my strong suit, red mittens and blood stained hands, I can`t help but think about playgrounds with no funding, autistic children denied the best early intervention that does make a difference, a madly clapping man who cheered and waved, a man who has denied money for Special Olympics, denied money for cerebral palsy programs, a man who could give children insulin pumps but has chose not to, and those emotions start to build inside, anger first turning to sadness and ending with disgust, the pure hypocrisy of our premier, the unmitigated gall to stand and clap with those stupid red mittens while only yesterday another $120 million dollar subsidy to the oil n gas sector was announced, two more years of massive subsidies to the banks worth $375 million dollars and a new tax break on vehicles over $50 thousand dollars, strip funding for the neediest while gifting fortune to friends, it ruined the moment for me, a cruel premier, do any of these special athletes know, does the world know, do all those other countries know that the minimum wage has never been raised by our premier,despite housing, food, fuels almost everything doubling or more in price over the last decade, are they aware we lead Canada in child poverty for 6 straight years going on 7 years, does the world know or care how our premier treats seniors in care, or how our hospital waiting lists grow and grow while the premier beats the drum to sell our precious health care to wealthy Americans, those damn red applauding mitts covering hands that tore up the contract of lowest paid workers in health care and fired 9000 female workers, and then the camera pans back to those beautiful smiling children and the roller coaster ride continues.

Gordon Campbell, a premier who everything he touched turned brown and wilted, from schools, education, healthcare, a man who cares not for anything, whose every move is political, cold calculated, designed to confuse obfuscate and take from the weakest amongst us while rewarding his class, a premier who only yesterday got caught trying to extort $26,000 dollars from the last of our great war veterans, and it`s times like these that I wish I truly was ignorant and had a chance to enjoy bliss.

The Straight goods

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open


Crankypants said...

As much as I love the competition of sporting events, I can't help but feel that our athletes are being used as nothing more than a source of revenue by governments and business entities. The athletes supply the entertainment, while the puppet masters reap the rewards. Our athletes are basically treated with the same respect as the bearded lady in the carnival midway, a source of revenue.

Then there are those that are exploited by their parents. Little Suzie or Johnny is basically groomed from an early age to live and breathe a particular discipline in order that they may become the next superstar in whatever sport they choose and in the process gain financial independence.

It is truly a shame when people do not realize they are being used by those that only care about one thing, their marketability.

It is a sad testament to humanity when one entity uses another for nothing more than self aggrandizement.


Anonymous said...

That opening was without a doubt was the worst I have ever seen. The atheletes were outstanding, the music, and scenes were crap. To see that made up phoney macot flying around for waay to long, and then nothing. To see the madman drunk womenizer mouth breader campbell there was disgusting. His lears, not smiles, his druggie looking face, and his slimy smiles, ukk. He is a disgrace. He is a lier, a drunk, and should be, along with many members of his cabinet in jail. Bring on the recall!

Kam Lee

Gary E said...

You know Grant, It's a good thing that I don't have TV. Because if I had I would be watching these ceremonies and you hit the nail on the head here.
"a man who has denied money for Special Olympics"

When are the people of this province, and in Particular the Liberal Party, going to wake up and fire this idiots sorry ass. Although I am sure it's too late for the party to do anything.

When you say hypocrisy I started looking for a stronger word. All I could think of was simpering idiot of a brainless twit. Or a couple of words children shouldn't read here.

Anonymous said...

Grant you said it all and more

Grant G said...

Crankypants...I don`t believe there is any money to be made promoting or staging paralympics,later on in watching the late news,I was curious to see the downtown party crowd....
There was no crowd,the few interviews I saw on TV from Downtown..

To me, it seemed the people wanted a big party,or should I say, people wanted another big booze up,the opening ceremonies were only shown live in BC, even in the UK and US, there will only be a 1 hour highlight package shown sometime today.
Maybe I look to deep,all week long Global,ctv,cknw promoted......The party begins anew with the paralympic games.

The bottom line is most people don`t care, the olympics were an excuse to get drunk in mob scene,I saw the scenes from downtown last night,just another normal night.
That of course takes nothing away from the thousands of real people behind the scenes that dedicate their entire to helping and assisting the less fortunate.

I don`t need Avatar type special effects to enjoy a show, I love children smiling and being nothing but children, I appreciate the effort, like a bad school play,it`s the effort.

I don`t know about most countries,I think in many countries,especially some of the European ones there are decent support for the less fortunate.

But the pure hypocrisy of the Camera showing Gordon Campbell at this event,when he has done little to nothing to improve the lives of those who might cost the treasury,in fact Campbell has madetheir lives worse, and Kam, I saw the smirk on Campbell`s face.

Cold,calculated political posturing,while plotting to steal more from those with the least.

Michael said...

Excellent article, Grant. You nailed it. What will it take for people to wake up, become less apathetic and see what Campbell has done, and continues to do, to the province. The man is a megalomaniacal sociopath.

Gary E said...

Just came from the Anti HST ralley in 100 Mile House. Read about it at

Crankypants said...

I wasn't referring to the paralympic athletes in my posting as I know that they do not command the headliner status of the able bodied competitors. As a matter of fact, the courage displayed by the paralympic athletes is to be commended. None of them will ever see a 6 or 7 figure endorsement contract.

My beef is with their able bodied compatriots who are basically paid pennies to put on a show that will reap mega dollars for the IOC and the corporate entities that prostitute these athletes. Without the athletes the show would be a non-starter and except for a few select athletes, most of them get peanuts in return for their years of dedication. There is definitely something wrong with this picture.

As for Mr. red mittens, he has been an embarrasment for so long that to even acknowledge his existence is a tough pill to swallow.