Olympic Torch Ride-Along Live (well, undead) Blog

Olympic Torchbearer

I’m being tremendously lazy today because I spent far too much time trying to get iTunes to do what I want it to do, which is move certain songs off my CD drive onto my iPhone without erasing every song on my iPhone right now or forcing me to upload to the iPhone all the goddam ABBA and crap that’s on the hard drive, but Nooooooooooooo, Steve won’t have it.

Seriously, you KNOW you’ve put your stamp on a company when even their smallest products reproduce your pathologies in perfect detail.

Anyhoooooooo… Today, thanks to Sam Macmillan at 6S and Michael Allison at the Wilcox Group, I got to ride in the convoy of the Olympic Torch today, although I did not actually see the flame, which is neither here nor there but somewhere else, which is where it would be if it was, isn’t it?

Now, perhaps we need a little background…

I live on the Downtown Eastside, and the Olympics have, for literally the past 2 years, been a huge political shitstorm of Katrina-esque proportions. That the Olympics would take place regardless of how popular the No Olympics movement became was clear from the beginning and if there’s one thing my time working at Greenpeace taught me, it’s that by participating in useless protests that will never result in change, people bleed off their urge to act and, thus, prevent themselves from changing the world.

And I have a problem with that.

So, surrounded as I have been for the past 24 months by nonstop political sloganeering from all sides of the issue, essentially all of the mindshare I’ve given the Olympics has been equal-opportunity pushback, as in “WILL YOU ALL SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE? AND YOU! THERE! SUCK IT UP, THE OLYMPICS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN WHETHER YOU WHINE ABOUT IT IN PUBLIC OR NOT! AND YOU! THERE! MY WHOLE GODDAM COUNTRY IS A FREE SPEECH ZONE SO SUCK IT YOU’RE NOT IN BEIJING ANYMORE!” and equally pointed words to those effects.

Although it was cool when my boy Bono said “No Olympics on Stolen Land” in the concert to which I didn’t buy a ticket to because I assumed, wrongly, that they’d be too expensive. Which they were not, and serves me right for not investigating, but oh well, such is the cost of pessimism.

So, as I remarked over at Trueslant, my ability to get past the politicking to connect emotionally with the actual sports and internationalism has been crippled (yes, deliberate word choice, suck it). Then again, apathy is a national characteristic, so maybe I’m just being a Good Canadian.

So, it was both nice and remarkable that, given all that backstory, Michael and Sam decided to pick me as one of the 2 bloggers to get a ride-along today (the other was the (in)famous John Chow) but they did (boy, I sure snookered them, didn’t I, and now I’m gonna hear from all the “billiards” PC-ists, aren’t I oh yes I am).

So, behold the live-tweeted timeline of a conversion. I’m really, truly grateful to them for inviting me along, because not even a cynic like me can resist seeing, say, 10,000 people in a single block in Deep Cove, all dressed in red and white and cheering their semifrozen faces off and freakin’ cowbelling like their lives depended on it.

Cherry Blossoms on the DTES

Stuck in traffic behind #Olympic torch on The Reservation in North Van can’t see a darn thing

@JohnChow we will see you soon. Why didn’t they pick speedy runners? Even I can run this fast!

Olympic Torch Traffic Dollarton Highway North Vancouver

Pretty thrilling, no? #Olympic #van2010 http://twitpic.com/12fbe0

@lussobaby yes the cherryblossoms behind Firehall Theatre are always the first in the city

Well @michaelallison says he can see the flame! Good eyes http://twitpic.com/12fd4n

Listening to thestory of how the #Olympic caravan saved a disabled driver who went off the road in Renfrew Ont thx to OnStar

RT @VANobserver RT @MargaretAtwood: Striking a blow for free speech: Vancouver Poet Laureate Brad Cran http://tinyurl.com/yek2qag Yikes!

Coca Cola is the longest running #Olympic sponsor

Convoy vehicles are called Happy1 Happy2 Loonie and Toonie. How Canadian is that? Kids are all cheering the Coke trucks looking 4 freebies!

2techs and 5 detailers 110 vehicles altogether, over half are GM #Olympic #van2010

We are rolling with the #Olympic #van2010 torch

Um we just passed the torch. Are we supposed to do that? http://twitpic.com/12fl1g

Olympic Torch Crowd in Dollarton, North Vancouver

http://twitpic.com/12fl95

Ha @johnchow is driving the crowd wild yelling “you’re on YouTube!” #Olympic #van2010

In Dollarton abt 5 minutes ahead of the #Olympic #van2010 torch. Now I know how U2‘s warmup act feels

[seriously, it's like we know you're wondering who the hell we are, but YAY, huh?]

Cowbell! #Olympic #van2010

Apparently schools go wild and so do some malls when they see the #Olympic #van2010 torch but Dollarton is too dignified

In Saskatchewan some ppl wheeled their granny out to see the #Olympic #van2010 torch and sstuck her right in the middle of the tracks!

3schools ina row coming up

I’m finally learning how this whole RELAY thing works #Olympic #van2010

Awesome job the announcers have whipping up the crowd for 110 straight days. WOO! Cowbell #Olympic #van2010 #olympics

@OkanaganWriting I’m riding with one of the GM guys and he says half [of the vehicles are GM]

Somebody is ringing the churchbell and someone else is waving a Molsons box! #Olympic #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fokt [missed the picture, sadly; t'was funny]

@busybeeblogger It IS fun, I’m really glad I got the chance

@jeremylim you can ask I guess. They picked me out of thinair as far as I know [in reply to the obvious "how do I get in on that ridealong action question]

@WoundedCrane are they fancy? [she said she wanted Swiss cowbells for her dogs; I thought maybe Swiss House had special commemorative cowbells, or at least commemorative cows]

Olympic Torchbearer Deep Cove

Torchbearer http://twitpic.com/12fpeu

Cheers #van2010 #olympics #olympics http://moby.to/rqf86o

More cheers and now Journey on the stereo. Hair bands ftw http://moby.to/3j7ce5

Holycrap people actually singing along. That never happens in Canada #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fqiw

Deep Cove on Olympic Torch Route

[another sunny day in Deep Cove]

Deep Cove #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fqtx

The royal bank was giving out noisemakers and boy howdy are ppl using them. But I do think cowbells win #van2010 (cont) http://tl.gd/87jop

Deep Cove Crowd on Olympic Torch Route

http://twitpic.com/12frmk

Cowichan Sweater

Somebody just yelled Nice Coat at me. Real Cowichan FTW! #van2010 #olympics http://twitpic.com/12fs8t

@yurechko I’m with @michaelallison and @johnchow

@WoundedCrane deep cove [in response to "where are you that it's raining?]

@jeremylim thanks you will get there [in response to "Nonsense. You're highly prolific and very much loved. Wish I were the same so I could get in that van!"]

John chow says 300m is one Vegas block and I say 2 furlongs we all have diff frames of reference #van2010 #olympics

@WilcoxPR thx 4 the rt. 10,000 ppl in deep cove on just 2 blocks [the PR agency behind the ride-along starts contributing to the convo]

Explaining the Raven pub to my carmates for #van2010 [specifically, their Stupid Hot Wings. Story goes; they have 5 levels of heat, and if you can eat the Stupid Hot Wings plate, your whole meal is free. Nobody's ever won. Waitress says "why do you think they're called STUPID hot?]

raincoaster Art and John Chow from the Olympic Torch Ride Along

RT GM_ArtAndSerge @raincoaster and @johnchow with Art! http://tweetphoto.com/10968091

@WilcoxPR loved it, thanks 4 making the ridealong happen. Now I’m off to blog it

RT vanmediacoop upcoming – VIVO media arts “evening news” events to discuss Olympics, convergence, media & movements http://bit.ly/a2yrHt #report2010

Olympic Torch Coke Bottles

I have NO collector’s sensibility. #Olympic swag commemorative aluminum Caffeinated Swag cracked. I’m thirsty! http://tweetphoto.com/10980949

Eh Voila!

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Hymn to the JesusPhone: iPhone Taboo

apple tablets revealed

See how behind the times I am? The iPhone Taboo video was uploaded to YouTube just over a year ago and I only got my JesusPhone last month! Well, I’ve finally joined the 21st Century at last. While I’d love to have a bunch of clients who pay me with … you know … what do they call it, that stuff … MONEY! Right, right, “money,” that’s what it’s called.

Yeah.

While I’d love to have a bunch of clients pay me with “money” none of the people who currently beg me to work for them seem to have any of that, so instead we have regressed to a primitive barter system: you buy me drinks and you can ask me questions about WordPress until I’ve finished them. You let me stay in your house for a month at Christmas, eating your food, drinking your wine, and annoying your pets and I don’t make fun of the fact you’re still on Blogspot. You give me an iPhone and I will give your blog a good once-over and update things you never even knew you had.

Now all I need is somebody with a liquor store who wants a Twitter account and I’m golden.

All Hail the JesusPhone!

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