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Canada's Politically Correct Games


Sir Rols
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I found this rant in the UK Telegraph amusing. And sure to stoke up some comments here:

Vancouver's 2010 Winter Olympics are peddling a politically correct fantasy

By Rachel Marsden, New York-based political and media strategist and CEO of GrandCentralPolitical.com.

Forget the 2016 Rio Olympics – there’s a more pressing issue to address: Who is fighting to ensure that the immigrants of European descent are adequately represented at next year’s Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games?

I’m talking about the people who can be credited for turning the city from a giant wilderness into the budding metropolis of today. The place, and indeed the whole of my country, Canada, was pretty third-worldish until the English, French, and various other Europeans arrived and started planning and building infrastructure and government, and teaching the natives discipline, order, and capitalism. Canada or the USA without European immigrants would look somewhat like Africa.

It’s no coincidence that the best countries in the world are either European or founded by Europeans. Everywhere they go, European immigrants make things better – until they’re asked to leave, at which point everything usually descends back into chaos. Not that they ever get any thanks for it.

So how are the Vancouver 2010 Olympics paying tribute to these increasingly marginalized European immigrants and their defining contributions to Canada? By ignoring them completely, it seems.

The logo for the Games is some sort of native Indian stone carving resembling a bloke with massive oedema of the legs. While the natives were carving away at such lovely things, the Europeans were busy building an entire world around them, but that’s conveniently overlooked. The mascots for the games are various hybrids of legendary native indian animals that could only ever exist only after a good toke-up of Canadian weed: a half-whale half-bear hybrid (Miga), a whale-thunderbird-bear hybrid (Sumi), and a sasquatch (Quatchi).

A feature on the 2010 Games website allows you to take a quiz to find out which mascot you are. I can tell you, without even taking the quiz, that even as a Canadian I would be exactly none of them because I’m not some sort of native Indian hallucination with a Japanese name who resembles an Asian cartoon character. I’m descended from the people who built my country, but they’ve been forgotten.

Telegraph.co.uk

Edited by Sir Roltel
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^ ohh, now i remember. She's like a slightly milder version of Ann Coulter.
could not be any better. ann coulter is the worst. perhaps only michelle bachmann and sarah palin is much worse than her.
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Well the Statement of Europeans making things better is mixed for Canada's case. Europeans used Canada as a dumping ground for peoples they didn't want on their continent and the European powers that held the Americas continued their Bi generational land wars over a Treasure chest of resources.

The Indian Stone carving is neither Indian or a Carving . It is a pile of stones that the Inuit arrange in the north. Inuit and Indians are very different. Many Indians in Canada have some European blood in them . Metis in Manitoba for example are a mix of european and natives and they have been around since the mid 1800's.

Inuit are probably as pure a native people as their are simply because it is so isolated and Europeans in the North in the 17th and 18th centuries would have little to survive with in that region of Canada.

If killing off entire tribes of Natives with such cruel methods as putting smallpox in Blankets and giving them to the native in exchange for Beaver pelts is making the Americas better by European colonial types then the Rwandan genocide must be this author's idea of making Africa better .

Many of the European's cast to Canada have Indian's to thank for their survival .

Third world in the per industrial Age ? Europe itself in places was probably not much better then North America when the Indians and Inuit were alone on the continent. That article is basically a piece of fiction based in total ignorance

Jim Jones

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what an ignorant and racist article.

Though the article is crudely written, it does raise a valid point. The complete absence of non-Aboriginal culture in all major aspects of the symbology of the games should be troubling to Canadians. We are suppose to be a multi-cultural society that treats all people equally, but VANOC has clearly shown that one culture is more important then all others. The games were suppose to be a games for all Canadians, but the branding and designs reflect only a small sub-section of our population. To top it off, what they have done has not been done well, the mascots are ugly, the emblem is terrible and so have the protection numbers. Remember the logo unveiling? It was one big native lovefest.

Its sad that a beer company that isn't even owned by Canadians anymore to be able to produce material that reflects Canadian culture more then VANOC. I don't see my culture being reflected in the branding of these Olympics. I could see Italian, Chinese, Greek, Australian, Japanese and American culture in the previous games, I don't see Canadian in the only games that have truly mattered to me personally. Its disappointing.

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I could see Italian, Chinese, Greek, Australian, Japanese and American culture in the previous games, I don't see Canadian in the only games that have truly mattered to me personally. Its disappointing.

Agreed.

The author does have a valid point, even if she expressed it crudely. European-Canadians, who are the majority of the population, should not be ashamed of their European past, which is mostly glorious, of their European-based achievements since 1867, and of their European culture. Otherwise, it is better to leave all future Canadian olympics to Quebecers, who celebrate their French heritage every single day.

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Though the article is crudely written, it does raise a valid point. The complete absence of non-Aboriginal culture in all major aspects of the symbology of the games should be troubling to Canadians. We are suppose to be a multi-cultural society that treats all people equally, but VANOC has clearly shown that one culture is more important then all others. The games were suppose to be a games for all Canadians, but the branding and designs reflect only a small sub-section of our population. To top it off, what they have done has not been done well, the mascots are ugly, the emblem is terrible and so have the protection numbers. Remember the logo unveiling? It was one big native lovefest.

Agreed and I think the logo's choice resumes all these points.

I understand Vanoc's intention to give more prominance to the native culture than other ones but as far as I can see from the look and all, they seem a bit obsessed with it and messed it up sometimes.

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Though the article is crudely written, it does raise a valid point. The complete absence of non-Aboriginal culture in all major aspects of the symbology of the games should be troubling to Canadians. We are suppose to be a multi-cultural society that treats all people equally, but VANOC has clearly shown that one culture is more important then all others. The games were suppose to be a games for all Canadians, but the branding and designs reflect only a small sub-section of our population. To top it off, what they have done has not been done well, the mascots are ugly, the emblem is terrible and so have the protection numbers. Remember the logo unveiling? It was one big native lovefest.

Its sad that a beer company that isn't even owned by Canadians anymore to be able to produce material that reflects Canadian culture more then VANOC. I don't see my culture being reflected in the branding of these Olympics. I could see Italian, Chinese, Greek, Australian, Japanese and American culture in the previous games, I don't see Canadian in the only games that have truly mattered to me personally. Its disappointing.

I 100% agree!

Imagine if there was a lack of natives (and their art) being included in the games - people would be pointing this out!

Yet, when the 'white people' or Europeans are deliberately excluded from the games and their branding, it is acceptable. A Politically correct world only seems to malign white people - this is evident in how VANOC are over emphasizing the native aspect whilst excluding the European aspect. Further, Vancouver was built by European immigrants yet this does not seem to be mentioned.

Instead of making the branding for everyone and therefore taking a holistic approach - they have opted to only celebrate the natives and have ended up with a silly logo and mascots based on native art and no other culture. What about European people and their contribution - why are they so ashamed to celebrate that too?

I'm aware that the politically correct people on these boards, the ones who are saying the article is racist (it isn't), will take issue with my words but I simply do not care. If black people, Asian people, natives etc can talk about race and make observations, I sure as hell can too!

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Agreed and I think the logo's choice resumes all these points.

I understand Vanoc's intention to give more prominance to the native culture than other ones but as far as I can see from the look and all, they seem a bit obsessed with it and messed it up sometimes.

True!

But why are natives getting more emphasis than other cultures? In the winter games, other culture are associated with it more than they are but Vancouver's games look like (from the branding) a native-love fest.

Why couldn't the branding embrace everyone - equally, fairly and with a bit of integrity? Europeans, natives, and all ethnic groups!

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I like the mascots a lot. Still think the logo is not great though, but that's from an artistic rather than political point of view. I'm not getting into the race debate as it's not my debate to have, it's one for the Canadians here.

I will say this though, it's not something I'd even given a second thought to regarding Vancouver 2010. I'd obviously noticed the use of native art in their branding but the thought's never even occured to me that it could be seen as non-inclusive or devisive. Maybe that's because I'm on the outside looking in, or maybe it's because too much is being made of the issue in the first place. I'm not sure, and as I've said, it's not my debate anyhow. Canadians need to do what is right for them.

Edited by RobH
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Let's review, shall we?

Number of traditional Aboriginal clothing items for sale: zero

Number of facilities built using traditional Aboriginal architecture for their design: zero (Aboriginal design aspects are a bit here and there, like at the Oval)

Number of emblems with Aboriginal design: one of two (para isn't)

Number of mascot-like characters informed by Aboriginal culture: 2 of 4 (not Quatchi, not Muk Muk)

Oh yes, there's a complete dearth of "Canadian" culture in these Games.

What a stoopid article.

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I like the mascots a lot. Still think the logo is not great though, but that's from an artistic rather than political point of view. I'm not getting into the race debate as it's not my debate to have, it's one for the Canadians here.

I will say this though, it's not something I'd even given a second thought to regarding Vancouver 2010. I'd obviously noticed the use of native art in their branding but the thought's never even occured to me that it could be seen as non-inclusive or devisive. Maybe that's because I'm on the outside looking in, or maybe it's because too much is being made of the issue in the first place. I'm not sure, and as I've said, it's not my debate anyhow. Canadians need to do what is right for them.

The issue that people have been raising is why is only native art has been used/promoted and other cultures', such as European, are being excluded. If native people were being excluded from the cultural aspect of the games then people would be calling foul and shouting racism.

When I look at the branding I see an emphasis on the native cultures and their art. Fine. But what about the other cultures - where's their representation? Couldn't a more inclusive brand have been achieved which embraced everyone?

The original article on the first page does raise valid points - I think it is wrong to say that the lady who wrote it is racist as some here have been doing. I think the general idea is to promote 'inclusion' as opposed to 'exclusion' - this means that European people get treated fairly too and not left out due to liberal-namby-pamby people bent on their politically correct crusade!

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Let's review, shall we?

Number of traditional Aboriginal clothing items for sale: zero

Number of facilities built using traditional Aboriginal architecture for their design: zero (Aboriginal design aspects are a bit here and there, like at the Oval)

Number of emblems with Aboriginal design: one of two (para isn't)

Number of mascot-like characters informed by Aboriginal culture: 2 of 4 (not Quatchi, not Muk Muk)

Oh yes, there's a complete dearth of "Canadian" culture in these Games.

What a stoopid article.

You're missing the point!

It is only native people who have been openly given a visible identity in the branding i.e. the logo and mascots. There is no denying they are aspects of native art! You can clearly discern the native art. There is no question about it. But other people from other cultures are not given the same treatment.

But, there is not the same visible recognition for European people. That was the point of the article. Why is one ethnic group allowed to be celebrated but another is not!

Obviously VANOC wanted to promote the native aspect in their main branding over other cultures - this is because in the politically correct world, minorities always get proportionately more coverage and there is efforts to downplay white culture.

Surely something more inclusive for everyone could have been designed?

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WHERE ARE THE TOTEM POLES? After the Maples leaves and the Mounties, the TOTEM POLES are my 3rd favorite impression of Canada..

WHERE ARE THE TOTEM POLES??

WHERE ARE THE TOTEM POLES? - probably stuck up the politically correct people's arses!

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minorities always get proportionately more coverage and there is efforts to downplay white culture.

Reminds me of something I heard on the radio the other day about people worrying about the so-called Islamification of Britain.

How many people have had their lives Islamified against their will? Is there a single tea shop owner in Dorset who has to tell her customers: "Sorry dear, we're not allowed to serve a scone until after dark as it's Ramadan." Do radio stations have to start the day: "Allaaaaah – ah-aaaah allaaaaaah. Good morning, this is BBC Radio Sussex calling you to prayer."

In other words, whilst political correctness (a term I tend to hate because it's often used by people who can't desribe why they don't like something) can be ridiculous when taken too far, so can anti-political-correctness.

White culture (whatever that is - I'm not sure there is such a thing) isn't being downplayed. I've never felt that way. I've never felt like the most dominant culture of this country and the one in which I live my everyday life is threatened or downplayed when minority cultures get coverage. Nor have I ever felt there's too much coverage about cultures outside of my own. What I would say is that coverage of other cultures is more noticable, because our own culture is so dominant that it becomes "background noise". We take the dominance of our own ways for granted.

I'd also suggest JawnBC isn't missing the point at all. As a Vancouverite I'm fairly sure he has a better feeling as to whether the branding is approriate for his city's games or not, than you or I have. If he's comfortable with it, and if most Canadians are, then so am I.

Edited by RobH
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Reminds me of something I heard on the radio the other day about people worrying about the so-called Islamification of Britain.

How many people have had their lives Islamified against their will? Is there a single tea shop owner in Dorset who has to tell her customers: "Sorry dear, we're not allowed to serve a scone until after dark as it's Ramadan." Do radio stations have to start the day: "Allaaaaah – ah-aaaah allaaaaaah. Good morning, this is BBC Radio Sussex calling you to prayer."

In other words, whilst political correctness (a term I tend to hate because it's often used by people who can't desribe why they don't like something) can be ridiculous when taken too far, so can anti-political-correctness.

White culture (whatever that is - I'm not sure there is such a thing) isn't being downplayed. I've never felt that way. I've never felt like the most dominant culture of this country and the one in which I live my everyday life is threatened or downplayed when minority cultures get coverage. Nor have I ever felt there's too much coverage about cultures outside of my own. What I would say is that coverage of other cultures is more noticable, because our own culture is so dominant that it becomes "background noise". We take the dominance of our own ways for granted.

I'd also suggest JawnBC isn't missing the point at all. As a Vancouverite I'm fairly sure he has a better feeling as to whether the branding is approriate for his city's games or not, than you or I have. If he's comfortable with it, and if most Canadians are, then so am I.

I'm glad that you are comfortable with the branding but I take a different opinion.

You are implying that because I am not Canadian I cannot comment on the Vancouver branding. The point is that a lot of Canadians, aswell as people just observing from afar, feel that the branding only reflects native culture. People, like myself, feel it could be more inclusive and also feel that if native's are allowed a visible and blatant cultural identity (logo, mascots etc) then other groups should be allowed to comment.

I also take a different opinion regarding white culture. You don't believe there is such a thing - well, I do! Anyway, that isn't the point - the issue is why native culture is the only culture being visibly used and celebrated when a more inclusive identity could have been appropriated.

If only white culture was being celebrated there would be an uproar. But when natives get their art celebrated, and no other ethnic group gets the same level of treatment, that is political correctness. I mean, Why is a stone inuit symbol representing the Vancouver Olympics? It is pissing a lot of people off as it only highlights native art - what about everyone else?

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Is it pissing a lot of people off though? Is it really?

It is indeed. This forum is not a cultural forum per se but in general terms and in the graphic design community especially, there is a feeling of disappointment at the logo and branding.

The biggest criticism is that it only celebrates native art. Why are natives only being celebrated? - that stinks of political correctness as only Canada's minorities get visible promotion.

It's a bit like the criticism of the London 2012 logo. Most people despise it but usually from an artistic stance. Ideologically, London's logo is very inclusive and embrace's everyone. It is outstanding in that respect.

I think people would have preffered something which included everyone. If I were Canadian, I would feel let down by the branding as it clearly elevates natives above other people and gives them special treatment.

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If I were Canadian, I would feel let down by the branding as it clearly elevates natives above other people and gives them special treatment.

That question was aimed at our Canadian members really. I know it pisses you off personally, you've made that clear enough. :lol:

My question, really to the Canadians here, is it pissing a lot of people off as Oaky claims? Or is this a relatively minor issue which this article and those who dislike the brandng have blown out of all reasonable proportion and politicised too much?

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