Rebel Time Records loves Cambridge. Not the city, but the band. Though, the city is nice too, we’re sure. They’re from Vancouver and they’ve just done up a new ditty called “2010 (Problems This City’s Got),” about the upcoming Olympics. Jesse, frontman for Cambridge has written a blurb about the song…we’ve posted the blurb here and you can check out the tune on their MYSPACE We should have it availalble for download shortly…read on…
“A little while ago, someone asked me “What’s yer’ beef with the Olympics? I like watching figure skating and curling and shit.” That got me thinking, about what was going through my mind in 2003.
I had just started spending time in Vancouver, and truth be told, I never gave much thought to all the “Support the Bid” bullshit that was all over the city. I don’t care much for sports on the best of days, so I could not of been any less interested. It seemed like a bunch of rich white guys working on their own retirement package. In the coming months that passed, Canada Line and Sea to Sky construction announcements sounded with as much fanfare as was expected by glory-blind supporters and the people of Vancouver were sated by the appeal of getting blown on the world stage. The majority of people I knew were just as apathetic as me, only showing any spark of interest when talking about the chance to get good Hockey tickets. These games were to be a gift to us, and Vancouver’s chance to show off our nuts to the rest of the planet. The months passed to years and plans got underway, all with a goofy, shit eating grin from VANOC as they tossed around terms like “fiscal responsibility” and “Minimal Impacts.” Greenest games ever. And only at a budget price of 600 million dollars. Still, you could not pay me to care.
Then they started throwing old ladies in jail.
That was the point that I realized that the IOC and VANOC really didn’t give two shits about us. Canada Line construction decimated local businesses along Cambie street, and I started getting flyers from people on the bus about the company that did the construction (SNC Lavalier) took tax money to pay for the line, but take a healthy chunk of the profit to continue making bullets. The Sea to Sky highway became a goddamn shit show, the city started buying up cheap property and evicting tenants and we watched as Vancouver’s homeless population rose 373%. Budget costs kept skyrocketing and all the bean-counters had to say was “oops, we budgeted in 2003 funds and didn’t count for inflation. Way she goes.” Wacky theories about security and police enforcing became fact in front of our eyes and now the 2010 games will be the biggest security operation in Canadian history. Nurses and Teachers and Ambulance attendants striked for an increase to their shameful wages and the resounding cry from Victoria was “there is no money in the budget, go back to work.” Olympic costs rose and blank cheques rolled without a question. The majority of people still were blinded by gold.
Then it came time. Tickets were going to be sold and beer’frothing Hockey freaks would be able to get some rink time and all would be well. Well, actually before any tickets would be sold to the public, corporate sponsors like ICBC, Bell and RBC got the lions share of good tickets for free before the public. Not much left for locals. And was was left would not be cheap. IOC rulings denied the Ladies Ski Jump team from competing, superseding the highest level of Canadian appeal. Stories of over-inflated costs, controversy, and trampled rights became a familiar sight in both pro-Games media and underground news sources. More and more people became aware that these Games were a whitewash of corruption, greed, exploitation and elitism.
Now, mere weeks from the start of the games, this city is a shame filled disaster. Thousands of douchbags flock to the city on a weekly basis, IOC officials dictate human and charter rights, and cops, cops and more cops line the streets everyday. I can’t even park at my own house, because it’s 3 blocks from a venue. And what is the final cost of these Games….(besides a legacy of greed, intolerance and environmental catastrophe for years to come?)
6 Billion Dollars.
Enough for every Man, Woman and Child in Vancouver to ride the bus once a day for free for 10 years.
This whole thing is fucked. So we recorded a song to voice some of our concerns. Actually Stu DaggerBear recorded it. He is as handsome as he is handy. The song conveys our message on non-participation. There is not much we can do at this point, other than refuse to participate in any of it. At least we can claim a moral victory. I welcome any response and dialog, I’m sure some people might disagree with me, but it is clear to me that the costs outweigh any benefits.