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Oxymoron's avatar

If you watched the Canadian Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, what did you think?

Asked by Oxymoron (1239points) February 12th, 2010

I thought it was amazing. Wayne Gretzky was a great choice for torch bearer at the end. I didn’t think it truly represented Canada with all of the Native representation though, too much of it. What did you think about it?

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44 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

…that’s what you get with french technology.

Oxymoron's avatar

@eponymoushipster – Yeah, that was a pretty terrible thing that happened. Other than that, what did you think?

njnyjobs's avatar

The games are being played out on First Nation territory so it makes sense for them to be in the forefront. Besides, the settlers have long been in the limelight in the past.

Actually, having a focus on the native culture has taught me new things about Canada, eh.

eponymoushipster's avatar

it was ok. i think the respect shown to the Georgian team was fantastic, given what happened.

they could have done without the all-white, super white dancing “kids” along the entrance. that was weak.

Oxymoron's avatar

@njnyjobs – Well it taught you the wrong things. If they wanted to be represented truly to how they act they would all need to be drunk and at a casino gambling their welfare checks. It’s not their land, it’s Canada’s land. The governments. They lost it in war, we won it. Too bad.

@eponymoushipster – Yeah, that was so sad. I saw the video and I really feel for his family. He was so young too. Yeah I know, I agree with you there. That was a little too much for me.

njnyjobs's avatar

@Oxymoron… is that so? who do you think drove the natives to their present sorry state? If they were left alone, like some of the untouched tribes, they would probably be living decently in their own particular ways and not what the settlers had introduced to them.

Oxymoron's avatar

@njnyjobs – It’s true. Not really. They should be thankful that we tried to civilize them. They owe us a lot. They just need to make some effort of their own.

gggritso's avatar

I throughly enjoyed the tap-dancers who has sparks coming out of their shoes. That was sweet.

Oxymoron's avatar

@gggritso – That was really good!

hug_of_war's avatar

Not as good or fun as china’s but I thought it was pretty good. I liked the fiddler’s and the slam poetry guy best.

Likeradar's avatar

@Oxymoron I know your thoughts on this matter have been attempted to be covered, but do you care to elaborate about how the native people of your country should be so thankful at having outsiders come in and strip away their culture? Really, it makes no sense to me and angers me so much that you would think that, so I’m wondering just how you came to the conclusion that your culture is so incredibly superior to theirs.

China set such a high bar with their opening ceremony. I thought this one was pretty good (and Ralph Lauren did a great job on the US outfits) but paled in comparison to China’s. The whales were my favorite part. I thought that was pretty damn awesome.

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m currently enjoying it. I really think it sucks that the east coast gets to watch everything live yet here on the left coast we have to watch it three hours later even though the Olympic city is in the same time zone.

njnyjobs's avatar

@AstroChuck you should probably subscribe to NBC (broadcast) East from DirecTv as I do have Broadcast/premium channels from the West as part of my DirecTv programming.

AstroChuck's avatar

@njnyjobs- I would if I could but I live in a city that has thosenetwork affiliates so those channels are blocked to me.

ThinkerTinker's avatar

@ oxymoron: Wow, we all just watched a wonderful ceremony that celebrated multiculturalism and you come up with the racist comment that “we civilized them” ?!
HOW DARE YOU suggest that any culture civilizes another… it demonstrates your deep ignorance of the history and tragedy of colonialism plus the exploitation of pre-industrial people.
Educate yourself before you open your mouth and spread your hateful message.

Oxymoron's avatar

@Likeradar – Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not racist against the native people, I’m just angry that Canada was shown as being mostly Native culture. It’s crazy. To be more accurately portraying Vancouver alone there should have been an Asian part to the ceremony, that would have made more sense. I would have understood that. Or something that has to do with the francophone for a Quebec tribute. But not Natives. I never said my culture was superior, I’m just saying that they don’t do much for Canada, and therefore should not have been such a huge part of the opening ceremony. If their part was smaller, I would be fine with that. Yeah, the whales were really good!

@ThinkerTinker – I’m not saying that what the Europeans did back then to the Natives was right, I’m just saying that that is in the past and there’s no way that they have a culture like they portray. I have yet to see an Indian reserve that has any Native culture in it. It’s not hate, it’s the truth. Maybe if you weren’t so busy being politically correct you would try to understand where I’m coming from.

Bugabear's avatar

I don’t get what was with the punk celtic people. How was that supposed to represent the maritimes?

tragiclikebowie's avatar

It may not be their current culture but it is their heritage. And to some, it is still very important. It is not completely in tact, no, but they keep bits and pieces alive. It’s the same thing as any portrayed culture – it’s probably exaggerated for special occasions, such as this. This does not lessen it’s impact or it’s inherent beauty. The situation the Natives are in, in Canada and in the United States, was created by the invaders who desired their land and thought them to be less human than they. If the people responsible for the opening ceremonies want to celebrate the native’s heritage and acknowledge them, they have that right, and I for one, speaking as a part Black Foot Native American, found it to be a beautiful moment.

And the whales were sweet. So was the plains-dancing thing. The whole video projection idea was pretty amazing, and the slam poet dude was awesome. I guess I liked the whole thing. Also, had no idea Leonard Cohen was poet laureate of Canada.

Arisztid's avatar

@Oxymoron I call bullshit on any attempt of yours to say that you are not racist. To quote you:

. If they wanted to be represented truly to how they act they would all need to be drunk and at a casino gambling their welfare checks. link

They should be thankful that we tried to civilize them. They owe us a lot.

After being called on the carpet you try to spin a different story but the above links show it all.

Arisztid's avatar

Oh has this ceremony hit anywhere online yet? I looked on youtube and it is not there yet. I really would like to see it.

I am hearing how great it is.

jrpowell's avatar

@Arisztid :: If you are down with Bittorrent you can get it here.

Arisztid's avatar

@johnpowell Nope but I am sure I can get my wife to figure it out tomorrow… thankyou. :)

augustlan's avatar

I liked how they included many different cultures in the ceremony. The beat poet even mentioned Chinatown and Little Italy. I thought the bit w/ the squiqqly lines and the in-line skaters was very cool, too.

Oxymoron's avatar

@Arisztid – I’m not racist. I stereotype them, yes. Not racist though. Do you live in Canada?

Arisztid's avatar

@Oxymoron Sorry Charlie… what I posted proves my point. I have seen a lot more of the same out of you.

You do not look at individuals. You slam an entire ethnicity. Actually, I think I saw you take a crack at blacks as well but I am not certain and do not care enough to dig through your hate. Stereotyping IS racism. You are basing your judgment on race , you are negatively stereotyping based on race .

You also have a go at immigrants despite the fact that YOU are the child of an immigrant. If you are not Native American, or First Nation, you are the child of an immigrant.

I doubt you would like me much. I AM an immigrant (ok from the late 60’s) and I am not white.

Arisztid's avatar

Oh I remember… you said something about how slavers did blacks a favor by enslaving them, slamming their history and culture.

Likeradar's avatar

@Oxymoron You are skirting the issue, and it is obvious.
This is what you said, in your words: “They should be thankful that we tried to civilize them. They owe us a lot.”
This is the question: Why should they be thankful, and why do they owe “us” a lot?
Can you answer that question?

Negatively sterotyping a group of people based on race or cultural background is racism. Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, you are saying racist things and one could, in turn conclude that you are a racist.

I posted essentially the same thing a minute ago but it didn’t show up, so sorry of this turns out to be a double post.

Oxymoron's avatar

@Arisztid – So, are you Canadian? Because if not, then you don’t know what you’re talking about as far as the Natives go. I understand that though, since our country tries to show them as a vert cultural group of people. I do respect the ones that have kept their culture alive and have not wasted their lives. I know that my family was from immigrants, so what? The fact is the the Europeans (my ancestors) took over the land and won it fair and square. We were so advanced and they were still shooting bows and arrows. They owe us for bringing them all of our worldly advances. I’ve had many friends (and still do) that were Native. Even they say that majority of their people are disgraces.

@Likeradar – They should be thankful because when we came over to Canada and took over the land we did something useful with it. We are the ones that have made this country what it is, if they had been here by themselves this whole time they would still be hunting with their bows and arrows and not having electricity. I guess if that’s your definition of racism, then I am. But everyone has some group of people that have stereotypes, everyone does.

Arisztid's avatar

@Oxymoron It does not matter what nation I am from.

What matters is that if one person of this ethnicity is not like “that,” that makes the stereotype, which states all,” null and void. You do not discuss some you discuss them as an entire group. You are quite specific in this.

“I have many friends who are Native” is just like the old “I have many black friends” when used to excuse prejudice. Blah de blah de blah [slamming an ethnicity or other] “but I have [the insulted ethnicity] friends so I am not racist.”


The rest of what you just said is moot to my point but goes to show that you percieve your culture to be superior to all others.

I am done with what I have to say to you. I have made my point. Carry on with your justifications.

Arp's avatar

I liked it, and who cares if the ending was fail? It still looked awesome, even if it did take a while 0_o

Dog's avatar

[Mod Says:] Lets get back on topic folks. The question is “If you watched the Canadian Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, what did you think?”

Off topic or personal remarks will be removed.

Dr_C's avatar

I watched it on PST so i got to see it 3 hours after the East Coast. I loved everything about it, from the fire-shoes to the neck-bearded poet. I LOVED the native representation, and no matter what anyone (racist or not…) may have to say on the topic theirs is a culture that deserves respect and recognition for surviving in the face of immense hardship. Every culture has something to teach us and no one culture is above the rest.

I think it was great that their presence in the opening ceremony was punctuated the way it was considering their lack of representation in the actual events. It helped show the world another side of Canada that we don’t usually get to see. It’s not all Dudley Do-right in a Mounty costume, hockey, crappy beer and “eh”. the last part there was to poke a little fun at @gggritso .. I hope no one takes offense.

Canada is a place of diversity and I’m glad that it was celebrated as such.

Arisztid's avatar

@Dr_C Bravo! I could not have said that better.

Oh I am eager to see this now. I have heard so much about it here and online. My wife has it dowloading. It is going to be awhile. I wish it was posted somewhere I did not have to DL it.

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adreamofautumn's avatar

Everyone on other forums I have read keeps trying to compare the opening ceremony to Beijing, it’s not comparable, that is like comparing apples and oranges. The funding alone for the summer olympics is so much greater than the winter games that it makes comparison virtually impossible. I thought Canada did an amazing job, one of the major points of the opening ceremony is for the host country to illustrate their heritage, their culture and their history for the rest of the world and Canada did a wonderful job of that. I have been seeing complaints about the First Nations inclusion in a number of places, but (though I may be wrong) Canada was actually the first country to bother including their native heritage. The United States most certainly did not include our native people at Salt Lake City.
@Oxymoron you have done nothing in this thread but ask the question PURELY so that you could have a forum in which to attack and belittle a group of people different from yourself, and that is sad and pathetic on so many levels. If you wanted a place to shout from the rooftops about how much you dislike your native people and their inclusion in the olympics, you might as well have just named the question “Didn’t it piss you off that the First Nations had a spot in “our” olympics and saved everyone the headache of finding out that that was your actual intention here. You are free to have your own opinion, but don’t try to veil arrogance, ignorance and racism for anything other than what it is. Like it or not, if you are Canadian that is still part of the heritage of your country and it was entirely correct for it to be showcased in a venue whose goal is illustrate the heritage of the country.

Dr_C's avatar

@adreamofautumn you can’t tell but I’m giving that answer a standing ovation right now.

adreamofautumn's avatar

@Dr_C thank you :). I took a few month hiatus from Fluther, but i’m glad this is the question I decided to jump back in with. :)

Dr_C's avatar

@adreamofautumn glad to have you back!

Arisztid's avatar

Ohhhh I finally watched it! Suh-weet!

I wish America would do something like that to celebrate Native Americans. Now I do admit that I have never watched an Olympic opening ceremony before but, from what I have heard, America has never done that.

Bloody bravo Canada! You show yourself to be a real class act with this one. I would think that the rest of the world is smiling. I am probably grinning this much because I had a lot of Native American friends in California and I made a study of NA history, heritage, and culture, learning about many Nations… and it is a grand one.

Anyone who says that the conqueror’s culture is superior to theirs really has not learned much about them. I have done my best, going to the proverbial horses’ mouth (Native Americans themselves), reading books written by Native Americans (including historical ones), and more. I know some about Canada’s First Nations culture and tradition… enough to know that there are many similarities.

Anyone who says that any culture and tradition is less than has not learned. All culture and tradition should be preserved and respected. Also, who is to judge that anyone’s culture is bad? “Bad” or “superior” is subjective.

Actually, I loved the whole thing. I could go on about it endlessly but, basically, copy and paste what @Dr_C said.

The reason I am so pleased with the representation of the First Nations population is they remain underrepresented, ignored, shunted away, marginalized. I am American, not Canadian, but I know how they are marginalized, discriminated against, and mocked in America. I know from reading that they get the same treatment in Canada. I think of my friends back in California and know they were watching this with a huge grins on their faces. I think I am going to see if some old phone numbers are good and drop a couple a phone call.

Dear America: take a lesson here.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Arisztid The day Americans acknowledge and celebrate Native American culture will be the day… I don’t even know, but sadly I don’t think it will ever happen.

Arisztid's avatar

@tragiclikebowie Sadly, I agree completely.

Dr_C's avatar

Let’s not forget that this is not the first time a native representation has been seen at an Olympic opening ceremony, The 2000 Sidney summer olympic games showcased not only aboriginal traditions and symbolism in the opening ceremony as well as 200 aboriginal women singing for the protection of the games, it also included (and here’s the kicker) actual aboriginal athletes!

One of Australia’s Aboriginal Olympians and the nation’s favorite athletic superhero, Cathy Freeman, blitzed her rivals in the women’s 400m track event to win the gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games on the night of September 25.

It was the 100th gold medal won for Australia since the start of the modern Olympics in 1896.

As one of the country’s Aboriginal Olympians, Freeman carried the intertwined Australian and Aboriginal flags at the completion of her race to manifest her pride in the heritage of her people.

I applaud any nation that takes all of their people into account and showcases their culture with the respect it deserves.

Arp's avatar

Keep in fact that celebrating Native American heritage would be somewhat hypocritical, since it was Americans that nearly killed of the natives in the first place, and unless we can do something better than giving them land for casinos, I don’t think it will be easy to make up how much we took advantage of them…

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