Tag Archives: olympics

Excited Delirium Chapter 69: Aftershocks (Surreal Repair)

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Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 69 of the my online book “Excited Delirium”. Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index.

While the rest of the world clamoured at the doorstep of Beijing, the city itself was slowly and painfully coming back to life.

Leading the charge to recovery was an unlikely crew: the tens of thousands of athletes, managers, trainers and other personnel that had arrived in Beijing in the previous weeks.

A vast salvation effort began, with the Olympic Village at the centre of activities. It was relatively unharmed, along with its inhabitants, during and after the quake, mainly because it was built to much more rigorous standards as demanded by the International Olympic Committee, or IOC. When compared to other new Chinese buildings, it was like comparing Bill Gates to a beggar. They weren’t even in the same universe.

Efforts to rebuild and assist the dying were slow at first, with the vast language barrier causing the greatest source of friction between all of the people who were contributing their skills. In time, however, language was a pale obstacle to the sheer will and determination of these heroes to do what was right. They were here to compete against each other, but they were loath to shirk their responsibilities as human beings, let alone as ambassadors to the planet.
Simple tasks like communicating locations and efforts were delegated to the speediest runners and sprinters, modern day Mercurys that kept everyone informed. Until communications returned to normal, these people played one of the most important roles.

Teams were then built to reflect a balance of skills. Weight-lifters, runners, swimmers, gymnasts and others were spread out across about 1,000 recovery teams, all with the objective of crawling into tight spaces, lifting mass that no normal person could imagine, acting as guardians or running back to the base to inform organizers of major finds, be they living or dead.

These teams were also assigned the task of finding living people, encouraging them to return to main Village and to volunteer for services after they had taken care of themselves. Most of the non-Olympians were asked to either work with others to scrounge for food and water or they were asked to leave as soon as possible so as not to tax the limited resources that the city had left. It was difficult for some to accept, but with a little encouragement, they realized that if they couldn’t contribute, they shouldn’t be making demands on this small, yet brave army of humanitarians.

Managers, trainers and other professionals were assigned to a make-shift triage and emergency centre that became one massive repair operation. Within 3 days, 250,000 people were inspected, operated on, sewn up or resuscitated; most of these people saved because for the first time in a long time, Beijing was overpopulated with people who had medical expertise. It was a non-stop, full-on rush of repair that finally eased off when people either stopped showing up or reports about the mortality level came in. Or the weaker ones finally fled, once roads and transportation became an option again.

As people waited, they camped out in open areas, like the Forbidden Palace or Tiananmen Square. By the end of Monday, this make-shift city-within-a-city had more than half a million inhabitants.

By the end of Monday, the rest of the world was finally able to peer into the black swirling mist and fog that surrounded China and Beijing, as communications were finally starting to show signs of life again.

It was the CCTV, or Chinese Central Television, that was able to feed stories the people of the West, as they anxiously awaited some kind of information about their loved ones.

But they would be disappointed: the CCTV had no official direction yet from the Chinese government, so all that was made available to the world’s eyes were misty details about the quake, the current situation and how many people were affected.

Even though the media of the world had converged on Beijing to report on the Olympics, they were powerless to report on anything to their homes because of power outages, lack of satellite feed or broken communication lines.

The world would have to wait until China was able to get its house in order.

[Author’s Note: I conceived of this plot component in 2006 and wrote most of these chapters into the story of ‘Excited Delirium’ during the course of 2007. I was stunned like the rest of the world when a tragic earthquake struck the province of Sichuan on May 12, 2008. Please believe me that I do not want to ‘profit’ from the suffering that the hundreds of thousands in this quake experienced. I remind all readers that this is a work of fiction and that my goals are to speak to the symbolic reference that’s used in the numerology along with the viewpoint of one fictional cult concerning the fate of the Chinese.]

(Note: “Excited Delirium” is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 70

Did you miss a chapter? If so, click here to see all chapters or click here to go to Excited Delirium: Chapter 1 (Prelude)

Creative Commons License
Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
Based on a work at www.exciteddelirium.ca .

 

Here Comes the Conservative Propoganda Machine

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Like clockwork, the Goebbels-like Conservative propoganda machine will be kicking into high gear over the next few days.

As Canadians are watching the Olympics (something I wish more of us would boycott), they’ll be pounded with ads from the Cons, err, ‘Canada’s New Government’.  The Cons effectively own CTV, given the volume of manipulative taxpayer-funded ads they run, and the CTV will be the source of most of the tracking of events for the Olympics.

(As a side note, as Canadians, we should all be demanding a stake in CTV given the millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on TV ads with this media monopoly).

When the ads come out, don’t expect any negative attack ads.

These ads will be all about touchy feely stuff, particularly the massive (and ridiculously unintelligent) tax savings being thrown around like silver dollars at a US bicentennial birthday party (believe me … it happened).

They’ll talk about Canada’s massive action plan that’s taking place across the country, even though most of it is repaving roads and changing a few doorknobs.

They’ll talk about how Canada needs to support our troops and how we need to encourage a safe, secure land free of terrorists.

They’ll talk about economic stability and their only hint of attack will be that we don’t want to use something as inconvenient as democracy to destabilize the country.

I’ll tell you what’s destabilizing:  Conservatives.

The province of Ontario and all of its municipalities are STILL dealing with financial shortfalls because of the Harris Conservatives, most of whom have been bounced out of provincial politics and who somehow stupidly got into federal politics.

What’s destabilizing is slashing a progressive and productive tax on consumption (the GST) by more than 30% from 7% to 5%.  Is it any wonder that we’re encountering structural deficits?  Jim Flaherty is entitled to run our country’s finances as much as Shamu should be running a sushi bar.

Think about it:  Conservatives have never been able to balance the books even though they claim they’re the ones for stability in rough economic times.  In the US, Americans acquired more debt under George Bush Jr. than all US presidents combined.  In the 1980s, the Mulroney government introduced the GST in order to finally stabilize the finances from fiscal recklessness.

But back to the ads.  I’ll tell you what they won’t talk about:

  • What they won’t talk about is how democracy is just a little inconvenience on their way to theocracy.
  • What they won’t talk about is how most Canadians can’t even benefit from these tax ‘incentives’ because you need an income before you can claim a deduction.
  • What they won’t talk about are the proto-Fascist knuckle-dragging Christian evangelists that are being parachuted into every single government department in the country, poisoning the public well for decades to come.
  • What they won’t talk about is how they saw the US coming and how they dropped the pants of all Canadians with their recent ‘trade break-through’ with the Americans.
  • What they won’t talk about is how they could care less about human rights if you’re brown, red, yellow, progressive or speak any other language than ‘Carbonish’.
  • What they won’t talk about is how world leaders won’t even shake Stephen Harper’s hand because he’s a massive liability to any politician.

But if you insist on watching, enjoy the games.

And get ready for the BIG BOO.