Maxed out 

Searing answers to burning questions


It's nice to see a small segment of the Canadian public hasn't entirely lost the use of their curiosity gene. Time to answer some burning questions piling up in my inbox.


Dear Max:

Why are you so negative on the Olympics? It's not helping, you know.

Your friend, Quatchi

Dear Fuzzball:

Thank you for your kind letter; I've taken the liberty to correct your spelling mistakes. Image is everything, you know.

I think the more accurate question - not that I'm intending to dodge your question like some kind of politician or corporate hack - might be, "Why is 99.999 per cent of the media so sycophantic about the Olympics that they seem to have completely blurred the line between journalism and copywriting?" The simple answer to that question is, swag. Most of them will do anything for a free jacket, a VIP pass or an official Olympic keychain.

Job security plays a role as well. Editors and publishers don't like mean-spirited phone calls and e-mails from cottonheaded readers, advertisers, politicians and Olympic officials threatening reprisals, lawsuits or pulled advertising, all things that seem to ensue when writers stray from happymeal Olympic stories.

Besides, don't you think complaining about my Olympic bias is, well, kind of spoilsport for such an up and coming goalie? I mean, for starters, who's going to read what I have to say, other than the thousands of tourists who filter through town and the tens of thousands who will actually be here during the Olympics? A handful of disgruntled locals upset because they have to take the bus and can't park right next to where they work? Some quaint, archaic people who read books and thought public libraries were built with taxpayer money for... the public?

Let's face it, my laments are a small drop in a large ocean of oh-golly-gee-whiz, aren't the Olympics just the grandest thing on Earth journalism. Do you really want to shut up everyone who hasn't drunk the Kool-Aid? On reflection, I guess that may sound like a rhetorical question to you. Of course you do.

As for what I write not helping, it helps me. And it's a sight cheaper than therapy.

Write again anytime; I really liked reading the crayon.


Dear Max:

Prime Minister Harper has porogued parliament. What does this mean?

Numbed in Nunavut

Dear NiN:

I think you mean he's prorogued parliament, though I have to admit, I like your spelling better.

Superficially, it means he's cancelled the 20 days of parliamentary sessions that were due to be held between the hangover of the new year and the opening ceremony of Canada's last best chance to avoid national shame on a cosmic scale.

On a deeper, more personal level, it means the Doughboy has taken another step closer to realizing his life-long dream of becoming the fascist dictator of a failed democracy, a fractured country in name only and a frigid universe with Alberta as its maniacal centre. Put in a way more accessible to the sports-addled populace, Little Stevie's thrown a fit, taken his ball and gone home to beat off and dream of a majority government.

Sigh... we've seen him throw this tantrum before. Why, only a year ago as I recall, when the other boys he plays with decided to band together and unfriend him on their Facebook pages. They forgot it was his football then too. They also forgot Mikki Jean, besotted with the lingering effects of sealmeat poisoning, had lost all the accoutrements of her office save the oversized rubber stamp.

The Doughboy's embarrassed by the revelations that his government is down with torture. I don't know why. This should come as no surprise to anyone who's ever taken the time to listen to one of his speeches. If the Afghan security forces were smart, they'd lose the cattle prods, waterboards and jumper cables and simply make a DVD loop of Doughboy's speeches and play them over and over to anyone they want to torture. It'd destroy their enemies faster and not leave any visible marks.

Having put the mock in democracy, what, you ask, is the Canadian public doing about this blatant hijacking of parliament? Rising up with all the indignation coursing through their veins, they've... formed a Facebook page. Hey, it's winter. If Canadians are going to take to the streets, they're going to do it for something worthwhile. The Olympic torch relay, for example. Forming a Facebook page should, like, really be enough, you know.

Things would be different if Canada still had an opposition party. But they were prorogued themselves about five years ago.

Thanks for writing; see you at the opening ceremonies.


Dear Max:

Now that Dusty's has become a sports bar, at least as far as ski racing goes, will I be able to watch football and hockey there with the sound turned up?

Big Sport

Dear BS:

If you want to hear football, hockey games, or for that matter, Dr. Phil or Judge Judy, at Dusty's you'll have to be some combination of (a) an angry mob; (b) rich and important (self-important will do in a pinch but really important would be better) or (c) know a federal cabinet minister with nothing better to do with his time - which would be pretty much all of them now that Parliament's not sitting and Doughboy's making all decisions personally - than harass privately-owned businesses in response to rich and important people who complain about not being able to hear the colour commentary(sic) on ski races they already know the outcome of.

If you've got that kind of pull, hell, you can get just about anything done... as long as it's not something really important to the future of the country, like repairing a democracy under siege.


Dear Max:

I don't know what happened on Monday but I've suddenly noticed a constant parade of big, diesel-spewing trucks carrying load after load of snow down to a spot by the railroad tracks on Westside Road. What gives?


Dear Snowed:

These will be the greenest Olympic games ever! Snow's white, not green. It's got to go. After all, VANOC will need some place to park the thousands of busses bringing gawkers to see the circus and, having spent all this money to up the Whistler Standard to the new, improved Whistler Olympic Standard, it wouldn't be fitting to have a big mountain of snow in the only unpaved parking lot. How gauche. Just be thankful they're not using big, greenhouse gas spewing machines to melt it. Oh... forget that last sentence.


Dear Max:

Where can I park during the Olympics?

Searching Out Spots

Dear SOS:




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