Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Olympic Cheese

I am finding it tough to watch the Olympics in Russia, and it's not only because of the Russian treatment of its own people, the workers who weren't paid for construction, the half-finished, empty venues or the anti-gay Russian sentiment.

It's not entirely because of the entirely plausible cheating scenario in ice dance.

It's also not because of my refusal to pay for television; there are lots of ways to find the games without paying for cable - mothers in law, for example and this year, the Internet has been particularly helpful. What a difference from Vancouver when Bell/CTV wouldn't broadcast anything without your fees paying for it.

It's certainly not the performance of our athletes.

No, it's the commercials.

Now, I've been crying at sappy commercials as long as Bell has been exploiting familial love for profit, but this year's crop is so laced with saccharine, my teeth are aching.

The first time I saw the salute to motherhood, I admit I teared up.

The fifty-first time I saw the salute to motherhood, I was disgusted at the sheer emotional manipulation coming from the advertisers (and I still teared up).

The Coke spots tugging at the heartstrings with Special Olympians while congratulating me on drinking 16 teaspoons of sugar at a time? That one really gets me caffeinated.

Add the sonorous, tinkly-music profiles of the athletes' 'profiles in courage', and I doubt I could carry on a conversation with any of them if I were ever in the same room.

Here's the thing: there's PLENTY of drama on the ice, the snow and the tracks. Must everything be so over-the-top?

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