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vancouver games

Vancouver’s Polite, Granola Olympic Protests

We're doing our best, trying really hard, to put aside our natural Olympics cynicism this year, and one guy whom we suspect can help is the Daily News' Filip Bondy. Bondy's regular dispatches from every Olympics — and every non–Big Four event, really, from Wimbledon to the World Cup — are wry, smart, funny, and legitimately enlightening, like having a fun uncle taking you aside to tell you what's actually going on. Bondy's already in Vancouver, and he's already on the story you didn't know was a story: slightly, vaguely miffed locals.

The Canadian media has been touching on the issue, but Bondy has the first real American story of the hosers' tiny, pardon-me-sir fury.

The protests are not about globalism, or Darfur, or perpetual war. No, they're about ... well, they're all just kind of academic, really.


"Here in the socialist republic of Vancouver, Big Brother is suddenly very much alive," said Joe Cutbirth, a journalism professor at the University of British Columbia and a transplanted Texan. "There's a sense of, 'What's happening to our nice little community?'"

Oh, so it's one of those protests. That's fine, sir, no problem: Feel free to come down from that tree when the Olympics are over.

As Bondy points out, that there are any protests at all, even those of the elderly hippie variety, is a definitive upgrade from Beijing, where Joe Cutbirth, journalism professor at the University of British Columbia and a transplanted Texan, would currently be tied to a chair with electric testicles for his blatant and dangerous crimes against the state. So enjoy them. Even if some look like this guy. (But colder.)

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Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images