Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed out

Welcome home, troops



Short of some future war being played out at the base of Whistler Mountain - Tribe Shredders versus The Two-Sticks - none of us are ever likely to see anything even approaching the war zone Tiny Town is likely to become next February. There will certainly be more RCMP personnel, more mercenaries and more Canadian Forces troops in and around the Olympic venues in Vancouver, but Van's a big city and can absorb several orders of magnitude more weirdness than Whistler without anything seeming particularly out of place.

Whistler? The sight of even one cop in the village is an unusual experience if you're not accustomed to haunting the place after midnight. It's hard to imagine what effect a couple of squadrons of grim-faced, uniformed, visibly-armed security folks are going to have on the ebb and flow of life as unusual, let alone their dampening effect on what's billed as the biggest party to ever hit town. At a minimum, I'd certainly advise everyone to leave their staplers and other office equipment at home.

Despite assurances given at the recent Open House that security forces would be of the kinder, gentler, more understanding - yea, even fun-loving - variety, the reality on the ground is likely to feel oppressive to anyone used to the largely invisible role the RCMP and military currently play in the Great White North. The Big Brother is Watching paranoia will be heightened by the installation of several (insert absurdly large number here) CCTV cameras recording our every public move. While the plan is to aim those suckers inside the secure areas of official Olympic venues, fears of terrorists lurking around every dark corner are likely to trump public-soothing plans and it's more likely you won't be able to fart in the village without it being captured on tape.

And as a dog lover in a dog loving town, I'm happy Mo pointed out the police dogs deployed here are supposed to be bomb sniffers, not drug sniffers. I'm not particularly worried about a drug dog getting friendly with me as I wade through the humanity in the village but I was worried about the kind of olfactory/mental meltdown a drug dog might suffer if it was used in Whistler. Poor animal would be so overloaded with scent trails it'd wind up spinning in circles like a fly with only one wing, chasing its own tail ever-faster and winding up like the tigers in Little Black Sambo. I'm not sure it's still legal to cite that 1899 children's story but rest assured, no slur was intended by doing so. I just always liked the image of tigers melting into butter. Ummmm... butter.

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