A local man has chosen to speak out against the Olympics in an unusual way - and raise money for women's shelters while he's at it.
Last month, Van Powel, of the Runner's Yoga Program, put together a three-minute parody song about the 2010 Winter Olympic Games called "Gimme Gold (The IOC Song)" under the pseudo-band-name of Oly and the Fat Cats.
He premiered the song at Andrew Jennings's talk on Dec. 8. It has also been uploaded to his website, iocsong.com.
The song highlights some events associated with staging the Games in Whistler next February, including the fact that Whistler's mayor makes $80,000 a year but Whistler's executive director of the 2010 Games makes $250,000, and that Whistler's public library will be closed to the public in February to throw parties for dignitaries.
"I've found that satire is a great way to keep your sanity in the face of arrogance, greed and stupidity," said Powel about why he decided to create this song. "I think we should all be ashamed, but instead we're talking about everybody wearing red mittens."
Powel wrote the song during an hour-long drive down Vancouver Island. He then decided to write a Vancouver version of the song, and he posted music videos of both songs to his website.
So far, he hasn't heard from the International Olympic Committee, and almost all the comments he has received from the general public have been positive.
He is also trying to raise money for two women's shelters with the song - the Howe Sound Women's Centre in the Sea to Sky corridor, and Battered Women's Support Services in Vancouver.
"One of the main points of this is to get folks donating to women's shelters," said Powel, although he stressed that the two women's shelters have absolutely nothing to do with the political message of the video or website.
"I think they are probably the most deserving of our support. And I think it is shameful that we aren't taking care of people that find themselves in such terrible situations."
To date, Powel has raised almost $400 for both shelters.
During the interview, Powel also decided to bring out his alter ego, Big Daddy VeeCee, to speak to Pique Newsmagazine.
In a thick New Orleans accent, VeeCee explained that three main characters that form Oly and the Fat Cats have nicknames: Binder "Squash Me" Panu, Ricki "Sue Me" Santini, and Austin "Mucky-Muck" Kowloon.
"Their families have had the rights to those names for thousands of years, so we be thinking that VANOC got the idea for their mascot names from our band," he said. "So now we be trying to find a lawyer to sue."
VeeCee also said that Oly and the Fat Cats has already released its next big single, Do You Not Think God Could Be A Woman, and there is also another music video circulating on the Internet called There's An Old Lady On The Outside Of My Body.
"We fully expect that VANOC be calling us any day now and asking us to perform it in that clear cut plaza for the medal presentation ceremonies," said Powel still in character.
Powel's videos are posted at www.iocsong.com.