Toronto’s Twitter crowd was more captivated this weekend by a #DeadRacoon than the exercise in forced positivity that is the Pan Am Games, which is consistent with the pictures of empty stadiums and media reports of unsold tickets that have been trickling out despite attempts to lecture and shame complainers into silence.
I may be the least sporty person in the world- I cannot tell you the name of a single Toronto Maple Leafs player currently on the roster without looking it up - but I do know that once you strip sports of raw emotion and try to use it as a statement of how progressive you are, everyone stops caring.
Instead of actual sports, the organizers of these Games promoted HOV lane warnings and used a generic advertisement featuring the City of Toronto skyline and no one sport or athlete in particular. The mascot represents diversity and inclusion because he has rainbow quills and a visual impairment. They made sure there were aboriginal food trucks. They told everyone that the Games are carbon neutral. Then they almost set the CN Tower on fire and everyone forgot all about diversity and inclusion and rushed to take a selfie.
The last international sporting event in this great country of ours - the Vancouver Olympics - drew drama from the actual action and unscripted moments. I’m talking about Jon Montgomery walking tall through the Olympic village after winning the skeleton, swigging a pitcher of beer. Joanie Rochette skating her way to bronze with tears in her eyes, somehow finding the strength to carry on after learning her beloved mother had died. And of course, the gritty but ultimately game-winning goal in men’s hockey, signaled by Sidney Crosby’s frantic shriek of “Iggy!”
But this, of course, was Harper’s vulgar Olympics, where an impertinent effort to “Own The Podium” irritated the stuffy Brits and - say it with me now - damaged Canada’s international reputation. Wynne’s Pan Am Games will damage nobody’s reputation, least of all the people responsible for spending all this money to host what amounts to a Little League tournament where good teamwork is all that matters.
Come to think of it, the vanilla Games fit smoothly with the agenda of the left, which is to sanitize the heck out of everything, create “safe spaces” by removing all controversy and hurtful language, and where “sports” gets second billing in favour of “humanity, […] culture, courage, and excellence.” (That quote comes from a Pan Am Games press release which I cannot link to without their permission because they will sue me if I do.)
Social justice-minded politicians like Wynne can put all the lids they want on base human instinct and emotion, but that pot will always boil over. In a first world that does not know war as it has been fought throughout the ages, we comment on and retweet hockey fights on CBC, the lurid corruption scandals of FIFA, the outbursts of cheating and domestic abuse in the world of football, the gladiatorial intensity of UFC, and the reality blurring spectacle of the WWE.
As Wynne’s overly defensive lawsuit against Tim Hudak and her attempt to silence a mildly critical documentary about her demonstrate, the Liberal impulse to ban and regulate is rooted in a refusal to acknowledge the darker side of humanity. The left believes anything bad can be scrubbed away through re-education and shaming and other such “nurturing” practices, but sports are notoriously resistant - the CCCP loved hockey, Hugo Chavez played baseball, and Kim Jong Un became friends with Dennis Rodman.
Can Kathleen Wynne’s attempt to neutralize sports succeed where they failed?
Follow The Megaphone on Twitter.
JOIN TheRebel.media for more news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else.