I have always been fascinated by the dynamics that happen around events. When I was little, and my mother would be preparing for the jewish holidays, she would be in a frenzy trying to get everything done on time. Her mom, my Bubbe Marie, would be there to help sometimes, my Bubbe Asne, my father’s mother would come, but mostly she was alone. Trying to manage making a dinner for 15-20 people in a house with 4 kids, a nutcase for a husband, and a body that had been failing her since her 20’s.
Vancouver is in somewhat better shape for their big event. I have watched as every available surface has been coated with advertising slogans, mascots, and lots of pictures of happy, healthy, good-looking people, maybe it will make up for the reality on the streets. If people see enough advertising, maybe they’ll look real. Each day, the pulse increases, and we are about to burst. There are so many layers to what is happening right now, and many people I know, including myself, are feeling incredibly conflicted. Excited by the fact that our “no-fun” city is filled with people playing music, and people of all ages out in the streets. While artists are being muzzled, citizens being muzzled, and over the next few weeks potentially much worse. I hope not, but both sides are basically saying “make me..” As a storyeller, and new filmmaker, I am excited by what I could do with the footage I capture, and the stories I can gather from what I see over the next few weeks. At the same time, I am very aware of the anxious mother hovering over the city right now; wanting everything and everyone to look nice, everything to taste good, and most important, no fights during dinner. Not much luck of that happening.
Maybe in the end, after everybody has gone home, and it’s just us again; maybe something will have changed for the better. That deciding it was okay to take our right to express away for pop and stuffies, was a really bad idea. Maybe you will have learned that no matter how hard you try to keep the peace at the dinner table, if the kids aren’t happy, they’re going to let you know it. Every family that lives in denial of the problems they have are inevitably faced with them, and the more you push them down, the harder they will push to be revealed. This could have gone differently, we could have paid attention to the evidence. Did some real research on the impact before we put together a bid. Looked around the house, and saw how people were suffering, struggling, and not just people in the Downtown Eastside, but all over the city, and we could have made the descision to take care of our house and the people in it, before we invited in an army of strangers, and an army to protect them. It’s almost as if the guests mattered more, but isn’t that always the way with parties.