Canada taking its cyber lumps

By STEVE TILLEY, QMI Agency

Nobody’s a harsher critic of Canada than Canadians.

We hate it when our fellow countrymen are too loud and proud, yet we also hate it when Canucks are overlooked or underappreciated. Not surprisingly, you could fill a book with the snide remarks flying around the Net — by Canadians! — about everything from the Olympic opening ceremonies (neckbearded slam poet Shane Koyczan was particularly divisive) to the uncooperative Vancouver weather (c’mon guys, it’s not B.C.’s fault. Probably.)

Outside our borders, the critics are kinder. Mostly. The New York Times reports Friday’s opening ceremony production “was a little dull at times, but it was also thoughtful and stirring. It was authentically and unabashedly Canadian.”

Entertainment Weekly’s website gave the opening ceremony an overall thumbs up, and seemed delighted by the discovery of screech (the Newfoundland rum, not the Saved by the Bell character).

But U.K. newspaper The Guardian went out of its way to highlight the technical glitches in the opening ceremony, the torch relay that was marred by protestors and the lack of winter weather that’s caused some events to be postponed. “If the games were seen in part as a means of luring vacationing skiers in the future,” they say, “the reports so far of rain and mud haven’t helped.”

And you thought Canadians were snarky.

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The search gurus at Google have a tradition of changing their main page logo at www.google.com to reflect important dates or current events, and the Olympics are no exception. But the snowboarder logo that debuted yesterday to kick off the Vancouver 2010 games wasn’t the original image. The New York Daily News reports that Google initially had a luge logo banner on the main page, but it was quickly taken down. We’re guessing it was intended to honour Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, but some Googlers complained that it came across as offensive and poorly timed.

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So far, CTV’s Olympics coverage has been drawing mixed reviews, and the network has taken some lumps for everything from airing footage of the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili (in fairness, NBC did the same thing) to the bizarre MuchMusic hot tub and body shots segment leading up to the opening ceremony kickoff.

I say give them a day or two to settle down and get over the home-team newbie jitters before stabbing them with hot pokers. Just one request, though: Someone ask Lisa Laflamme to remove some of that jewellery. Her bracelets clacking against the Olympic anchor desk are already driving me bonkers.

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But hey, at least CTV knows who Terry Fox is. If you somehow missed NBC identifying Betty Fox as the mother of “Michael Fox” — complete with pictures of both Terry AND Michael J. — you can see it here: http://bit.ly/wrongfox. Hoo boy.

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