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Creating the People's History of 2010: Accredit Yourself and Start Reporting, Partying, and Schmoozing with the World
What do you plan contributing to the future?
"You know it's gonna get stranger, so let's get on with the show" Shakedown Street, Grateful Dead
Ours to Document
How are you spending your Olympics? No matter how you roll, whether you plan to celebrate, protest, or observe, my admonition is to document the people's history about how the Olympics interacts with our communities like historian Howard Zinn would advise. Perhaps you're skipping out of school to see some events or explore Vancouver's hidden gems? Good. Recluse J.D. Salinger woulda wanted you to, but wouldn't let you know it.
Indeed, the frustrations many feel about the Games is because the VANOC doesn't represent "us" the way we see ourselves and we want the world to see our communities the way the really are. Not the fabricated, sanitized version TV will spew to the world. Alas, most any sense of excitement is overshadowed by the broken promises, funding overruns, security boondoggles and twisted public priorities. However, the Games are coming soon.
And if we don't tell the stories from the street, who will?
My personal objectives are:a) story making; b) internationalizing; c) good times.
In other words, I'll be seeking stories about lesser known athletes, civic conundrums, and festive adventures and inviting other social story tellers along for my forays and finding the best hospitality along the way.
Wanna do the same?
Declare your intentions with a self-accreditation badge and share something you enjoy. Lead a walking tour of Chinatown, the old Expo grounds or your own neighbourhood. Maybe host a pub meet-up for Latvian hockey fans, or show up for a blogger tour of the Police Museum. Rally a field trip to Surrey or Richmond for celebrations and cultural exchange with the rest of the outsiders. I'm envisioning a moveable feast of ad hoc events led by anyone, attended by anyone, no signup. Go with the flow, share your skills and content using web tools.
I plan to meet international arts and media-minded visitors and show them Vancouver beyond Stanley Park and Granville Island (though those are great too).
"The first thing you'll probably want to hear is about my trip to Nagano, Japan where I rented a crumby flophouse to turn into a coffee and craft shop and all that kinda David Copperfield kinda crap, but all I remember from Nagano is that snowboarder whassis name getting all hassled - why can't anyone just leave people alone - makes ya wanto head to the mountains and live in a bunker."
- (not a) lost chapter from Catcher in the Rye
After seeing the torch in Olympia, WA, I loaded up a car with my brother, a stack of tickets, two ounces of herbal supplements and a trunk full of NW micro-brews and smoked meats and cheeses. After 13 days and 28 events, I'd documented with 700+ photos, dozens of video clips, a couple TV appearances, partied with gold medalists and lent Don Cherry my hat.