Olympic Mascots- Kids Version Picture

Recently, the 2010 Olympic Mascots were revealed.
For those who didn’t know- it shook up some people here in Canada.

Problem number 1:
The 3 “animals” selected were 3 Native Mythological Beasts.
Right off the bat, there were many people who disliked the idea of selecting these animals. Why? Because- as one reader of the Vancouver Sun noted, as well as many of my friends [Native and non]- it’s bad enough how the colonists took their land, nearly destroyed their cultures and continuously marginalize them, we have to continue to use their culture as a prospect cash-cow. As for the people themselves? The Canadian Government could care less- but hell if their art and their totem poles don’t’ bring enough tourisim to spill money into the local community!

Problem number 2:
After these three beasts were selected- The Thunderbird, The Sasquatch, and the Seabear- they contacted a Design studio in Vancouver to Design the characters. Low an behold, they hired someone with NO knowledge of the Native culture or mythology. The result:
Three animals were designed that bear NO likeness to the mythological creatures. Seabear looks like a small black cat, Thunderbird is a brown bear sporting a shirt with feathers, and the Sasquatch resembles an ewok/wookie.

I was fuming over this when I saw it- because once again, the concept of changing, misusing and destroying symbolisms and culture of the Natives into main stream culture left me cursing way into the night.
This ENTIRE situation left me fuming. The LEAST that could have been done in this situation was to hire a local NATIVE artists, and let them design the 3 mascots/logo for the new Olympic game. The revenues made of the design would be welcome within the Native community- after all, it is THEIR cultural symbols being used.
But low and behold not. We hire someone who has NO connection to the culture WHAT-so-ever to design 3 characters they have never even HEARD of before hand, and the result- 3 characters resembling pokemon. A bloody Abomination.
Furthermore, they decided to give the 3 abominations “personalities” that included “Thunderbird enjoying skiing in Whistler and extreme boarding, Seabear love to Surf the waves and extreme ” etc. EXCUSE ME?? WTF?
How DARE you degrade someone else’s symbols into shitty pop culture?! How DARE ANYONE take it upon themselves to warp beyond recognitions the prideful elements of someone else’s heritage?
Thunderbird isn’t a f-ing shitty faced little bear- He’s a Majestic Magical Titan that blessed us with the rains, the thunder and lighting, saving the locals form the jaws of titan whales and more. He doesn’t F-ing go “skiing in Whilster”.
Seaber was a beast of kind and caring love. One of the most romantic and powerful stories in the culture- he isn’t a goddamn “Hello Kitty” wannabe.
The Sasquatch is the “Wild Man of the Woods”. Prominent in a Mouse Woman stories, this isn’t the “cuddley big foot” character depicted by modern day pop culture. He was married to the Wild Woman, and they would dine on children they abducted.

I wonder, if the situation was that the games were in Rome, would the three mascots be the Archbishop, Pope, and Jesus?
Oh, and then, would they hire a different culture to design the images? And further, accept that Jesus would be a punk rocker, the Pope a Goth, and the Archbishop a pierced Tattoo artist?
Oh I’m sorry, did I just offend anyone by saying that?

Funny how when it’s about a minority, almost anything is permissible, but the same to the “ruling” culture is out of the question.

The other day I went down to the Native Community Center here in Vancouver. I was casually talking to anyone and everyone when I brought up this subject. Some didn’t want to touch it with a 20 yard pole, saying that “they were used to it”, others were outraged, and others thought it was disgraceful. I brought up the idea of doing something against it- making some sort of campaign to raise awareness about this outrage and have something done about it. Again, the answers were divided- some said yes, others said no, others said “why bother”?
Realistically, I realize nothing will be done. It’s another situation of corporate bullshit vs. the marginalized minority. While my passions of fury are burning, others have bigger fish to fry than stupid mascots- but I guess I’m just OCD that way. I can’t let it go. It’s a shameful situation, and those pulling the strings are the ones that should be paying.
But I guarantee you they will. Because if there is ONE thing I have learned- is that in THIS culture, one does NOT take what does NOT belong to them. Weird, worrisome, and tragic things happen when they do. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears. Those who thought to make a profit off the Supernatural went up against beasts FAR more powerful than Western World Corporate Giants. They will be punished, and not by our hands.

Seen here, my versions of what the mascots SHOULD have been resembling. This is the "Kids" version.
(Another complaint was that the mascots were more marketed to kids not adults, for obvious reasons. I don't' think I'll be seeing ANY adult buying any clothing of souvenirs with the 3 mascots THEY designed).
Adult Version here-> [link]
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