William Shatner stands on guard for thee.

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, one of many cool ones at his ‘Last Minute Blog’.

After speeches, anthems aplenty, and flags raised, lowered, and passed along, Neil Young sang “Long May You Run”, the Olympic torch was extinguished, and with it, any air of sobriety left in Vancouver’s BC Centre.

What followed was folly: William Shatner, with a dramatic reading plus Keynote presentation on what it means to be Canadian (ien?). Catherine O’Hara, swept in by curling brooms, with comedic variations on that theme, and an apology for being apologetic. Michael J. Fox, yet another sometimes-expatriate, tugged on a heart or two.

And then came the the giant inflatable beavers, the floating mermaids with maple leaf wings, and a gigantic tabletop hockey game, batting about a small child dressed as a puck. And moose. And canoes. And, oh yeah, Michael Bublé singing some snippet of maple leaf doggerel over and over again accompanied by mountie babe backup singers…segueing into the famed Hockey Night in Canada theme.

And how did it all end?

Well, we don’t quite know, on this side of the border. At 10:30 eastern, NBC did their best attempt at self-parody: they cut away (abruptly!) from the ceremony, promising to pick up where they left off in a hour—on, yes, say it with me, tape delay. had to run that Seinfeld Marriage game show thingie, y’know.

After that odd acid trip of an experience, it’s hard to believe Seinfeld was ‘More colorful.’