Feels like Torontonians need a little roughage in their life if this is an issue.

Is there a reason we’re not talking about how well they’ve programmed the Pan Am Games? To be honest, I’ve got no idea what the sport (read: main) side of things is like, but the city is alive. Come to think of it, the sound of music is a big part. A lot of hubbub has been created over Kanye’s inclusion as the lead closing act of the games. Really, people? Haven’t you got better things to shit yourselves over? There’s some type of fiber missing from your life if you’re one of the 20,000 or so people petitioning to get him removed from performing. Fuck you, seriously. Sure, Kanye no doubt has a well deserved reputation as a self centered douche and nothing you do can take that away from him. He’s earned it. If he’d done morally reprehensible stuff, maybe I’d see the relevance in removing him. Newsflash, he hasn’t. He married a reality TV star and likes Beyonce a lot. It’s far from criminal activity.

Thing is, no matter if he is or isn’t your favorite artist, he’s a bold, exciting performer. He’s the kind of performer that makes sense to close a large event. He’s a massive “get” and the kind of act that sells tickets. Seriously. Of those 20,000 people who had the time and inclination to kick up a fuss, how many were even ticket holders? Would they have gone even if it had been Drake? Would they even know the difference between the two artists? All this complaining about needing a big Canadian artist to close the games, who gives two fucks? He’s a pan-American artist, does that not count? People are so quick to resort to entitled behavior. Even if something has nothing to do with them, if it doesn’t cater to them it’s suddenly a huge fucking imposition. Are they planning on crawling out of their arsehole to attend? If not, don’t bother leaving. We can do without the smell.

I’d love to go, but budgets (and a disinclination to be around that kind of patriotic celebration) mean I’ll skip it. Still, the Pan Am committee has done a spectacular job of cultivating a host of talented performers. Most of which I’ll unfortunately miss out on due to preexisting commitments, but my FOMO sense is tingling hard. I’ve already seen A Tribe Called Red, an excellent Canadian band who mix dubstep and tribal chants to engrossing effect without gross acculturation. Like ATCR, most of these acts I’d either pay for, or I already have before. Death From Above 1979 are amazing live, so much energy for a 2-piece. Explosions in the Sky do nigh cinematic post rock. They’re otherworldly to watch. Five Alarm Funk are virtually unknown, but a total blast. Check out Don Mega to get a taste. The Flaming Lips are a huge band that I can’t believe are performing for free. They put on stage shows that put the word “elaborate” to shame. Janelle Monae is a performer I’ve had my eyes on since her magnum opus: The Archandroid. Pity I’ll miss her, but that’s FOMO fo yo.

It’s exciting in a way that I never expected a big sporting festival could make me feel. Just in the above acts (who are a sliver of the total artists) can you see the diversity? There should be something for everyone, Cancon or not. So for all those people tossing their toys over the Kanye announcement, why not just see something else? This should not be a problem for you. Path of least resistance: Just don’t watch. It’s literally harder to observe it than it is to ignore it.


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