TEA & TWO SLICES | Narcissists Blogging Their Beatings In The Best Place On Earth


by Sean Orr | Oh, dear. According to this stupendous (no other word for it) blog post, the editor of the Gastown Gazette blog was incarcerated on New Year’s Eve for allegedly resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer during a domestic dispute investigation. He compares his situation to some of the worst crimes against humanity in modern history: “This, was probably the lowest moment of my life. It was my Abu Ghraib moment” [...] “I received one cup of water after asking an officer if they were running a modern-day concentration camp.” And then, in a mind-blowing display of paranoid narcissism – and without a hint of irony – he wonders who called in the hit on him. “Who might have originated this stupid and cowardly act? Was it the Carnegie-CCAP gang?” Yeah, bro. That’s right. Vancouver’s rag-tag team of anti-poverty activists are just totally in cahoots with the police. Both the blogger and his wife have denied that there was a domestic incident. Welcome to the new/old Gastown.

Meanwhile, 30 homeless deaths in 4 months in Victoria.

Out East, Nova Scotia RCMP to get drones. And just as I was about to ask why Nova Scotia was so lucky. “RCMP in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland and Labrador all use the devices.” To borrow a line from Derrick O’Keefe, “I guess I missed the big public debate about this”.

The Vancouver Sun actually prints something interesting: Mixed neighbourhoods not always a good idea. “Research finds that higher-income newcomers often use their political know-how and influence to fight against services for the poor, or to target the activities of marginalized people in public space”. Yes, but is this happening in the DTES? Are these higher-income “newcomers” even allowed to promote services for the poor, lest they be called hypocrites or yuppie do-gooders? It’s hard to forget the furor against Save on Meats’ sandwich token program. Or is the reality on the street much more “muddy”? To what extent should happiness be mediated?

To wit, Killing Joy in the Best Place on Earth: “New websites, media ventures, and community groups began to emerge that championed the city in terms that were, to say the least, effusive. One such website, which began as a more or less standard arts and culture blog, even incorporated itself as a non-profit organization with an explicit mandate to report only good news about the city. In incredibly short order, happiness-talk had become the Ur language through which the city made sense of itself. It saturated discussions of work, civic participation, and community building alike. It was as if bottomless enthusiasm had been tacitly drafted into the conditions of municipal citizenship.” Vancouver was awesome before Vancouver Is Awesome told us that Vancouver was awesome, but it was also sometimes not so awesome, and that’s ok, too.

Speaking of community engagement: Citizen polling website contract awarded without tender. Top comment: “Talk Vancouver is a vacuous exercise in data mining for re-election purposes, even without the disgraceful failure of tendering for public contracts”.

Raging hyperbole trains coming to a website near you: Exploding oil trains: Coming to a Vancouver neighbourhood near you? Ah, if only Yaletown still had all those train tracks…

False Creek’s Urban Experiment Seeks a Second Act. I’ve always just sort of ignored that entire part of Vancouver. “Proposals to “densify” several areas of the city boiled over this year into neighbourhood rebellions and even tense picket lines. Yet overlooked in the sparring are 6,000 Vancouverites quietly living a “densified” life in a community created decades ago.” Cool!

Reminds me a bit of San Fran: The rise of the white, middle-class anti-gentrifiers.

Salon: Yoga, spinning and a murder: My strange months at Lululemon.

Bonus: Bitcoin-Powered Airport Invasion Party!

  • CA

    Interestingly, the GG post has been edited to remove the CCAP and Abu Ghraib references you point to. Good thing he left in the Dziekanski reference. Otherwise, I would have been confused about the severity of his affair.

    Vancouver is so confusing these days. Particularly so in those particular six acres. Everyone is so darn shrill and self-righteous on all sides of the various debates and battles over geography.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    Well said. Regarding GG, it doesn’t surprise me. They have absolutely zero credibility as a news/opinion source and it doesn’t surprise me that they are in full damage control mode. Would it kill them to put a “this post has been edited to remove extremely offensive and accusatory statements”? I just wish I had screen-shotted it.

  • CA

    Thanks. Other commenters on the GG site raised issues with the quotes. So, lack of screenshot aside, it is clear that the statements were made.
    The top of the article has an “update”. This makes it particularly galling that the statement were removed without an update recognizing the changes.
    Oh well, I guess that is what we can expect in an era in which “real media” are constantly taken in by interhoaxes.

    It’s a funny place we have. Often the “Tea Party”-esque shrill of CCAP and GG is confounding in part because both sides sometimes display shockingly narrow lenses for the history and context of the places and people being fought over.

    You have made that point several times (or, at least I think that was the point you were making) : for example noting that talking about this wave of Gastown gentrification as “new” is dumb (because this is like the sixth or seventh wave of gentrification); or the idea that Yaletown didn’t displace anyone is a myth. The problem is, most of the people that yell about things on both sides don’t look to these broader and important contextual points.

    It’s fun to live in a place people hate, love, deride but cherish, fight over and contest. Beats Kamloops. It can also be a sad and tough place to live. Many people suffer. It is expensive. All the dramatic screaming (from right or left) doesn’t help, in my view.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    Again, well said. And yeah I’ve been hammering that home for a while now.

  • http://www.KurtisKolt.com KK

    “It’s fun to live in a place people hate, love, deride but cherish, fight over and contest. Beats Kamloops. It can also be a sad and tough place to live. Many people suffer. It is expensive. All the dramatic screaming (from right or left) doesn’t help, in my view.”

    Well said.