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.