On Boondoggles and Seeking Treatment for Vancouver’s Infectious Superficiality

Vancity Hush Buzz is Awesome Gazette: Why I love Yaletown: On being fancy/poor and other important things. This is either the most brilliant piece of satire I’ve ever read – really just light years above anything The Beaverton, Hard Times or The Onion has ever done – or, and this is much more likely, this “writer” is 100% serious:

So let’s just get to the point. At the risk of sounding like a cheesy realtor, Yaletown is so much more than just a place to live. And while you may deem my preferences as superficial, there’s something cool about saying what you really think.

You know that song by Jay-Z called Empire State of Mind? You’ve probably heard these lyrics, based on Frank Sinatra’s song called New York, New York: “Since I made it here, I can make it anywhere.”

Ok, so Yaletown is a little different than New York – but it elicits the same vibe. Work hard and play hard – it’s a lifestyle. Because of Yaletown, I’ve grown as a person and it just wouldn’t be the same if I had lived anywhere else.

Why, yes…your preferences are superficial. Going ‘Man hunting’ and describing Yaletown as ‘a hub for creative minds’ is one thing (two things, actually), but your assertion that the neighbourhood makes you feel “poor in a good way” is not only insulting to people who are – you know – poor in a bad way, it also highlights our city’s Stockholm Syndrome-like obsession with material wealth (or the appearance thereof). So does characterizing the cost of Yaletown as “reinforcement for getting your act together”. There is a perverted Randian thought process at work here, and it just keeps going. Did you know that Yaletown “makes you want to be a better person so you’ll always have a wad of cash in your bag”? Yeah, because cash makes you a better person. Ugh.

Besides, everyone knows East Van is the best neighbourhood:

The Proud Boys are self-described “Western Chauvinists”. It means they are proud of systemic racial dominance and refuse to apologize for it. It means they are proud of male dominance and refuse to apologize for it. Unpack that. It means – and I think that this is where the left has trouble articulating itself – they are terrified. A bunch of scared white boys who refuse to be accountable.

I’m proud. I’m proud that I recognize that systemic inequality exists. I’m proud that – even though my Irish ancestors weren’t even considered white – I have been imbued with an awareness of social justice. I’m proud to attach the cis- prefix to my gender to recognize those who constantly have to define themselves. I’m proud that my women friends came out en masse to join the #metoo movement. I’m more proud than the so-called Proud Boyswho took their name from an Aladdin song.

Related: Why Death From Above’s alt-right controversy shouldn’t come as a surprise.

I’m relieved we still live in a culture where an artist’s association with the alt-right provokes disgust and disavowal, but I am also genuinely confused by the surprise. Death From Above’s brand has been hipster men’s rights activists (MRAs) from the start.

John A. Macdonald statue vandalized in Montreal. Fuck yeah. Now let’s tear down that Roger Neilson statue at Rogers Arena!

I’m Andrew Scheer. Oh hey, Andrew! You look so golly-darned down to earth and genuinely approachable! Not at all like a pro-life bigot! Charles Demers:

Conservative political rhetoric is such a bizarre & fascinating type of kitsch. Everything that appears hilariously accidental about this video is on purpose: the fact that he’s wearing a garbage-ugly shirt, the fact that it’s untucked & wrinkly, the fact that he seems uncomfortable on camera. It all speaks to the ressentiment of people who feel preemptively defensive about being excluded — either actually or in their minds — from the rich, good-looking world of Justin Trudeau. It’s a weak sauce version of actual working class politics, but in the absence of the latter, people will take it.

Call it the Campbell school of how to be conservative without looking like you are a austerity-loving, social-program gutting, poor-hating, corporate shill: Academics assess Gordon Campbell’s run as B.C. premier in new book.

Don’t forget the boondoggles. So many boondoggles! Provincial finances are worse than they look as politicians hide their megaproject boondoggles.

Worse still, a chunk of BC Hydro’s debt has been issued solely to pay provincially mandated dividends to the tune of billions of dollars. While the province tells the public it’s balancing its books, it’s doing so partly by loading its utility up with debt.

BC Government accepting written submissions to the Fair Wage Commission. “What is a reasonable timeframe or schedule of increases in the minimum wage to reach $15-an-hour”? Right fucking now. “Once the $15-an-hour minimum wage is achieved, how and when should this be increased in the future”? Tie it to inflation. “What are your experiences or thoughts about the liquor server minimum wage”? It’s terrible. Turf it.

Worst drivers on the planet: Vancouver police ticket driver with iPhone, tablet fastened to steering wheel. I am so smart. S-M-R-T.

Bonus: This Next Song is Dedicated to the Comox.

There are 3 comments

  1. Not sure what this comment has to do with my post, perhaps it was meant to be on the one where I talked about socialism. In any case, I’m not very well versed in Marxist theory, but I’ll take a stab at this.

    What he is doing is creating a binary between fascism and communism, a pretty well used trope. But communism as an ideology is as varied as the one political ideology that opposes it, and the one in which he mind-blowingly fails to mention. I won’t get into the “how many victims of capitalism” thread because that is almost impossible to quantify. But the fact that he fails to mention it is really telling because capitalists, or neo-liberals, don’t even really believe that theres is an ideology. They just believe that it’s the natural way of the world. Pretty scary considering how much damage it has actually done. Indeed, fascism is itself a capitalist ideology, but he uses it instead as a false dichotomy while ignoring this. It’s a sneaky trick.

    He says it is foolish to say that there are mode of communism which have never been implemented and roots his argument in historical revisionism. I don’t think any socialist I know would fail to condemn these atrocities, but why are they singled out? Do capitalists condone fascism in all its forms? Do capitalists condone feudalism? It’s an absurd notion- one as absurd as saying a kid wearing a Che Guevara shirt condones the Holodomor.

    The examples he uses are of Stalinism, and Titoism yet these are just authoritarian branches of the economic ideology of Marxism. He picks and chooses his examples and engages in tu qoque logical fallacy. The Scandinavian model is completely ignored. Canadian socialism is ignored. New Deal era American socialism is ignored. Anarcho-syndacalism is ignored.

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