On Hogging All the Coffee Shop Wi-Fi and Never Mind the Suicidal Seniors


Today I want to dedicate my column to another friend I lost from fentanyl. He was a man – a father – who worked in the restaurant industry, another casualty in a crisis caused by capitalism and prohibition vis-a-vis a mental health crisis (that encourages self-medication) coupled with an affordability crisis: Pharma Billionaire Arrested On Charges of Bribing Doctors to Prescribe Opioid Painkillers.

Trump opioid chief Kellyanne Conway advises: Eat ice cream, not fentanyl and ‘it all works out’. This kind of “bootstrap” Randian determinism not only ignores the systemic causes of addiction but is inherently anti-social. The right likes to talk a lot about values, but really, they hate society. They hate that people sometimes have to take care of people.

And as tempting as it would be to retreat from it, we need to hold on and embrace it: It’s time to unplug and escape this nightmare we live in. Well, in Gary Mason’s case, please do. But for the rest of us, deleting Facebook is, as Garth Mullins puts it, “An individual ‘solution’ to a social problem”. It doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It mimics society. It emboldens the hierarchies that are already present, and yet the democratization of discourse means that resistance to those hierarchies is also emboldened. We can make it better. “Hitler used the radio to do the same thing. But we didn’t delete radio. This shit needs to be regulated. Or nationalized. Or internationalized. And fascism needs to be smashed”.

There is a certain pang of privilege at play here, too: #DeleteFacebook? Not in Indian Country.

Speaking of quitting things, here is Stuart Parker’s resignation from the BC NDP.

I am forced, therefore, to reach one inescapable conclusion following Thursday’s $6 billion LNG subsidy announcement: the BC NDP believes that subsidizing transnational oil companies to increase fossil fuel exports is the right thing to do, that, in the eyes of today’s NDP, the global investor class who own and run companies like Petronas are more deserving of a break on PST than homeless people trying to replace their shoes. The NDP believes in these things because it is just another capitalist party indifferent to the global extinction event the capitalist system is producing.

When the wrong side is right: Vaughn Palmer: Horgan paints framework picture to make LNG ‘appealing’. We. Don’t. Want. Pragmatism. We. Want. Action.

“Congratulations to the Ontario Liberals, the party that follows through on the BC NDP’s promises!”: Ontario budget to fund free child care for preschoolers as part of $2.2B plan.

Read: Tsilhqot’in apology must come with recognition of real history of colonialism.

Reconciliation is the most popular word in Canada where its Indigenous population is concerned. However, the word is met with caution and cynicism in most Indigenous communities. Can anyone blame us?

Nope, especially when attitudes like this still exist:

No, your job is not to defend Canada. Your job – as a journalist – is to research systemic racism before making comments on systemic racism. Research the fucking founder of the country and the architect of the residential school system. Do I have to make this clear every month?

So I came to this headline and I just wanted to quit writing forever: Unable to afford rent, some Vancouver seniors choosing to take their own lives rather than become homeless, advocate says. Fffffff.

Meanwhile, Vision Vancouver prepares to go it alone; announces internal mayoral nominations. Cue Tristan Markle:

Ok, so Vision has destroyed affordability, increased homelessness, has sunk to an approval rating of around 10%, and now they’re going to try to ruin the 2018 election? By them taking this approach, I think it’s fair for there to be a coordinated effort to ask the party to fold completely.

Vancouver real estate is so crazy construction workers have to live under Skytrain tracks. Quick! Someone get down there and radicalize them!

And this goes here: Six False Creek affordable housing lots still empty after three decades.

Spike Chilton on the Junos: “I love the sweet irony that BNL chose to sing “If I had $1,000,000″ in Vancouver, where that isn’t enough to buy a home”.

How coffee shops are addressing laptop loitering and Wi-Fi hogs. Stuart Parker eviscerates this:

This is some “Are bears a threat to the suburbs?” quality journalism. The world hasn’t filled up with coffee shops since 1991 because the world has been sucked into a Friends episode or we have all become coffee afficionados.

Members of the white collar precariat don’t have offices anymore so we rent chairs, desks, electricity and wifi from small businesses under the flimsy pretext of purchasing coffee and shitty tiny desserts.

Business owners, we are not exploiting you. We are your business. The world isn’t actually full of people who give a shit about your coffee. But we’re willing to pay you for it for a place to type our reports.

Fuck. The. Sahotas: Is it goodbye forever for the Cobalt? Whoa, whoa, hold your horses. What makes you automatically assume they are going to build condos on the ashes of a once thriving cultural space? /sarcasm

Related: A sad South by Southwest showing leaves one wondering if Vancouver’s pricing out its indie musicians.

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