by Sean Orr | Social media standards: Calgary councillor stands by ‘global warming alarmist’ tweet. This person is also holding an inquest into why his drink got colder when he added ice to it. When you add cold air to hot air, it doesn’t just turn into warm air. It goes apeshit. See, um, hurricanes, tornadoes, and every thunderstorm ever. But no, it must be a hoax. Because it’s cold. Today. Where I live. Jon Stewart knows what I’m talking about (pro-tip, if HuffPo won’t let you watch the above video, get Hola).
Police won’t recommend charges against protesters who joined PM on stage. Great, but let’s talk about Mr Harper’s comment for a tick: “It wouldn’t be BC without it.” Now if that isn’t the most smug example of Western alienation ever, I don’t know what is. To reduce a global struggle for climate justice to ‘Oh BC, there they go again, caring about stuff again’ while Tories torch and dump centuries of priceless, irreplaceable environmental archives should be roundly panned by the media, but instead they frame it as some wacky security breach and get right back to advertising used cars.
Abbotsford Heat’s financial losing streak cost taxpayers $1.66 million last season. Let me get this straight. Abbotsford will house a hockey team but not the homeless? I see.
Vermin infest Vancouver courthouse. Queue obligatory snitch jokes here.
Man injured as shots ring out during crowded Cactus Club lunch rush. Well, this shooting has totally ruined the Cactus Club for me. No wait, it was the Cactus Club. Sorry.
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design: “More people than ever got exactly what they thought they wanted… [but] too many rich societies have used their wealth in ways that exacerbate urban problems rather than solve them.”
Rest in Print. Color Magazine, 2003 – 2013 | Another year, one more nail in Vancouver’s culture coffin. Farewell.
Aw, bonus: Tea & Two Canucks Cookies.
This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Readers are gullible, the media is feckless, garbage is circulated around, and everyone goes to bed happy and fed… We the media have betrayed your trust, and the general public has taken our self-sanctioned lowering of standards as tacit permission to lower their own.
Or, never heard of media concentration? Guess why? Media concentration. To wit: Conan Shows Us That Main Stream Media Is Scripted. It’s OK, you can admit it.
Because it’s just that black and white: Is the Downtown Eastside getting better/worse? Maybe the question should be, “Are all the underlying factors that created the DTES still at play?” Because yes they are.
Although…Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s anti-prostitution laws. The NIMBYs are going to lose their shit when a brothel opens off Kits Beach.
Top Canadian CEOs earn average worker’s annual salary by lunchtime today. Or, in my case, 5 minutes after midnight.
Isaac Asimov Predicts in 1964 What the World Will Look Like Today — in 2014. “Mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014.”
Something Offal: 2013: The Scam Reviewed. “Given the distended fecal sacks of our holy bovines, retching is not uncommon”. I feel your pain, bro.
So it turns out that doge – aka the Meme of the Year and The Person of the Year - didn’t give one of the best quotes out of Vancouver this year: I get a life no trouble. All the people no fight, all the friendship, how good, how excellent. Sounds like doge but isn’t doge? Much truth. Very real. So honest.
‘Homeless’ man pays next month’s rent for strangers. I am going to try and help every homeless man I see from now on, but I’m also going to get really mad when they don’t whip out their chequebooks.
Author 1, phisher 0: Vancouver novelist Steven Galloway claims ultimate troll on Facebook scammer. This could also be a tweet from Modern Seinfeld.
Bonus: Vancouver Releases of 2013.
by Sean Orr | Affordable Housing: Some Parts Just Aren’t City Hall’s Job. Although a far cry from Sam Sullivan’s condescending use of pennies to illustrate Vancouver’s portion of taxes (and thus absolving the City of responsibility), Kevin Harding‘s point that “Depriving (landlords) of income is unfair. Depriving someone of affordable housing isn’t, apparently” is pretty on point.
Related: Why the rent is so damn high.
Development battles dominated 2013 headlines in Vancouver. Weird, that was also the case in 1893, 1924, 1950-1967, 1986, 1993-1998 and 2006-2010. What an amazing coincidence! Also, what’s a “development battle”? It’s just NIMBYism, through and through.
Best to throw in some “cultural amenities” to sweeten the pot: Vancouver council approves over-height Burrard Gateway tower. How many gateways do we really need?
This is surprising but also totally not surprising: Joint Review Panel recommends approving the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. Well, son of a bitumen! I guess now we get to see what the environment movement is really made of.
I expect a whole lot more violence fun! How far must we go to protect the environment? Hmm, I’m not sure, but I do know that someone needs to develop an app like this Drake’s for the guy on the left in this photo.
Give the plebes what they want: Pubs eager for the walls to come down as liquor law changes proposed. Clark’s newest new slogan: Families (In Pubs) First.
Best new twitter: Kingsgate Mall.
Not getting it: Walmart sells Occupy Wall Street print.
I didn’t know where to fit this, so I’ll just put it here: Born in the Burbs – Stephen Harper explained.
And finally, here is Rob Ford dancing to One Love during a council meeting. Merry Christmas!
by Sean Orr | New front runner for #douchebagoftheyear: Federal minister says child poverty not Ottawa’s problem. “Is that always the government’s job, to be there to serve people their breakfast?” Actually. yes. “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so”. Prompting the tweet of the day c/o Charles Demers:
“So? Is it my job to keep Peter O’Toole alive?” – How I imagine James Moore responds to the day’s news
— Charles Demers (@charliedemers) December 15, 2013
But suddenly a new contender emerges! Lucic rips hometown Vancouver after bar fight. “I have no reason left to try and defend my city, and the people of my city”. I would have probably come to the same conclusion if my entire sample population consisted solely of asshole jocks who go to The Roxy. C’mon, Lucic…even Gandhi would get into an ‘altercation’ on the Granville Strip.
What a load of manure: Abbotsford: Homeless Camp Under Siege. Sigh, if only the teachings of Jesus Christ had reached the tiny enclave of Abbotsford…
Put down: Original Response to The Province’s Interview on “Pickup Artists”. Sorry Tony, I know you wanted Scout to review your book. This is as close as it will get.
Why are the economy and the environment mutually exclsuive? ‘Eco-scaremongers’ will kill the economy. Using outdated tropes such as “Third World”, Mr. Tupper laments the loss of jobs in the coal sector (despite their use of temporary foreign workers) saying it would devastate the economy. But of course – and just in case anyone forgot – Gary was one of the folks who led the charge to defeat TransLink’s proposed vehicle levy a few years ago. Since Translink is now bankrupt, I’m not sure we should take his advice…
Green Party interim leader Adam Olsen’s goals include building bridges between aboriginals and non-aboriginals. “It’s economic madness,” Weaver said. “We are pinning all our hopes on one desperate dream. There’s no backup plan. It’s LNG or nothing. “Forget about counting your chickens before they’re hatched. That’s counting them before the rooster has even entered the hen house.”
Finding Hard Value in Real Estate – An analysis of Vancouver and Detroit. “No other item in your investment portfolio is as full of speculation, cultural zeitgeist, and outright sentimentalism as real estate”.
Canada Post’s secret tunnel faces end of the line. Forget the thousands of posties that are losing their jobs. This is the real tragedy.
by Sean Orr | Vancouver proposes to send gay councillor to Sochi Olympics over discrimination. Stephen Quinn asks the mayor if this decision was meant to be provocative (as if Gregor passed the discriminatory law in Russia…)
The worst people in the world: Residents outraged by temporary housing proposal. Residents like local tech worker Sarita Beaudoin, who said this to the CBC: ”There are a lot of unknown facts. We don’t know if they are going to be criminals, we don’t know if they are going to be sex offenders”. Unknown facts? Ugh, and when you bought your shitty townhouse for too much money there was full disclosure of all nearby potential criminals and sex offenders, right?
Related: what’s up with people in the tech industry being such ignorant pieces of shit?
And yet for all their NIMBY self-servitude, they ignore a very tangible threat to their well being: themselves. Yup, personal debt ratio hits record high of 163.7%. It’s like 2008 never even happened, and I don’t mean that in some Baudrillardian sense. The future is derivative.
Related: How much lost on a 2009 condo purchase?
More collective amnesia: Gas pains: Canadian drivers paying more at the pumps this year. Dear everyone, gas prices are never going to go down. The end.
B.C. transit officer lied about beating, tasering mentally ill man, says watchdog. Candidate for douchebag of the year? Actually, let’s actually make this list. Licia Corbello, Chip Wilson, The Nanaimo Daily News, Jon Ferry, the Sauder School of Business, the Save Kits Beach People. Who’s yours?
Yo dawg, I heard you like car jackings…Surrey carjacker carjacked in Whalley Wednesday night. Life is a roofie circle.
Vancouver police bust ‘underground’ retail store at Victoria Drive apartment. Now where am I going to get all my Christmas presents from?
A non-denominational Holiday Miracle. Skatepark opens in long shuttered Smiling Buddha Cabaret location.
by Sean Orr | Horrible Anus: Harper’s horrible year comes full circle. “Call it the curse of Chief Theresa Spence…”. Oh, right! Because she’s just some sort of mystical Indian medicine woman and not an accomplished political leader. Understood.
Saint Nicked: Canada Making North Pole Claim Despite Not Fully Mapping Area. Tough-on-crime Harper heard there was a guy living there who breaks into people’s houses and climbs down their chimneys. The man must fill his prisons!
No Noel: Santa suit must go, Coast Mountain tells bus driver. Of course, what they don’t tell you is that drunk people kept sitting on the guy’s lap and asking for ponies while he was driving. And that’s just dangerous.
Progressive regressive: Vancouver’s political landscape shifting ahead of election season. “Bitter, confrontational and often disrespectful to people throughout the city? Sounds like my kind of politics”! – Jay Watts.
Cruller than you thought: Tim Hortons boss accused of cheating Filipino workers for OT. They should totally demand Double-Double time.
Clark casts doubt on Asian countries’ plans to set LNG prices. “I don’t know that there will be a buyers’ club – I don’t know all the competitors in Asia will be able to get together to set those prices”. Or, if we were a Mathematically Literate World, that headline would read “Free market fundamentalist has no idea how free market works”. She also seems to think that global environmental standards have no relevance to BC: “I suspect they are referencing environmental conditions that don’t exist in British Columbia […] We’ve been doing this for 50 years, we have a pretty good idea of the GHG emissions from different reservoirs of natural gas in the province.” If that’s not methane, then what is that horrible smell?
Absolutely related: What Climate Change Does to Our Minds.
Tweet of the Day c/o Derek O’Keefe:
Everyone calm down about postal service cuts & thousands of jobs lost; this will save enough $ to buy, like, two fighter jets. #cdnpoli
— Derrick O’Keefe (@derrickokeefe) December 11, 2013
Craigslist of the Year: Brown Leather Couch – $100 (coquitlam).
Honour Bound: Help homeless with storage facility.
Top image: Happy Holidays: Canadian style.
by Sean Orr | Opinion: Aging immigrants an expensive problem for Canada. Or, we want the young ones so they can be our nannies and drive our cabs, but just let the grandparents die in the comfortable squalor of their homelands.
Chinese Exclusion Act 2.0? Real estate expert says mayor’s plan has some potential drawbacks. “Muir says the data shows there are also simply not enough foreign buyers to actually drive the market”. I thought we already went over this. Considering Vancouver was built on real estate speculation, it would stem that foreign ownership is just a bogeyman to distract the locals from decades of mismanagement and corporate favouritism.
And “they” aren’t taking “our” jobs either: B.C. shed 8,000 jobs in November: StatsCan. Looks like Christy’s BC Jobs Plan is right on track.
Vancouver’s inner city gets creative with economic development. “BC and the Federal Government are more apt to talk about natural gas or exporting petroleum resources from Alberta and building pipelines to the U.S. and China than they are the human capital of cities”. Yeah, but it will trickle down, right? Pope says no.
Speaking of inner city neglect: City defends decision to order demolition of Ming Sun building on Powell Street. Disclaimer: I was being sarcastic last week when I said “Maybe they should have put a freeway through there when they had the chance”. Chalk it up to snark.
Vision Vancouver welcomes School Trustee Allan Wong. I have absolutely no opinion on this whatsoever.
Six RCMP cruisers destroyed in one-man rampage. Nothing says you have completely lost touch with reality than “It was like right out of a movie”.
Anybody want to buy The Libra Room? Just remember, though, the liquor license forbids dancing.
Queue segue: Neighbourhood Crossing Guard Asked To Stop Dancing. Prompting the old stand-by of “Oh, you’re no fun anymore“.
Bonus: This folk metal music video from local band Scythia is 20 times better than The Hobbit could ever hope to be. Featuring Commercial Drive’s own Storm Crow Tavern.
by Sean Orr | Demolition near for 122-year-old building in Vancouver’s old Japantown. Which is a shame, but then if someone was to restore it, and say, put in a restaurant, that would be waaaay worse, right? Sigh. Maybe they should have put a freeway through there when they had the chance.
Interesting thing about Vancouver. Each year, CBC holds a fundraiser for foodbanks. And every year a group comes to protest that fundraiser.
— Matthew Lazin-Ryder (@Lazin_Ryder) December 6, 2013
While it may seem like they would be toting Randian placards with Ebenezer Scrooge’s famous declaration against charity, these people are actually on the opposite side of the political spectrum. I mean, I get it, charity serves to reinforce the inequalities inherent in the system, but that is the system we have. What is their end? Starvation in the name of ideological purity? Bah! Humbug.
Why would a tabloid newspaper want to beat up on Vision Vancouver? I dunno, maybe because they didn’t get invited to this swanky do. “It’s pretty clear to me that some Province editors get a rush of natural opiates in their brain every time they get a chance to kick the shit out of Vision Vancouver”. Could it be that they are just old and out-of-touch white farts?
Speaking of which: ‘White powder scare’ at the Fraser Institute. I didn’t do it, I swear. Like…don’t even joke about that.
Desecration of Indian memorial outrages Lower Mainland’s South Asian community. I think it’s safe to say that this outrages the entire Lower Mainland.
IPA took my baby away: Brian Hutchinson: Surrey better hope the $20M ‘masterpiece brewery’ it just built for a private company doesn’t go bust. Or as my frenemy Nicholas Ellan says, “Surrey even does neoliberalism better than Vancouver”. Maybe, but neoliberalism never tasted so good.
Drilled: B. C. can look to Alberta for environmental safeguards. Upon closer inspection, this letter in the Vancouver Sun was written by the CEO of a drilling company. Thanks to QI Vancouver for that one…
— QI Vancouver (@QIVancouver) December 5, 2013
Smoke ‘em out: Marijuana fortress sprouts up along Vancouver Island highway. “The grey building is surrounded by security fencing and has an unwelcoming air about it”. Yeah, I’m sure they might have had a few problems if they’d put a huge neon “welcome” sign on it.
Bonus: We saw an owl on the way to The Electric Owl.
by Sean Orr | Vancouver sets maximum initial rents for rent-only buildings. They should have stuck with their original albeit very cryptic slogan of “affordable is what someone is able to afford”. Although “market housing” is also nicely oblique.
Hey look! We made the Washington Post! These 17 countries may have housing bubbles. If they pop, God help us all. “The major economies have been growing only slowly. Yet with low interest rates and aggressive central bank action across the globe, there is a giant pool of money that has to go somewhere”. Ah yes, the Accursed Share.
Lightsaber in the bathtub: The Private Residences at Hotel Georgia. Is gawking at the rich any less demeaning than gawking at the poor? I mean, I know it’s an example of how absurd real estate is in this city, but this still comes across as envious, voyeuristic conceit.
Speaking of conceit: The REAL Real Housewives of Vancouver: Rebecca Bollwitt. You’re doing it wrong.
Vancouver city hall staffer says Surrey not a ‘real city’. Taken out of context that seems petulant, but The Province tried to paint Vancouver as some bloated communist regime by comparing their staffing levels with Kamloops and Spuzzum, so…
But Surrey isn’t a city. It’s one giant parking lot: What would Commercial Drive look like with Surrey parking standards? Hmm, fewer Quebecois squeegee kids and wafts of patchouli. More Tap Out gear and clouds of Drakkar Noir?
Help! New DTES/Chinatown library needs a name. “VPL suggests residents might name the branch after a neighbourhood, or even something out of left-field, similar to Guelph Park in Mount Pleasant, which was informally labelled “Dude Chilling Park”. Rejected proposals: The Crack Shack, Safe Injection (of Literature) Site, Book Junkies, and The Centre for Kids Who Can’t Read Good.
City Cellar: On liquor in grocery stores. “While we’re long overdue to steer the ship towards modernization, my feeling is so far we’re just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic”.
by Sean Orr | More Lower Mainland Rental Housing, But For Whom? ”This is the fundamental absurdity: [the B.C. government] gives $375 for shelter, but this is not enough for market housing anywhere in the province.” Until this is changed, everything else in the housing narrative is moot. Let’s hope we can sustain ourselves on feel good stories of local homeless people playing the piano instead.
What the homeless really need is cellphones. Ugh. That was really unnecessarily cynical of me.
In high-cost Vancouver, the trick is getting strangers to pay the mortgage. Please don’t show this article to my landlord mom.
Cat(amaran) Burglar: Victoria Clipper stolen; SWAT team arrests man after standoff. That reminds me of the time I stole the Seabus and took it on a booze cruise up to Haida Gwaii.
The Clean Up Guy: An interview with the man who is taking the City of Vancouver to the human rights tribunal. “It was the first interview Kljajic — a sanitation worker whose political view is apparently not appreciated at city hall – has given”. Oh, so that’s why they hired that Hells Angel dude.
Royal Canadian Mounted Potsmokers: Veteran RCMP officer stripped of his uniform for publicly smoking medical marijuana hands in his red serge. Something something something about Rob Ford or Justin Trudeau. I’m going back to bed.
I might have found a blog that’s actually worse than Hush Magazine, Gastown Gazette, and Vancity Buzz combined. It’s an official government website called BC B Sides. “B.C. government news – personified”. Ugh…so Goebbels and Orwell walk into a bar… ”Before having my daughter, I didn’t give emergency preparedness much thought. I figured you could ride out any disaster with salty snacks, Scrabble and red wine”. That one c/o the Online Communications Officer of Emergency Management BC. Talk about a disaster…
And speaking of websites and disasters: Drizzy Makes Headlines at Cioppino’s. Ew. If Buzzfeed and Jezebel had a code battle, Eater Vancouver would be the bloody aftermath. If had been around when I was working at Cioppino’s we would have seen the following headline: “Clumsy food-runner with died black hair spills soup on Heather Graham”.
Craigslist of the Day: “Highway car from Chilliwack, was white but painted it Satin black. Wife hates it, kid loves it, being forced into a Dodge Caravan…. just shoot me”.
Can’t-believe-this-passes-for-news of the day: Cowichan kid has the look of a Vancouver Canuck.
After all, “Nobody likes poor people procreating”: This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense. Also: “Broccoli is intimidating”.
And this is what happens when you ask for help.
Rich people have problems too: Vancouver billionaire pleads guilty to charges after night of cocaine and sex. What’s his punishment? A $5,000 fine. He probably has that much in the lint catcher of his dryer.
Pop goes the world: Housing Bubble? Canada’s Top Banking Regulator Refuses To Say. Because they don’t know. Because they are making it up as they go along (even though one could by a tear-down in Point Grey or 9 chateaus in France for for the same amount of money). Maybe someone should buy the property and turn it into A Fake Slum for Luxury Tourists Who Don’t Want to See Real Poverty.
There is a city three hours from Vancouver that just voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Ha! You call that a city?
Youth Community Food Forest Illegally Destroyed by Business Owner. Apparently his name is David Hollands Saruman and he destroyed the forest in order to make an army of orcs. Where is Treebeard when you need him?
Fukushima’s radioactive water to be dumped into Pacific Ocean. Nowhere in this article does the Vancouver Observer talk about what kind of isotopes are in that water, and that is important.
Web designers take note: this is a website.
by Sean Orr | Isolated on Iran: Another embarrassment for Canada on the world stage. I love it. It’s like Canada was this 90 pound weakling late to the puberty party and was sick of never being invited to the fight so it took a massive amount of steroids and worked out alone in its bedroom for years then showed up ready to brawl and everyone was like “go home Canada, we don’t do that anymore”.
Meanwhile, in light of the Senate Scandal, Harper from 2005 blasts Harper from 2013.
Spies like us: Exposure of Harper government spying should frighten “scandal-plagued” Tory pols. Oh, please. There’s been a CSIS agent wearing a black turtleneck and aviator glasses stationed on the parking lot roof that looks right into my apartment since the 2010 Olympics. I bring him coffee sometimes. His name is Wiesler.
Krokodil in B.C.? No evidence flesh-eating heroin substitute is on B.C. streets. Yeah, because Insite (because internet).
Public masturbation on the rise in Vancouver. Genius headline that finally puts to rest the age-old claim that Vancouver is No Fun City.
Hooray for Newfoundland! Canadians Rescue Shark Choking on Moose. “A couple yanks and it just came right out.”
If Vancity Buzz had sex with Hush Magazine, this locally produced music video would be their evil spawn.
by Sean Orr | This too shall pass: Rob Ford lies three times in first minutes of Peter Mansbridge interview. Oh, Mansbridge…once such a shining beacon of due diligence and lofty repute, traduced by a contemptuous, school-house bully into lobbing damp croissant-esque questions on a watered down national news network. I shed one, single, tear.
Expect delays: Gambling on BC Ferries being considered as government makes cuts. I can only guess it will look something like this. Things are gonna get a whole lot more old-timey around here! Yee haw!
The High Road: Federal health minister hopes Rob Ford gets help but she ‘won’t pass judgment’. It’s much easier to pass judgement on every addict, not just one. Right, Rona?
Ladies and gentlemen, your Minister of Employment: Just wrapped-up a meeting with several staff members, at midnight. Good thing they’re not unionized! Wow, that’s only slightly dumber than this lady, who hails from California (where they actually believe in unions). Because, yeah, we can make things, also.
Brave, disgusting, new world: Canadians like their jobs so much, almost a quarter of them would do it for free, survey finds. “Let us be thankful we have an occupation to fill. Work hard; increase production, prevent accidents, and be happy”- TXH1138.
It warms the barren coal mine of my heart: Mining folks also care about B.C.’s environment. Thanks Briño, president and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia! But wait, what happens when I type, oh let’s say “BC mines and environment” into this little thing called Google? Hmm, you didn’t mention this – Taseko Fails On All Counts – Again - in your little blog post. Uh-oh!
Or is that, ruh-oh? Lululemon founder Chip Wilson mocked on the Colbert Report. And all he had to do was mention that he was in a cult. Yeah, but it’s a really, really awesome and super sexy cult.
Cult of pedantry: Arcade Fire institutes dress code for upcoming tour that doesn’t include yoga pants. But can I wear this Fawlty Towers shirt? Or are you really that “devoid of wit, subtlety and danger“?
Speaking of knobs: Vancouver’s ban on the humble doorknob likely to be a trendsetter. Yeah, then pretty soon levers are going to become redundant and all our doors will be like the ones in Star Trek.
Scout’s webhosting company Bluehost sort of explains what happened the other day: A rare electrical malfunction that affected a select number of servers. Thanks for the day off!