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 | 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!
by Sean Orr | Speaking of going down…Rob Ford Is Too Busy Eating His Wife’s Pussy to Eat Staffer Pussy. When the mayor goes down, he really goes down. Or as Jon Stewart says, “please, let that be the last sentence in your entire career of public service.” I’ll say! Time for him to split.
Andrew Coyne: Rob Ford mess a monster born of divisive and condescending populism. That, and the amalgamation of Toronto. The suburbs are killing us. Never forget.
Meanwhile, Double standard on display in approach to Svend Robinson and Rob Ford. And don’t forget Glen “exonerated from all charges” Clark. Blame the buddy/buddy relationship between the media and politicians.
Cancer is a growth industry: Why I won’t be growing a moustache for “Movember”. Yeah, although I’m a natural skeptic and don’t participate in Movember, to suggest that screening for cancer kills people is misleading. In fact the Movember website states, “the question of screening is a personal and complex one. It’s important for every man to talk with his doctor about whether prostate cancer screening is right for him.” So up yours.
But if “corporate collusion” is your bag, you need to read this: WikiLeaks Releases Full Text Of Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Now, that’s much more terrifying than a man with a moustache!
Yoga with belugas draws protesters to Vancouver Aquarium. There’s a thousand Chip Wilson joke to be made out of this. You know…whales…yoga pants. Go ahead and make them up yourselves.
Craigslist of the day: Empty Canucks Tissue Box (Near City Hall). Get it? Because of all the tears.
Let’s be honest about the city’s new cigarette butt recycling program. So there’s a receptacle for butts on every block, but about four public washrooms in the entire city? Yeah, sounds about right.
Michael Bublé is angry: Michael Bublé seeing red over Red Robinson Show Theatre name change. They should call it the George Massey Theatre.
Scan of the day: “Burnaby RCMP are searching the area near 6500 Hastings St after a male was found masturbating in his vehicle in the Safeway parking lot”.
by Sean Orr | “Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, th’ear-piercing fife, The royal banner, and all quality, Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!” First Nations veteran arrested at Toronto Remembrance Day service. This I will remember. This I won’t forget.
While we’re on the topic of remembrance…does anyone remember the time when Harper dressed up as a Native Warrior? Neither do I.
Meanwhile, Flaherty declares a surplus. I’ll let Canadian Cynic field this one: “Is the economy strong?” “Yes, yes, it’s very strong, surplus!” “Is it strong?” “No, no, it’s very fragile, we must cut veterans’ benefits.”
Rage Against the Machine: This Messed Up World Needs a Protest Anthem. Nope, no we don’t. Also, way to condemn an entire generation in your pursuit of grandiosity and righteousness.
Chip Wilson, Lululemon Founder, Apologizes After Backlash From Comments. To the staff of Lululemon but not to women everywhere. At the same time, it’s like, who cares?
Indo-Canadians say they were target of taunt at Gastown eatery. “Surrey’s that way”. Oh, come on. I say that all the time, and I’m from there. It has nothing to do with being East Indian. “Go back to Surrey” just means you have no class. Also, the only thing The Charles Bar is guilty of is being The Charles Bar.
Port Mann Bridge won’t have 10 lanes open when toll doubles. “Drivers sail over the bridge right now,” Logan said. “Where they start to slow down is where they enter Coquitlam. So it’s really about being able to provide the full travel time savings.” So…what you’re saying is that you could have left the old bridge intact but just improved things on the other side? Wow.
Is a college ‘dimploma’ to blame for this Globe and Mail headline?. There is nothing funnier than wacky newspaper headlines. Nothing.
Cue the hordes of ‘concerned residents’ who will claim they were never consulted: Mount Pleasant’s Vertical Forest building approved. “Mount Pleasant is known for being funky and cool and this building fits that notion perfectly”. RIP Mount Pleasant.
Bonus: Our Wild Abandon.
by Sean Orr | B.C. government wasted $66M in 12 years on failed reforms, child watchdog says. Sometimes I like to picture the government like this Kids in the Hall sketch.
Vancouver tops L.A. as ‘most congested city in North America’. This entire article is basically a press release for a company that sells GPS devices. It doesn’t take into account public transit, walking, or cycling, all of which Vancouverites value above anything else. But don’t take my word for it: TomTom Congestion Index Useless for Metro Vancouver.
That being said, however, Clark may have reason to regret her transit referendum. I dunno, I just think we’ve come too far to give up on who we are. We should raise the bar.
‘Sacrosanct’ Agricultural Land Commission eyed for breakup. To be fair, Vancouver’s portion of the ALR is mostly used for rich peoples’ fancy horses. “The question now is whether the generation that inherited this vision and its benefits cares enough to fight to save it”. - Gordon Price.
Vanishing Vancouver: Original houses being demolished at unrelenting rate. Maybe if the land underneath them wasn’t inflated to high heaven…
Gregor Robertson lays out his plans to turn Vancouver into San Francisco. “If we are determined to make the transition to being a ‘world-class city,’ the upward march of prices threatens to become just another fact of life. We need to prepare accordingly”. Or else people will start lighting East Vancouver townhomes on fire…
Don’t Hate the Homeless, Hate the System. “The other day I was walking through Gastown and was scolded by an extremely unimpressed homeless man who yelled ‘SMILE. Jeez…’ The immediate thought in my head was ‘Seriously? Fuck yourself. And also, why would I be smiling as I walk down the street by myself? That would make me crazy like you.’” Is this satire? Is this person 12 years old and just realized that Vancouver has a homeless problem? Does anyone in Vancouver actually hate homeless people? Are they talking to themselves? Answer – yes: “Now, some will claim that calling-out the less fortunate members of our community is insensitive. But let me remind you: they were asking for it”. Just…wow.
I Saw You: A train ride from Surrey to the Ivanhoe. Someone turn this into a musical!
Bonus: Elementary school nicknames from Vancouver, turn of the last century. Stooky Morrison? Andrew, you go to school in Mount Pleasant or what?
Much trubble! But for all the furor and condemnation, you have to admire the Toronto Mayor’s use of the taciturn. “You asked me the wrong questions”. Brilliant. That’ll show the blood sucking liberal media to be…um…more thorough in their blood sucking.
“Are these morons getting dumber or just louder?” His obfuscation can only be compared to a fictional character: Who Said It: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford or Simpsons Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby? More importantly, of course, How Old Is The NFL Tie Toronto’s Mayor Wore To Admit He Smokes Crack?
But we shouldn’t laugh. He’s in complete denial. As Chef Van Geest quips, “Crack Cocaine use is never funny, unless it’s the loudmouth, lying, neo-con mayor of Toronto. Then, it’s comedy gold!” And while Jon Stewart recommends rehab, I say he follows the sage advice of one of Canada’s great civic leaders: “If they don’t want to go (to rehab), well, then you just enforce the law. If it’s illegal, you arrest them. That’s the bottom line and if they have to dry out in jail— great”. – Rob Ford
All your base are belong to Ford: Allegedly sleeping worker a ‘black eye’ for Toronto, should be fired, Ford says after seeing photo. I guess the obvious joke here is, ‘Well, he wouldn’t have been sleeping on the job if Ford would’ve shared his stash”.
And because I slept in on The Greatest Newsday of 2013, I saw the following press conference after the above revelation: Doug Ford calls on Toronto police chief to step down. “He’s created a bias towards the mayor.” I don’t really think he needs much help in that matter. “I think we have some issues here”. That’s probably true. “Am I intimidated”? No? You should be. Forget a police chief commenting (however inappropriately) on evidence. How about hiring a hacker to destroy said evidence?
Retro Bonus: “I say he’s going to be the greatest mayor this city has ever seen, as far as I’m concerned. And all you left wing kooks can put that in your pipe and smoke it.” - Don Cherry.
Not to be outdone, however, are long-time rivals to Toronto, the Ottawa Senators, who tie the game: Senate suspends Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin without pay for improper expenses. And yet Harper, who appointed all three, gets off scot-free. Must be a vast, left-wing conspiracy.
Meanwhile, on the West Coast : Baby seal goes for a ride on top of a rowing shell in Coal Harbour! Really? Wow! That is one of the nicest baby seals I have ever seen in my life, Vancouver. - Owen Wilson (watch video above).
From Owen to Chip: Is this mural allowed? Lululemon founder Chip Wilson is about to find out. “No one seemed to be concerned when it said “Smell my butthole” in giant letters on the wall”- Graeme Berglund, project organizer. Well, at least it isn’t some crazy thing like a seaside bike lane! Shudder to think.
B.C., Alberta premiers agree on pipeline framework. Our populist twit of a premier flip flops after Alberta’s populist twit of a premier calls her bluff. And the Lovely Latte Ladies club is adjourned, for now.
Sauder dean fires student body. The harsh vagaries of the business world get applied masterfully.
Not satire: B.C. school bans kindergarteners from touching each other. Enforcement of this rule might look a little like Arrested Development.
by Sean Orr | The whole system is ‘rigged’: Protest outside Christy Clark’s home is unlikely to sway the public. Feel sorry for Kristy? Say it ain’t so. Public leaders are public. I remember every time I would see Lorne Mayencourt in the West End I would hassle him for spare change after he tabled the Safe Streets (no panhandling) Law.
Meanwhile, A shameful show of activism on campus. If you have to preface your argument by saying, “we’re usually pretty right wing but we have a Mao poster in our office”, then you’re doing it wrong.
Continuing on the merits of activism, we turn to New Brunswick, where the NDP have stated in no uncertain terms that the Elsipogtog First Nation are guilty of domestic terrorism. I guess that makes the NDP guilty of being totally irrelevant. To wit, the conservatives in neighbouring Newfoundland have just announced a moratorium on fracking.
Next time you say you’ve ‘got too much shit on your plate’, think of this: Woman describes eating ‘breakfast beside your excrement’ in hellish Surrey Memorial Hospital stay. Still though, it could be worse. You could have had your penis chewed off by rats.
Slightly related tweet of the day c/o Ed Watson: “Oh, the vagaries of the TV news business. Friday I’m chasing a sex offender, today I’m chasing a sports mascot. Neither of them are talking”.
Runner up c/o Derek Bolen: “A New Style of Headline Writing is Taking the Internet By Storm And May Make You Want To Gouge Your Eyes Out With Manufactured Feelgoodery”.
Great new podcast via Cameron Reed: The Globe and Mail hates young people.
by Sean Orr | Rob Ford video won’t prove crack use, lawyer says. And the numerous clandestine meetings with a drug dealer don’t prove anything either. Also, there is no video. And best of all, “Ian” from Etobicoke says it isn’t true. Also, COMMUNISTS!!! Also also, anyone else see the resemblance between Ford and the Mayor of Halloweentown?
Meanwhile, apropos of nothing, for the Toronto police Staff Sgt. Chris Boddy tweets, “Just say no to crack”. Like everyone, not just street level thugs, but you know, everyone.
Leading to the political cartoon of the day via Jorge Amigo.
Globe and Mail Falls for Hoax that Michael Hayden Shot Dead at LAX, via Broken News. The most terrifying thing of all: “the tearing down of the gates of the media establishment has created a world where anyone can be a journalist”. One shudders to think.
Perhaps that’s why we’re all so vulnerable to good satire: Chris Hadfield ejected from movie theatre for loudly heckling Gravity.
Kanye West blames second Vancouver show cancellation on a traffic accident. “At press time, there was no confirmation on the rumour that the Yeezus truck was rammed Gone in 60 Seconds-style by Taylor Swift, who was driving one of the above emblazoned-with-her-face 18-wheelers while squelching “Imma let you finish your tour next year” on the CB radio”.