TEA & TWO SLICES | On Bringing Out The Gimp For Ghomeshi & Galiano Island Brawls

October 29, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | To the surprise of no one, Harper Named World’s ‘Worst Climate Villain’ After Damning Report. He’s also been named the World’s Worst Regular Villain, too.

To wit: Bill C-60: Tories Quietly Taking Control Of CBC, Group Alleges. It’s like he wants to “hate fuck” the CBC more desperately than Jian Ghomeshi does.

Related: The real reasons Jian Ghomeshi is suing the CBC. Featuring my new favourite word: opprobrium.

Meanwhile, Canadian humour magazine not even gonna touch this one, no thanks. Not even with a ten foot, um…pole?

Woman stabbed in Vancouver sex assault recovering in hospital. The story comes with a map of reported sex assaults, so nothing about the usual abuse of sex workers on the DTES, because they’re notoriously hard to pin down on a Google map. “He says it appears to police the woman was targeted because the attacker believed she was a sex trade worker”. Because then it would have totally been understandable? And of course, the usual mantra is repeated: “Women be careful out there”. It should be this: “Men stop raping women or we will fucking hunt you down and hurt you.”

Related: Hey Baby: Woman walks around NYC for 10 hours, is harassed 100 times, the supercut.

Meanwhile, in Toronto: Chow slams Toronto Sun cartoon as “racist” and “sexist”. And Doug Ford losing is like “Isis coming to Toronto

The only time you’ll feel proud to get punched in the face: Omar Albach Video ‘Canadians React To Ottawa Shooting’ Ends With Punch In Face. Violence is never okay except when it totally is.

The take-away: Ottawa attack reveals gaping holes in social safety net. “How would a beefed-up national spying apparatus have helped here? Or address the problem of alienated, emotionally incendiary and often addicted Canadians?”

Bad smell shuts down Vancouver’s Cambie Street. Are you sure it wasn’t Granville? (The lowest of low hanging fruit.)

Local band Ken Jennings gets tweeted by the real Ken Jennings:

Meanwhile, on Galiano Island, this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened: Galiano Island pub fight sparks four-hour standoff.

Cue David Cross on Redneck fights.

Vancouverite on the front lines of the fight against Ebola. Attaboy, Kenzie! I’m honoured to have been served a drink by this man, though I had no idea he was part of Zach Galifianakis’ Doctors Without Diplomas. *wink

Best new Twitter: Gastown’s Bill’s Confectionary.

Best Halloween costume: Social Media Professional.

Bonus: A haunting on Cordova Street.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Rough Trade & The “Donnelly Group” Not Being So Bad After All

October 27, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | A chance, perhaps, to gloat: Ottawa attack highlights differences in Canadian-American media coverage. It’s pretty depressing how we get super excited whenever the media does its job properly. “There was a deplorable lack of political opportunism, and a dreadful dearth of doomsaying”.

Counterpoint: Never let the facts get in the way of a good Cronkite moment:

History. Context. Perspective. Understanding. Skepticism. Thoughtfulness. Canada’s so-called media and political “elites” abandoned them all. In their stead, we got a week-long diet of chest-thumping patriotic clichés, cheap, meaningless hyperbole and tropes that, taken together, have already manufactured widespread consent for what will surely be another assault on our rights and freedoms engineered by a cynical Conservative government.

Without further ado: MPs Pass Anti-Terror Bill. Including such fun provisions as the Philip K. Dick-sounding “preventive detention” and “investigative hearing” in which someone suspected of having knowledge of a terrorist act can be forced to answer questions. But not to worry, I pressed “Apple + F” to search the bill and found no mention of the word torture…

Mad LoVe quotes Padme Amidala, “So this is how liberty dies…to thunderous applause”: Young cadet continues to stand guard for Nathan Cirillo at Port Coquitlam cenotaph.

Meanwhile, Peter de Groot’s sister says, ‘He was executed’. Yeah, but it was to protect us, so never mind.

Moxy Frivolous: Fifty shades of Ghomeshi. Maybe he forgot that the D in BDSM stands for discipline. Maybe the lyrics to that Moxy Fruvous song should be “Once I was, the King of pain, Now I eat, humble pie”. Meanwhile, HuffPo reminds us that Liking ‘Q’ Isn’t a Good Enough Reason to Side With Jian while a ‘sex geek‘ wonders if the “don’t hate me for being kinky” defence will be used by people who perpetrate non-consensual violence.

Related: What goes on inside 8×6 isn’t the city’s business, licencing officials say.

Meanwhile in Whistler: Dumb, drunk and Dangerous: Idiots throw sleeping friend from 2nd story balcony.

Related: On the Twilight of the West.

Oh, and just in case you needed a reminder to not take a drug used in date rapes: Three people hospitalized in North Vancouver after taking GHB.

Via the Westender (with a straight face): Maybe the Donnelly Group isn’t so bad, after all. Money quote:

“…the look and feel of their pubs has always been an attempt to reflect the neighburhoods [sic] and clientele they’re serving…”

Hmm, even though it looks super realistic, Mordor isn’t a real neighbourhood.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Stampeding Idiots And The Terror Of Our Addiction To Hysteria

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by Sean Orr | A different kind of blowback: Ottawa shooter lived in Vancouver’s DTES. Let’s talk terror. Not the terror of Islamic fundamentalism, but the terror of mental health that surrounds us everyday. Not politically motivated terror, but the terror of addiction…

I wonder what would happen if we spent the same amount of money that we’re going to spend fighting ISIS (and their terrible beheadings while ignoring Saudi Arabia’s equally terrible beheadings) on addiction and mental health issues instead?

And instead of a measured response, we see drummed up hysteria. Attempts are made to tie the shooter to ISIS (he read their Twitter feed!), while Justin Bourque (a white guy who had conservative and conspiratorial anti-state world views) murdered three Mounties and the word “terror” is conveniently absent from the coverage. More collective amnesia. More police state rhetoric.

As Crawford Kilian writes: “We need to spend more attention on our own social and psychological state [...]  to ditch our democratic values and institutions would be to hand victory to the thugs…”

Oh wait. It’s too late: Conservatives mulling legislation making it illegal to condone terrorist acts online. Of course, nobody should condone a terror attack, but what if you question if it’s actually an act of terror, as I have just done? Also, does this mean every addict with mental health issues is a potential terrorist?

Meanwhile, what about the terror perpetrated against our aboriginal women? Fontaine and Gross: Two missing teens garnered two different responses. That’s not terror. That’s just isolated cases. A total fluke. No need to take any sort of collective action: Canada Is The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document. Protect Canadians! Just not the ones who were here first.

We need to protect our sacred institutions, like the RCMP: RCMP Cpl. Ron Francis, who smoked marijuana on job, found dead.

I’m not sure how to segue out of all this so… Watch a stampede of idiots endlessly run straight into a spinning metal thing.

Just in case you were wondering where our media stands in regards to resource extraction: New video series on resources debate launches. Yup, the husband of one of Christy Clark’s closest friends and advisors.

Meanwhile, one of the candidates hoping to join Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr on City Council has an investment portfolio heavy on industrial and mining stocks: Mayor moved, Greens energetic?

But that’s nothing. Just read through mayoral candidates’ statements. Particularly the first guy:

I’ve lived a good life in Canada and refuse to watch Asian immigrants buy our lives well raise property taxes on Chinese 5% our stop party mayor and van east PM is to blow up ISIS and take our country now prefer email and texts were running for families who pay most taxes n stay here mayor meynard & stop mayor meynard

Bonus: This is what rejection looks like.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On NIMBYs Whining, Rezoning Shaughnessy, And Cleaning Birds

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by Sean Orr | Our puritanical past future? Candidate for Burnaby mayor promises to ban kissing, holding hands in public. “Perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about, but once I’m getting in I have to figure it out…” Sounds like she’s already a seasoned politician! Best comment: “Our Grandfathers fought for us to have this freedom…” Yes, our grandfathers fought the Nazis so we could hold hands. That was pretty much it.

Oh, and they also fought so our children could wear sexy Halloween costumes: ‘Sexy’ Halloween kids costumes at Value Village anger mom. Almost as disturbing are the weird, free market mantras littering the story’s comment section, a la ”if parents didn’t buy these costumes they wouldn’t exist”.

Only 3% of Vancouver residents think they have reasonable rents or mortgages. We love Vancouver and are willing to pay through the nose to live here…er…we just don’t want to pay through the nose to live here…

Related: B.C. builds lots of housing. But you can’t afford any of it. “But how about rezoning Shaughnessy, where the average density is one-third that of Grandview-Woodlands?” Because Shaughnessy, that’s why.

I just worry that our Most City status will be affected: Vancouver ranked the most city in the world.

Never forget! This was actually the lede in one of our major daily newspapers: Heads up, guys: Those trendy man buns can cause the loss of your precious hair. Speaking of heads, that is the exact location I would prefer to be shot after reading that.

Related: Angry Yoga. “And discover the present moment, and don’t think about this town…”

And definitely don’t think about this: Vancouver residents speak out against homeless shelter. “Residents in the area say they’re going to fight what they see as a plan that transplants the Downtown Eastside to their neighbourhood”. We demand social mix in the DTES, but god forbid there be social mix in the rest of the city.

To borrow from Mark Twain: ”Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you complained about homeless shelters; but I repeat myself.”

Obviously, other jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland need to step up: Surrey soup kitchen shut down on Thanksgiving. Yeah, because if you just stop feeding the homeless then homelessness will disappear.

Meanwhile, as Burnaby takes the National Energy Board to court, Kirk LaPointe wraps his lips around their, um, pipe: NPA pushes for LNG jobs in Vancouver. What jobs? Bird cleaners?

Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan questions how much B.C. First Nation still eats fish. Or, how much do you really enjoy that Starbucks latte, Terri-Lee? Because I’m about to take a dump in it…

The real drug pushers: Safeway, London Drugs and other pharmacy chains threaten legal action if cigarette sales banned.

The bubble has popped: Canucks say their sellout streak is over. One. Single. Tear.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Flipping Houses & Always Believing The Person In Dreadlocks

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by Sean Orr | Hooray! Vancouver wins injunction to evict homeless campers from Oppenheimer Park. So now they can go back to sleeping on benches and under bridges!

Update: VPD to wear body cameras when ensuring campers clear out of Oppenheimer Park. Let’s hope they have a livestream…

Dichotomy City: Vancouver’s real estate boom: The rising price of ‘heaven’. “The house prices are perfect…” As cringeworthy as that sounds, it’s nice to see some honesty from the rich.

Flipping the paradigm: OneCity proposes house-flipping levy in Vancouver. Just don’t tell these guys…The Flipping Formula team is on its way.

Which leads to the Tweet of the Day:

 

To be fair however, the NPA’s affordable housing platform doesn’t mention renters once.

But hey, free parking, right? Promises, promises — main Vancouver parties ramp up their civic election campaigns. In a city that is next to impossible to find parking in, what difference does it make if it’s free?

From my cold, oily fingers: Kinder Morgan TV ads attacked as influencing city elections in BC. She obviously cares about the environment because she has dreadlocks.

RED ALERT: Guy at Fraser Institute is pretty sure he just debunked climate change science. Press Progress is my new favourite website.

Not a Nathan For You gag: Shell brings back 1984 gas prices to celebrate anniversary. You really have to admire this brilliant piece of participatory propaganda.

From the people that brought you the Hump Day Hottie: Vancouver men, please stop harassing women. Written by… a Vancouver man. I mention this because a woman on my Facebook says the exact opposite, and that complimenting a woman is not harassment. Vancouver is uptight enough as it is, we don’t need another reason to not interact with each other.

Also, it’s obvious that you should be handsome, be attractive, and don’t be unattractive.

Meanwhile, Four white Sun TV panelists explain white privilege to guy who isn’t white.

Bonus: RBC Branch On Fire Painting Likely Won’t Win RBC Contest. Genius.

SCOUT LIST | Ten Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now And Next Week

October 14, 2014 

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by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

DELICIOUS | Ever wondered what 54,000 lbs of apples looks like? Head out to the UBC Botanical Gardens for Apple Festival this weekend and find out! Not only will there be apples galore, but you can also expect apple pie, hot apple cider, caramel apples, apple chips, and organic BC apple juice. Master Gardeners will be available to discuss apple-related diseases and pest management with those of you who have trees at home, plus there will be trees to take home and plant in your own garden.
Oct 18 + 19 | 11am to 4pm | UBC Botanical Garden | $4 (kids free) | DETAILS

DRAW | The Stanley Park Ecology Society invites you down to the Pavilion to get creative by using the park’s taxidermy collection for a sketching session. Register in advance for “Drawing From Life and Death” so that organizers can ensure an adequate supply of charcoal, pastels and sketching paper. This event is geared toward a 16+ audience.
Thu, Oct 16 | 6-8pm | Stanley Park Pavilion (610 Pipeline Rd.) | $19 | DETAILS

COSTUME CATWALK | Don’t land yourself in the costume isle at Shopper Drug Mart at 6pm on Halloween night. There are more than enough sexy witches and bloody zombies on the block. Get creative! If you need a little help coming up with a truly impressive Halloween outfit, consider taking Value Village up on their offer to get you sorted out. The massive thrift store on Hastings will be hosting free Costume Catwalk fashion shows every Thursday at 3pm in October (complete with creepy music). These will showcase some of the wackiest outfits on the rack. Although this event is clearly geared toward people who don’t have to work during the day, it might be worth taking a late lunch for as VV also has Costume Consultants (yup, that’s a thing) available to coach you on what wig goes best with which muumuu; how to transform a sequin dress into a space suit; and which isle you can reasonably expect to score some sweet leather cowboy chaps from.
Thu, Oct 16, 23, 30 | 3-3:30 pm | Value Village (1820 E Hastings St) | DETAILS 

ART | The Equinox Gallery, located amidst a cluster of contemporary art galleries in the East Van area known as ‘The Flats’, is using its massive square footage to show off the works of local legend Gordon Smith this week. Smith’s work is impactful anywhere, but here one will be able to stand back and really take it in. It should be noted that Equinox is also a stone’s throw from Beta5 chocolate and pastry shop and there’s nothing like a cream puff to get your art appreciation rolling.
Now-Oct 25 | Tue-Sat 10-5 | Equinox Gallery (525 Great Northern Way) | DETAILS

CLASSICAL | An argument can be made for Brahms and Chopin perfectly capturing the spirit of any season, but there’s just something about autumn that seems to lend itself particularly well to the gentle drama of their music. Embrace the changing season with an evening concert that includes Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E Minor performed by the VSO and conducted by Joshua Weilerstein with pianist Adam Golka.
Oct 17-18 | 8pm | Chan Centre (6265 Crescent Rd., UBC)| $25-40 | DETAILS

SHIPWRECKS | In 1845, two British boats headed to the Canadian Arctic to chart the Northwest Passage never to return. Many search parties were dispatched to learn the fate of Captain Franklin and his crew of 128 men, but it wasn’t until 2014 that a discovery was made. The Vancouver Maritime Museum and the HR MacMillan Space Centre have joined forces to bring Marc-Andre Bernier, chief of the underwater archaeology team for Parks Canada to give a talk about the remains of the Franklin Expedition this Thursday night (this is the dude who found the Franklin Expedition). Lost and Found: Arctic Shipwrecks and the Franklin Expedition takes place at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre on Thursday evening and promises to be an informative and compelling talk about challenges and triumphs of something as complicated as underwater archaeology in the chilly waters of the Canadian Arctic.
Oct 16, 7-9 pm | H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut) | $22 | DETAILS

DUMPLINGS | Cool, damp autumn weather calls for comfort food. Homemade dumplings fit the bill. Not versed in the art of stuffing, folding or cooking the delicate bundles? No matter. The Hua Foundation is a local organization dedicated to strengthening connections with culture, heritage and sustainability and they’re hosting a series of cooking classes on how to prepare traditional Chinese dishes that are locally sourced, healthy, and “approved by Grandma.” This Saturday, they cover dumplings. Get schooled on the whole process. Extra cool bonus: you leave with a bag of dumplings. Space is limited, so don’t wait to grab tickets:  www.huafoundation.org
Oct 18 | 11am–2pm | Hua Foundation (418 East Hastings) | DETAILS
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

SHOP HOP | The Gastown Fall Shop Hop happens this Thursday night. The one-night-only event offers Vancouverites the opportunity to cruise 54 of Gastown’s best shops, check out all of the new Fall wares, and be treated to great deals, in-store specials and the occasional treat (read: glass of sparkling wine).
Thu, Oct. 16 | 5pm–9pm | Various locations | FREE to browse | DETAILS

CONNECT | The Sustenance Festival is a series of fantastic food-related events held by the Vancouver Parks Board. They’re designed to connect local communities to the concept of food security. During Sustenance 2014, you can learn about wild and edible mushroom identification, take pickling and canning classes, attend gardening talks, sit in on cheese-making and gluten-free baking workshops, dance a Harvest Dance, taste tea – the works. The theme for this year’s festival is “Making Connections and Building Relationships”, so expect to get social.
Now – October 19 | City of Vancouver Community & Recreation Centres | DETAILS

SHROOMS | A modest hike in local forests can yield some delicious results but it should be remembered that going off-trail and eating mushrooms without proper identification are both very dangerous activities. So be sure to arm yourself with intel. This weekend brings two opportunities to hang out with fungi experts. Whistler and The Sunshine Coast are both hosting mushroom festivals. The Fungus Among Us Festival in Whistler happens Friday night and Saturday, while the Sunshine Coast Mushroom Festival spreads itself across the entire weekend. Both festivals will bring you up to speed on how to spot edible mushrooms in the wild, which fungi to avoid and how to best prepare your mushrooms.
WHISTLER | Oct 17 + 18 | DETAILS
SUNSHINE COAST | Fri, Oct 17 – Sun, Oct 19 | DETAILS

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late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Dodging Debates And Smartass Vikings Being Mean To Jesus

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by Sean Orr | Oh look, the people we elected to go and sit in a house decided they would actually go and do that: B.C. Legislature to begin rare fall sitting on Monday. What are we supposed to do, throw a fucking parade for them? I mean, in the words of David Cross… “I don’t cream myself when the guy at McDonalds gets my order right…”

Ante up: Christy Clark’s No Pro at LNG Poker. Just because she said LNG will be a windfall for BC in order to get elected doesn’t mean she actually meant it. I mean, Jeez. Stop taking everything so literally, Bill.

Where in Vancouver is Gregor Robertson? Opponents slam ‘transparent’ mayor for dodging debate. He’s so transparent that he’s disappeared, get it?! But seriously though, this is a stupid article and a non-starter of an issue. There are real issues, to be sure, but not showing up to a debate sponsored by the NPA’s biggest donor isn’t one of them.

That being said, maybe we’d see him better if he wore one of these: Should Politicians Wear Uniforms Like NASCAR racers?

More bad optics: Voter suppression on Vancouver’s East Side in lead-up to November 2014 election? Again, a total oversight. But comparing it to voter suppression by the Republicans? Come on now…

Youth tired of being “tokenized” in Vancouver municipal elections: COPE board member. Those youth! They really put the toke in tokenized, eh? Eh? Oh shit, I just tokenized them, didn’t I?

Dog bites dogma: Trinity Western grad ‘attacked’ for being Christian in job rejection. “I signed it God Bless probably partially because I knew it would irritate them…” Way to take the high road there. “If I met God I’d have sex with him…” Wow…I think I have a new hero!

I’m not sure why I decided to put this next link here: Dragon Boat Society canoes destroyed in early morning fire.

Bonus: Here’s how Mish Way ‘lost’ her virginity. Spoiler: who cares?

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Snortside Stabfests And Taxis’ Exhausted Crusade Against Uber

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by Sean Orr | Bad news: Postmedia strikes $316-million deal to buy Quebecor’s English papers. As reported by Canada’s other paper, which is owned by Bell. Have you never read heard about the media monopoly in the mainstream media? No, because of the media monopoly.

Watch Conservatives mount courageous defence of their right to talk gibberish. That’s not a clickhole article. This would be a clickhole article: 5 Ways ISIS Can Reduce Its Carbon Footprint.

Meanwhile, Godwin’s Law put into practice: Tory Senator Uses Nazis, Trudeau Sr. To Attack Liberals’ Iraq Stance. Oh, and because ISIS got most of its weapons from the US and its allies, here’s a petition: Do NOT bring Canada into the war against ISIS.

Why Alberta producers won’t feel the fallout of plunging oil prices until next year. Isn’t the war in Iraq supposed to raise oil prices? Hmm.

Red Herring on the menu: Olivia Chow Smacks Down Racially-Charged Question. “I don’t know what it has anything to do with me being an immigrant”.

Meanwhile, back in in Lotusland, the press is keeping our politicians honest: Gregor Robertson Likes It Spicy And Other Fun Facts About Vancouver’s Mayor.

I’d rather vote for a peanut than an unremarkable nobody.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco: Proposition G: Stop unfair evictions. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a civic party that took some sort of stand on this issue. Oh wait: “The Greens say they’ll protect apartment tenants from renovictions by strengthening the rate-of-change bylaw so all residents “have housing relocation plans for comparable or better accommodation at a comparable or lower rent before the building or demolition permit is issued…”

‘I’m ready to take on the $18-billion boys’: Vancouver’s cabbies take aim at Uber. Jesus Christ, what is wrong with me? I read that as “I’m ready to take on 18 billion boys…” and then I thought to myself, “C’mon now, that is way too many boys…” Some background via Jacobin: Against Sharing. Please do not share that article.

Schadenfreude of the day: Mark Donnelly trips over carpet during anthem Why schadenfreude towards the beloved singer? He’s anti-choice.

Meanwhile, in Gastown: Two men stabbed overnight at Gastown pub. Wow, Portside really does live up to its Snortside nickname (you know, because cocaine).

Also in Gastown, the neighbourhood gets even more interesting: Female models for Facesitting Videos. Shaun Layton, is that you?

Some background to the Satan Penis/Penguin Plinth: ARCHIVES: Memory loss — Clark Drive plaza sits forgotten and neglected.

In other really important art news: Joan Cusack replaces brother John Cusack as Vancouver graffiti artist’s favourite.

My building made it on to ScanBC:

 

No, it wasn’t me. But I do on occasion enjoy a large posterior.

Bonus: Worst Cats.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Pot-Smoking Dogs And No One Caring What Harper Has To Say

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by Sean Orr | Hate and Hateability: Blog Lists Reasons To Hate Vancouver, So We List Reasons To Love It. Hmm, I hate “I Hate Van” because I’ve been hating Van for so much longer, but I hate the Huffington Post’s weak, cheerleading response even more because I can’t stand smarm. Scamcouver might do it better, and though I think it’s a lot easier to hate on Vancouver than to actually go out and make it a better place, I do appreciate the author’s Sense & Sensibility-like stance on shyness being a cop-out.

‘Follow the money’: Hundreds of millions are spent in the Downtown Eastside every year, but where does it all go? Aw, isn’t this swell! Kirk LaPointe decided to grace the DTES with his presence. The neighbourhood shouldn’t be seen as an alien entity that needs more oversight than the rest. How about you follow the money from illicit drugs all the way to Kerrisdale, Coal Harbour, and Yaletown instead?

Or should that be, follow the fur? Dog on drugs is the talk of Yaletown. “Marijuana affects dogs differently, similarly to the range of effects experienced by humans…” Thanks for the heads up on that, Dr. Vancity Buzz!

Follow the property tax: Vancouver has lowest property tax rate in Canada. Special shout out to all those complaining about Meena Wong’s speculation tax.

I wouldn’t ignore foreshadowing from a man named Macbeth: Canada Housing Crash Could Hit Next Year: Hilliard MacBeth. Oh, next year, eh? As in, after the election? Best comment: “I predict that it will snow in at least one place in Canada this coming January.”

Speaking of foreshadowing: Does Twitter foreshadow wins for Gregor Robertson, Barinder Rasode, Jonathan Cote, and George Affleck? I’ve already referenced Nada Surf’s “Popular” once this month, so I’m clearly fresh out of ideas…

Elvis Everyone has left the building: Stephen Harper Mocked Over Photos Of Empty Seats At UN Address. But what about what he said? “Saving the lives of the worlds most vulnerable mothers, infants, and children must remain a top global priority…” Except, of course, you know, if they are dying because of climate change, because…er…that doesn’t exist. And definitely not if they’re being bombed by Israel…

But it’s ok: Canadians becoming more ‘progressive’: poll. Nobody knows what that means, but it’s provocative.

Speaking of provocative: What is public art? If you have to ask, then you probably shouldn’t.

Romancing the stoned: Vancouver’s Underground Music. “Long besot by negative stigma from Vancouverites and tourists alike, the area possesses a seedy, oppressive mystique that permeates the rain-soaked streets…” Ooooh…

Craigslist of the Day: For sale: bullshit European baby scooter made of wood and smugness – $40 (west end).

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Harper’s Good Side And Swearing Oaths To The Gods Of Hockey

September 29, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | You say “Potato”, I say “Israel”: Unreal exchange in House of Commons over Canada’s involvement in Iraq. You know you’re in trouble when Global TV uses the word “unreal” to describe your parliament. Nevertheless, if there was justice in the world, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair would get every vote possible for his beatdown of Conservative MP Paul Calandra. Macleans goes further: “They call it Question Period, not Fundamentals of Human Dignity Period…”

Update: Calandra is sorry. Really, really sorry.

The mask of Janus: Critics question use of official photographers to capture Harper’s good side. Man, a 360 degree, Matrix-style drone helicopter couldn’t capture Harper’s good side.

Potential new ex-Premier: Premier proposes name change for Temporary Foreign Worker program. “So maybe if they are overhauling the program they can change the name from temporary foreign worker to potential new Canadian…” If you work hard, swear allegiance on a stack of maple leaves, worship your new god Hockey, eat at Tim Hortons every single day, and aren’t a terrorist (that’s a big one), then maybe you can become one of us.

Malcolm X in the Middle: Vancouver Sun’s Jordan Subban photo caption sparks outrage. “Dark Guy in the Middle” sounds like a quirky premise for a sitcom. Perhaps they just meant spiritually dark and this is all just a misunderstanding…

Speaking of outrage: The new, tiresome culture of outrage. This article makes me more outraged than, say, knowing that Missouri cops are wearing ‘I am Darren Wilson’ bracelets.

City trying to close Oppenheimer Park tent city, move homeless to upscale Vancouver neighbourhood. What neighbourhood isn’t upscale compared to the DTES? “You always have to worry about tipping the balance and I think we’re getting close to tipping that balance (in False Creek)” – George Affleck (seemingly unaware that this is the exact argument used by anti-gentrification protesters).

The rich should form a counter-protest and buy up a bunch of housing and just leave them empty. Oh, wait…Vancouver’s empty, run-down million-dollar homes receiving global attention, local anger. It would suck if someone were to, oh, I dunno…leave the water running.

Meanwhile, Judge dismisses challenge of Vancouver’s street vending bylaw. So a rich person can leave an entire house empty if they are going to sell it but a poor person can’t have a garage sale on the street. Sounds about right.

UnfairBnb: Airbnb to begin collecting San Fran hotel tax. In Vancouver, only the Green Party has added an AirBnb tax to their platform. Vancouver hotels currently pay 16.5% tax; AirBnb pays 0%.

Bonus: I-don’t-know-how-I-missed-it-of-the-month.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Sore Lululosers And Clearing Oppenheimer Park’s Tent City

September 23, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | Go for that “lived-in” look: Poll: Should Vancouver tax owners of vacant condos? Yes, but how long until professional companies pop up to just make it look like someone actually is living in your condo? Full disclosure: I’ve been doing that for 7 years in my parent’s condo and nobody suspects a thing…

The Province newspaper asked its famously informed subscribers if the police should “clear out the tent city homeless protesters in Oppenheimer Park”. One response really captured the readergeist: “Absolutely! 99.9% of the citizens of Vancouver have jobs, work hard and pay for their accommodation [...] I have no expectation that the taxpayers should pay my way. But then, what should we expect from Mayor Moonbeam and his Merry Band of Loonies?” Hmm, perhaps you could expect a more accurate estimation of the city’s current unemployment rate? For the record, currently 5.8% of Vancouverites are jobless, not 0.1%. That’s over 25,000 people. Not even Stanley Park would have enough room to accommodate that many tents.

A towering argument: Development taken to new level by Vision Vancouver. “So is the ‘Greenest City’ branding more like a Potemkin Village initiative, leading Gregor Robertson’s party to become the default choice of urban hipsters and environmentally-conscious boomers alike”? Yes, but can we call it facadism, please?

Related: ONNI Developer Destroying Green Space in East Vancouver – with photos.

Who would have thought capitalism would be so damn predatory? Rich get richer, and Canadian companies want their business. I imagine it looks something like this: YOU! LOOK AT ME!

Geritocracy: Age, not gender, is the new income divide in Canada, study finds. And with that, I give you the Baby Boomer Death Counter. You’re welcome.

Vancouver Coolhunters by VFW. “Vancouver Fashion Week had the honour of meeting with eight incredible people who have emblazoned the local fashion scene for years”. Yeah, I’m sure they’re all very nice and creative people, but how the fuck do you emblazon a local fashion scene?

Related: I dressed like an idiot at London Fashion Week to see how easy it is to get street snapped.

Nothing was the Same: Why Tanya Tagaq is the most wonderfully weird Polaris winner of all. Thanks for not picking the softest rapper in the game.

And speaking of weird: Briton killed in France took identity of dead Canadian rockstar. “Gone gone gone, he be gone so long” – Dave Olson.

Lululemon founder Chip Wilson covers home’s graffiti seawall mural with message critical of city. Oh, give me a break. Being a spoiled brat because you didn’t get a permit for your mural doesn’t mean the city doesn’t support art. In all fairness, they probably don’t, but that’s not what is happening here, you big baby.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Joint Agreements & Free Bartenders Serving Tainted Alcohol

September 18, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | “Rocks out” should be in quotation marks: Stephen Harper rocks out at Calgary nightclub. “Taking care of business and working overtime at your second part time minimum wage job with no benefits that you need to feed your family because of Canada’s deep and persistent income inequality, work out!”

I wonder if the above show sold out like how Harper just sold out the country: Harper sell out to China will be locked in.

Also, is it just me or does he seem a little stiff these days? Perhaps he could use a visit to everyone’s favourite dominatrix: Dominatrix expelled from Senate hearing after mentioning ‘proof on politicians’. For a second I thought this was a Marg Delahunty bit from This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Speaking of loosening up: Christy Clark reaches deal with teachers just 24 hours after Dana Larsen mailed her pot. “We’ve come to a joint agreement,” indeed.

How to conflate the right to housing and the right to own property in one easy step: Politicians shouldn’t meddle with the housing market. “You want a house? Work hard and buy one — or move somewhere cheaper…” And if that doesn’t work, you could always call upon the meddling CHMC.

Related tweet of the century:

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: City says more than 100 unregulated recovery homes shut down in Surrey. Get those people on the streets immediately! And if they should so happen to mosey on down to a certain poorest postal code then so be it! They are truly free now.

Whipsers Only: $3000 / 1br – 1000ft² – Super Charmer. “If you are professionally employed and working 9-5 please apply for this amazing opportunity to be in Vancouver’s oldest and coolest neighbourhood”. Stop, stop, Strathcona’s already dead.

A city guide that isn’t completely awful: The HYPEBEAST City Guide to Vancouver. Not one single mention of the word ‘gritty’ when referring to Gastown. There is this, however: “In 2014 the neighboring Chinatown and Main Street areas are seeing notable expansion”. I had no idea that they were getting bigger…

Bonus: If you want a little more depth, here is a map of every single (known) performance space in Vancouver.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Arctic Pipedreams & Rabid Bats Loving Guitar-Playing Hippies

September 16, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | A perfect metaphor for Vancouver, its population, and its ruling party: Vancouver alleges spam attack as number of Twitter followers mushrooms over the weekend. “I’m the party star, I’m popular. I’ve got my own car, I’m popular. I’ll never get caught, I’m popular.

Fickle City: Broker: ‘There is no demand for Vancouver Canucks tickets’. So that means they are going to be cheaper, right? Right?

Speaking of supply and demand: Editorial: An economics lesson not learned. “In business, you charge what the market will bear, not what is unbearable”. You know what is unbearable? BC Ferries’ wifi. You know what makes it just a little bit better? The “BC Ferrys” parody Twitter account…

B.C. Teachers’ Strike Won’t Be Settled With Budget Surplus. Who’s in charge of the province’s finances? Tyrion fucking Lannister?

Related Instagram of the Day: Teachers Want To Much. [sic]

It’s heartland versus hinterland, and it’s a rout: Poor kids hit hard by school strike. Well, it wouldn’t be late-capitalism if rich kids were hard hit. “Teens could turn to drinking and drugs”. That is possibly the most generalized statement in the history of the world. Also, the place where most kids turn to drinking and drugs? Yup. School.

A Song of Ice and Ire: The Real Story Behind Canada’s Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology. Or, “Instead of extracting resources and leaving, we could populate the mid-Canada corridor—and create a bigger, better country: If We Build It, They Will Stay.

Although that sounds like a cute As It Happens-style, bringing-communities-together type of feel good scenario, it would probably be a giant neocolonial make-work project that looks more like this: Temporary foreign worker dies in freak accident, leaves chilling testimony.

Acidic Spill from Vancouver Island Metal Mine Enters Myra Creek. Well, I mean…what are parks for if not for acid substances?

And now, ladies and gentlemen, The Province: Video: Rabid bat attacks guitarist at campground jam session. “Derrick Skou is into a pretty good groove on his acoustic when the bat swoops into the frame from the left and circles him once before landing on his collar”. That’s gold, Jerry. Gold!

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Voyeuristic Punk Adventurism And Temporary Devil Genitals

September 11, 2014 

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by Sean Orr | More voyeuristic, romantic, hagiography regarding the DTES. I expected better from Vice: A look at the punk scene coming out of one of Canada’s Poorest Postal Code. “The scene is, I think it’s getting a bit more real, which sounds kind of lame”. It sure does. No mention of any actual punk bands, and no mention of The Astoria, Emergency Room, Alf House, Red Gate, The Cobalt, Secret Location/Nite Prison, or Chi Pig. You know that I’m wary of the G-word, but the piece just reeks of middle-class, neo-colonial adventurism.

Related: East Vancouver studio owner plans fundraiser after thieves steal at least $6,000 worth of music gear.

Devil Chilling Park? New guerrilla art lasts less than a day.

Cue the inevitable petition to bring it back. “Just as some were offended by the price tag and substance of the porcelain dog, others may have been offended at the sight of Lucifer’s Plastic Love Pump, but none would be offended at its price tag”. You leave the poor Main Street Poodle out of this. It’s suffered enough!

Oh noes! Jamie Lee Hamilton leaves COPE, alleges Left Front blocking her nomination. Best reader comment: “I hope I don’t confuse online voter registry with a Buzzfeed ‘Which Ninja Turtle Are You?’ quiz.”

Gregor Robertson can’t stop tanker traffic or build a subway, so why leave that impression? ”The National Energy Board will make a decision on Kinder Morgan’s application”. Shh, don’t tell Burnaby! Burnaby asks court to block Kinder Morgan B.C. pipeline.

Meanwhile, Gregor can’t stop the teacher’s strike either, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t comment on it. Why has Vancouver’s ‘progressive’ Mayor been so quiet about the BC teachers’ strike? Update: Vancouver mayor adds support for binding arbitration in B.C. teachers’ strike.

Now if we can only get him to do something about his transparency problem…

But if that bit of journalism isn’t sexy enough for you: Vancouver mayoral race now a three-way. “The 53-year-old mental health worker and longtime community organizer will battle Mayor Gregor Robertson and NPA challenger Kirk LaPointe for votes in a multicultural city that has never had a female mayor or one of Chinese descent”.

Unrelated: Naked Sushi celebrates the tradition of sexism, not Japanese culinary culture.

You-probably-haven’t-heard-of of the day: Palestine Awareness Coalition protests at Deltaport.

A Hitchcockian urban nightmare! City life’s a rat race in Vancouver — and the rats may be winning. With raw video of…you guessed it, rats! Who is this mysterious Johnny Appleseed of East Van? Can he be stopped?

Bonus: Mark’s Work Wearhouse Announces Rules for Who Gets to Wear Plaid. Beware, it’s a joke. A lumberjoke!

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