On Drinking in Parks and Privileged Dinosaurs Longing for Vancouver’s Good Old Days

Tea & Two Slices is a long-running local news round-up by NEEDS frontman and veteran dishwasher Sean Orr, who lives and works in Gastown, deeply aware of his privilege.

If “OK boomer” was boiled down to one nauseating newspaper article: Shelley Fralic: Vancouver, once heaven, now merely a mess choking itself to death. Yes, let’s have a white senior reminisce about Vancouver’s golden age and explain how we’re getting it all wrong! Let’s celebrate and yearn for a time when colonial institutions went unchallenged and there weren’t a bunch of uppity POC calling for the police to be defunded; back when we could bulldoze entire communities at will because we didn’t like how they looked. Once heaven, indeed.

This is someone so entitled that she openly flouted what few COVID regulations we had last year, and stopped just short of a Don Cherry “you people” rant about poppies, someone who is chomping at the bit to condemn diversity and equity because it doesn’t fit her narrow vision of what a city should be, which is to say forever frozen in time. Her time.

Commercial Drive? Grungy. Wreck Beach? Too woke for words. Gastown? Dodgy. Stanley Park? Cars unwelcome. Chinatown? Relocated. Downtown Vancouver? Nothing to see here and nowhere to park if there was. Punjab Market? Relocated. That park down the road? An overgrown swale of dog dung.

Editorials that date from the time Shelley longs for weren’t that far off from hers. Anti-working class screeds about winos in the east side – “the dope craze that is terrorizing Vancouver” and “gangs of cowardly clowns in zoot suits, tanked full of malevolence and loganberry wine, are defying law and order in the city of Vancouver” – were all the rage.

Today, much of Vancouver is an unrecognizable hodgepodge of dense population pockets where cars are treated as the evil spawn of industrialization, and where green spaces are surrendered to a spreading pox of homeless encampments that have created neighbourhood war zones where litter, lawlessness and open drug use are abetted by an impotent city hall, bureaucratic indecision, Band-Aid solutions and a shocking lack of political will.

Another hapless victim in the war on cars. Poor Shelley can’t drive anywhere! And even if she could she might *gasp* see a poor. If people like Shelley actually cared about saving lives instead of writing lazy, sensationalist clickbait trash, this man might still be alive: Injured Vancouver homeless man who spoke out about tent cities has died. No, instead we weaponize his warnings and use them to demoralize and dehumanize other campers. We lament the dead and ignore the living.

Remember the golden days of Vancouver, when this totally never would have happened? Vancouver police, mayor apologize for wrongly handcuffing and detaining retired Black judge. But…but… “someone fit your description”. Only off by 4 decades, but whatever. Totally nothing to do with skin colour.

North Vancouver residents face renoviction struggle in pandemic. This was evil before the pandemic.

If you ever wondered why they violently arrest Indigenous land defenders and climate activists but leave the racist anti-maskers alone, this is a big hint: Vancouver police pose with antimasker who once declared that George Soros controls all the world’s media. Fascists and cops have always gone hand in hand.

Meanwhile: Canadian military intelligence monitored Black Lives Matter movement, claiming pandemic justified such actions. Lol, “It’s cool, just checking to see that you guys have got your masks on. Totally nothing to do with you challenging the settler colonial state apparatus. It’s the masks…”

Because they totally used all their resources to prevent things like this from happening, right? Investigation: 192 died in Vancouver care homes that delayed declaring coronavirus outbreaks. What an absolute bombshell from Ian Young:

The FOI data show that at least 42 Vancouver care homes failed to stop the virus spreading after they instituted this new strategy – instead of declaring outbreaks when just one worker had tested positive. They were acting on the advice of the authorities’ medical health officers, who enacted the strategy on November 9 in an effort to preserve staffing resources and social interactions for residents.

How likely is it that there will be a public inquiry in 4 years about how the NDP handled this pandemic? ‘Absolutely’: Dr. Bonnie Henry says asymptomatic people should be tested for COVID-19 if they think they were exposed. And yet the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website currently states that “If you don’t have any symptoms, testing is not recommended even if you are a contact.” Absolute shit show.

Not that Mayor Kennedy is off the hook: Vancouver RV campers told to vacate city streets or face tickets and towing. I’ve said it one million times: neoliberalism kills.

Not to be outdone: the Mayor of Penticton: Silence from premier’s office on mayor’s letter. I guess one good thing Horgan has done is ignore this Nimby scumbag.

Coun. Christine Boyle advances controversial motion to build more social housing in Vancouver. Controversial to whom? The cadre of developers who won’t get these density handouts? Boo frickin’ hoo.

An ugly legacy of Vision Vancouver. I’m just glad they’re g… oh god:

Because what we really need are more milquetoast white dudes in politics: Former cabinet minister Kevin Falcon to run for leadership of B.C. Liberals. Yeah, we see that you were not pleased with our monocled villain, Mr. Andrew “Renting is Wacky” Wilkinson, may I present to you Kevin “Sexist Jokes are Funny” Falcon!

Uh oh, nobody tell Shelley: Support for separated bike lanes remains strong in Vancouver. I guess cars really are the evil spawn of industrialization!

Related: Broadway will be narrowed to a four-lane road after the subway is built. I’ll be damned if pedestrians get these things called “sidewalks” when they don’t pay a single cent of property taxes to…uh…never mind,

Vancouver to allow alcohol consumption at three public plazas. And just like that, Vancouver was fun again.

Chinatown would be cooler if: Vancouver’s Chinatown Memorial Square is getting a redesign focused on culture and history.

More of this, please: $17 million YMCA childcare centre opens atop Gastown parkade.

Want: Taco Ding Dong: Taco Bell-inspired ghost kitchen launching in Vancouver. This is almost as funny as Dumb Starbucks.

Bonus: For CBC, a dog story is more important than Israel’s apartheid.

There are 5 comments

  1. “tanked full of malevolence and loganberry wine” really needs to be a t-shirt

  2. “who lives and works in Gastown, deeply aware of his privilege”

    Second I read this I knew the entire article was going to be unintentionally hilarious. Wasn’t disappointed.

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