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On Feral Chicken Revolutions and the Mysterious Theft of Dali’s Golden Egg

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.

A Golden Egg on Vancouver’s face: Original Salvador Dali work at Hornby and West Hastings vandalized. But you know what’s truly surreal? Thinking it’s a good idea to put a $2.8 million dollar sculpture in a town that is reeling from the influence of global capital, that suffers everyday from systemic poverty, and whose insistence on the criminalization of drug users results in everyday property theft.

The bubble that you have to be in to be surprised by this is half the reason we’re here. The absolute disconnect in this city is what is truly surprising. It’s why every incel on Reddit, every online commenter at TheProvince, every person who’s had a bike stolen will be calling for the execution of every homeless person in the DTES when it was probably just some drunk tech bro doing it on a dare.

That being said, the failures of neo-liberal austerity politics go from the bottom up. I’ve been writing about this kind of shit for over a decade and still all I see is people blaming the people most affected by the endless cycle of trauma inflicted by – you guessed it – capitalism. And guess who the system wants you to blame? Not the tax-evading billionaires of Marpole; not the landlords throwing people on the street; not yourself for leaving valuables in your car; not pharmaceutical companies getting rich off fentanyl — they want you to blame the addict. Please, people…let’s altogether punch up, not down.

I’d make a joke that the stolen Dali egg is probably at the street market but that would only perpetuate the stereotype that it’s an unregulated, city-funded, stolen goods free-for-all: Mythbusting Vancouver’s DTES Street Market. Like, this was an actual comment: “One can’t even busk without having a license but selling stolen goods is fair game?” Yes, because people in the grips of trauma, of a never-ending cycle of abuse and self-medication, people failed at every single turn by the system, means that you should get to busk without a licence.

Out of sight, out of mind? Former Residents Of The Surrey Strip: “The Only Difference Is Now We’re Scattered And Hidden”. They are actually giving themselves awards for this.

“It’s not a home, it’s just the Strip with walls,” according to Bonnie, who moved into modular housing after the Strip was cleared. Bonnie explains, with no rights under the Residential Tenancy Act, “Staff can walk into your room anytime they want. They can set arbitrary rules and punish you if you complain. If they decide you’re a trouble-maker, they can evict you.”

Surrey Mayor envisions a Demolition Man type utopia with no swearing, only Taco Bell, and… Surrey mayor envisions turning city roads into new canal waterways. But light rail is too disruptive, right?

Also in Surrey: Angry scene unfolds at Surrey RCMP headquarters for Pride flag raising. Tell me again why it’s important to give these fucking troglodytes a platform? “When an organization is supposed to be politically neutral but starts giving special rights to one group’s political agenda, that’s an overstepping of boundaries in Canada.” Newsflash, Kari Simpson: they’re just regular rights, like the rights you gained when suffragettes won you the vote.

The irony of these freeze peach warriors claiming “the pride flag represents a sex activist political movement that is hostile to free speech” is that not long ago they were pushing for book bans: Children’s Book ban in Surrey – a history.

Oh, and don’t let them convince you that they are some sort of grassroots organization: Why Should We Care About Faux Free-Speech Warriors? Because the Koch Brothers Are Paying Their Bills.

Good praxis of the day: Not clear who pulled the fire alarm during anti-SOGI event at UBC. Shame on UBC for hosting this event. Shame on the so-called progressive West Coast.

Also at UBC: UBC fined $1.2M for releasing ammonia into Fraser River tributary.

Rights groups celebrate appeal victory affirming end to indefinite, prolonged solitary confinement. Next up, abolish all prisons!

WE just opened an office at the old Gastown Opus location: Inside The “Cult” Of Kielburger. Typical White Knight syndrome. Narcissism and compassion are incompatible.

Sports of the day:

Bonus: Jersey is being terrorised by 100-strong gangs of feral chickens waking up locals and chasing joggers. Welcome to the revolution, feral chickens!

On Ken Sim’s So-Called “Swagger” and ABC’S Class War

Sean Orr is back from his hiatus with a rundown of the local headlines that have been running on a ticker tape through his mind over the past six months...

On Post-Election Recuperation, Platform Paradoxes and Refund Communities

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr finds irony in "safety, affordability, and sustainability", and shouts out a bunch of amazing local organizations working on the frontlines.

On Running for City Council, Playing Whack-a-Mole with Homelessness, and the Public Washroom Deficit

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr finds a park ranger with a grudge, a gross misuse of air quotes and Tripadvisor slander.

On Living in a City Preoccupied with Street Cleaning, Chandeliers, and Campaigns Against the Homeless

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr hones in on the recent Langley shootings, and the ongoing criminalizing and dehumanizing of the homeless population.