Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Businesses show their pride

A funny sign, originally uploaded by jelee_unleashed.

I have to admit I don’t pay as much attention to the annual Pride Parade and other festivities as I should, but it’s hard to avoid the build up if you live downtown. Walking to work today past a number of the floats as they prepared, I noticed that everyone seems to have funding. By funding I mean advertising.

I realize that it’s not my place to tell the homosexual community how to run their events, but the amount of advertising versus actual content seems surprisingly uneven. I suppose every business in Vancouver wants to be seen as supporting gay rights, and that’s great, but at what point does the parade go from being a parade to being an advert on wheels?

I got nothin’.

Graffiti pt 2

So here is a photo taken in my neighbourhood.

Taste of the City

Made by Mexican

They also have salsa and meat per kilogram for to go.

The food was delish… but it would’ve been nice to have more $1 tastes and less $4 meals.

Waste not, want not

Buzz shoots a square watermelon
Photo by Buzz Bishop

Update: I, er, should have at least noted Jeffery’s July 14 post describing these melons in their natural environment.

My fairly good friend and local media personality Buzz Bishop had an interesting post regarding Urban Fare’s square watermelons, imported from Japan.

Buzz was seriously irked by the mere idea of an exotic melon from Japan, for various reasons, and his commentators took some specific umbrage at the potential carbon footprint of these transoceanic melons.

Now, I’m not defending the idea of square melons per se (they’re a novelty, and a pricey one, for sure) but I do like recycling, so I’ve reproduced my comment on the fuel required for shipping these things below.

The phonebook seeks to destroy the world


I am, and my fiancee will confirm this, a very good tree hugger.  Sometimes I throw away things that could be recycled.  Often I’m not even sure what can be recycled.  I run the air condition in my apartment and leave electronics plugged into sockets when they’re not in use.  But even to someone like myself who is supportive of the environment, I’d like to keep having one, but not really going out of his way to save it the idea of having telephone books delivered seems ridiculous.

When was the last time you used a telephone book?  Granted this is a self-selecting survey since anyone reading this internet page obviously has internet access but I bet it hasn’t been for a few years.  It’s so much quicker to just Google what you’re looking for, and in the case of people you either know them or can Facebook someone who has their number.

But seriously, look at the size of a phonebook.  Think of every home in North America getting one.  Isn’t that a waste?


The dark priests of the Fraser Institute

There is no doubt that if you’ve read enough of the news you’ve seen a story quoting the Fraser Institute, especially if you’ve loitered in the financial section for a few minutes.  Each time the government makes a move, there’s the Fraser Institute vying for attention and their piece of the media spotlight.  They know how to craft a press release, and they do it so well that the press print them with glee.

Who needs to do work when someone at an Institute is doing it for you?

So who makes up the Fraser Institute?  It sounds official, comforting, soothing.  The Fraser Institute.  Repeat it, you imagine a sterile lab with technicians in lab coats guiding the economy with a steady hand.  Professionals.

If you’ve ever met one of them, say at a key party or a cockfight, you’d lose that trust you might have in them because of the prestigious stationary.

Look into their eyes, they’re deep black and at the right angel they twinkle.  Deep and dark that shinning light is a dying star being sucked into a black hole, the last light that escaped the gravity well; the Cyngus did not escape, there’s little hope that the Palomino will manage.

They are true believers, and come at you with a ferocity that only the really faithful can muster.  In a social situation while others just want to hang out near the shrimp cocktail, they’re out there like sharks ready to spread the gospel.  Their god is the invisible hand, and Adam Smith is their Petrus.

You might find yourself agreeing with their liberal outlook on marijuana, they want to legalize it, and then next thing you know you’re staring into their eyes lost agreeing that yes we sure as hell don’t need such a high minimum wage.  Regulating tobacco?  Jesus, what sort of monsters wouldn’t want to be giving cigarettes to six year olds?

Health care?  Who needs it?  Once we’ve gotten the kids hooked on cigarettes they certainly won’t need it for long.

It’s survival of the fittest my friends.

Don’t worry though, they’re professionals.  Comforting.  And they know how to craft a damn fine press release.

What being Canadian means to you

Canada Day False Creek Ferry

Back on Canada Day [mbv] we fired up a bit of a poll to see what it was about this country that people were most proud of.   We let the poll run a few days, and now the results are in.  Out of 20 possible answers, some such as Alex Trebek were slightly tongue-in-cheek, we’ve got our winners.

Perhaps not surprising to anyone whose been forced to sit through a university poli-sci course with a section on Canadian identity “Not Being American” won with 28% of the vote.

Narrowly behind that with 26% came the one I voted for “Our Progressive Social Values” in which basically could include anything you wanted but I made a special note of our laws on gay marriage and our pot laws.

Next we had a tie at 9% between the sport of hockey and the maple leaf.  Well below that came snow, the wilderness and the CBC.

Those of you who voted thanks for taking part.  Not only was it interesting to see the results, but it was a good test of our polling system which we’ll be using again soon.

What makes Canada for you?

The Peace Arch

As we all celebrate Canada Day, I thought we’d take a slightly cheeky look at a fairly incomplete list of things that people feel make Canada what it actually is. These are things that define us, things that divide us and things this country into what it is.

Some of these things you might love about our nation, and others you might hate. Feel free to vote if you’re not from these parts as well, giving us an outsider’s perspective on how the world views Canada.

Choose wisely.


Vancouver Five: Vancouver STFU


There’s a few things that I’m tired of hearing about around town. Be warned these five things are on notice.

5) The Hollow Tree in Stanley Park [gm]:  It’s a tree, it was killed by God.  That’s the way nature works.  If it was torn down to put up a Starbucks, yeah then we can have some sort of fit about that.  It’s not a metaphor, it’s a damn tree.  Get over it.

4) The dollar: I get it, it’s crazy that our dollar is so strong against the American one.  Yet it’s been like that for months now.  You can also add any story about how Product X is so much cheaper in the US now because of the dollars’ values.  We all get it.  It’s boring now.

3) The Canucks: Let’s just ignore the losers and hopefully they’ll all return to Sweden and never come back.  Instead let’s talk about (soon-to-be) former Canuck Trevor Linden [bb] whose far more interesting.  Though keep it to a minimum, he’s getting pretty close to going on the list to.  Remember he’s a hockey player, he only walks on frozen water.  For a team that actually wins something try the Whitecaps [wcfc].

2) How the Olympics are destroying everything: People were homeless before we won the Olympics and they’d still be homeless afterwards.  Let’s be honest we as a society don’t give a shit about the problem of the homeless, and if 2010 was not going to be in Vancouver all the money spent on the Olympics would not instead have been used to feed and clothe those who need it.  The money probably would have been spent on magic beans, ferries that we’ll never use or a space program.  The Olympics make an easy target because it’s billions spent on things like watching men in superhero costumes slide down a frozen tube in a piece of fiberglass, but they’re nowhere near the root cause of the problem.  Show some intelligence and try to find that root instead of just raging against the wrong machine.

1) How the Olympics are really going to revitalize the city:  Right because the thing holding back Richmond from becoming a world class suburb was the fact that it didn’t have a giant speed skating rink. 

The Vancouver Canucks: the team that fell to earth

skating through the trap

Originally uploaded by reservoir frog

The Vancouver Canucks are out of the playoffs [cbc]. The math does not lie, there is no way for them to win. There is nothing left to play for except for the remaining scraps of dignity that the position of first amoung the losers would grant.

Optimistic Canucks’ ads on the side of Skytrains aside, nobody really expected the team to win the Stanley Cup this year. We have a goalie, and that’s about it. The team has addressed neither the team’s ongoing need for a top level goal scorer, to replace the players that Bertuzzi and Nausland used to be, nor do they have the win at any cost mentality that took the Oilers to their last trip to the finals.

It was not just that this just was not our year, it was that the last five years haven’t been our year but aside from bringing in Luongo the team has only aged; not in the gaining more experience version of aging, but in the one day closer to retirement version.

The Canucks need to be torn apart and rebuilt. Build it around Luongo. Build it around a new Russian speedster with flair like Bure. This team will never win the Stanley Cup, and believing it will is just a waste of time.

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