Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Vancouver Five: crazy things we’re buying

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With city council about to spend half a million dollars on new software that will cut down on gang violence and after hours bar incidents [cbc].  While software might stop people being drunk assholes, World of Warcraft stopped me from having a social life for about six months, it’s hardly going to cut down on gang activity at places that aren’t clubs or bars where most of the shootings have occurred.

Here are five other things we could be spending our money on:

5. Turning Robson Street into a Pedestrian Mall ::The Fremont Street Experience is one of the major tourist draws in Las Vegas [wp].  What would be better for the Olympic tourists than being able to experience the same thing on Robson Street?  Granted it would cost more than half a million, but boy would the tourists love it. 

4. Robots, Zombies, Pirates, Ninjas, and Sad Feist ::What just randomly using those words isn’t funny as of itself?  Dammit.  Ah well, at least our SEO went up like 2000%.

3. Destroy Beyond Robson :: Let’s face it Beyond Robson [br] is not only unpatriotic they’re probably all some sort of communists.  I’d say they’re zombies or pirates on top of that, but I’ve already been to that comedy well once today.  Either way I’m sure City Council would be far happier if they bought BR and put someone really really really excited about Vancouver in charge.  Someone uncritical who doesn’t really notice the homeless issue.  Someone like Kent Hurl [tv]. 

2. Buy the Cancuks a goal scorer :: Years, and years go by and we always are short a goal scorer once we get in the playoffs.  Why they figured it would be different this year I have no idea, unless the plan was simply not making the playoffs in which case we’re on track.

1. Inter-dimensional portal technology ::I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and there’s an episode at the start of the third season where she runs away from home and lives in LA where an evil demon dimension is grabbing homeless and directionless youth off the streets of LA and using them as slave labour in their demon dimension.  I would bet good money that Sam Sullivan is trying to find an evil Wiccan right now to start teleporting the Downtown East Side residents to said dimension.  Sound far fetched?  Well now explain how Mayor Wilkins Sullivan got elected again [wp]?

Well that ended up being far more super nerdy than I had hoped.

Vancouver Five: to be renamed

The West Coast Express

With the Strait of Georgia could be possibly being renamed Salish Sea [cbc] here’s a few more possible name changes.

5) Downtown East Side renamed Kamloops: in the rest of the province the main method of dealing with the homeless is to “encourage” them to move along to Vancouver.  Instead of trying to solve the problem the city could just make it another town’s problem.  Passing the buck will surely solve the problem.

4) Mayor Sam Sullivan renamed Former Mayor Sam Sullivan: Mandatory Sullivan bashing, check!

3) Vancouver renamed Fat City: An idea stolen from Hunter S. Thompson’s attempt to have Aspen renamed the same thing to scare off investors.  Perhaps with the world a bit more vulgar than it was in Thompson’s day we could substitute Fat for a four letter curse word.  Ideally this would leave the beautiful Vancouver to the people who live here, and not to property speculators who drive up housing costs without actually living here.

2) Canucks renamed to Winnipeg Jets: Let’s face it they lose and we turn on them like a drunk on an empty bottle of beer, always expecting more.  Winnipeg would appreciate the team, and like the Grizzlies we’d learn how to live without them.  Plus maybe we as a city are just cursed.

1) Cambie Street renamed to Kamloops: I was being sarcastic when I said that if we ignore the DTES homeless problem it would just go away.  The problem of Cambie Street merchants being inconvienced by the construction along the busy road is a problem that we can ignore and it will go away.   Eventually all the businesses there will be closed, which is great because maybe then we can build some new condos.  As you know housing demand in Fat City is high.

Vancouver made game turns children into tiny terrors

Wii Bully

As you all remember the world ended in 2006 with the release of Rockstar’s Bully [mbv].  It had gay kissing, fighting, running from teachers and some more fighting and we all knew that it would destroy civilization, as it did.  Add to that the fact that it was made at Rockstar’s Vancouver studio and you had a recipie for disaster.  I for one have been living in a cave defending my stash of food with a stick and I’m pretty sure everyone else’s lives have been just as devestated.

Or perhpaps nobody’s lives were affected other than those people who saw a chance to get themselves some attention and appear on the television.  Now the teachers unions are wanting to get their screen time as Vancouver’s teachers are joining with seven other teachers’ unions from around the world to have the game banned [cbc].  Not just banned from schools, but banned from existing. 

Which of course is the best advertising that Rockstar can buy, better in fact from their own PR.  I mean until I read about their attempt to have it banned I didn’t know that Rockstar had released a special edition version of the game this month.  It also proves that local teachers are shockingly stupid and kind of mini-Nazis. 

Stupid in that the game’s not going to be banned, because at its core Bully is a fairly innocent game.  Compared to most games it’s so light hearted, I mean you get into trouble you go to detention.  You fight bullies.  You don’t murder, kill or cut anything off of anyone.  These people are supposed to teach our children, and part of that is to teach them about freedom of speech and not that freedom of expression is only meant for when we agree with what’s being said.

Vancouver teachers, enjoy your time on television.  I won’t be watching, I’m in my cave trying to survive the apocalypse brought forth by a game with kids punching each other.

Vancouver Five: Canada Line Celebrations

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The CBC [cbc] informed me that the city was celebrating the completion of the Canada Line tunnel today, bringing the most patriotic Skytrain line that much closer to completion.  Here’s five more things that we’re celebrating today.  Please insert sarcastic quotes where appropriate.

5)The Canucks loss to the Blackhawks [cbc]: Face it we’re not a city that’s comfortable with a winning NHL team, and so these overtime losses are making us feel safe.  When the team’s winning we start getting into debates with each other on the Skytrain and in line at the movies about ontology.  Now we no longer have to worry about Anselm and his arguments.

4)The Olympics are coming: Why did we have a two year pre-Olympic celebration and not a two year minus one month pre-Olympic celebration?  Is it just me or do the rest of you feel your very neutrons vibrating with eager anticipation?  If I get much more excited I might dissipate.

3)More Pickton [vs]: I have to pick the first season up on DVD before watching next year’s.

2) Conrad Black is going to jail [gs]: Happy days.  No sarcastic quotation marks needed here.

1) The Canucks again [exn]: They might not be able to beat an NHL team, but boy they can wipe the floor with the Hives.

Things The Sun does not understand: soccer, video games, movies…

Pong

Newspapers are for the most part fairly professionally made. I mean you might not love The Province but when you read it you get the sense that for the most part people within its offices know what they’re doing when it comes out to putting out a paper. They might not know how to make a website that doesn’t make the eyes bleed, but they’re at least good enough at their jobs to put out a newspaper once a day that are readable.

Every so often though it all seems to fall apart. Here is the sound of it falling apart for The Vancouver Sun [tp]. I don’t know who someone would blame for this mess that gets the title “Video games and Tinseltown stars hit Vancouver”. It seems very much like a reporter being sent to cover a topic she knew nothing about, and that the editors above her knew anything about it. Add to that the fact that it’s two different topics, that while could be brought in under one article end up sort of acting as two seperate articles floating around in the same place.

For a real pedantic tear down of the article look after the jump.
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The Vancouver Five: World Records

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With the Jim Pattison Group buying up Guinness World Records [ts] one has to wonder why Pattison wants to add that to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not franchise to his list of holdings. Does he just want to corner the market on freaks? Here are five possible reasons for his purchase.

5) The man with six foot long fingernails willing to work shifts less than four hours [mbv].

4) Jimmy wants to get his own score at Donkey Kong into the Guinness Book of World Records [wp] but can’t get past 673 points.

3) Pattison has a thing for Elaine Davidson the world’s most pierced woman [gbwr].

2) There is a theory that if one were to drink the blood of the world’s oldest man it would grant immortality. Guinness has that man’s home address.

1) It’s all part of the coverup of the assasination of Guinness Book of World Records founder Ross McWhirter [wp], the world thinks it’s was the Irish Republican Army but the truth will be buried along with Jim Pattison.

It’s casual racism day

OMG it's bright out!

If anyone is wanting an objective lesson in how to trash a reputation as a progressive advocate for change then they’d do well to head over to Beyond Robson where Sean Orr is putting on a class. Since starting BR has morphed from a site where people who were cooler than you talked about bands that you weren’t cool enough to have heard of to a strong voice in support of the homeless in Vancouver and the Downtown East Side Community as a whole. It’s always so easy to just ignore the problem, but having Sean Orr bang on about it nearly every day makes that harder to do and that’s a good thing.

Of course the quick and easy way to completely trash that reputation is with casual racism. While bemoaning the death of indie publication Tooth and Dagger, Sean started on a rant about all that was wrong and un-cool about Vancouver. Chief among what makes Vancouver an un-cool place to live was ESL students. Take that in for a moment, the second thing listed in a anti-Vancouver rant is people who do not speak English. Not our idiot mayor, who didn’t even make the list, but people for whom English is a second language.
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Mega Man parody video outrages a nation

From Wired’s Game | Life blog [wm]:

Recently appearing on YouTube was this pardoy of the classic video game Mega Man, where Mega Man runs through Vancouver Airport and then tasers Robert Dziekanski to death. Of course the RCMP are outraged, as is pretty much everyone else despite the fact that the creator Mike Greenway is saying it’s a statement on taser use by police as opposed to making fun of the recent death at YVR of Dziekanski.

I find it hard to be more outraged by a video game parody than I am at the actual death. However whether or not this will be at all useful for getting the public to demand the use of tasers in police procedure be reviewed will be for history to decide.

Edit: Thanks to Andrew for pointing out my spectacular spelling mistake in the title.

World reaction to the news of Benazir Bhutto’s murder


Bhutto assassinated….

Originally uploaded by Mig_R.

Metroblogging Islamabad [mbi] & [mbi]:

We never thought 2007 will say its final goodbyes on this note. On and off, I & many other bloggers shared our thoughts on the suicide bombings and massive killings. The prominent figures were never hurt and commoners lost their precious lives to such attacks. Today was an altogether different case though. We liked her or not, that’s an altogether different rant, Benazir Bhutto was a prominent and influential lady. The two times PM of pakistan is no more. Seems like legacy of Kennedy family has shown its face in Pakistan. May Allah bless her and the many others who have lost their precious lives.

Metroblogging Karachi [mbk]:

It is without doubt that an entire nation actually sheds a tear on the death of Benazir Bhutto, she was a hero to many, and rival to others, but the bottom line is that she was a brave leader of our nation and her struggles for democracy will not go unremembered. May Her Soul Rest in Peace.

Metroblogging Lahore [mbl]:

On the evening of 27th December 2007, Ms Benazir Bhutto died due to injuries sustained in a suicide bomb attack on her life. I feel like repeating this to actually believe it. I feel that almost everything within the Pakistani political makeup will change. There is already incident reports of people ransacking offices of political officials, of protestors burning vehicles and the subsequent sense of fear that things will turn for the worse. I, unfortunately, also feel that the same unjust rule, the same all-consuming lust for power, the same indifference that seems to be root cause of everything evil and the same ‘wheeling and dealing’ associated with the politicians of today will continue unabated.

Pickton’s conviction says more about us than we’d like to admit


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Originally uploaded by eyeye.

Truthfully I have not been following the Robert William Pickton [wp] Trial with any keen interest. I get a sense that people are just tired of it, most of us having made up our minds about his guilt as we watched footage of the RCMP and VPD combing through his pig farm. He deserved a trial, and he got one, and now he will fade off into memory; just a supposed aberration and footnote in Vancouver’s history.

He’s been convicted [cbc] but before we let him become just a bad memory, we should be asking questions of the city, the police and ourselves about how a man managed to kill so many women over such a long period of time before he was caught. Do we just not care enough about each other, or was it because they were for the most part from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside?

Well before I was born, my uncle who had a drug problem moved from Edmonton to Vancouver and vanished from the Downtown Eastside. None of my family ever heard from him again, and to this day nobody knows what happened to him. We’ve stopped being worried about what happens to the people there, and now we as a city are faced with a man who has been convicted of killing six people, charged with twenty more murders and suspected of nearly fifty.

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