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“Pushing buttons since 1968�

Volume 45

N O R T H V A N C O U V E R / / O cto b er 3 , 2 0 1 1

with canadian muslims // Cult films // Wikipedia // and so much more ...

Issue N o. 04

TABle of contents Vol. Fourty-Five | Issue 03

Pushing buttons since 1968

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TUESDAYS at NOON in MAPLE 122 Caveat lector

The Capilano Courier is an autonomous, democratically run student newspaper. Literary and visual submissions are welcomed. All submissions are subject to editing for brevity, taste, and legality. The Capilano Courier will not publish material deemed by the collective to exhibit sexism, racism, or homophobia. The views expressed by the contributing writers are not necessarily those of the Capilano Publishing Society.

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Breaking news – lawyers cost a lot of money

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Celina combs her friends' event pages for fun things for you to do editor-in-chief


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Caitlyn Neufeld "I really like how people look when they first wake up in the morning." —Caitlyn Neufield

{ WORLD* } This

WEEK in the

What’s got us all riled up in the office this week?

Insite stays open, booyeah!

Seal clubbing, not as straightforwardly evil as we've been lead to believe.

from the editor //



y first ever concert was the Jonas Brothers. I went when I was 17 years old. Some think I was a little older than their target audience, but I loved being at the concert so much that nothing else mattered. I belted my heart out, so stoked that I knew every word to every single song. I was what one may call a “JoBro Convert,” swaying along and believing that I really was the reason they were “speechless, over the edge and just breathless.” I am using the fact that I’d only been to one concert by the time I was 17 as an excuse for my overdose of big-ticket concerts lately. I’ve experienced Ke$ha, Pearl Jam, and Kings of Leon all within a fourweek time span. And although I enjoyed them all immensely (and consequently have a much lighter wallet), seeing so many different musical acts in a short amount of time made it painfully evident that all fans act the same, regardless of genre. Every concert has people flailing around, “dancing” to the music; I myself am one of them. Inebriated screams echo, and various hand signs are thrown around in the general direction of the stage. But you know, that’s cool. I actually love it. The atmosphere is awesome, and for a little while I feel very in touch with the writhing human mass. The most important thing to realize about concerts, however, is that the musicians performing in them have immense amounts of influence. The power of music connects people, rendering them meek and vulnerable. It offers musicians the opportunity to convince their fans of any message they want – something they seem to only occasionally take advantage of. Pearl Jam, for example, has a long history of advocacy and activism entrenched in their musical success. They openly opposed the war in Iraq and George W. Bush’s presidency, and were one of the few largename American bands to do so. Pearl Jam also took Ticketmaster to court for trying to raise surcharges higher than what they had previously agreed to. They then boycotted Ticketmaster for one of their tours (with bad results) and ended up testifying in court, largely in an attempt to lower the cost of ticket prices. At the Pearl Jam concert I went to, they used their platform to talk about how awful war was, and how we should all work together to achieve peace. Although it may not be what they were there for, the

fans still heard the sentiments and passively agreed with them by cheering for the music and staying in the stadium. The Kings of Leon concert, on the other hand, was completely devoid of any political sentiment, though they easily could have. Their music evoked such an emotional response from the stadium crowd that they could have said anything and it would have been happily absorbed. My return to school the following day came with the realization that pretty much all of Capilano had also attended the concert, as they were all sporting their post-concert band tees. To the band’s credit, Kings of Leon have supported the Red Cross, AIDS work, and disaster relief. Even though they spoke very little during their performance, they have at least ensured some level of social responsibility on their rise to fame. Of course, Ke$ha has her own style too. Her concert featured a lot of screaming and giant penises dancing around on stage, and the only high-profile political issue she has loaned her face to so far is the PETA anti-seal clubbing campaign. She did say she had visited Wreck beach, and said it was a great asset to Vancouver. Nudism is fairly political, so at least there’s that. Her loudest message to Vancouverites was definitely “pour glitter on my titties” though. While I won’t argue that these bands are in any way a comprehensive selection, the wasted potential in even just these examples is obvious. Music artists use their influence for different messages – anti-war, disaster relief, and the benefits of glitter. With such a huge platform for informing often apathetic or ignorant young people, musicians who aren’t using their influence in order to generate change are doing a great disservice to society. There are so many crucial current events and political issues that deserve centre stage, yet never see the same attention that a pop concert receives. With power and influence come responsibility, whether they asked for it or not. As fun and emotionally uplifting as concerts are, mainstream musicians too often ignore their responsibility to promote world issues and change the world for the better. — Samantha Thompson // editor-in-chief

The Voicebox That cross-eyed opossum died, Heidi.

Dick Cheney hasn't been struck by lighting yet.

with JJ Brewis Look for the Voicebox on Tuesday afternoons in the Birch cafeteria, to anonymously “voice” your “opinion” on any “topic.” Introverted alternatives include emailing your opinion to, or texting (778) 886-5070. Hey. How come Capilano is so big?

The National Post printed an extremely transphobic advertisement. They said sorry, though, so that totally negates any damage effects, right?

This girl I went to high school with recently got pregnant and put all these sexy pics of her on her Facebook. Then a few people commented rude things on the photos, and now she’s doing a "public poll" to ask people if they were offended. What’s wrong with some people?

In the deep trenches beyond Seymour’s Pub and over the vast bounty of chicken breasts and bulk pretzels of Extra Foods, a new dawn begins. What once was but a small Community College, the hills of Capilano University now flourish and bloom with an exciting crop of students, readying their futures to hopefully be equipped for the demands of the real world: signing leases, baking banana loaves, and pretending to think that their neighbors’ children are "adorable." But honestly, if you think Cap is big, you’re in for a shit storm beyond the world of term papers and CSU Voting (go Lincoln!). This place isn’t big, dog. It’s small potatoes! Unless you’re talking metaphysically, cause, yeah, we got some bomb-ass poltergeists up in here. Watch out for the men’s washroom in the Library. Or don’t, and say hi to Pierre for me.

First of all, you probably spend a bit too much time lurking at your old classmates’ Facebook pages. But, I’ll momentarily hold off on my harsh judgment and address the subject at hand. This classmate, well, she’s (assuming this is a she?) a bit of a nut job. Being pregnant and proud? Totally cool. Sexualizing your pregnant self? Well, if you’re happy with the results, sure, who gives a fuck? But this "poll" sounds like a bit of a dick move. If she has "friends" commenting rude things, why didn’t she just delete said notes and block their sensitive-critical asses? Duh. Sounds like a bit of an attention whore with a flare for bigmouthisms. Let’s hope she doesn’t move on to Google+ once the ship goes down.

Why haven’t they turned the hole in the fence into a real path? That way I could get where I need to go without getting my hands dirty!

Yes. I just checked. You can hear advance tracks from her upcoming Christmas album on there. Getting!

Thank you for writing in, MacBeth.

Leftover Sushi: Thoughts?

Does Dolly Parton have a MySpace?

I’m gonna go with “No.” * List not comprehensive

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EDIT OR // Gurpreet Kambo // ne w s @ c api l ano c o uri e r. c o m

YOUNG, MUSLIM, AND OTHERED Despite famous Canadian ‘tolerance’, growing up Muslim in Canada isn’t easy By Leanne Kriz // writer


the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

n the classic 1992 Disney film Aladdin, the opening credits appear over a foreboding scene of a vast desert expanse and a small turbaned man riding a camel. A voice with a vaguely Middle-Eastern accent sings, “Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place/Where the caravan camels roam/Where it's flat and immense, and the heat is intense/It's barbaric, but hey, it's home.” This clip was shown as part of an event at Rhizome Café on Sept. 15 called “Pencils, Books, and Prayer: Experiences of Muslim Youth in Public Schools.” It was chosen to illustrate the way in which Muslims and Middle-Easterners are often stereotyped in Western media (especially post 9/11), and to begin a dialogue on how such media portrayals affect the way Muslims are treated in the Western world. At the event, Shiva Manavipour, a third-year student at Simon Fraser University, screened her short documentary entitled Me and the Media: Growing up Muslim in Canada. Dr. Özlem Sensoy, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at SFU also spoke at the event about how Muslim students and the Islamic community as a whole are affected by portrayals of Muslims in the media. Shiva made her film because she wanted to raise awareness about prejudice in Canada, and also to explore how it affected her growing up, especially as a young girl who wore the traditional Islamic headdress known as the ‘hijab’: “I remember when I used to go to the mall with my


mom,” Shiva says in her documentary, “and we walked into the store and the clerk immediately looked at us and started following us around ... So what I did was I started speaking English very loudly ... and I would pronounce all my words, and I would try to be very clear because I wanted her to feel comfortable and I wanted her to see me as somebody who was not threatening; see me as someone she can relate to.” Dr. Sensoy has previously facilitated studies involving students, in which they describe that images come to mind when they think of the Middle East. “[They usually describe] things like cows, deserts, barren landscapes, minarets and mosques, people praying, and veiled women. When I talk about things like bank machines or telephones in Istanbul, it’s surprising to them because it’s so different from the mainstream representations of the Middle East … [as] a backward, Stone Ages kind of place.” It is difficult for Dr. Sensoy to come up with examples of movies and media that portray Muslims in a positive light, but she mentions a satirical blog called “Muslims Wearing Things” as an example of people trying to portray Muslim people in a more positive light by poking fun at the idea that Muslims all have a certain look or style of dressing. Tahia Ahmed, a student at Capilano University and a practicing Muslim, remembers her years wearing a hijab and attending school in Canada as a difficult time. “There were points at school where people would make a lot of comments... a lot of terrorism comments or a lot of jokes,” describes Tahia. “It had an emotional effect on me,

because I was so young. Especially at the age of 14, when I was already so self-conscious because I was a teenager, and on top of it I had this thing that made me stick out like a sore thumb.” Many women who practice Islam in Canada choose to wear the hijab, which has the effect of immediately singling them out as something different. Tahia decided to remove her hijab at the age of 14, a decision that was not easy for her, but was something she thought would leave her with more positive experiences of faith. Tahia has taken on roles of leadership within the community and started her own not-for-profit organization. “I can say with 100 per cent confidence that if I were wearing a hijab, and if I had accomplished all the things that I have, it would have been a lot harder, just because of the society that we live in.” It’s not just Muslims who encounter prejudice in Canadian society. Racial discrimination is a long-standing problem, with approximately one-third of black Canadians reporting in a 2002 Statistics Canada study that they have faced discrimination in the past five years. This type of treatment is unacceptable. As Tahia puts it, “Whether it is discrimination against Muslims, black people, people of low income or women, I see all of those things on the same level, and at the end of the day, it is discrimination.” Although Canadian society may have some ongoing issues with discrimination and prejudice, Capilano University is attempting to take some steps forward. Plans are underway to create a new “Meditation and Silent Prayer Space”

on campus. The prayer space that was available on the bottom floor of the Arbutus Building has been closed, due to the relocation of the President’s office in that area. Unfortunately, no dates or deadlines for the prayer space have been announced, but “the wheels are in motion,” according to Eleni Papavasiliou, co-chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee of Capilano. The ideas behind this space reflect the openminded, inclusive philosophy of Capilano, in that it is open to students of all different religions and spiritual beliefs. However, Tahia raises an important concern: “I have up to three prayer times that I am missing,” she acknowledges, “but just by having a room doesn’t actually mean that I can use it. I may be in class during those three times, and not only that, but when you pray you’re also supposed to cleanse and wash yourself. You wash your face, your hands and your feet; that is part of the ritual, and if that facility is not there, then providing a room is not something that is realistic.” Despite this, Tahia agrees that it is a positive step towards accommodating people with different needs, and creating a connection between people of different backgrounds. “We all have a limited amount of information … and have assumptions about people who are not like us, and what kinds of lives they have,” says Dr. Sensoy when asked what people can do to move past old prejudices. “The most powerful thing any person can do is try to seek out as many personal connections and diversity of connections and relationships in their lives with people that are different from them.”

// Karen Picketts

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CSU Legal Fees Skyrocket Executive hires lawyer at cost of $2000/month By Evelyn Cranston // Staff writer


he Capilano Students Union (CSU) has, as of Sept. 19, a lawyer held on retainer to assist the union in legal matters. Previously, the CSU had retained legal counsel only as needed, at the rate of $350 per hour. Now, the CSU and Heenan Blaikie LLP have a retainer agreement, which states that lawyer David Borins is available for general counsel to the CSU at a flat rate of $2000 per month. In the retainer agreement, it states that Borins will be available to answer general legal questions and give advice concerning employment, labour, governance, and operational matters. Kelsey Didlick, Staff Relations Officer of the CSU explains this change to the legal service: “In this retainer, it covers that we meet with him once a week and have unlimited phone calls and emails. As directors, we try our best to do our job effectively, but we’re not professionals so he’s a great resource for us.” The CSU board will be in need of help, as the collective agreement is due to expire in June of 2012. One important note is that Borins will be available to legal counsel up until the point when collective bargaining begins, but after that he will be paid on a hourly rate or the agreement will change. Didlick states that he will be available for help with labour management or bylaw interpretation, but the major focus will be help with reviewing the collective agreement before bargaining. As for the cost, the CSU had previously only been paying $350 of students money per hour, and the retainer changes these costs to $2,000 per month flat, which seems like a steep raise at first glance. However, during this past summer, $5,000 were budgeted for legal counsel operating on a hourly rate and it was entirely used up in a matter of weeks. Didlick states, “As far as I know, we’ve never had a lawyer on retainer. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t using legal counsel. We’ve always needed counsel. We’re meeting with him once a week now, and I think we’ll definitely get our value, especially as we go look at getting closer to collective bargaining.” The logic is that $350 per hour turned out to be costing students more due to the amount of hours required, and the $2,000 a month will end up to be more cost effective. Didlick states, “I

think it was really poor judgement that we didn’t have a retainer. I think we’re being more responsible employers and executives of the CSU now. It’s also more cost effective.” One difficulty the CSU faced with using a lawyer on a piecemeal basis was that, according to Didlick, “getting every cost approved can be an impediment to getting things done.” She noted that the unlimited contact with Borins will help the CSU operate in a more efficient, streamlined manner, and ensure that they’re not making mistakes along the way. She continues, “I think [having the lawyer] is going to mean that we’re more prepared and more educated on what our rights as management are. It’s going to be really valuable.” If the CSU isn’t using enough hours to be getting value out of the retainer, it can be terminated by either party at any time, thus ensuring there is not an immediate risk of exceeding the budget. Didlick notes that “it’s really, really flexible at this time.” It’s important to note that in the CSU bylaws, it states under Capital Expenditures that “all contracts and agreements entered into by the Union exceeding $1,000 shall be approved by the special resolution at a general meeting.” The motion passed by the board appears to violate this bylaw. The board justifies this decision by saying that for September, because the contract began mid-month, it will be pro-rated and total less than $1,000. After September, however, the costs for the following months will exceed $1,000. Trevor Page, former CSU board member states, “Regardless of cost per month, full contract price ... is over $1,000 as the contract continues over an indefinite period of time.” Page goes on to state he would caution against it. The sudden increase in the cost of legal counsel is notable considering the already high price tag of personnel costs. About 62 per cent of the CSU’s operating budget goes into paying the staff, earning them about $60,000 dollars year, and this retainer adds an additional $24,000 in lawyer fees, with much of the justification being high personel costs. According to CSU financial documents, in the previous three fiscal years, the CSU's legal fees have been $180, $296, and $870 respectively (with the last collective bargaining round being in 2008). According to Page, “[The CSU] should not require an ongoing retainer, as such a contract

should only last until the [collective bargaining] negotiations are completed. During my time on the CSU Board, there were only a few instances that legal counsel was required or beneficial.” Page is hesitant to be enthusiastic. “To justify the payment of a retainer, the CSU Board should present a report detailing the use of legal counsel in the past that explains the benefit of retaining

such counsel. If there was no need for services in the past, it may be a waste of students' money to be spending much more.” He adds that when he was involved in the CSU, no legal issues arose which mandated a lawyer on retainer, though without knowledge of significant legal issues facing the board at this time, he cannot provide fair comment.

// Katie So

Additional compulsory fees also on the rise By Tannara Yelland // CUP Prairies & Northern Bureau Chief


ASKATOON (CUP)—As universities try to balance their budgets in the face of a sluggish economy, Canadian university students have seen their tuition go up by eight per cent in the last two years. A four per cent increase for the 2010–11 year was followed by another 4.3 per cent hike this year, according to recent Statistics Canada study. The Canadian average for undergraduate tuition is now $5,366. Ontario students, who

pay $6,640 on average, pay the highest tuition in the country, while Quebec undergrads enjoy the lowest tuition in the nation, paying an average of $2,519. Students in Newfoundland and Labrador, where tuition fees have been frozen since 2003–04, are paying an average of $2,649. In Alberta, tuition is nominally capped to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), meaning it increased by about two per cent for the 2011–12 year. Average fees for full-time undergrads in that province sit at $5,662. “However, that number is misleading,” said

University of Alberta Students’ Union vice-president external Farid Iskandar. “Alberta has the highest mandatory non-instructional fees levied on students in the country: they’re $1,399.” While Alberta has the highest non-tuition fees, students in New Brunswick will have the largest increase over last year’s non-instructional fees for both graduates and undergraduates. Compulsory non-tuition fees went up for undergraduates by 21.5 per cent over last year, rising to $430. For graduate students, non-instructional fees went up by 17.6 per cent. The national average for compulsory

fees went up 5.5 per cent for undergrads. Graduate students in Nova Scotia were the only students in the nation to see a decline in compulsory fees; they went down by 7.5 per cent. While Canadian undergrads are paying more and more each year, they are still significantly better off than either their international student counterparts or graduate students. International students, who represent a rapidly growing portion of the student population, pay an average of $17,571 in tuition – up 9.5 per cent from two years ago.

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

Average Canadian tuition rose by eight per cent in two years: StatsCan


n e w s s pecial feature

o t e d i u G 's er i r The Cou

THE CSU ELECTIONS Talking to the candidates so that you don’t have to P h o t o s b y N ata h s h a P r a k a s h

executive – with more support for each other’s events, which she believes will result in more suc// editor-in-chief cess for each event. “My role is to represent the t’s that time of year again! Your mouth goes student body and be of service to the students,” dry, your palms get sweaty, and your heart says Anderson. races like an anxious gerbil every time you ZACH FERANCE think about it. That’s right – it’s time for the Capilano Students’ Union executive elections! Your Ferance sees the CSU as a the result of a “group ballots decide who gets to sit in the chairs of of passionate, like-minded individuals who care authority over the next year, representing your about issues that everyone would like to say they rights as students and campaigning for issues care about but do not…enact change upon.” As Environmental Issues Coordinator, he seeks to they think you should care about. In all seriousness though, you need to go vote. establish a greenhouse, a community garden, Right now. Here, we present to you profiles of and a bee colony on campus. With the comall the candidates, so that you can make well- munity garden he believes a whole range of informed decisions when you go to the Birch possibilities will occur, such as workshops and education opportunities on the “maintenance of polling station. The Courier has also chosen candidates who gardens in bear country.” He is also interested in we think will best serve you over the next year, getting involved in the Educational Issues comwhich you can pay attention to, or not. Our deci- mittee because he believes that education is sions were based on their responses to our ques- important for self-improvement and bettering tions, their performance at the all-candidates’ fo- the world. “People sometimes fail to realize that rum, and, for the incumbents, our perceptions of even the smallest of decisions have the greatest their performances as elected executives over the of impacts,” he says. past year. By Samantha Thompson


Educational Issues Coordinator

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the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

Courier Approved



Remedios has three main objectives: to lower tuition fees, to improve public transit to Capilano, and to increase clubs funding. He is interested in advocating alongside student groups at SFU, UBC, and UVic for increased government post-secondary funding ; however, he would also like to reassess the CSU’s membership in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), noting that “last year students collectively paid $85,000 to the CFS, and the benefits students received were minimal.” Although his first priority is to the position of the Educational Issues Coordinator, Remedios is also interested in being involved with the financial affairs and university relations portfolios within the CSU. “The role of the CSU,” he says, “is to represent the best interests of students in all manners affecting the overall quality of their experience at Capilano.”

Environmental Issues Coordinator HEIDI ANDERSON Anderson wants to see the sale of bottled water eradicated from campus, replacing the machines with water bottle refill stations instead. In addition, she wants to set up an edible garden. “I would like to help out in as many areas as I can,” she says. “I believe social justice is closely linked with environmental issues, so I am sure we can work together on projects.” She would like to see more cooperation within the CSU

International Students’ Liaison HYERIN CHOI Choi plans on getting students involved in her committee and in the CSU by using both online and offline tools, including cooperating with the International Student Centre. “The CSU should use more aggressive and integrated strategies to promote their campaigns and events,” she says. Her ultimate goal with the International Students’ committee is to reduce tuition fees, and she is also going to work towards removing the 12 credit enrolment condition on scholarships so that part-time students who have financial needs can apply for them. She also plans on working with the Educational Issues and Social Justice coordinators. She say that she “will work closely with those committees ... to get synergy on our issues, and support other committees’ campaigns on the CSU executive.”

✹ ✹ Courier Approved


Ozturk has been an international student for five years in Canada, and feels that this experience has equipped him with the knowledge about what kinds of MASON DUCHARME issues international students have when they Courier Approved Ducharme is the incumbent can- first arrive in a new country. He points out that didate for this position, with his one of the biggest issues is finding a job. “I befirst year in the CSU commencing in Sept. 2010. lieve that students without off-campus work This year, he would like to see more involvement permits still want to work,” he says. “However, from First Nations students and would like to there aren’t enough jobs available on-campus host more events. In addition to serving as First for international students, and I want to make Nations Liaison, Ducharme is interested in be- this work experience possible.” He would like to ing involved in the financial affairs committee, get involved with as many different issues as time as well as assisting in the organization of the an- allows him to, in a variety of areas. He began volnual and semi-annual general meetings. On the unteering for the University this year and plans executive, he would be “the person who makes to continue. “I want to play a very active role people laugh at the appropriate time, holds as a CSU executive and I am sure I will do so,” board members accountable, [and] gets things he says. done on time.” He also aims to encourage the GILBERTO MORALES DE LA FUENTE CSU executive to work together as a team, instead of individuals alone or in cliques. “I see the Morales is hoping to get students more in touch CSU as a student-run organization,” he says. “Its with the CSU, and plans to do this with the help of main goal is to advocate for student rights.” the executive. In order to better understand what students want from the CSU, he is suggesting that CIARA S. JOHN a survey be conducted. He believes the survey John plans to “shine a new light on our people, will help the CSU to recognize its strengths and students, and culture heritage as First Nations weaknesses. “Right now I’m studying business,” People of Canada.” Her goal is to accomplish he says, “so for this reason, I’m really interested effective First Nations student involvement, to see how things work around here.” He is and believes the CSU has a role on campus also planning making “good relations around to help students to feel accepted and provide the university” and he “wish[es] to make good “assurance for all parts of the student experi- friends, too.” ence.” She says that it is important to realize that we are all here “accomplishing our…de- Social Activities Coordinator sires for careers and passion-filled fun.” John promises that she do her best to proceed with action and great intentions with whatever task Courier AMELIA KOEBEL comes her way. “[Students] may appear shy,“ Approved Koebel is the incumbent (and is also running unopposed) for this she says, “but the actual reality is that we are just waiting for someone to initiate some type position. She hopes to continue planning and providing unique events for students that will of communication.“

First Nations Liaison

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Nolan Remedios

Heidi Anderson

Ciara S. John

n e w s s p e c i a l f e atu r e

Hyerin Choi

Sean Stewart

Liam Perry

Dolly Reno

Social Justice Coordinator

tion of Students to expand the disability petition campaign to raise how much financial assistance disabled persons receive, as well as discussing a National Housing Campaign. Stewart believes Courier TERESA GRANT Approved Grant wants to run campaigns that the CSU should “create an inclusive and acthat are going to challenge and ex- cessible environment on campus.” In addition cite students on campus. Involvement in the to the Students with Disabilities committee, he committee in previous years, she says, “has is interested in being involved with the CSU’s taught me so much about myself because of a Canadian Federation of Students portfolio, as few projects that challenged my views, how far well as general operations and services. “I would I was willing to go for things I am passionate also like to help other members on the CSU with for.” Although previously she has had an interest their events and make sure that they are accesin global issues, she is aiming to find a balance sible to all,” he says. between local and international causes worth fighting for. She also recognizes that the CSU Students of Colour Liaison really tries to engage the student population, but because Capilano is such a large transSAAM NASIRPOUR fer university, with many two-year programs, Courier Approved Nasirpour wants to contribute “students don’t always have the investment to get towards a better campus life for very involved,” says Grant. “However, I can see this slowly changing and I have hope that these all students, as well as contributing to the CSU executive in other areas, in addition to his role efforts will pay off.” as Students of Colour liaison. He plans on stayStudents with Disabilities ing involved with the health and dental workLiaison ing group. He believes the CSU should “act as the voice for all students on campus, including Sechelt and Squamish.” In addition, Nasirpour LIAM PERRY would like to see fun events take place on camPerry acknowledges that not all students with pus, such as a beer garden, as well as promotdisabilities want to deal with it publicly, saying ing more food options in the cafeteria with that “many work to overcome it without letting lower food prices, and increasing the number it define them.” He believes that the Students of classes currently offered. “The CSU is defiwith Disabilities committee should connect to nitely heading in the right direction and the a broader base of students who may work with proof is in the pudding – a new health & dental their disability in different ways. He also wishes plan was implemented …and a new lounge is to help students by providing information about being constructed for use by students,” he says. things like the health plan and academic as- “I think the CSU could work on throwing some sistance. Perry is advocating for events that are fun events on campus that would bring students directed at the whole student body, having the closer together.” CSU also represent students in Squamish and on the Sunshine Coast . He also wants to use a Women’s Liaison lot more of the CSU’s budget for event advertising and the work the CSU does. “The CSU plays a ALYSIA LIVESEY role of fundamental importance here at Capilano University, [acting] as the students' voice to help Livesey wants to work alongside and commushape the school to serve them better,” he says. nicate with students, and continue to work with “Students have great ideas as to how the school the collective to make improvements at the could work better and the CSU is there to act Women’s Centre so that there continues to be a safe space for women on campus. She also aims on that.” to work closely with other CSU committees and SHAUN STEWART “create awareness of self-identified women’s isCourier Approved Stewart is the incumbent for this sues, inequality, and injustice, through camposition, and is planning on hold- paigns and fundraisers.” She is hoping to coning a successful campaign to raise the amount of tinue to invite the men on campus to become money that people with disabilities receive from involved with the Women’s collective, because the government, reduce social stigma, and host “it is important to ensure that the inclusion of events that bring the campus disability commu- women does not mean the exclusion of men.” nity together and include everyone. He is also Beyond the Women’s Collective, Livesey has planning on working with the Canadian Federa- an interest in being involved with the university

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Altug Ozturk

allow people to enjoy their time at Capilano. Koebel emphasizes the importance of outreach, saying that it is the responsibility of all executive members to advocate for both their committee and the rest of the CSU. She also plans to be involved with the CSU’s Services and General Operations committees, as well as collaborating with other committees to put on events that address student issues and concerns. “The role of the CSU on campus is to stand up for students,” she says. “As the executive committee, we help those students and ourselves have a voice. Being a part of the CSU is very important, and I think all students should get their say in what happens.”

✹ ✹

Jin Whi Park

Heather McDonald

relations and services committees, and wants to “communicate with both the student body and the CSU to ensure the students’ voices are being heard.” No nominations for candidates in the position of Queer Liaison were received. Kevin Khamseh (Educational Issues Coordinator), Dolly Reno (First Nations Liaison), Gilberto Morales de la Fuente (International Students’ Liaison), Jun Whi Park (International Students’ Liaison) and Heather McDonald (Women’s Liaison) did not respond to interview requests as of press time. Vote in the Birch Cafeteria from October 3 – 7.

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Teresa Grant

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A d v e r t isement


Capilano Courier’s

AGM & Board Elections

• •

Tuesday October 4th 11:30am in the Courier Office - Maple 122

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

To be eligible to run for a position on the Capilano Courier Publishing Society Board of Directors, you must be:


– A member in good standing of the Capilano Courier Publishing Society (meaning, you have paid your current newspaper levy) – Not a member of the CSU Executive or Board, a CSU staff member, or Capilano University faculty or administration – Bring your current CapCard! Come and vote for your new board of directors! Make important decisions! Eat free food! There are seven positions available on the Board.

A d v e r ti s e me n t

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t h e ca p ca l e n dar C e l i na W i th

Kur z !


Contact us to have your event featured in the calendar. D on’t forget the date, time, address, and price!

m o n d ay o c t. 3 AVRIL LAVIGNE AT ROGERS ARENA Do you feel like you are “losing grip”? Do you feel like just saying, “what the hell”? Is your mind tied up with all of the “things you'll never say”? The only way you're going to get out of this situation is by going to Canadian superstar Avril Lavigne's concert. Say hi to my cousin Evangeline! 7:30 pm – 2 am. Rogers Arena.

CSU ELECTIONS KICK-OFF ROCK the VOTE! Explore your freedoms and vote for your favourite character from the television show that is the CSU! Check out our article in this week's Courier with information on the various candidates! Voting is on until Oct. 7. 10 am – 6 pm. Birch Cafeteria. Free!

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART From J.J: I have seen this band twice already, but I would honestly see them every day until I die if I could. The keyboardist is a really cute girl named Peggy who wears unicorn shirts. Plus, their newest album "Belong" is really really fucking good, duh. If you know what's what, you'll probably just come to this. Doors 8 pm, show 9:30. The Biltmore Cabaret. $15

COURIER ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING!!!!! Free pizza! Review our financial statements! If you want, you can run for our board, which is currently completely empty! Perks of being on the board include FREE DINNER DATE once a month with our sexy and beautiful editors-inchief Sarah Vitet and Samantha Thompson, and our quiet, unassuming-yet-charming business manager Ricky Bao. 11:30 am. The Courier Office, Maple 122 (next to the CSU). Free!

LAZY TUESDAY SKATEBOARD VIDEO NIGHT Featuring $2 beer and free cover and “swag”! Watch classic skate videos and rock out to DJ Rico Uno! Better than regular sports. 9pm – 1 am. London Pub (700 Main St.). Free!

GIRLS From J.J: The name of this group is total bullshit, but the two-man group (heh) is actually really rad. They have a really porny video you can check out online, which is a lulzy attempt at copping those pervy Calvin Klein ads with the wood paneling from like 10 years ago. Wear your plaid and make sure you bring your stringy-haired friend. Doors 8 pm, show 9:30. The Biltmore Cabaret. $17

CHAD LEYTE GROUP AT PRESENTATION HOUSE “A group of our city’s young lions play the compositions of guitarist Chad Leyte with Wynston Minckler (bass), Ian Weiss (alto sax), and Cam Stephens (drums).” All of these musicians are a) current students of the Capilano jazz program, b) really talented, and c) pretty cute! There is a jazz night every Wednesday, so if you can't make it this week, check in next week! 8 pm. Presentation House Studios (333 Chesterfield Ave.). $10.

BIG WHOOP WEDNESDAY Remember when people said “big whoop” all the time? Like, if you were really excited about something, and then they'd be like, “Big whoop, Celina,” because it was just about a new lipgloss you bought or something. People should say that again. Let's do it, this Wednesday. Who Cares. Big Whoop. Free!

UNTHANK CINEMA WEDNESDAYS Fans of weird-bad-awesome film rejoice, for this film night is continuing into October! This Wednesday's feature is Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, “a buddy road crime caper starring JEFF BRIDGES and CLINT EASTWOOD which veers a bit from our regular mandate of only showing cult-less, under-appreciated movies.” I fully trust their choice in movies! 10:30 pm – 1:30 am. Black Dog Video (3451 Cambie St.). Free!

SHOP TIL YOU DROP I want to go to this solely based on the name of it, because it describes what I want to do. Not only with the first 250 attendees get FREE SWAG BAGS, there will be a free performance by the Metropolis Glee Club! I love being part of a targeted marketing group. 6 – 9 pm. Metropolis at Metrotown. Free!

LAST DAY TO PICK A COSTUME FOR HALLOWEEN If you don't have an idea by now, you're hooped, buddy. You're stuck getting something prepackaged and automatically not as awesome as the costumes that people thought of last month, made of costume pieces slowly collected over time. Pick one! Do it! Ideas: Molly Ringwald, Piglet, Kermit the Frog, Spike (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), a lion. There, I'm out.

t u e s day o c t. 4 SHINDIG NIGHT #4 Pranatricks, Sleuth, and Weekday Yardsale are the contenders this week. It's exciting! Who doesn't like competition? Who doesn't like getting free beer just for telling a joke? This is way better than sports. 8 pm. The Railway Club. $8.

we d n e s day o c t. 5 FACEBOOK TIMELINE IS REVEALED I totally already have Timeline because I'm obsessed with Facebook, but anyway I'm still excited for all of you to get it and freak out, being all like “Aaaaaaaaah facebook is totally different than it was before!” and then someone else will comment being like “omg I know right what the hell Zuckerberg” and you'll get like four likes. Facebook. The cost of your privacy.

t h u r s day o c t. 6 PASSION PIECE This event in support of Raincity Housing puts the “fun” in “fundraiser”! Dance party wild fun bands the Boom Booms and the Ponderosas will heat up the dance floor, as well as a number of other performers. Raincity Housing helps poverty-stricken individuals find homes, so come down to the Anza and support a great cause! 7 pm – 2 am. Anza Club, #3 West 8th Ave. $10.

f ri day o c t. 7 THE STANLEY PARK HALLOWEEN GHOST TRAIN When I went to go see Insidious, I was so scared that when I got off the bus, I had to jog home. This is much less scary than that! In movies, I would compare it to Hocus Pocus starring Better Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Runs until Oct. 31. Includes face painting and a Haunted Maaaaaze! 6 pm – 11 Fri. & Sat., 6 pm – 10 Sun. - Thurs. Stanley Park. $9.82/6.25

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s at u rday o c t. 8


LAST DAY OF THE ULTIMATE IMPROV CHAMPIONSHIP VANCOUVER Improv! That catty world of improvised drama! Presumably if these people are winning prizes, they have to be really good at it. Really good improv is the funniest thing in the world; it makes me laugh really loud. 8 pm. The Improv Centre on Granville Island (1502 Duranleau St.). $16 students, $21 regular

s u n day o c t. 9 HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN LENNON I hope it's great! All Day. The Afterlife. Free!

ASHLEY'S BIRTHDAY/90s NIGHT AT LIBRARY SQUARE Happy birthday Ashley! Your birthday neatly coincides with 90s night at Library Square, where DJs rock sweet Ace of Bass, S Club 7, and Backstreet Boys. Ladies, grab a leather miniskirt, dark red lipstick, and a crop top for peak enjoyment. Men, dress up as Zack Morris and you'll be sure to find your Kelly. Doors 8:30 pm. Library Square Public House. $12

MUSIC FOR STRINGS AND FLUTE Brenda Fedoruk (flute), Nancy DiNovo (violin), Isabelle Roland (viola), and Heather Hay (cello) bring their astute talents to the Birch theatre with an afternoon of Mozart, Beethoven, and Reher. If you see this performance, you are guaranteed to leave 100% classier, and your lunch will digest 75% faster. 11:45 am – 1 pm. North Shore Credit Union Centre For Performing Arts (BR126). Free!

COLLAPSING OPPOSITES CD RELEASE SHOW Vancouver awesome band Collapsing Opposites is releasing their long-awaited new record, Real Moving! Featuring buddy bands Brave Irene (girl power), Korean Gut (starring Jarrett, the grumpiest ex-Rogers Video employee I know), and Thee Ahs (girl power PLUS Ridley-from-Capilano power), this show is going to rule and you'll probably feel great inside. 9 pm. Zoo Zhop, 223 East Main St.

CUT COPY From J.J: Australians actually do more than just eat kangaroos and visit Whistler? Allegedly they team up and make really bad ass electro-pop that art nerds like to awkwardly dance to. Among those dancers will be the Courier's graphics and layout team. Be sure to look out for them flailing about in the front rows. 8 pm. The Vogue Theatre. $35

HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY SHARON OSBOURNE I hope it's fucking awesome! Fun fact: I had no idea that Ozzy Osbourne had a side project called “The Blizzard of Oz” until right now. Maybe you didn't know that either! All Day. England. Free!

PUMPKIN PATCH SUNDAY Since you don't have any other plans, start prepping for Halloween! Google map “pumpkin patch,” pick a patch, and find your perfect pumpkin! Here are some ideas for pumpkin faces: sad pumpkin, classic pumpkin, cat pumpkin, dog pumpkin, celebrity pumpkin (eg. Selena Gomez, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Courtney Cox), or get a lot of pumpkins and make them characters from your favourite musical (eg. Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray). Various locations. Cost of pumpkin ($2+).

TAYLOR SWIFT & AVRIL LAVIGNE LISTENING PARTY Saturday nights are too hard. Let's just do this instead, I can make popcorn! If you wanna hang out earlier we can go shopping and complain about school. Love yaaa! My house. Free!

GARFIELD MONDAY Smash your alarm clock. Sleep in a lasagna tin. Eat lasagna. Drink coffee. Make fun of dogs and the important men in your life. Don't catch mice; hang out with them. Sleep in the sunny patch in the window. Etc. All Day. Anywhere. Free!

F e at u r e s

ED I TO R / / Adél ie Houl e- Lachance // s pe c i al fe ature s . c apc o uri e r@ gmai l . c o m

THE WHITE CROW FARM PROJECT The fine art of farming goes grassroots By Leah Scheitel // Writer


magine a farm in the beautiful Slocan Valley, an hour’s drive from Nelson. This farm is like any other, with pigs, goats, horses, and chickens. Harvested from the garden are garlic, strawberries, and raspberries. But the White Crow Farm in Winlaw, BC also grows something original and unique by empowering local music, art, creativity, and spreading knowledge on sustainable living. White Crow Farm where the project has its roots is not your typical petting zoo – it aims to be a West Coast hub for urban and rural farming to come together, along with creative artistic and musical projects, and spirituality. White Crow Farm celebrates sustainable living and educates others on how to live peacefully within their community and the surrounding environment. What makes this project different from other sustainable culture campaigns is that it was founded and run by passionate youth with strong urban roots that allow them, through their connections, to be creative with their projects by incorporating music, video, website, and social media. This seems to appeal to a younger and perhaps more urban audience, and through this connection the project is able to reach more people in the cities, thus educating them on the benefits of sustainable living, and how possible it is to accomplish in their own backyards.

growing, and sharing their harvests at local Farmer’s Markets around the Nelson area. “We try to do the whole farm thing instead of just one thing,” Chouinard continues. “We try to do direct marketing in the sense that we can produce a little bit of many things, and supply a lot of things for a few people, rather than one thing to a lot of people. In the gardens, our main crop this year was garlic, but we also focused in on raspberries, strawberries, and edamame soybeans as well.” Currently, there are six people living on the farm full time, but others interested in the project continually come and go. Everyone pitches in to do their share of the work, creating a strong community feel, like a family of like-minded farmers.

Art and music plays its part

Because the farm was established by young urbanites, incorporating art and music into the project is a priority for them. Syd Woodward, spokesman for the farm and project, explains that “a very important part [of the project] to us is tying in music and art to the farm. There is such a strong art and music presence here ... [We] also do artist spotlights, artist interviews, and cool different things with music.” In their goal of promoting local artists and showcasing their work, The White Crow Farm Project's current phase of action is building a website so that the project is not limited only to White Crow Farm the Kootenay’s. Eventually, they would like to focus on artists from around the world who are usTimothy Fenton, the general livestock manager, ing creative means to encourage others to learn founded the Farm six years ago. It gained sup- about sustainable living. porters through the electronic music festivals “We can use this project to promote not just around BC, such as Shambhala and Basscoast, the people around us,” explains Woodward, “but and has now grown into a co-op farm. [people] from all over the world who are doing White Crow was inspired by the methods of really cool things with art.” Woodward does not Joel Salatin, an American farmer and author. His want the website to only focus on farming and farm, the Polyface, was the subject for documen- agriculture: he believes that by incorporating arttaries Food Inc. and Fresh, as well as Michael Pol- istry, the project's website will be more cohesive, lan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. and thus appeal to a wider audience. ”We have a different style,” explains Daman Chouinard, who lives and works on the farm Grounded TV Network full-time, “but the methods of Joe Salatin are the fundamentals, and moving into some elements “The project is going to be two elements,” explains of natural farming. We are trying to produce ev- Woodward, “It’s going to have a web and digital presence, but we also want to mix different aserything on site as much as possible.” They started out small, and are slowly pects, like getting your hands dirty. So we want

to start doing workshops out here on the farm. There is going to be a cool balance of the two worlds: the digital and the physical.” Bering part of The White Crow Farm project compliments Woodward's other venture, the Grounded TV Network, which is an online network dedicated to circulating stories that are culturally and socially relevant. The network has a variety of shows and “webisodes” that focus on music, pop culture, and environmental issues awareness. “The White Crow Farm project is going to be a sister project of Grounded TV,” explains Woodward. “It’s kind of what got me going in this sustainable culture. It’s been really cool to see the kind of community that’s been growing around. The Grounded TV Network really supported the different things we were posting, like the urban and rural agriculture and the food movement. And the community that we built was really starving for it, and really shared it and supported it. It’s cool that we built a community of conscious people.” He goes on to explain, “The cool thing about this area is the local community, being so close to Nelson, and being in this very creative area … It’s just a wicked mix of arts and ruggedness. There is such a strong artist community, which is why a project like this will flourish here.”

Urban Farming “More and more people are moving to cities, and it’s going to happen. There is no point in denying it,” Woodward continues. “We now have to look at ‘How can we make this [lifestyle] work in cities?’” “I’m inspired by cities down in Brazil; there are cities there that produce the entire amount of food that the city needs and export purely from within the city limits.” Vancouver has great potential for both urban farming, where individuals garden on volunteered land in cities, and spin farms, where neighbours use each other’s land to create a garden and harvest enough crops and vegetable to feed their neighbourhood. Including an urban element to the project to inform people on the values of local produce is an important part of the entire project.

Raising Funds The White Crow Farm Project is launching a fundraising campaign with www.kickstarter. com, with hopes of raising $20,000. The funding will be used to build the website, obtain proper film equipment to document the farm, and promote the White Crow Farm Project on a global scale. They are always looking for help, by word of mouth or through social media networking: you can reach out by using Facebook to invite your friends to join their page (which can be found by searching “White Crow Farm” on Facebook). The White Crow Farm Project breeds something different; it binds together elements of urban and rural agriculture, artistry, creative expression, live animals, food production, and a strong sense of community.

So far, the surrounding communities have been very receptive to the project. Because the farm artistically documents the daily on-goings and inner workings of their farm, local artists and farmers have been excited to see the creative influences the farm has had. “The thing about their project is that it is absolutely necessary, because so many people don’t know where their food is coming from,” explains Alina Skiba, a local clothing designer who founded the Frog Peak Farmers Market this summer. “You read about sustainable living, you know it’s trendy to be nature orientated, but you don’t actually know how to do it.” Skiba believes that Nelson and the Slo- More information and video clips can be found can Valley are a perfect fit for a project of this on the Grounded TV Network’s website at kind. “When you have a project like this, with

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Surrounding Communities’ Thoughts

// Illustrations by Sarah Taylor a community that practices sustainable living around it, it makes it a good example for other communities. They [the White Crow Farm Project] are going outside of their niche market to try and educate people, but they are doing it by portraying their own backyard. It’s great.”


f e at u r e s what the government is seen as. I just want you to know that.” “I simply wanted to emphasize that these allegations deserve to be explored, and that I believe funded counsel for those making the allegations, not just for those refuting them, would assist the process,” said Oppal in the statement. Funding for participants would provide them with legal counsel during the hearings of the inquiry. What is perhaps most interesting about this series of proceedings, though, is that it is fairly standard practice for the government to fund the participation of whichever groups the commissioner deems necessary. For the other groups to participate in the commission would cost the government an estimated $1.5 million, which is pocket change when placed in comparison to the $100 million that they have already spent on the Pickton investigation prior to the inquiry. Unfortunately, failing to provide funding to more participants is causing other groups to doubt the future accuracy of the conclusions of the inquiry, potentially spending a significant amount of the taxpayer’s dollar for untrustworthy results.

THE SUBJECTIVITY Of justice Missing Women Inquiry’s loses valuable voices with lack of provincial funding B y Sam a n t h a Th o mp s o n , e d i t o r -i n -c h i ef

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n 2009, 26.3 per cent of homicide victims were female, according to Statistics Canada. Within this, evidence has shown that Aboriginal women face considerably higher risks of violence and homicide than non-Aboriginal women: according to the 2009 Juristat report, Aboriginal women were three times as likely to experience violent victimization than nonAboriginal women. It is our prerogative to recognize that there is a serious problem with these statistics in that the disproportionate amount of victims are women, Aboriginal, or both. Unfortunately, despite the shocking statistics, there is still a lot of progress that needs to be achieved in order to positively change this systemic problem, which partially occurs as a result of socioeconomic circumstances. Since the 1990s, many women have been reported as missing, with relatively little action taken to resolve the problem. Between Jan. 23 1997 and Feb. 5 2002, a huge number of women were reported missing from the Downtown Eastside (DTES) in Vancouver. It was suggested that there was a serial killer active in the community, yet the complaints that were related to missing women were not taken seriously. In many instances, the women reported as missing were Aboriginal, sex workers, or both. On Jan. 27 1998, the Criminal Justice Branch decided to pause proceedings on charges against Robert William Pickton for attempted murder, assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, and aggravated assault. However, in 2002 the police arrested Pickton, and he was charged with 27 degrees of first degree murder, six counts of second degree murder, and evidence at the trial indicated that Pickton may have murdered as many as 49 women – something that, it has been suggested, could have been avoided if the stay of proceedings against Pickton hadn’t happened, and if the reports of

missing women had been taken seriously in the first place. As is standard practice when something goes wrong, a public inquiry into the investigations surrounding the Pickton trial was launched in September 2010. Entitled the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, the Honourable Wally Oppal, Q.C., was named commissioner, and his final report of the commission’s findings due on Dec. 31 2011. The inquiry will look into the investigation of reported cases of the women missing from the DTES between 1997 and 2002, and why it took so long to convict Pickton. “There are two primary objectives for the commission: one is to look at … the investigations by the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP … and whether there were mistakes made in the investigations which led to Pickton not being apprehended sooner,” says Christopher Freimond, spokesperson for the inquiry. “The other is to look at a decision by the Criminal Justice Branch … They made a decision at one point during the Pickton investigation not to proceed with charges of attempted murder against him after allegations were made by a woman that he had tried to kill her.” “The objective of the commission’s work will be to see whether any mistakes were made in the police investigation or in the criminal justice branch decision, and if so, what needs to change to make sure that those types of mistakes are never made again.” Certainly, the Pickton trial is not new news; however, situations arising out of the Missing Women Inquiry suggest that although the inquiry was launched with honest intentions, its ability to orchestrate any sort of change in the approach towards cases involving missing women is fast decreasing – and with the inquiry’s hearings scheduled to occur on Oct. 11, they’re running short on time to make things right.

WALLY OPPAL AND THE SKETCHY SITUATION One of the first concerns is that Oppal himself has been placed under fire, as he has been criticized for not remaining objective as the commissioner of an inquiry. Oppal recommended that the province fund the participation of the families of Pickton’s victims and twelve groups that advocate primarily on behalf of women, street sex workers, and Aboriginals; however, when the province agreed to fund the participation of only the families, and not the advocacy groups, Oppal wrote a letter and left a message on the answering machine of the previous provincial Attorney General, Barry Penner. These actions had critics questioning Oppal’s objectivity in the case, suggesting that he had already made a decision about what had happened prior to being presented with any evidence from either side. In addition, it has been suggested that Oppal is in a conflict of interest, as he was Attorney General himself during part of the Pickton murder investigation. At the end of August 2011, Oppal issued a statement to address some of these concerns, emphasizing that he had not yet made any conclusions prematurely about the issues that he was investigating. He quoted part of his voicemail left to Penner, which read, “These are the women who complained to the police about women being missing …[and] the police gave … the back of their hands to these women, and disregarded what they had to say. So they can’t cross‐examine the police, who are of course well‐armed with publicly funded lawyers … and the government is now being seen as funding the people who allegedly [did] everything wrong and ignored the women, ignored the victims but … funding … will not go and fund the victims, and not fund the women, the poor aboriginal women. That’s

BAD TO WORSE The lack of funding for these groups has been questioned by activist organizations, the BC NDP, and Wally Oppal himself. As the due date of Oppal’s final report draws nearer, the Missing Women’s Commission Inquiry, despite its hopefully good intentions, continues to be heavily scrutinized. Although the provincial government has firmly adapted the stance that they are here for the families of victims from the Robert Pickton case, they are not funding all of the families affected. Freimond said that the legal counsel for the families, Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward, is representing 17 families, not “all” of them as the provincial government has been implying. When asked about the funding in the Legislature’s question period, Premier Christy Clark responded, “It is tragic what has happened in the Downtown Eastside, and it continues to be tragic – what happens down there for women and children and men who struggle every day in what is certainly one of Canada's poorest postal codes. It has been a challenge for governments for decades to try and get our hands around the issues down there, try and wrestle them down and make sure that it's a better place tomorrow than it has been in the past.” “The government is funding the families to be able to be heard at the commission, and we are making sure that as many voices as possible are heard before that commission. It seems to me to be our obligation to do that, and we're certainly living up to it, although it isn't required by law for us to do that. We want to make sure those voices are heard because, as I said, the issues facing women and children and men who live in the Downtown Eastside are serious, and they are urgent.” However, as the funding is not for all of the families, nor the other participants, many voices are not being heard. In his Ruling on Participation and Funding Recommendation, Oppal said that he had concluded that, without funding, those participants who had applied for funding would not be able to participate in the hearing portion of the inquiry. “I know the inquiry is committed to making sure that we can hear from as many voices as absolutely possible, because we want to make sure that the Downtown Eastside is a better place, is a safer place, and is the kind of close-knit, healthy community that many of the rest of us have the good fortune to live in,” said Clark. In addition, the government is funding full

f e atu r e s participants like the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP, as they are government organizations, which critics have pointed out as evidence of potential bias. "So, we're left with a situation where every police officer who testifies will have a lawyer, but everyone on the victim's side has to be on their own or rely on the one lawyer appointed for the victims' families," said Doug King, lawyer for Pivot Legal Society, to CBC. Meanwhile, groups like CRAB–Water for Life Society, Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women’s Association of Funding are not receiving funding. Many of these participants applied for the right to participate together as an alliance, so that multiple organizations with similar purposes would not apply and thus create an overlap of the interests the groups represent. Several of the groups have been working with women affected by issues coming out of the inquiry, women in the Downtown Eastside, yet their lack of funding will likely result in many important witnesses becoming reluctant to step forward – as they would have to do so without proper legal counsel.


// Illustrations by Caitlyn Neufeld inquiry participants Part ic ipant s in the in q u iry are (th is l ist inclu d e s tho se partic ipant s who have with d rawn f rom the in q u iry):

full participants • Vancouver Police Department and Vancouver Police Board • Government of Canada (representing the RCMP) • Criminal Justice Branch • Families of Dawn Crey, Cara Ellis, Cynthia Dawn Feliks, Marnie Frey, Helen Mae Hallmark, Georgina Papin, Dianne Rock, Mona Wilson, Jacqueline Murdock, Angela Williams, Brenda Wolfe, Andrea Joesbury, Elsie Sabastian, Angela Jardine, Heather Bottomley, Tiffany Drew and Andrea Borhaven as represented by A. Cameron Ward • Vancouver Police Union • Marion Bryce, mother of Patricia Johnson as represented by Irwin Nathanson Coalition of Sex Worker-Serving Organizations • The Committee of the February 14 Women’s Memorial March and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre • Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Walk4Justice and Frank Paul Society • Native Women’s Association of Canada • Dr. Kim Rossmo • Constable Doug Fell as represented by Kevin Woodall. limited participants • BC Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty International and PIVOT Legal Society Ending Violence Association of BC and West Coast LEAF • Assembly of First Nations • Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs • Women’s Equality & Security Coalition • Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC • First Nations Summit • CRAB–Water for Life Society

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However, it seems as though Oppal’s conclusion that the participants who had applied for funding would be unable to participate in the proceedings was accurate. Since the announcement that the province would only be funding the lawyer for the families of victims, several other participants have pulled out of the inquiry. Most recently, Pivot Legal Society had to leave the inquiry, with the non-profit citing the government’s failure to fund sex worker organizations, women’s groups, and Aboriginal groups to participate in the inquiry as one of their reasons for withdrawal. “Since the Inquiry was called in 2010, there have been a number of government decisions that have effectively shut out many of the groups who lobbied most strongly for this inquiry. As a result, we have come to doubt the ability of the Commission to conduct a fair and impartial inquiry,” said King in a press release. Although the integrity of the inquiry was a contributing factor, Pivot has stated that in the end it came down to the necessity for their organization to use their resources to achieve the most positive impact for marginalized women. DEAR CHRISTY CLARK Other groups who have left the inquiry include: Native Women’s Association of Canada; Many of the groups who did not receive full fund- Ending Violence Association of B.C. and West ing have been very vocal about their disappoint- Coast LEAF; Women’s Equality and Security ment in the government’s decision, as have MPs Coalition; Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and the that aren’t police officers or the Crown, how can for the BC NDP and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs; and Native Court- we be sure that the inquiry is going to be benRobertson. Robertson wrote a letter urging worker and Counseling Association of BC. eficial enough to warrant the estimated $3-$5 Attorney General Barry Penner to reconsider his million the government has budgeted for this decision to deny funding, saying that it “threatens NOT TO BE SILENCED inquiry? It is, in fact, likely to cost considerably the legitimacy of the Inquiry’s final results.” more than that, seeing how as costs are already In May and June 2011, Oppal decided to hold Even with the official hearings just around the estimated at $3 million and the hearing hasn’t a pre-hearing conference that gave participants corner, the participants are still continuing to even started. the “opportunity to make submissions to [Op- advocate for funding. One suggestion that has been made is that an Last week, seventeen families of victims and Amber Alert system, similar to the one used to pal] about how the Attorney General’s funding decision affects their interests,” says the thirty women’s, aboriginal, and community find Kienan Hebert earlier this month, be put groups issued an open letter to Christy Clark, in place for missing women. Hebert was found Commissioner’s progress report. During the pre-hearing conference, Art requesting an intervention from the premier in shortly after the Amber Alert was sounded, and Verlieb, Q.C., Senior Commission Counsel on the what the letter called a “broken process”. The let- this kind of efficiency could have a significant inquiry, said that without funding, “a number of ter asked Clark to meet with the groups so that impact on finding missing women. participants would be unable to participate in she could hear their concerns and “take steps However, a lack of a system to find the women the hearing without counsel due to their lim- to ensure that the Commission lives up to its is one of many concerns relating to the issue. In ited resources and capacity. In addition, given vital mandate,” giving her the deadline of Oct. 5 addition, factors like poverty, stereotyping, and the marginalized position of many of the par- to respond. police investigation potentially affect the ability “The people and communities who are in- to put a halt to this systemic problem. As it is one ticipants, it is unreasonable to expect that they would be able to participate unrepresented in tended to be benefited by this process have been of the goals of the Missing Women Commission a hearing that requires the review of hundreds made to feel that their participation is not need- of Inquiry to isolate these contributing factors of thousands of documents, technical cross- ed, or even particularly desired,” said the letter. and make recommendations on how the provIn response to the letter, however, interim At- ince can solve the problem, the ability to change examination of professional witnesses and an understanding of the policies and procedures of torney General Shirley Bond released a state- the current situation then lies in the hands of the ment that said, “Let me be clear, we will not be provincial government. the commission.” Although the Inquiry began as an eviden- intervening in the work of the Commission. Giv“The commissioner …will make recommendatiary hearing process, on March 3, 2011 the en the budget challenges the ministry is facing, tions to the provincial government in his report B.C. government granted the inquiry the pow- we have made our priority funding legal coun- and it will be up to the government then to deers of a Study Commission, which is supposed sel for the families of the murdered and missing cide whether or not it wants to implement those to maximize participation without the strict women. On the request of the Commissioner, changes or not,” says Freimond. hearing procedure that requires legal counsel. we amended the commission’s terms of referWith their failure to provide funding to imThe commission will now have both the hear- ence to make it a joint hearing and study com- portant groups coupled with their disappointing and study commission procedures. This mission expressly so that it was more inclusive ing decision not to pay heed to Oppal’s recomcomes as a good thing, as some participants and less formal so participants would not need mendations for funding, the inquiry has become were concerned about the terms of reference for legal counsel.” less reliable and the women who are missing the Inquiry. from this process will once again be placed at “From the beginning we had worries about the RUNNING OUT OF TIME a disadvantage. terms of reference. It's too legal, too much like a As per the terms of reference for the inquiry, trial. That is not the best way to engage with vul- The government makes mistakes on a regu- Oppal must submit a final report with recomnerable women, in a trial-like setting," staff lawyer lar basis, regardless of which party has been mendations to the Attorney General on or with Pivot Legal Society Douglas King told the elected. These women weren't brutally mur- before Dec. 31 2011. Some time after that, the dered because they were being stupid: they province will decide what action (if any) they Vancouver Sun. “All groups with standing may still present be- were killed because they were women, and this will take. Only time will tell if this inquiry, which fore the commissioner in formal hearings,” said shouldn't be considered acceptable. Now, the may have begun with good intentions, is worth the provincial government in a press release. government isn’t funding important voices for the estimated $3 million price tag it has already “Furthermore, they may take part in the study the inquiry, and, as a result, other organizations cost to receive only half of the picture. With the commission, a less formal process that does not (like the Pivot Legal Society) are boycotting the hearing set to go ahead on Oct. 11, time is quickly inquiry. With so few participants in the inquiry running out to make things right. require legal representation.”


a rt s

EDIT OR // Cl aire Vuil l amy // arts @ c api l ano c o uri e r. c o m

The Cult of Personality Gregor Robertson and Tommy Wiseau compete for Vancouver’s heart in one of the most infamously terrible directors of all time, Tommy Wiseau, and have him // Writer direct a one-off “cold” reading with volunteers any Vancouverites have some de- from the audience. The result was exactly what it gree of respect for their Mayor; how- sounds like: awkward and hilarious. With a theever, when one notes that his sup- ater full of fans dressed in costumes based on porters often refer to Gregor Robertson as “His the cult classic The Room, it seemed like half the Worship,” it is quite apparent that the admiration volunteers just wanted to get close enough to goes much deeper. Tommy Wiseau to touch him, rather than act. Alternately, there is film director Tommy Wiseau, often called “The Legend” by his fans. He is a cult icon: a man shrouded in mystery and black leather garb; a man who looks more corpse than alive; a man whose voice is tinged with multiple, possibly fake, accents. Tommy Wiseau is the director, writer, and leading man of what the London Independent called “one of the worst films of all time.” Released in 2003, Wiseau’s film The Room already stands as a cult classic. As part of Vancouver’s Olio festival, these two men, Robertson and Wiseau, were presented for an audience in an honest display of love and respect, either warranted or not. “The Classic Comedy Roast of Mayor Gregor Robertson” took place on Sept. 22 and was the first of the two events. What one might expect from a roast is a seething undertone of insult coated with lighthearted humour. Instead, what occurred was a good natured and loving “roast” of a man who was clearly admired by everyone in attendance. This was partially expected by the audience, as rumours had circulated through people standing in line that the jokes were censored to produce an overall tone of admiration. Hanging from the rafters over the stage was a massive painted portrait of Mayor Robertson, surrounded by text that read “Man of the Hour.” When Mayor Robertson arrived on stage to boisterous applause, he was nothing but smiles and laughs. The roast featured various figures of the Vancouver comedy scene as well as CUPE15 Union Leader Mike Jackson and City Council Member Andrea Reimer. Most jokes revolved around Mayor Robertson’s looks; for example, “It’s like looking at the sun: you can’t look too long or the image will be burned into your eyes,” said Roast Host Ryan Beil. The comedy team behind the event is also responsible for the political website and CTV’s “The Party.” They did a fantastic job of lightly prodding some of Mayor Robertson’s standout traits. These of course include his “green” attitude on everything from front-yard farming, back-yard chickens, and bike lanes. And how could you really talk about Gregor Robertson without mentioning his involvement as the co-founder of Happy Planet? As City Councilor Andrea Reimer jokingly put it “Like all young girls, I needed something only Gregor could provide … free juice.” Despite the playful nature of the roast, it was difficult to tell where the earnestness ended and Wiseau is a haunting figure, pale and sickly where the sarcasm started. Mayor Robertson looking with long greasy black hair, often wearing gave an honest plea for everyone in attendance sunglasses and leather pants. Imagine an aged to consider voting for him in the November elec- Jim Morrison, cast to host Tales from the Crypt. tion at the end of the night. If you’ve seen The Room, you can imagine what Fast-forward 24 hours to the Rio Movie it would be like to receive guidance from a man Theatre on Commercial and Broadway. The infamous for not being able to direct his way out line of anxious die-hard fans stretched halfway of a closet. down the street in both directions. The event, The script chosen in the contest was called called “The Master Class,” was the brainchild of The First Hit. Volunteers were “punished” for Rio Theatre owner and operator Corrine Lea. The whatever seemed to set Tommy off, be it a slow idea was to hold a script writing contest, bring monologue or no head shots – mind you these By Colin Spensley

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were all volunteers hand-picked by Wiseau himself. Often contradicting himself and confusing everyone in attendance, Wiseau would say things like, “Always go overboard … give me something what you can, from your heart,” an obvious hyperbole of acting guidance, only to snap at another actor 20 minutes later with, “Don’t overproject! You’re making me angry with all the over-projecting!”

// Arin Ringwald From the audience’s point of view, it was like being directed by a toddler who hadn’t had his afternoon nap. However, everyone on stage took it in stride, most seeming to be honoured to be spoken to by a man of such infamy. What came out of the cold reading was a hodgepodge of misdirection and confusion that kept the audience in constant hysterics. The volunteer actors shone through with great one-liners and improvised jokes. Wiseau himself seemed unfazed by the reaction and encouraged the audience to laugh, or rather, “I don’t care what you do, just have fun.”

The early screening of The Room itself later on that night at The Rio Theatre was much more chaotic than “The Master Class.” What has been called “the Rocky Horror Picture Show of a modern generation” had fans lined up almost three blocks deep down Broadway in hopes of being a part of what proved to be one giant inside joke. The Rio was packed by 7:30 pm. With many people sitting in the aisles to catch a glimpse of the screening and the Q&A with Tommy Wiseau. When the lights dimmed, the crowd came out in full force. For fans of “so bad it’s good” cinema, this is the cream of the crop. Mystery Science Theater 3000, eat your heart out: The Room screening had more shouted jokes from the boisterous audience than it had dialogue. Obviously, a large number of people in attendance had read “The Viewers Guide to the Room,” in which an author lays out all the cues for which fans can react to in the movie. This includes the throwing of plastic spoons in any scene in which the artwork depicts a spoon, which is a lot. Despite The Room’s gut-wrenching slow pace and atrocious acting, there couldn’t have been a disappointed fan in the over 500 person audience. When Tommy Wiseau entered the stage for the Q&A, the crowd went into an almost religious frenzy. Most of the questions asked related to ridiculously in-depth references to scenes in The Room or hopeful requests for sneak peeks at upcoming Wiseau films. Since The Room’s release in 2003, Wiseau has released only one pilot for a TV series, entitled The Neighbours. Most questioners were hurried along with either a “no comment” or “next question” response from Wiseau, although anyone requesting a hug from him was ushered on stage to receive it. Also, for all those die-hard fans out there, The Room on Blu-ray will be out before Christmas! The “so bad it’s good” genre has obviously taken off with a bang in the last few years with screenings of films like Troll II and the critically-acclaimed B-movie mash up Mystery Science Theater 3000. With The Room sitting at the forefront of the genre, it’s understandable that people react the way that they do to Tommy Wiseau’s presence. What this weekend really came down to was the question of what is really more important to the people of Vancouver. It seems obvious that political satire must take the back seat to the abrasive and often obnoxiously open humour of The Room, but it does raise the question: how do you praise a man while also laughing openly at his lack of talent? Regardless of how horribly Wiseau directs, acts and writes, he does deliver what people expect from The Room: a good laugh, just as Gregor Robertson gave you what you may have potentially voted for: a bike-riding, organic-juiceguzzling, handsome man of a Mayor. When cross-examined and contrasted, these two men seem to almost embody the city of Vancouver itself: sarcastic, witty, and not afraid to laugh at itself, but simultaneously conscious and driven. Maybe these two figures are more similar than we think: perhaps one day Gregor will watch The Room and throw biodegradable plastic spoons at the screen, while Tommy Wiseau cycles his away across the Burrard Bridge, drinking a bottle of Lulu Island Blackberry Smoothie.

A r ts

Verbal Vancouver Word on the Street Festival comes to Carnegie Community Centre By Marja-Leena Corbett // Writer


epresentations of the Downtown Eastside are, more often than not, negative. Once people have a preconceived notion about something, it seems it can be difficult to shake it. In The Beat, a documentary style television series about the Vancouver Police Department in the Downtown Eastside, the focus is on “the mess down here on East Hastings.” When police enter the area, they are instructed to act as though they’re “hunting – you’re scanning your environment, you’re looking for the people who are breaking the law, which is prey.” While this representation may or may not accurately represent the realities of law enforcement, these are the kinds of images that the public sees. There are people out there trying to break free of the misconceptions. As Megaphone Magazine journalist Kevin H. writes, “There’s a truth in this neighbourhood that people are ignoring … If you take time to listen to the people that are building and supporting this community – creating opportunities, building partnerships, working to lift one another up – you’ll see a neighbourhood that is full of spirit, determination, and compassion.” That is simply one glance at an even bigger story that hides just beneath the surface. On Sept. 24, Word on the Street came to the Carnegie Community Centre, located at the intersection of Main St. and Hastings St. Word on the Street is a national book and magazine festival that celebrates literacy. This year, it has been expanded to a three day event. The first day took

place at Banyen Books & Sound and Historic Joy Kogawa House, and the second day at the Carnegie. The third day took place in the usual location at the Library Square in downtown Vancouver. The historic Carnegie Centre was built in 1904, and is commonly known as the “living room” of the Downtown Eastside. It provides services to people who need it, such as helping the homeless find housing, financial and health support; offering inexpensive meals; and making learning readily available. All of this is available to the street-involved for an annual membership fee of $1. With this in mind, it was certainly a unique choice as a venue for the festival. A series of presentations by various writers and magazines took place on the third floor. A beautiful winding staircase lined with stained glass windows depicting Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer led up to the classroom. One of the presenters was Megaphone, a magazine that is sold by low-income and homeless people in Vancouver. The street vendors buy the magazine for 75 cents and resell it for about $2, with all the money from the sale going directly to the vendor. It is published by the non-profit Street Corner Media Foundation. Not only does it lend a sense of pride to the people of the Downtown Eastside, it helps to develop the writing skills of those who choose to write for the magazine, and gives them a voice. A few writers read their work aloud, giving the audience a feel for the magazine and what it’s like to be a “marginalized” writer. One writer, Melita Carlsen, shared her life story. She spoke of “the bars of [her] own personal jail”: After a traumatiz-

ing sexual assault, she found herself involved in the sex trade. To her, the Downtown Eastside is a place “where people give up, walking around with only death in their eyes.” However, her life has taken yet another turn; this time for the better. WISH, a drop-in centre that offers various forms of assistance to women in the sex trade, has helped Melita to find her true self. Since finding help at WISH, she has completed the Healthcare Assistant course at Capilano. Sean Condon, the Executive Director of Megaphone, had some interesting insight as to why Carnegie was chosen as a venue for Word on the Street. First of all, he pointed out that although it might not be completely evident, “there are still many families living in the Downtown Eastside.” He made it clear that people have preconceived ideas of what it’s like in the area, and “they are unaware of the friendly and loving community that thrives.” “It is generally quite a safe area, despite what people may assume,” he explains. As for the literary aspect, “there are plenty of talented writers in the area, and the depth of their writing is profound … Holding the festival at the Carnegie Centre brings people out of their comfort zone.” Mostly, Condon spoke of the people who are brought together at the festival. “I think it shows people that they’re not as different from each other as they might think.” Jessica, a festival assistant, shared her opinion on the subject. “Word on the Street is all about community and bringing people together. There is such a strong sense of community in the Downtown Eastside. People who would never

// Stefan Tosheff normally have a chance to connect are able to meet and talk.” Another volunteer suggested that “it was a natural partnership between two Vancouver Public Libraries.” Everyone was in agreement: the decision to expand was definitely a good one. It was worth the extra efforts involved, and it fit right in with the other events taking place. Having the Word on the Street festival at the Carnegie Community Centre was also chance to bring perspective to many people attending. It brought more than the celebration of literacy to Vancouver: it brought together a diverse group people, all with a common ground of wanting to learn something new. To say that the festival’s expansion was a success is an understatement.

CAP JAZZ PROMISES A SENSATIONAL SEASON But what does this mean for students in other fine arts programs? By Katie Shore // Writer


// Chris Dedinsky to new genres, for sure." This becomes obvious when looking at another prominent series, Global Roots. Black seems very excited indeed about the Global Roots series, which brings in a "mix of roots and world music artists." She also notes that the Centre for Performing Arts is looking to host more guest speakers. However, another question arises. Why is Capilano University, a relatively small school, trying to attract such big name acts? Perhaps they are trying to compare to larger schools, such as the University of British Columbia. The University of British Columbia's Chan Centre is a formidable opponent in prestige. The Centre houses not one, but three venues – a con-

cert hall, a theatre and a cinema. In looking at the programming for Chan Centre, they also seem to have an emphasis on world music, featuring artists such as AfroCubism and Zakir Hussain this season. However, UBC seems to be lacking where Capilano is breaking ground with jazz performances. Perhaps Capilano is aiming to put itself on the map in this category by bringing in high-class artists. It is important to note that where Capilano shines in all of its performing arts programs is the amount of opportunities that exist for students to perform. Exit 22 is putting on four different plays this year, and the Classical musicians are holding a variety of events, including a performance with the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. Some of the performances in the Jazz sector also feature Capilano students playing along with some of the greats. It could be through the great connections that the school has made, or with hopes of making a name for themselves as a hub for eclectic musicians, or even due to mere chance – however, the musical programming at the North Shore Credit Union Centre outshines that of many other schools. The Cap Jazz series, raved about by students, staff, and musicians alike, is enhancing our reputation as an arts university. The same can be said about the Global Roots series. Hopefully, in time, the amount of theatre productions and classical acts coming to the school will be just as varied and prestigious.

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t's no secret that Capilano University is known for, among other things, a number of fantastic performing arts programs. As one of the few schools in British Columbia with an acclaimed degree in Jazz Studies, Capilano prides itself in having produced and enhanced the careers of many great musicians and teachers. In addition to this, the university runs the Cap Jazz series, through the North Shore Credit Union Centre for Performing Arts located in the Birch building. In looking at this season’s program, one can see that the school has brought in many acclaimed artists to perform, such as Cape Verdean singer-songwriter Carmen Souza, American jazz drummer Jason Marsalis, and Canadian jazz singer Diana Panton. However, in observing the programming outside of the Cap Jazz program, there isn't as much variety. The majority of both the classical music and theatre acts are put on by the students, with the exception of the “Arts Club On Tour,” who regularly bring their productions to the Centre for Performing Arts. While this is exciting for the students themselves, it provides for less interactivity with their respective artistic communities. This leads to the question – why is Capilano focusing so much on Jazz programming? Are they depriving students from other programs, such as Classical Studies, Mu-

sical Theatre, and Acting for Stage and Screen, unique opportunities? "Certainly a big impetus behind starting the Cap Jazz series fourteen years ago was to support the Jazz Studies program," says Fiona Black, Director of Programming for the North Shore Credit Union Centre for Performing Arts. "We've had lots of success throughout our history with many high profile jazz artists coming here.” While there is a thriving jazz community in Vancouver, with events such as the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, a possible reason the university could be bringing in such renowned jazz artists is to create an opportunity that might not otherwise occur. “Because jazz is not mainstream, it can be a tough sell with artists who aren't so well known,” says Black. “The Cap Jazz series gets outstanding feedback from our patrons who are real music fans who know good music." Indeed, for students who major in theatre, it is easy to go out and see a play on any night of the week. Vancouver also has many high-class orchestra venues for those interested in classical music. In focusing on jazz programming, Capilano University is giving students a rare opportunity to see big-name acts. Fiona Black, while admitting the university has very good connections with jazz agents and managers, denies that the Centre has a bias towards jazz musicians, saying that she is "open



When “Urban Renewal” Meant “Negro Removal” How art and passion can get us past this

reviews in


TORO Y MOI at VENUE – September 29, 2011 // JJ Brewis

By Claire McGillivray // writer

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hings like this are the living, breathing memorial,” stated Wayde Compton, in reference to the Hogan’s Alley Poetry Festival, which kicked off on Sept. 23. As the co-founder of the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, he beamed as he described the way “folks come out and they talk about it and keep it alive.” Event coordinator, host, and seasoned slam poet Kevan Cameron, also known as “Scruffmouth,” described the Hogan’s Alley Poetry Festival as “an opportunity to illustrate the creative and cultural contributions of Vancouver’s Black community.” Both he and Compton were glowing in their remarks at the opening night gala and reception at the Vancity Theatre. The event was created by The Black Dot Roots and Culture Collective and The National Congress of Black Women in order to commemorate and celebrate Hogan’s Alley, the only historically Black neighbourhood in Vancouver. The district underwent a complete demolition and dispersal of people in 1972 to accommodate Mayor Thomas Campbell’s “Urban Renewal” project. This project included construction of the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts and further downtown highway installation, but was ultimately stopped by passionate lobbyists before the demolition of Chinatown and Gastown could occur. The small neighbourhood, located in the Strathcona area, was home not only to a culturally vibrant Black community, but also many Canadians of Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Native descent. As Cameron says, “Right now, the significance of Hogan’s Alley is that it had that critical mass of Black people in this city, and it was the Black community and the Black neighbourhood. It wasn’t only Black people, but there were enough people there that were engaged in culture ... We remember these things now when we try to pay tribute to this community.” The opening reception preceded a three-day

poetry festival in commemoration of the Hogan’s Alley community. The event focused mainly on spoken word poetry, but it also included elaborate performances of traditional African dance, storytelling, and podplays: a new style of theatre that uses audio media to guide the listener through a self-directed theatrical experience. The opening reception gave only a taste of what to expect at the festival, but it was just enough to whet the artistic appetite. Adelene da Soul Poet, who goes occasionally by the name Bertha Clark, gave several passionate and empowered readings of her spoken word poetry. Themes revolved around the strength of family and friendship through hardship, laced with many clever anecdotes from “back in the day” at her grandmother’s diner: Vie’s Chicken and Steak House in Hogan’s Alley. Esteemed guests of the diner included Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Earl Grant, Duke Ellington, Billy Holiday, and Diana Ross & the Supremes. There was further performance of spoken word done by Ugandan native Juliane Bitek. Her poems were eclectic and soulful, sometimes referencing esteemed poets of Uganda and even Marshall Mathers, a.k.a American rapper Eminem, who she quotes in her poem The Microphone is Not a Gun. Musically, a highlight from the evening was the phenomenal harmonic duet of Summertime by George Gershwin, which seasoned Vancouver performers Dalannah Gail Bowen and Thelma Gibson performed together. The two had a kindred-spirit kind of chemistry that resonated into the audience. To preface a documentary about Hogan’s Alley by Cornelia Wyngaarden & Andrea Fatona, Wayde Compton took to the stage to engage the audience in a little more of the history behind the historically undervalued neighbourhood. Compton, who “started as a poet and accidentally became a historian,” became very passionate about the history of Hogan’s Alley after he began writing and asking questions about his own identity in the city.

// Katie So In chapter seven of Compton’s book, After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region, he writes, “Vancouver’s Black community suffered, what their American cousins, punning on the term ‘Urban Renewal,’ called ‘Negro Removal.’ The destruction of the politically weaker communities of the city were large modern planning schemes.” He describes the destruction of Hogan’s Alley as “the moment where the Black community in Vancouver integrated.” “The story of Vancouver is that moment when they decided not to put a freeway through, that was the moment that Vancouver became a ‘good guy’ in the urban planning world.” Compton expresses his displeasure at this thought, simply by pointing out the largely marginalized Black community that Vancouverites tend to forget about. Additionally, he is concerned by the “continuing emphasis on what developers want in the city, rather than what people need.” A parallel from past to present can be drawn in “the shameful lack of social housing in the city right now, and the rapid gentrification of the Downtown Eastside,” says Compton. The hardship thrust upon the Black community during the 1972 construction of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts is, in Compton’s opinion, a mirror of the burgeoning situation today. We see a “different community, different group of people, similar area, and definitely a similar situation of displacement [to what] is happening right now.” Allies of The Black Dot Roots & Culture Collective create a hard-hitting message for their audience. The Hogan’s Alley Poetry Festival is first and foremost a celebration of culture and creativity, but the celebration also urges individuals to face the facts – Vancouver as a city has historically wronged an entire community of Black individuals through a physical infrastructure change, forcing a dispersal of families and friends. Hope is not lost, though: the soulful expression on stage at the Hogan’s Alley Poetry Festival has an underlying theme. Through arts and passion, there is inspiration for individuals to take action against history repeating itself.

Chaz Bundwick seems a little unsure of himself while he’s onstage. The one-man act stays planted behind his keyboard and synth station, barely saying more than the token "Hey Vancouver, how's it going?" Recording under the moniker Toro Y Moi, Bundwick has just released his second LP “Underneath The Pine.” What is a one-man-band on album expands into a four-piece standup rock outfit on stage, led by Bundwick’s indecipherable lyrics and synth sounds. Bundwick lives up to his ‘chillwave’ genre by not seeming to give a fuck. He tosses any sign of rock star pretense out the window by sporting nerdy dad glasses and a plain brown t-shirt on stage, which ended up covered with a big water spill halfway through his set. It was refreshing to see an electronic artist without the ego – as rad as it is to see Daft Punk’s crazy robot heads, Toro Y Moi’s laid back stage presence let their audience members feel like they were hanging out at a bar which just happened to be soundtracked by one of North America’s most buzzed about new acts. The actual set was a great tour through the musical ages, mixing 60s funk, Motown riffs, and screeching 90s industrial, all of which were laced into a blissed-out keyboard-happy mix. Occasionally, the songs hinted heavily at vintage porn music, somehow managing to transmit an awkward sex appeal that seemed out-of-context considering the men on stage. Near the end of the set, the casual nature of the tracks drained out and was replaced by abrasive squeals and distortion pedals, making it hard to tell exactly where the sounds were coming from. However, Bundwick and his band of cool nerds carried on, sheepishly bopping along to their own tunes.

co l u m n s

ED I TO R S / / Samant ha Thompson + Sarah Vit et // e di to r@ c api l ano c o uri e r. c o m


Optimizing the efficiency of war


ar from being natural, or even instinctual, humans are in no way born killers. In fact, just the opposite is true: even in the face of danger, there exists a psychological mechanism that discourages us from taking the life of a fellow specie member. This reluctance to kill is rooted in our very biology. When animals (humans included) confront danger, a fightor-flight sequence generally takes hold of the mind and body. When this danger comes from a fellow species member however, a different process occurs. The initial response is, instead, a choice of fleeing or posturing; of escaping or intimidating. Within the animal kingdom, the latter could mean looking big and aggressive; within war, it could mean shooting a rifle into the air rather than at the enemy. When intra-species conflict does escalate into fighting, it is almost never to the death. For example, both rattlesnakes and piranhas are known for their lethal bites, yet when engaged in battle with their own kind, the rattlesnake wrestles, and the piranha fights with its tail. These non-lethal fights typically end when one of the combatants submits with the instinctual knowledge that the victor will not inflict any more harm after they surrender. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former career soldier and professor of psychology at West Point, the US military academy, persuasively demonstrates that this phenomenon indeed applies to humans as well. In his book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Grossman documents how the overwhelming majority of soldiers in wars, from the American Civil War to WWII, either fired their weapons without the intent to kill, or never even fired at all. This historical fact, caused by a psychological mechanism embedded in us all, has infuriated military planners for just as long. An army comprised of soldiers who will not use their weapons to kill presents a clear conundrum while trying to wage a war. Playwright Bertolt Brecht cleverly identified this problem in his poem entitled, “A German War Primer”:

the Vietnam War. Yes, the reluctance to kill was eliminated, but only to be replaced by another, much more monstrous problem: the proliferation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst veterans. To go back to Brecht’s last lines in “A German War Primer”:

ing methods have become more realistic, the developments on the battlefield have moved in the opposite direction. Military technology is rendering the battlefield into more and more of a simulation, furthering the distance between combatants and making the act of killing ever more unrealistic (read: easier). Pilots no longer see other planes, but only blips on screens. SnipGeneral, man is very useful. ers don’t shoot humans, but only targets in their He can fly and he can kill. sight. And so on … But he has one defect: This development climaxes with Unmanned He can think. Combat Air Vehicles, or drones. For military Now that the Pentagon has succeeded in personnel, both the soldier and the scientist, compelling soldiers to kill, the soldiers now this technology brims with possibility. Drones must deal with the fact that they have now are cheaper, more accurate, and less risky than killed. Up to 1.5 million of a total of 2.8 million the alternative of placing soldiers in combat – US military personnel that served in the Viet- and these are merely sideshows to their true nam War were clinically defined as PTSD sub- value. The drone’s significance lies in the ease jects. In other words, despite military efforts with which they can kill, and without any of to deprive them of their instincts, the soldiers the messy repercussions such as PTSD. No retained some of their humanity in the form longer does the military have to deprive solof guilt. diers of their instincts, they can abandon the However, scientists serving the military have soldier altogether. found a solution to that as well. While the trainThis is truly the haunting spectre: the

With Dexter Fergie // Columnist

removal of that thinking, moral, biological being, who in history has acted as a brake on the very limits of war. In its place, we have a new warfare, conducted not on the battlefield, but from an office building in Northern Virginia. Instead of soldiers, civil servants fiddle with joysticks while watching images on computer screens; images not of humans, but “enemy targets,” belonging not to “our world” but to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, or Somalia. When the operator pushes “fire” on his keyboard, though, he really is ending somebody's life. This new warfare – ending the age where enemies, at the very least, appeared as men – squeezes the last remnants of humanity from war itself. Dexter Fergie is a previous Cap student, now studying at UBC. His insights into current events and politics have been gracing the pages of the Courier for two years. In his column this term he is exploring the various forms that violence takes within our world.

General, your tank is a powerful vehicle It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men But it has one defect: It needs a driver.

// Stefan Tosheff

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Yes, weapons have overwhelming destructive power, but that destructive power can only be realized with thinking, moral beings operating them. As cynical as it may appear, the development of modern military procedures can be seen as one large effort to overcome the soldier’s reluctance to kill. The US military in particular has worked to resolve this, integrating psychologists and behavioral analysts into their training programs. “The era of psychological warfare,” to borrow Grossman’s words, is upon us. The irony is, of course, that this warfare is not being conducted against the enemies of the United Sates, but against the Pentagon’s very own troops, with the aim of making killers out of men. The results were not trivial. As Grossman explains, “In World War II, only 15 to 20 per cent of the combat infantry were willing to fire their rifles. In Korea, [the number was] about 50 per cent.” Pushing the new training method’s success, this number peaked at 90 to 95 per cent in



An excuse to move backwards


wantlen Polytechnic University President John McKendry recently made it clear that he believes universities' administration should be allowed to intervene in the affairs of their campus student organizations. According to a story that appeared in the Vancouver Sun recently, Kwantlen is lobbying the provincial government to make amendments to hard-won provincial legislation that protects the right to organize – and the funding – of student organizations. The story also states that this is not the first time that Kwantlen has tried to have the relevant legislation changed either, once in a submission to the group currently reviewing the Society Act, as well as in a letter to the province in 2008. His reasoning for advocating for this is likely related to the sordid state of affairs at the Kwantlen Students’ Association, a registered society independent from the University, that exists on the Kwantlen campuses. Campus student organizations are typically democratically-run, non-profit societies, with the mandate of providing services, on-campus events, and advocacy in the interest of their student members. Nearly every public postsecondary campus in BC has its own student organization to which students attending that institution are required to pay fees to. The students, who are elected to sit on the board of directors typically for a term of one year, run these organizations. The idea behind student organizations is to provide a strong, united voice for the students at that institution, that advocates to the university administration, the government, and wherever else is deemed in the interest of students. Over the years, the KSA has had a checkered past that includes a history of financial mismanagement, electoral irregularities, and lawsuits (it is currently involved in three) – basically a

Master’s thesis on “What Not To Do in Student Governance.” To be fair, there have also been periods of relative stability, where the KSA has done great work on behalf of its students, and I have great respect for many of the hardworking individuals I met in the KSA during my time in student politics. However, the KSA pendulum has recently swung back to extreme volatility. For the past few years, the KSA has been pursuing a lawsuit against Aaron Takhar (and his associates), a former director who was allegedly the architect of a major scandal that made national headlines in 2006. Full disclosure: a younger, more naïve version of myself was a student at Kwantlen at the time, and was quite taken by this admittedly charismatic individual. I ran in the election on the same slate as him, though thankfully, in hindsight, didn't win. Unfortunately, the ghost of Takhar still haunts the organization. The KSA recently made headlines across the country again when it was uncovered that two of the newly elected directors are both related to Takhar; his sister and his cousin. One of their first acts in office was to instruct their lawyer to stop pursuing the case against Takhar, and to appoint the Director of Operations (who, as was widely reported recently, is Takhar’s sister) the sole liaison to legal counsel. A flurry of controversy emerged after the Runner, the student newspaper, broke the story about the connection between Takhar and the Director of Operations. She resigned, though his cousin continues to serve on the board of directors despite calls for her resignation as well. McKendry, understandably, has a bone to pick with his University’s student organization. Under the Kwantlen name, the KSA has generated reams of bad press that has tainted the university

With Gurpreet Kambo // Columnist

by association as well. "It’s the independence of the body that allows them to go off in various directions that the institution may not feel are in the best interests of the institution, its reputation, and the students that come here for an education,” he said to the Province. This point is especially important because members of the general public may not realize that student societies are independent organizations, and may simply associate the Kwantlen Student Association with Kwantlen University. While the situation in the KSA is tragic, especially for those students whose hard-earned money has been mismanaged, McKendry is going to have to accept it and just do a better job at making it clear to the general public that the KSA is an independent body from the University. The truth is that the vast majority of student organizations operate quite well. These are democratic organizations that are bound to have some built-in instability, particularly because of the high turnover of students elected to their board of directors. It is a philosophical choice to accept the risks that come with the benefits of a democratic system. If Kwantlen students are outraged enough at their current student government, they will throw them out of office. If they are too apathetic to care, then perhaps it is their fault if their money is wasted. And finally, if McKendry believes in the concept of democracy at all, he should not be trying to undermine it in the KSA. Furthermore, one of the primary functions of a student organization is to lobby on behalf of its members, often to the University administration and to different levels of government. It would be entirely inappropriate for universities to be able to interfere in organizations whose job it is to scrutinize them, and to essentially act as their “official opposition.” The Capilano Stu-

dents’ Union has organized campaigns and events on campus that were critical of the University before, such as during the recent ABE cuts, or “Boycott Aramark Day,” where an enormous number of students expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality and price of the food on campus. Yes, the university wasn’t happy about the criticism, but should they have the power to withhold fees or shut down the organization because of it? The mechanisms to provide accountability already exist, without external oversight. The University Act of BC already states that if the student society fails to make its annual audited financial statements available to members, the University may withhold their fees. There are also, under the Society Act of BC, provisions through which members can call a general meeting and subsequently overrule any decisions of the board of directors, remove them from office, amend financial statements, bylaws, etc. – but only if it has enough membership support. Back in 2006, a group of Kwantlen students were able to get Takhar et al. out of office over allegations of mismanagement. Allowing universities to interfere in the affairs of democratically run student organizations would be a frightening step backwards that would completely undermine the fundamental concept that these organizations are meant to be the “voice of students.” In a delicious bit of irony, the KSA recently withheld the fees of Kwantlen student newspaper, the Runner, over concerns about “journalistic accuracy” after a series of articles that were critical of the KSA. The fees were remitted after Kwantlen intervened. But, above it all, perhaps McKendry needs to take another look at his list of lobbying priorities. Lower tuition fees would be nice.

Records, Rain and Recreation

This ain’t your old man’s psychedelia

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4



y parents aren't hippies. If you were to count how many times my mom has smoked weed, on one hand, you’d have a closed fist. The same goes for all of my relatives: it just wasn’t part of their lives. Thus, my introduction to anything more psychedelic than Pink Floyd’s The Wall didn’t come until I started dabbling in various forms of psychedelia myself. “Psychedelia,” put simply, is anything pertaining to psychedelic music, culture, or drugs. Marijuana leaves swirling in a cascade of rainbows, peace symbols, and a three-headed Jimi, guitar in hand, perhaps on fire. Stereotypes like these perpetuate my cynicism towards the culture previously mentioned, but luckily there is something great at the other end of this acid-induced triple rainbow. Psychedelia and psychedelic music has lived on not only through the 70s, but also well into today’s modern music scene. Take Fela Kuti, for example: this Nigerian genius began his musical experimentation by playing traditional African rhythms. He then smoked a bunch of weed, and decided to add three electric guitars, four drummers, five keyboards, and six singers. With that formula, he created something that can be life changing to listen to. Kuti’s most successful record, Zombie, was

a huge influence for Hendrix and many other psych-rock bands that have come out since its release. The genre, which is often called “afrobeat,” was created and nurtured in African societies, from Angola and Benin, to Nigeria and Ghana. Young men formed bands and recorded onto anything they could, including microphones made from coconut shells. Bands like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou often took rhythms from African burial ceremonies like the “seto” and added Western rock and roll instrumentation over top. The music is usually quite lo-fi and fuzzy, but that only enhances the passion and ingenuity that was put into making something they cared about so much. Afrobeat has musicians working themselves up into fervor with songs building to huge climaxes and crescendos over beats so complex you may need a math degree to figure them out. These songs and albums were pressed to low quantities of vinyl records and basically forgotten. Luckily, there are some fine music lovers out there who want you to hear these pearls that would otherwise be lost in time and sand. Companies like Analog Africa and Sound Wave searched the dusty markets and stores of small African towns throughout the continent for these rare and obscure records. They clean them up,

re-master the audio, and compile incredible compilation records generally based on region or time frame. Some choice titles include “African Scream Contest,” “The Legendary Sounds of Benin,” “West Africa Airways,” and my personal favourite, “The Hallelujah Chicken Run Band.” Do yourself a favour and check Analog Africa out online: the tribal beats, screaming horn sections, and shredding electric guitars might just make you get up from your chair and start gyrating around the room. Skip forward about 40 years from the time of Afrobeat. Of course, our dads have mostly kept “classic rock” alive through reunion tours and incredible Bon Jovi impersonators, but there is a new wave of Psych Rock that has emerged in the last ten years. Bands from this era and genre sound as though they’ve been pulled straight from some dusty record shelf and haven’t seen the light of day, let alone a record needle, for 50 years. Familiar names might include The Black Lips, The Black Keys, or The Black Angles; a lot of black nouns, that’s for sure. The music is usually characterized by slow tempo drumming with droning synths or guitars and drawling vocals, a couple of guitar solos and some 3D cover art. It’s essentially rock music for the stoned – in the immortal words of Timothy

With Colin Spensley // Columnist

Leary, “Tune in, turn on, drop out.” That doesn’t mean you have to get high to like this genre; fans of psychedelic music often state that the music itself can lift them to states of euphoria, without the assistance of drugs. I myself have spent an entire summer hiking the mountains of the Yukon listening to African Psych and the last thing that I was, was stoned. If you’re just curious about this genre and don’t want to dive head first into record compilations or acid-induced spirit animal quests, there are a few opportunities available right in Vancouver. Firstly, the Anza Club (Australian and New Zealand Social Club) holds a Psychedelic Music night every Wednesday night at #3 East 8th Ave. The two founders, Brother Josef and DJ Magneticring spin authentic Psych records all night long, accompanied by home made “trippy” visuals, and all you have to do is grab a pint with your closest pal and enjoy the chill vibes. Local acts to check out include Indian Wars, DB Buxton, The High Drops, and a Vancouver favourite Dead Ghosts. It should be noted that many of these Vancouver psych bands come off with a bluesy flavour, so if you’re not down with nine minute guitar drone-fests, they will probably satisfy you even more.


Agony Aunt

With Cheetah Powers // Columnist


ast week during the regular staff critique of the paper, we brought up all the things that make a column good. One of the conclusions that we reached was that although it’s nice to have solid writing skills and a fun, engaging topic, what really brings a column to life is the personal experience behind the writer. So basically, you’re all a bunch of perverts who want to read about my sex life. With that in mind, I present to you the following: This new guy I’m sleeping with is really rad and stuff, but he has a totally weird dick! It’s bent at an extreme angle. It looks like the letter L. He says it happened when a girl stepped on his boner at summer camp when he was 13 and it broke. Can that even happen? That’s fucked up! —Brokedick Mountain

on, slut! This is Ian! He lives next door but he lost his key and – what the hell is that!?” she screamed, pointing at my companion’s exploded Irish sausage. “Mate! She broke your banjo string!” said Ian excitedly over the screams of pain. “That’s supposed to hurt like a bitch.” Suddenly serious, he turned to me. “You’d better take him to the hospital, or his banjo string is going to be fucked forever.” I had no idea what a banjo string was (Irish for penis?) but I couldn’t just throw him out on the street with witnesses around, so I fed him a few Valiums for the pain and hustled him out into the rainy night. One thing that you ought to know is that alcohol and Valium should never be mixed: as both are downers, combined, they will turn you into a mentally handicapped, drooling mess. By the time we arrived at the hospital, luckily after only a 45 minute walk down a dirt trail at 3 AM in the rainy in the bowels of the Asian

! o o t t e n r e t n i e h t We're on

m o c . r e i r u o c o n a l i p a c . w w w

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Yo, that totally happens! And guess what? It could happen to you. I know this because it happened to me, and it was the single most scarring event of my adult sex life. Have you ever witnessed a naked man screaming in agony? I have. It happened while I was staying in a tiny village in Laos with my friend Shaniqua. It was the monsoon season and all roads in and out of the village were washed away, so we were stuck there with about 100 other young European party animals, some bored Laotians, and a lot of cheap whiskey. One evening we got involved in a game of whiskey pong with an Irish college rugby team. After a few rounds, Shaniqua bowed out to forage for a sandwich, and her place was taken by a 19-yearold boy with the body of a ninja turtle. He must have been insane to be turned on by my stained souvenir beer shirt, sweaty face, and overall grittiness, but I am a master of seduction, especially with drunk men. One thing led to another, and I invited him back to my horrible little bungalow to watch a movie (code for sex, because I had neither TV nor dependable electricity). I should have known the evening was about to slide into shit gear. The whole way back to my love-shack he regaled me with endless tales of his many satisfied former girlfriends and his acrobatic sack skills. I resigned myself to an evening of little physical and even less mental stimulation. At some point in the night all the electricity had gone out, and the only light we had was a bit of feeble seepage from the ancient streetlight and a wind-up emergency flashlight that I’d forgotten to wind up. I think I’ve blocked the actual sex from my memory. All I recall is that it was short and it was more like being in a naked UFC match than anything else. At some point I gained the upper hand and was about to go for the gold medal when there was a sickening snapping sensation followed by an agonized howl of pain like a dog being raped. At this exact moment Shaniqua flung the door off its hinges and burst into the tiny cell with another random man in tow. “Put your clothes

implications of just throwing the guy a $20 bill and fleeing into the night. After all, he would probably have forgotten my name by the morning (I’d forgotten his about ten seconds after we met). But deep down, I suppose that I’m a good person, or maybe I was just feeling incredibly guilty that I’d pretty much forever ruined a perfectly nice dick. // Author photo So I hung around the hospital while he got his penis … splinted? Stitched? I’d rather not know, but judging from his moans of pain from the next room, it probably sucked. I also paid the $40 hospital bill and even hired a rickshaw to dump him back at his hostel afterwards. When I finally dragged myself back to the bungalow at five in the morning, I willed myself unconscious and hoped that the whole thing would be forgotten. But of course you never get away with this sort of stuff in real life. Apparently, Shaniqua's friend Ian had taken it upon himself to run back to the only bar in town and regale everyone with the story of what he had witnessed. The next evening when Shaniqua and I stepped back into the bar, I was greeted with a gleeful blow to the top of the head. “Look! It’s Banjo!” shouted Ian to the gathered masses. “I can’t believe you actually snapped that poor bloke’s dick!” said a complete stranger, while everyone else pointed at me and laughed. I don’t know if you have recently stood alone within a ring of people all laughing at your expense, but it was bringing up painful flashbacks of high school. “See you back in Canada,” I muttered to Shaniqua, as I fled into the night pursued by shouts of “Ban-JO! Ban-JO!” Some time later, I asked a friend of mine about what had happened. As he’s entering med school and also has a penis, I figured that he would be // Stefan Tosheff able to shed some light on the situation. “It’s jungle, the pain had left the poor guy, as had all called penile fracture,” he explained. “And it’s reason and motor functions. quite common. The worst part is that if it hapThe hospital looked like a cross between a pens once, it’s much easier to break again, often public restroom and a Vietnam War hospital repeatedly. Most cases are caused by … trauma tent. “Doctor! Where is the doctor?” I shouted … during sexual intercourse. Usually with the dramatically, throwing him onto the nearest woman on top.” bamboo mat. I nodded in a dismal way. A sleepy and ancient Laotian man emerged “It often happens when the penis isn’t fully from under a mosquito net. “No English!” he erect,” he added soberly. “And you know whose grunted, so I spent ten minutes performing hu- fault that is: YOURS.” miliating charades while a small crowd of nurses “What the hell!” and overnight patients gathered around to wit“Just kidding!” he said, punching me on the ness the spectacle. arm. “It was totally the alcohol. But seriously … “Penis!” I said desperately, “Intercourse! take it easy next time, Banjo.” Broken! I don’t know, I thought it was an Moral of the story: it could happen to you. urban legend!” Finally they got it. “You must be strong lady! Cheetah has worked on the graphics end of the Ha ha ha ha!” said the doctor, slapping his knee Courier for nearly four years, but this is her first hilariously while the others pointed at me ever column. She will answer all your burning, and laughed. itching, scabby sex questions, via text at 778-859At this point I was considering the karmic 6036 or by emailing


the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

a d v e r t isement


Opi n i o n s

Edi tor // Marco Ferreira // o pi ni o ns @ c api l ano c o uri e r. c o m

Wikipedia’s Girl Troubles Gender disparities apparent on free encyclopedia 13% of contributors are female. Wikipedia, our holistic, online, go-to source of information is // staff Writer supposed to reflect the worldviews and findow much does an ocean sunfish ings of the people most qualified to speak on weigh? When was Marie Curie born? certain issues. Instead, we’re hearing mainly How much fun is the hyperlink Hitler from formally educated men in their mid-20s. game? Wikipedia is the first search result to show Expert in gender disparities in technology and up on the most random topics. No matter how Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundaminor, if anyone has given a thought to a certain topic before, there’s likely a stub to prove it. While some teachers abhor the use of such an unreliable, open-edited source, others embrace Wikipedia for its reliability in fast-paced subjects. While the Encyclopaedia Britannia would likely be more accurate in, for example, details of WWI, Wikipedia trumps out-dated print books in rapidly changing fields, such as neuroscience and digital technology. A study in the peer-reviewed journal Nature states, “Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries.” One of the best things about Wikipedia is that it draws on the collective knowledge of everyone, ranging from those with a slight interest to those who have dedicated their lives to exploring a certain topic. Anyone is free to modify entries to ensure they’re up to date, accurate, and well thought-out. With this wide open opportunity, however, there are inevitable flaws and a denigration of article quality if someone unqualified or biased chops up an article. tion, Sue Gardner, states, “I think that all forms On the surface, Wikipedia seems like an equal, of diversity – geographic, political, ideological, level playing field. Absolutely anyone can edit an cultural, sexual, age-related, etc. – are important. article if they choose to, and the information is But having said that, I do think our [Wikipedia’s] free and accessible to everyone. However, the re- gender skew is particularly bad.” ality plays out much differently. The Wikimedia This gender disparity is reflected in the articles. Foundation, Wikipedia’s non-profit owner and Rather than just being inclusive for the sake of operator, examined the statistics of contributors political correctness, having more female Wikiand editors in a 2009 study. Out of hundreds of pedia contributors would improve the site. In thousands of editors and writers, and out of bil- a list of notable scientist biographies, 19 out of lions who have knowledge to share, just a slim the 22 featured people were male. The second By Evelyn Cranston


longest article on Wikipedia is stereotypically male-oriented: a comprehensive list of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition monsters. The New York Times points to an example where friendship bracelets, a pastime enjoyed primarily by young girls, gets a measly four paragraphs, while toy soldiers and baseball cards are given a thorough examination.

// Sarah Vitet From the origins of tech-geek culture, men have dominated. They outnumbered women in video game design and computer technology for ten years, and only now is the field levelling out. Wikipedia hasn’t kept pace with these industries. Gardner states, “It stems from the way things started in the early days. Wikipedia has been around for ten years. When it started, the sorts of people who were actively contributing on the internet were STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) people. It was super, su-

per geeky, because contributing anything to the internet was hard back then.” Gardner notes that women have less free time than men, given the ‘second shift’ of housework and child-raising. When women do have free time, studies have shown that they tend to engage in activities that will directly benefit society, such as volunteering, and they gravitate towards interpersonal, social experiences. By emphasizing that working on Wikipedia does improve the well-being of society, Gardner believes we can start shrinking the gender disparity. Another factor in the gap may be the user-unfriendly interface and hostile online environment of Wikipedia. Because women have shown to be more inclined to social activities, they will generally spend more time on social networking sites connecting with friends, rather than debating accuracies of articles with strangers. Gardner notes that Wikipedia is working on getting rid of the tedious, confusing wiki-syntax that a contributor must learn, and making it a more inclusive, friendly, and supportive environment. Men have the tendency to put themselves forward and self-nominate when it comes to wiki-editing, whereas women shy away. Wikipedians have found that by asking university professors in India, the USA, Germany, and Canada to assign wiki writing as projects to their students, the gender gap shrunk drastically because women are not underrepresented in these post-secondary schools. Gardner is optimistic about an equalized future for Wikipedia, and emphasizes the company’s success in outreach so far. Wikipedia is one of the most powerful connecting forces on the internet. It should be a sharing of collective knowledge, reflecting the diversity of opinions, worldviews, and scientific findings that exist. Instead, we have thousands of articles written by a similar voice, reflecting a small fraction of the earth’s population.

Plagiarism for profit Time to scrap // The Sputnik (Wilfrid Laurier University)


RANTFORD (CUP)— Turnitin is a website that some professors and schools require students to submit their assignments to. The website scans the writing for plagiarism and stores the students' document in a database. Plagiarism is a conversation topic that flies under the radar for most of the academic year. It's reintroduced to students only when papers are due, or when ethics policies are reviewed at the beginning of a school year. However, plagiarism is thrown into the spotlight when students are asked to submit their works to the online database Last year, Jesse Rossenfeld, a former McGill University student refused to submit his paper to Back then, he was a lone voice

crying injustice, and although he won the right to a personal exemption, he did not succeed in getting rid of the site's use altogether. Recently, Dalhousie University took that plunge. Following in the footsteps of a few American schools, its Students' Union has won the battle to get out of the school completely. This means that there is no longer a contract between the two parties, and professors no longer use the site to check for plagiarism. This was a pleasant surprise, as after talking with the Dalhousie Students' Union last winter, I was left with the distinct impression that the fight was proving to be tedious and difficult. Amazingly, student leaders stuck to the fight, citing the protection of intellectual property and necessary privacy. I consider this to be an important victory, even though I know many naysayers will scoff at my

optimism and call a useful or practical tool. But a critical examination of the site blows away its illusion of prestige. Rossenfeld and other academics have said that a professor who is on his or her game should be able to nail any sort of plagiarism ten ways to Sunday, and should never need to find major issues. The site is also infamous for its false positives and questionable algorithm – that's strike one, as far as I'm concerned. Next, there’s the issue of intellectual property. Most students, when asked, aren’t particularly over the moon about giving their work to a company that will then use it to build its database, and even market its product. Strike two. Lastly, and most importantly, we should be seriously concerned about allowing businesses to come into the classroom as teaching mercenaries. These businesses have absolutely no inter-

est in improving the situation. For, the worst possible scenarios would be either a decrease in plagiarism, or an increase in ethical policies and practices that would bridge the divide between student and teacher and address the root causes of plagiarism. Strike three. Academic plagiarism shouldn’t be our scarlet letter. It is a real issue, of course, but not one that should make us hang our heads in shame or turn our classrooms over to corporations. What we should be judged on, measured by, and scrutinized for is how we deal with plagiarism. Do we pull together and stress a higher sense of ethics? Do we strive to come up with more creative assignments? Do we reach out and provide more support services for students trying to write papers? Unfortunately, many schools – unlike Dalhousie University – aren’t making the switch to these more progressive policies.

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By Leisha Senko


o p i n i o ns

Obsessed with the 50s Why is the era of reform so trendy? By Katherine Alpen // Writer


fter WWII ended in 1945, there was a mass exodus of families to the suburbs. In an attempt to disassociate themselves with the horrors of war, they drenched their lives in “normality.” Enter the idyllic 1950s image of perfect Caucasian families, complete with picket fences, perfect housewives, and an established order of roles based on gender, age, race, and wealth. If you fell out of place, someone would always tell you to step back in line. So why, in today’s world, do we have such an infatuation with one of the most disillusioned decades ever to encounter North America? Is it the style? Perhaps it's smoking: we know it's bad, but we can’t help but be envious of a world where no one knew better, nor bothered to try. Maybe it was the music: Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Nina Simone, and Billie Holiday were highly influential, amongst others. On top of that, shows like Mad Men and Pan Am are endlessly romanticizing the generation. The trend has gone so far as to inspire a new clothing line by Banana Republic, featuring suits, hats, and dresses reminiscent of the era. The public appetite is always willing to devour scandal, and people are curious to pick apart this

generation because it has such a rose-coloured affectation to it. Although episodes of Mad Men have showcased blatant racism, war, and sexism, the era is relentlessly glamorized. The newest show to be set in this era, The Playboy Club, is a prime example of disillusioned ideals, as it portrays exploitation as sexual empowerment and female success. Technologically speaking, the 50s were a time of considerable advancement, with Sputnik, the first satellite, being launched by Russia in 1957. From a political standpoint, the development of tension leading to the Cold War and fierce anticommunist sentiments were significant players in the 50s, which led to a conservative, often racist, environment. Current anti-terrorist views are reminiscent of the red scare in the 1950s. Similar to the Bush administration's “War on Terror”, the Truman administration went to war over the “defence of liberty,” thus inspiring involvement in the war in Vietnam. Also, the repressive political time inspired the youth to take action against their conservative governments. keen on disapproving its governments conservative action. Upon closer examination, the period actually mirrors our current global climate. Given how uncertain our future is in regards to

public health, the environment, and hunger, it is escapism at its finest to focus on a generation that appeared to have it all figured out: the confidence, the class, and the look of the 50s have charmed the socks off of today’s modern world, confirming that packaging, not content, creates the illusion of splendour.

// Shannon Elliott

Occupy what? Why?

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

Mainstream media continues to ignore occupy Wall Street protest


student protests of Chile. Over 100,000 students and citizens have been protesting against the high cost of education for public high schools. Students have been locked out of schools for over four months in the middle of the southern hemisphere school year. CNN reports that schools have been back in session with police presence since Sept. 23. However, Chilean political science graduate Thiare Lizama-Cornejo says, “Classes did re-start in only the most high-end neighborhoods, but when faculty and students saw the police presence they walked back out before the school day was over. All other public schools and public universities are still locked out, and probably will be for a long while.” Similar is the Israeli “Tent City” protest, which has been going on since early August and is protesting against the rising cost of living. Despite being one of the largest demonstrations in Israeli history, it has received almost no screen time here in North America. Their media only reports on what the government tells them to. This type of situation would never happen in North America, right? Enter Occupation Wall Street in New York. According to the Atlanta Post, Occupation Wall Street is a multi-day, peaceful rally to expose “the disloyal, incompetent, and corrupt special interests, which have permeated our economy and government.” // Miles Chic The rally, which began on Sept. 17, has gone However, in many countries around the world through over a week of protests with participants By Cecilia Yus this is not the case. The media only covers sleeping in a nearby park and holding demon// staff writer what is in the best interest of whomever holds strations in the morning and evenings with little he duty of the media is to report on as the most shares of the company, or reports to no attention from any major news networks. many local and global events as pos- on protesters with a negative bias based on When CNN covered the protest on Sept. 17, sible in a clear and unbiased way; to principle alone. they published the story in their business sector, keep us informed on both sides of any event. A current example of this can be seen in the CNNMoney. The New York Times placed its Sept.


23 article in the regional section under the title, “Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim.” Online news sites and some newspapers have been reporting on this protest, but most Americans and Canadians get their news from the television, and it seems those networks are not deeming the protest as necessary news. It wasn’t until violence broke out between the protesters and police that ABC News covered the protest as real news, keeping the focus on the clash and not the protesters' message. Maybe there is a good excuse for this: maybe the numbers aren’t big enough, maybe the media isn’t taking the protest seriously. Both of these ideas are hard to believe, as some sources are placing the number of protesters at up to 5,000. Those numbers are expected to rise exponentially in the following days as the event builds momentum and a handful of New York labor unions join the protest. The Atlanta Post reports a third idea for the lack of media coverage: the issue could be what the activists are protesting against. In contrast, the relatively tiny Tea Party rallies of Washington D.C., which were held in favor of federal spending cuts, received more than generous media attention. Yet in the past few months, the Atlanta Post reports a number of protests against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, police brutality, and government spending that have received no media coverage whatsoever. Occupation Wall Street seems to have been inspired by massive public protests in Spain and Egypt, which, unlike the protests back home, have received more than enough media attention from networks in Canada and the US. If the event continues to grow, mainstream media will be forced to stop ignoring the event, and instead start spinning it back to the population.

Caboose F e at u r e d F i c t i o n

Edi tor // KEvin Murray // c abo o s e . c apc o uri e r@ gmai l . c o m


Christine Jamieson

two little words. Suddenly, I saw it all clearly. “Don’t you look beautiful.” He was going to say those words and I was goHe said as he crawled on top of her. His hands ing to be stuck, forever. I stared at him, begging slid under her, unclipped her bra. His lips pressed I Do with my eyes for those words not to come out of up against hers, violent, wild. his mouth. Taia stared at the ceiling the entire time. His The doors of the chapel swung open and every“I do.” sweat dripped down onto her body; his hands one was already on their feet. I took a step, careful grabbed at her. When it was over, she turned to not to falter. The music was playing in the back- Candles him: “Don’t ever leave me. Okay?” ground but I was not listening; the only thing I could hear was the beat of my own heart thump- Taia lit the candles, letting the match she was Foundation ing against my rib cage. I realized it was my turn holding burn down to her fingers before lifting it to her lips and blowing it out, trying to look casu- Ms. May went out only once a week, to walk the to speak. al. The motel room smelled musty; it was cheap, seawall along the water. Her doctor said it would “I do.” be good for her. In preparation, she applied The words seemed to flow perfectly out of Micheal was cheap. She stepped out of her three hundred dollar makeup; smooth foundation to cover her aging my lips, like my mouth had been longing to say them. This was what love was supposed to feel dress, lay it on the bed, and spread out her hair, skin, layers of mascara to make her eyes flutter, like. I glanced over into my beautiful about-to- waiting for Micheal. The door creaked open; his and bright red lipstick to make her thin lips look plump again. be husband’s eyes, waiting for him to say those shirt was already undone, his eyes wild. By

// Writer


Roquela Fernandez

// Writer


I reached my building. the gnarled tree by my back door twisted into a skyward grovel begging the sky for foliage. The Mardi Gras gods answered its pleas. A flock of songbirds covered the tree’s

“Shut up.” My neighbour, Twitch, shouted down from his apartment. He stuck his Desert Eagle .44 Magnum pistol out his open window.

the fans, the feathers, the fishnets. You think of the women shedding away their disguises, layer by layer, like peeling an onion; your eyes water. They make rhythmic undulations until they uncover their smooth core, which tearfully signifies the end of the striptease. Bliss. Loss. Instead of smooth nakedness, or the sharp triangle of diamond-encrusted G-strings, you think of the impossible mountains of laundry generated by the profession. At that moment, you step

off the sidewalk to cross the street. You know this corner well; its signature sounds and smells, except you can’t smell the laundry van that rounds the corner and strikes. You can’t smell the absurd death of you, the author. This moment changes the meaning of your whole life: the gloss, your trips to the Moulin Rouge, the embers of your cigar; your undigested mussels and, most of all, the lunchtime parties. Bliss. Loss. Implicit in beginnings are endings.

“Blast” called the rhythm to a percussion of flapping. The blow blew the birds out of the tree. Dispersed like the seeds of a dandelion puff. I made a wish for the birds the tree the sky eternity to manifest It started to rain.

Once Upon a Time One moment can change the whole of a life, even if it’s the very last moment. Imagine that you are a famous French author and literary critic. You’ve just taken your leave from a lunch party hosted by your politician friend, François. The meal, sublime – best of all, the Mussels Marinières, flowered like black tulips bathed in Chablis and garlic. On your walk home, you can still recall its pleasant pong, and it triggers the memory of the seaside town you grew up in. Nostalgia: where bliss and irrevocable loss fuck. You stop to light your half smoked cigar. You roll it between your stubby, nicotine-stained fingers. Its tobacco leaf wrapper is waxy and emits a syrupy smell. For a moment, you consider going for a stiff drink at the Moulin Rouge. In your mind, the red velvet décor and flickering table lamps smoulder. You think of the props: the furs,

// Tiare Jung

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

It was a Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday. In New Orleans, they throw a big party. On Bourbon Street, in the French quarter, women holler up at balconies, “Throw me something, mister,” and flash their flesh. The strangers on high surrender long, beaded necklaces. Some women amass hundreds of the ropey strands. I celebrated the occasion the best way I could think of, with a foamy latte from Starbucks. By chance, the barista gave me my favourite paper cup: printed on the side in green, curly font was, “The Way I See It #134 [...] Life is poetry.” The paper cup was beautiful for being the picture of awful; for being serial; for being a disposable vessel the way life is and poetry never is. Poetry is immortal. Life unfolds like prose punctuated by poetic moments. After a sip of my latte, it ceased to matter. I had coffee. When asked to describe myself, I would tell people that my personality was as follows: 50% caffeine, 25% altruism, 20% boxing clever, and 5% schadenfreude. I rambled home while meditating on caffeine. Is it possible that my chipper personality is caffeine induced? Am I a “caf-fiend”? Maybe I should cut back. As I walked down the lane behind my building, I kicked a rock. It skipped. On clear days, I could see Vancouver’s sharp towers, a distant island of shimmering glass rising above the white crests of a rolling sea of concrete. But it was February; the landscape looked like a greyscale photocopy. The cracked pavement mirrored the sky, a glowering blanket. Clouds, in suspended animation, threatened. The mounting barometric pressure conferred an air of anticipation, of predictions that may come to pass.

stark limbs. The tree transformed into a squawking mass of plumes and beady birds eyes. Feathers danced like a Mardi Gras chief made of Orange-Crowned Warblers. A heart of wings beat in its wooden rib cage.

Ms. May walked the seawall on Fridays. She didn’t own a car, so she took the bus. She knew the bus driver by name, and he was always patient as she strolled on. She always sat in the section designated for seniors. One day, tightly placed beside two teenagers, Ms. May heard whispering while she waited for her stop. The teenagers whispered about her makeup, about how she caused the bus to slow down when she got on it. Ms. May just stared straight ahead. Ms. May returned home and looked in the mirror; her foundation no longer looked good, it looked orange. Her lips looked pressed and thin, and her eyelashes were caked with mascara. Ms. May never went out to walk the seawall again.



open letters to fashion trendsetters

n u g t o ! s Sh w e i Rev

Dear Ms. Wolf T-shirt Wearer: Natasha Prakash

Dear Fedora Dudes: Kaitlyn Shore

Dear Ms. Ladyvest: Henrietta Makow

Dear Leg-Warmer-Wearing Girls: Katherine Alpen

I really like your shirt. Remember when we were in grade school and our parents wanted us to wear that wolf shirt and we absolutely hated it? Well, 18 years later and here you are, representing your old-school rebel past with a wolf shirt. I found one at Value Village for $4.99, but you do the shirt justice and paid $45.99 at the ultra-chic thrift store. I like yours better, though; it seems magical, and I think it cures cancer. When walking through campus on a dark night, who needs security when you have your wolf shirt? It wards off evil spirits, frightens tail-less raccoons and, don’t forget, it makes that creepy dude in your English class feel threatened by your inner animal. You’re late on handing in that 2000 word paper, but no worries, you got the wolf shirt. The crowds in the halls open up right before you - it’s like you’re Moses parting the Red Sea, all thanks to Dwight Schrute. Congratulations, you’re supernatural but you still look like a fool.

If I see another one of you, I will rip out my eyeballs. Just kidding, only because I know I will see another man in a fedora before the day is over and I definitely need my eyeballs. Sure, Justin Timberlake made it look cool like four years ago, but you know what else he made cool? Putting your dick in a box. There are three types of you guys. The first is the type who is trying to be all ironic, but failing miserably. I see you in the library, Googling "how to look really cool" while pretending to research indie music. The second are you guys who genuinely believe that a fedora will make you look like a classy gentleman. It doesn't make you look like a classy gentleman. It makes you look like a guy who doesn't know to take his hat off at the dinner table. The last of you guys in fedoras are the kind I hate the most. I know that you seldom leave your basement, living on a diet of your mother's baking, World of Warcraft, and virginity. When you emerge from your hovel of loneliness, you throw on a fedora because, not only does it cover the grease in your hair, you think women will like it. Definitely not true. Moral of the story? Don’t wear a fedora. Ever. We live in Canada, toques are acceptable all year round here.

You offend me. In the good old days, women – real women – wore dresses. Suits and pants and tights and, most importantly, vests, were the domain of men. Now so-called “liberated” women strut around wearing whatever their bloated egos desire, and they even have the utter gall to don vests! This is a sacred article of clothing. It was once a symbol of power: a modern adaption of a chest plate worn into battle. This proud symbol of the warrior sex smothers any sign of softness. Winston Churchill was known to wear vests. Tell me, young men, are you attracted to Winston Churchill? Of course you aren’t, except on an admiring level – so, do not buy Winstona Churchilla lobster dinner. Young men, spend your money on a proper childbearing investment, one who wears a proper apparel: a gown that displays pillowy cleavage nested in a nice, breath-restricting corset with lots of gold embroidery, yeah, maybe some fine taffeta, a sexy fucking thick-ass bustle, and some sweet hoop skirt that makes it impossible to escape out the fire exit. Mmmhmmm!

You rock. Your style is so Black Swan but without the MDMA experience because that's illegal. You ballet dancers should always be bragging about how lucky you are. I mean, come on, leg warmers any day of the year? Most of us have to wait for the first chilly day of fall. And for you lame nonballerinas who wanna calf it in fuzz town? They’re best paired with huge rubber boots, which unfortunately make your toes live in a sauna, but c’est la vie of snazzy legs. They’re super easy to make too. Just go to your local Sally Anne, grab a fugly sweater with sick sleeves, snip off the arms, do a little hem and presto, your calves are adorable. They might need some slight alteration, but your mom’s sewing machine has been alone too long anyways. Now you can flash dance your way to English and find a use for that American Apparel leotard you can never actually wear in public.

With Sarah vitet And Marco Ferreira

The Hot Chart Koodo's racist Mexican mascot Loves burritos

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 4

Root vegetables Every vegetable has roots, stupid


Gucci Gucci More like Kreaysh'yawn,' am I right? Avril Lavigne not pregnant Just fat Cake boss 99% plywood and carpenter glue, yum Canucks jerseys Get a job, sports anarchist! PETA porn site No fur burgers or juicy sausage, just bean curd and parsnips Parsnips The lambs of the vegetable world Nicki Minaj Very short chicken noodle legs in case you were curious // Blake Bamford

Capilano Courier Vol. 45 Issue 4  

Missing Canadian Muslims, Cult Films, Wikipedia... And so much more!