Page 1

“Pushing buttons since 1968”

Volume 45

NORTH V ANCOU V ER / / F e b r u a r y 1 3 , 2 0 1 2

with FETISH QUIZ // WOMEN’S MARCH // OPERA // POLICE DOGS and so much more ...

Issue N o. 17


TABle of contents Vol. Fourty-Five | Issue 17

Pushing buttons since 1968

Contac t u s Praise? Damnation? Let us know what you think:

Phone

604.984.4949

Online

www.capilanocourier.com

604.984.1787

editor@capilanocourier.com Cont rib u t i n g

Are you a writer/illustrator/photographer? We'll pay you! Come to our story meetings:

on

TUESDAYS at NOON in MAPLE 122

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.

➽ caveat lector

Sta f f

The Capilano Courier is brought to you by the following people ... editor-in-chief

editor-in-chief

Samantha Thompson

Sarah Vitet

s ta f f w r i t e r

production mngr.

a rt d i r e c t o r

Colin Spensley

Victoria Fawkes

Shannon Elliott

JJ Brewis

4

C al e n d a r

7

Fe a t u r e s

8

Ar ts

13

Columns

12

O pi n i o n s

15

C ab o o s e

19 n

the cove

r

columns editor

News

O

Email

Fax

Shannon elliott I know that most of you won't be going on the world's best date with the ol' Gos on Valentine's Day this year, but the evening doesn't have to be a total bust. Here are some other things you can do to celebrate mid-February: a rt s e d i t o r

opinions editor

news editor

Claire Vulliamy

Marco Ferreira

Gurpreet Kambo

humor

+

fiction editor

Mike Bastien

◆ Wash the dog ◆ Go see The Vow and make loud fart sound effects during crucial romantic scenes ◆ Decorate your ex's car with bloody tampons ◆ Satanic ritual ◆ Come to the People's Prom with the Courier staff ◆ Shrooms

s ta f f p h o t o g r a p h e r

Jason Jeon

ad

+

events mngr.

Jonty Davies

business manager

copy editor

Ricky Bao

Celina Kurz

➽ shannonelliott.ca


IN SPORTS

B LU ES CO R N ER Results from Feb. 10 & 11 By Erik Horn // Sports Writer The women’s basketball team had a big weekend, starting on Friday night by defeating the eighth place Douglas College Royals in a decisive 75-36 victory. The win came after a lot of hard work throughout the game, and some outstanding play by second-year guard, Jessica Daigneault, and fifth-year forward Jenna Ralston. Jenna currently leads the league in points with 233 overall, averaging 19.43 per game. First-year forward Hayley Boulier went down with an ankle injury with 2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but was able to shake it off and make it to the bench. On Saturday night the women picked up another win, this time over the last place CBC Bearcats by a huge differential of 95-28. The men’s basketball team also had a successful weekend, starting on Friday night when they picked up two points against The Royals, pushing them out of a contending spot for the playoffs with a 79-73 win. This game was set to have a great point guard match up with The Blues second-year guard, James Lum, going up against The Royals, Harmeet Mahal. Lum played a concise and calculated game, reading gaps, finding his teammates, and putting up some good numbers. Fourth-year forward, Micheal Zayonc, played great, getting nearly every rebound that came his way. Secondyear guard Cam Yates played with a level of calm that seemed to slow down the game around him, and he sank some crucial three pointers, as well as several wellearned assists. On Saturday night the blues picked up their other two points when they put away the last place Bearcats by a score of 82-72. The women’s volleyball team won both of their games this weekend, beating the last place COTR Avalanche on Friday night in three straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 2523) and again on Saturday afternoon in three straight sets (25-12, 25-20, 25-15). Third-year L/DS, Jacqueline Caverly is still leading the league in digs with 4.59 a game. Fifth-year OH, Michelle Torresan is one of the league leaders in total offensive points. First-year M/ RS, Ashley van Acken is second in the league for blocks, with 70 overall. The men’s volleyball team lost their first game of the weekend, giving up three straight sets to the Avalanche on Friday night (21-25, 21-25, 19-25) but winning in three straight on Saturday (25-19, 25-22, 25-21). Thirdyear Set/RS, Dan Caverly is sitting in second place in the league for digs, averaging 3.32 a game. Fourth-year LS/ LIB, Matias Brizuela is one of the leagues top offensive players (sixth overall), Matias is fourth in Kills (3.22 per game) and eleventh in Aces (14 overall). Both the women's and the men's volleyball teams will be heading to the gym at Douglas College's New Westminster campus over reading break to take part in the 2012 Pacwest Provincial Volleyball Championships. COMING UP Friday Feb 17th Women’s Basketball: VIU (1st) @ Capilano (3rd) 6:00pm Men’s Basketball: VIU (1st) @ Capilano (5th) 6:00pm Women’s Volleyball: Capilano (3rd) @ Douglas (6th) 6:00pm Men’s Volleyball: Capilano (4th) @ Douglas (2nd) 7:45pm Saturday Feb 18th Women’s Basketball: Camosun (5th) @ Capilano (3rd) 1:00pm Men’s Basketball: Camosun (4th)@ Capilano (5th) 3:00pm Women’s Volleyball: Capilano (3rd) @ Douglas (6th) 6:00pm Men’s Volleyball: Capilano (4th) @ Douglas (2nd) 7:45pm

from the editor //

Do it like they do on the Discovery Channel “Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar but never doubt thy love.” —William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Act II Scene II)

I

beings exhibit at least three interrelated, yet distinct, emotion-motivation systems for mating, reproduction, and parenting: the sex drive, romantic attraction, and male-female attachment.” Each plays a key role in the overall experience, but can be either interlinked or independent. Put simply, the sex drive is physical, attraction is “falling in love”, and attachment is the emotional commitment that typically accompanies long-term relationships. It has also been noted that teenage relationships experience the attraction phase more strongly than adults, and fail to enter the attachment phase, which contributes to their short-lived relationships. Fisher is a scientist who has studied the nature of love and the brain extensively. In her article, The Nature of Romantic Love, Fisher cites research that has found many of the rituals performed by birds and mammals when looking for a mate result in the release of chemicals similar as those exhibited in humans under similar circumstances: phenylethylamine and monoamine neurotransmitters norlogues, which contribute to the exhilaration of attraction. When a pair of zebra finches are separated as well, both “eat more, defecate more, and lose weight,” – signs of anxiety and emotion that are comparable to those displayed by humans who have been separated from their partner. As for attachment – “concentrations of vasopressin and oxytocin in plasma rise during sexual arousal,” states Fisher. When these chemicals were injected into monogamous prairie voles, there was evident stimulation in pair-bonding behaviour. It is difficult to clearly establish how brain chemistry affects emotion, but it is relatively simple for scientists to examine the outcome of activities on different areas of the brain. Regardless of whether or not you “believe” in love, science has proven that love has fascinating effects on our brain activity. Our minds have been designed to react to the feelings we have when we are in love. It is part of nature to feel love, to fall in and out of love, to seek companionship and to move on to something better when your mate is no longer adequate. We are meant to do all of these things, because it is a healthy thing to do. Love not only affects your brain, but every aspect of your body – including your heart, which begins to beat more rapidly as the situation changes. In love, everything is connected. Certainly, love does not always illicit positive emotions, but everything that it causes us – joy, passion, loss and withdrawal – contributes to making each of us a constantly evolving person. We will learn from our mistakes, continue to grow, to experiment, and to have an awesome time doing it. So to all of us who have loved, and lost – party on. It’s what we’re meant to do.

am not a cynical person. Although I have a reputation for being very gullible, when my brain processes something, I automatically question it before accepting it as legitimate. When it comes to love, many people go through a similar process. The older you get, the longer it seems to take to find something that you actually feel, deep inside, is real. Conversely, in high school, love flourishes. Every day someone else has started a brand new relationship, and teenagers are dipping their toes in the fountain of romance. What is unique about high school relationships, however, is that they are typically a more intense experience than relationships we have as adults. According to BBC, on average, someone who is 15 will have a relationship that only lasts four to five months. Studies have also shown that, in teenagers, falling in love has a similar effect on the brain to using cocaine – and it feels like an addiction. These relationships also promote face-to-face interaction, which is important for establishing a sense of self, and encourages sharing and trust which in turn contributes to maturity. Love is what we are surrounded by every day. It has inspired some of history’s greatest writers, artists, and playwrights – and also the worst. It follows us on billboards, in movies, as loud gossip in the coffee line-up at Starbucks – it’s all-encompassing, yet people act as though to have found love is to be incredibly lucky. If you’ve found “the one”, you’ve stumbled across something unique. To a certain degree, that sentiment is true. To find someone you are compatible with is a very lucky thing indeed, and even luckier if the relationship ends up lasting into silver and gold anniversaries. Although some of the love game is left to chance, there is something else at play: science. Love captures our interest, piques our curiosity, and confuses us. Despite the fact that much is attributed to the brain now, for centuries, philosophers debated over whether the brain or the heart was the most important organ in the human body. Aristotle believed the heart was responsible for intelligence and vitality, but Plato disagreed and argued that the brain was the most valuable because it was closest to the heavens. Unfortunately for Plato, it was also pointed out that many lessthan-intelligent animals also have brains – as well as mating practices. According to the article Defining the Brain Systems of Lust, Romantic Attraction and Attachment, mammals and birds have exhibited three primary emotion-motivation systems in the brain for mating, reproduction and parenting: lust, attraction, and attachment. — Samantha Thompson Helen Fisher, who co-authored the article, hypothesized that “human // editor-in-chief

The Voicebox

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 voicebox@capilanocourier.com, or texting (778) 886-5070. “Hey, what did you think of the Superbowl half-time show?” While it’s not exactly “fair” for a bunch of people to watch a televised performance and tear it to pieces based on what we see and hear, I will say that the very grainy and delayed version I watched online of the show was complete crap. It would be absolutely redundant for me to sit here and pound out an enraged opinion asking, “Why is Madonna even relevant?” or “Why don’t they get someone who will actually sing rather than lip-synch over her tracks?” My question to you is, “Did you laugh? Was it funny?” Yes, you did. It was therefore successful. A life of LOLs. “If you hosted Saturday Night Live what would the sketches be like?” I’m sure it would actually be up to the writers of the show to decide what I would end up portraying. Not to mention Seth Myers took over from Tina Fey as head writer so my options are going to be much less wonderful than they could have been during her reign. That said, here are a list of sketches I would *like* to be a part of:

◆ The Lion King: during which I play a live-action Scar and get to talk about what it’s like to be the King of a desolate wasteland. For the purposes of comedy, the sketch would be based in my hometown of Trail, B.C. Laughs! ◆ Terrible Baby: in which someone plays a really ill-mannered giant baby (always scary) who cannot be tamed by its parents or grandparents. I play a psychic medium who is brought in to tame the baby’s blues, and does so with unconventional methods, such as listening to Rihanna hits and eating prunes. ◆ Major Eyeroll: An unamused student (me) groans and moans over all of their useless classmates’ English oral reports, and the teacher (played by the sexy sexy Jason Sudeikis) gets angry at me for doing so. The real climax of this skit is that I deliver an Operatic tribute to James Frey, and I’m actually the world’s biggest dummy of the whole class! Hilarious! ◆ Cake for Friends: Myself and Andy Samberg deliver a rap/sung “digital short” about making cakes for all of our friends’ birthdays. Guest cameos include Bill Murray and Kid Cudi. ◆ The musical guests would be Gwen Stefani and Tony Bennett featuring Kanye West, and Ryan Gosling dancing.

0 7 0 5 . 6 8 8 . 778

Text


news

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

// Jason Jeon

Women’s Memorial March Still Seeking Answers Remembering the murdered and missing women of the Downtown Eastside By Leah Scheitel // writer

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

“T

4

he idea that so many women have disappeared for such a long time, and with no response form the police, is the reason some members of the community started this march,” explained Dalannah Bowen, a representative from the Women’s Memorial March Organizing Committee. This year, the annual women’s march is celebrating its 21st anniversary to raise awareness of violence towards women and commemorate those who have been murdered in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The event is set to start at 12pm on Feb. 14, says Bowen: “We have a ceremony in the Carnegie Centre theatre at noon for the families who have lost daughters and sisters. We give them an opportunity to speak about their loved ones, and we honour the families and what they have experienced and from there we begin the actual march from the intersection at Main and East Hastings.” The march follows a specific route around the downtown core, stopping at the locations where women have been murdered to give respect to the lives lost at those locations. “We do some cer-

emony at each of those sites,” she explains. “We put tobacco and we say prayers.” The walk takes around two hours, and is followed by a small potlatch at the Japanese Language School (487 Alexander St.), with additional speakers and ceremonies. Over the years, the march has gained momentum, with over 5,000 people in attendance at the memorial march in 2010. This year, organizers are expecting slightly less than that because it is a workday. However, Bowen says, they “do have a strong base of supporters because it’s an important issue we’re talking about. It’s about human beings.” The Native Women’s Association of Canada reports that more than 600 Native women have been murdered or gone missing since the early 1990s. The state of missing women in Canada has reached such an alarming level that a United Nations committee wrote to Minister of State for Status of Women Rona Ambrose about the issue. The UN committee will be reviewing the missing women situation this month. Jan. 27 marked the first time the RCMP apologized for not catching serial killer Robert Pickton sooner. Pickton has been charged with 27 counts of first-degree murder and convicted of six, all

women, mostly from the Downtown Eastside. He also claims to have slaughtered numerous more, making him B.C.’s most prolific and known serial killer. The RCMP and the VPD have been under much public scrutiny for not following through on cases of women missing from the Downtown Eastside in the 1990s. The RCMP apology isn’t enough for the Women’s Memorial March Organizing Committee: “We can’t afford to step back because the number of women missing is still a crisis situation,” explains Bowen. “The fact remains that even since they’ve arrested Robert Pickton, women are still going missing, and they are not addressing it properly. The apology is words. We want them to back it up with action.” To raise awareness about the current missing women’s inquiry, there is a “day of action” organized by the Women’s Memorial March Organization Committee on Feb. 13 called Murdered Women, Missing Justice. “It is in conjunction with the women’s march but it is also in response to this inquiry,” said Bowen. “We thought it was very important that we show solidarity with the women and the families that are in those courtrooms with little support.”

The Murdered Women, Missing Justice rally will meet at 9:30am on Feb. 13 on the corner of Georgia and Granville, which is the location of the missing women’s inquiry. The inquiry was established to review the police investigations into the numerous women that went missing from the Downtown Eastside in the 1990s and early 2000s. Currently, formal hearings are being conducted by the inquiry related to the women reported missing from 1997-2002. The women’s march started in 1991 after the murder of an aboriginal woman on Powell St. Since it began in Vancouver, it has gained momentum and publicity, sparking similar marches across the country. Currently, there are marches planned in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa, as well as other Canadian cities, all on Valentine’s Day. On behalf of the Women’s Memorial March Committee, Dalannah Bowen urges everyone and anyone that can to come and join the rally on the night of Feb. 13 and the march the next afternoon. “If people are available to come, please do; and it’s not exclusive to women. We need the men in there too, because they’re the ones that are going to help effect the change about men’s relationship to women.”


N e ws

Heart Trouble Candy hearts aren’t always kid-friendly, child finds By Victoria Fawkes // staff Writer

W

hen celebrating the spirit of the Valentine’s Day season, many people like to indulge in the chalky little conversation hearts everyone loves to hate. But what if those sugary confections that children come to know and love in grade school suddenly weren’t so innocent? That’s what little 12-year-old Ciara Bush of North Highlands, California discovered when she discovered a candy in her bag that declared the recipient had “Nice Tits”. The racy candy was pulled from a bag of hearts bought by her mother at a local discount store. However, Bush was hardly flattered by the heart’s sentiment, and showed it to her parents, who were understandably shocked that something so mature had been packaged in a Valentine’s Day treat made for kids. Derrick Deanda, Bush’s father, was so concerned by the heart’s message that he contacted the distributor of the candy, Sweethearts. Because of the racy nature of Deanda’s allegation, that Sweethearts answered his email quickly and requested that he mail the entire bag back to them so they could trace the source of the naughty heart. Luckily for Sweethearts, Deanda does not plan to sue; he simply wanted to make sure parents were watching what their children were getting: “I wanted to bring it to everybody’s attention,” said Deanda. Sweethearts believes this was an isolated incident, since no other similar cases have been reported in the area. So the question remains: how did a single racy conversation heart find its way into the waves of kid-friendly hearts that Sweethearts churns out every Valentine’s Day? The cause of the scandal may have been a simple mistake, as Sweethearts also manufactures a line of candy hearts aimed towards adult customers. It’s likely that the offending heart simply got mixed in with the candy

hearts made for all audiences instead of just the adult ones by accident. Despite the company acknowledging the mixup as a mistake, Sweethearts stands by the claim that they are a company that provides a seasonal favourite for celebrators of all ages. Starting in late February through mid-January of the next year, about 100,000 pounds of conversation hearts are made a day, which then sell out in a little over six weeks. Candy hearts have been around for quite some time, as is the case with the distributor of the offending heart. Sweethearts has been providing customers with cheekily printed hearts since 1847, but a simple “Be Mine” doesn’t go as

far as it used to. During the 1990s, technology inspired new messages for hearts, such as “Fax Me” and “Email Me”. In recent years, Sweethearts has updated their hearts, with messages like “Text Me” and “Tweet Me”. Although the Sweethearts candy heart debacle was on a relatively small scale, over the years, many other scandals have come to the public’s attention involving products marketed to children that were seen to be inappropriate. In 2009, a “toy” called the Peekaboo Pole Dancing Kit was discovered in a Tesco store, one of Britain’s biggest department stores. It included a collapsible metal pole, play money for “tips”, and “sexy dance garter”. The toy was listed under the

Toys & Games section of Tesco’s website, but was moved to the Fitness section of the website after complaints from customers. La Senza, a company best known for lingerie and intimate apparel, has also come under criticism for a line of underwear aimed at girls younger than ten. The line includes lacy crop tops and underwear made to resemble their adult lines. At the time, David Davies, a Conservative MP, claimed La Senza was "willing to make profits at the expense of public morality.” He explained, “[England] currently [has] the highest level of teenage pregnancy in the whole of Europe and the last thing we need is to encourage further sexual experimentation in young children."

// Rachel Gamboa

EDUCATION COSTS SOCIETY NOTHING CCPA finds that future income tax from university graduates is greater than cost of degrees By Arshy Mann // CUP Western Bureau Chief

V

we have so many graduates now [and] that university education isn't what it used to be. Maybe it no longer has a payoff for students," she says. "But by and large we continue to find that almost every field of study including things that you would think have no practical value, like humanities, pay for themselves." There was only one discipline that didn't cover its own cost – visual arts and that's because artists tend to earn considerably less than their peers in other professions. Ivanova went on to argue that because many prospective students experience "sticker shock" when confronted with the high cost of a university degree, they may decide to pass on higher education and that governments are therefore missing out on the potential tax revenue. "So why are we putting barriers to education for so many people by having high tuition fees instead of making sure that everyone who wants to can get an education and contribute to society?" she says. Zach Crispin, the chairperson for the B.C. wing of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) argues that decision-makers should take heed of this study.

"I would definitely hope that [governments] would take a look at the data that's been presented here by the CCPA and at least choose to freeze and work towards reducing tuition fees in the short term and really think fully about getting rid of financial barriers to post-secondary education," he says. He also points out that the study demonstrates that the net gains to the public treasury from higher education have actually been decreasing. "The fact is that when we used to have a more progressive tax system, those numbers were higher," he says. "As we move to reduce tuition fees and increase the tax base through a progressive tax system, students are going to be paying for their education more times over and we can actually increase the quality of it at the same time." Ivanova emphasizes that regardless of how high tuition fees are, students end up paying for their degrees one way or another – it's just a matter of when. "It's economically feasible and fairer to ask graduates to pay for their degrees through taxes after graduation, rather than asking them to pay through high tuition fees up front."

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

ANCOUVER (CUP)—A new study argues that students aren't the freeloaders that some might believe them to be. "Paid in Full: Who Pays for University Education in B.C.," published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), has found that British Columbians with a post-secondary degree contribute more to the public coffers through future income taxes than it would cost taxpayers to entirely pay for their entire degrees now. "There seems to be a conventional wisdom … that students are subsidized and they should stop complaining about high tuition fees because really, taxpayers pay for their education," says Iglika Ivanova, an economist with the CCPA and the author of the report. "But because [post-secondary graduates] earn more money, they end up paying more taxes. The question is how much more do they pay in taxes and is that enough to cover the upfront costs of their degree?" In the study, Ivanova compares how much it

costs to fund a four-year degree to the expected lifetime income tax contributions of a university graduate. The higher earnings of degree-holders combined with lower rates of dependence on welfare or employment insurance meant that students more than end up paying their own way. "A lot of people, when you talk about lowering tuition fees, think you're saying you want to subsidize education," says Ivanova. "But you're not really subsidizing it. They pay." According to her findings, governments could cover the entire cost of tuition twice-over and would still be getting a bargain. The CCPA study didn't take into account the various other ways that degree-holders contribute to the economy, such as by paying higher consumption taxes, contributing to economic growth and through innovation. Ivanova embarked on the project in order to update a previous CCPA study done by UBC economist Robert Allen in 1998, which came to a similar conclusion. She was interested to see if Allen's findings still held at a time that tuition rates increased substantially and British Columbians were paying less in taxes: "Some people have speculated that

5


News

I WOOF YOU Unique event brings love to man’s best friend By Samantha Thompson // editor-in-chief

C

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

// Kele Elliott

6

lark and Lois, Ron and Hermione, Belle and Beast – the stories we hold dearest to our hearts have frequently been filled with the perfect couples. However, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, studies have shown that more and more people aren’t just settling for whatever’s available. Instead, they are on the hunt for the real-life Prince Charming – but not for themselves. The V-Day 4 Lyfe, happening on Feb. 14 in Downtown Vancouver, is an event meant for guests of all shapes and sizes – but especially those on four paws. Co-sponsored by company Find My Prince, the team has one goal: to help dogs find their Prince (or Princess) Charming.

The company sets up speed-dating nights for humans across the Lower Mainland, with its biggest event of the year being on Feb. 14. “The V-Day 4 Lyfe event is the only one of its kind,” says company CEO Olive Mutts. “It’s the only event we run specifically for dogs, but owners seem a lot more willing to go to a speed-dating event if it’s for their best dog friend instead of for themselves.” Now entering its fourth year, founder Fockse Layday is proud about how the event has grown. The first event back in 2008 had only 50 dogs and their owners, but this year’s event has a projected 2,000 attendees. “We literally have to, like, rent out a whole building!” said Layday, founder of the company. “It’s better than Christmas!” Although some people may be offended by Layday’s flippancy towards what is, for some religions, a very important day, Layday reminds us that February is the season of forgiveness. “It’s the time of year when you have to let bygones be bygones. You can’t be mean to your dog forever just because he shit on the carpet last October,” she says. “If not, he’ll never be able to get that diamond collar for that special someone.” Layday herself does not own a four-legged friend, but points out that “Nintendogs are almost just as good as the real thing.” Charles Spaniel has been attending the event since its inception, accompanied by his black Labrador, Spunky. Unfortunately, the pair remain unlucky in love, but Spaniel hopes that this year will be the year – for both of them. “He really needs a man in his life,” he says. “It’s been many a year where he’s been hanging out at home while I go to the job that puts bread on his table. I haven’t been able to explore the human dating scene myself, because I’ve been so worried about his well-being.” “Once I know that he’s found a Poodle or a Daschund to call cute pet names every night before bed, I’ll be able to worry about my own love life, and how my fertility clock will soon have stopped altogether.” Until then, Spaniel keeps himself busy every VDay at the event. Set up in the style of a speed dating night, dogs and their owners go through three rounds of ten dates – all within 90 minutes. In the down time between rounds, there are plenty of opportunities to purchase a pick-me-up if the dates aren’t going so well. Each year there are many vendors that sell a wide range of Valentine’s Day merchandise. It varies from t-shirts (for humans and dogs) and bejewelled collars (primarily for dogs), to wedding veils (dogs only) and flower petal baskets (for humans, at the wedding of the dogs). “I’m just so glad that we are able to give dogs and humans a place to bond over something that brings every species together,” says Layday. “Regardless of how many legs you have, or if you have paws or feet, everyone, like, just wants to find that special someone, that Prince Charming.” V-Day 4 Lyfe advertises that they have “rounded up all the hairy Prince and Princess Charmings” for the event. It would seem that for a pooch, the only place to find true happiness is by attending the unique date night. “Everyone deserves to find love,” says Spaniel. “And when they find love, they deserve to celebrate it however they want.”


the ca p ca l e n da r C e l i na W i th

Kur z !

CO P Y @ CA P I L ANOCOURIER . COM

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

m o n day f e b . 1 3 ANTI-VALENTINE'S DAY SHOW Or, as it says on their event page, “The Nightmare Before Valentine's Day.” This sweet show features Gold&Youth, Philoceraptor, and awesome Vancouver sweethearts Watermelon. Seriously, I would totally ask Watermelon to be my Valentine if music was people and I hadn't decided to be super goth this Valentine's Day. 9 PM. The Biltmore. $8.

t u e s day feb. 14 VALENTINE'S DAY It's here! The perfect day to express how you feel to the people that you love. Some choose to do this with chocolate, dinner dates, perhaps even large romantic gestures such as proposing via Jumbotron. I'm going to express my feelings by dressing like a goth.

w e d n e s day feb. 15 MAKEOUT WEDNESDAY This is an internationally recognized holiday wherein, if Valentine's Day was too superdepressing for you to function, you can just find someone and, without any pressure, just make out with them in a closet or something. No fucking presents, no colour scheme, none of that shit; just pure, consensual make outs. The way love was supposed to be.

t h u r s day feb. 16 CHICAGO Definitely confused this band with the band Boston in my head just now. But still! Classic rock! Who doesn't love it? I hope that Chicago is classic rock. I clearly don't know very much about them, but I'm assuming they're similar to Boston, but like, a couple states over (ha ha ha). 8 PM. Red Robinson Show Theatre. $116/96.

A BLESSING ON THE MOON Presented as a part of the Chutzpah! Festival, this piece of music-theatre is based on the book of the same name by Joseph Skibell, and tells the “surreal and magical tale” of a man killed in wartime Poland searching for the afterlife. Featuring the Warsaw Village Band, this is sure to be a very cool and spooky bit of theatre! 8 PM. Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre. $26/22/16

A PERSONAL NOTE A while ago on this calendar, I made fun of Bon Iver. I think I said something like “I don't get why everyone comes over him”, or something along those lines. I just want to officially rescind that little moment of making-fun, because over the last two days, I've really been getting into For Emma, Forever Ago. It's really a very beautiful album and it tugs at my heartstrings in a really aching kind of way.

12TH ANNUAL PEOPLE'S PROM A sweet and rad dance party where everyone is encouraged to dress up really crazy and beautiful and they give out prizes and it will be way better than your “real” prom where you drank so much you blacked out and slapped your best friend. Sarah Vitet, editor-in-chief, endorses this event! Also it's Valentine's Day, so what better way to celebrate love than to dance and party? 8 PM. The Waldorf. $10.

TOTAL CHINESE BUFFET OF LOVE & HATE This actually sounds like a fantastic way to celebrate Valentine's Day: all-you-can-eat Chinese/ Japanese buffet plus live stand-up comedy! Eating buttloads of Chinese food is the kind of thing that anyone can enjoy, single or committed! 7 – 10:30 PM. Kentizen Chinese Cuisine (Tinseltown Village, 88 E. Pender St.). $25/30.

NOORD NEDERLANDSE DANS One of Holland's premiere contemporary dance academies graces Vancouver as a part of the Chutzpah! Festival. According to the LA Times, “the audience responded with nothing less than a collective sigh at the fragility, beauty and, finally, the resilience of life.” Sigh! You can also catch the on Feb. 16 and 18; see chutzpahfestival.com for more details. 8 PM Norman and Anne Rothstein Theatre. $26/22/16.

LEN ARULIAH SEXTET This sextet features “Len on soprano and alto saxes, Jared Burrows (guitar), Joe Poole (drums), Colin Maskell (tenor sax), Brent Gubbels (bass), and Lorne Kellett (keyboards).” Aruliah's compositions are heavily influenced by Kenny Wheeler and are really, really cool; be sure to check this out! Aruliah is from England, so we're pretty lucky to get to hear this stuff. 8 PM. Presentation House (333 Chesterfield Ave.). $10.

DAVID HASSELLHOFF When I first saw this I thought it was a joke. David Hassellhoff? I thought to myself. Isn't he in rehab or something? But no! As a part of Vancouver ComedyFest, we get to see David Hassellhoff. Is he even funny? I always thought of him as a more laugh-at than a laugh-with. 7 PM. The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. $36.50 – $44.50.

SINGLES VALENTINE'S SPEED-DATING PARTY This. Is. The. Most depressing party I can imagine. I think I would actually kill myself before I went to a “speed-dating party” at the Blarneystone. Can we rename this event? “A Bunch Of Lonely Drunk People Looking To Bone.” There. At least that's honest. 6:30 – 8:30 PM (with DJ's after til 2 AM). The Blarneystone. No price listed.

EMMA POSTL TRIO AT THE KOZMIK ZOO I'm going to this, so if you wanna hang out with me and listen to some beautiful noises, you should come. Also, feel free to dress like a goth and then we can look like hilarious jazz-goths, rare subgroup of goths. Also, all jazz standards are love songs! So like, if you're emotionally stable and in a relationship, it'll be pretty romantic, except for the weird goth crying in the corner. 8 PM. The Kozmik Zoo. $5.

DON QUIXOTE Don Quickzote! That romantical, getting-in-ladypants-famous, wacky guy! The National Ballet of Cuba will be performing this classic piece in Vancouver for today until Feb. 18, so be sure to snap up some tickets while they're still in town. 8 PM. Queen Elizabeth Theatre. $58.75 – $109.50

SWEET SHOW AT THE BILTMORE It's a sweet show, okay? Featuring Lost Lover's Brigade, Chains of Love, Ville Kulla, and the premiere performance of Slim Fathers. The first time I saw Lost Lover's Brigade, it was an acoustic performance, and I just remember being completely blown away by the songs and the voice. Check it out, please. 8 PM. The Biltmore. $8.

SHOW ME LOVE: '90S DANCE PARTY Who doesn't love the '90s? If you answered, “Me, I'm the one who doesn't love them,” then I'm very sorry, I don't want to have a conversation with you because it will only end in tears (yours). If you continue talking, and say, “I don't really like dance parties either,” then I've probably already left the room because my rage has consumed me. 9 PM. Library Square Public House. $12 cover.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL If the '90s ain't your thang, maybe you at least like the charming era popularized recently by such shows as Mad Men? Perhaps you at least love the dance-friendly sounds of early rock 'n roll? “No,” you respond, you person who I do not understand. “I do not enjoy it, I find those sounds unpleasant.” All right. It's cool. I – I can handle this. 10 PM. The Biltmore. $10.

friday feb. 17 TECHNICALLY SPRING BREAK You know what you have to look forward to? Nine sweet, sweet days of no responsibility (other than, I guess, studying for that midterm you have next week; but it's so easy to forget about that) and no school. I'm going to eat popcorn for every meal, finish watching Buffy, and have some sweet hang time with my besties. So stoked, guys. I'm going to be blissful.

BLEATING HEARTS ALBUM RELEASE SHOW Bleating Hearts are a sweet 8-piece indie rock band who have been around for what seems like ages but are releasing their first record, so get excited, people! The album will be on sale at the show for a mere $5, and opening the night will be Korean Gut (super good) and Shawn Mrazek Lives! (he has a really cute kid and he drummed for The Doers!). 8 PM. The Waldorf. $8.

FAMILY SCIENCE DAYS “Touch live sea creatures, create an earthquake, and see the invisible all in one place” UM OKAY. See the invisible? God, nature is so fantastic, so magical. Create an earthquake? PLAY GOD? This event is happening tomorrow, too, so be sure to check it out. 11 AM – 5 PM. Vancouver Convention Centre – West. Free!

BETTY WHITE This lady is just the sassiest woman, and I love her for that. When it comes to old women, Betty White might be the only person I'd be more stoked to see than a) either of my grandmas b) the Queen. As a part of the Vancouver ComedyFest, she'll be doing two shows, one at 7pm and one at 9:30pm. 7/9:30 PM. The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. $50 – $145.

saturday feb. 18 BILL YOU MURRAY ME? GROUP ART SHOW This sounds hilarious and so fun! This event promises to be a “one-off night of debauchery … Guests are expected to bring red toques, housecoats with pipe in hand and be bearded.” Expect a plethora of Bill Murray themed art; the best kind of art(?). 7 PM – 2 AM. The Fall Gallery (644 Seymour St.). Price unlisted.

sunday feb. 19 GHIBLI PARTY IN MY GARAGE Everyone's invited! Bring your sleeping bags and we'll all loll about on the floor and watch anime for six or seven hours; it will be a transformative experience. I'm making crazy popcorn and I'll buy some delicious soda and it'll be awesome. Spring Break is coming up, no school tomorrow! Bring some snacks! We'll order pizza! 4 PM – 1t AM. Celina's House . Free!

DIE ANTWOORD Claire says, “I don't even know how … um … I dunno, it's just weird how they're obviously a satire of something but no one really knows what they're satirizing … I can't believe you're typing this fast!” I don't know anything about Die Antwoord aside from them being “freaky” so I made Claire say something lol. Thanks Claire! 8 PM. Commodore Ballroom. $40.50.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS VS. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS Seriously guys, there are so many better things to be doing tonight than watching hockey in a bar/at your friend's house/at Rogers Arena/ ever talking about hockey ever again. But if you insist, tonight there is one of those things that I hate (a sports game). 4 PM. Rogers Arena. Astronomically overpriced.

MARGARET CHO So many funny women, such a small city, Vancouver can't handle itself! Also a part of the Vancouver ComedyFest, comedienne Margaret Cho will be sassing us hard with some rad stand up. Check it out! 8 PM. The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. $35 – $75

BENNY GREEN TRIO This trio features Peter Washington on bass, Kenny Washington on drums, and Benny Green on piano, touring the first trio record made by Green as a group leader in ten years. A bunch of my friends are skipping my Ghibli sleepover for this, so I'm sure it will be good. 8 PM. The Jazz Cellar. Price unlisted.

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

MAC'S SWEET BEER PONG PARTY Mac Fairbairn, tall, brunet ex-Courier employee, is throwing a “beer pong tourney” at The Narrows. It'll be off the hook! 8 PM. The Narrows. Free!

7


F eatures

ED I TO R S / / Sarah vit et + Samant ha Thomp son // s pe c i al fe ature s . c apc o uri e r@ gmai l . c o m

SMELLS LIKE SEX Investigating human pheromone products one knows you're wearing it, the effects lose all potency, because it is supposed to be a subtle little spray to arouse the senses,” Jones explains. “Once they know your game plan you have already lost.” According to some retailers, pheromones are bought most commonly by waitresses and other people working with the public or in sales, as the subtle effects on perception can help sway interactions. Jones used them while working in the restaurant industry, and claims that the pheromones helped him to secure a promotion. “I can recall several times at work I used the pheromones while talking to my female superiors, and eventually they succumbed to the effects on their subconscious mind, I was able to obtain certain favors,” says Jones. “I will admit that at the time I was working in that restaurant, I wanted badly to obtain a more desirable position then the dish-washing title I currently had. I figured that if I could use both my wit and charm, and the help of natural pheromones, I could get ahead.”

By Beni Spieler // writer

I

n our age of crazy ideas and new technology, somebody was bound to try and sell sex in a can … and they have. Well, it’s not so much a can, but a small vial filled to the brim with lovely little things called pheromones. All you have to do is spray them on exposed parts of your body, and your attractiveness levels (allegedly) go through the roof. In nature A pheromone is a secreted chemical that is able to alter the behavior of another member of the same species. Pheromones are most commonly observed in insects, as they use them in the most diverse manner, and even communicate with them. Ants use trail pheromones to guide others of their species to a food source they’ve found by spraying the chemicals out in a trail, and bees use pheromones to communicate and to classify themselves within the hive. Aggregation pheromones are used to attract many members of a species to a single point for mass-defense, attack, or sexual purposes. Mammals use pheromones as well, but to a lesser extent than insects. A commonly witnessed example can be found in dog and cat urination, which marks the perimeter of their territory and indicates other information. Humans, on the other hand, don’t use pheromones in the same way as other mammals, or insects. Though many people claim that the smell of sweat can be very attractive, and even cause arousal, there have been no conclusive studies to associate this phenomenon with pheromones. It is widely speculated that humans produce them, and maybe even detect them on an unconscious level, but studies done on human pheromones have been inconclusive for the most part.

In practice

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

In stores

8

There are a massive amount of companies currently selling pheromone products. There are sprays to attract both women and men; even unisex sprays that attract both genders have been manufactured. Most of the products contain androgens, which are also hormones. In men, androgens create the typically male sexual characteristics: body hair, deepened voice, and mature genitals. Women also have androgens in their bodies, although in much smaller quantities, and they're responsible for energy levels and sexual arousal. “The sprays come in perfumed, and mild-scent form,” explains Jenna Wieden, who works at Honey Gifts, an erotic gift store in Vancouver that sells pheromones. “Most people seem to prefer the perfumed version, since the smell is usually stronger and more pleasant,” she says. The effects of the sprays themselves are sometimes touted as being direct aphrodisiacs, but are better known to bloom certain thoughts in the mind of the opposite sex; affecting the target subconsciously, but not turning them into drooling sex slaves. “The sprays are probably better for improving relations between two people who are already in a relationship than for attracting random strangers,” Wieden explains. Where brands and price are concerned, you can find sprays that cost anywhere from $20

for a single vial to $320 for a set. The Internet is bursting with pheromone review forums weighing the differences between the brands and their effects. In use Though many people may use pheromones in order to improve their love life, very few are willing to admit it publicly. Whether out of embarrassment or the desire for secrecy in regards to their attraction strategies, finding people publicly willing to admit they use pheromones isn’t as easy as the huge market implies. A previous user of pheromones, under the pseudonym of Mark Jones, was willing to describe his experience using pheromone scents long-term. “At first I kinda did it as a joke. The rea-

// Katie So son I wanted to try the pheromones was purely out of curiosity and for amusement,” explains Jones. “But I noticed that women deffs [sic] reacted differently around me; it wasn't like they were crawling all over me, but I got a lot of attention.” The effects of the sprays, considered to be viable by some and a confidence booster by others, seem to be somewhat subtle: “I noticed that while I was wearing the pheromone, women reacted quite positively to it, yet younger girls, about 18 and younger, found it somewhat disturbing, as if they were bothered by the scent or something like that,” explains Jones. “I observed that the more mature the female I encountered, the more positive the reactions were.” He notes that keeping the pheromones a secret is integral to using them: “As soon as any-

“The human body contains the organ necessary to create pheromones,” says Dr. Paul McMillian, a Capilano biology instructor. “But the adult brain of a human doesn’t contain the necessary nerve bundles or receptors to actually detect pheromones in the same way that many other mammals do.” One case where pheromones seem to play a part would be when women’s menstrual cycles synchronize; though recent studies have called to question whether this is the case or not. Many have speculated that humans emit pheromones that cause sexual attraction, hence the sprays: “I think it could be chalked up to smell preference,” Dr. McMillian says. “Though I’d be interested in finding out if the pheromone sprays work or not.” The idea that commercial products can alter the output of a person’s pheromones shines the spotlight on an interesting conundrum that Caitlin Costello brings up in her essay, Sexual or Sexist? Replication of Human Pheromones. “If the popularity of pheromone-based commercial products continues, they may develop to the point where they accurately imitate the effects of natural human pheromones, possibly even able to influence the behavior of those other than the users of the products,” Costello writes. “A deeper threat, however, comes from the implications that pheromone research might have on existing gender roles and relations, since women seem to be more sensitive to pheromonal messages.” Research allowing, patents pending, men may one day be able to put on a perfume that make women pounce on them like a TV ad for Axe. “Given the complexities of the way humans transmit chemical signals, these scenarios probably lie outside of the realm of possibility, but the prospect of men gaining even a small amount of greater sexual control over women is nonetheless frightening,” Costello concludes. With praise, condemnation and doubt coming from all sides, pheromones have perched themselves on a precarious social branch that lies somewhere between science and fantasy. Powerful placebos or fantastic aphrodisiac? Only time and maybe a bit of personal experimentation will tell.


f e atu r e s

BROWSING FOR LOVE Niche dating sites exist for every demographic imaginable is a marketing program just used to sell advertising based on web traffic, so I deleted my account.

By Leah Scheitel // writer

I

2). StachePassions.com: For women who like mustaches and men who like growing them. With a mere 700 members, this site hasn’t gained as much popularity as others, but if you can grow a quality Tom Selleck style mustache, there is a good chance you’ll find the perfect girl on here. However, the site is alarmingly hard to navigate, and has a basic format that is not appealing to use. In three days of trying, I still haven’t successfully discovered how to message anyone. It’s part of the Passions network, which has over 200 dating services under its umbrella. Beerpassions. com and coffeepassions.com are just as difficult to navigate. 3). DiaperMates.com: This is an online mecca for AB/DL, which translates to Adult Babies and Diaper Lovers. These are people that like to be treated as a baby and those who like to care for them. Currently this site boasts over 12,000 members from around the world, but is based in the Netherlands. According to Alexa Statistics, 51 per cent of the DiaperMates traffic comes from the US, and 47.4 per cent of the Canadian traffic comes from Owen Sound, Ontario.

5). 420Dating.com: Why toke alone when there might be a cutie just around the corner who’d love to join you? This dating service is supposedly for people whose longest romantic relationship is with Mary Jane and want to meet others who share the same acceptance of weed. This site gets an average of 6,850 visitors per month. I signed up and after three days, curiously, the only messages I received were from men in Nigeria asking for my cell number. After researching reviews, I found many warnings about this site. 1). WeWaited.com: “The friendly place for vir“This is not a legitimate dating site,” says one gins to meet” is the tagline for this dating site. of the reviews. “Do not give them any personal The founders of the site conduct extensive back- information. You will get emails in bad English ground research on the users to ensure that they from West African countries.” Apparently, the site

Top 3 things guys lie about: age, height, and in6). CupidTino.com: So you meet a great cutie and come. talk to them for hours over coffee. At the end of the conversation you discover that they are a PC Top 3 things girls lie about: weight, physical build, user, and don’t own any Apple products, and you and age. are immediately repulsed. If this has ever hapCustomers of dating sites spend an average of pened to you, check out this site. It’s designed for $239 per year. Apple fanatics to find other Mac-heads in their local area. Currently there are over 1.4 billion online daters Unlike other dating sites, it has a very clean around the world. and simple look, inspired by the Mac product 25% of Canadians have tried online dating in the packaging. Once signed up, it was very userpast year. friendly. To show your interest in someone, you can “Mac Him”, “Write a Message”, or “Meet him at the nearest Mac Store”. It can be used exclusively on Apple products, which means you actually 4686 members, Star Trek was by far the most cannot sign up if you don’t own a Mac. popular group. Matrix fans have 2387 people to talk to, and the Douglas Adams group has 7). LargeAndLovely.com: This is just one of mul- 1162 members. tiple examples of dating websites for big and According to Alexa Statistics, TrekPassions beautiful women (BBW) and big and handsome “is visited more frequently by males who are in men (BHM), and the people who admire them the age range 25-34, have no children, are col(Fat Admirers). According to Alexa Statistics, lege educated, and browse this site from home.” there are about 30 sites catering to this niche. No kidding. No need to use photographs from high school or employ extensive Photoshop techniques on 10). TheAtlasphere.com: “What do you think these sites. was the main symbolism of Dagny Taggart’s visions in the early chapters of Atlas Shrugged?” 8). PositiveSingles.com: This service is for peo- isn’t a great pick up line in most bars, but will win ple with sexually transmitted diseases and infec- hearts on this site. Its members are fans of Ayn tions, which eases the burden of disclosure. The Rand and her books such as Atlas Shrugged, and site offers customers a live chat with counselors The Fountainhead. It features columns and chat about living STI-positive, and how to go about liv- forums about her work, and has over 15,000 dating a regular life with a disease. ing profiles, allowing objective idealists to meet Members must specify what types of diseases one another. or infections they have, so that others know what “The worst thing any young objectivist really they are getting into. As of 2009, there were more hates to hear is ‘Oh, I read Ayn Rand in college. than 65,000 Canadians living HIV positive, and You’ll grow out of it,’” says founder Joshua Zader. over 400 million people worldwide are living “The amazing thing is how many of us don’t grow with various types of STI’s. Like most dating sites, out of it. Her philosophy is something you have on PositiveSingles, members can seek matches to grow into.” with people of the same sex as well as the opBy creating TheAtalasphere, Zader welcomed posite sex. Roughly five per cent of the users are a niche client base that likely had a difficult time from Canada. finding someone who shared a love of Rand’s work on a generic dating site. According to 9). TrekPassions.com: Live long and prosper Alexa Statistics, that client base is primarily together. This is a site where guys who dreamt “males who are over 65 years old, have no chilabout being Captain Kirk and girls that dreamt dren, and received some college education.” about being with him can mingle. Not strictly for Trekkies, the site has 56 different groups, With all of these online options, it’s a wonder all targeting a different sci-fi fan base. With any of us are still single.

// Illustrations by Stefan Tosheff

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

n today’s busy world, online dating has become commonplace. More and more people are using the Internet to find dates and lovers, causing the online dating industry to be worth more than $1.4 billion a year. According to Forbes, it has surpassed porn as the highest revenue generator on the web. Shannon Smith is the Personal Relations Coordinator for Plenty of Fish, one of the better known free dating websites. She says that online dating is gaining popularity because of people’s lack of time. “People are leading busier lives than ever, and finding the time to meet quality people can be difficult,” she explains. “By using online dating sites, users can meet people they are compatible with at a time that works best for them.” Since its debut in 2003, Plenty of Fish now boasts over 39.5 million users worldwide, and that number is expected to reach 40 million by Valentine’s Day. “Now that we’re moving into 2012, the benefits of online dating are more apparent than ever,” Smith says. “Our members have the opportunity to communicate with an extremely diverse group of people who they would most likely never meet otherwise. Also, users can automatically see if they may be interested in someone without having to meet them first. From viewing a profile, users can get a great idea about someone’s hobbies, interests, cultural preferences, and values, which is all important information that most typical [not-online] daters will not learn until after a few dates.” Many “mainstream” sites like Match and Lavalife (and even POF) ask customers to fill out extensive questionnaires to help narrow down their matches, but sometimes it still leaves too many potential partners. Because of that, niche dating websites have become increasingly more popular, as users can ensure that the people they meet on their niche site already have a strong common interest or lifestyle. The hope is that this will speed up the dating process, and alleviate awkward first dates by giving you topics to bond over. Here is a list of ten sites that might help you find a more specifically perfect partner.

are actually virgins, and not just people who like to pop cherries. “We will believe them to be virgins only if we can corroborate their honesty,” the site proclaims in the FAQ’s about how they know their members are virgins. They have details about the background checks performed on all users, and because of this I didn’t even bother trying to lie to get an account. The standard membership is free but they do offer upgrades that cost depending on the package.

FUN FACTS ABOUT ONLINE DATING

9


F e at u r e s marriage is legalized for everyone, regardless of sexual preference. Though some people will argue against gay marriage and other alternative lifestyles, there are also those who believe that everyone has In Canada, gay marriage has been legal since the right to love who they want. Just like Saint 2005. However, recent legislation has decreed Valentine in the third century, who married lovthat non-Canadian same sex marriages are only ers against the laws put in place by the Roman valid in Canada if gay marriage is also legal in a emperor Claudius, those who believe in true love married couple’s previous home. know that nothing should get in the way of being Guy Herrington and Jason Athen are one such with the person you’re meant to be with. same-sex couple whose lives have been affectAlthough Valentine’s Day has its critics (with ed by this legislation. Athen, who was living in good reason), there are people who love what it Florida at the time of his marriage to Herrington, has come to represent. Regardless of how you is no longer married in the eyes of the Canadian choose to celebrate love, it is special because government, and are therefore unable to enjoy you get to choose what you do with it. For some, explains that everyone is welcome at the Grand Wedding Show.

Marriage and its many global faces By Victoria Fawkes

The Right to Marry

// staff writer

T

o Y

10

Vicki Singh is a project manager at Cultural Weddings, a Vancouver-based wedding planning company committed to helping couples “tie the knot with panache and style.” Cultural Weddings specializes in making a couple’s dreams come true with internationally inspired weddings. “There are so many different weddings that we provide services for. The diversity of Vancouver lets us serve so many different cultures,” says Singh. One of the things she is most excited about is Cultural Weddings’ annual wedding planning keepsake guide, The Cultural Wedding Planner. Their free international wedding manual will be released in April and is featured during their annual Grand Wedding Show in Vancouver, which showcases Persian, Indian, intercultural, and many other wedding themes and ideas. Though the wedding industry has a reputation for fanatical customers with unattainable demands, Singh is happy to play fairy godmother and provide couples with their dream day, no matter what they need: “It really comes down to their maturity level, but we never have anyone who’s over the top,” says Singh. That being said, she also knows that the stereotypes associated with the few “crazy” brides out there have given many brides a bad reputation. Singh believes that the brides (and sometimes even the grooms) portrayed in the media often look bratty and out of control, but she insists that this is not the case with the couples she works with: “Brides are exaggerated on TV, but to be honest, the brides and grooms are really just concerned about how good a time the people they invite will have,” says Singh of the variety of couples from different cultures. As for a different kind of variety, same-sex marriages, Singh admits Cultural Weddings has never been able to plan one. However, she maintains Cultural Weddings’ dedication to diversity, and

a

RING nI

O

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

Working in the Industry

hould Pu S u t

t, if You Like

It

he institution of marriage has been called a sham, a joke, and the last legal form of slavery. Depending on whom you ask, marriage can either be the bane of human existence or the reason for it. Whatever the case, everyone has an opinion on marriage and the customs that go hand-in-hand with it. Certainly, Western cinema has made us familiar with wedding traditions of bridezillas and heinous bridesmaid dresses, all set to a soundtrack of uplifting Celine Dion songs. However, there are many diverse (and less cheesy) wedding traditions around the world. Being a thoroughly international city, Vancouver has no shortage of diverse couples, more than ready to endure the stress of planning a globally inspired wedding.

in divorce shouldn’t stop you from being inspired to declare your love to the one you secretly admire, while raising a ghetto blaster above your head in a Say Anything-inspired display of affection. Or, at least, maybe you will work up the nerve to ask them out for a beer.

Courtship and Dating Norway: Norwegian dating culture is liberal, but still reflects the traditions of Scandinavian heritage. Like many other European countries, Norway has developed unconventional ideas on dating and courtship. Dating and sex are common for teenagers as young as 14, since prior personal relationships matter little to Norwegians. Marriage is still popular in Norway, but unmarried lovers who live together and have alternative lifestyles are still accepted as commonplace. “It’s not really different from Vancouver,” says Anne Bachmann-Kobban, who lives in Canada but was married in Norway. “These days, people don’t generally get married, they just live common law. Norway is very liberal nowadays.” South Africa: Just like every other part of the world, there are a countless number of dating sites that cater specifically for South Africans. There are dating sites that target different lifestyle choices and personal preferences, and even some that set up connections for those who are HIV-positive and looking for love. But South Africans haven’t always had total freedom to be with whomever they want: up until the mid-1980s, interracial couples couldn’t get married in South Africa. Canada continues to be a popular place for immigration, especially to South Africans. Toni du Toit, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, is one such immigrant who came to Canada with her family in 1994. “Even though everyone in South Africa has political freedom, there is no economic freedom or freedom of equal opportunity. It is better, but unfortunately the wealth of the country is in the hands of a relative few,” says du Toit. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, reforms in government policies and international pressure helped to end apartheid and allow equal rights for all couples. India:

the same benefits as married couples. When interviewed by the Vancouver Sun, Herrington said ,“He [Jason] moved to Canada to get away from that type of discrimination. And now we’re getting attacked years later.” Other same-sex couples have had problems divorcing, as their non-Canadian status makes their union invalid in Canada in the first place. Because of these ever-changing laws, many same-sex couples have practically been stripped overnight of the legal security and rights straight married couples enjoy. Although homosexuality is still criminalized in many parts of the world, it is important that

joining together in the institution of marriage can be one of the most unifying actions you can take. Although opinions on marriage are varied, the average age of first marriage for Canadians is the highest it has ever been: 21 for women and 25 for men. Norway, South Africa, China, and India are in four different corners of the world, and they are four countries that have both some of the most interesting divorce practices, and some of the most beautiful wedding traditions on the planet. Although the divorce statistics hardly mesh with the sugary-sweet attitude of Valentine’s Day, the fact that four in ten Canadian marriages end

Although dating in India has more similarities to dating in North America than ever before, it is still definitely different. Young Indians are encouraged to date during their teenage years so that they can hopefully find their best match for marriage later in life. Parents are an important part of this lifelong decision. Education, financial status, and religion are often important factors that a young Indian’s parents must approve of before their marriage is given a blessing. Caste, or social standing, may also matter, though not as much as in the past. Arranged marriages are still common in India, sometimes when the bride and groom are just children, as their future in-laws may nurture the relationship into one of love. China: Like India, family and community are important parts of choosing a partner. Because of this, a traditional Chinese marriage is seen as the coming together of two families, instead of two individuals. In some cases, a matchmaker will arrange a meeting between a couple. This involves a fu-


F e atu r e s ture bride and groom meeting for the first time at a tea ceremony and getting to know each other under the supervision of the matchmaker. If the man wishes to marry the woman, he will offer her an embroidered red pouch in the teacup on which the tea was served. If the woman accepts the teacup, the couple is then declared engaged.

she moves her head. The crown’s bangles are in place to ward off wicked spirits that will try to inhabit the bride on her wedding day. Bridesmaids must also act as bodyguards and dress similarly to the bride to help keep her safe from evil. The groom wears a colorful woolen suit known as a bundas, as do the groomsmen. After the ceremony, the couple is led out of the church to the music of an accordionist. At the reception, there are more speeches than the average Canadian wedding, and a hell of a lot more cake. This is usually a brudlaupskling wedding cake, topped with a layer of cream, syrup, and cheese.

India:

Famed for their extravagant weddings, India prides itself on its deep-rooted ties to tradition, and its customary ceremonies. Hindu wedding ceremonies almost always include rituals to ward off evil spirits and promote a happy and healthy life for the couple. After the bride and groom exchange vows, they are showered with flower petals by the father or brother of the groom. Traditionally, brides wear brightly hued saris and cover themselves in eye-catching jewelry. They are also stained with henna dyes. The Norway: groom wears traditional Indian wedding attire Before the wedding, both the man and woman and a turban, with a curtain of flowers flowing South Africa: wear engagement rings. Many Norwegians across his face to protect him from evil spirits. don’t like to rush into marriage; an engagement Depending on the area of South Africa you’re The elaborate ceremony is followed by an equalcan last up to four years, which allows the bride in, wedding traditions can be similar to North ly elaborate reception. and groom to get to know each other as well as possible. “They would have about the same traditions as Vancouver, so they go out for a stag and have a few other parties,” says Bachmann-Kobban.

Pre-Wedding Party

South Africa: Du Toit was one of many South African brides lucky enough to be treated to a “kitchen tea”, which is similar to a bridal shower. At a kitchen tea, a bride’s friends surprise her with kitchenware and a casual party. South African grooms enjoy a much raunchier version of a kitchen tea, more similar to the legendary bachelor parties dreamed up in movies like The Hangover. For the groom’s party, he is kidnapped by his groomsmen and forced into any ridiculous costume of their choosing. From there, the guys spend their night barhopping and end it with lots of fond memories (or lack thereof). India: Much is done in advance for Indian weddings: “A henna artist is hired a year in advance and the horse that transports the groom to the wedding is also hired well in advance,” says Vicki Singh, who has helped organize her fair share of traditional Indian weddings. Because of the diverse cultures and religions of India, there are many cultural happenings surrounding the preparation for a wedding. Some of the most important pre-wedding traditions are the engagement ceremonies. The main engagement ceremony is usually held at the house of the groom, where the families of the bride and groom exchange gifts and the bride and groom exchange their rings. At this ceremony, the wedding date is often picked. China:

The Wedding Ceremony Norway: For a Norwegian wedding, the bride traditionally wears a classic white dress and a crown adorned with tiny spoon-shaped bangles that tinkle when

End of Marriage Norway: The divorce rate in Norway is relatively low compared to the rest of the world, but it is on the rise. Norway currently has the 15th highest rate of divorce in the world, with a divorce rate of 43 per cent. “Living common-law is fine, but if you don’t get married, you can have some problems regarding inheritance. My cousin was living common-law with his girlfriend whom he had kids with, and she convinced him to get married and then took him for all he had. So you have to trust the one you’re with,” says Bachmann- Kobban. Norway has always been a leader in equality, allowing women to file for divorce since 1582, provided they give a decent reason, such as impotence or infidelity, or if their husband simply ran away. Divorces had to be validated by the king of Norway himself, and the rules remained practically unchanged until 1909. South Africa: Getting a divorce in South Africa is fairly similar to getting a divorce in North America, and always has been. There are no laws or red tape restricting quickie divorces to be found. Like many countries around the world, getting a divorce is as simple as cancelling a magazine subscription: simply fill out the rights forms and you’re free to pursue other people. India: As Indian cities have continued to develop, the divorce rate has steadily increased. However, the divorce rate in rural India is much lower than in the cities. Since arranged marriages are more common in India than in Western cultures, the divorce rate is lower than that of North America and many other parts of the world. Divorcing an arranged marriage may bring embarrassment to the bride and groom’s families, and is therefore avoided if possible. China:

Like many other countries in the world, the divorce rate in China is rising. The Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai have the highest rate of divorce in China. About one fifth of all Chinese marriages will ultimately end in divorce. Adultery is the main cause of divorce in China, with one third of Chinese marriages failing because of somebody’s wandering eye. There are fewer stigmas surrounding divorce // Miles Chic in China nowadays, but after a couple legalizes America or vary greatly. In a typical South “Here in Canada, Indian couples are incorpo- their divorce, the ex-wife may have a hard time African wedding, there is a traditional wedding rating Western ideas like photo booths into their finding employment or even acceptance within procession, followed by the saying of prayers traditional weddings, bringing together East and the community. and vows. Usually, a candle, representing unity, West,” says Singh. is lit, and the couple is married and blessed by Marriage is not an easy thing to do – just as with China: the priest. any relationship, it takes commitment, trust, and Sometimes after the ceremony, a Karamu Some of China’s richest cultural traditions hap- love of the other person, or at least a damn good (wedding feast) is held. In the less rural parts of pen at Chinese weddings. The colour red, for matchmaker. So don’t go running off to Vegas the country, there is a more simple ceremony example, symbolizes happiness, love, and pros- next time you decide you’re head over heels for and reception held. perity, so it’s no surprise that red is everywhere at that person that checks the “maybe” box on that “My favorite part of my wedding was the din- Chinese weddings. The invitations, wedding gifts, “do you like me?” note that you sent their way. ner dance,” says du Toit. Du Toit has fond memo- and the bride’s wedding gown are all typically red It’s probably safer to just ask them to be your ries of her simple wedding, which included her (though the bride always changes at least three Valentine and give them a little box of chalky close family and friends. times during her wedding day). Friends and conversation hearts.

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

In China, wedding days are only chosen after careful astrological studies are done, to be sure it is a lucky day for a wedding. Even-numbered dates are better than odd, and the seventh lunar month is avoided, as it is considered unlucky. Betrothal gifts will be exchanged between the bride and her family up to a month and three days before the wedding date, and will usually be a gift basket of different meaningful presents to ensure good luck. Traditionally, the bride’s parents also deliver the bride’s dowry to the groom’s parents around this time.

relatives of the bride and groom sometimes even decorate the couple’s house in the lucky color on their wedding day. The actual wedding ceremony is usually only attended by the immediate families of the bride and groom. After the ceremony, friends and family attend an elaborate reception, the most extravagant of which having ten-course meals and live musicians.

11


F e at u r e s Special Valentine Quiz!

What bizarre sexual fetish are you? Subtle personality traits say more than you'd think By Scott Barnes // Pervert

1. Your friends would describe you as:

4. What’s your favourite thing to watch on TV?

a) Empathetic. I’m always willing to listen to a) Dramas, soap operas. people’s problems. b) Boring and unavailable. I like to stay home on a Friday night and play solitaire. c) A little bit offbeat, bohemian. d) A good person. e) Wacky and cheerful! I’m the life of the party.

b) Reruns of I Love Lucy. c) I don’t watch TV. d) Sports.

6. What kind of pet would you ideally own? a) A canary. b) A tortoise. c) A big woolly sheepdog. d) A cow.

e) Cartoons.

e) No pets. I’d rather play with dolls/action figurines.

f) Reality TV.

f) A cat.

5. If you’re interested in someone, how do 7. What are you most afraid of? you woo them? a) Dehydration. a) By asking them lots of questions about b) Your loved ones passing away. their life. I like to get to know people. 2. What best describes your personal style? c) The buzzcut coming into style. b) By initiating a fun activity, like a game of a) Romantic. I know how to look good, simd) Spiders. cards or something. ply. c) I compliment them on their clothes, or e) Monsters. b) Sharp. I value quality tailoring, and wear their hairstyle, and lightly touch their wrist f) Nothing. Fear itself. Myself. mostly thrifted or vintage clothes. or shoulder to initiate contact. c) Natural. I like to wear things that make d) I flirt, make lots of eye contact from across me feel connected with the earth, like animal the room, and then eventually ask them out. 8. What’s your favourite snack food? pelts. e) I do something spontaneous to grab their a) Salty foods like chips. d) Pretty average. Pants, shirt … coat, if attention! Maybe a funny little dance. b) Cheese. Especially a sharp, aged cheddar. it’s cold. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking f) I insult them to make them feel like they about it. c) Spaghetti. need to try extra hard to win my affection. e) Eccentric. Bright, loud colours. Duck patd) Fruit. terns. e) Animal crackers. f) Corporate and severe. f) Diet coke. 3. What do you look for in a partner? f) They’d probably say something terrible. My friends all secretly hate me because I’m better than them.

a) Sensitivity and good communication skills. Someone who’s not too proud to admit their feelings.

Mostly B: Gerontophilia – You enjoy the charms of the older generation; maybe a bit too much. For you, helping an elderly person across the street isn’t an altruistic gesture, it’s flirtation. This is really one step away from Necrophilia, so be careful. Famous Gerontophiliacs include Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris, male model Jesus Luz, and pale actress Kirsten Stewart. Mostly C: Trichophilia – You really, really love hair, and as a result you have a tendency to work yourself into social circles who embrace their natural mammalian state. Tying yourself up in it, sucking on it, chewing it, touching it, pulling it ... you find yourself fantasizing about hair all the time. Famous Trichophiliacs include: revolutionary hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, James Rado, and Gerome Ragni (who loved hair so much that they wrote a musical about it).

Mostly E: Pedovestism – You never grew up. Well, kind of. You still enjoy dressing and acting like a child, but now you have sex too, and that’s kind of creepy. You bring a playfulness into the bedroom that might not be welcome with everyone, but you’re sure to eventually charm your way into a relationship with someone who can take care of you. Famous Pedovestites include: Luna, from the Big Comfy Couch.

c) Someone who is laid back, enjoys the outdoors, and has kind of a counterculture vibe. d) Someone who is alive. e) Someone who will buy me ice cream. f) Someone who is good-looking, listens well, is clean, responsible, and drama-free, who will carry my things, cook me food, and love me unconditionally.

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

Mostly A: Dacryphilia – You think you’re really sweet, don’t you? You’re not fooling anyone. We know all that “let’s talk about feelings” nonsense is just your way of getting aroused. You derive a sick pleasure from tears. All you really want is to get your significant other talking about their childhood insecurities so that they’ll break out the waterworks and you can get aroused by their tears and sobbing. Yeah, real nice. Famous dacryphiliacs include: Maury, Oprah, Barbara Walters.

Mostly D: Mammaphilia – You’re into breasts, you sicko. Don’t you know those things are for babies? Famous mammaphiliacs include: everyone, it’s a social epidemic.

b) Someone with lots of life experience who doesn’t care what other people think.

12

Results

Mostly F: Sadism – Congratulations. You’re the only normal one of the bunch. You are what makes the world go around. You are probably in charge of something really big and important, which gives you plenty of free range to subject other people to your sadistic whims. Famous sadists include: Tyra Banks, Vlad the Impaler, and Conrad Black.

// Sarah Vitet


arts

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

UNDERNEATH THE PAST(R)IES Calendar Girls provides unique on-stage balance

got plans this Valentines?

The People’s Prom The Waldorf Hotel // February 14

By JJ Brewis // Art director

C

// Katie So real that the show paraded both highs and lows of such a scandalous situation. Naturally, the backlash towards the calendar was mixed, ultimately leaving the calendar girls confused and shocked at the results, second-guessing their own decisions. Some major feminist questions come into play, such as the consideration of what would have occurred if the calendar featured men in the women’s places. The set design for Calendar Girls was understated, but a perfect canvas for the women to navigate their journey. Like much of the dialogue and story, which let the audience piece together aspects of the women’s backstories that the play didn’t have time to tell, the set featured a halfformed church roof, letting the viewer envision the rest of the environment for themselves. A handful of chairs casually scattered the stage, but aside from that, the production values were quite demure, letting the show focus on what was important: the story and the performances. Given the balance of laughs and heart-wrenching moments, the play did a great job of tying everything together in a well-proportioned manner, letting the emotionally raw material dilute with a little humour. Aside from the odd line that was hard to understand given the array of false British accents, it was almost as if you were seeing the real story unfold. And then, in a way, the real story was before our eyes at curtain call, as the Theatre Manager turned to the crowd and introduced Tricia Stewart, the real Calendar Girl whom the Chris character was based on. The fact that she got applause louder than the cast itself showed a crowd who connected not only with the production, but with the story itself.

By Liam Park // Writer

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

ensorship. Cancer. Death. Tackling major issues such as these is a hard task to bring to the stage. The Arts Club’s take on Tim Firth’s Calendar Girls manages to get the job done in a surprisingly eloquent manner. When Annie’s (Wendy Noel) husband, John (Shawn Macdonald), is diagnosed with leukemia, he keeps a resistant smile on his face. His fate seems unclear, but Calendar Girls uses some interesting staging to let the events unfold: halfway through another scene, he physically gets up and walks out of his wheelchair, and only then is it apparent that we are witnessing not just a regular meeting, but John’s funeral itself. Moments like these make this version of the play, directed by Rachel Ditor, an artistic representation of real-life moments that many of us have been through, or can still relate to on a basic human level. The story follows a group of six women in Yorkshire, UK, who attend the same WI (Women’s Institutes) of England whose aim is to bring women together in rural communities. The groups focus on traditional “female-based” activities such as knitting, canning, and teas. The six characters are all so incredibly different, with personalities ranging from the outspoken Annie, to the story’s senior cast member, the bold Jessie, played with flair by Shirley Broderick (she storms out of the set at one point definitely announcing she’s going to buy crack). However, the most mentionable fact about Calendar Girls is that the story is entirely real. The real-life events turned into a 2003 film starring Helen Mirren, which took an already-popular true story and made it into a world-famous one.

The stage version, adapted from the movie, plays on the notion that everyday people with their hearts in the right place can accomplish more than they set out to – even to the point of being overwhelmed with their own results. After John passes on, Annie is haunted, eventually deciding that she and her WI colleagues should raise funds to build a tribute to John at his former hospital. Of course, the show really gets going when Annie and her best friend Chris (Anna Galvin) try and convince their group to pose mostly-nude for the WI’s calendar, which is set to be their main fundraiser for John’s memorial. From the busty, lusty Celia (Kerry Sandomirsky) to the prim, resistant Ruth (Jane Noble), the group is all over the place in terms of their feelings. Naturally, the project doesn’t mesh with traditional conventions of the WI, but its interest from the community and the thrill of the naughtiness that gets all six women on board. By the time the photographer arrives, all the women seem to agree that they’re ready to pose nude – given that WI-related props such as cookies and yarn will cover their intimate areas. The photo shoot, which closes the first act, is a raucous time for the audience as well as the women on stage, who crowd together to help “Miss February” get naked, and carefully place some knitting, or a teapot, or some pastries in place of the “naughty bits.” It was fun watching these actors get just as much of a thrill taking off their clothes as their characters were. Interestingly, the second half offers a far more dramatic turn, as the women face various reactions to the calendar. This stress causes personality clashes within the group, as they have to appear at a National WI Conference in London to defend their decision. It only felt that much more

Love is in the air at The People’s Prom. Or maybe it’s dance music? Yeah, it’s definitely dance music. The People’s Prom is a Vancouver event that raises funds for activism by hosting a prom-themed dance party on Valentine’s Day. For the last 12 years, the Prom has been drawing in a mosaic of eclectic and colourful patrons from a broad spectrum of demographics. The promoters make the lofty claim that the People’s Prom is “THE BEST DANCE PARTY YOU’LL EVER MAKE OUT AT,” and who are you to refute that without your own investigation? If you’re looking for a dance partner you may get lucky playing Spin the Bottle and find yourself a willing companion who flails like you do, or at least one who’ll give you a kiss. The dress code is “prom-appropriate”, but with years of personal shaping involved and the build-up of annual hype, costuming is far more diverse than your average high school prom. The 12-year history has brought together a loyal, diverse, and open-minded community of organizers, volunteers, and dancers of all sorts; men and women alike are welcome interchangeably in fabulous dresses and sharp suits. The people’s prom started 12 years ago when a few people needed money to fund their work opposing the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Sara Rozell and Amie Anderson were struck, brainstorming the idea of hosting a prom as a fundraiser for the cause. The idea quickly spread and organizers and volunteers soon jumped on. Through the years, a core team has remained the dedicated heart of the event and the changing organizers and volunteers every year have kept the affair fresh and new. The main goal of the event is to raise money for grassroots organizations and creative resistance groups in need of resources to fuel their causes, including over the years, but not limited to, Grassroots Women – A Women’s Liberation Studies course, and MobGlob (Mobilization for Global Justice), who also took part in organizing the first People’s Prom. Debatably as important, the People’s Prom also strives every year to be a great Valentine’s dance party that’s inclusive to all romantic preferences and adapts annually by the vision of the volunteering and organizing community involved. The People’s Prom takes place Feb. 14, at the Waldorf Hotel, 1489 E. Hastings. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at Our Community Bikes, People’s Coop Bookstore, Sharks and Hammers, and the Waldorf itself.

13


Arts

OPERA ISN’T OVER Until the fat lady sings

// Marco Ferreira By Katherine Alpen // writer

W

hen thinking of opera, people tend to imagine Viking helmets and elaborate theatres with well-to-do audiences pretending they understand what the singer is saying. The overall stereotype of opera is that it’s a stodgy, inaccessible art form – and the extent of an outsider’s knowledge tends not to be much more than the Looney Toons version of the The Barber of Seville. However, opera, like any other part of the art world, is constantly evolving. In January, the University of Toronto updated the classical medium with their piece called Rob Ford: The Opera, a

surrealist take on the life of the current mayor of Toronto. Ford, elected in December of 2010, has had his share of scandal. There have been reports of him using ethnic slurs during council meetings, allegations of drunk driving, and charges of marijuana possession, among many other controversial actions. One might ask why, then, he would be the subject of an opera. In a recent interview with Global Toronto, Michael Angelo, a teacher in the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, explained the inspiration of the piece, which came to him in a Starbucks. As he described, his original idea was more in the vein of traditional opera: “I’m sitting there, writing an updating of Antigone by Sophocles … I’m so earnestly doing this, and everybody around me is talking about Rob Ford. People waiting for their macchiatoes, people in line, and people beside me, and you want to say, ‘Be quiet, I’m doing great art here.’ And suddenly, it occurs to me, this is what I should be doing. So, [I] delete Antigone [and type in] Rob Ford: the Opera.” Here at home, the Vancouver Opera House (VHO) also knows a thing or two about evolution. Since 1999, the company, which is the second largest in Canada, has introduced five premieres into its regular seasons, including the controversial Nixon in China, an opera about Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China, written in 1987. Opera is currently considered to be an art form

that lags behind the times, but James Wright, general director of the Vancouver Opera explains it wasn’t always so: “In the 19th century especially, [opera] was very, very relevant. Most of the stories were contemporary stories; people were writing operas based on novels that had just come out and things that had just happened.” Like opera in its heyday, ideas expressed by contemporary opera composers are turning more to modern ideas, such as celebrity and recent political phenomena. “There’s a very successful work, it was in London at the Royal Opera House, based on Anna Nicole Smith,” says Wright. “Before it debuted, there were a lot of raised eyebrows thinking, ‘What are they doing? They’re pandering to a very low common denominator.’ But when the work was premiered, the press generally and audience response was very positive and they felt that this was a serious treatment of celebrity and celebritisation.” The key, it seems, to opera’s survival and renewal, it its foundation: storytelling. “Stories are just as meaningful to us as they were a hundred years ago, because you know the big stuff in our lives doesn’t change.” Wright says “We still fall in love and we’re still dumped and we still do things that we regret, [and] we still believe in revenge when were wronged.” Most commonly seen as a spectacle that mainly mature audiences enjoy, there has been a lot of effort put into getting youth more involved in the

opera, with wide success. According to Wright, the common misconception that young people don’t enjoy opera is totally off the mark: “I think it has a lot to do with exposure, the opportunity to experience it … Oftentimes, when young people are exposed to one of the great works, it really makes a huge difference to them.” Wright adds his own perspective, regarding the programs the VHO has had in place for some time: “We have up to a thousand students, mostly high school students, that come to our dress rehearsals. They pay about $12 … [for] the best seats in the house. And they watch the final dress rehearsal … and the audience of young people is so rapt, they’re just so involved in the production. … The performers love to perform for the student audience because they’re so receptive.” Additionally, the world of opera is becoming more attractive to younger generations for reasons that go beyond student tickets or classical storytelling. Wright explains, “Opera is developing a more spectacle-based, multimedia dimension to it. People don’t stand there in front of bleak, flat painted scenery and stand there and sing. There are more actors, there’s a lot more use of technology, of lighting, of special effects, and I think that’s very appealing to a younger audience.” Opera is in the middle of a rebirth, not only in the eyes of artists but also those of the public. It is formidable that something so old can still learn new tricks. I think we can all be glad about losing the Viking helmets too.

FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES Kids take on Vancouver’s restaurant scene By Leanne Kriz // Writer

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

A

14

t 6pm on Jan. 27, a dozen shy but excited fifth and sixth graders filed into the Nuba Restaurant at the Waldorf Hotel. Donned with notepads, they sipped the unusual “cukewater” – the nickname they had chosen for the cucumber-flavoured water – and began their sincere and merciless reviews of the restaurant. These students from Bridgeview Elementary School in Surrey took part in an event called Eat the Street, organized by Mammalian Diving Reflex and presented by the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver. From Jan. 5 to Feb. 4, the public was invited to sit, eat, and share dinner conversation with the children at various restaurants across Vancouver. For the rest of the evening, the restaurant would be under the watchful eye of these juvenile critics; everything from the urinals and soap dispensers, to the decor and cutlery. Darren O’Donnell, Artistic and Research Director of Mammalian Diving Reflex, says that the Eat the Street event is just one of many of the performances and social experiments that the company has created. O’Donnell explains that the idea for the event spurred from the need to address the growing gap between the worlds of adults and children: “At this point in history, for whatever reason, and I have a few ideas as to why this may be, adults and children who don’t know each other have no way to spend any time with each other,” he explains. “The way adults and children spend time together is under really, really strict institutional

situations. So what this is trying to do is to induce an encounter between young people and adults that is a little off the chart.” The Mammalian Diving Reflex was originally founded as a theatre company in 1993 and evolved into what they are today. They hold community events, theatre-based performances, and participatory experiences similar to Eat the Street. The first event of this kind, called Haircuts by Children, was very much like the title indicates: a performance where children worked in a salon and were paid to cut the hair of any willing participant. The event took place in several different cities internationally, including Vancouver, New York, and Bologna, Italy. It was a huge hit and the demand for more events of this interactive style exploded. O’Donnell explains that the idea behind this format was to integrate the performance with the audience: “I don’t like writing scripts anymore,” he says. “The audience over there, the actor over there, repeating lines that they have said a million times; [it’s more about] actually creating encounters between people.” The company looks to integrate all levels of the community. For example, according to Statistics Canada, 32 per cent of seniors over the age of 85 live in institutional residency, and 34 per cent live alone. The company works to change these realities and looks towards a better future or a “new world,” explains O’Donnell, “where people might be more kind to each other, where income and resources might be a little more equitably distributed … where kids are allowed in more places, where old people aren’t shunted off to old folks homes.”

In another effort to breakdown these agerelated barriers, the company is putting on an event entitled The Best Sex I’ve Ever Had where a number of older people get together to discuss their sexual experiences and invite the public to join them in the discussions. Whether through the conduit of children or seniors, haircuts or dinners, Mammalian Diving Reflex creates a new arena for people to interact with and better understand their fellow community members. For Eat the Street, eight different restaurants, including Calabash Bistro, Chambar, and The Old Spaghetti Factory opened their arms to the event, the children, and their seriously honest reviews. The finale of the event took place with a ceremony in which a slew of different awards were

// Britta Bachus presented. The awards included “Most Comfy Seats”; “Best Smelling Washroom”; “Server That Looks Most Like A Child”; and numerous more. The “Best of the Best” and overall winner was Chill Winston, who also swept up “Most Luxurious Furniture”; “Nicest Host”; “Best Flambé”; “Whitest Chef Jacket”; and “Best Dessert”. Despite the grandiose award ceremonies, Eat the Street was about much more than just food. reviews. The Mammalian Diving Company places people in situations outside of the norm and creates an opportunity for social encounters that would otherwise not have occurred. Through the use of comedy, real-time interactions, and, in the case of Eat the Street, the obscure placement of children in unexpected roles, the company forces participants to rethink the social sphere.


A r ts

Watching the Witch-hunt Exit 22 puts on a production of the Crucible By Christina Blakeborough // Writer

I

n the past around Valentine’s Day, Capilano University has hosted romantic productions such as the lighthearted Ring Around the Moon, and the tragic tale of love gone sour, Medea. However, this year, there is not a speck of romance in sight: from Feb. 15 to 18, Exit 22 productions will present The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller about false accusations gone awry. Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953. The play is based on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, where 19 men and women were convicted of witchcraft and hung in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts. The play begins with a group of teenage girls hiding out in the forest to go dancing and drinking together. As a result, citizens in the town start rumours that the girls are involved in witchcraft. To get themselves out of their predicament, the girls accuse others of witchcraft, and the situation then escalates.

The themes in The Crucible are very much influenced by the prevalence of McCarthyism in Miller’s life. The term McCarthyism was derived from the actions of American senator Joseph McCarthy, but it is a word commonly used to describe the anti-communist political climate of the time. In the ‘50s, the US government sought to eradicate any communist thought in America by blacklisting anyone under suspicion of being involved the political left, among other actions. Many people in the arts, including Miller, Charlie Chaplin, and others were ultimately blacklisted, which went on to impact their careers. The Salem witch hunts brought forth misused power, and the same occurred when McCarthyism existed in the United States. Director of The Crucible, Stuart Aikins, feels that the themes in The Crucible are also still relevant today: “Power corrupts, and the use of fear to control is an everyday political reality,” he says. Aikins explains that there’s only one difference when comparing power and fear in 1692 to 2012: “Everybody is used to it.”

 Sometimes, directors like to take their own approach to a classic story and make it their own, but Aikins and his assistant director, P. Lynn Johnson did the opposite of that, while trying to maintain a strong meaning behind the production. Both Aikins and Johnson “worked hard to clarify the text and drive home a real and grounded story about vengeance and the misuse of power, but keeping it very human,” Aikins says. Of course, producing a play that was supposed to represent the time period of the Salem Witch Trials certainly isn’t an easy task: “The language is very different than how we speak today,” explains Aikins. With Salem being a small place, Aikins wanted to “maintain a sense of the smallness” throughout the play, which was difficult since that meant the space was “very tight, and sometimes that creates difficulty staging the acts.” Atkins says that the value of the experience for him has been “learning to tell a wonderfully deep and layered story that entertains,” and he hopes you, the audience, are “entertained and have an enjoyable three hours.”

columns

// Desiree Wallace The Crucible will take place at the North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts Theatre. The play will be showing Feb. 15, 16, 17, and 18. All shows start at 8pm except for one 2pm show on Feb. 18. Ticket prices range from $8 – $22.

EDIT ORS // Col in spensl ey // c o l umns . c apc o uri e r@ gmai l . c o m

Business time

LinkedIn: Facebook with a suit and tie

I

job or recruit qualified job candidates, develop your business by connecting you to clients and partners, and brand yourself online with a professional presence.” The truth is, having a polished profile on LinkedIn will help curious recruiters get a better picture of who you are. Unlike in the past, where employers would only have your resume to judge your character, they now have access to everything you post online. A 2011 study found that over 56 per cent of employers creep applicants Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn sites when they are considering hiring them. So what do you want them to find: a drunken picture of you at The Caprice last weekend from your Facebook, or a headshot of you looking spiffy in a suit and tie on your LinkedIn profile? If you accept the fact that potential employers are going to find you online, then you’d be wise to control your “e-reputation”. This might sound a little cynical and horrible, but if you’re looking to social media to increase your professional network, then think of yourself as not just a wonderful human being, but also a brand. That means creating a positive image that reflects who you are in your professional life, what you are known for, and what you can offer. LinkedIn, unlike Facebook, is a well-suited tool for personal branding as you have more control over what goes on your page. Instead of having mildly offensive updates from old high school friends on your front page, you’ll have your skills and work experience. With that said, there is an ugly side to LinkedIn. John Flexman, a former office manager at BG Group in England, was fired last year over his LinkedIn profile. He ticked the box indicating he was interested in new “Career Opportunities” and also bragged about his

achievements in the company, which was apparently sensitive information. This led BG Group to dismiss him because of “inappropriate use of social media.” The case has been brought to a tribunal, who will deliberate over the legality of it, but in the past, disclosing “confidential” company information to the public has been considered a legitimate cause for dismissal. Basically, to avoid this ugly situation, you should check with your human resources department about the company’s social media policies, which most large companies now have. Debra Benton, an expert in human resources and social media, offers some advice: “I recommend you clearly understand your company policy and consider the 'unwritten rules', too. Post only fundamentals: your business photo and the minimal profile. Craft the narrative so you humanize yourself and people will, and can, reach you if they want to.” Despite this case, the potential benefits from LinkedIn still outweigh the risks, although to fully realize these benefits, you have to know how to use this platform to its fullest. Here are a couple of things that will improve your chances of connecting to the right people: first, you need to completely fill out your profile. That means adding your relevant work experience, your volunteering history, and writing a short summary about who you are. If you can get readers to relate to you, you have a better chance of landing an interview, and this is why the summary section is so crucial. Secondly, you need to be strategic about who you “connect” too. The idea here is to choose quality over quantity. Connecting to a person who holds your dream job, and can offer advice or link you to job openings, is going to be worth

// Columnist

more than connecting to ten of your old co-workers at Starbucks. Thirdly, once you have created these connections, you must nurture them. Just adding a user as a contact and then ignoring them will not likely deliver the results you want. Send them messages to keep you on their mind. Eve Osbourne recommends spending “ten minutes each day in LinkedIn. Start participating in groups and discussions and start finding new connections to make.” Like many things, LinkedIn will give back only what you put into it. Even if right now it may seem like Facebook and Twitter are more your social media style, LinkedIn may prove to be a great asset in the future once you’ve graduated. Katie Kessel, a student at Capilano University, summarized LinkedIn nicely: “If I were looking for a job, LinkedIn would be useful since I do have contacts in HR positions that regularly post job postings for legitimate firms. I also know many professionals who use it in sales to maintain their contacts. As a student though, I don’t have a use for it at the moment, but I know people in the working world who do.” So, if you're trying to make the jump from the student to the professional life, LinkedIn might make this transition a little smoother. And who knows? It might just help you land that dream job. Jeff Maertz is a fourth year student of the Capilano school of business with a focus on marketing. Over the next few months, he will touch on topics ranging from small businesses to examining the effect current events may have on students. He is aiming to make the business world accessible and relevant, regardless of their field of study.

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

knew this day would come, but I never expected it to come so soon. For years I pushed against the pressure, dodged the persistent requests, and firmly stood my ground. But finally, the day had come, and I was forced to join a social networking site. For one of my human resources classes, we were given the task of connecting with some Capilano alumni to ask them to take part in a speaking event, and to do so I had to become a member of LinkedIn. LinkedIn, for those of you who don’t know, is a social networking site that is targeted at professionals looking to build a circle of like-minded people, as well as people looking for jobs. Unlike Facebook, it has a corporate, almost sterile feeling to it. I got the feeling this was a no-nonsense kind of site. LinkedIn is where one would post one's polished resume, list all your accomplishments (to varying degrees of truth), and pray a Google headhunter will seek you out. However, upon further research, there may be more to LinkedIn then just a passing trend. Founded in 2003 by Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn has taken off in the past couple of years. Canadians especially seem to be gravitating to the site, as over two million residents have joined in the past 12 months to bring the total count of Canadians to over five million. It’s seems as if Canadians have bought into LinkedIn sales pitch, which promises career advancement and professional growth. The real question is if LinkedIn can truly help you land your dream job, or if it is just another social networking that will eat away at your valuable time. There is no shortage of LinkedIn fanatics, touting it as the most powerful professional networking tool ever created. Patrice-Anne Rutledge, writer of “Using LinkedIn”, claims that “participation in LinkedIn can enable you to find a

With Jeff Maertz

15


C o l u m ns Love, awkwardly

Episode III: A non-traditional Valentine's date "Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight / Take me through the darkness to the break of the day" —Abba

T

o me, Valentine's Day has always been a big deal. I did not have a love interest until I was 19, but the idea of it always seemed charming. Growing up, I remember my grandma decorating more for Valentine's Day than Christmas. Perhaps her fondness for the holiday rubbed off on me, as each year I always seem to get excited for a holiday about love, despite the fact that I'm generally single during it. Sure, it's just a holiday created for consumers, but it's also a nice annual reminder of what's happening (or not happening) in our love and sex lives. Most people I know, single or attached, treat Valentine's Day like an over-hyped hassle that never lives up to the ideals of its name, much like New Year's Eve or Halloween. A few years ago, I convinced a few bummed out single friends that we would have a great night out with just the three of us. My good friend Meryl, who had recently dumped her snoozy boyfriend, wasn't sure, until our perky American friend Suzie promised to drive up for the evening from Bellingham. Meryl was convinced. Our evening started with some mild cocktails (aside from Suzie, who was driving), and we made our way to the now defunct gay bar The Odyssey for an evening of costumed dancing. The three of us showed up armed with gold facepaint, feathers, and warrior-like outfits. As far as Valentine's Days went, it felt like any regular club night (which, for me, is pretty rare, I won't lie). I was having fun, though, especially when we bumped into our DJ friend Ricky Gaga, who quickly joined our entourage. Meryl painted

a gold swipe onto his face in no time. Despite not drinking, it was clear that Suzie was a bit loopy, and she confessed she was blazed on Five Hour Energy and Rock Star. "What?" she said with a smirk. "I couldn't work all day and then make that drive up here solely on my own endorphins!" We danced for most of the night, and despite never meeting either of my friends before, Suzie was a hit. The caffeine must have really hit her system because everyone thought she was wasted. "This is the best Valentine's Day ever!" she shouted. "Fuck men!" And as she said that, a huge shirtless group of gay men around her rejoiced, like a church congregation to their sermon, with Ricky leading the pack. In fact, Ricky and Suzie seemed to hit it off quite well, and despite his major homosexual tendencies, it almost seemed as though the two of them would go home together. Around three, the club was closing, and I was more than ready to head back home and hit the hay. But Suzie was our driver, and as our special guest, she got it her way when she said, "What's that all-night vegetarian place?" So we headed to The Naam, which was nearly dead. The four of us seated ourselves at a round table, the sweat dripping off our brows and the gold makeup running down our cheeks like tears of victory. We ordered our food, and without a flinch, Suzie bolted off to another table, where a single gentleman with shaggy hair wearing a striped shirt was hunched over alone on a table. She sat with him for a good five minutes before the two of them headed back together to our table. He introduced himself as Paul, a South African on a working visa. He took one look at the group of us, unified by our makeup and feathers, and asked, "What are you motley crew? You in a

// Lydia Fu band or something?" Known for my ability to be quite a good bullshitter, I told him "Yeah. We just finished playing a gig for Valentine's Day." When he asked details about our music, I told him, "We're a party band. From Daytona Beach. We're called Thre$ha. We play Ke$ha covers." This set him off, as he sneered his face, and told us, "I live around the corner. Come have a beer at my place and I'll show you some real rock n' roll." So we went. He literally did live around the corner from the restaurant. Despite the fact that it was now around 4:30 in the morning, the group seemed interested in where this was going. We ended up in the basement bedroom belonging to a stranger. He cracked some PBRs, and played us his idea of real rock music – ABBA. Nobody commented on it, as the beer was free, and before I knew it, someone suggested a game of spin the bottle. Within minutes, I was laughing my ass off at the combination: two gay males, two straight females, and a straight guy. Ridiculous. The real twist came when Suzie spun the bottle and it landed on herself. "I guess this means you've all

With JJ Brewis // Columnist

got to kiss me." Meryl and I were quite honestly tired by this point, but within minutes Ricky and Paul had Suzie completely naked, and the apparently gay Ricky was eating her out. "It's not so bad," he said. "Am I doing it right?" She giggled and said, "It feels like a rim job in the front." I could not believe what I was watching. Paul seized the opportunity, and whipped out a condom. Quickly, he was fucking her on the bed and I decided to awkwardly slip off. Ricky made a good third player, but Meryl and I were done. We sat on the floor, listening to the moaning mixed with "Dancing Queen", and I commented, "This is really not where I saw my Valentine's Day going." She laughed and said, "Yeah. 'Fuck Men'? Looks like she got her wish." Despite the fact that they had beautiful figures, I couldn't watch the whole thing. I caught pieces of it, and it just seemed to go on forever. "Is this what straight sex is like?" I asked. "It takes so long." The whole room burst into laughter. It reminded me of how long it had been since I'd had sex myself, and being in this situation made me okay with that. I don't regret the way that evening went. It makes a great story, and I'm of the mindset that most life experiences give us something beneficial. Despite my common curiosity about threesomes or the like, that night proved me to be a real old-fashioned guy who likes his sex one-onone in the comfort of a private space. The drive home occurred in complete silence, as Suzie dropped off the others at their respective homes. Each time the back door slammed, it got that much more silent. Halfway home on the freeway, Suzie and I, alone in the car, caught eye contact and simultaneously burst out laughing. "Not quite cinnamon hearts and paper cards," she said. "But it'll do."

Keepin' it reel With Jonty Davies

Oscar wild

// Columnist

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

W

16

oody Allen doesn’t go to the Oscars. The writer/director/actor that’s responsible for Annie Hall (1977) and this year’s Midnight In Paris has only been to the ceremony once – in 2002 to encourage filmmakers to continue production in New York City following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that so altered its character. One of America’s greatest ever filmmakers and commentators on love and neurosis, nominated 23 times doesn’t go. Instead, every Oscar night he plays jazz clarinet at a small cabaret in New York. I think Woody Allen sees that for all the pomp, the Academy can be less than reputable when it comes to acknowledging artistic merit. Truthfully, the Oscars are about three things: money, political/social posturing, and, at a distant third, artistic merit. To illustrate, let’s consider the 2009 Academy Awards. Best picture, director, and screenplay – all went to The Hurt Locker. In case you don’t remember, The Hurt Locker sucked. Chances are, you haven’t even seen it. I bet you’ve seen what it was up against, though. Likely half the population of the planet has seen the blue-people space movie Avatar, despite tepid dialogue, a cookie-cutter plot, one-dimensional characters, tired clichés, and a formulaic approach, it was unlike any movie

// Sarah Taylor made previously. It effectively changed the landscape of what a big-budget movie could be. And the budget was staggering, primarily footed by director James Cameron – and this would ensure that most of the profits would see their way back into his pocket, bypassing anyone in the Academy (money). James Cameron is also, as many in the industry know, kind of a jerk. He’s condescending and

superior so everybody really wants to stick it to him. How best to do that? Give the award to another director. They didn’t give the award to just any director, however. They gave it to The Hurt Locker’s Katheryn Bigelow, who coincidentally was also Cameron’s ex-wife (also known as politics). The Hurt Locker was mildly topical but by no means a game-changer. You don’t have to like Avatar (I don’t) to recognize its colossal value in the realm of the blockbuster (I do). Avatar should have won – and that’s still disregarding the real best movies that year. District 9 was an unbelievable twist on the alien invasion. Moon was directed by David Bowie’s son and was great. Even Star Trek was fantastic and I’ve always thought Star Trek was lame as all hell. Sadly, evidence has shown that the Oscars do not always recognize the films that deserve to be recognized, as a result of a series of unnecessary conditions. That being said, I will be watching the Oscars, despite the fact that basically everything up for the top brass is highly uninteresting. Apart from The Tree Of Life, the only thing worth checking out is Woody Allen’s latest, Midnight In Paris, and that has as about as much chance of winning as me giving a shit about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

None of the actors are very appealing either, with the exception of Gary Oldman in the British snorefest Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Oldman is one of the best in the biz, but Tinker Tailor is glacial, ambling along at a snail’s pace. We might as well just save the Academy the trouble and give this year’s statue to Daniel Day Lewis’ upcoming stand as Lincoln; the most guaranteed Oscar ever rendered. For fun though, here are my big picks for this year: ◆ Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran) ◆ Best Actress: Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady (duh) ◆ Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln (hasn’t even been released yet) ◆ Best Director: Martin Scorsese for Hugo (now that he’s successfully got all his best work out of him, let’s start giving him Oscars) ◆ Best Picture: The Artist (the academy loves to look “progressive”, without being threatening, and any festival movie that features a gimmick is without question the most progressive thing ever) Enjoy the show!


O pinions

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

What are you giving this Valentine’s Day? Traditional love tokens are anything but lovely By Linsday Howe // writers

W

ith Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many of us who are lucky enough to have that special someone find ourselves scrambling to think of a romantic Valentine’s gift. With most of us leaving it to the last minute, people tend to stick with the traditional idea of chocolates, roses, or diamonds. While these gifts may be easy to acquire and can almost guarantee a smile on your sweetheart’s face, have you ever taken a moment to consider how these items are produced and come to be sold in our local retail stores? In some cases, the realities of these industries aren’t quite as sweet as those cinnamon hearts. Chocolates have long been a staple in the celebration of Valentine’s Day. Whether you are buying for your significant other, your children, or just friends at work, small packages of heartshaped chocolates have always been the go-to choice. These seemingly innocent goodies get consumed by the masses every Valentine’s Day, with MSNBC reporting in the US over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold in the days leading up to Feb. 14, putting a smile on the face of many people in North America. Unfortunately for child slaves of the cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast of Africa, the world’s largest supplier of cocoa, a smile is not in sight. According to investigative research done by the CNN Freedom Project, child labor is an everyday reality for some in this location. CNN discovered that many children working on these cocoa

farms were getting paid only in food, the ripped clothing they wore on their back, and the occasional tip from the owner. These children, some as young as eight years old, were not enrolled in school and were often brought to the Ivory Coast to work when their parent passed away. Although CNN does make a point of explaining that only a few chocolate companies are able to trace the exact location that their cocoa derives from, BBC News suggests that companies may just use that as an excuse, explaining, “Chances are, it [the cocoa] is [from] the Ivory Coast, which produces almost half the world’s cocoa.” Another common way to let your significant other know they’re on your mind this Valentine’s Day is to send them a bouquet of roses. With the majority of cut flowers in the Canadian market coming from Ecuador and Colombia, it is important to consider the labour rights violations and potentially harmful pesticides that may find their way onto our beautiful flowers. According to the Georgia Straight, labourers in these countries who work in the flower industry are often forced to work up to 62 hours per week without receiving overtime to meet the demands of popular holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. The Straight also reported that “to ensure perfect blossoms, greenhouses are fumigated with pesticides and fungicides that cause cancer, dizziness, skin and respiratory problems.” Not only is this a concern for labourers who must work in these greenhouses shortly after fumigation, but also for consumers who purchase

these fumigated flowers and make a point of enjoying their scent. Now, for those of you who have saved your pennies all year in hopes of purchasing a piece of diamond jewelry for your significant other, I, unfortunately, once again, have some bad news. As with the other traditional forms of Valentine’s Day presents, unfair labour also occurs in diamond mining. According to BrilliantEarth.com, roughly one million small-scale diamond diggers in Africa earn less than $1 per day, forcing them to live below the extreme poverty line. Labor Rights Violations are not the only controversial issue that come along with diamonds: Global Witness, one of the first institutions to bring the public’s attention to the reality of conflict diamonds, describe them as “diamonds that are used to fuel violent conflict and human rights abuses, and have funded brutal wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone … that have resulted in the death and displacement of millions of people.” According to Amnesty USA, due to a government-run initiative in 2003 called The Kimberly Process that “imposes requirements on participants to certify that shipments of rough diamonds are conflict-free,” conflict diamonds are thought to be an issue of the past. However, there continues to be speculation as to whether or not the issue has permanently ceased. If you suddenly find yourself not as excited to go Valentine’s Day shopping, not to worry. If the guilt-free traditional route is what you’re looking for, try local manufacturers of chocolates and flowers, and search for diamonds with a certificate of origin to be confident in where it came from.

// Lydia Fu If a sense of humor is something you and your partner share, try opting for funny Valentine’s Day gifts; for example, items such as his-and-her tongue scrapers, or light switch covers that indicate whether your partner is turning you on or off. If you desire something a little more risqué you might consider underwear made entirely of heart candies or edible bacon frosting (apply anywhere you like!). At the end of the day, we all know that the only meaningful present we can give one another which actually fits our student budget quite well, is our love and devotion.

The Racial Profile of a Murderer Guilty verdict a victory against domestic abuse, not Muslims By Lindsay Flynn // writer

L

reflect the majority of Muslims interpretation of their religion. Muslim leaders are clear: killing is forbidden. Mohammad Shafia displayed abhorrent sociopathic behaviour a la any serial killer. He is a sick man. The murder of his three daughters is not a religious issue, it is an issue of overt hatred. It is an issue of a man's pride, an issue of control. Here is a man who wanted to control the lives of everyone around him, and felt it was his right to do so. To attempt to paint his behaviour as an extension of his Islamic background reveals a sad tendency toward red-neck bias we can have here in Canada, the evidence of which is clear in the online reader comments on articles from Sun News to the Globe and Mail. I have to argue, remember Robert Picton? Not a Muslim. Paul Bernardo? Again, not a Muslim. The fact is that in many patriarchal societies women are seen as property of their father or husband; again, it is not a cultural norm exclusive to the Muslim community. In the wake of this trial I know that Canadians are looking to improve the police force and child service's approach to similar situations where respect for cultural differences and the potential offending of adults involved cannot take precedence over

protecting a child's safety. But a growing desire to lay total blame with social services for their failure to connect two separate incidences where the Shafia daughters contacted them for help, is the desire of the Canadian public to lay blame with an individual body and ignore the larger systemic problems at play – a system that left no checks and balances for Mohammad Shafia's behaviour until it was too late. An exceptionally successful business man, Mohammad Shafia and his wealth were embraced by our government, the same government which now holds him, his wife, and his son in jail. In a system that champions economic growth as our national raison d'etre, is it any wonder that a man like Shafia could become a Canadian? Painting premeditated murder on this scale as a Muslim issue is a tactic by the media, and the most overtly racist thing of all. Of course Muslim leaders have to speak out condoning violence in the aftermath, but what a horrible position to be in. The Western world, including Canada, gives Muslims little choice in this post 9/11 world where the political zeitgeist says to the Muslim citizen not, “you have done a bad thing,” but “you are bad.”

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

ast week Mohammad Shafia and his wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, along with their 21-year-old son, Hamed, were found guilty of murdering their daughters Zainab (19), Sahar (17), and Geeti (13). There was overwhelming evidence to convict the three family members of the premeditated murder of the three girls, along with their stepmother, Mohammad's first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad (50). The four women were found dead in their new Nissan Sentra at the bottom of the Kingston Mills lock in Kingston, Ontario upon returning from a family vacation in 2009. The girls were seen as “too promiscuous” and “rebellious” in their behaviour by their patriarchal father. The Shafia family was originally from Afghanistan, but Mohammad made his fortune in United Arab Emirates. The media coverage around the trial provided ample opportunity for news outlets to perpetuate the stereotype of the extremist Muslim, one who can't be reasoned with and doesn't understand Western values. While the details of a crime's

history are important in authentic reporting, the fixation of the media on the notion of the Muslim as an irrational extremist comes from a desire to sell papers. When a crime like the Shafia case happens, the Canadian Muslim community are forced into a position of having to defend their faith. Some might argue that this is a good thing: where are the moderate Muslims, one might ask? Why aren't they speaking out? They do, but those people's stories don't sell papers. Domestic violence, while present in the Muslim community, is not exclusive to it. It is almost painful to see the Muslim community here in Canada scramble in the wake of the Shafia verdict to speak publicly condemning violence against women. On Feb. 4, 2012, imams in Mississauga met to publicly denounce honour killings, domestic violence, and misogyny as unIslamic. Additionally, there is an ongoing “White Ribbon Campaign” to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls being run by the Islamic Institute of Toronto. The problem is that violence against women in not specific to the Muslim community, nor does an act on the scale of the Shafia murder

17


o p i n i o ns

Police Dogs Munch on the Limbs of Vancouver Residents Brutal bites are bestowing lawsuit backlash By Colin Spensley // columns editor

A

s Scott Philippo rode his bicycle home in the early hours of Oct. 3, 2010, he was tackled from his bike by one of the VPD’s German Shepherd police dogs. Philippo had been falsely singled out as a bike thief. Unfortunately, this case of mistaken identity ended with bites to Philippo’s abdomen due to the police dog not being able to “bite and hold” properly. The handler was able to keep the dog inches from Philippo while handcuffing him, luckily. Despite training, German Shepherds can be unpredictable, just as policemen can make mistakes. Because of this, Vancouver citizens should be critical of VPD policy surrounding police dogs. In another incident in January, an East Vancouver construction worker was bitten by a police dog as he left the scene of a crime on his skateboard. The injuries sustained to the man’s legs required medical attention and 100 stitches. Images of his ravaged legs and thighs are not only gruesome; they are perhaps just what the public needs to see to fully grasp the severity of this issue. Christopher Evans, who was arrested after vandalizing a bus with his skateboard, plans to sue the VPD for damages inflicted by the dog attack with the help of PIVOT Legal Society, a not-for-profit legal aid.

In response to claims made by PIVOT Legal Society, Vancouver police Chief Constable Jim Chu justifies the current use of police dogs. Conveniently, his statement lacked a clear definition of what sort of criminals should be pursued by police dogs: “There are several issues to be addressed such as: defining what is a ‘serious offender’; whether to limit the use of VPD police dogs to only apprehending ‘serious offenders’; the apprehension of armed suspects; and suspects for which there is a reasonable belief has the potential to cause harm to the officer, themselves or others.” This loose definition of who warrants pursuit by police dogs probably did not apply to the 16-year-old minor who fled from police in the early hours of Jan. 28, 2012. The youth and his accomplice broke into a gas service station and stole approximately 40 energy drinks. As they fled from RCMP pursuit, one youth was dragged down from a fence and sustained a broken nose from the fall. A police dog then began to attack the boy causing severe but non-fatal injuries to the boy’s face. The boy’s parents have requested the handler be reviewed by the RCMP and the police dog under question be destroyed. PIVOT has called into question the K-9 Squads “bite and hold” tactic of detention. They claim the other model of “find and bark” would greatly lower the amount of injury sustained from the

unpredictable behavior of dogs trained to bite and hold. However, in the same statement by Chief Constable Chu, he cites a study by the US Department of Justice, stating, “Under the current model, ‘bite and hold’, officers make the decision when the dog is to bite and potentially injure the suspect. Under ‘bark and hold’ techniques, the canine makes the decision when they should bite and when they should not.” This policy places the responsibility of these attacks with the dog handler, but as demon-

// Tyler Hughes strated earlier, we shouldn't really trust their judgment, either. Although effective, this method puts the public at risk, innocent or guilty. Unfortunately, Chu claims that no changes need to be made to current K-9 training model. In his conclusion he states, “It is recommended that no change to policy is required as a result of this Service and Policy complaint and that the complaint be dismissed.” His tune may change with the result of the latest lawsuit against the VPD and RCMP in the coming months.

Zooey Deschanel can blow me Now let's all get on with our lives By Shannon Elliott // production manager

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

T

18

here are a lot of shows on TV right now that make women look bad. The ladies of Gossip Girl have never made a wellthought-out decision (that doesn't involve clothes) in their lives. Snooki and Deena roll in the sand, shrieking like wasted porpoises, while male castmates look on and laugh. The entire cast of The Bachelor have completely lost their minds. The show that pisses me off the most may seem harmless in comparison, but the moronically twee New Girl regresses me to a cave-womanish rage with its insistence on its insipid star: Zooey Deschanel. I always vaguely disliked Zooey for some reason I couldn’t figure out, but I didn’t start to detest her until I saw 500 Days of Summer. After the movie finished, my boyfriend (at the time) seemed to be suffering from a swooning fit like his corset was too tight. “That girl,” he breathed, mesmerized. “She was like, the perfect girl!” I don’t condone jealousy over celebrity crushes, but his statement was so irrationally offensive to me that I had to stop and consider what it is about Zooey that makes her totally hateable. After all, she didn't she didn’t fit the cookie-cutter “bombshell” it-girl image I had in my mind. With her immaculate bangs and wardrobe straight from Anthropologie, she seems tailormade for the artsy, iPhone-apping, indoor-scarfwearing sensibilities of the world. But how could everyone fall for someone so patently fake? I mean, it’s kind of creepy, how contrived she is.

She’s like a living doll. Can you even imagine Zooey Deschanel taking a shit? Luckily I’m not the only bitter nihilist in the world. Fellow hater, film critic Nathan Rabin of the Onion A.V. Club, captured her persona perfectly and summed it up in what is now an internationally recognised movie trope: “The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG),” he writes, “exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” Although playing the “villain” role in 500 Days of Summer, she flits in and out of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s life, being a total bitch with no explanation for her actions. The closest we come to receiving an explanation for her character is when she trills, “Because I wanted to!” after callously breaking his heart for the trillionth time. Like Natalie Portman’s saccharine forest sprite in Garden State, her role is always to act as a catalyst to the male character, with no exploration of her own story arc. Zooey’s characters always choose nonthreatening careers such as secretary, elementary school teacher, and department store elf, in which they can fulfil their dreams of singing and doing crafts all day while their male costars go on to become architects and lawyers. Although it’s always depressing to see women typecast as bitchy workaholics (paging Katherine Heigl), I would way rather see that than watch Zooey glamorize careers that belong in the '50s. Jezebel contributor and Smart Internet Lady Sadie Stein identifies Zooey as an “Amazing

// Author illustration Girl”, and furthermore expands on the archetype of her and the other girls like her: “All are vaguely creative, all sort of political, all sweet and kind and sympathetic and all lacking in any critical judgment whatsoever. Indeed, a lack of harsh judgment might be called the central tenet of their sisterhood, and perhaps a key to their particular magic.” Her characters always go along with whatever her male counterpart seems to want, always supportive, encouraging, and sexually available, while demanding nothing in return. She loves his

taste in music unconditionally; she’s cool with his lack of ambition; she hangs on his every word without question. Lazy male audiences love this kind of character because it gives them an unrealistic expectation of finding the perfect female muse willing to put up with their shit indefinitely. No such girl exists, of course, but the expectation of her is the ultimate entitlement fantasy. My boyfriend and I broke up shortly after watching 500 Days of Summer. It was probably my fault; I couldn’t support our relationship anymore. It primarily consisted of hanging out in his attic getting baked and listening to his prog-rock collection while he tuned his ever-growing collection of acoustic guitars. After all, the Zooeys of the world would have found our relationship “amazing”. Having no interior life of their own, it would be much easier to be quietly absorbed into a man’s. After all, he would no doubt worship her, having found his unquestioning, undemanding female; the “perfect” girl. My argument is that we need to forget about the Zooeys, the MPDGs, the perfect girls of the world, and focus on, or focus on becoming, Real Girls instead. Real Girls who aren’t perfect, Real Girls who get angry, who take shits, who have bad hair days. Real Girls who don’t exist only for the enjoyment and improvement of wimpy artisttype men. Real Girls who are never complacent, who have ambition, and above all, never stop asking questions. I say that we boycott New Girl. I bet Toddlers and Tiaras is on instead. Talk about the poor portrayal of females in the media! Someone get me some popcorn.


Caboose

C aboose

to Letter r ito the Ed

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

Movie date ruined by raucous teens!

After weeks of sending messages to this hottie on Plenty of Fish, she finally agreed to meet me in a public place. Player tip: when messaging ladies on POF, be persistent, and always include a current version of your resume. I decided that we would see Beauty and the Beast 3D, because what lady could resist a man who loves Disney films? My blonde hair was neat and my outfit was freshly pressed by my mom the night before. She loves to go on Duncan duty and make me look so good for my date nights; she keeps on mentioning that she is worried that she’ll never be a grandmother. Anyway, I met my date around 8:30 at Wings. I ordered mine extra spicy, for obvious reasons. My date, Christina, was really nice and was also a big fan of Smallville, so I had lots to talk about. Then, it was off to the movie. On our way to the theatre I put my arm out for her and she took it! I got a bit of a boner but luckily I had worn two pairs of undies so it was hard to tell. There was no way I was making the same mistake as last time. We got to the theatre and I declined popcorn. I wasn't feeling that hungry, as my stomach was going crazy from those hot wings. We got a spot right in the centre of the empty theatre (just the way I like it). Then all of a sudden, a bunch of "hipsters" came strolling into the theatre like they owned the place. They sat behind us which was just great because they had obviously been drinking or doing drugs and wouldn't shut up. Finally the previews started and just as I was

about to tell her how excited I was for the next Pixar film, one of those assholes started literally yelling their laughs out of their mouths. I mentioned to my dear Christina how rude I found it when people laughed loudly in the theatre, and she just shrugged and smiled. What a sweetheart. However, there was no way I was going to let these “cool cats” ruin what she listed as one of her top five favourite films in her profile. The film started and as soon as the logo flashed on the screen the entire row started whooping and hollering. I took a breath and clenched my fists. It wasn't two seconds later that two of the more drunk hipsters started singing along to the opening song “Little Town” as if they spoke French. I turned around and explained forcefully that they should be more considerate; after all, I paid $15 to hear Belle, not them! Thinking they would listen to reason I turned back around. Now my date would know how committed I was to making this movie romantic and memorable. The hipsters would not cease. I was then mocked, and no McDavin takes being mocked sitting down. We weren't even halfway through the Gaston song before I had to stand up and tell them more forcibly that they shouldn't be singing along and laughing so loudly. At this point, my date was notably nervous about the hoodlums behind her as she sank deeper into her seat and covered her face with her hands. Of course they didn't stop, so the next step was to involve the authorities.

I got up and walked hurriedly out of the movie; partially out of anger, partially out of habenero chicken necessity. Leaving the washroom I found a theatre employee and asked him to give me clearance to their security division, as it was an emergency. Albert, as his name tag read, informed me that he was the only security for the night. He certainly wasn't a very imposing figure; he couldn't have weighed more than 120 pounds, and was covered in acne as a result of years of serving up hot liquid butter. He frowned at me when I mentioned that they were laughing and singing along loudly, so I knew he was taking it seriously. He said he would need to get back-up to deal with a situation of this magnitude and walked away. I smirked knowingly as I sat back down; the hipsters had obviously noticed me talking to security and that had at least put a damper on their shenanigans. It wasn't long before they started singing along and laughing just as loudly as before. At this point I was getting anxious for the security squad to show up. Anyone laughing and carrying on like that in the face of certain ejection from a $15 movie must have been smoking PCP or METH! Finally, I saw Albert poke his head around the corner again. I ran down to point out the perpetrators and save the remainder of the film for my date. Albert was standing there with a younger, pudgier female version of himself. “Who is making the noise, sir?” I pointed to the two loudest

people in the row, the blonde girl and the gay, explaining once again that they had been laughing and singing along too loudly. “Okay, if anyone else complains we can call someone in. In the meantime we can refund the price of you and your date's movie; with this in mind, please try and enjoy the rest of the film.” It was a double-edged sword; I had won and I had lost. The film ended and we left without looking back. I offered to give my date a ride home but she insisted on taking the bus; she wouldn't even accept the cash refund for her ticket. I finally got home and when I went online I noticed that Candygrl91 had erased her Plenty of Fish profile. Thankfully, I had her full name and was able to find her on Facebook. Overall, it was probably my best date ever. — Duncan McDavin (duncster69)

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

19


caboose

Worst dating experiences

Friend Zone Mike Bastien

GOTH VALENTINE’S DAY Celina Kurz

Hiking Beni Spieler

Church Marco Ferreira

After months of battling my shyness, I finally summoned up the courage to talk to Natasha V. Things went well, and I was surprised by how much we had in common. I guess friendship really is magic. As time passed, she then invited me over to her house and I decided this would be a prime opportunity to take things to the next level. When I passed through the door, I realized that I was no longer where I used to be. I had crossed into a bizarre and yet familiar world. We embarked into this strange world together, where the sun always shone yet the forest ground was cloaked in a layer of cold, virgin snow. It was apparent that common sense did not exist in this realm as the leaves were blue, rabbits could fly, and Ms. V was completely oblivious to my feelings. The wind whistled through the trees and I could have sworn I faintly heard it whisper to me, “Run.” Then suddenly, a grotesque monstrosity appears. I gaze upon Mrs. V’s reflection in the beast’s compound eyes as she runs up to it, declaring how cute the fiend is. The two fly off in merriment, leaving me to wander this relationship purgatory, with no exit in sight.

Single on Valentine’s Day? I feel your pain. Let’s express our anger/angst about the commercialization of loneliness with our outward visage: let’s be goth together. I’ve spent the last four years wearing frigging red and pink and whatever on Valentine’s Day because I was “in a happy relationship,” but if I’m totally honest with myself, Valentine’s was NEVER what I wanted it to be. This year, though, fuck the world; bloody tears on my cheeks, pentagrams drawn on my palms with a red sharpie, carrying around the “Death” tarot card and a voodoo doll, pants with skeleton bones on them, white lipliner/black lipstick, temporary tattoo of a black rose, SO MUCH black nail polish, maybe little x’s drawn under each eye – I’m treating V-Day as an excuse to express my inner teen witch. If you’re on my wavelength of giving the middle finger to everything, wear all black and speak only in song lyrics, and we can all make out. We’ll find one another. Happy Goth Valentine’s Day. No one tells us how to feel.

I once got put on this blind date by a friend of mine. She was a very pretty, very enthusiastic, and very athletic girl. This was to be my downfall, and I say that ironically. She decided that for a first date, she would love to go on a peaceful hike. Now, I’m always down for partaking in the nature crap – chicks love that stuff – but it had been a few years since I had even attempted doing anything like that. So, we embark up this bloody mountain. Fuck, if you thought Frodo had it bad, this was way worse. I was hacking and wheezing the whole way up and she was babbling non-stop about work; nothing like a beer belly and asthma to remind me of my mortality. Somewhere between the stratosphere and the summit, she realized I wasn’t exactly in the same shape as an asgardian. “Mitch said you’d be into this!” she chimed. Note to self: Mitch is dead to me. All I could do was smile and try to keep up a cool visage as sweat streamed out of every pore on my failing body. It was at that point that I totally passed out. I woke up about 30 minutes later to a very concerned and slightly disappointed face. It was a very peaceful, if not awkward, walk-down though.

I once went on a date with a woman named Rebecca who I met on a video game forum. We met at Metrotown and got dinner at the food court. I had the tater-tots with salsa and liquid cheese, and she had the cold chicken salad with corn and ranch. It was nice. After checking out EB games she got real horny (I'm assuming she was) telling me about how she really trusted me and was going to let me into her holy circle if I came back to her house of worship – sexual worship, I extrapolated. Swallowing the lump in my throat I decided that sex couldn't be as terrifying as every porno I had ever seen. We rode the bus and got off at the stop in front of the church. To my surprise, she led me inside and into a room with a group of people sitting on folding chairs, and that's when I put two and two together: this was some kind of religious sex club, just like in that other porno I had seen. They mentioned loving thy neighbour and I high-tailed it out of there with my virginity intact. Pheww, another close one.

With celina kurz

The Hot Chart

the capilano courier | vol. 45 issue 17

THERE'S A PICTURE OF RON WEASLEY SMOKING A BONG ON GOOGLE More like Bong Weasley, hee hee

20

GOTH VALENTINE'S DAY I'm going to keep talking about it because I want it to become a thing goth goth goth JARED CATALANO Still hot, always hot, infinitely hot NICKI MINAJ HAS A NEW SONG It's called Marilyn Monroe and I love it ONLINE TEEN BLOGS The blogs most in-tune with my personal interests VALENTINE'S DAY CARDS I can be a goth and still love them, okay? I CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE YOU One of my favey Simpsons episodes ASKING ME OUT ON A DATE The hottest thing // Mike Bastien

Capilano Courier Vol. 45 Issue 17  

The Capilano Courier's 17th issue for the 2011-2012 season. This week we deal with looooooooove. And more...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you