CSU VS. CFS
× February 12 2013
N o . 16
13-02-09 9:00 PM
46 issue N o . 15
CAPILANO Courier TABLE OF contents news
The Staff 4
of this pulsating university newspaper JJ Brewis Editor-in-Chief
For the love of money
Cheap dates for cheapskates
Giles Roy Managing Editor
Samantha Thompson Copy Editor
Lindsay Howe News Editor
Leah Scheitel Opinions Editor
Natalie Corbo Features Editor
Celina Kurz Arts Editor
Geo-caching, as sexy as it sounds
Planning for a lovely time?
Scott Moraes Caboose Editor
Stefan Tosheff Production Manager
Katie So Art Director
Andy Rice Staff Writer
Connor Thorpe Staff Writer
Grinding for man love
46 issue N o . 16
Katie So does Valentine's Day... in the butt
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Ricky Bao Business Manager
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 Courier Publishing Society.
Shannon Elliott Web Editor
Colin Spensley Distribution Manager
Leanne Kriz Ads & Events Manager
13-02-09 9:00 PM
× LETTER FROM THE EDITOR ×
WAR OF THE WORDS × ON the Cover ×
Stefan tosheff Stefan Tosheff is a boy, no argument there. Stefantosheff.com
Featured Contributors Tierney Milne loves to learn. After completing a cognitive neuroscience program at UBC, Tierney now studies full-time in her first year at Capilano’s IDEA program. Tierney describes herself as being “in love with all geekery, music and marathons,” impressively having completed 15 half and full marathons in her time! This Montreal native calls herself “a Vancouverite at heart,” who has a keen interest in going to see shows, chowing down at Mongolian Grill, and working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator… “when not going crazy with classes,” of course. Tierney’s portfolio reads like a who’s who of pop cultural icons, drawing uncanny likenesses with subjects ranging from James Dean to George Stroumboulopoulos. But like most of us, Tierney has a few common fascinations: “My biggest guilty pleasure is watching Adventure Time.” Follow Tierney online at Tierneymilne.com and on Twitter @tierneymilne.
“There should be a Valentine’s match-making service at Capilano, like in high school.” Hey, great idea. There should also be a weekly pizza day, like high school. Mandatory P.E. squaredancing, like in high school. Everyone should wear sweatpants and Uggs to class, like in high school. “Community is back on this Thursday! How awesome is that? Pretty awesome, in my opinion. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.” I’ve never really watched this show, but I can tell you that its obnoxious viewership has done a pretty good job of ensuring that I never join their ranks.
This is a huge problem, and I wonder how many silent types have gone entire semesters putting up with it. The only solution I can offer is to identify this type of class early, and withdraw before you waste a bunch of money. Either that or go to a real school. I kid! Relax.
In Issue 15 of the Capilano Courier, the article “Bridge Over Troubled Water” stated that “The bridge’s foundations are being worn down by the Fraser River, and the structure of the bridge deck is composed primarily of wood, which made the bridge susceptible to fire in early 2009. Parts of the bridge deck had to be completely rebuilt, as the crossing was closed for eight days.” The bridge deck is now fully composed of reinforced concrete and steel, and prior to 2009 there was only one 60-metre section of the total 1.2 kilometres that was still composed of wood. We sincerely regret the error.
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“Voicebox, I would like to voice(box) my displeasure over my philosophy class. The professor encourages discussion but the problem is that idiots always put up their hand and interject for the sake of trying to sound smart. Why did I pay tuition? To lose brain cells listening to these morons?”
The Voicebox gives you the chance to have your opinion heard, no matter how irrelevant or uninformed. Just send a text message to (778) 235-7835 to anonymously “voice” your “thoughts” on any “subject.” Then, as long as it’s not too offensive, we’ll publish it! It’s a win-win-win, unless you’re a loser.
of human history. I’m not undermining any idea of equality or writing off the idea of men’s issues, but the on-campus organizations that exist are representational of groups that have seen a form of repression throughout history. In this word-based confrontational debacle, a lot of points and intentions got lost in the shuffle because the participants become charged up and defensive, leading to a series of posts that became more and more convoluted and arbitrary. The whole reason someone cared in the first place gets lost in the shuffle and makes way for a lot of badgering and snide remarks. In this case, the author of the article decided to speak up to defend her writing. The fact of the matter is that when a staff member gets involved in such comments, the piece does lose some its credibility in being impartial, detracting from the clout of the article. For all those non-staff members who posted, they had nobody to answer to and could technically say whatever they liked, but ultimately made the situation worse by getting carried away and behaving in a rude manner. In some ways I can understand why the author felt the need to defend herself and stand up for a topic she believes in. On one hand, it did reflect negatively on the publication and on herself as the author/staff member, but as a human being I understand the idea of being pushed so far against a wall and wanting to stand up for yourself. In a roundabout way, that’s the whole idea of equality and women’s rights’ launching point, so it kind of makes sense – despite her tone and word choices and the fact that it made her no longer impartial, on the foundation of human rights, the matter of being defensive is a reasonable enough reason to want to interact. In the end, nobody ended up looking very tactful in this whole online flame war. Though some of the commenters did raise valid, factual points, much of the tone and content posted in their remarks was uneducated, mean-spirited and accusatory. What’s interesting in this type of scenario is that when two people, online or otherwise, take a stand with views on a polarizing topic, there is usually not going to be any convincing of the other party. With a topic such as women’s rights or feminism (which share some consistencies, but I’d like to point out to those commenters that these are two separate entities), people have opinions that are very strong. It’s like any other major issue – everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks their opinion is correct. But it’s not really about the content. This could have just as easily happened on any article about any other topic. Certain articles hit a nerve with different people, though, in positive or negative lights. That’s part of what makes this job interesting – you never know what type of response your work is going to field. Any content could potentially become a platform for debate, conversation or inquisition. We have active minds that naturally want to challenge content based upon our personal views and values. It is very important for people to form and voice their opinions on many things in this world. But if people want anyone to listen to them, they’re going to have to make their approach less hostile and harmful. As Destiny’s Child once sang, “You know I’m not gonna diss you on the Internet. ‘Cause my mama taught me better than that.” People should learn to keep their opinions relating to the topics that affect them rather than initiating in a personal battle with those who see differently from them. The situation on this news article could have easily been approached in a more respectful and mature manner, while still retaining the opportunity to express opinions on the piece.
THE VOICE BOX FEATURING: GILES ROY
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Aidan Whiteley is presently busy optimizing his personal brand. What exactly does this mean? “The universe is in my dreams all the time,” he says. With an undergraduate in Geography from UBC Okanagan, Aidan moved onto bigger things— sort of. “After getting kicked out of Ryerson University’s Masters of Urban Planning program in 2012, I skulked home from the Big Smoke with my tail between my legs.” When he’s not busy taking photographs or cutting his own hair, Aidan is busy exploring his passions of “Net neutrality and fighting the ‘authenticity’ superiority meta-narrative.” Aidan fills his schedule with “making shitty illustrations, incessantly downloading music, and exploring cities and nature.” But don’t let his appearance be deceiving. “My left eyebrow has a cowlick and it makes me look devious, even when I’m trying to be sincere,” he says. His claim to fame is being interviewed by This Hour Has 22 Minutes at the sprite age of 15. “That basically makes me a celebrity, right?” Sure, Aidan. Follow Aidan’s personal brand online at Aidanwhiteley.tumblr.com and on Twitter @Aidanwhiteley
It was an interesting week in the life of the Capilano Courier. An article from last week’s issue about the on-campus women’s centre became an online battle ground for a handful of strongly-opinionated commenters, leaving a mess of emotional bloodshed and requiring some damage control. It’s always surprising to me that situational awfulness comes up in places you least expect it. When we went over the story pitches for that issue, this was actually the one news story that seemed the most benign. Some staff members felt as though everyone on campus was already aware the women’s centre existed, and didn’t even really need profiling. We ultimately went ahead with the story because, as a resource to those eligible to use it, a place like the women’s centre can ultimately become a place of sanctuary to those who frequent it. On the opposite side of the sanctuary coin is a little gem known as The Internet. The Internet, as most of us are well aware, is a breeding ground for many things. It’s undoubtedly done a lot of good for many of us, creating job opportunities and making it more convenient than ever to find information and connect with people. But with any light comes darkness. Basically any website that allows comments from viewers becomes a graveyard of human decency, ranging from common blunders like spelling mistakes all the way up to human beings threatening other people based on the most mundane of subjects. Logic, it seems, goes right out the window when it comes to online posting, which is sad when you think that this platform has the opportunity to be such a wonderful outlet for intelligent social interaction. The comments on the Courier’s women’s centre article were, among other things, alarming. One poster, “MarkBC,” said “This womens [sic] center [sic] reminds me of the ‘Whites Only’ restaurants and washrooms in the deep south. At least they had the honesty to put sign [sic] up rather than give out secret codes for entry.” On the topic of this article, I will say that, in my own opinion, the idea of a “men’s centre” would probably exist only for the sake of essentially being a boy’s club operating for the sake of it. Our pre-existing campus centres (queer, First Nation’s and students with disabilities) run as a home base for groups of people whose demographics have been persecuted in some form. As a man, I personally find the idea of an on-campus men’s club unnecessary, but that’s just my vantage point. Asking for one is similar to discriminatory people asking, “Why isn’t there a straight parade?” Historically speaking, it cannot be ignored that certain demographics have been marginalized, persecuted, or worse throughout the progress
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NEWS EDITOR ×
LINDSAY HOWE × N E W S @ C A P I L A N O C O U R I E R . C O M
WHO'S YOUR DADDY? “SUGAR BABY” TREND RISING AMONGST UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN B.C. Lindsay Howe × News Editor It isn’t news to most students that the economy is getting weaker, jobs are becoming scarcer and tuition fees have increased over the past few years. What is news, however, is the way some postsecondary students are choosing to fund their education. SeekingArrangement.com, the world’s largest sugar daddy website, recently released some figures that suggest that the number of mutually beneficial sugar daddy/sugar baby relationships are on the rise, particularly in British Columbia. Founded in 2006 by Brandon Wade, a successful employee of Microsoft and several other Fortune 500 companies who was looking for love himself, the site now has over 2 million members, with 38 per cent of all female members being college students. While the website does market itself as “The world’s largest sugar daddy website,” the site’s Public Relations Manager Leroy Velasquez explains that it’s not all black and white. “I strongly believe that this website is meant for long-term relationships, when we refer to it as mutually beneficial we are stating the main difference between ours and other traditional dating websites, but at the core of it there are still relationships that exist on this website where people are romantically involved, obviously some are more romantically involved than others, but it really depends on what the sugar daddy and sugar baby are individually looking for in the relationship.” Wade was actually able to find his current wife on the site, a fate that is not uncommon, says Velasquez. “We actually receive dozens of
invitations every year for sugar daddies and sugar babies who have been married, who actually got engaged through our website.” Recent figures released by the website show that the population of sugar babies who attend British Columbian post-secondary institutions have steadily increased each year, with the University of Victoria in the lead for the province’s highest number of babies, at 117. The average college sugar baby receives money for living expenses, tuition and books to the tune of $3000 per month. While the website was originally created in the United States, Wade appears to have familiarized himself with the Canadian market, stating in a recent press release, “It’s evident that the Canadian government can’t be trusted with your information. Why pay interest on a loan and possibly lose your personal information, when you could get a sugar daddy instead?” He was referring to the recent privacy concerns with Canada Student Loan borrowers. In terms of safety and privacy on the site, it does offer features to ensure safety to young females engaging in the traditional “daddy-baby” relationship. The site was one of the first to offer background checks, conducted by a third party organization, to search for red flags such as past criminal activity. The site also offers a feature where they look into the benefactor’s salary to verify their annual income, both features coming at a cost to the benefactor on top of their monthly membership fee for the seal of approval. The website, however, does not look into the marital status of the benefactor. Although the majority of the site is of the older male and younger female dynamic, the site also
caters to older women seeking younger men, and the LGBTQ community looking for love, companionship or whatever it is they uniquely desire. “Our website especially caters to the wealthy benefactor. For whatever they’re seeking in their partner they give them monthly allowances, presents, they essentially treat them very highly.” Velasquez notes that the site is mostly used by business professionals, who are too busy to engage in traditional relationships, and dismisses the idea that a problem exists with the sugar daddy/baby dynamic, saying, “I absolutely don’t think it’s exploitation at all. Because of the fact that [the site] itself caters to mutually beneficial relationships, in regards to men will offer financial security, gifts, presents, etc., but at the same time their sugar baby is offering something in exchange, whether it be friendship, companionship, their company, [or] whatever they’re looking for in that relationship…” Maggie Feist, a counsellor at Capilano University, understands the financial struggles that students face while pursuing their education, and although she can’t generalize what lasting impacts will affect participants of the sugar baby lifestyle
in the long term, she believes that the choice to engage in such behaviour can sometimes be a case of human nature. “We choose what appears to be the easiest route, and what’s going to look like the best option, but sometimes in the long run it isn’t, for various reasons.” Feist adds, “It might be that someone starts to question or feel guilty at that time or down the road, or feel a loss of self esteem through it … but I don’t know that that would be the case for everybody … I think a lot of it depends on what you tell yourself you’re doing.”
×× KSENIA KOZHEVNIKOVA
TEMPORARILY HOMELESS CANADIAN STUDENTS TAKE ACTION TO RAISE AWARENESS Connor Thorpe
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46 issue N o . 16
× Staff Writer
Students across the country are making comparatively large personal sacrifices to raise awareness of homelessness in Canada, while collecting donations to aid the cause. Participants of the 5 Days for Homelessness campaign will sleep outdoors on campus for a five-day and night span between Mar. 5 and Mar. 10, during which they will neglect the creature comforts that are staples of their normal lives. The rules that dictate participation in the campaign are simple. Participants must sleep outdoors using only a sleeping bag and pillow for the length of the exercise while sustaining themselves solely on food and drinks acquired through direct donations. No source of income may be utilized throughout the duration of the campaign, no showers or similar facilities are to be used, and participants are discouraged from using personal communication devices. At the end of the week, participants are to write about their experience and post the results on the campaign website. 5 Days for the Homeless was created in 2005 by students of the University of Alberta’s business program, to contribute to a solution for homelessness and to combat the reputation of
business students as not caring about the community and societal issues. Following a successful inaugural year that raised $2000, the campaign has grown exponentially – expanding to include 27 Canadian universities and collecting almost $1 million to date. In addition to media coverage and word-of-mouth attention on campuses across the country, the campaign has raised its profile with the appearances of guest sleepers – Canadian celebrity participants including Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and former Montreal Canadien Georges Laraque. Similar events have been launched, including Covenant House Sleep Out on Nov. 15, 2012 – one in a series of Sleep Outs that have taken place across North America – in which 20 Vancouver executives, including Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi, slept outdoors in the frigid Vancouver night. “Homelessness is a sad thing in general, but when it comes to youth, it is even sadder,” Lenarduzzi told the Province. “If what we do can get the youth indoors and give them the support and basics they need to grow, they will find the solutions we need to solve larger problems.” Capilano University will be participating in the 5 Days campaign for the fourth time this year, with proceeds going directly to the North Shore Youth Safe House. A kickoff event will take place Mar. 7 at the Anza Club.
“I think, if framed right, it can really open up the dialogue in a different way. Students are ambitious and will be the decision-makers of tomorrow. I think it is really an issue that people should understand,” says Teresa Grant, CSU Social Justice Coordinator. “There is definitely a difference between the urban homelessness we see displayed in Vancouver, and the homelessness we see less of on the North Shore. Actually, North Vancouver has one of the fastest growing homeless populations in the Lower Mainland and this is something seldom understood in our neighbourhoods around Capilano.” 5 Days for the Homeless has been criticized as a trivial exercise that does not truly recreate the conditions of homelessness or consider the societal and personal factors that lead to it. Grant argues that the underlying purpose of the campaign runs deeper than the visual provided by participants. “I don’t think this criticism fully fits with what we strive for with the Social Justice Committee because the emulation of homelessness is just supposed to be a conversation starter with supplementary dialogues organized throughout the week that will consider many aspects of the issue,” she says. “I don’t want to downplay the role of the participating students. It is an amazing sacrifice they make and really [challenging] with the weather elements
and keeping up with their schoolwork. It is hard for someone to understand truly what it is like to be homeless after only five days, but last year we had amazing support from our beneficiary, the North Shore Youth Safe House, who were really committed to educating our whole group on the issues of youth homelessness on the North Shore.” Ben Adelson and Dana Carson, law students at Queen’s University and 5 Days for the Homeless participants, responded to an editorial from the Queen’s Journal that highlighted the importance of “look[ing] at the campaign critically.” Adelson and Carson claimed that disparaging the fact that the campaign is not a true emulation of homelessness is missing the point. “The goal of the campaign was never to provide a cathartic personal experience of what it is like to be homeless, nor was it to project an accurate depiction of homelessness onto the community,” Adelson and Carson wrote. They continued by asserting, “Advocates often take extraordinary measures to attract attention to their cause … [and] it’s easier to be an armchair cynic than it is to take action and get involved in the community.” For more information on the campaign, visit 5days. ca or Csu.bc.ca.
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FED UP CSU QUESTIONS ITS FUTURE AS A MEMBER OF CANADIAN FEDERATION OF STUDENTS Andy Rice × Staff Writer After more than 31 years as a member of the Canadian Federation of Students, three current representatives on the Capilano Students’ Union board of directors say they believe it’s time for the organization to reassess its involvement. “We’re deciding as a board what route officially we want to go in but the three of us … are very opinionated,” says CSU Social Justice Coordinator Teresa Grant, referring to herself and senate representatives David Clarkson and Jared Nash. The CFS is an alliance of hundreds of thousands of students across the nation, including around 7,500 from Capilano University alone. The organization is Canada’s largest student lobbying group, aiming to provide “an effective and united voice, provincially and nationally,” according to its website. A provincial branch of the CFS, called CFS-BC, operates in British Columbia under a similar mandate.
MEMBERSHIP Much has changed since 1981 when the students’ union at Capilano University, known in those years as Capilano College, became a founding member of the CFS. The institution has grown not only in size and enrolment but in resources as well. Grant says that she believes this has been a major factor in the CSU looking less and less to the CFS for guidance and assistance in its recent past. “The value [of being a CFS member] decreases the bigger you get,” she says. Katie Marocchi, CFS-BC chairperson, disagrees. “Certainly larger institutions have more resources at their disposal but … in terms of when you look at our victories in influencing government policy and things like that it’s … strength in numbers, right? A union can choose to work on an individual level and just work on their own issues, but you have more success when you’re supported by 16 other student unions in the province.” While government lobbying and advocacy for social justice issues are a major part of what the CFS and CFS-BC does, “the secondary or complementary part to the membership is the services provided for members,” says Marocchi. Those include everything from free International Student Identity Cards and complimentary tax filing services for students, to bulk purchase deals for
student unions on things like custom-printed tshirts and pens. “[The CSU hasn’t] used a lot of that stuff in a long time,” says Clarkson. “If you’re a small school, the CFS can be a one-stop shop for you. You can get your handbooks printed there, you can get your health plan there, you can get all the swag that you might give out. We’re sort of at that point where we’re big enough that we can do it better on our own.”
REPRESENTATION While the CFS does represent a sizeable number of students from each of its member unions, the organization has both gained and lost a fair share of members over its three-decade history, including the student unions of larger institutions like Simon Fraser University. Others such as Kwantlen Polytechnic University have tried unsuccessfully to leave as well. “I can’t tell you why,” says Marocchi, “but in terms of our history overall in the last 30 years, student unions have joined, student unions have left and student unions have joined again and reasons are very unique and different for each of those student unions. They’re also unique and different because of the political climate of whatever decade they were in at the time.” For Grant, these departures pose a major problem. “A really big downfall with the CFS is that so many schools have left,” she says. “We don’t have the big-number voices like UBC … SFU, people who really do have a huge voice in what we’re trying to portray.” The University of Victoria Students’ Society, another student union with large membership numbers, was one of the more recent student societies to leave the CFS, although it was only successful in ending its membership in the national organization. In a controversial court case disputing the outcome of a referendum held in 2011, a judge determined that the process of terminating membership had only been in compliance with the bylaws of the CFS at a national level, and not those of CFS-BC. 70.5 percent of UVic students voted in favor of leaving the CFS, and while UVSS’ status as a member of the national CFS ended on June 30, 2011, the society remains a member of CFS-BC. A referendum at UVic, on whether or not to continue membership in CFS-BC, is upcoming. Scott Payne was ratified by the CFS members as Chief Returning Officer at a recent semi-annual general meeting (SAGM), held Jan. 17 to 20 in
Each Capilano University student is a current member of the CFS through the CSU’s own membership as member local 5. Students pay an obligatory fee per credit each semester. According to Clarkson, an audit of the CSU’s financial statements revealed that Capilano University students paid a collective $85,000 to the CFS and its subsidiaries last year. “One thing the [CSU] board of directors decided to do is to change the way that student fees appear on their accounts,” says Clarkson. “This seems like a really trivial thing, but I bet most people don’t realize they pay money to the CFS.” In the past, the CSU and CFS fees were consolidated as one student union fee, but beginning in May when the summer semester commences, the CSU fee and CFS fee will be listed separately on all student accounts. “[$85,000 is] a lot of money,” says Nash. “We could do a lot more good with that money than write a cheque and send it to the CFS. It’s almost a dollar a credit and I think when people start to … see the CFS levy and go ‘what is that,’ I think that will start to generate a bit of a conversation around where the money actually goes.” That conversation and any decision to stay or go will ultimately rest in the hands of Capilano University students. “At the end of the day, it’s the students that need to want to leave,” says Grant. “We represent students, I know, and we definitely … feel this way but at the end of the day, it’s the students and if they feel that they are getting something out of it then we have to respect that.”
NEWS BRIEF Lindsay Howe, News Editor The unofficial results for the CSU’s spring election have now been released. Hyerin Choi was re-elected as International Students’ Liaison and John Kinsley was elected as the new Queer Students’ Liaison. These results will be made official upon ratification at the CSU’s next Board of Directors’ meeting, so long as they remain uncontested. The final results are as follows:
46 issue N o . 16
QUEER STUDENTS’ LIAISON BROOKLYN KEMP: 45 JOHN KINSLEY: 106
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ LIAISON HYERIN CHOI: YES - 129 NO - 10 REJECTED - 1
CFS bylaws state that a petition calling for a vote on whether or not to continue membership must be signed by no less than 20 per cent of the individual members of the member association and delivered to the national executive of the federation. The national executive then reviews the petition within 90 days to determine its validity. Pending that outcome, the national executive will schedule a referendum within 60 to 90 additional days, to be supervised by a chief returning officer of its own recommendation. The chief returning officer’s appointment is subject to ratification by a general meeting of the federation. CFS bylaws also state that “there shall be no more than two votes on de-certification in any three-month period,” something that has created a queue in the past when multiple post-secondary institutions have made simultaneous attempts to leave. Nash says that while the CSU does not have plans to leave the CFS or CFS-BC at the present time, the organization does have intentions of distancing itself from the CFS even further in the coming months by removing items referencing it from the CSU’s bylaws. The CSU has also come up with an alternative outlet for lobbying, recently co-founding its own collective with student unions from UBC, SFU and UVic. The campaign, which began under the name Where’s The Funding?!, has since become the Alliance of B.C. Students (ABCS). It now represents over 160,000 students at eight institutions. “I think it just illustrates a need for a voice for students and that the CFS isn’t working for the big schools that do want that representation,” says Grant. ABCS has kept its focus limited to three fundamental issues: the elimination of interest rates on student loans, the re-establishment of a provincial needs-based grants program, and an increase to core funding for post-secondary institutions.
COST OF MEMBERSHIP
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CSU VS. CFS
Tsawwassen. Payne is a former chairperson of CFS-BC, having served in that role as recently as 2008, and there were concerns raised at the SAGM about the potential for conflict of interest with Payne’s ratification as CRO. “[The CFS] sets the chief returning officer,” says Nash, “… The Chief Returning Officer they’ve just appointed for the UVSS, [for] the new referendum, is a former CFS-BC chairperson so I don’t know how fair that makes them.” “We’re definitely concerned about the future as soon as UVSS leaves,” says Grant. “In B.C., [at present] we need four schools to be able to defeat a [CFS-BC] bylaw change so there were some bylaw changes proposed at this previous [semi-annual general meeting] that were quite worrisome to us.” One in particular aimed to mandate equal access and utilization of campus resources for “both the yes and no side [of a referendum] … participating in or seeking to influence the vote,” according to Nash’s explanation of the motion. Had the resolution passed, those resources would have included classroom lists, e-mail lists, social media, information systems, campus radio, as well as student newspapers. “We were only able to defeat [the motion] because of the UVSS,” says Grant. For student unions that do ultimately choose to leave the CFS or CFS-BC, the process to end their membership (a process referred to as “de-certification” in the organization’s bylaws) in the Federation is a detailed one. “In terms of de-certification … there’s two separate sets of bylaws for each of the organizations to decertify,” says Marocchi. “You have to serve a petition to leave both.”
×× BENSONHIL GEMANN
13-02-09 9:01 PM
COLUMNS EDITOR ×
JJ BREWIS × E D I T O R @ C A P I L A N O C O U R I E R . C O M
AN INORDINATE FONDNESS FOR BEETLES Evelyn Cranston
NATURE RECLAIMS ITS TURF One of my favourite running routes is along the Arbutus Corridor, an 11-kilometre stretch of an abandoned train line from False Creek to the Fraser River. Lined with backyard gardens, the beautiful route connects with community parks along the way. I turn around at Marpole Loop, where the tracks fade into a jungle of concrete overpasses, parkades and auto-body garages. The corridor was considered for a SkyTrain route after traditional train service ended in 2001, before the Cambie route was ultimately chosen. Since then, the tracks have been handed over to the care of nature. The spikes have fallen victim to oxidization, the dilapidated and rotting wood ties now blanketed in moss, and blackberry bushes wind around the rails. Public opinion polls show most residents would like to see this land developed into trails, like the famous Highline Park in New York City. For now, nature is doing what it always does – making a comeback by using the first opportunity to absorb human-made features and reclaim the land. In his book The World Without Us, author Alan Weisman envisioned a world in which the entire human population has disappeared. Drawing on the knowledge of paleontologists, biologists and engineers, he speculates a timeline of changes. Weisman’s speculated future includes, among other things, the closing of the Panama Canal in 20 years. The World Without Us speaks to the Canal in a similar light as the Arbutus Corridor’s fate, with Abdiel Perez, one of the Canal’s
superintendents mentioning, “The Panama Canal is like a wound that humans inflicted on the Earth – one that nature is trying to heal.” Without us, the elephant population would increase twentyfold in 100 years, recovering from the ivory trade; and in 100,000 years, atmospheric CO2 would return to pre-industrial levels. Back in reality, in about 300 years on our current course, 75 per cent of mammal species will be extinct. Even though plastics, PCBs and nuclear waste would persist for millions of years after humans were gone, all species need is a small window of opportunity to figure out how to successfully survive and reproduce without a direct, imminent threat of extinction. A peculiar wilderness has sprung up in Eastern Europe. Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear accident, is seen as a radioactive wasteland, the closest place to a post-apocalyptic zombie land on earth. The “Zone of Alienation” around the reactors is roughly the size of Metro Vancouver. Only workers and scientists are allowed in, and they do short shifts followed by extensive health testing. One would assume this to be the last place on earth to find biodiversity. Surprisingly, the Zone is also Europe’s largest unofficial wildlife reserve. Lynx, wolf, deer, elk, boar and other species roam the forests of the Zone and although their muscles and bones are packed with radioactive cesium-137 and strontium-90, they function normally and show no visible by-products of a strange habitat. Biodiversity
statistics are measured by the number of a species present and the richness of diversity between species, so technically the Zone is a successful ecosystem. The residents here are not healthy animals, but the forest is diverse and life is abundant. Those who describe the Zone as thriving have been criticized as presenting unscientific and anecdotal evidence. Conversely, a study suggesting an irreversible loss of bio-productivity surveyed only one small part of the Zone that was designated as “most contaminated.” That area, the Red Forest, may have shown less biodiversity because it housed strangely twisted and dwarfed trees, making it appear to be an unfamiliar habitat to the animals. In that case, the study unfairly claims widespread loss of biodiversity. It’s fair to trust the people who live in the expansive, dynamic forests of the Zone, who also can discern that the animals wouldn’t make a good burger. Long-term studies are needed to determine the potential for biodiversity to reclaim the area, but the message that I take from this is that nature persists, no matter what. If biodiversity can establish in Chernobyl, it can endure any circumstance. Maybe all it takes to restore biodiversity is to step away and leave nature alone. A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is a “noman’s land” between two military powers. Inadvertently, these neutral zones often flourish into wildlife reserves. The Korean DMZ is a thin band of wild forest separating the glass and concrete metropolitan sprawl of South Korea from the deforested wastelands of North Korea. It’s the most heavily fortified border in the world; armed guards shoot trespassers, and the interior of the zone is peppered with landmines. Even so, just past the political chaos and barbed wire, Al-Jazeera reports
that the DMZ is home to red-crowned cranes, bears, deer, spotted seals and lynx, as well as hundreds of fish, amphibians and insects. Siberian tigers have even been rumoured to be prowling between the fences. Official scientific biodiversity statistics are hard to come by, but South Korea now advertises parts of the DMZ as eco-tourism destinations, and two migratory bird conservation areas have been established. The North Korean kingdom of oppression, famine and propaganda went under martial law last week and announced that it is ready for war. War on the Korean peninsula would threaten the wildlife inside the zone. Peace may be dangerous as well, though; if the two Koreas were to unite, the buffer zone would be gone and the reserve could disappear. Currently, there is an international effort to officially protect the land for conservation. Pre s e r v i n g b i o d i ve r s i t y i s n’t an unattainable goal. Presently we’re on a straight trajectory to ecological collapse and mass extinction, but all we really have to do is back away. Biodiversity is a fighting force – it can flourish on old industrial rail lines or in the world’s most radioactively contaminated zone. In Korea, all that had to be done was to create a space where no humans were allowed, and a dynamic, vibrant ecosystem was the result. Evelyn Cranston studies environmental geography at UBC. After considering all possible majors and feeling interested in all of them, she decided going with the study of the world would be a safe bet. She likes long walks on the beach, searching for dead starfish, barnacles and old kelp clumps.
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×× KAREN PICKETTS
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46 issue N o . 16
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SAFETY: – 13-02-09 9:01 PM
Marco Ferreira × Columnist
MY LOVE DON’T COST A THING Finding a nice person who has a good sense of self and is open to love, personal growth and new experiences is hard. All the money you spend on bowling dates, movie dates, restaurant dates, drink dates, and new clothes to wear on dates will add up. If you want to find love through conventional methods, you better make sure to do it on the cheap. Once you are a couple you will no longer be out dating anyways, so it’s good not to rely on contrived, expensive outings as the basis for your relationships. Chuck the whole dating game in the trash and focus on being a nice, caring person who is openminded to everyone around you. This approach does take time and effort. Friendships are harder to maintain than intimate relationships in a lot of ways, so mastering openness and communication with everyone you’re close to will be good training in ensuring you have the skills necessary to maintain a healthy relationship.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS? It’s hard to take the recommendation to date your friends seriously. All I’ll say is that five years from now you might realize you were madly in love with all of your friends and could have dated any one of them and probably would still be together and happy to this day if you had both worked at it. If you’re interested in one of your friends on a romantic level, just go for it. The risk of “losing the friend” is nothing in comparison to the possibility of a great connection. If you’re sure you get along with someone and have good communication, you know the date
probably won’t be a waste of your time and money. Dating friends also helps in that you have a mutual understanding of how much you want to spend, and how much disposable income you both have before going out.
NO SCRUBS Not all dates need to cost money. There’s the popular hike, stroll, bike ride or even the skateboard, if you’re a psychopath. These dates can be fun but they lack personality. Show your friend a part of yourself through the history you have with the city you call home. My partner once took me on this hike through the forest to this secret beach with a crumbling ruin covered in graffitied rusty train tracks and a nice view. This type of outing was a refreshing change from a typical boring date like summing yourself up over dim sum: “I’m a failed this or that and I’m mediocre at these things” gets boring. Your life story always sounds like an obituary, unless there are images to connect with. Of course this kind of outdoor date depends on the weather, unless you and your date are both so covered in Mountain Equipment Co-op that the rain and cold does nothing to you. If this is in fact your case, you’re probably already married! Congratulations.
DON’T GO CHASING WATERFALLS If it’s pissing a hundred million pounds outside (and let’s be real, it probably is), then stay inside. Sure it’s unconventional, but if you followed my first steps you should be friends anyway and sort of have an understanding that sometimes it’s
winter. Pre-drinking and eating at a cozy house before going out saves you lots of money, while also demonstrating trust and furthering friendship by bringing people closer into your life. Staying in doesn’t have to be boring – you can do sweet shit like crafts, or play each other acoustic covers of “Wonderwall”, until you both tear the flesh from each other in lust. If you aren’t having fun doing the regular shit, then it’s not going to work out as a long-term thing anyway. The house-chill makes a great jump-off point to a local concert or art gallery as well. This type of date is an intimate chance to talk with each other before focusing on everything else.
RED LIGHT SPECIAL “Want to get a coffee or something?” “Nah I got some right here in this giant Thermos, I brought two cups.” “Oh, well are you hungry? I’m kind of hungry.” “I brought sandwiches. I love sandwiches.” “Well I guess we could go to a movie.” “Sure but I also have a pirated cam-copy of every new release imaginable on this USB stick that I bedazzled and wear around my neck.” BOOM! EVERYONE’S PANTIES EXPLODE IN UNISON! BOOM! With all this date shtick in your backpack, you and your date are actually free to do something fun, like make a large collage or bake bread for more sandwiches or finally get over your primal fear of skateboards. Whatever! What’s more ridiculous – coming this prepared for a date or you both shelling out tons of money on each other when you’re both broke? The whole aim of dating is about going further
The Aperture of Being
×× VIVIAN LIU
light and your camera has the ability to, push the camera faster for even clearer results. Practice makes perfect. If you are new to the jump shot, don’t be afraid to set the camera for continuous shooting and “spray and pray.” You can take multiple shots quickly, and decide afterwards which turned out the best. Or work some post-processing magic by stitching the best parts between shots. Once you’ve got the timing down, keep the gloating to nailing the shot on the first try to a minimum. A bonus party trick if you want to pull a Peter Parker and take photos of your Mary Jane crush: set your aperture wide open. The result will be your lovely subject in perfect focus, and everything else blurred in the background (as well as her asking you if she could use it for her Facebook profile photo).
Camera tricks are both technical and creative and that’s one of the many beautiful things about photography – whether it is in a party environment or not. If these party tricks don’t happen to impress, at least you’ve got the science up your sleeve. Melissa Dex Guzman by day is a systems administrator, and moonlights as a rock and roll wedding photographer. It’s like the Bruce Wayne turning into Batman complex, but less dangerous (and probably not as cool). Her published credits include SPIN, CBC Radio 3, and TEDx. Melissa also served as the Director of Photography for Ricepaper Magazine. You can harass her on Twitter via @m3lissa.
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your eyes to make it legible. You gain a longer depth of field, but also can limit the light that comes in. Your lens works the same way. Shutter speed is how long the camera is absorbing the image through the lens. When you want to capture movement, you need to open the shutter for longer than you would with a simple still photo. In layman’s terms again, think of movement as tap water filling a bucket. The more movement you need, the longer you need to run the tap. Light painting is probably one of the most fun beginner tricks you can perform with a camera. What you’ll need is a bright light source (such as a glow stick, sparkler, or even a maxed brightness mobile phone), and something to hold your camera steady. To achieve a good light painting, you’ll likely have to set the ISO to something tame between an indoor and dark environment setting, and have the lens’ f-stop to a higher value like 5 or higher for a “squinty” aperture, as you will need depth for this. The best way is to set your camera on a tripod and set the shutter to bulb. The beauty of bulb is that it allows you to complete your light drawing as the shutter releases once you decide so. It’s good to have an idea of what you’re painting before the camera absorbs the image, so plan ahead with your friends. The perfect jump shot relies mostly on speed. A magic number that you should use as a guide is 1/200. That means you are shooting 1/200th of a second. When you’re capturing a group of people jumping, you need all the power you can to freeze time. If you have the right amount of
Marco is a long-time contributor to the Capilano Courier, previously as both the Humour Editor and Opinions Editor. In this column he will be going over ways in which to save money, challenge societal norms and live more simply, with the goal of improving our quality of life. His sense of humour has a tendency to wear out his opinion, but don’t let that dissuade you from following any of his life advice. Marco is currently living frugally in Sydney, Australia.
Melissa Dex Guzman
SCIENCE TRICKS OF THE PARTY TRADE So you decided to bring your camera to a party. Great move – while every other kid is strumming an acoustic guitar singing yet another rendition of Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life”, you’ve got a portable ice breaker around your neck. Every magician has his bag of tricks, and you’ve got yours – enter “the perfect jump shot” and “light painting.” These two basic party photo tricks are bound to impress. But there’s a specific terminology and science behind how these gimmicks work. Like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, a photographer simply turns light and time into a photograph, using three controls on a camera: aperture, speed, and ISO. These three terms can be daunting at first, but once you grasp a firm understanding, these party tricks will come naturally. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to basically pull swords out of your mouth. Think of ISO as your camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more light the camera sensor is able to see, with the consequence of grain in the images. A good starter guide is to use ISO 100 on a sunny day outside on the beach, ISO 400 indoors or in the shade on a bright day, and ISO 1600 in dark indoor environments. My favourite layman’s term in describing aperture is to compare it to squinting your own eyes. In a way, you can make your lens open and squint its “eye.” The wider you open your eye, the more light you’re allowing in. When it’s bright and sunny out, you will usually squint your eyes, preventing light from being overwhelming. Similarly if you are trying to read a sign that is a ways away, you also squint
together. Save the money you would have spent on fancy dinners and movies for bigger adventures later on. Don’t be anxious about your time alone. It’s a short life and dwelling on being single sucks, and won’t lead to many new opportunities. Instead take that energy and focus it on how you can make your life more rewarding immediately. Once you feel great about how you’re spending your time, you will want to share that with other people. The best way to ensure a good return out of a date is to be your real self. So if you aren’t happy with yourself, you should focus on that first.
7 ×× MELISSA DEX GUZMAN
13-02-09 9:01 PM
COLUMNS EDITOR ×
JJ BREWIS × E D I T O R @ C A P I L A N O C O U R I E R . C O M
Saturday Night Love
Leah Scheitel × Columnist
DATING SETH MEYERS A few years ago on Christmas Eve, my boss Mark decided to throw an orphan’s Christmas party. It would consist of the people at the snowboard shop we worked at, who didn’t have family in town or were too broke to go see their families for Christmas. So, the three of us – Mark, Scottish Anne, and myself – joined together for a small holiday gathering. What was intended to be one drink turned into many, leaving us in the depths of desperation trying to find any bar that was open past 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Apparently most people had places to be at that time. We sure didn’t. Mark’s friends who were to be joining us discovered a bar on Broadway that was open until 10 p.m., and the three of us stumbled over there after feasting on a shitty Indian food buffet. As soon as I sat down, I was greeted by a table of Mark’s Guinness-loving friends, most notably one guy who looked like an uncanny replica of Seth Meyers. To me, that was a silent Christmas present that nobody else even realized. It should be said that I have a strong crush on Seth Meyers. Even though I don’t know him personally, I suspect he possesses the exact qualities that I would find attractive in a man: witty humour, sarcasm, and an intoxicating smile. My admiration for him has caused me to stay in on Saturday nights, just to watch his 10-minute Weekend Update segment on SNL. This crush is why my breath was almost literally taken away when I saw someone that looked like his twin. That, and I had the hiccups from drinking too
many dark beers. As soon as I saw Fake Seth Meyers, my ovaries pulsed, and sent a message to my brain, “Well, if you can’t have the real thing, at least you could have something that looks like it.” I spent the rest of the evening shamelessly flirting with him, and wouldn’t leave until he had my number secure in his phone. He was sweet, and walked me outside when I had to go. Anne was so intoxicated that she forgot she was a lesbian and started hitting on the Australian bartender. While she was trying to get her seatbelt settled, Fake Seth and I indulged in a little makeout session by a lamppost. It was a romantic end to what could have been a depressing Christmas Eve. I dated Fake Seth Meyers for three weeks, and those were my favorite weeks of 2012. Every time I saw him, it felt like dating a young, fresh-faced version of the original, like the version of Seth Meyers who was just starting his first season of SNL in 2001. Unfairly, I projected my extremely high, and probably delusional, expectations of what the real Seth Meyers would do onto the look-alike. I probably could have afforded to not talk about it to him. Being told you look like someone else is sometimes not the most flattering thing in the world – particularly when you’re dating the person laying out the comparison. It got to such an extreme that during a post-sex cuddle session, I was stroking his face, looking into his eyes, displaying a happy, shit-eating grin. “I’m not Seth fucking Meyers,” he snapped at me, “So stop looking at me like that.”
“I’m obviously not fucking Seth Meyers either,” I replied, shocked. “I’m fucking you.” “Exactly. I’m dating you, he isn’t. Get over it.” Our little romance dwindled after that. The issue was that the only reason I was interested in Fake Seth was because he reminded me of someone else. While it sucked, it was inevitable. Placing demands on someone to act like another person – one that you are more attracted to in the first place – isn’t a good way to build a relationship, regardless if they resemble a celebrity or someone you actually know. People will crack, feeling rejected and not good enough under the constraints. I’m actually glad he dumped me when he did, as I would have been more devastated to continue living in my fantasy and having him ripped away from me after I got more attached to him. It was a tough lesson to learn, but it boiled down to this: next time I want to date someone like Seth Meyers, I’m just going to have to meet and date the real Seth Meyers. And until then, I’ll settle for being his biggest fan. Leah Scheitel lives her own life like a sketch comedy. In this column, she will explore the stories and anecdotes of her love life and their correlations to her favourite late night comedy show. Her self-deprecating wit and candid nature make her our very own Kristen Wiig. And we’re pretty okay with that.
AN APPLE A DAY
Christine Bissonnette × Columnist
the capilano courier
46 issue N o . 16
This week I spent an afternoon walking around downtown Vancouver asking people aged 20 to 60 if they had the time to answer three quick questions for me on stress. The questions were: 1) On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most stressed, where would you rate your daily stress level? 2) What are three ways that you relieve stress? 3) What is the biggest cause of stress in your life? Stress has been normalized in today’s culture. Many of the people who I encountered in the street laughed when I told them the topic of my article. The familiar and relatable topic of stress somehow put them at ease, and weirdly enough seemed to put them in a better mood at the same time. “Oh, I know a thing or two about stress, hit me with your best questions,” was the response that I was frequently met with when people gave me a chance to get the word “stress” in my one sentence lead-in. There are two different kinds of stress: prolonged stress (the kind of stress that lives in your body long-term) and the kind of stress that occurs suddenly when something threatens your well-being in the “now.” According to Statistics Canada, in 2011 23.6 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and up reported experiencing the first kind, saying that their level of daily stress varied between extremely and “quite a bit” stressful. This data was supported by my survey, where people rated their daily stress between a four and an eight (with a few outliers). Money, work, health, school and uncertainty in regard to the future were among the most
popular causes listed by Vancouverites for what is causing them to be stressed today. There is a theme amidst these causes. Prolonged stress occurs either in response to fear of an event that could occur, of inadequacy (of being afraid that you’re not good enough to sufficiently follow through on a task or responsibility), or because of repression (of your emotions and identity). This prolonged stress makes itself known in our bodies in a variety of different ways. I personally physically feel it in my chest. Sometimes it feels like there is something squeezing my lungs, making it difficult to breathe. In high school and university this stress materialized in my body in the form of panic attacks, always occurring when I felt pressure to perform. It’s a slow killer, weakening your immune system and making you susceptible to various viruses and diseases, and it also takes its toll on your skin, your sleep and your diet.
RELIEVING STRESS When I asked what people did to relieve their stress, I received a wide variety of answers. Exercise (including yoga, running and dog-walking) was by far the most popular answer, but honourable mentions must also go to music, eating a good meal, TV, video games, laughter, sleep and reading. One couple even had the courage to say “sex.” Each of these activities only works as a stress-reliever if the participants allow them-
×× TIERNEY MILNE
selves to be mindful and present during their execution. Meditation doesn’t need to occur while sitting cross-legged on the floor. Meditation simply refers to the process of grounding yourself in the present and quieting your racing thoughts. You can achieve this same result while completing any of the tasks listed above. Put your fork down between bites and really take a moment to enjoy and appreciate the medley of tastes in your meal, close your eyes and listen to the arrangements present in your favourite song, or slow down as you read and pay attention to the care the author took to craft each sentence. Slowing down and taking the time to appreciate each moment is the key to relieving stress. The best part is that mindfulness has actually been proven to reduce the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. This means that by fully engaging in one of the above activities, you are increasing your ability to deal with stressful situations when they do occur. Exercise and listening to music are probably more beneficial in the long run than watching TV and playing video games, but everything is fine in moderation. If sitting back to watch an episode of your favourite show helps to clear your mind, then do it. Exercise was the most popular stress-reliever, and there is a reason for this. Dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals that contribute to feelings of safety and security, are released during exercise. This naturally boosts your mood and helps to ward off self-defeating thoughts and
pessimism. If you’re having a particularly stressful day, even if you think you don’t have the time, finding 15 minutes to indulge in an activity that you enjoy could be the best thing for you. If you start sticking this minimum 15 minutes into your day, it will become part of your routine like the rest of your day’s activities. Emptying the mind of all the noise from the day allows you to look at the world, your life and your worries with a set of clear eyes. On the other side of these time-outs, you’ll likely also see your productivity increase. For me, there’s nothing quite so nice as cuddling up with a cup of coffee and a good book. These, after all, are the moments that we work so hard for in the first place. The final person I surveyed, when asked about the largest cause of stress in her life, gaily remarked that there really wasn’t one: “Things are going really good right now,” she said. Maybe that’s the take-away from my surveying experience. These stress-relieving activities are really things that make people happy, and maybe the secret is that happiness and stress can’t actually co-exist. Like Harry Potter and Voldemort, “Neither can live while the other survives.” Just something to think about. Christine Bissonnette is Maritime-bred actress, writer and health enthusiast. As a P90X graduate and author of wellness blog The-positivity-project.com, she is constantly looking for new ways to test herself, and challenges you to do the same.
13-02-09 9:01 PM
× STAFF EDITORIAL ×
WHAT IS LOVE? RICKY WOULD KNOW Ricky Bao × Business Manager
“Infatuation is when you think he’s as gorgeous as Robert Redford, as pure as Solzhenitsyn, as funny as Woody Allen, as athletic as Jimmy Connors, and as smart as Albert Einstein. Love is when you realize he’s as gorgeous as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Solzhenitsyn, as athletic as Albert Einstein, and nothing like Robert Redford in any category—but you’ll take him anyway.” - Judith Viorst Love is hard to define; the closest word I could really use to compare it with is “magic.” It starts with a chemical reaction, then turns into physical interaction and after a while if everything works well, you might have a marriage or a committed relationship on your hands. If not, well, it might turn to – you guessed it – breaking up. According to Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, people who are married or in committed relationships are healthier, wealthier and happier. However, the marriage rate was only approximately 50 per cent across Canada, according to the Vanier Institute of the Family in a 2010 study. We might want to ask why fewer people are concerned about marriage or committed relationships. The answer can seem both complicated and simple. It could be many reasons – ultimately though, it’s easy to fall in love, but for many, it’s hard to stay in love. I came to Canada alone with only my enthusiasm and dreams. Although I was very far away from home and family, I believed that I could make a life for myself in Canada. The first month passed in what seemed to be a couple seconds, because the family that I lived with treated me as part of their family. Besides living with a great homestay, I spent most of my time
acclimatizing myself to the new environment, which meant that I did not have much time left for thinking. I stayed busy for half a year or so, and then I started to feel lonely. This was the first time in my life that I consciously felt just how much I loved my parents. Of course, this type of love is different from the love that many of us are focused on. There’s an old adage that love begins with a smile; mine actually began through e-mail. After I graduated and worked for a couple years, I started to become more concerned with my deeper personal feelings. Because I am very traditional and a little bit shy, I decided to find my love with the age-old method of the letter. Due to the cost of mail and a postal strike at the time, I used e-mails instead of snail mail. We only used emails to communicate for about eight months; in other words, we corresponded by using our souls. We did not have a passionate love; our love grew slowly but with strength. After a year, we decided to see each other in-person. She arranged a great trip for us. Fortunately, through this our relationship improved and consolidated. A year later, we got married. We decided to go for a short trip right after our marriage. Because we did not view the trip as honeymoon, I invited one of my friends to go with us. What a horrible mistake. When we got to our destination, my friend contacted a local friend to be our guide. Over dinner, his female friend and I got into a serious conversation about life, hobbies, career and so on. She and I were talking and talking until I realized that I completely left my wife out of the conversation. My wife did not argue with me at the restaurant but after we arrived at the hotel, things turned very badly. At the beginning, I thought she overreacted and tried to exaggerate the issue. She was filled with anger. Anger is the most harmful emotion in a relationship, and I knew arguing with her would not make the situation better. I tried to
control my emotions and calm down. But when I put myself in her shoes, it began to make sense. I would be upset too, I realized, if my partner talked with other guys and ignored me for the whole night, right after we’d just been married. Fifteen minutes of silence and some solid thinking later, I understood the situation and explained that I understood her feelings. Lucky for me, I have a wise and understanding wife who forgave me. A lack of understanding can easily cause a relationship’s collapse. As humans seeking partnership, we need to establish an atmosphere that will allow us to feel free to express our feelings, needs and fears. Our significant other’s thoughts and actions might not make any sense initially, but we need to change our own way of seeing to at least better understand where they’re coming from. My wife and I have different strengths and weaknesses, different ways of expressing feelings, different backgrounds and families. These things all make my wife and I different from each other. I’ve
come to realize that there is nothing wrong if our thoughts are different. I always just do my best to understand – because I love her. All relationships have had, or will have, moments of crisis. It might just be an opportunity for both halves to make the relationship strong and solid. Romance is fleeting, but love will stay. Love bears understanding, compromise, devotion, happiness and romance. The longer love stays, the better opportunity you will have to learn what happiness really is.
×× KATIE SO
× STAFF EDITORIAL ×
WHEREIN I TRY TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING
THIS IS WHY THERE ISN’T A MEN’S CENTRE, AND MORE Celina Kurz × Arts Editor
46 issue N o . 16
I repeat: feminism can be for everyone. Gender dichotomy hurts everyone. But to say that the oppression faced by everyone is equal and deserves equal space within the conversation about gender is wrong. People with power and privilege need to recognize it. I’m Caucasian, cisgendered, mostly healthy, and have a family that supports me in lots of ways, to name a few of my privileges. I am able to understand and write words that describe the world around me – these are all gifts. Even the ideas that I’m expressing I’m privileged to be able to use: I’m simply putting into my own words what thousands of people, who have put much more time into this fight than I, have already said thousands of times. I’m simply restating it because it’s something that has to be said over and over again until people listen. I believe that there is a space for men, and men’s issues with regards to the gender dichotomy, within feminism. But that means, yes, spending a lot of time learning about and understanding the privilege that you carry around every single day. If you’re really concerned about anti-oppression, please, research it, read about privilege and why men’s rights activism is a flawed idea. Talking about the “threat” of feminism is not anti-oppression; it is a bunch of straight Caucasian dudes engaging in the exact same bullshit that has existed for centuries.
to segregation in the deep South, I called him out at length and used the f-word because I tend to get very, very mad when people draw very, very racist comparisons between things that are completely different. I was intentionally childish in my responses; I intentionally gave them the exact amount of respect that I strongly felt, and still feel, they deserved. By getting emotional, I compromised my position as an impartial voice as the writer of a news article. I regret what I did, but only within the context of my job. No oppressed person has the obligation to try to get along with their oppressor when they are being blatantly hateful. I’m not saying that “men’s issues” don’t exist; the ideas that are expressed through feminism (and I’d like to note that there is not one single “feminist” viewpoint) demonstrate that everyone along the gender binary is damaged under a white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. But many “men’s rights” activists, rather than embracing the antioppression structure that already exists, choose to build their own “anti-male-oppression” structures, completely ignoring the years and years of work that generations of anti-oppression activists have already done. By ignoring this work, the “men’s rights” activists are engaging in the same boring not-radical-at-all oppressive behaviour that they have for centuries – and even worse, are appropriating the language and rhetoric that was created by the revolutionaries that they have been oppressing for years.
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Last week I wrote what I thought was a fairly regular article about the women’s centre. I interviewed some of the women who use the centre as well as the women’s liaison, and got them to talk about the reasons why the women’s centre was a valuable and important resource (because it is). As a joke, I made the headline “But why isn’t there a men’s centre?” To me, this was a funny joke because it is obvious to me why there isn’t a men’s centre. The original deck (“Because the entire world is a men’s centre”) was taken out because the editorial staff felt it set the tone to lack the neutrality that we aim for in the news section. I was totally okay with that, especially because the headline stayed and I felt like it didn’t need explanation. Apparently it did. There are multiple arenas where men can find support in the CSU: there is a students with disabilities representative, a queer representative, a students of colour representative, and a First Nations representative – the spaces designated for those groups are all co-ed, along with the entire campus. So, when people mention a “men’s centre,” what we are talking about is a cisgendered, straight, Caucasian, neurotypical men’s centre. When we look at the various groups of people who have been oppressed throughout North
American and European history, cis Caucasian straight males are typically not one of the voices that have been repressed. Public space in our society is, for the most part, dominated by male voices and perspectives. “Men’s issues” do not compare to the systemic oppression faced by women, people of colour, people who identify within the LGBTQ2AI spectrum, people with disabilities, and other historically repressed peoples. The article I wrote was posted by a Facebook friend, and comments started piling up about how men’s issues needed their own space within the CSU, and men’s voices were missing from dialogue about gender inequality. Multiple people didn’t connect with the tone of the headline at all (I guess I’m not as funny as I thought). The comments moved onto the Courier’s website, where it devolved into a bunch of people telling me how sexist I am, and how stupid I am – and furthermore, how feminists, as a group, were sexist (because they seemed to think I somehow represent all feminists) One commenter called me the kind of person who “thrived in safe, dark spaces like the women’s centre,” and asked me how my mind had been “poisoned.” I responded in a way that was completely inappropriate considering my editorial position at the paper: by making fun of them. I told one guy that “his face was a disgrace,” I egged these commenters on and in one circumstance where a poster made an extremely racist assumption that his exclusion from the women’s centre compared
13-02-09 9:01 PM
ARTS EDITOR ×
CELINA KURZ × A R T S @ C A P I L A N O C O U R I E R . C O M
LIGHTS, CAMERA, FACTION SURPRISES FILL ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS AS CEREMONY APPROACHES Peter Warkentin × Writer
Step aside Golden Globes; it’s Oscar time. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony, widely regarded as the most prestigious awards show in the entertainment industry, is taking place on Feb. 24. While many viewers will only be watching for the designer-clad stars, musical performances, and dazzling presentation, others are more interested in which of this year’s nominees will come out on top.
FLUBS In the last few years, the ceremony has had no small amount of missteps; from the terrible hosting duo of Anne Hathaway and James Franco in 2011, to the erratic, unrelated assortment of elements present at last year’s show – including a performance by Cirque du Soleil and an appearance by the holographic recreation of Bob Hope. This year’s host is Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who will hopefully bring something fresh to the awards with his acerbic wit and cocky charisma. It’s possible that he’ll emulate a little of what Ricky Gervais did when he hosted the Golden Globes, bringing some much welcome irreverence to a ceremony that can often take itself a little too seriously.
SNOBS One aspect of the Academy – some would call it a problem – is that the composition of its
members doesn’t exactly scream “diversity.” After a thorough investigation, the LA Times revealed in February of last year that an overwhelming 94 per cent of Academy members are Caucasian, and 77 per cent are male. In addition, the median age of members is 62, largely because in most cases, once you become an Academy member you remain one for life. There has been much speculation on how these figures affect the nominations, and how notable biases are present each year in the voting. This year, out of the 25 nominees in the Acting and Directing categories, only three are not Caucasian. This year’s nominations in particular have perplexed the film world, filled with a strange mixture of omnipresent blockbusters and a few pleasant surprises. Many critics have deemed the Academy “out of touch,” and even some members of the Academy itself pan the Awards’ credibility. In a recent interview, Joaquin Phoenix (nominated this year for Best Actor) was quoted as saying this about the Oscars: “I think it’s total, utter bullshit, and I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it … it’s the stupidest thing in the whole world.”
SNUBS Perhaps the most obvious omissions in the Academy’s nominations are the absences of both Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow in the Directing category. Bigelow, who won the award in 2009, has attracted no small amount of recognition in the last year. She was given the Award for Best Director from the film critics associations of New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Vancouver. Each of these groups also chose
Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty as their pick for 2012’s Best Picture. Affleck has also garnered much praise for his work on Argo, his third feature film as director. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association chose Affleck as Best Director and Argo as Best Film at the Golden Globes. Argo also won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards. Under normal circumstances, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty could be expected to dominate the Best Picture category at the Oscars. However, since neither Affleck nor Bigelow were nominated for Directing, their films’ chances of taking the Best Picture award are drastically diminished. In the past, only three films have taken the Academy’s top honour without also winning in the Directing category: Wings (1927), Grand Hotel (1932), and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Many members of the film community have remarked on the strange exclusion of two clearly deserving directors, including nominee Ang Lee, who was quote in the LA Times as saying: “It’s shocking. Normally there’s a pattern. There’s no pattern this year.” Other notable absences from this year's nominations: Leonardo DiCaprio for Django Unchained, Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone, John Hawkes for The Sessions, and Wes Anderson, along with his film Moonrise Kingdom.
SURPRISES Despite some baffling decisions, not all of the Academy’s unexpected choices were unwelcome. Most notable among these pleasant surprises
are the films Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Unlike many of the other movies nominated for Best Picture, these two films were not studio-produced commercial blockbusters. Both Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild also drew nominations for their directors and supporting actresses. However, the two films could not be more dissimilar. Michael Haneke, the director of the French-language film Amour, is a seasoned veteran who boasts a nearly 40-year career. Haneke has twice been awarded the Palm d’Or, the highest distinction a director can receive at the Cannes Film Festival, but this is his first nomination for Directing from the Academy Awards. Emmanuelle Riva, the 85-year-old star of Amour, is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Also up for Best Actress is 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis of Beasts of the Southern Wild. The movie is the feature film debut of Benh Zeitlin, who is nominated for Best Director. Zeitlin, only 30 years old, was awarded Best Directorial Debut for Beasts of the Southern Wild at the 84th National Board of Review Awards.
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…
BEST PICTURE Shoo-in: Lincoln Dark Horse: Argo/Zero Dark Thirty
BEST DIRECTOR Shoo-in: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln Dark Horse: Michael Haneke for Amour
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Shoo-in: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln Dark Horse: Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE 46 issue N o . 16
Shoo-in: Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty Dark Horse: Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Shoo-in: Alan Arkin for Argo Dark Horse: Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
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Shoo-in: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables Dark Horse: Helen Hunt for The Sessions
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM Shoo-in: Wreck-It Ralph Dark Horse: ParaNorman
×× SHANNON ELLIOTT
13-02-09 9:01 PM
CACHING IN ON A NEW TREND TECHNOLOGY ENABLES A NEW KIND OF TREASURE HUNT Natalie Corbo × Features Editor They’re everywhere. That’s the first thing I learned when I looked at a map of possible geocaches in Vancouver. From scavenger clue-based puzzle hunts, to a cache that requires you to interact with Mountain Equipment Co-op staff, to the pocket park down the street. Finding my first cache was a combination of following a map, instinct and a little digging in the dirt. Geocaching is basically a never-ending global treasure hunt that allows you to use any GPS-enabled device to hunt for hidden “caches” on every inhabited continent, that can come in any form, and can contain almost anything. “I have found many a cache embedded within a real rock, a pine cone, and even a couple way up in trees,” says Anthony Liam Kearns (or “Rough Draft,” if you’re into caching). Kearns has been geocaching for about seven years now, and has found over 600 caches in that time. My own first cache was a little less climactic. As a first-timer, I picked one with a difficulty rating of “easy.” I followed the blinking red trail on my iPhone map through a residential neighbourhood in East Van, to a bench where an old man was sitting, and very nearly gave up, thinking I’d have to bother the man to find my cache. The GPS locator isn’t quite exact, though, and the most interesting part of the adventure is figuring out where within a roughly 30-foot radius your treasure is hidden. After checking the hint, I used my instincts (“geosenses,” Kearns calls them) to hone in on a nearby lamppost. The tin was disguised as dirt. Not in dirt, as dirt.
The next hunt I tried, I failed. This is precisely what Kearns told me not to do. “Don’t give up. It’s possible that the cache has been taken/stolen/ ruined (aka “muggled” in the caching world), but it’s also very possible that you’re still honing your geosenses with a challenging hide.” It might have been more rewarding if I’d left East Van. For Kearns, a love of the outdoors combined with an affection for puzzles is what’s truly motivating. He’ll geocache no matter where he is, but one of his favourites was “a series of caches along a spit near the Vancouver airport. Myself and my boyfriend walked all the way to the end of the spit – the amount of wildlife and surreality of the entire thing, blew my mind. Geocaching definitely brings you to places you would otherwise never go to.” He was on a 111-day streak when I interviewed him, despite presently being on a theatre tour in Ontario. It felt like a bit of a cop-out to try and base an assessment of geocaching on two brief adventures near Fraser St., so I set out on a hunt in Queen Elizabeth Park. After dodging flying golf balls on a “shortcut” through the golf course (which turned out to be more of an unnecessarily dangerous detour), my friend and I slid down trails and climbed around in the bushes, to eventually find a little lunch box-sized container filled with a log book to sign my name in, and some goodies. You’re only allowed to take something from the cache if you bring something of equal value to replace it, so I came prepared this time. If my first two hunts felt kind of like trying to find my lost keys after a night of drinking, this cache was more like a real-life game of Super Mario Brothers, thanks to the running, bush-dodging, and attempts to avoid weird mushrooms.
Geocaching can be an excuse for a crazy adventure, or even just a way to add a little purpose to a long walk on a nice day. It’s more fun with a friend, but it also makes you part of a global community, if you want to participate. “Through geocaching, I have definitely made friends whom I often text or phone for a hint for a particular cache,” says Kearns, adding that “anyone can create an event cache which allows you to meet other cachers in whatever setting you wish.” It’s been around since 2000, before the proliferation of iPhones, but caching has adapted well to technology, and is now more accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a desire to do
some digging. Geocaching.com also tracks all your caches and statistics, if you let it, adding to the real-life video game feel of caching. “Geocaching can be a little overwhelming at first, but don’t let that get to you. It’s an amazing hobby that I participate in every day,” says Kearns. It’s earned my hearty approval as well.
×× MILES CHIC
The Brush is Mightier Than The Sword IDEA STUDENT’S HISTORICAL MURALS GRACE WALLS OF NEW FENCING FACILITY Julian Legere × Writer
46 issue N o . 16
now,” Khozhevnikova explains, “so all the knowledge that we have about human body, human structure, and the way the body moves and trying to connect it with what the masters wrote. Based on the images we have, based on the information we have, we try to make it as martially sound as possible and make people achieve physical excellence with the right sort of technique.” Aside from their artistic value, the murals have also become important teaching aids, as Gibbard explains: “I’ll see instructors pointing to it, explaining stances.” These two remarkable artists have found a way not only to combine their passions, but also to make both of them into inspirational tools for teaching and spreading excitement for the new, though very old, sport of Historical European martial arts.
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Be careful of criticizing Ksenia Kozhevnikova’s art: she might just have a sword hidden somewhere, and she knows how to use it against you. A secondyear student in the Capilano University IDEA program, as well as a high-ranked student at the Blood and Iron Martial Arts studio in New Westminster, she had the opportunity to combine her two passions when she became involved in creating and painting three murals for Blood and Iron along with fellow artist and fencer Krista Gibbard. “[It’s] cool and amazing to be combining my two aspirations, as a martial artist and as an artist,” she says. The idea originated out of a group called Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Alliance, which Blood and Iron is a part of. The alliance is a global community, which includes groups all around the world who study and teach medieval fencing. Kozhevnikova says, “[The idea] has been talked about a lot in HEMA, but no one has ever done it.” The murals are specifically centred around Joachim Meÿer’s A Foundational Description of the Art of Fencing, a treatise and practical guide to German fencing that Meÿer wrote in 1570, comprised of 73 woodcut illustrations depicting a variety of weapons and techniques. As Kozhevnikova explains, “Even today, everyone is amazed by the quality and detail of the woodcuts.” Although there has been much discussion about turning these historical images
into murals, Kozhevnikova, Gibbard and their because the pose is most accurate, but we also look teachers at Blood and Iron Martial Arts are the at it for motion and aesthetics,” says Gibbard. first ones to make it happen. Once the pictures had been selected, they began “It was interesting the response we got from the a process of transferring the images to the wall. fencing community,” Gibbard shares, referring to “You have to worry if it’s going to look too busy or members of the HEMA Alliance. “That’s what too empty, so we didn’t just line for line reproduce really blew me away.” it. Ksenia added some content,” says Gibbard. Kozhevnikova adds to this, saying, “We’ve Finally, with the final images created, came gotten a lot of fame really quickly.” Much of that the task of actually putting them onto the wall. attention has come about thanks to social media. Khozhevnikova says the two artists faced a For example, a photo of the pair with the mural daunting task: “Coming from really little has gone viral on Facebook, even gaining attention woodcut, that is even less than the letter size, from Wiktenauer, a HEMA-sponsored historical to a huge wall … We eventually decided to use martial arts resource centre based out of Maryland. a projector.” Gibbard also explains that it’s not just the At Blood and Iron Martial Arts, the historical aspect of the project that has raised combination of historical accuracy and attention, but also the fact that Blood and Iron modern knowledge that the two artists used in had recently expanded their program, moving creating the murals is also reflected in the school’s into a permanent facility. “It was also a big deal to training philosophy. “We are trying to fuse the people who have to rent out churches or community historical tradition and the modern tradition as it is centres to see someone who was actually building a permanent space,” she says. Choosing which of the 73 images to imitate was a difficult decision. “We decided to think about what weapons we are using in the school … and said ‘Hey, we are using longswords a lot, and dusak, and daggers, so let’s just make those three main weapons of the school happen on the wall,’” Khozhevnikova says. Gibbard also adds, “A lot of it was also dealing with the wall space we had, what will fill it nicely.” In recreating the images, there was also a conundrum of historical accuracy versus artistic merit: “We had to look at the plates as martial artists and as artists. Some people might prefer one ××PHOTO COURTESY OF BLOOD AND IRON MARTIAL ARTS
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ARTS EDITOR ×
CELINA KURZ × A R T S @ C A P I L A N O C O U R I E R . C O M
LIVE FROM RIVER ROCK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT MEYERS BRINGS HIS CHARM TO VANCOUVER Leah Scheitel, Seth Meyers Enthusiast If stand up comedy is like art, Seth Meyers is learning to paint like Picasso. Seeing someone as high-profile as Meyers, who hosts Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, and has been on the cast for 12 seasons, can be risky. Their reputation gives you high standards, and if they underperform, the audience wants to be at home watching reruns of SNL rather than watching him. But luckily, for the audience at the River Rock Casino on Feb. 2, Meyers performed. The night started with local comic Ivan Decker, who warmed up the audience with TransLink jokes. The jokes hit close to home, as most people probably got there via the Canada Line. His 20-minute set was a perfect warm-up to the headliner, and featured jokes about getting in shape and dating in Vancouver.
Meyers’ act lasted for an hour and ten minutes, and he didn’t stop, with the exception of one awkward water break. “It’s not easy to open one of these with a microphone,” Meyers joked while trying to open a bottle of water, “So I’m sorry you had to watch that awkward me twisting off my cap.” What sets him apart from other comics is the range of jokes in his sets. Everything from the Catholic Church to college football, to drunkenly ordering room service, to the economy in Europe – it was all turned into witty commentary. He also shared Weekend Update jokes that never made it to air which the audience ate up, and was the perfect note to end on. While other comics may revert to shock value to get a cheap laugh, Meyers kept it relatively clean, with the exception of a long build-up to a token fart joke. “And then they leave, and when they leave you, like, the second the door closes behind them, you fart for 45 minutes,” Meyers jested, talking about long dates at the beginning of the relationship. “You didn’t even know you had to fart, but it was so bad, you’re like ‘I might have to go to the Emergency Room for this.’” Relatable and classy – two great attributes for any artist, comedic or otherwise.
Hushing the masses ELLIE GOULDING COMMANDS COMMODORE CROWD
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46 issue N o . 16
JJ Brewis, Editor-in-Chief
It’s an interesting time to be Ellie Goulding. The U.K. pop singer has seen an immense surge in popularity, which began slowly and exploded in mid-2011, shortly after a performance at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. Returning to Vancouver after a two-year gap, Goulding appeared visibly delighted to be performing at a larger venue to a crowd full of ecstatic fans that chanted her name and sang along to every word of her set. “That’s really cool you know all these new songs,” she told her masses. The last time Goulding rolled through, she gave an intimate Venue crowd the night of their life, performing the entirety of her debut (and subsequently re-released multiple times) album Lights in a charming sing-along that was easily one of the biggest sleeper hit shows Vancouver saw that year. On her recent outing, Goulding appeared the same demure songstress, packing an uncanny set of pipes into a performance that started moderately reserved and ended in full hair-swinging intensity. Goulding’s set was mostly a foray into the newer, darker material found on her 2012 s ophomore release, Halcyon. The tunes here trade in Lights’ lyrical playfulness for a more mature tone, steeped heavily in electronic and urban consistencies, layering dubstep and hip-hop elements into already quirky and sultry dance pop. During the quieter moments of the set, such as an acoustic solo take on “Guns and Horses”, Goulding’s softness was jarred by an overbearing crowd who refused to, as one crowd member begged, “shut the fuck up.” It was a bit disheartening, but Ellie took it like a pro, kindly asking the crowd to keep
it quiet for her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song”. The rest of the set was a high-energy romp through Goulding’s more characterized and iconic-building material. The reworked versions of most of her tunes translated well on stage. “Lights” retained its instrumental base but the vocal strayed far from the original, with Goulding exhibiting the fact that she’s easily one of the best vocalists of today. Musically, the songs took full shape on stage, springboarding off the sometimes over-production her songs suffer from on album. “Figure 8”’s crunchy distortion is streamlined in the live incarnation, the overwrought chanting on single “Anything Could Happen” becomes a participatory crowd chant, and “Explosions” becomes so bare-bones, it’s merely a ghost of its original. It certainly pays to be a power-packed musician with the tricks to back the talk, but Goulding’s set is only further impressive with one of the strongest backing bands I’d seen in a long time. Pianos, synths and drums are spelled off by the quartet of musicians joining Goulding on stage. Opener St. Lucia was the perfect lead in for Goulding, with a short but hit-packed catchy set, mainly sticking to songs from their self-titled EP. What was most invigorating about their set was their ability to construct a perfectly crafted mellow pop oeuvre while retaining a grounded and refreshing sense on stage. The entire five-piece act smiled their way through their whole time on stage. On record, St. Lucia exhibit a punchy neo-dance party quality, but in person, the songs are a lot more focused and driven, similar to Goulding's in their stripped down accessibility. Yet on their mega-hit “September”, the quintet let it be known that they’d been saving all the energy and building structure of their set in a ballsout musical cacophony that lit the spark for the Commodore crowd’s energy – an energy that would last all the way through Goulding’s encore.
ELLIE GOULDING IS A TREASURE ×× MELISSA DEX GUZMAN
13-02-09 9:01 PM
×× MELISSA DEX GUZMAN
Walking the tightrope
RA RA RIOT DOES A NEW THANG
RA RA RIOT FLIP A COIN IN STRANGE DIRECTION Brian Pascual, Writer
Rebel without a diploma OWEN ELLIS TACKLES FILM WORLD ON HIS OWN TERMS Lauren Gargiulo, Writer
views on YouTube. “I made a really annoying campaign for [The Acquaintance]. I posted every day on Facebook about it, and I made an event page and just spammed the shit out of it. It got to the point where people wanted to hate it, so they watched it, but I haven’t gotten a single negative comment about it, which surprised me,” Ellis says. The film focuses on the role of politeness within our society, and tells the story of the man Louis and his uncomfortable interactions with a man named Lewis, who he met at a party. After the initial acquainting, Louis runs into Lewis seemingly every day, and every day they seem to repeat the same conversation – “How’s it going?” “Good. Tired.” – until finally, Louis cracks. Regardless of what his teachers told him – which was, in an e-mail, “Owen Ellis, you will never succeed as a filmmaker,” Ellis seems to be doing just fine taking his education and career into his own hands. “This is starting to be a career, which is awesome. I’m starting to get noticed which is amazing,” Ellis says. “Now I can say I’m a filmmaker and I have something to show for it.” To check out Owen Ellis’ videos and learn other things about him, check out his blog at Owenellis.tumblr.com.
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While generally you might get kicked out of school for not writing essays, Owen Ellis was told he “wasn’t able to return to second year” because of a final essay he wrote for one of his classes in Capilano’s film program. “It was basically about how Steven Spielberg murdered me. The teacher gave me a zero,” he laughs. A few weeks after handing in the bloody and sarcastic essay, which was supposed to be about where he saw himself in five years, Ellis received the news that he was officially kicked out. “That was the day I started smoking.” Ellis says. “My mom gathered together $10,000 out of her own pocket so I could go, that was just for first year,” Ellis says. He describes the conversation where he told her the bad news as “the worst phone call of my life. She flipped out. She kept on asking me what I was going to do, and I had no idea.” However, despite this initial setback, Ellis is now on his way to becoming an accomplished filmmaker. He explains, “It wasn’t until this year that I started getting back into the industry.” Since January of last year, Ellis has released several
videos, both short films and several music videos, including work for local bands The SSRIs and Johnny de Courcy. In particular, his music video for “Showering with Wine” by Vancouver-based band Sunshine caught the eye of the Internet. The video, set to surfy, airy pop song sounds, stars the adorable pairing of Superman and Batman who, over the course of the video, get drunk on wine, jump on a bed, make out, go dancing on the Granville strip, fall asleep on a bus, have a fist fight, make up, then pass out in a bank. MTV Buzzworthy, Papermag, and the A.V. Club are just a few sites that have featured the light-hearted and irreverent video. “I didn’t do it to be controversial, I did it to be funny,” he says. “The two in the video are actually good friends of mine, and I did it as sort of a tribute to them. That night actually happened to them, getting drunk, passing out on a bus, having a fistfight, then passing out in a bank vestibule. Only they weren’t dressed as Superman and Batman, they were dressed as Lady Gaga, which is just as much of a statement, I guess … I wasn’t expecting MTV.” Ellis shoots his videos himself, as well as directs them, edits them, produces them and comes up with the concepts. He also recently released a short film called, The Acquaintance, which has received almost 2,000
If you count yourself a fan of New York sextet Ra Ra Riot, you are currently at a crossroads. Tracking their movement from gorgeous orchestral, string-laden pop music to an increasingly electro-enhanced dance and (sad face) Top 40 sound, you might be a little more than wary about where this band is going. Or maybe you don’t care, and you will follow the Ra Ra’s to the ends of the earth. Which is equally fine and admirable, but the marked shift has to be noted regardless, mostly because the band’s former selves yielded much stronger material. Three albums and a handful of Vancouver stops in, their Venue show offered a frustrating glimpse at not only what makes Ra Ra Riot so good, but also what could eventually be their downfall. Lead singer Wes Miles continues to become more and more comfortable in his role. With his floppy locks, romantic gesturing, and effortless way of pleading as he sings, he is fast becoming the North American East Coast answer to Thomas Mars of Phoenix. Songs from all three Ra Ra Riot albums were represented, which further illustrated the good news/bad news problem. The good news: the older material still holds up incredibly well and the band is as tight as ever (despite the recent departure and additions of members). Anything off of debut The Rhumb Line (hello, “Can You Tell”!) makes you want to dance and sing along and pound your chest. The bad news: the newer songs (mostly from Beta Love) incorporate far too many electronic dance beats with other bells and whistles. While these songs are undeniably catchy, they inhabit an equally undeniable air of the aforementioned Top 40 dance pop. Can you picture Taylor Swift or Ke$ha or Adam Levine singing, “Dance With Me” or “Beta Love”? The answer is yes, and that’s startling for a band who only five years ago released something as unique as the lush and baroque “Ghost Under Rocks”. This isn’t a damnation of what’s happening for Ra Ra Riot. They’re refusing to keep to their own status quo and instead evolve themselves. And they’ve done so while retaining their ability to write catchy, accessible pop songs about love that make you want to dance. Onstage they are still a six-headed beast worth seeing live, with violin and cello joining the traditional guitar, bass, drums, and keys setup, and this reason alone gives them the upper-hand on so many of their peers. They just need to lay off the electronics and never, ever, ever, ever(!) think a song needs some Auto-Tune. Cowbell, fine, but Auto-Tune? We might have to break-up.
46 issue N o . 16
Chase Porter and Parker McMullin in a still from Sunshine's music video for "Showering With Wine", directed by Owen Ellis.
13-02-09 9:01 PM
FEATURES EDITOR ×
× S P E C I A L F E AT U R E S . C A P C O U R I E R @ G M A I L . C O M
WHAT KIND OF LOVER ARE YOU?
JJ Brewis and Leah Scheitel × Editor-in-Chief and Opinions Editor
We all make judgements about what our exes were like in relationships, but have you ever wanted a scientifically objective perspective on your love personality? We at the Courier have done the hard work. All you have to do is answer a few questions to find your 100% accurate personality type, and the ideal celebrity match that goes with it.
1. YOUR PURSE OR POCKETS ARE LINED FOR THE PERFECT DATE. YOU HAVE PACKED:
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46 issue N o . 16
A. Nothing out the ordinary. Why? WHY?! B. A condom and some confidence. C. Your phone, which contains the numbers of some back-up dates. Just in case this one’s a snore. D. A toothbrush for tonight, and a pair of underwear for the morning.
2. THE BEST WAY FOR FINDING A NEW LOVE INTEREST IS: A. Getting one of your mom’s church pals to set you up with one of their nice, wholesome children. B. Passing your number to that hottie you’ve been scoping at Starbucks. C. Asking the person you danced with all night at the bar…only the morning after a nice hard fuck. D. Any way. Any how. Who cares! As long as it reels them in fast enough for you to spit them out and find the next hot thing. Woooo!
WHO SHOULD PAY ON THE FIRST DATE?
IN YOUR WORLD, S&M MEANS:
THE LAST TIME YOU HAD SEX WAS:
A. Let’s pay for ourselves. I don’t want to commit to anything. B. Probably me. I like to make people feel special and sexy. C. Let them pay! It gets too expensive paying for your own stuff all the time. D. My sugar daddy has got this covered. No really, he doesn’t mind and neither do I!
4. YOU’VE BEEN WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER FOR A YEAR. FOR VALENTINE’S DAY, YOU EXPECT: A. A nice homemade card. And a hug if they’re feeling it. B. A nice candlelit dinner and an exchange of romantic and sexy surprises. C. A new fucking watch. You left your other one at your other lover’s place. D. A homemade painting made with a cow’s heart on linen. Genuine unabashed romance.
5. GETTING READY FOR A SEXY DATE, YOU PREP YOURSELF WITH A SOUNDTRACK OF: A. Glee covers with all the swear words and sex references conveniently removed! B. Top 40 sex jams like Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry. C. Lil’ Kim, R. Kelly – anything a bit raunchy. D. Sylvia Brown audiobook about angel encounters and your own voicemail recording, so you can work out imperfections in your own speech.
A. Is that like Smarties and M&Ms mixed together? B. A bit of biting and light spanking. C. A great time you’d like more often. You’re thinking of investing in some gear. D. Yawn. Another day at the office. Whip harder!
7. YOUR UNDERWEAR DRAWER CONSISTS OF: A. Uh… Underwear, obviously. Why are we talking about this? B. All things tight and black. C. A cluster of tiny things that ride up all the right places. D. Flowing nightgowns, nipple tassels, garters and matching headwear.
8. WHAT SYMBOLS STICK OUT AS A PHALLUS TO YOU? A. I don’t know what that is. B. Cucumbers, bananas, the usual. C. Let’s be honest, most things look like a dick. D. Anything and everything reminds me of a cock. Even things that aren’t shaped like them.
A. I don’t feel comfortable telling a stranger (meaning you’ve never had sex). B. The other night. C. I’ll answer this later. I’m too busy HAVING SEX. D. When was the last full moon?
10. ROMANCE, AT THE END OF THE DAY IS: A. Prince Charming and Cinderella, that sort of thing. B. Caring about someone and sharing nice times together, no matter how long it lasts. C. Getting my clothes off. D. A nice long night with my own hand. I’m the only one who knows how to please me.
11. YOUR TYPICAL DATE CONVERSATIONS REVOLVE AROUND: A. Tennis instructions for the perfect serve. B. My favorite places around town for a night out. C. Dissecting 50 Shades of Grey, and how my life relates to the characters. D. The relevance of Ayn Rand, and how her brilliance is often unappreciated by the masses.
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YOU DECIDE TO MAKE YOUR LOVER A HOMEMADE GIFT FOR THEIR BIRTHDAY. YOU MAKE:
IN A WORD, YOU’D DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS:
A. A batch of jelly from scratch and name the mix of berries in honour of them. B. A photo album of our time together, with an extra “sassy” shot for the imagination tucked in. C. An intricately carved carrot in the shape of a penis (veins included). D. A portrait of my love, painted on an old pair of my underwear, and using my own tears dyed with food colouring as ink.
13. YOUR FAVORITE FRIENDS CHARACTER IS: A. Chandler Bing. B. Rachel Green. C. Phoebe Buffay. D. Ross Geller.
14. IF YOU HAD TO BE ON A GAME SHOW, YOU’D BE ON: A. Jeopardy – and you’d get every question right. B. The Price is Right – just to flirt a tiny bit with Drew Carey. C. Blind Date – if they allow repeat contestants. D.Baggage – you get turned on by other’s hang-ups.
15. LAST SATURDAY NIGHT, YOU: A. Finished homework and read the latest Nicholas Sparks novel. B. Went for dinner and a drink with friends before watching SNL. C. Didn’t end until the walk of shame home on Sunday morning. D. Imitated Billy Ray Cyrus all night, preparing for an upcoming karaoke competition.
YOUR GO-TO DRINK IS: A. Single vodka soda, but in a tall glass. B. A crantini – or chocolatini for special occasions. C. Fuzzy Nipple shots and anything gin-based. D. Old-Fashioned, but you make the first one, to show the bartender exactly how you like it.
20. YOUR DREAM JOB FOR YOUR LOVER IS: A. A teacher. A perfect role model for future generations. B. A musician. Seeing someone confident on stage is attractive. C. A glass blower, who specializes in making sex toys. D. A carnie. The carn-ier the better.
You’re either not into sex at all, or at least don’t want people thinking you are. Not that there’s any shame in that. But at some point or another, your loins are going to explode to the point where you need to be hospitalized. Do yourself a favour, and go have an awkward one-night stand with some generic looking person from the bar. You’ll thank us later. CELEBRITY DATE: Jessica Simpson (circa. 2000)/Matt Damon
Mostly B's THE CONFIDENT HOTTIE Getting laid is just one part of your balanced life, which also includes staying fit, reading the morning paper, and keeping your black book peppered with a few go-to’s, whether they’re friends with benefits or fuck buddies. You like sex with a little variety and a lot of passion. You’ve earned it, after all. CELEBRITY DATE: Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling
Mostly C's THE KINK You like sex, and you like it A LOT. Every other aspect of your life takes a back seat to nookie, and some of your friends may not relate to how many times you are able to say the words “anal” and “nipples” in a casual conversation. Because of your “healthy” appetite for sex, you need to find a partner that will be just as interested and open as you. May we suggest Craigslist? CELEBRITY DATE: Megan Fox/Charlie Sheen
Mostly D's THE ODDBALL
You have watched every single Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse movie with such intensity that you can recite any line at will. Sex isn’t necessarily what interests you (although it is a bonus), you’re more into the minds of those you’re expereiencing these moments with. To you, having sex and dating is about getting that one step closer to seeing inside that person’s mind, so your souls can reach out together and hold hands. And that is all you really want. Hand-holding for the brain. CELEBRIT Y DATE: Tilda Swinton/ Steve Buscemi
46 issue N o . 16
A. Facebook selfies of you and your friends. B. A daily check to Nerve.com, and Plenty of Fish. C. Porn. A lot of porn. D. YouTube videos of sloths mating with tapirs.
A. Making Love – It’s classier that way. B. Bang Banging – bang bang boom. C. Fucking Sex – just do it already. D. Intimate Intercourse – it’s the only kind.
A SEARCH HISTORY ON YOUR COMPUTER WOULD REVEAL:
YOUR FAVORITE SLANG WORD FOR SEX IS:
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A. Mature. B. Fun-loving. C. Sexxxxxxxual. D. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
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FEATURES EDITOR ×
× S P E C I A L F E AT U R E S . C A P C O U R I E R @ G M A I L . C O M
Ben Last × Writer
Natalie Corbo × Features Editor
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46 issue N o . 16
POLYAMORY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A RELATIONSHIP DEATH SENTENCE
“Why is it acceptable in our society to love more than one sport with a passion? Read different books? Why is it acceptable to love more than one child?” writes Kendra Holliday, the leader of sex-positive website The Beautiful Kind. “Yet it’s not okay to love more than one person romantically at a time.” Monogamy is by far the most common and accepted relationship in North America. It’s dominantly portrayed in media, and is also the only legally recognized type of relationship.
Although monogamy is arguably the default status of most relationships, it is not the only type of loving, committed, romantic relationship that exists. Among these types of relationships are polygamy, the practice of having multiple wives; polyandry, which means having multiple husbands; polyamory, referring to being in multiple relationships; and open or monogamish (a term coined by Savage Love columnist Dan Savage) relationships, which involve having sexual relations outside the primary relationship. Ryan* has been in polyamorous relationships since 2006, and explains that he had a lot of trouble in monogamous relationships in the past because he always ended up cheating. He is now in a happy, co-parenting relationship with his daughter’s mother. “It’s still a very close and caring relationship, but not one that has a sexual aspect to it, but still a very intimate relationship.” Beyond
that, “there is someone else who I am dating, and people who I see three or so times per week, and then there’s also a few other long-term very-casual people in my life,” Ryan explains. “It is very realistic, it is very doable, [and] it can be a completely satisfying way to live.” For Ryan, the idea of an open, polyamorous relationship makes more sense than monogamy, but because of monogamy being the societal default, it hasn’t always been the obvious choice. He was raised in Abbotsford, B.C., and growing up his only exposure to any alternative to monogamy was Mormon polygamy. He explains that reading The Ethical Slut was a real breakthrough, and he was liberated with the realization that, “I don’t have to end one relationship to start another.” Bob Muckle, a professor of anthropology at Capilano University, explains that monogamy is actually not a “natural” evolutionary trait. “There
are 300 species of primates and only a few that are monogamous,” Muckle explains. “Increasing research shows primates may have one primary relationship and then have relationships outside of that,” much like polyamorous relationships in humans. Nearly everything is adaptive in some way, and Muckle outlines how polyamorous relationships adapt in primates: “Sometimes, [having more than one mate] ensures the balancing of an imbalance of females/males. Meaning, if you have more young females than young males, it would be beneficial for males to have more than one female partner [to preserve good relations in the group].” In the same way, monogamy must have been adaptive for some societies. There isn’t hard evidence to date precisely when monogamy started, but according to Muckle, “We start seeing settlements hundreds of thousands of years ago with 30
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adds, “I think there are potentially a lot of people who are monogamous because that’s the default and that’s what expected of them, and they don’t see any representations of any other way to do it, either within their communities or on television or in movies – there [are] not a lot of positive portrayals of functional open relationships, and when there are, they’re kind of these things that are doomed to fail.” Marnie agrees that monogamy can certainly be what satisfies some people, but believes that the different types of relationships diverge in their goals. “I think [monogamy] displays a lot of insecurity. I think if you’re in an open relationship there’s a lot more trust in that, than you would find in monogamy. I think the goal in openness is about the other person, and it’s just this mutual sort of self-growth. I don’t feel that about monogamy, monogamy is all about constant compromise.” “I’m not advocating for it,” Marnie says of open relationships, but adds, “I think I just want people who are in monogamous relationships to question the relationships they’re in.” As evident in Holliday, Ryan, and Marnie’s accounts of their open relationships, they can work and be a fantastic, intimate kind of relationship. Realizing that monogamy doesn’t work for you, or
even if you want to try a polyamorous relationship, might be difficult at first, but there are sources available for interested people: Vanpoly.ca is a Vancouver-based site with forums and even meetings for anyone curious or wanting to meet other polyamorous people, and Polyamorydate.com is also available as a polyamorous dating site. Ryan also recommends the book Opening Up by Tristan Taormino as a resource that helped him a lot. A final word from Bob Muckle: “Don’t make the assumption that monogamy is the ideal relationship form around the world. It’s not.” *The names of Bette, M and Ryan have been changed at their request, to protect their identities.
×× LYDIA FU
46 issue N o . 16
there and I hope sometime prior to that I can begin to approach the topic with them.” He’s currently working on making a documentary about polyamorous relationships, which he hopes can be “a stepping stone for opening up dialogue that people can show to their friends and family, and show other positive examples … Polyamory is gaining more media attention but I still feel like there isn’t a really good solid documentary of, here’s an overview of what this is about, and here’s what it can look like, and a solid kind of like, introduction for people who have no idea about it or are fearful of it, or have questions.” Bette* had a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when she dated someone polyamorous. She found her relationship to be a challenging, yet positive experience. “I knew he was sleeping with other people. It didn’t bother me in the slightest because it wasn’t serious.” However, “later on in the relationship it did start to bother me because he started to talk about other girls. I didn’t want to hear that, you know?” Being Bette’s first open relationship, “there were a lot of psychological aspects to it that I hadn’t considered until I got into it.” Bette stresses communication in monogamish relationships is key: “Some people want to know everything, some not. You have to talk to each other and find out [if ] what you’re doing is cool.” She constantly tread between the fine lines of how much information she wanted to know, and how much information was too much. Bette says if their relationship's rules and boundaries had been clear, the relationship probably would have ended much earlier because of the difference in relationships they wanted. As for couples experimenting with a monogamish relationship, Bette advises, “Maybe it’ll work because you want to be sexually liberated and so does your partner, and it’ll just make sense. On the other hand, maybe you’ll discover you’re not the kind of person for this relationship, this is why, and this is what you need out of your partner.” Ryan and Marnie both agree that open communication is paramount for open relationships. Ryan’s first open relationship “was not as positive of an experience … I quickly learned that a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy doesn’t work.” In a blog post, Kendra Holliday talks about how great her polyamorous relationship has been, but also how it had a rocky start: “Before I knew of polyamory, I thought I was defective and unfit to be in a relationship. After years of disappointing my partners, a series of men who enjoyed playing with the girlfriends I brought home, but freaked at the mere mention of ‘another sausage in the room,’ I resigned myself to remaining single.” Now, Holliday is in a loving five-year-long relationship which she describes as, “The perfect relationship – for us, anyway.” Holliday claims, “We don’t fight. We have amazing chemistry … we [also] enjoy an incredibly satisfying sex life.” Even with sharing him amongst other women, “Matthew does a stellar job of fulfilling my emotional and physical needs. I feel secure with him in a way that was lacking with past relationships.” Holliday has come across skeptics: “[Once they learn] the unusual details of our relationship dynamic, sometimes … [they] believe our relationship is not serious. On the contrary, it is very serious. I hope he’s there with me when it is my time to die.” Despite an overwhelming feeling that monogamy wasn’t right for them, neither Ryan nor Marnie are expressly anti-monogamy. “I wouldn’t say that one is more natural than the other or that monogamy is totally a socially constructed trap or anything like that,” says Ryan. However, he
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to 50 people living in small huts. They’re mostly pair-bonded and relatively monogamous, along the lines of serial-monogamy, meaning you’re faithful for a short amount of time and then move on. When you start getting leadership and status [becomes] important, and you start getting agriculture and roles of men and women, that’s when you’re going to start getting monogamy.” Contributing to the development of monogamy is a combination of cultural, societal, economical and political reasons. In our culture where monogamy is practiced, polygamy is equally challenged culturally, socially, economically and politically. As popular sex columnist Dan Savage has asserted, people who have experimented with non-monogamy and failed also perpetuate the idea that there is something wrong with it. “Why do most people assume that all non-monogamous relationships are destined to fail? Because we only hear about the ones that do,” Savage wrote in a January 2012 column. “We rarely hear from happy couples who aren’t monogamous, because they don’t want to be perceived as dangerous sex maniacs who are destined to divorce.” Although polygamy certainly has negative associations with patriarchy and force, primarily in a religious context, Marnie argues that this is true of monogamy in some cultures. “I grew up in Indian culture and it’s very patriarchal, and it’s all about monogamy and marriage is very highly valued, so the person you date is the person you’re going to marry and I found that really oppressive.” Marnie has never had the desire to be in a monogamous relationship, and is currently with a primary partner she has been dating for a year and a half. Marnie’s open relationship is honest and communicative, and they always tell each other about other people, though not all of those relationships are equal. “Obviously we’re each other’s primary partners and so the emotional connection there is not comparable with what I have with anyone else.” For Marnie, there’s also a political aspect involved in that she wants to break away from the idea of owning people or owing people – an aspect that might be found in traditional relationships. “We wanted to feel the type of intimacy and connection that didn’t necessarily involve that part of owning or owing each other things,” she says of her relationship with her primary partner. “I feel that when you’re open there’s no pressure to keep it going and no pressure for it to end, because you’re on your own orbit and when you go away that’s fine but with monogamy it’s really final and it’s just like your path is always dictated by someone else’s.” Open relationships, however, are not just an “easy way out” of any sort. “On a mainstream level I think people are sort of confused by it and don’t necessarily accept it, I think they think it’s just sort of a cop out, for people who are scared of making a commitment,” says Marnie. Because of the overwhelming dominance of monogamy in society, explaining an alternative choice can be difficult to navigate. “[My friends] are all really, really supportive, but I do have some friends that have a difficult time accepting how I can be with more than one person. They support my general happiness but they have trouble getting over, if you’re with one person you should always be with one person. You kind of just don’t talk about it.” Although Ryan mostly associates with people who are similarly open-minded about romantic relationships, he talks less to his family about his relationships. “I am still struggling with the coming out to my parents bit, it’s something that I really would like to do because I don’t like to have to be hiding aspects of myself … inevitably at some point I’ll come to a family gathering when two people will want to be
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46 issue N o . 16 volume
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CALENDAR@ C A P I L A N O C O U R I E R . C O M
Vancouver International Mountain
It has comedy, it has dancing, it has a showcase of Jewish performing arts! And it’s fun to say! Bonus. Until Mar. 3, Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre. Ticket prices vary.
Film Festival Now, here is a great example of a very-specific film festival – VIMFF screens screens unique outdoor and mountaineering films, providing an outlet for these works of art to be seen within the city. Even if you don’t like outdoor activities I bet you’ll like this film festival, because shot upon shot of snow is just beautiful. Multiple screenings, various theatres. $19/$21.
Come on up to the Courier office and see how we run this ship! You pay for this newspaper as a student of Capilano so come on up, write a story for us, and make some sweet, sweet cash. 100 per cent of our staff are totally nice (and sexy!) so that’s a bonus, too. 12 p.m., Maple 122. Get paid!
Leah’s birthday It’s our Opinions Editor’s birthday! We bet she’s sad that her birthday isn’t on a Saturday and therefore she can’t watch Saturday Night Live. Regardless, Leah we hope you have a day even half as charming as you! All day, everywhere. Cost of Best of Seth Meyers DVD.
THURS FEB 14
WED FEB 13
TUES FEB 12
Sly Fox Telling the story of a con man named Foxwell Sly (best name ever!), this satirical piece reminds us all of what can happen when you make too many promises you can’t keep. It seems there are no foxes in the show, which to be honest is a little disappointing. 8 p.m., NSCU Centre. $22/$15/$10.
BUILDEX It’s a trade show for people into construction and architecture! If you want you could go, even if you don’t like those things. I go to wedding shows even though I’m not getting married; it’s basically the same thing. All day, Vancouver Convention Centre. $25.
People’s Prom Last year this was basically the best thing I’d ever done on Valentine’s Day. Have fun with your friends, kiss strangers, play Twister. Sounds like the best rom-com ever. 8 p.m., the Ukrainian Hall. $10.
Hot 8 Brass Band Holy this band sounds cool. They’ve been in movies, including documentaries like those by Spike Lee! They have a very New Orleans-esque sound, which for some reason makes me think of Disney World. I’m sorry! 8 p.m., Kay Meek Centre. $39/$36.
Bob Saget’s My Nasty Valentine Full House’s Danny Tanner is now more notorious for his trashy standup performances than playing the wholesome TV dad to the Olsen Twins. Who would’ve thunk? Apparently he tells jokes about how “promiscuous” the twins now are. Have you no tact, Tanner? How rude! 7 p.m., The Centre for Performing Arts. $56.75-$79.75 (who would ever pay this!?)
Stefan’s birthday Happy birthday to our Production Manager, Stefan! One time he told me he likes animation so now I assume he always wants to watch Disney with me but that’s not really true. He likes Beyoncé better, and Blink-182, which is the only thing he’ll sing at karaoke. All day, Stefan’s house. Cost of Beyoncé.
The Ruby Suns Woah! Indie-pop from New Zealand! Guys, this is seriously as cool as it gets (right after British indie-pop, duh). Bonus: Their music videos are really cute. 8 p.m., the Biltmore. $14.50.
Leave of Absence This is your last chance to catch a performance of Leave of Absence, a powerful production about a young girl who challenges her town’s perceptions of spirituality and sexuality. Feel good, feel empowered! 8 p.m., Pacific Theatre. $22-$30.
Hearts and Flowers at Hycroft I love hearts, I love flowers, I love fashion! Learn all about these things and how society has defined femininity through fashion, at the beautiful Hycroft. 2 p.m., Hycroft Manor. $10-$22.
Coheed and Cambria At first I was like “Oh cool, a rock band from New York,” but YouTube has taught me that I know a lot of their songs (I have no idea how). They’re actually the head-banging kind of rock, so go see them if you like that! 7 p.m., The Vogue. $33.
Last day to withdraw! Not doing so hot in that Sociology class? I hear you, believe me. Well, despite the fact that you will get zero dollars back (I know, right?), you may want to withdraw to avoid a big fat F on your transcript. I’d personally recommend bringing your teacher a Kit Kat and seeing if they can get you a make-up assignment but hey, whatever, don’t ask me. All day, online. Cost of GPA variances!
Art Spiegelman opens at VAG Vancouver Art Gallery’s newest exhibit opens today, a retrospective of the career of lauded comic book artist Art Spiegelman. Famous for his Maus graphic novels among other work, Spiegelman is well-loved by critics and fans alike for his hard hitting and well-versed oeuvre. All day, Vancouver Art Gallery. $12.50/$17.50.
Martial Arts at River Rock Yes, I know martial arts at a casino doesn’t sound like your “average” event, but this is a gala where all the best people in the martial arts world are going to come together to celebrate the lunar new year. Cool! 6 p.m., River Rock Casino. $61.
Reading week starts Woooo! No more teachers’ dirty looks! Well, for a few days. Use this time to study and read and write and all that. Ahh, who am I kidding, you’re totally gonna use this week to watch re-runs of Fresh Prince and eat a shitload of takeout sushi. Not that I’m projecting or anything. All week, across the rolling hills of North Vancouver. Cost of buying me sushi.
Dances for a Small Stage, Valentine’s edition The popular dance performance is back, and this time they’ve got love on the brain. Watch dances inspired by love, and feel inspired yourself. If you ask me, this is way better than the overused dinner-and-a-movie Valentine’s date. 7 p.m., The Legion. $20.
40th Annual Chinese New Year Parade I love parades! This is supposed to be one of the best parades in Vancouver – over 50,000 Vancouverites go to it! If you can’t make the parade, may I kindly suggest any of the other events going on in Chinatown this weekend? There are so many sweet events I can’t list them all here. 11 a.m., through Chinatown. Free. When the Drum is Beating Check out this screening of a documentary for Black History Month! It’s a film that “interweaves the extraordinary story of 20-piece band Septentrional’s six decades of creativity with the history of Haiti.” 7 p.m., Vancouver International Film Centre. $9.
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Heritage Week Have you ever wondered about Vancouver’s heritage? Well, here’s a whole week dedicated to it! Events include walking tours, philosophical discussions, and, my personal favourite, an “Old School Workshop.” Multiple times, locations and ticket prices.
Talking Stick Festival This vibrant festival showcases Aboriginal artists, who will present their talents in live theatre, music, dance, storytelling and comedy! There is a plethora of events happening until Mar. 3, so there is definitely something for everybody. Multiple times, locations and ticket prices.
Gravity of Center This show is officially on at the Cultch! It uses dance as a means of exploring social issues, combining hip-hop, contemporary and classical dance types for one very unique performance. 8 p.m., The Cultch. From $17.
B.C. Home and Garden Show Exactly what it sounds like! I know people who go to this every year and get everything they’ve ever wanted (note: not needed) for their home AND garden. I know, insanely awesome. Until the 24th, BC Place. $15.
Matmos Experimental electronic music from San Fran! San Fran is an American city that I would really like to go to. Experimental electronic music I kind of like, sometimes.
Brothers in Bamako Join these brothers for a unique night in blues fusion! Fusion rules. As the event says, “The African nation of Mali has a rich tradition of musicians who are heavily influenced
Snape’s Birthday And by Snape, I mean Alan Rickman, a.k.a. amazing actor and forever Snape in my eyes. For example, when I watch Love Actually, it’s Snape being stupid on his wife, not Rick-
But if I were to love it, it would be because of Matmos. 8 p.m., the Media Club. $13.
by American blues, while retaining their distinctive African sound.” 8 p.m., Kay Meek Centre. $39/$36.
man. Happy Birthday, Alan! Always. All day, his house? Cost of possibly going to jail for stalking.
2/22 This is pretty awesome. Did you know that when the clock reads 2:22 you’re supposed to make a wish? I generally wish for pizza. Or Ryan Gosling. Or Ryan Gosling shaped
Club Bellydance Club Belldance is a group of bellydance superstars, and they’re touring around to meet all the local bellydancers. Bellydancing is really awesome to watch, so I bet this night
Vancouver International Wine Festival One time I went to a vineyard and they let us do a wine tasting, but because I was underage I got to taste juice. So I did the whole swishy thing, but with juice. And then they’re like,
pizza. Or Ryan Gosling with a pizza. Whatever. I’m flexible. Wherever clocks are, 2:22. Cost of wishes.
is going to be great. 7:30 p.m., Alhambra Palace. $25.
“Okay, now spit it out!” And I was like, “Why would I do that? This juice is delicious!” Various times, locations and ticket prices.
Winter Farmers Market
Healthy Snacks Workshop
This play sounds so, so hilarious. There is a murder or two, and perhaps a missing finger, and spies, and seduction! What more do you need? It has a “Monty Python flavour,” which I am always down for. 8 p.m., NSCU Centre. $39/$35.
Looking for something to do on yet another lazy Saturday? Go to a farmers market. Even if you don’t want to do a “big shop,” you can still get breakfast and also possible a croissant for lunch. I love croissants, especially the spinach kind. 10 a.m., Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot. Free.
Yum yum yum, snacks are great! And there are some really great healthy ones out there, like dried banana or mango! This workshop will teach you how to make snacks like that, without any special equipment! It’s practically magic. 2 p.m., Nancy Styles Hall. By donation.
The Academy Awards Who will win Best Picture? My money’s on Silver Linings Playbook because that’s the only nominee I’ve seen. Whatever, it’s all about the dresses anyway. How many bets Nicole Kidman looks the worst again? 7 p.m., ABC on your television. Free!
Belief and Action In a lecture by Alister Browne, you will explore the age-old adage of, “If not now, when?” as a means of discussing how to take action, and discovering how we arrive at our beliefs. 12 p.m., Downtown VPL. Free.
Afternoon Tea - Chinese New Year Hate the Oscars? Go for an afternoon tea instead! Sip gaily and realize how much better you are than 99 per cent of those celebs. And celebrate the year of the snake! But also be careful because Slytherin’s animal is a snake, and we all know what that means. 1:30 p.m., West Point Grey Community Centre. $10.
VSO: Recollections This event describes itself as, “Cutting edge new music in an intimate venue.” Woah, woah, woah! To be fair though, I love the idea of an intimate venue. It seems so much more … friendly? Not like stupid Rogers Arena which, in addition to being huge, is also more expensive. 8 p.m., Orpheum Annex. $23.
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SUN FEB 24
No story meeting today Campus is closed, so the Courier is taking a break too. You probably noticed that a new paper didn’t come out this week because you’re still reading last week’s. Don’t worry, a new paper and a story meeting will both happen next week! We know you missed us. No time, nowhere. Free?
46 issue N o . 16
13-02-09 9:01 PM
OPINIONS LuV SHORTS LOSING MY V-CARD Madeline Terbasket, Writer I lost my virginity to a short German chef. It was the most “YOLO” decision of my life, largely due to the fact that I had only met him the night before at my friend’s hickster party (hickster: a hick that moved to the city in pursuit of a hip, artsy lifestyle). He was a weird little dude with puffy lips and a twisted sense of humour. He wanted me to be his Pocahontas and he would be my John Smith. And my John was the king of foreplay compliments. My boobs went from an “A” to an “A+” and my butt transformed from fry-bread flat to Beyoncé juicy! I forgot to shave my armpits, but in my mind I was an empowered Commercial Drive woman. I spent most of it thinking, “This is what sex is?!” and giggling to myself. My first time was destined to be quirky and cute. I felt beautiful even after this awkward sexual experience because I knew it was truthful. I can’t regret losing it to a stranger because of how sexy I felt after. He bought me beer, kissed me sweetly on the nose, and made me a legitimate breakfast in the morning. What more could I have asked for in a first time? Save the rose petals, candle-lit, true love first-time stories for the Harlequin Romance novels.
OPINIONS EDITOR ×
BUFFY THE VALENTINE’S DAY
FRIENDS ARE BETTER AT ROMANCE
Lauren Gargiulo, Writer
Christina Lamanes, Writer
Charlie Black, Writer
Generally, I despise Valentine’s Day. Not only is it an overly hyped-up day promoted by florists and crazed jewellery companies promoting diamonds as the perfect gift, I happen to have horrible days that fall on Feb. 14. Yet, last year was an exception to that curse. My day was filled with chocolate chip pancakes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. What made this one special was the attention my then-boyfriend paid to my fickle diet. He made vegan-friendly, heart-shaped pancakes with fake chocolate chips because he knew that’s how I’d like them best. And if they were any other way, my allergic reaction would squash any chance for romance. This attention showed me he cared more than any amount of roses or jewellery would. To add to the romance, he let me dictate which Buffy episodes to watch, since he knew it was one of my favorite shows and gave me a book: The Lover’s Dictionary. It’s less dirty than it sounds. We marked the words that fit our relationship, and the book still sits on my shelf. The little things acted as a reminder that romance does matter, and is best told in little gestures. Maybe that was the original intention of St. Valentine.
One time at a grocery store, I saw a nice row of purple turnips. Thinking little would come of it, I instagrammed a picture of the nicely placed root vegetables. Boy, was I wrong. It sparked a dialogue with a guy who had a rad user name. He commented, “Nice turnips,” to which I replied, “Thanks! That’s what all the guys say.” This kind of banter evolved into daily #fulloutinstagramconversations. Things escalated when he posted a picture of a note he found in a parking lot. It was a romantic poem obviously meant for someone special. Of course, I commented on his picture and said something along the lines of, “Now you need to write some poetry and leave it somewhere for someone else to find.” He agreed with my suggestion and commented back to me, “I hope you find it. You, after all, inspired it.” This digressed into him leaving a note for me somewhere in the city. He gave me hints, thus beginning a semi-scavenger hunt, each one a little more complex than the last, until I found it. He made a “wanted” ad; I graffitied a development board; he taped laminated butterflies to a fountain. There were notes that involved stickers, balloons, and sidewalk chalk. Eventually we stopped leaving notes for each other in favour of talking in “real life” but it was the elaborate scavenger hunt that led us to become friends and maybe more… #HappyValentinesDay
My longest “official” relationship lasted six months and three days. In the summer of my first year of college, I celebrated the half-year milestone with my girlfriend, while the relationship was crumbling beneath me. I had planned the perfect evening: pick her up from her place, head down to White Rock, have dinner at a nice restaurant, and walk the pier as the sun set. In execution, everything had gone wonderfully to plan. I dropped her off at home, said hello to her mother and headed back to my house. She did not text me back or return my calls for three days. Her radio silence began as soon as I bid her goodnight and we had exchanged “I Love You’s.” Eventually she texted and asked if I wanted to go for sushi that Thursday. I agreed, knowing something was up. On Wednesday, at my friend Ryan’s house, my phone rang whilst making Kraft Dinner. It was her. Apparently what she had to say could not wait until we were to meet for sushi the next day, and she broke up with me – with a phone call. Whatever, it was still more personal than the time an ex of mine got my boxing announcer best friend to break up with me for her. I re-entered the room to the following exchange with Ryan: “Was that her?” “Yeah.” “Did she just break –” “Yeah.” “… Do you want some mac and cheese?” “Yeah.” “Do you want some Southern Comfort?” “Yeah.” “Do you wanna go blow up cars in GTA 4?” “Yeah.” “Let’s go blow up cars in GTA 4.” And that, fair readers, is true romance.
Grindr is Not Your Boyfriend
A SATIRE-EDUCATION Aidan Whiteley
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46 issue N o . 16
Nearly every gay man with a smart phone has a dirty little secret: Grindr. For the uninitiated, Grindr is an infamous mobile hook-up app for horny men to arrange quickies. The interface is simple enough that, while there is an obvious subtext of getting laid, there’s nothing specifically prescribed. In its most basic form, Grindr is really just an app for connectivity, a catalyst for interaction, not a bathhouse. Even if “networking” is code for quick, anonymous-ish sex, there are those not looking to merely spread the sheets, your cheeks, and their seed, then split. I know some of these mythical near-sexless gays personally. However, I’m not naïve – I understand the motives of many men who use it and others like it. I myself have met men through Grindr several times, but not every meeting has led to sex. Just most of them happen to. While I’ve sometimes come away from these experiences sexually relieved, my internal conflict outlasts the shortterm pleasure afforded by orgasm. Several layers of judgement precede any decision regarding sex, regardless of the subtext of the setting. For Grindr, the first and most dominant judgements manifest visually: do they
have a face picture, or is the picture a carefully cropped shot of a porn star’s abs? Am I talking to a beach, or better yet, a black hole? At this point I’ve already started forming conclusions about the person, based upon a tiny 64x64 pixel pin-up, before even looking at their full profile. I’ve started placing the men in a police line-up to identify potential targets. Weighing the physical merits of various men is akin to comparing shirts at Value Village. Potentially self-aware? Into the basket. Charity sports event? Staying on the rack. In Grindr auditions, the glistening airbrushed abs get cut, while humour and facial hair get a call back. That’s not to say torsos don’t have heads attached, enclosing brains that think on occasion. Also, there are valid reasons for discretion. It would be insanely egotistical of me to think I know best how one should be conducting their private affairs with other consenting adults through Grindr, especially given the limited data Grindr provides. There are, after all, real people on the other side of that small, askew, underexposed bathroom mirror picture. The next filter is at the profile level. The app allows users to filter the profiles that are displayed based on age already, so when faced with more men than you can shake an iPhone to undo
typing at, our ageism and quest for youth may be normalized. The lucky ones that make it through our strict barely-legal to barely-mature (or those who just outright lie in their profile) filter are then subject to close scrutiny of their profile descriptions. There are varying amounts of information attached to each profile. The bare minimum you may know is if the individual is online at the time or not. Beyond that, all information is voluntary. Users can, and often do, display a headline or name, relationship status, age, height, weight, race and what they are “looking for.” Further, a text message-worth of an “about” section is included where users are encouraged, to add a little more personality or discriminate publicly. Both are popular options on the Internet. The final piece of information, and determining factor in just where the profile shows up on the home screen, is the other person’s estimated distance from you. When hooking up fast is the intended outcome travel time becomes a determining factor. Despite this, I’ve had genuinely interesting conversations with guys near and far, close to my age or not, though these interactions are decidedly in the minority. The Grindr wheel of fortune is too often several dimes short of a dollar. While I’m largely civil and avoid unrealistic model abs shots, I often find myself rolling my eyes at myself as
much as the faceless (or blurry faced) man sending me barely-literate two-word responses. I sneer at myself for expecting anything else, and at the amateur grammarian for fulfilling my worst-case prophesy. It’s too easy to dismiss hook-up culture as emotionally deadening, risky and too focused upon a checklist of traits. Grindr isn’t making much of an argument against, however, what with profile descriptions like, “Stocky bottom looking for hung tops,” or outright racism and body fascism in the descriptor. Eventually you find exactly the same lonely souls on each site and they’re none the more interesting regardless of the subtle variations. In the end, Grindr is what you put into it. Either you’ve come to terms with your sexual prowess and have a regimented testing schedule, or you’re bored to bits, sexually frustrated, and grasping at straws for a fellow with just the right colour corduroys to come along and sweep you off your phone forever. Rather than “looking for the one to delete [this] app for” I’d rather realize one day that, by golly, I seem to still have Grindr installed on my phone, even though it has gone unused for months. When I’ve proven to the world to be worth more than the $5 lattes I pour, I’m sure the time available for frivolous chat with horny gay men will have receded into the recesses of memory.
13-02-09 9:01 PM
Making a sport of advertising
ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGN FALLS FLAT WITH MISSED OPPORTUNITY Andy Rice × Staff Writer Anyone who has hit the slopes of North Vancouver’s picturesque Mount Seymour over the past few weeks may have noticed something shiny during a ride on one of the resort’s four chairlifts. No, not the bald head of an aging ski bum below them telemarking toward his next knee replacement, but the face of a golden-haired girl and her Olympic gold medal. On Jan. 26, as part of National Non-Smoking Week, Canadian freestyle skier Ashleigh McIvor became the face of a new campaign aimed at curbing the smoking habits of skiers and snowboarders on local mountains. Large advertisements have popped up on Mount Seymour to deliver a message with the best of intentions, but unfortunately one that loses some of its sheen upon further inspection. The campaign, entitled Your Call, sports a pretty irrelevant name given its context. After all, this is an anti-smoking campaign. The chairlift ads feature a photo of McIvor (rather unrecognizable from a distance) in mid-flight against a backdrop of trees and blue sky. Alongside that is a smaller headshot in which she can be seen proudly displaying her medal for all to see. Perhaps if a splitscreen montage depicting McIvor all but hidden by a plume of grey cigarette smoke next to one of her breathing freely in the great outdoors was used, the viewer would have tangible options on which to make a call. Instead, the campaign requires four
paragraphs on its website to explain the name, a page that undoubtedly gets a ton of hits from frozen smartphones atop mountain chairlifts. McIvor’s message on the billboard and in the media comes off as a little whiny as well, something that is unlikely to appeal to both smokers and non-smokers alike. The ad reads, “Here for the fresh air, not your second-hand smoke,” and in an interview with CBC News, she complained in detail about having her ski experience tarnished whenever she is stuck behind a smoker on the slopes. “It just frustrates me … We’re out to enjoy the fresh air and take in the scenery and be active and be healthy, and it just kind of ruins my day when the person in front of me on the chairlift is smoking, because I’m riding up right in their cloud of second-hand smoke.” In a press release from Vancouver Coastal Health, the organizer and financier of Your Call, states that the campaign is targeted at youth specifically. If it is, the billboard certainly doesn’t reflect that in the least. It’s only when and if youth bother to read the VCH press release or scan the archives of local media outlets that they would ever hear the most important advice McIvor has to offer them: sports and tobacco don’t mix. “Smoking impairs athletic performance,” she says in the release. “For me, smoking could have meant the difference between being an Olympian or not. I hate to think of where I’d be now if I’d started smoking in high school instead of pursuing my athletic goals.” Using that health angle could have made the billboard so much more effective, but instead it
was looked over altogether. In fact, Vancouver Coastal Health doesn’t even appear on the ad despite having paid a nominal fee for McIvor’s involvement, for printing costs, and for ad space at Mount Seymour. Their inclusion could have lent a huge element of credibility to the campaign on the health front. It’s a shame because the idea itself is great. Smoking on chairlifts and lift lines isn’t cool. In fact, it should be illegal. These are situations where people are stuck in one place for four minutes or more with absolutely no way to escape short of jumping to their likely death. In a way, smoking on a chairlift or on a ski run is worse than smoking in a bar or a restaurant or a pool hall, something which has been banned in British Columbia for years. It’s worse than smoking in bus shelters or near doorways or on outdoor patios of public eateries too, something which has been banned in B.C. since 2008. And yet, it’s not banned. It is the next logical step to take. Several resorts in North America have already prohibited smoking in various capacities. Black Mountain Ski area in Maine became the first in the United States back in 2005, soon to be followed by several others including Pico Mountain Ski Area in Vermont and Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado. Brookvale Ski Park in Prince Edward Island currently restricts smoking on the lift, in the lift lineup and within 15 feet of any building. Back in January, the resort announced that it would ban smoking on the slopes beginning in 2014. The mountains out west, however, haven’t been nearly as quick to catch on.
McIvor and Vancouver Coastal Health have missed a golden opportunity altogether. They shouldn’t be targeting skiers and snowboarders to quit smoking; they should be targeting ski resorts to ban smoking. If it’s such a big problem, people shouldn’t even be given a call.
Aaron Swartz's Legacy WHY GOVERNMENTS NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY THEY DEAL WITH “CYBER-CRIME” Peter Warkentin × Writer
×× DAVE MCANSH
46 issue N o . 16
more control over content and censorship on the Internet. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said of the Protect IP Act: “I would be very, very careful, if I were a government, about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems.” We’ve got to work hard to educate ourselves and spread the word about such dangerous legislation, using the very tools that Aaron Swartz helped create. Despite the tragedy of the situation surrounding Swartz’s death, there is hope that the massive public outcry will force the U.S. government, along with other governments around the world, to rethink the manner in which they deal with similar cases in the future. The outdated laws that are being used to criminalize activists and consumers alike must be updated to fit with the new world we are all living in, and new legislation that threatens the future of the Internet must be recognized and stopped before they can be enacted. Hopefully, because of many movements Swartz was a part of starting, we can ensure that the Internet will remain a platform for progress and innovation.
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On Jan. 11, Aaron Swartz was found dead in his apartment, where he had hanged himself. He was 26 years old. Swartz, who helped create the social networking site Reddit and the RSS web feed format, was also a social activist and co-founder of Demand Progress, which pushes for progressive policy changes. Although Swartz had been publicly open about his past experiences with depression, many are now blaming a long criminal prosecution for pushing him to suicide. In 2010, Swartz used the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s data network to download a large number of files from an online database of academic journals, allegedly with the intent to share these files for free over the Internet. In January 2011, Swartz was arrested in connection to his activities at MIT. He was charged with 13 felonies, and over the next 18 months, a long legal negotiation took place between the prosecutors and Swartz’s lawyers. Although they were made well aware of Swartz’s history of depression, the prosecutors placed increasing pressure on Swartz to plead guilty. The sentence eventually escalated to a prison sentence of up to 35 years and a fine of up to $1 million. In the wake of Swartz’s death, Swartz’s family and partner released a statement that also criticized the prosecutors’ handling of the case: “Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.”
The U.S. government clearly does not have its priorities straight when it comes to criminal sentencing for these types of cases. While it’s possible to receive a 35-year sentence for downloading files, the maximum prison sentence for statutory rape is only 15 years. The entire case against Swartz was based upon the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was created in 1984. In the near-30 years since the CFAA’s inception, there have been relatively few amendments that account for the enormous changes that the Internet has gone through. Part of the problem is the simple fact that the people currently passing legislation don’t really understand the Internet whatsoever. At present, the average age of a U.S. Senator is 60, the oldest it’s ever been. During the 2011 Congressional hearings for the Stop Online Piracy Act, many members openly admitted that they did not fully understand the Domain Name System or the full impact SOPA would have on the Internet. We need more politicians who are educated and unafraid to stand up for what they know is right – politicians like U.S. Congress representative Zoe Lofgren, who was a strong opponent of SOPA. On Jan. 15, a mere four days after Swartz’s death, Lofgren posted on Reddit announcing a new amendment she would be proposing, titled “Aaron’s Law,” which would bring changes to the CFAA. But just because SOPA failed doesn’t mean that Congress has learned anything. There are currently two proposed pieces of legislation that threaten Internet freedom: the Commercial Felony Streaming Act and the Protect IP Act. Both of these laws would allow the U.S. government
13-02-09 9:01 PM
OPINIONS Hockey for Girls 101
WOMEN CAN ENJOY HOCKEY WITHOUT BEING A PUCK BUNNY Charlie Black
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46 issue N o . 16
It’s 2013, and after an unnaturally long (and snowy) summer for hockey fans, the NHL is full speed ahead into a lockout-shortened season. Fans are rejoicing once more and donning their regalia in full force. Well, not every fan is happy. Blueshirts United, the official New York Rangers fan community, featured a blog post from guest writer Mirna Mandil, entitled A Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers. The Jan. 25 post endured much ridicule and inspired fierce discussion before and even after being taken down. The post had such “helpful” hints for non-sports-inclined ladies with hockey-loving men in their lives to follow the game, including “Get to know the Rangers!” and “Ask questions … Just know WHEN to do it.” “News of the NHL lockout’s end caused as much excitement in the male world as a 70 per cent off sale does in a woman’s,” quipped Mandil, who draws upon tired stereotypes and gender roles to get her point across, tantamount to explaining a cultural love for a nation-encompassing sport by saying, “Shopping, am I right?” The opinion expressed by Mandil is that women and men can’t enjoy hockey on the same level, and thus women need an education on manly things. In today’s increasingly society, this simply does not fly. Despite the leaps and bounds made in terms of gender equality, the battle of the sexes carries on as a cold war. Drinking beer and watching sports are considered manly pursuits and women can’t possibly get how awesome sports are. If we are to follow Mandil and her unfortunately misogynistic suggestions, then we are to believe that women need their own guide to understanding why their boyfriends and husbands grow beards from April to June, or why Trade Deadline Day inspires as much emotion as the season finale of The Bachelor. The 1950s are long behind us now, and society has moved beyond the need for out-dated suggestions of what is manly or ladylike. Fans of the sport, female and male alike, decried the lazy sexism of Mandil’s article. Twitter user @sarah_connors aptly sums up the blog post: “NO WHO THE RANGERS R SO U CN PLEEZ UR MAN [sic],” while @QueenCrash makes a suggestion: “I’ll make it easy for BOTH genders: 1. Turn on TV. 2. Cheer. Done.” Serena Jackson is a diehard Vancouver Canucks fan, who has followed the team since her kindergarten days. “I spent a lot of nights at my grandparents’ … we watched a lot of hockey,” Jackson explains. Hockey is such an integral part of her family life, in fact, that she can trace her birth to exactly nine months after the Canucks lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the New York Rangers. When asked about the Girl’s Guide, she responds, “I don’t really know how to eloquently word it. It’s total bullshit and it’s enraging.” Perhaps the best response to the Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers comes courtesy of the Rangers’ Hudson River rivals, the New Jersey Devils. The Devils Army fan community shot back with the satirical A Guy’s Guide to Watching the Devils, with incentives such as “They punch each other in the FACE,” “Beer is sold at the games,”
and “Bro hugs.” “They do it on the ice so it’s completely and totally cool and not weird at all. I mean they do it right there in front of 15,000 people. That’s not bad right?” asked Tim Joyce, Devils Army General. The Blueshirts United gaffe comes a few months after the gender-inspired controversy of While the Men Watch, an alternative commentary to hockey games by hosts Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso, whose commentary centred around which NHL coaches most needed a makeover and admitting to being bored by hockey. Their commentary track was featured on CBC’s -online broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a move which sparked much conversation on how necessary a women-oriented broadcast was, especially one built upon boredom and that had little to do with hockey in the first place. Women don’t need gimmicks such as these to be able to enjoy the game. Unfortunately, female fans who actually know their hockey and love it are
still looked upon as puck bunnies, or are thought to just be at the games because their boyfriends dragged them along. This scenario is something that perhaps should be realized by the NHL’s marketing departments, who push pink jerseys upon female fans in hopes that it will somehow appeal to them better. “Teams have colours for a reason,” reminds Jackson, who wears her Canucks’ blue and green with pride. Sexist jokes and blog posts are not going to ease the gender separation in sports. Maybe the best thing to do, guys and girls alike, is to be quiet, listen to the professional commentary about the game and just enjoy the sport. That’s what it is there for, after all.
×× SUSAN LI
13-02-09 9:01 PM
CABOOSE EDITOR ×
DIRTY COPS Celina Kurz × Arts Editor
The hot Wisconsin sun was setting after another long day at the police office, and Constable Jane Rabble had booty on the brain, as she often did. “Pony” by Ginuwine played lightly in the background as she and Officer Ricky DeMando finished their final murder reports, the last thing on their plates. “I hate to badger you, Ricky, but do you mind grabbing me a choco milk from the mini-fridge? I’m parched.” The only reason she asked this question was because she wanted to look at his booty, which looked a lot like Bruce Willis’s booty circa 1995: real nice, how else to describe it? “Man, I just love cop booty,” thought Jane. “Cops just run around so much chasing after criminals and I guess it just really gets them buff in the legs.” “No problem, Constable.” Ricky was a simple cop, thirsty for justice. He’d only started at this cop agency a few months ago, and was eager to please. He also harboured a secret crush on Constable Rabble; he saw her working out at the cop gym and was really impressed by all the weights she could lift, and also really liked how she always had chocolate milk in the fridge and always shared, if you cared to ask. He walked over to the mini-fridge and grabbed an ice-cold choco milk, and brought it over to Jane’s desk. “Thanks so much, Ricky. You look kind of tense and warm! You should take off your jacket and I can give you a massage.” She waggled her eyebrows subtly; her trademark seductive move. Ricky furrowed his brow. She was right, it was a warm August night and he was stressed out. How
could he say no? “That’s a great idea, Constable,” he said with a gravelly tone in his voice. He took off his jacket and then he said, “Can I take off my shirt too? Is that cool?” He wanted to show off his pecs because he’d been working on them. It’s easy to be under-appreciated in a Wisconsin cop office. “Yeah, totally,” said Jane. This “ordinary” “day” at the “cop office” was getting pretty wild! He sat down in a chair, and his shoulder muscles glistened in the light that was coming through the window. He had a four-pack of abs in his stomach; the perfect amount, she thought. Jane began gently doing chopping motions on his back, which was the only kind of massage she really knew how to do. “That feels funny!” said Ricky, giggling. “Man, Jane, I really gotta tell you something,” he swivelled around in his swivel chair. “I really dig you.” Jane stopped what she was doing and said, “Woah, Ricky, I think you’re such a babe.” They looked at each other right in the eyes, like two cats. Jane broke the brief silence, saying, “Should we … make out?” Cops are all too dependent on clear answers: they’re terrified of subtext. They just started going at it, right on top of the swivel chair. Suddenly, in a romantic rather than goofy way, the chair fell over and they were on the ground! As they tumbled onto the ground, Ricky ended up on top of Jane, whose shirt fell off in the process. Breathing heavily, like a jogger, Ricky said, “Jane, I have a boner.” He had a habit of reiterating the blatantly obvious. She winked at him, indicating that she already knew. She moved down on him, unwavering. There was no going back. It was a night louder than sirens. It was a night in cop sex heaven.
×× SUSAN LI
W/ KATIE “THE LADY” SO “BE MINE” KIND OF RUDE
KATIESO.TUMBLR.COM PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION I JUST LIKE TO WATCH BOARDGAMES PLAYED AT SWINGERS’ PARTIES TWISTER, CONNECT 4, TABOO, SNAKES & LADDERS, BOGGLE
BLIND DATE AT THE RAINFOREST CAFÉ HE’S THE ONE LITTLE KNOWN APHRODISIACS DELI MEAT, PAPER CUTS, WET UMBRELLA SMELL
PENISES NATURE’S STRAP-ON
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HOCKEY PLAYERS YOU CAN TAKE A SHOT AT MY 5-HOLE
THE OSCARS OR THE 85TH ANNUAL CELEBRITY CIRCLE JERK
PICK-UP LINES APPARENTLY, NOT ANY MORE EFFECTIVE WHEN YOU SHOUT THEM
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SHOWER SEX DIRTY AND CLEAN
13-02-09 9:01 PM
CABOOSE EDITOR ×
SHOTGUN REVIEWS : THE SEXY CHOCOLATE EDITION
KIT KATS Celina Kurz
DARK CHOCOLATE Julian Legere
REESE’S PIECES Thomas Finn Hearn
The noted philosopher Plato once asked, “What chocolate is best?” Millennia later, the answer is now clear: The unassuming Hedgehog, with its soft, supple centre, and intricate exterior detailing. Even a creamy Lindt chocolate cannot match the exquisite and tasteful infusion of hazelnut (which, as we know, is God’s gift to the nut world and chocolate’s most sensible companion). These luscious treasures can also be purchased in a variety of convenient formats, to satisfy any consumer. The single Hedgehog, for those in need of a quick treat; the three-pack, for more sad and gluttonous chocolate addicts; and the full-sized box, which makes a great gift for anyone except diabetics, dogs, or hedgehogophobes. Plus, that Hedgehog has a pretty good body. Or should I say, a Purdy good body?
Here’s my deal: for multiple weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, I complain about it and talk about how I hate it and how it scorches my soul. And I really do believe that. But, I know that deep within me, I love that it exists. I love that for weeks, I get to talk about how much I hate relationships and how they’re stupid and I love thinking up craft ideas for gross-themed Valentine’s Day cards (because I love my friends and I love the word “barf ” and obviously I love puns). And I also love Kit Kats. So if you wanna surprise me on Valentine’s Day and tell me you have a secret crush on me, please give me a Kit Kat bar that says, “I think you’re purrrrfect, be mine valentine.” Because all I want is someone who “gets” me!!!
In recent years, many medical “experts” have started to tout the many health benefits of dark chocolate. Using big, intimidating, medical words that no one without 20 years of med school under their belt has ever heard of, they have tried to get us to eat more dark chocolate to increase our “cognitive function” and “cardiovascular health.” Now, I’m not trying to imply that these people telling us candy is going to make us healthier are raving lunatics or anything, and I certainly won’t be complaining when in a few years my doctor prescribes Lindor Dark two times daily with food for my possum-sized brain tumour, especially since it’s so much cheaper than chemo drugs. All I’m saying is that if this trend continues, dark chocolate will soon be sold in the heath food section at stores and then I’ll never be able to eat it again lest people think I’m some sort of hippie. Dark Chocolate: number one on the list of endangered candy species.
I love Reese’s. It is the best chocolate brand ever, I don’t care how completely unromantic it is compared to the rest of the chocolates out there! It gives every other chocolate a run for its money. Do you like M&M’s? There’s Reese’s Pieces! Like cereal? There’s Reese’s Puffs! Like coffee crisp? There’s some fucking Reese’s hybrid that I forget the name of! I always rip the packaging off without reading it. Mini Reese’s, regular Reese’s, big Reese’s, white chocolate Reese’s, dark chocolate Reese’s, all chocolate Reese’s, world’s biggest Reese’s (look it up: an actual one-pound chunk of chocolate peanut butter indulgence heaven)! How many kinds of Reese’s are there!? Never enough! We need more! Well, I need more! If my girlfriend doesn’t get me my sweet peanut butter cups this Valentine’s Day, oh there’s gonna be trouble, you better believe it, there’s gonna be trouble. Nah, I’m just kidding … Just kidding … Just kidding. No, I am not. Call me names, but I want my Reese’s.
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46 issue N o . 16
HEDGEHOGS Natalie Corbo
13-02-09 9:01 PM