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Post North: Then, Now and Beyond

February 1st 2013

February 1st 2013

Post North: You Should Go Garett Svensen, Production Editor Post North is upon us. The premiere contentious poetry event in Prince George is only a week away. It’s amazing how provocative a few local word-artists and their associated event can be, but that’s poety for you. This year’s line-up is a solid mix of old favourites and some up-and-coming poets that hail from PG to Ft. St. John. So, it’s a big event full of belligerent poet-types. What’s there for the common person? Well, the Twisted Cork, the venue for the event, has a stellar, slightly eclectic menu. The belligerent poet-types are pretty damn entertaining too, once the night gets going. It’s not rowdy like a rock concert -no one moshes to a sonnetbut poets are typically pretty quickwitted and engaging. Oh, and you can drink there too.

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The Confluence - News

And the poetry. Best and brightest of northern BC right here. Hell, best and brightest in BC, period. The lineup is an eclectic bunch, from Ryan White’s wry, dark and funny take on the day to day northern BC slog, to the pure wit of G.P. Lainsbury, to A.J. Kenway’s examination of what dark things lurk in lonely hearts and basement crevices.

Andy Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

Graham Pearce, The Man Behind Post North

Garett Svensen, Production Editor

Taren Johnson, Web Manager

February 1st 2013

February 2013 Confluence Out Post North: 7pm The Twisted Cork

International Student Event: TE-Centre Lounge 5pm General Meeting & Pizza Lunch: Submissions Due 12pm Cafeteria

Reading Break Black History Month Family Day: 2pm Cafeteria

Farmer’s Market Submissions Due

Confluence Out

The Confluence is produced biweekly at the CNCSU office on CNC’s Prince George campus by Garett Svensen and Andy Johnson.

Environment Canada 5-Day Weather Forecast: For Prince George, BC. 1-5 February 2013

Submissions, inqueries and requests can be made to, in person at the CNCSU office room 1-303, or mailed to “The Confluence c/o CNCSU 3330-22nd Ave. Prince George, BC. V2N 1P8”

Saturday, February 2: 2°C, -2°C, Snow.

All submissions are welcome, the authors of edited works used in the confluence receive a $20 cheque upon publication. Advertisement rates are availiable upon request.

The Confluence - News

Confluence Out

Friday, February 1: 2°C, -2°C, Rain or Snow. Sunday, Feburary 3: 1°C, -4°C, Rain or Snow. Monday, February 4: 2°C, -8°C, Showers. Tuesday, February 5: 3°C, 0°C, Slight Chance of Showers.

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Family Day!

Black History Month Main Event: 6:30pm Cafeteria

February 1st 2013

Paper Cranes & Airplanes Andy Johnson, Editor-in-Chief Last semester I had a chance to help a few students put together their chapbooks for Graham Peace’s English 205: Creative Writing class. One such poet was Megan McKenzie, the bright and talented artist that we have covered on multiple occasions in The Confluence. McKenzie’s vision for a poetry chapbook was relatively simple, although quite unconventional. The lined pages and typed poems combined with McKenzie’s accompanying sketches create almost a dream journal-esque quality. The last few pages are filled with a two page spread of folding lines and directions to make a paper crane, a hand written afterword, and a notes section.

“gentleman” is Mr. Williams, it is how While most of McKenzie’s poetry I interpreted it. has a consistent aesthetic bordering on the surreal, the last poem of her The focus in this chapbook seems chapbook, “Paper Airplanes,” brings to be on the duality of the pastoral the reflective protagonist back from and demonic. For instance, the “the present day Neverland” to the reoccurrence of mermaids and sirens more grounded reality surrounding (which have cultural shifted from us all, which leaves the reader their original descriptions of bird like satisfied with the overall experience creatures with female human heads). of her chapbook. If you can find Both of these creatures share similar “Paper Cranes & Airplanes,” I would characteristics, namely their alluring recommend picking it up. songs and both are considered to be quite dangerous for sea-faring sailors. Yet, both creatures are charming in their own right.

Paper Cranes & Airplanes

The Confluence - Feature

Aesthetically, “Paper Cranes & Airplanes” is highly appealing, but McKenzie’s words are really where her chapbook soars. As with McKenzie’s paintings, her poetry is deceptively day-dreamy; there is something dark and elusive under the surface. Like most poetry, McKenzie’s work takes a while to reflect on. Upon a first reading, one will undoubtedly pick up on the reoccurring characters of “Mr. Williams,” “Miss Annabelle,” “mermaids” and the unseen protagonist (presumably female) who—through extended meditations on their thoughts—provides an almost whimsical journey through an artistic mindscape.

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These reoccurring characters seem to be motifs which McKenzie utilizes and blends in the unseen protagonist’s mind. For example, “Mr. Williams” seems to be a motif for a friend that the protagonist enjoys hanging out with, but wouldn’t want to be anything more than a friend. This seems to be exemplified in McKenzie’s poem “A Top Hat,” in which McKenzie describes a well to do gentleman who seems to have a problem denying temptation. While McKenzie never states that this

Megan McKenzie

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The Confluence - Culture

February 1st 2013

February 1st 2013

Once a month on a Saturday night, valley residents were invited to the school to see a movie shown from an old projector on a screen set up in the Grade 5-8 classroom. One weekend the movie was the 1937 film, Lost Horizon, in which the main characters escaped an uprising in western China in an airplane that was then hijacked during a fuel stop and ultimately crashed in the high mountains of Tibet. The protagonists survived and found their way to an ideal kingdom called Shangri-La where there was perfect peace and everyone lived to well past 100 in good health. Joe imagined escaping to a perfect country like that, or creating stories about one.

The Confluence - Arts

Once his parents and he went through a long-closed and abandoned schoolhouse built in the 1880s. He happened upon a 78-RPM Polydor record with a green label with German in gold print, and the date on it was 1930. The two songs on it were, unbeknownst to him at the time, small fragments of the brilliance of Weimar culture and Berlin nightlife of the late 1920s that had somehow ended up in this isolated valley. They were for him a delightful alternative to Lawrence Welk and the old standards his parents preferred. He imagined Germany as an exciting land of bright lights, dance halls and joy.

Creating a World By Paul Strickland

In Grade 2 Joe would sometimes daydream in class in the rural school he was attending in Trout Valley and often get in trouble. At home he would occasionally draw imaginary maps. Once he created one that wasn't far off from Central Europe, and one country that could have been construed as Hungary he called Judyana, after a classmate he had a crush on.

Occasionally his parents would drive about 25 miles to a tiny hamlet at the nearest junction with a major highway for a dinner out. Next to its only gas station was a bar-and-restaurant combination common in rural areas. Families with children could be served in the restaurant portion, and the bar was across the hallway. Joe occasionally heard from the jukebox in the bar the indistinct reverberating bass of what he later learned was blues music. Once he heard what he subsequently in mature adulthood believed he recalled as Elvis Presley's “Heartbreak Hotel.” But his conservative Protestant parents didn't talk about Presley.

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In the remote ranching valley there were no electrical power lines. Joe's dad would start up the generator to their house at 6:00 p.m. and leave it running till about 9:30. This was the time to bake, iron and listen to the radio. After dark distant stations could be picked up on a skip on their late 1930s Emerson “What countries are next to combination radio and record-player.. The dial was never turned to any station Germany?” he asked as they waited that played rock 'n' roll. His parents preferred Lawrence Welk, other big band for supper to be served. music, Broadway show tunes from the 1930s and 1940s, and newscasts. When music was on, Joe was naïve enough to imagine a band and tiny people on a “Well, France is on one side, and dance floor just below the luminous dial. Russia is on the other,” his mom

imagination drifted to an ideal island of peace and friendship. Later in the week he checked out Plato's Timaeus and Critias as well as other books about the origins of the Atlantis legend. In Plato's version the island might have had pleasant landscapes but it also had a set of arbitrary rulers who could be capriciously brutal.

In subsequent weeks he imagined their house in the dry, windy Trout Valley as a dreary outpost in southern Russia. The nearest neighbours were two miles away. During the frequent strong winds channeled into the valley from the nearby mountain canyons, the constant clanging of a metal snap at the end of the rope on a tetherball pole a hundred yards away made him think of the tolling of a bell from a distant church.

Joe saw little hope in his situation. He continued to withdraw into contemplating the verse of Donovan's song and, although knowing it would never exist on this earth in this life, creating a world set in an imaginary island of peace, philosophical discussion and friendship.

In Grade 5 he imagined himself the leader of a country called Capitalia. (Later when he picked up a little German from a pocket German dictionary he'd bought for 75 cents, he called it KapitalenRepublik.) He imagined his friends in other classrooms or in other neighbourhoods were ambassadors or other diplomatic representatives to those entities. Using pencils, he created mock diplomatic documents out of his imagination to share with friends. One time a visiting uncle found one of these documents and became profoundly disappointed and worried.

Joe said he understood, but it seemed the chewing-out session lasted 15 minutes as Gottfrei kept yelling into his face and repeating the same points over and over again, adding a full range of “vocabulary” for good measure, about keeping news stories short at all costs.

The Confluence - Arts

The family moved to High Desert City just before he began Grade 3.

Once the door closed, Gottfrei started shouting at him. “FUCK! NO stories over 10 inches!! How many times do I have to tell you?! IF I SEE ANY MORE STORIES FROM YOU THAT ARE MORE THAN 10 INCHES LONG, THERE'LL BE A LETTER IN YOUR FILE! DO YOU UNDERSTAND, BUDDY!?! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!”

February 1st 2013

answered, trying to simplify European about Jean Chretien having shoved geography to make it understandable aside and punched an anti-poverty to a seven-year-old. protester. Other wire stories dealt with severe cutbacks to provincial transfer “What's it like in Russia?” he asked. payments, especially for health care. The managing editor, Theodore “Well, it's a very sad country where Gottfrei, came up to his chair and they do everything the hard way,” she said, “I want to see you in my office! answered. NOW!”

When the session was over, the lifestyles editor said that, even with the door closed, Gottfrei's shouting could be heard throughout the newsroom. That night, while washing dishes in his apartment, Joe heard Donovan's 1969 folk song, “Atlantis”, and his

What do you get when you cross a laptop, smart phone, camera and creative applications?

“If you think you're the president of a country, you're crazy!” he said. “You must have mental-health problems. “Stop writing things like this,” his uncle added. “It will only get you into trouble – serious trouble!”

In about four decades Joe found himself in Saskatchewan in the tense office atmosphere of the downsizing Frack City Fair Trader. On his terminal he ran across a wire story

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A couple of months later some of his collection of these mock diplomatic documents disappeared. He later saw some of them on the desk in his dad's den.

February 1st 2013

Student Saver Card Clint Everall, CNCSU So the Student Saver Card, which was supposed to be here at the start of the fall semester, has finally arrived at the beginning of the spring semester (well, in Prince George I’d guess it’d be more reasonable to say that it’s the beginning of the ‘winter semester’ due to the fact the snow doesn’t really leave until after exams…). Never the less, it’s here, and it’s strongly recommended that all students take advantage of it!

The Confluence - CNCSU

If you have already picked up your Student Saver Card from the Students’ Union, on page 13 of the booklet, which was glued to the back of the card, you can find all the various local businesses that offer discounts. If you have not already picked up your card, they will still be available until they are all gone (which will probably not happen anyway). As well if you are lucky enough to be traveling anytime this year, you can also use the card in many other cities across Canada! The booklet only covers British Columbia, so if you are traveling there is a website available at which lists the locations and names of all participating businesses.

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The locations that are participating vary from sporting goods stores, restaurants, and retail to office supplies distributors. In other words no matter what program you’re currently enrolled in, or however old you may be, there will be a little something in the card that would be useful to you. Finally it should be noted that the Student Saver Card is completely free and you do not have to sign anything or register onto some emailing list, all you have to do is stop by and pick it up, and then enjoy your savings!

CNCSU: Tackling Student Issues

February 1st 2013

FRESH -Documentary Screening Eaters Listen Up

As stated on the Film’s trailer website, FRESH is a ‘grassroots effort for a grassroots movement’ (no pun intended). It seeks to create further awareness of ways for which we can re-invent food production and cultivation. The film also serves as a platform to raise awareness and connect people to solutions in their community; hopefully some of the students and others that attended were able to take this message away.

The biggest thing I think I took away from the film was the issues around government subsidies for corn production in the United States, the position that farmers are put into by governments and the companies that actually derive the most benefit of such subsidies from selling seeds to farmers. More often than not, it’s the same companies who purchase the majority of the corn once it has cultivated. These companies keep the cost of the seeds high resulting in production costs high for farmers who then require government subsidies to make production at all profitable.

This in turn keeps the market price for the fully-grown corn artificially low for the same companies/ purchasers, who typically sell the seeds in the first place, creating a production system. These companies/ purchasers derive the most benefit from the subsidies (seems like quite the conspiracy hey?). The production system for corn has the highest profit Although I felt the film could have margin for those who control the sale provided more information on what of seeds and the market for which raw foods are important to diet, as it farmers can then sell corn. Farmers focused on the farming of animals for are boxed into making low returns consumption. Furthermore, the film and rely on subsidies to maintain didn’t provide much information on a modest way of life, while large alternative protein sources to meat, industry corporations reap the most as that view has been presented in benefit. These large corporations use many of the other food production corn for the majority of processed documentaries I’ve viewed. Still, foods available in convenience and it did a great job of outlining the grocery stores as well as in fast food. importance of ethical food production Companies processing corn is in turn in general, for example, “THERE more profitable with the prevalence of

processed food, which predominantly uses processed corn ingredients. I did some digging to see if I really understood what ‘sustainable food’ really means and this is what I was able to come up with: Basically, as I understand it, making sure that the food is produced through the use of renewable resources in a way that does not damage the environment, where humane practices are in place for workers and animals, and where fair wages are in place for those at all parts of the production cycle. There’s definitely more to talk about when you get into the issues around synthetic pesticides, artificial hormones, or antibiotics but that would make this documentary review far too lengthy. I enjoyed FRESH and I definitely recommend it to others. We all gotta eat so we’re all a part of the food economy whether we like it or not.

The Confluence - CNCSU

This past Monday I had the chance to attend a documentary screening for the film ‘FRESH’ as a part of International Development week. It’s a great flick which examines farming and focuses on ecology for healthier, more sustainable food through an American lens. The event was hosted by PGPIRG (the Prince George Public Interest Research Group) and sponsored by the Northern BC Global Neighborhood Network (GNN) in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). GNN, with support by CIDA, is a community organization that works on opening up public dialogue on global issues, helping to promote and support capacity building for positive change.

IS NO SUCH THING AS CHEAP FOOD.” Please excuse the caps, but seriously, the cost is hidden somewhere else, whether it be in the social costs of low wage jobs (which don’t allow sustenance above the poverty line), or whether the cost is paid in terms of your own health among other things.

Upcoming Events for Local Food & Campus Sustainability include: Feb 28 –CNCSU Farmers Market in the Atrium March 6 –2nd Annual CNC Sustainability Showcase hosted by your Students’ Union If you’re interested in helping organize more events as a lead up to Earth Day or any other events to help build campus community. Your Students’ Union Events Planning Committee is looking for volunteers to get the ball rolling. Feel free to swing by the office room 1-303 or shoot us an email at

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Robert (Bobby) Chavarie, CNCSU

February 1st 2013


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The Confluence - Feature

Sasha Patrick, Contributor

Six Cigarettes. Ash and butts. And a life’s story told in that time. Burn it to the ground. Black flames and Ashes. Wish I had the bottle of whiskey. Eyes. Window. Soul. Its true. If I finally live, I am living. No chain. No lock. I am free. Inhale “goodbye”. exhale. A long breath. The last breath? There is no real goodbye Am I alone? Maybe. For a while. Friends? Family? I am not afraid I must inhale. I must live. I must Breathe. I won’t let you stop me. Can’t keep up? I will leave you behind. Who the hell are you? I am hurt. Cut the crap. Get out of my way. Reality, sit down, take a stand, fall down Go on, See the sunrise. I’ll raise the roof. I am strong We must go on. Seven cigarettes, Eight, Nine, A million ashes on the wind, as we are. Our endings are the same. The journey there… a million stories. Life can be a fantasy, then you lose someone, Suddenly your in hell. A turbulence never ending. We are the bottom but we support the top. A tree isn’t a tree without roots. Its your turn. You must germinate. You are the seed. I don’t want a flower. I want a strong cedar. A million and one smokes. A million and one ashes. Scattering across the world. Billowing. Suffocating. Creating demons. We aren’t human. No human can handle this crap. We are carriers of death. Its not wonder why we go crazy. No love, or too much love? We only live so long, until we turn to ashes. Moist dirt on the ground, to fuel the new seedlings. Grow new life. Hopefully the can live long enough to seed. This is all we can do. Witness death. Witness life. Or lack of it. No more reality, its all fantasy until crash and go mad. Off the deep end. Yet we remain. We are strong until we turn to ashes in the wind.

Remember to return your weight room pass and receive your $10 deposit back

February 1st 2013


FREE noon-hour fitness classes in the Gym Monday: Hula Hooping with Marnie Tuesday: Yoga with Ann Wednesday: Butts & Guts with Andrea Thursday: Zumba with Jodie Friday: Iron Yoga with Ann FREE access to the squash court It’s a great way to work up a sweat and leave your stressors behind, and we’ll help you find some competition on the court. FREE access to the bouldering wall Take a half hour out of your day and focus on hanging out with rocks.

The Confluence - Sports

With your current CNC student or employee ID:

FREE access to the weight room Use the free weights, weight machines, treadmills, step machine, bikes, and more. FREE access to the gym Shoot hoops. Organize a volleyball,badminton or soccer game. Play some 3-on-3 hockey.

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Come and book a time with Jana Room 1-508 (by the gym) 250-561-5803

The Confluence Issue 19  

The Confluence Issue 19