EGYPT: The Hangover
FALL 2011 Volume 1 Issue 3 Raw. Honest. Local. FREE
Photo: Vancouver Public Library Archives.
#3 ARTIST PROFILE
7 Vince Vaccaro
interview by Shane Morgan
Confessions of a Cocaine Distributor interview by Zack Grimmer photos John Doe
10 Pretty Woman
words Zack Grimmer interview by Seija Eskola photo Jen Mah
24 26 AWOLNATION Dev & Kay 25 LMFAO
words Jen Mah interview by Ed Vint interview by Shane Morgan photo Piper Ferguson
video Shane Morgan
11 Fashion Revolution Egyptian Revolution 18 Biological Revolution 22 Occupy Everything 15 Online Dating 14 Revolution styled by Myriam Laroche photo Le Beast words Zack Grimmer
words Ben Paylor & Marcus Kaulback photos Syd Wooward & Shane Morgan words Jordan West
26 Editorial Publisher Dadmehr Naimi Creative Director Shane Morgan Editor Zack Grimmer Layout Designer Jen Mah Contributors Markus Kaulback, Georgia Esporlas, Daniel Armstrong, Ben Paylor, Seija Eskola, Myriam Laroche, Le Beast, Alina Ilyasova, Syd Woodward, Michelle Chang, Matthew May, Jordan West, Trevor Broad, Meeno, Piper Ferguson, Shane Deringer, Bijan Dharas Interns Jenelle Cooney, Tania Chandler, Christina Dun
Video Video Director Shane Morgan Editor Gerrit Van Woudenberg Sound Editor Scott Clifford Video Host Ed Vint
Hush Issue #3: Reproduction without permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher and editors are not responsible for unsolicited material and it will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication subject to Hush Magazineâ€™s right to edit. Return postage must be accompanied by manuscripts, photographs, and drawings.
Advertising Marketing Director Zack Grimmer Accounts Manager Pedram Naimi Sales Manager Michael Lemoine Sales Consultant Shauna Biggar YouTube.com/HushMagazine Facebook/HushVancouver Twitter.com/HushVancouver
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Vince Vaccaro Local Musician
ancouver’s local star, Vince Vaccaro, is on the up-and-ups. Winner of the 100.5 The Peak’s Peak Performance Project, Vince scored a hefty $50,000 to throw down on his music career. With a catchy blend of new school vibes and classic rock, this home-grown stud is guaranteed to keep gaining momentum. Keep your eyes peeled for his new EP, The Dove, as his killer tunes climb the charts. Don’t forget who you heard it from!
Do you physically hand out your music to strangers? Yeah, everywhere I’ve played, I always give music away. I just got back from Australia, and when I was there I brought 200 CDs and gave them all away fairly quickly, and I got a lot of call backs just from that. I ended up getting 16 shows booked. So from having zero plans to having 16 shows booked in another country is pretty awesome, and that’s just from handing out cd’s, so it works out pretty good for me. How does the environment affect your music? Well I was born in
HUSH | Artist Profile
Montreal, I was born in an area that was really urban. When I came out to BC, I was kinda thrown into this whole other world, and I really took it in. I got exposed in a way that impacted me really deeply. I really relate to this place; I don’t think I could live anywhere else in the long term than the West Coast.
What about Australia? Australia is amazing. But when I was out there I did miss home. I miss the big huge trees and just the feeling. If I moved there, I would miss it. They don’t have an ozone layer there either, which isn’t good. I think the statistic is like one in three people have skin cancer. That’s a frightening ﬁgure. What makes Australia a unique place to tour? The culture in Australia is beach culture. So, there’s a lot of roots music and it’s kinda part of their everyday thing, like if you go into most stores there’s live music, like a guy with an acoustic guitar, with a small P.A performing right in the middle of the store. That’s something that I think is kind of missing here on the West Coast and it would be good to see. Did you get to play in any of the shops? I did actually; I got a residency at a place called “Mocka”. People kept coming back to see us and bringing their friends. It was a very grassroots approach to spreading the word. Through that, I met people who worked in the radio and got on three separate radio stations. I was there for 54 days and put so many shows under my belt and met so many people. It worked out in the end. You never know where you should play. There’s always somebody that will gain something from it. Speaking of grassroots and radio what is the Peak Performance Project doing for local music? Without the Peak Performance Project there’s no way I could be doing a lot of the shit that I’ve done this year. I think that the Peak Performance Project gives an opportunity for up and coming artists to showcase their stuff and meet industry professionals. At the end of the day, they are a huge ﬁnancial support, which is invaluable to artists.
What role do you think music has in social change? I think that music plays a personal role in social change. A song can change an individual’s world; maybe it’s for a day, but that one person will have a good feeling for that day. That changes the world, it’s a ripple effect and that’s powerful. A smile goes a million miles.
“a smile goes a million miles” interview by Shane Morgan
What’s the bar for revolution? I think the smaller quieter revolutions are much more powerful than the bigger, explosive revolutions that seem to be ﬂashy and die off just as quick.
confessions of a cocaine distributor words Zack Grimmer photo Jen Mah
Liquid drug money prevented a global recession according to one UN official. HUSH sits down with a coke dealer to learn a little more about Vancoauver’s black market.
o up the ante for HUSH’s third round of Drugonomics, I sat down with a large-scale cocaine distributor. My inspiration came from a quote I heard, that drug money averted a global depression. According to the United Nation’s drug czar, Antonio Maria Costa, “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks on the verge of default was drug money. Conservative estimates put the drug industry at $400 billion (USD) annually, making it almost 1% of the global economy; right alongside oil and arms.
But, I have no need to remind a Vancouver audience about the prevalence of drugs. From pot smoking to the recent Supreme Court ruling in favour of InSite, drugs play an integral (and often unwanted) role in our city’s identity. Still, the widespread gap persists between scientific data and public policies. Canada’s role in the War on Drugs drains tax dollars with almost no effect on the production, consumption, and violence associated with illicit narcotics.
How is cocaine brought into Canada? Anything and everything you can think of has been exploited to get cocaine into Canada. Boats, trains, cars, buses, on foot, even submarines have been used. Literally everything.
What’s the profit margin on one kilo of cocaine? Depends what country you buy it from. It’s a caseby-case situation and depends on a list of factors. But a basic run down for a kilo of coke is: $3,000 from Columbia, $5,000 from their neighbours (like Bolivia), Mexico is about $15,000, and the U.S. is $22,000. In Vancouver a kilo can be sold off for $40,000. Major profit. Since earnings are so much higher in Canada, the cartels are startForty years on, the prohibitionist method is, by ing to send it directly here. Plus coke can always all measurements, a failure. So I decided to hear be traded for BC Bud.
directly from a cocaine distributor on how the market works. For obvious reasons he asked to remain anonymous. The interview was conducted at a vacant apartment. Needless to say, experiencing the extent of Vancouver’s drug trade firsthand was jaw dropping. Something’s got to give for a change to come.
How do you get rid of such large amounts? Getting rid of it is nothing. I can wholesale 25 kilos overnight. It’s getting it into the country that’s the hard part.
Where do major transactions usually take place? People use different methods. I rotate through vacant apartments around the Lower Mainland, rented out under other people’s names and using fake IDs. It’s a bit pricey, but they’re safe and discreet.
What systems are in place for smuggling drugs? Drug mules are used for the bottom-level of shipping; mainly for desperate Mexicans or Columbians swallowing pellets. Drug mules aren’t very cost-effective. For major operations there are two basic systems “transporters” and “receivers.” Transport is simpler. Transporters receive $2,000 per key [kilo] of coke brought in. It’s a flat rate for jumping blow from the U.S. into
guarantee. The transporter or receiver gives the buyer the cash amount of the purchase. After the shipment arrives the buyer returns the cash to the receiver and gets the shipment.
A “receiver” is somebody who has some sort of business to accept a shipping container at the port. A receiver is definitely for the major leaguers. The going rate for a receiver is 20 to 30 percent of the total load. Say I bring in 100 kilos; the receiver gets a cut either in product or the cash equivalent. A receiver is needed for large shipments; transport is riskier for bringing in dozens and dozens of kilos. Also it’s used for longer distances, for sophisticated operations trying to get shipments directly into Canada without running it through Mexico and the U.S. where it’s going to get stomped on and mixed with all sorts of shit. Do drug dealers have insurance? Yeah, any good transporter or receiver guarantees a shipment. I don’t do business without a
So you don’t see a problem with selling drugs? I don’t create the demand for drugs, I avoid violence, it’s not my fault drugs are illegal. The truth of the matter is that drugs are the black market’s Wild West. As long as they are illegal So what’s the deal with the Mexican cartels? they are not subject to control and are highly They’re in the news a lot. profitable, I and many other people will use The Mexican cartels are awful. Pricing is expen- them to make a living. If drugs were legal, my sive. They’re more violent, the quality is worse. business would be in big trouble. High-ups are untouchable. Foot soldiers are killed daily. Human life has no value to them. You don’t feel guilty at all? The Canadian and American guys care more It’s unfortunate how some people use drugs, about their workers, generally. They want to but it’s not my responsibility. make sure they’re safe and satisfied. Do you use coke? You’re going to see more Mexican Cartels in No. Vancouver and Canada over the coming years. Like I said, the profit margin is way higher than Are there high ranking women dealers? sending it into the U.S. They are making a kill- Oh yeah, god yeah. Wives, girlfriends, gangster ing off of cocaine, meth, and weed – all because chicks: they definitely play a role. At some point of the American demand for those products. It’s it comes down to how many different ways can easy for the Mexicans to continue expanding we get into it and how many people can we north, especially with those profit margins and trust to help. Obviously there are less women the amount of U.S. territory they are already op- than men, we live in a male dominated world, but times have changed and some major playerating on. ers are women. But it’s not just the cartels; you can break that down further. Some Mexican gangs are groups How much violence is involved in the industry? of 10 guys moving 100 kilos per month into Different organizations run it differently. Even Canada. Basic laws of supply and demand. some parts of the Independent Soldiers, Scorpions, and Hell’s Angels are losing money because Drugs will find a way. they’re caught up whacking each and turfing. Of How do buyers, shippers, receivers, etc. commu- course there are others in those gangs making nicate? piles of money. Some organizations don’t touch PGP encryption has stolen the show. It’s a sys- guns and make millions every year. Think of it tem to protect electronic information and is like different companies, some good, some bad, used with RIM technology by Blackberry. It’s some peaceful, some violent. got end-to-end security which means only the sender and recipient can access the information inside of it. If you saw those revolutions in the Middle East those guys were using BBM on Blackberry to communicate. Messages can’t be intercepted by anyone who’s not physically in possession of the phone. Basically it’s designed for terrorists, drug dealers, and anyone else paranoid about their information. But face-toface communication is obviously the safest and still tends to dominate the communication lines between dealers. But face-to-face isn’t possible if you’re trying to talk with someone in Columbia.
“anything and everything you can think of has been exploited to get cocaine into Canada”
Do border guards and/or police play a big role in bringing drugs into Canada? Cops can’t be bought, or it is extremely rare which, even as a drug dealer, I’d say thank god. At least our society isn’t that bad. Border guards are way more likely to be on somebody’s pay Most of the successful ones in Canada are the roll, they’re also more crucial for the shipping. gentle guys, they avoid violence. The ones that attract the heat, with the violence, they strugHow do you feel about handling drugs that end gle to pull in profit. Too much attention. If you know someone who acts like a gangster then up on the streets with addicts? Profit! If I was the only one doing it I might they’re not a real gangster. feel different, I still don’t touch speed. I don’t condone anyone cooking coke to crack. Lots of How much is going east? drug dealers stay away from glass – meth, it’s I wish I knew. I know a lot is coming into Vanjust evil. Even we aren’t that greedy, but there’s couver. always someone willing to step in and do it.
Canada in smaller amounts. It’s generally used for lower level stuff and has a higher risk of being caught. Think of it like the minor leagues. If you see a trucking company blow up [with money] it’s probably from running drugs into Canada over the American border. Maybe it’s the driver, the company or the sender responsible for the shipment. Because it usually involves all three the police can’t prosecute anyone. Everyone keeps their mouths shut and no one is convicted.
HUSH | Drugonomics
HUSH | Feature
PRETTY WOMAN An Interview with Richard Gere Just kidding. It’s actually with Mark Brand.
ike Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Gastown was once a dejected slut. Luckily, she got a makeover. After being holed up in the Regent Beverly Wilshire for a weeklong bang session, Gastown emerges from the Presidential Suite glowing with confidence. And the studly business man responsible for this dramatic transformation, the one and only Mark Brand. And, just like those snotty retail clerks in that one scene, Gastown was told (metaphorically): “I don’t think we have anything for you. You’re obviously in the wrong place.” But Mark Brand (restaurateur and entrepreneur) saved Gastown from those snotty bitches (Yaletown developers). All tolled, he is now owner or partner in Boneta, Save On Meats, the Diamond, Sea Monstr Sushi, Sharks + Hammer, and Catalogue Gallery.
But, as any businessman in love with a prostitute can tell you, Mark has some criticism to grapple with. Like: is he inadvertently raising the cost of real estate and playing into a process of displacing residents? We don’t think so. He does all sorts of nice things for the DTES and although crack heads don’t eat too much they now have access to gourmet sandwiches when the mood strikes.
We sat down with Mark to get his take on gentrification, why he loves Gastown, and revolutionaries.
Have your businesses displaced people in the DTES? We didn’t displace anybody at all. We’re also doing community minded projects. Sea Monstr Sushi is obviously not for the guys at the dugout, but there’s a community feel because we don’t judge. The whole thing’s an SRO above, all those guys come down, eat mini chicken bowls and hang out while they brown bag out front. We’re non-judgemental, but we also don’t go over the top the other way like, “Oh hey! You need something?” No. Fuck that. If you need something, you’ll ask or if you don’t you’re just hanging out. So I really enjoy that critique. I think the crown in all the media was that we got a Carnegie Community Center review in their newsletter that was super glowing, where as they picketed our neighbours. You know, that to me says, “You guys are doing a good job. You get it.”
What’s the big deal about Gastown? We love Gastown and the area and we thought that it could use a little bit more of a draw. So people could see what we saw. We started with Boneta, if people could come down there as a destination, which they did in droves, they could see the rest of the area and really sort of catch the history. Versus the downtown core and Yaletown where you could be flying over Singapore,
Malaysia, it could be anywhere. Aside from the landscape of course, it’s not iconic Vancouver. Where we’re sitting right now [Save On Meats] is iconic. Those are the sorts of things you want to keep around because what they mean to you, you hope they’re going to mean something to your kids and to their kids.
Favourite revolutionaries and pioneers? Not because its topical, but because I absolutely would of loved to have had the chance to meet him, Jack Layton. I would have loved to smash a bunch of pints with that guy. His energy…he’s one of those characters who drew people into Canadian politics. And into the actual crises that we face, I would have really enjoyed that.
photo Georgia Esporlas
words Zack Grimmer / interview Seija Eskola / photo Jen Mah
ECO FASHION WEEK
HUSH | Fashion
words Bijan Dharas photos Georgia Esporlas
ancouver is a city that is not necessarily known for its fashion. Indeed, we have appeared on MSN Travel’s top 10 worstdressed cities list (a point of contempt amongst many of the attendees last week). But this may all change if Eco Fashion Week president Myriam Laroche has her way: currently on the fast-track to becoming the largest eco fashion event in North America, Vancouver Eco Fashion Week is poised to make a positive name for the city in the fashion world.
So take off the Yoga pants, and replace them with something vintage, try to mix in some reused materials (such as from
Adhesif’s line) or some rescued ones (such as from Divina DeNuevo). Ride a bike instead of driving, do something to take a step forward in being green. Because, after all, green is the new black, and it’s totally IN right now. scan this to watch highlights of Eco Fashion Week Season 3
“YOU CAN SET TRENDS BY REUSING CLOTHES” -myriam laroche
co Fashion Week is revolutionizing the fashion world! Born and bred in Vancouver, Eco Fashion Week has finally put our city on the map as a source for avant-garde fashions and responsible, reusable styles. President and founder, Myriam Laroche, is sending shockwaves all the way to New York, Paris, and Milan.
photographer Le Beast wardrobe stylist Myriam Laroche make-up artist Michelle Chang hair stylist Matthew May
HUSH | Fashion
HUSH | Feature
Dating Dot Com R
HUSH’s self-dubbed douchebag connoisseur takes a scathing look at the modern dating scene. Warning: Plenty of Fish users read at your own emotional risk.
emember when casual flirting led to a number exchange… which led to an evening of shitty Thai food, awkward conversation, and a failure of a goodnight kiss? No? Neither do I. It seems that dating has devolved into getting loser drunk, having sex with strangers, and taking frequent trips to the walk-in crotch doc. No one puts effort into anything anymore. Romantic encounters have fallen fewer and farther between. We’ve become a generation of Chlamydia ridden alcoholics and I’m a firm believer that this dating revolution is a spawn of the Internet. The World Wide interWeb has made us lazy. You don’t have to be charming, creative or interesting anymore. You don’t have to be elusive or mysterious to bag the head-turner. All you really have to do is create a Plenty of Fish profile, list a bunch of bullshit to make yourself sound interesting enough to fuck, and the next thing you know Dr. Andrews is handing you a cup to pee in while he fondles your junk and recounts how his ten year-old got food poisoning in Bali.
Before online dating existed, people went out more. Rather than spending your days cooped up in your apartment, contemplating witty messages to strangers, people used to actually go outside and do the things they enjoy– and generally, through interaction and common interest, fate would bring along someone date worthy. I hate to say it, no, that’s a lie, I don’t: online dating is lame.
I was up late the other night and a commercial for QuestChat came on between shitty late night programs. Does anyone actually use these over-priced phone chat lines? Honestly, get a fucking computer. At least on Plenty of Fish you have the option of a headshot. We all know the paid model from that commercial is in bed watching re-runs of America’s Next Top Model while her dipshit boyfriend plastic bags her Chihuahua’s crap off the sidewalk. I think it’s common knowledge that when you phone a dial-up dating service you’re talking to an overweight ex con with no teeth and poor hygiene. But in order to properly wrap my head around all the hype, I created myself a POF account. My moniker was ‘Lydia’ (the psycho-
words Jordan West photos Jen Mah
bitch from Women by Charles Bukowski for you literati out there). In the “about me” section, I highlighted my drinking problem, my shitty attitude, my ADD, affinity for questionable morals and hatred of poor spelling. Cynicism = obvious.
Two days and three hundred douchebags later, I have learned that people are stupider than I thought. I have to admit, I spent a bit of time responding to a few messages that stood out. Mostly pointing out grammatical errors and exercising sarcastic connotation. I even received a message from a married man asking if I was interested in “a little play.” Why is there even an option to list your self as “Married” on Plenty of Fish? Come on. I responded with, “How’s your wife?” and then went on to correct a few of his spelling errors. Plenty of Fish is my version of Six Flags: I love belittling assholes. In the dating revolution there is no mercy. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a population of sincere people who are using these networks to find any form of companionship, but from my experience, most people are just prowling.
“The World Wide inter-Web has made us lazy. You don’t have to be charming, creative or interesting anymore.” Times have changed and romance is hanging in the balance. Perhaps soon enough we’ll be able to just date a computer, programmed to enjoy long walks on the beach, romantic candle-lit dinners, and want three children. That way we can cut out the middle man completely. Right?
HUSH | Feature
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
-They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. -They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. -They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of oneâ€™s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. -They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization. -They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices. -They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. -They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. -They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workersâ€™ healthcare and pay. -They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility. -They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. -They have sold our privacy as a commodity. -They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. -They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit. -They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. -They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them. -They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. -They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save peopleâ€™s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit. -They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. -They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. -They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. -They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. -They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. -They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. * To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal. Join us and make your voices heard!
99% The 99%
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.
scan this QR to view Get Grounded TVâ€™s interview with Naomi Klein
#OCCUPY E HushMag.Ca
photos Shane Morgan
photos Syd Woodward
Egyptâ€™s Post-Revolution Hangover
words Sharaf al Grimawi
HUSH | Feature
mog, honking horns, and blistering heat; a typical afternoon in Cairo. I sit down at a café, light a cigarette and watch in shock as a cop gets bitch slapped across the street. A festive mob draws in, excited and laughing. They shove him, each time a little more violently. He enters flight, scampering off frantically. What triggered the mob? God knows. After three decades of oppression, they needed a punching bag. Days roll by without the revolution crossing my mind. Distracted by the day-to-day chaos of Cairo’s streets and the positive attitude of ordinary people. Then, I see a policeman being assaulted. Reality flashes back. Egypt is unstable.
Repercussions from the Arab Spring are being felt the world over as #Occupy revolutionaries adopt the “leaderless” methods pioneered in Egypt. Relying on social coordinators instead of leaders, the #OccupyWallSt movement has spread throughout North America using Egypt’s communication and organizational methods. As the ousted Middle Eastern tyrants learnt, you cannot cut the head off a movement which has none. But few people are actually looking to see how those methods have faired and whether they continue to work.
elcome to the hangover of Egypt’s revolution. As the after-effects of the Arab Spring set in, few people agree on what lies ahead. But everyone can agree that Egypt’s brave new world is an eerie one. Removing Hosni Mubarak was just the beginning. The delicate balance holding the country together requires cooperation across the board; a tall order, all the more so as time goes on. Delayed elections, a growing crime wave, and sectarian strife make that cooperation more unattainable every day. Not to mention relations with Egypt’s neighbour to the east, Israel.
The Egyptian revolution was enviable. An alpha revolution by history’s standards. Across the world, people watched Egypt’s military act with unprecedented benevolence while Muslims and Christians prayed together in Tahrir Square and an outpouring of support flooded in from the international community. Even cynics applauded this peaceful, spontaneous revolt. A sharp bloodless contrast to what would soon follow in Syria and Libya. Fast forward nine months and the “Kumbaya” phase is gone. Long gone. A sense of national vertigo permeates Egyptian society. For the first time in modern memory, people are scared of walking Cairo’s streets. Authority is difficult to find these days. Vigilante groups have replaced a working police force. The armed forces rule instead of a president.
joined the revolution on the 28th of January, called “The Friday of Anger,” the day after Mubarak had shut down Egypt’s internet services. It was clear Mubarak had made a serious miscalculation, sealing the nails of his own coffin. After thirty years in the making, Egyptians could endure it no longer. Our fear had been wiped away. We would force change or die trying: victory or death.
I now see Occupy Wall St. protestors emulating the Egyptian revolution’s methods. Praising the “leaderless” revolutions of the “Arab Spring” and spreading those techniques the world over, including Vancouver. But I’d like to extend a warning: Twitter and Facebook cannot foster a new order. Tearing down power structures is easy. Reconstructing authority is the real revolution. As of yet, Egypt’s revolution is incomplete.
ince the fall of Mubarak, Western media has lost interest in Egypt, preferring the bloodier stories found in Libya and Syria, and leaving most Westerners under the impression that everything is fine – they’re free now. The reality is that Egypt has grown more unstable with time. High profile kidnappings, incinerated churches, uncounted robberies, assaults on police, the pillaging of Israel’s embassy, and most recently the killing of 26 Egyptians in clashes between Coptic Christian protestors and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). My post-revolution alarm bells first went off when the Tunisian soccer team was assaulted during a friendly game by a group of pissed off fans. I was appalled to see footage of Egyptians storming the field in Cairo against Tunisians, the originators of the Arab Spring. The bloodthirsty fans severely injured several Tunisian players and a referee. What’s worse, the cops did nothing to prevent the onslaught. Tunisia started the Arab Spring. They are the last country the Egyptian public should attack.
Optimism continues to fade as a crime wave shakes the country. A fire fuelled by unbearable inflation, dwindling social services, and enormous disparities of wealth. The emergent criminal population is a phenomenon previously unthinkable for Egypt. During the revolution, police stations were swarmed by crowds hungry for weapons and ammunition. Now, countless guns circulate the black market from small arms to AK47s. Likewise, a flood of convicts escaped from prisons across the country, including some of the most sadistic and seasoned criminals Egypt has to offer. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but most reliable speculators put the number of fugitives in the
thousands. Add to the mix frustrated, unemployed young men with a fresh appetite for control and you have an equation for trouble. o hear of widespread crime is one thing, witnessing it is another. Not long ago, I was in an upscale suburb of Cairo. With a population mainly composed of upper class and foreign residents, it has always been diligently protected by the police and armed forces. As I waited in my car outside a friend’s apartment, I saw three young guys crammed onto a motorcycle. The last guy was holding a baseball bat. Further along the road, a foreign woman was walking. I knew what was about to happen.
#OccupyWallStreet can romanticize the Arab Spring all they want: Egypt’s fucked.
Whap! They hit her on the head, fucking hard, from a moving vehicle. Immediately unconscious, she fell to the ground like a rag doll. Barely out of my car, they had already scooped up her purse and took off.
My friend and I took her to the hospital ourselves. Ambulances are a waste of time in Cairo – people die waiting for them. Traffic on the way caused the trip to take an extra thirty minutes. That’s how chaotic it is in Cairo these days. Emergency services are nonexistent. Gridlock is a nightmare. At least the foreign woman had the money to pay. Many Egyptians are denied attention due to the costs of medical care.
ith a crippled security apparatus, Egypt’s power vacuum has police afraid to exercise what little remains of their authority. Police brutality was the right hand of former President Hosni Mubarak and a focal point for revolutionary anger. Torture and violence were the only means of suppressing crime for thirty years. Since the toppling of Mubarak’s regime, the authorities regularly attract public anger for their failure to serve. Without a doubt, the chaos being stirred misrepresents the majority of good-hearted Egyptians who want a higher standard of living and political freedom. Unfortunately, as these events tally up, a stable transition becomes more and more elusive. Parliamentary elections, originally set for September have now been pushed to November. Presidential elections have been postponed indefinitely. The civilian population looks dubiously towards the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
Instability isn’t cheap. All this adds up to enormous costs, most notably in the tourism sector, which has taken a huge hit. Employing nearly 12% of the total population and drawing in over $11 billion (USD) per year, it is one of Egypt’s most important sources of income. It is down roughly 75%. This translates into a major occupational blow for one in ten Egyptians.
So when five Egyptian border guards were shot by Israeli security forces in August during a Palestinian attack on an Israeli border crossing, the Egyptian public reacted with fury. Accounts of the incident remain murky, but the fallout led, unsurprisingly, to a crowd of angry protestors storming the Israeli embassy in Cairo. Trapping several diplomats inside and attempting to light the building on fire, Egyptian commandos had to be called in to quell the crowd as the Egyptian police sat by watching the events unfold. Israel shortly thereafter withdrew its ambassador and most of its diplomats from the country. To add to the crime, the tension, and the chaos is the ever-looming question of Israel. Without Mubarak’s regime on hand to safe guard the delicate peace from popular opinion, it is easy to speculate. Securing the Sinai is a major national priority for Israelis. If the Egyptian government fails to uphold that condition, Israeli security forces will act independently – another issue to place atop the tower of problems looming over Egypt.
ubarak’s resignation was forced by the progressive movement in Tahrir of poor and wealthy alike. That movement is finding itself increasingly irrelevant as they are engulfed by political quicksand. The real power players are emerging now: the interim military government, established political veterans, and Islamist groups. Unprepared for the post-revolution onslaught, the “leaderless” movement in Tahrir is now faced with the question: revolution lost?
Not yet, but Egypt’s revolutionary hangover isn’t pretty. Many of the changes so far have been for the worse: more traffic, more crime, ceaseless political bickering, delayed elections, sectarian strife, and no end in sight. Protestors still occupy Tahrir Square to demand more change. Their demands are met with silence.
got into a conversation with a cab driver the other day. I asked if he thought life was better since the fall of Mubarak. He said, “Of course life without Mubarak is better.” I asked what exactly he found better, what had improved. He told me, “Now we are free.” I asked him what else, he said that was all.
د ״ رك – ״و ود ״ رك – To the east of Cairo, lies the Sinai Peninsula, a highly influential, but scarcely inhabited piece of land sandwiched between the mainland
“Your demands are just and legitimate demands” - Hosni Mubarak, 10 February 2011
and Israel. Famous for its beach resorts, biblical history, and Bedouin population it has been an Egyptian tourist attraction since Israel returned the occupied land after the Sixth of October War (or Yom Kippur War, as it’s known in Israel). Since its return, the marginalized Bedouin population relies primarily on smuggling operations (drugs, weapons, and livestock) for their income. With trade routes to Cairo, Israel, and the Gaza Strip; Egyptians often joke that regional peace negotiations should rely on drug dealers. Jokes aside, the Sinai Peninsula has always had a sense of lawlessness and is a thorn in the delicate peace between Egypt and Israel.
HUSH | Feature
WHAT I CANNOT BUILD, I CANNOT UNDERSTAND
n February 1969, Harvard historian Donald Fleming wrote an article called “On Living in a Biological Revolution.” Therein, he detailed many recent discoveries in the science of life —discoveries like those of DNA, super-ovulation (which led to the development of in vitro fertilization), and organ transplants — and argued that such scientific prolificacy marked the beginning of an era of radical and pervasive change in the way we live. Each of the dozen discoveries the professor cited was monumental in itself, but viewed together “they constituted a veritable Biological Revolution likely to be as decisive for the history of the next 150 years as the Industrial Revolution has been for the period since 1750.”
What this Biological Revolution really means is that humans can now control what were, heretofore, strictly natural biological processes; we can make life what we want it to be. Perhaps the biggest step toward this revelation occurred in 2000, when Dr. J. Craig Venter announced that he had successfully mapped the human genome. This meant that we now knew what the essential genes for life were. The Human Genome provided a framework for how
words Ben Paylor & Marcus Kaulback photos Jen Mah life is composed, and, therefore, what it takes to manipulate, improve, and even build it! Venter continued to work in the field, and in 2007 the first individual human map was published: his. Turns out the sneaky doctor had replaced the intended sample with his own, and so became the first human to ever have his or her genome sequenced. According to his reading, it turns out that he also has higher than normal levels of earwax, and a predisposition to antisocial behaviour. Building from his obvious expertise and knowledge of the genes necessary to generate life, this rogue of the revolution announced in 2010 that his laboratory, the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), had created the first ever self-replicating, synthetic cell. Never before in human history had there been life based on entirely manmade, chemically synthesized genetic material. Dr. Venter, already famous for his involvement in the human genome project a decade before, was in the headlines again, this time promoting a concept that Dr. Fleming had introduced more than 40 years earlier: that society was experiencing a fundamental change in the way that we define and view life. We were experiencing the Biological Revolution.
cal query: “How do we want life to operate?”
So what is synthetic life? Simply put, it is the convergence of biology and engineering. Living cells follow instructions encoded by their DNA, the blueprint of life. When it’s time to divide, a complex set of cellular machinery assembles and duplicates the cells genetic blueprint, with each daughter cell getting one copy. Synthetic life means that the organism has not arisen by this highly conserved and natural process (every living organism on earth uses this genetic process – strong evidence towards a common “primordial” ancestor) and instead is operating based on a man-designed DNA sequence. Because of this, the content of genetic material on which it lives can be customized, tailored to fit the needs of its maker. It’s not for nothing that these new developments have been referred to as “genetic tailoring.” In a whimsical demonstration of the power of synthetic biology, Dr. Venter created a number of watermark sequences in his synthetic bacterium that allows it to be distinguished from any naturally occurring life. When translated into English (by using a legend also encoded in the synthetic sequence), the bacterial genome
Venter visited Vancouver in May of this year to give a talk at the Vogue Theatre as a part of the Wall Exchange Lecture Series. In his speech, he spoke of the Biological Revolution, saying that we are in the middle of redefining our perception of life. A quote from the website of his newest company, Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), further explains Dr. Venter’s view on the subject: “I believe the best examples of disruptive technologies that could change our future are in the new fields of synthetic biol ogy, synthetic genomics, and genome engineering. These fields can change the way we think about life by showing that we can use living systems to increase our chances of survival as a species.”
However it’s important to be clear that Dr. Venter has by no means redefined life — the synthetic bacteria is in most regards the same as the natural bacteria it was based on — but has instead proved it is possible to chemically synthesize all the genetic material necessary for life, albeit at an incredibly simple level. Central to understanding the significance of this breakthrough is that this is the first time man has “created life,” and represents a shift from the long-standing scientific goal of understanding how life operates towards a more philosophi-
As fascinating as cellular genetic poetry may be, this is hardly central to Dr. Venter’s claims that we are in the middle of a revolution. By redesigning bacterial life as a customizable cellular factory, the rapidly expanding field of synthetic biology is expected to provide new avenues through which we can produce foods, fuels, and medicines. The applications are already being tested, with ExxonMobil recently investing $600 million in Dr. Venter’s company SGI, whose goal is to redesign photosynthetic algae so that they produce high levels of biofuels. This is the largest ever investment by an oil and gas company in alternative fuel source research, and the initial results have been very positive. According to the ExxonMobil website, bio-oils that are produced by SGI’s algae could be used to manufacture fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and even jet fuel. Furthermore, the algae yield much greater levels of bio-fuels per acre per year than more traditional sources: nearly 10 times more than corn, and a full 40 times more than soy. Similar efforts for pharmaceutical and agricultural production are not far off, highlighting the fact that Dr. Venter’s work is ushering in a new period of human history wherein one day it will seem archaic that for these keys to modern human life — food, fuels, and medicines — we once relied on naturally occurring life that arises by a tediously slow process known as evolution. The work also revisits a number of ethical concerns that have surrounded the field of genetic engineering for years. The tremendous amount of work and financial investment in Dr. Venter’s synthetic life means that legal protection is required for his creation, but the concept of patenting life raises numerous red flags. The issue of intellectual property and patent rights for synthetic life is new territory in the field of bioethical law, and will require an incredible degree of scrutiny to anticipate more complex projects of this nature in the future. It isn’t just the issue of patenting life that has some people up in arms, it’s the very idea of making life in the first place. There has been strong opposition to Venter’s work based mostly on religious and moral codes. But ethics have always been an intimate part of any revolution; the difference here being that with most political revolutions the question has revolved around the necessity of ending lives, whereas with the Biological Revolution it revolves solely around life’s creation. Dr. Venter’s work is not the first step, but perhaps the largest, towards the realization of the Biological Revolution – a complete redefinition of how we perceive and utilize life. The applica-
tion of the new field of synthetic biology looks way beyond tinkering with simple algae and bacteria and has broad-reaching implications in how human life will function in the future.
“ethics have always been an intimate part of any revolution” They were lofty words from Dr. Fleming in 1969, predicting that something in its infancy would within 150 years affect us as much as the Industrial Revolution so obviously has. But with the way people like Craig Venter are working, this Biological Revolution may even outstrip its predecessors’ repercussions in the course of history. And don’t forget, we still have 108 years to prove Fleming right.
contains the names of the 46 researchers who designed the organism as well as a number of famous quotes, such as “To Live, To Err, To Fall, To Triumph, To Recreate Life Out of Life” from James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist of a Young Man.
HUSH | Feature
“I’m not really a politician. I’m a party-tician.”
or LMFAO, 2011 brought the drop of their second album Sorry for Party Rocking, and the subsequent success of their most successful single to date, Party Rock Anthem. Number one hit singles, the expansion of their Party Rock clothing line, and worldwide tours followed, and before shuffling through Vancouver, the uncle and nephew duo sat down with HUSH to talk about casinos, how the computers are taking over, and to reflect upon the current North American job crisis. Yes, we turned to LMFAO to solve our nation’s unemployment problem. We have Redfoo and SkyBlu of LMFAO turning the planet into a party, one city at a time. For those that don’t know, what is “party rocking”? Redfoo: Party rocking is having a good old time. Having a fun time with your friends, your family, and your homies. Celebrating life and dancing around while having a drink or two. It’s just in the moment; having fun, no complaining. How would you aid in the process of building a party planet, starting in Vancouver? SkyBlu: Club speaker systems on every street. Redfoo: You’re going to need lights and a proper amount of signs. Warning signs. “BEWARE OF SHUFFLING ZOMBIES.” HushMag.Ca
Let’s talk about your music. If there was a formula for building the ideal party song, what would you say it was? Redfoo: Your question is a little suspicious, because that’s like asking McDonald’s what they put in their fries. There definitely are ingredients though, and they definitely involve shuffling.
Since LMFAO formed in 2006, the world is a whole new place; social me-
dia has exploded and the music industry has expanded. What would you say is the biggest difference between you guys then and you guys today? Redfoo: We had the same crazy energy, the same stuff. I guess it’s just more refined. I think the big difference is that we’ve incorporated the dancing more. We were always dancing, but I think that’s just one obvious difference we put an emphasis on- our moves, our routines, what’s gonna happen. There are actually some elements we had back then that we’re looking to bring back. I think we talked to the crowd a lot more back then, so I feel like we’ve started doing that again, just to get a little banter to go back and forth. You know, a little ad lib.
If you were asked to fix the current unemployment crisis in the US and Canada right now, what would you guys do? How would you suggest fixing that? Redfoo: I’m not really a politician. I’m a party-tician. But you have to wonder if it takes two sides to fix? For instance, if I’m a dude on the street, I need to think about what jobs are out there, and what I need to do to equip myself to get those jobs. The government needs to look at programs where it’s easy for people to migrate into the new future of technology. Society needs to be restructured, and to transform, and they need help in doing so. For example, I went to a casino and they had roulette there, but it was all run through computers. I then thought about how dope that was for the casino; they didn’t need to have a roulette person, spinning the ball. So there’s a lost job there. Computers and technology are coming in, and people have to understand that that’s what is going to happen. It’s like the jukebox. The DJ was mad at the jukebox when it came in 1972, but you can’t fight the jukebox. You can’t fight the computers either, so the people have to be educated. It’s a tricky thing, but it’s not just the government. The government can’t
“In the middle of the meeting, I heard a knock at the door. P-Diddy?” -Kay
words Jen Mah
photo credit Meeno
interview by Ed Vint
just solve it, it’s everyone. Everybody has to change and evolve, and it takes the individual to have that winning drive. If you want to win in life, you have to think about the future, you can’t fight it. Record companies couldn’t fight iTunes, they couldn’t fight piracy. Sometimes you just have to ask what it is you can do. That’s what we had to do. We had to fight through. We just decided that we’d keep doing our thing, doing our music, getting into the clubs, and here we are. It’s all about survival of the fittest. So an individual’s tenacity is essentially the key? Redfoo: Yeah, your will. Everybody should read the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. It says “if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone and so hold on when there is nothing in you, except the Will which says to them ‘hold on!’” You have nothing else but your will.
Wise words by LMFAO from Rudyard Kipling. One last question for you gentlemen. Dead or alive, if you could party rock with anyone, who would it be? Redfoo: I want to party rock with Elvis. James Brown. SkyBlu: Jimi Hendrix. Mike Jack. Redfoo: Uh... Eddie Murphy! scan this QR to watch footage of HUSH’s interview with LMFAO
scan this QR to watch more of HUSH’s interview with Kay
Dev “All of a sudden Fly Like a G6 was big and I was travelling 24/7. It happened so fast.” -Dev scan this QR to watch more of HUSH’s interview with Dev
photo Piper Ferguson
“society wants us to live in fear”
f you don’t know AWOLNATION or their song Sail, you’re wrong. They’re super popular and are getting air-time all over the place (it’s that angry-ish electro-rock song that sounds… you know, that one). Their breakthrough single is likely to be the first of many with Red Bull Records. We sat down with their front man Aaron Bruno to hear about his journey so far and his entrance into a new chapter of success. Why do you think people are identifying with your record? I think I got lucky and I said a couple things that resonate with people. I was in such a humbled place when I wrote the record. I had nowhere else to go but up, because I had hit rock bottom. There are a lot of people that can identify with struggle, or being vulnerable and insecure. All those things are on the record. I don’t feel it makes me an amazing songwriter; I just think I got very lucky.
Did Red Bull Records free you as an artist? I already felt free because I had no expectations. I was going to make my music anyways. The song Sail, I wrote months before I knew Red Bull was even a label. Red Bull Records gave me the opportunity to make it so every one else could hear it. It didn’t change anything. Nor does this success. I still feel like the underdog; I still feel like a dork. If you admit to yourself that you are an insecure person, the more relatable you become. This whole thing is a dream.
I noticed that you allow your fans to remix your music. Is AWOLNATION an open source band? I always felt music should be for everybody. This is a place for everyone to feel comfortable, not just models and cool hipsters. By giving stems out from my songs it allows people to look inside my brain. Hopefully it inspires people to create more music.
What part of the creative process is your favourite? Discovering ideas is really exciting. Hearing it back is confirmation that all of the work was worth it. Sometimes you hear a song and despite all the hard work, it just isn’t that good. I am pretty good at not taking it too seriously, and letting it flow the way it’s supposed to. I have no shortage of ideas, so if there is a bad idea here and there, it’s not a big deal to me.
Can music be dangerous? I think any time someone tells the truth it is dangerous. I mean the real truth, not the truth we have been taught or forced to believe. Society wants us to live in fear and be run by money and things that aren’t nurturing to the true soul and spirit.
interview by Shane Morgan
Is humanity reaching a tipping point? I don’t know if it is that I’m older now and adverse to these issues but it seems pretty bad right now. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to change the course of the inevitable reality of our world. Every spiritual book says the same thing. You can interpret it all you want. It all says the world will end at a certain point. Hopefully we get to release five more singles before that happens.
HUSH | Feature
his is the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.
They even had a parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards, too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.
Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government of cats, look at the history of Canada for the last 90 years and maybe you’ll see they weren’t any stupider than us.
Now I’m not saying anything against the cats. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws - that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouse holes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only run at certain speeds - so a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.
All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it any more, they decided that something had to be done. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in white cats.
Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said, “All Mouseland needs is more
vision.” They said, “The trouble with Mouseland is the round mouse holes. If you put us in we’ll make square mouse holes.” And they did. And the square mouse holes were twice as big as the round ones, and now a cat could get both paws in. And life was tougher then ever. And when they couldn’t take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and black ones in again. Then they went back to white cats. Then to black cats. They even tried half black and half white cats. And they called that a coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: They were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat. You see, my friends, the trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.
Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, “Look fellows, why do we keep electing a government made up of cats? Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?” “Oh,” they said, “he’s a Bolshevik. Lock him up!” So they put him in jail. But I want to remind you: That you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can’t lock up an idea.
- Tommy Douglas, 1944
HUSH | Photos
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1 Dirty Radio, Center of Gravity 2 Jeff Garner, Designer of Prophetik, Eco Fashion Week 3 Armin Van Burren, PNE 4 Adera Angelucci of Go to Gal 5 Myriam Laroche, President of Eco Fashion Week 6 Calvin Harris, Center of Gravity 7 Bikini Contest, Center of Gravity 8 Aaron Dudley & Ariel Swan, Siesta Boat Cruise 9 Parsoua Shir & Jacob Dudley, Siesta Boat Cruise 10 Boating is fun, Siesta Boat Cruise 11 Tasty Treats, Hastings Racecourse 12 Jo Wacher, Siesta Boat Cruise 13 Hoppity Hop, Hastings Racecourse 14 Meow, Pride Parade 15 Whistler 16 Designer Nicole Bridger, Eco Fashion Week
photos by Daniel Armstrong
8 7 11
scan this QR to watch the Center of Gravity Music Festival video coverage. Performaces by Classified, Calvin Harris, Dev & The Cataracs, and an interivew with Chromeo. or go to HushMag.ca
Revolutionary Deals I Love SocialShopper: a documentary series profilling people who are addicted to SocialShopper Daily Deals. Join us as we take an unflinching look at the impact of their shopping addiction on their everyday lives.
episode 01: daisy
episode 02: sneaky deals
Daisy is addicted to SocialShopper Daily Deals. Brad is her husband. The only time they get to spend together is when they take part in the deals. In this episode Daisy spontaneously purchases a deal at a Boxing Gym.
When a deal is close to being met, Daisy approaches complete strangers on the street in an attempt to persuade them into making a purchase. Brad is unaware of Daisy’s Sneaky Behaviour.
episode 04: no internet
episode 03: the whiteboard
Daisy is super organized. She tracks every single deal on a White Board. The Whiteboard is the center piece of the dining room. In this episode Brad receives a deal he can’t refuse.
Daisy has consistently been the first to purchase SocialShopper Daily Deals for the last 77 days. In an attempt to save Daisy from herself, Brad cuts off the internet. His action could interrupt her record unless they reach a compromise.
SCAN THIS QR TO WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE
FOLLOW DAISY’S ADDICTION facebook.com/socialshopper