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the warehouse

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the {warehouse} is a mouthpiece for progressive urban culture, providing content that is relevant, provocative and inspirational. As diverse as the city - Montreal - that gave birth to it, the {w} is anglophone, francophone, allophone, professionalphone, studentphone, progressivephone and, most importantly, megaphone. Our aim: to become an {in}famous media voice and a beacon for y{our} culture.

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inseltown has always been demanding of its celebrities. We often talk of ‘triple-threats’, but the truth is artists are compelled to be sextuple-skill stars (emphasis on the sex). In the 50s, celebrities had to sing, dance, act, embody puritanical American values, possess ridiculous hourglass proportions (women obviously) and be dependent on barbiturates. In the late 90s and early 2000s, requirements came to include being buff (or toned), polished, supportive of teenage abstinence, (possibly) sing in a band and (certainly) appear in a B-movie (Crossroads, Spice world, On the Line anyone?).

Today, something a little daring is being thrown into the mix of celebrity branding: colour. It seems our top stars are engaging in a ‘how-DayGlo-can-you-go’ competition. Each is vying to outdo the other with all kinds of fanfare: wearing meat dresses, carrying feline companions, sporting fingernails that could be mistaken for chopsticks and getting vajazzled (a process whereby a woman has rhinestones glued onto her lady bits). Lady Gaga, Cee Lo Green and Nicki Minaj are examples of celebrities whose bright exteriors play as big a role in their branding as their alleged talents do. If colour is the new trend in


celebrity accessories, is this more of the same, only different? It’s old hat to talk about studios and record labels grooming and packaging a star. Today, the package is looking more and more like a Crayola twelve-pack. But this right-now trend is not really new. Many historical figures have used colour to pack an added punch with their personas. Cleopatra, the Marquis de Sade, Casanova and Oscar Wilde applied some form of pastel propaganda. Perhaps there is even a biological reason for this. Why do we humans perceive such a wide range of colour when many other animals on the planet evolved into monochromats or dichromats, possessing only the ability to see one or two? According to Timothy King Anthropological Department:



“This ability to see a greater volume of colours coincided with the loss of much of our sense of smell—committing us to a greater reliance on our eyes than many of our fellow mammals. The new ability to see red gave us and our next of kin a great advantage—greater ability to see fruits, as well as the warning colors of nature. The earliest examples of human art demonstrate the use of color. To humans, the use of color as a channel for communication is as old as art.” Maybe using colour in marketing efforts speaks to human biology: we communicate with colourful images simply because our sense of smell is compromised – we can see and hear just fine, thank you. We want to be spectators and, if evolution continues to our advantage, what our eyes and brains will be able to perceive in the years to come is literally unimaginable. If there was a time when we could not perceive ‘red’ and yet ‘red’ existed, imagine what else exists that may be imperceptible to us now. Wow! Mind blowing, though probably not what Gaga’s people were going for.


Maybe we can deduce the meaning behind Gaga’s use of colour through an examination of some of her lyrics: She’s just an American riding a dream And she’s got rainbow syrup in her heart that she bleeds They don’t care if your papers or your love is the law She’s a free soul burning roads with the flag in her bra -Highway Unicorn, 2011 Or maybe not. {w}



10 Plug: Feature Artist - Jason Ray 12 Plug: Feature Artist - Stephanie Payne

POPPING CULTURE 14 Forgiveness 18 Rebel Report 22 Behind Blue Eyes 25 Chromodynamics 27 Yin to Yang


30 Man in Disguise 33 Colour Ă la Mode 36 Shades of Motion

FLASHPOINT 39 Colour our World 42 Zelinka talks to the {w}


01 Fame Coloured Glasses 08 Founder's Note 07 Editor's Letter 09 Our Writers six

44 The Community


Artist: Phelipe Soldevila

This issue was a challenge. Colour may be everywhere but its ubiquity is hardly sufficient for inspiration. Our authors struggled, with two hapless characters backing out altogether, unable to explain the seemingly self-evident. Nor can I begrudge them their withdrawals. While these letters often write themselves, flowing effortlessly from topic and articles, this one has stewed (not simmered) in the stickiest of porridge.

Jungle Fever opened some twenty years ago. While certainly not his darkest foray into the political economy of colour – Bamboozled takes the crown – along with Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing, it’s certainly one of his most lasting. Sure, there’s something of a political message – prejudice is cruel and unfair – but if you need Hollywood to figure this out, rest assured there’s a Tea Party chapter premiering at a cave near you.

Essays on colour, my homework reveals, are frequently of two varieties: those that celebrate the wonderful (a favourite adjective) world of colour and those that try their hand at the metaphorical: colours, we are told, are carriers of sin, innocence, truth, life and, in one overly-clever piece, menopause. While there’s little to be said of these excursions into the annals of clichéd prose, it does give pause for thought: why is colour so difficult to describe? I turn to Spike Lee for the answer.

More than anything, Jungle Fever was a maelstrom of colour. Snipes’ midnight black, flanked by Sciorra’s statuesque bronze, blended with Spike’s half and half and topped with Turturro’s pastel taupe represent colour in its most harmonious form. In Spike’s eyes, colour isn’t magical or metaphorical: it’s chaotic. And chaos forever makes short shrift of clichés. So does colour appear in the {w}. But, never one to be outdone, we see Spike’s chaos and raise him style. - Mohsen al Attar seven


Artist: Phelipe Soldevila

I Am The New Black

This quote by Tracy Morgan is a fitting farewell to 2012 for the {w}. The battle cry, emblazoned with just the right amount of sanctimony, embodies both the main events of the year and the {colour} issue. For starters, Washington D.C. is home to the black house for four more years. Eleven female heads of state are leading their nations into the new year. The most popular music video, dance and phenomenon hails not from the USA but South Korea (no really). A woman was just crowned MMA champion (although I’m not sold that’s really a sign of progress) and the richest person in the world is Mexican – salutations peso formidable. In short, the world used to be black and white; now it’s brown, beige and fuchsia. As we continue to transcend boundaries, people appear as more than the sum of weighty stereotypes. {colour} may be our final issue of the year but its more preview than cloture. In the coming year, we will be broaden our perspectives in ways that more accurately reflect the


richness and diversity of our {warehouse} community. And because bigotry and intolerance still insist on occasionally rearing their Harper-esque heads, we’ve got a fun and challenging road ahead. Stay tuned. In the meantime, turn to the person next to you (preferably if you know them) and scream whatever fits: • I am the new man • I am the new woman • I am the new activist • I am the new artist • I am the new black, yellow, white, red or beige And for good measure… • I am the new {w} Diversity reigns.

- Kondwani Mwase


Artist: Phelipe Soldevila

Alex Giardini A native Montrealer, Alex Giardini is the product of two beautiful Italian human beings. Other than record and mp3 hoarding, Alex loves everything 90s (except the sudden resurgence of the 90s) not to mention cannolis. On why he writes: "What inspires me is not journalism or literature; it’s settings. What happens around me is inspirational and triggers my desire to write in a creative and distinct way. Not different for the sake of difference but for providing readers with an alternative voice." Athena Tacet Born and raised in Paris, Athena studied political science and journalism at Concordia University. Passionate about foreign affairs, politics, cinema, travelling and cultures, she speaks French, English, Greek, Italian, and Spanish (oh and is learning Russian and Arabic). Samantha Garritano Samantha Garritano is a photographer whose work revolves around an ever-growing personal archive. Through subtle sarcasm and overt self-reference, through eccentricity and notions of escapism, Garritano's photo/video installations are visually whimsical, seeking to juxtapose a discussion about the medium with the deeply personal sub-theme that lay at the root of her work.



An Array of Talent Jason Ray produces beats, writes lyrics and has the voice to back them up. As I listened to his catchy, understated tracks and watched the sleek video for his single Passing Through – with Ray driving a yellow convertible and romancing a gorgeous model – I fully expected a cocky artist to turn up for the interview. Boy was I mistaken! Jason Ray was cheerful and laid back when we corresponded about this piece. He is the type of person confident enough about his own talents that he need not be heavy-handed in selfpromotion, exuding a sense of grounding and graciousness that make him endearing.

Below is a snippet of my conversation with this budding music star: 1) If your music were a recipe, what would the three main ingredients be? I’m very spontaneous, so song writing looks more like an episode of Iron Chef. You know when they announce that crazy secret ingredient and stuff just happens? Step 1 - Initial melody idea and a whole lot of humming and mumbling; Step 2 - Somehow the mumbling turns into some key words and a theme starts to formulate; Step 3 - Work the song like pizza dough. It comes together first with piano, [before] I move on to producing the beats!   2) Who is your fantasy video girl? Queen B. Beyoncé! ‘She has the look and presence, vocals and song-writing skills [no to mention] marketability… which roughly equates to a billion video views for Jason Ray.

3) If you could provide the soundtrack for any movie, past or present, what would it be? Why? Growing up, I would have done anything to be featured on the same soundtrack as the late Aaliyah! “Romeo Must Die” all the way. That combo of Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah and Jet Li [is greater than] anything else. 4) What would we be surprised to learn inspires you? My faith is the first thing, no surprise there. Same goes for my all around respect for many genres of music. What you may not know is that I secretly cheer for street joggers!! Especially elderly people. When I see them out in all kinds of weather, putting their feet to pavement, man I cheer them on in my head like crazy.   5) I’m listening to "Passing Through"  right now. Is it autobiographical? Yup, most of my songs are. That’s a deep one too. Life is short. [The song is about] examining what is really worthwhile under the sun. I think about that from a life and faith perspective often.  

If you had to pick one: 6) Vinyl or MP3? Hate to say it, but MP3. Digital music has made life soooo [sic] much easier for me. I got some vintage vinyl, but rarely play them. 7) Beer or Scotch? Beer. [But] chocolate milk trumps all.   8) Love or money? Already got love, so money please!   9) Lyrics or beats? Beats first... but lyrics make it stick.   10) Fame or respect? Respect. I could live without fame, but not without respect. {w}


Feature Artist

Stephanie Payne



She had begged him to have her one last time. fourteen

She thinks about the last time he was here, curled up in these sheets. How she held on to him, her nose against his neck, telling him how much she adored his smell, how much she would miss it. She had begged him to have her one last time. He had refused. He was there and not there—gone while present in a vacant embrace. The pain in her heart made her feel like the rats she used to perfuse in the lab. She would anesthetize them before cutting through their fragile rib cage—two diagonal cuts from either side of the stomach that met at the clavicle, allowing her to lift the triangle of bone, muscle and skin over the head and expose their insides. She would hold on to the tiny slippery beating hearts and shove a syringe filled with fixative into one of the ventricles. They needed to stay alive for as long as possible so that little thumping muscle would pump the cold fluid through their bodies. With each heartbeat, the open wound pulsed out blood—at first deep crimson, but then a lighter shade of pink as the last of it began to mix with the fixative. In the end, it would run clear, invisible poison circulated through their now lifeless veins. That’s when they were most beautiful, she thought—their raw flesh white and their organs light green, untainted by blood. In the darkness, her sheets lost their rose hue and looked almost brown, the colour

of the blood at the end of her menstruation. Children. He said he wanted her to be the mother of his children but her body continued with its natural cycle, impervious. She didn’t want any of it: cycles, syringes, blood, hearts, flesh, children. Lying there, she thought of the JacquesCartier bridge and the times they drove over it at night—always on their way home from somewhere—the shimmery black water below and the dark blue city sky above. A few cars flowing steadily on each side of them and the calming clakunk-clakunk sound as they went over the bridge’s metal joints; the sound of almost there. ‘We were almost there,’ he had written in the letter he left after she broke it off, his final love letter, ‘we had almost succeeded in making a home for us.’ ‘I’m going to the bridge tonight,’ she told herself. She was never afraid of heights but did have a fear of falling. When they went rock climbing, she had given in to gravity many times but the harness—and his grip—always broke her fall after just a few meters. This would be different. No harness, no rope, no him. Just falling. She wouldn’t fear it this time though; the jump would be taken embracing the fall. Should she call him? Leave a message ‘If you ever did that you’d ruin my life. And what about your mother and sister?’ he had said angrily that night after she realized her arms wouldn’t keep him in the apartment any longer. fifteen


Those were the old threats that had worked when they were still together and he still loved her. But now he had made a decision: he would rather have her do whatever she threatened to do and live with the consequences than be trapped in this manipulative, black magic love. He opted to be in pain but to be free.

and so drank up his turquoise, all the while fearing she would consume it. Yet, the more she feared, the more she drank and the hotter she burned. Leave him. Ask him to come back. Leave him again. But now she was left alone. Burnt-up. And even a little cold.

How she envied him. He was able to escape her, but she could never escape herself. Her love, passion, anger, intensity: she had that red in her, but it was too hot, burning her on the inside and scorching those who got too close.

This is when an image of herself, perhaps from a future time, came to comfort her. Her entire body was matte white like a Butoh dancer. She had a soft smile on her face. The image joined her in the silky rose sheets and wrapped her arms around her past self. ‘I love you,’ she said. ‘I love you as you are. One day you will learn to love yourself.’

His love had been turquoise: bright but cool to the touch. A love that was nurturing and infinitely patient like soft waves that caress rocky coastlines until they become beaches. But she was always feverish, and thirsty,

The image departed—anticipating her past self catching up to her a few months later, standing on a pier in the old port, admiring the shimmering black water as it flowed away from the bridge. {w}

How she envied him.



Rodney Ramsey

Our world is vibrant, saturated with a multitude of breathtaking sights just waiting to be gazed upon every day. Those among us sensitive enough to our surroundings can be inspired by its beauty, eventually becoming living works of art ourselves. Others, the mind-numbingly dense, are sadly not as fortunate and destined to a life of window-shopping. Until now! Here at the {w}, we refuse to discriminate, welcoming all forms of flamboyance, extremism, outrageousness, and, yes, repugnance (Harper, here’s looking at you kid) into the humble pages of our {colour} issue. Whether you’re ogled at in lust or shunned in disgust, whether your high status eccentricity is adored or despised, you can count on the {w} to revere your colourful character precisely the way you deserve. Bobby Brown is arguably the worst thing to happen to women since breast cancer. To commemorate Whitney’s passing, the ageing members of his 80s boy band New Edition

recently got together for a reunion tour. We heard they’re calling it Yesterday’s News.

Adele is the reason brothers love fat white chicks. Her soulful melodies feel like a warm blanket on those cold days when you forget to pay the heating bill. Adele, if you’re reading this, holla at your boy: I’ll set fire to dat ….!!!

With 5,920 piercings, Elaine Davidson is a walking pincushion. In fact, she holds the world record eighteen fortwenty piercings! She's what you would look like if your mom was impregnated by Robocop.

Sheen is the world’s most successful loser. It doesn’t matter if he`s getting fired from his TV gig, or being arrested on vacation with his ex-wife and estranged children. Somehow, someway, Charlie still wins (and makes an episode of it)!

If an anorexic, crack-addicted teenager was bit by a zombie, he'd turn into Flava Flav. For someone known for sporting a giant clock around his neck, ironically, he never has a clue what time it is or what century he’s in.

If you walked in on your great-grandfather talking to an empty chair, you would probably put him in a home. If you’re a republican, you put him on stage for the

national convention. I hear next week Fox is airing a two-hour special with Clint Eastwood yelling racial slurs at an empty Heineken bottle.


Cee-lo Green

Cee-lo Green is one of those rare artists who can effortlessly transform from hardcore rapper to soulful R&B singer. Is it just me or does Cee-lo look like a giant baby born with all his adult teeth?

The theme of this issue is colour and The Innocence of Muslims is a light shade of diarrhoea. The racism mixed with blasphemy and coloured by the director’s contempt for a little thing called talent sent millions of people into a frenzy. Even I was offended, and I’m an atheist! I think we should fly the maker of this garbage to the Middle East so he can experience The Ass Whooping of Muslims.

Prince Harry is third in line for the crown but first in the Guinness book for insufferable douchebags. From dressing like a Nazi on

Halloween to pulling out his royal bollocks for

high class prostitutes in Vegas hotel rooms, Harry's elitist, bourgeois behaviour knows no limits. And, when his embarrassing exploits

are too public for even the royals to cover up, Harry redeems himself like any law-abiding Jack Bauer has been kicking terrorist ass 24/7 for years. He’ll torture anybody to save America. Sadly, he recently retired after watching The Innocence of Muslims.

sociopath by going to Afghanistan and

shooting Natives. Remind me: why is God meant to save the Queen?

In a mystical land where all things fantastic live, Lady Gaga would be the stuff unicorns ejaculate.





Wolverine, looks like Seal and

killed Johnny Depp during a wet dream in the 80s.

What can I say about Mitt Romney that hasn’t already been said about North

Korea? He’s bland, power-driven, shunned by the global community, and a skilled dodger, evading taxes as well as North Korea eludes the present.

A star is born. nineteen

Newt Gingrich divorced his wife while she was undergoing treatment for cancer. Anyone know the colour of hell?

When I was young, I would turn on Pee Wee Herman and enjoy a preadolescent I






commercials. What else do you need to smell like a rich, middle-

acid trip. Everything about his world was colourful and amazing to me. As I grew older, wonder wore off when I came to realise Pee Wee was just another creepy pervert in an expensive suit. I wonder why he never became a politician.

aged, WASPy white dude?

Mmmm this is a tasty burger!

Britney Spears reminds me of an ex-girlfriend

who stabbed me with a fork when I asked if

she was still taking her Gordon Ramsay’s language is too colourful



heavily censored it makes the majority of

fallen from rising pop

slice of seared $%#& and top it with %$#^&

show judge. Oh, and I

Panini bread, you’ve got yourself the world’s

Wanda’s next week.

for cable television. His words are so

As of late, Britney has

his dialogue completely incoherent. Add a

star to irritating reality

and eggplant. Once you’ve toasted the

hear she’s premiering at

tastiest F@$! you sandwich. twenty

Daenarys Targreen: There’s nothing sexier then a bleach blonde, teenage queen, who eats raw horse hearts and suckles dragons at her teat. Winter is coming…

Lil Wayne Lil Wayne is an anomaly. He’s been

injected with more drugs then a Pfizer

Why didn’t Usain Bolt’s parents just call him Light Speed Cheetah? For

Usain, running against humans is as pointless as Stephen Hawking doing calculus. You want to impress me Bolt, race in the Kentucky Derby.

monkey and still manages to top the charts. I have no idea what language

he’s speaking or what planet he thinks

he’s on, but it doesn’t matter as long as his homies pump dat bass.

God bless you!

Charles Xavier is the leader and one of the strongest members

of the X-men. With the ability of telepathy, Charles is able to bend anyone’s will. The most impressive thing about Xavier is

his discipline. If I had his power, I would have had my first threeway when I was 12.

In the NBA, Yao Ming wasn’t

much of a basketball player. He would just stand in front of the net like a high-salaried

I don’t know why, but there’s something perversely alluring

something round to bump in to

liberated from the constraints of our consumer culture, or simply

Ming’s been doing since his

round into your undead mother in-law. Regardless, I’ve still got

I saw him at the zoo last week

bit though, I’m coming for you Adele.

hydro poll while waiting for

about a Zombie apocalypse. Maybe it’s the symbolism of being

him. Does anybody know what

having the freedom of indiscriminately pumping round after

career ended? I’m pretty sure

my samurai sword and 12-gauge shot gun at the ready. If I get

cleaning a giraffe’s b...


BEHIND BLUE EYES Exploring Western fascination with white “idol industries” ELYSSE M. Presant



mong academics, discourse on the fair-haired, blue-eyed Western model of beauty is as plentiful as it is interesting. In the latter half of the 20th century, this discussion has fused with a larger debate as to whether the West really is ‘the best’ and what, or who, actually represents a Westerner today. Among laypeople, however, I suspect few reflect on why popular icons (from Jesus Christ to Santa Claus to Barbie) stare out of a pair of cornflower blues. But where does our fascination with blue eyes come from? More importantly, how might our perception of beauty alter as racial and cultural borders begin to blur in an increasingly small world? In short, what’s the story behind blue eyes? To some scholars, popular fascination with light eye colour in Western culture is symptomatic of an underpinning of Eurocentrism and anti-Semitism. These were beliefs in which dark colouring was associated with lower intelligence: a sign of a less-evolved human. Conversely, fair colouring was considered pure, godlike even, as exemplified in the Nazi regime’s übermensch or the angels and saints in Michaelangelo’s frescos. In fact, the roots of our adoration seem wellburied, particularly if we consider the predominantly white “idol industries” of entertainment, fashion, and beauty, all of which boast comparatively low numbers of figures with dark colouring. A less politically-charged rationale, in comparison, could be that they are simply brighter and thus more noticeable. If we add to this the widespread belief that blue-eyed offspring result less often in a couple with mixed eye colours, then the implication is that they are also more

valuable. Certainly the average person’s rudimentary knowledge of genetics and heredity works with this reasoning: dark dominates light. If light eyes are believed to be easily dominated, it paves the way for a number of associative characteristics which add to the allure of a light eye – delicacy or fragility, qualities that captivate humans regardless of whether they apply to a physical trait or a stone. Yet, as it turns out, blue eyes are really not so rare after all. On the contrary, among white populations, they are more quartz than diamond. Eastern Europe reports very high ratios of light to dark eye colour, with countries such as Estonia boasting blue eye colour in over 90% of the population. Across the rest of Europe and reaching into the United Kingdom the ratio remains weighted towards blue with noticeably higher concentrations in the Northern regions. Given the European lineage of countless North Americans, it could very well be that if light eye colour was a predominant trait in our ancestors, we identify with it as our own, and thus look for it in our popular icons. But whatever the reason behind the worship of blue eyes, the prevalence of the colour can change quickly and with considerable ease. In those areas where light eye colour was historically dominant, dark eye colour was something of an occasional meandering off the genetic path. At first this departure from the norm posed no big threat to racially isolated populations; it occurred so infrequently within a large pool of ‘blue genes,’ that they remained a minority. Despite its infrequency, however, the trait resulting in dark eye colour still

had enough genetic fortitude to resist complete extinction. Wherever a dark trait turned up, it was robust enough to trigger a slow but sure spread, and in this way, their numbers have increased exponentially through the last few generations of Western whites. Statistics covering the second half of the 20th century in Europe and North America consistently show a decline in light eye colour and, naturally, an increase in dark as increased Westward emigration and interracial marriage mix up the world’s gene pool. Swaying the balance even more is the fact that whites are having fewer and fewer children while East Asian and African populations continue to rise, working as a negative contributor to the upward surge in dark traits. All this leads to somewhat of an open ending as we look at the future of Western icons and try to imagine the significance of blue eyes in the coming decades. If admiration of blue eyes was formerly based on the fact that they were a shared characteristic, something we could identify with as quintessentially ‘white,’ they can also come to be even more prized as something that occurs less and less frequently in a slow process of racial homogenization. Alternatively, they could come to be nothing more than a relic of the West, and something with which new generations of people of Eastern or mixed ancestry no longer look to as a physical ‘ideal.’ In that case, the blue eyed icon, be it cowboy or killer, Santa Claus or Jesus, might be entirely replaced by a new figure who has, quite literally, emerged from the dark. {w} twenty-three



It wasn’t until six months after his death that I learned of my father’s affair. So readily distracted from the overwhelming task of ordering his affairs, I had seized upon the opportunity presented by a box of my mother’s diaries (she having predeceased him by almost a decade).

– with equal infrequency – my father. I skimmed through years of my childhood, reliving forgotten memories, picking out each mention of my father, trying to fathom the bond that held two such different people together.

My father’s diaries, I had already found. Filled almost cover to cover with equations, circuit diagrams, intriguing problems to be solved and – very occasionally – appointments, they had confirmed what I already knew of my father: a scientist, a boffin, his connection to the real world so tenuous that he seemed perpetually in danger of forgetting he was part of it.

I was about to put the diaries aside, hearing my three siblings’ voices chiding me for wasting time, when the turn of a page electrified me. An entire entry about my father: pages and pages of hopes and fears, days merging together, the events of daily life obliterated by a torrent of raw feeling. My mother’s sedate prose slipped into jumbled misery, dancing around a betrayal so complete that she could not bring herself to write it. The intimations were clear: my father had had an affair.

My mother’s diaries were not nearly as abstract. They contained the small triumphs and setbacks of domestic life, each day described with neat, careful prose. Years upon years of scraped knees, school grades, friends’ visits, minor illnesses and

I sat back and stared at nothing. It seemed incredible that this man, the shy and retiring


physicist who would scarcely remember to eat without prompting, could possibly have managed an affair. So impenetrable were the mechanisms of his thought that none of us children, or perhaps even my mother, really knew him. How, then? Had he found someone else? Who could possibly have connected with a mind so far removed from day-to-day reality? A memory burst to the surface: I was twelve years old, looking down at my father from an upstairs window and discovering for the first time that he was bald. I remembered my shock at seeing the pink skin through his shaggy grey hair. I had always looked up at my father, and had never suspected that just above his extraordinary brain, the tall, slender man could be coyly hiding his increasing baldness. The revelation was so astonishing, it had left me baffled for days. Of course, he wasn’t hiding it. It was merely invisible to me, as was so much about him. His interactions with his children tended toward the theoretical. We knew he loved us, in an abstract, precise, even mathematical fashion. And his frustration with noise, mess, or misbehaviour could prompt a bark of disapproval that was certainly much worse than his bite. But in most of his conversations with us he had taken the role of teacher, lecturing us on topics from history and geography to his work in materials science and industrial plastics. I remember him trying to explain quantum physics to me shortly after I had learned the shocking truth of his baldness. Ever failing to notice when a conversation was spiralling beyond the grasp of his audience, he had delved briefly into the deeper mysteries of quantum mechanics, where quark behaviour is governed by abstract qualities of colour and flavour. While two quarks paired together are inherently unstable, three quarks of different colours can come together to form a stable particle.

anguish, searching for clues as to the identity of the third party to my parents’ relationship. It seemed as though she must have been someone from his work. What colour, what flavour did she bring to his life that my mother had not? Had she pursued him? It certainly seemed impossible to me that he had pursued her. My father suddenly seemed alien to me. For all the mental distance between us, I had always thought of him as a known unknown. Even at the end of his life, when dementia had crept in and stolen his genius, he was still my father. His mind had existed as a superposition of states – each visit might collapse his personality into any one of a dozen different shapes, but I had recognised each of them. But I never knew the man my mother wrote about with such deep sadness. Around the time she was writing, I remember awkwardly hugging him as he left for work. What had he been thinking then? When he was working late, as he so often did, had he been with her? Did he ever consider not coming home? My mother’s diary gives little away. After a few dozen pages the entry simply stops. There is no explanation, no dénouement. What transpired between those three people is as invisible to me now as it was then. Quantum physics predicts that it would take an infinite amount of energy to separate two quarks. So it must have been with my parents. After a gap of several months, my mother returns to her previous style of writing. Mentions of my father are still seldom, and fewer still tell me much about the enigmatic man I knew and did not know.

And so I sit here on the hall floor, surrounded by the remains of my father’s life, leafing through yellowing papers in search of answers. With each new fragment I try to catch a clearer glimpse of my quantum father as he slips further into the past – I flicked back and forth through my mother’s and, by observing, change him. {w}

twenty twenty-six

Yin to yang Jessica R. Sudbury


op·po·site [op-uh-zit, -sit]: diametrically different (as in nature or character) Scene: a beach terrasse, Spain, 3:00am, sipping mojitos with Paola, Juan, and Javi Action: Suddenly with no warning, the salt-shaker gets knocked over

the receptors in your inner ear, as compared to ‘quietness’ which is the product of smaller amplitude sound waves interacting with the same receptors.

Holding off temptation to toss some of the spilled contents over my shoulder, a stimulating discussion about whether pepper could be thought of as salt’s natural opposite was triggered. [Ok, replace sipping with swigging.] The thing is, fair reader, salt and pepper, at least chemically, have nothing to do with one another. Yet, in popular opinion, hard pressed are we to not associate – or disassociate – the two.

But surely hot is opposite to cold? Well, no. In reality, sensations of different temperatures occur at the level of tiny ion-fluxing channels embedded in the membranes of sensory nerve endings in the skin. What we experience as temperature results from the sum total of many responses from many ion channels, each responding to their own ‘preferred’ ranges of warmth. A ‘hotness’ or ‘coldness’ signal is simply the end result of differing combinations of ion channels and nerve impulses signalling their respective preferences. And while difference may seem oppositional, it really just is difference.

Nor is this the only false perception that prevails in common thinking. When our young minds first learned that black is opposite to white, loud contrasts to quiet, and hot counters cold, we nodded in agreement and rarely thought of it again. (As adults, we’ve extended the list to include more complex phenomena: salty vs. sweet; happy vs. sad; good vs. evil; hope vs. despair). But is there really such a thing as perceptual opposites? The fact is, most of what we perceive lies on a continuous scale. In physiological terms, black isn’t actually opposite to white. Rather, ‘whiteness’ is simply a reflection of more light particles (photons) into your retina, in comparison to the relative absence of reflected photons in black (hence ‘blackness’). The same goes with hearing. A sense of ‘loudness’ results from sound waves of greater amplitude interacting with twenty-eight

Except of course when difference is oppositional! We may be familiar with bluish purple or yellowish orange hues, but have you ever experienced a greenish red or a bluish yellow? Doubtful, as red is the neurological opposite to green and blue the counterpart to yellow. The secret behind colour coding in the retina begins with the coneshaped photoreceptors, which ‘prefer’ selective light wavelengths within the visual light spectrum. Our three distinct cone photoreceptors each express a unique photopigment that ‘likes’ one particular wavelength: short (‘S’), medium (‘M’) and long (‘L’). Cone photoreceptors are distributed throughout the retina and communicate their preference to

the relevant cells, which send visual information through the optic nerve to higher brain areas for further processing. These cells are activated (or inhibited) along red-green or blue-yellow channels. In other words, some cells are excited by green wavelengths, but are inhibited by red wavelength signals (or vice versa). Other cells might be similarly excited or inhibited by impinging blue or yellow wavelengths. But why these colours and not others? The basis of opposing colours lies in the comparison of signals arising from S , M L cones, each responding to their preferred wavelength, whether blue, green or yellow/red regions of the visual spectrum. Evidence of this logic lies in those born without functional M or L cones; these individuals cannot distinguish reds from greens, denoting red-green colour blindness. In even rarer cases, some are born without functional S cones and are incapable of distinguishing blues from yellows resulting in blue-yellow colour blindness. Remarkably, the coloured splendour of our surroundings is conveyed through the action of merely three pigment molecules! Of course, this simplicity is lost on us as the colours of our lives attest to day after day. While salt may not be the opposite of pepper, true perceptual opposites do exist! And though I’ve never experienced a bluish yellow, it will take a lot more to convince me that happy is the opposite of sad… or that coffee is the opposite of mojito. {w}




Professional wrestling in the late-nineties was revolutionary. The ‘Attitude Era,’ as it is known in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), marks the period where fowl language, misogynistic tactics, and stereotypically hyper masculine male role models began to gain popularity. The show’s ratings skyrocketed and finally surpassed their longtime rivals WCW. The Attitude Era is best set apart from the ‘Golden Age’ when wrestlers tended to look like superheroes (Hulk Hogan or the Ultimate Warrior). The physiques of wrestlers have remained supernatural, but the gimmicks are different. In a break from the norm, Dustin Runnels, son of wrestling legend ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, gained major success as ‘Goldust,’ a.k.a. ‘The Bizarre One.’ Goldust was a cross-dressing wrestler whose appearance was modeled quite literally after the Academy Award: long, lean, and wrapped in a tight golden bodysuit. He sported a platinum blonde wig and a long shiny robe when entering the ring accompanied by his manager (and wife at the time), Marlena (played by Terri Runnels). Goldust’s shtick was obsession with films and lustrous objects. He was constantly puckering his lips, rubbing his nipples and groping other wrestlers in suggestive ways. A signature move was the ‘creeping

out’ of opponents through flirting and other mind games. Goldust was presented as possessing covert homosexual tendencies. Yet, his wife acted as a type of safety net, affirming his heterosexuality and keeping fans at bay. Owner Vince McMahon and head writer Vince Russo created his flamboyant character to set him apart from his legendary father. Wrestling had never seen a character like Goldust before, but the reaction was predictable. Fans didn’t approve of the new Dustin Runnels and he was subjected to many discriminatory slurs at ringside. In a (in)famous backstage interview, Memphis standout Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler labeled him a ‘sissy’ and ‘flaming fag.’ The reaction was hardly surprising, for homosexuality in wrestling has never been tolerated. Pat Patterson, a Montreal native and premier attraction in the sixties and seventies was openly gay and was released from WWE on sexual harassment charges filed by a former ring announcer. [Oddly, charges were later dropped and he was rehired.] Orlando Jordan was promptly released from the company after questionable pictures of him with another man surfaced. Eventually, Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) Wrestling hired Jordan, basing his character on a flamboyant individual who flaunted his queerness for the sake of ridicule. Christopher Klucsarits, (a.k.a. Kanyon) also

suffered for his homosexuality when was he fired from the WWE. Despite the claim that he had sustained ‘severe injuries,’ he was quoted as citing his sexual orientation for his firing. Kanyon often spoke of the struggles of being a closeted homosexual to protect his image/ career, later taking his own life in early 2010. What set Goldust apart? In a masculine world so charged with testosterone and homophobia, how did Goldust manage to sustain such a successful wrestling career? It seems he could keep his job, notwithstanding the cross-dressing and even homosexual displays (or maybe because of them), so long as he never identified as being gay. In this instance, ignorance – even willful ignorance – is bliss. If you think about it, Goldust’s character seems like a metaphor for Pro Wrestling in general: the whole concept of sweaty men going at it in spandex celebrates homoeroticism, at least until someone utters the word homosexual. In a way, Goldust tampered with the system, pushing the boundaries of ‘colourful’ behaviour. Brilliant on one hand – surviving as long as he did while bringing drag into the homophobic world of wrestling – but tragic on another: participating in an oppressive and one-dimensional charade. No matter how you see it though, his crossdressing was a game-changer. {w}

thirty-one thirty-two

Tess Lin

where are women of colour in the glamour industry?

Fashion does not dwell in magazines, its reign extending far beyond runways and boutiques. From the hems of our sleeves to the soles of our shoes, fashion is the art we carry everyday, the collaboration of creativity and beauty, and a reflection of our personality and dreams. A bit of an overstatement, perhaps, but it simply means that fashion must be diverse, like a United Nations expression of flare! But flip through the pages of Vogue and Vanity

Fair or gaze upon the line-up at Fashion Week, and you will quickly observe a single predominant look: porcelain-skinned, golden haired, bright eyed pretty girls. These are real life Barbie dolls, minus the abundance of cleavage of course. As a young Chinese girl growing up in a Westernized culture, I was often left to think that beauty did not flow from the darkness of my hair, the hue of my skin or the shape of my eyes. Which begs the question: where thirty-three

are women of colour in the glamour industry? Rarely do they make the cut; non-white women are the black sheep of fashion. Ironically, in the business of boundary pushing, there is a closeddoor policy on diversity. In the world of glitz and glamour, there is a particular perception of beauty. This perception is beyond subjective: it is racist.


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In 1999, the BBC aired MacIntyre Undercover, a controversial series which caught top executives of Elite Model Management (the world's largest modelling agency) shamelessly making racist declarations about the fashion industry. In one instance, a representative said, Milan “can never use a black girl or an oriental.” Such blatant xenophobia shocked the world, but is it really that shocking? After all, how often did we see ‘a black girl or an oriental’ on the cover of anything? At the 2008 Sao Paolo Fashion Week for instance, only 28 out of 1,128 models were non-white. As a result of these revelations, the fashion industry was pressured to affirm that lack of diversity is unacceptable. In turn, a voluntary quota was introduced by Sao Paolo fashion week organizers recommending that at least 10 percent of featured models be of Afro-Brazilian background. While 10 percent may seem small, recognition and reform are huge steps for an industry steeped in white supremacist views. It is only through the proud persistence of a United Colours of Benetton attitude that the faces of fashion will come to reflect the faces of our cultures. One model and entrepreneur who has found immense success after refusing to accept the standard ‘no, we already have a black model’ answer, Tyra Banks, has become an influential force in pop culture and the fashion stratosphere. Men everywhere were


stumbling at the sight of Tyra on the cover of the 1997 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, the first black woman to make their cover. As one of the original Runway Angels, Tyra was also the first non-white model for Victoria's Secret. Being no stranger to the cruelty of racism, her reality show, Next Top Model, provides girls of all races a more equitable shot at high fashion. Speaking of Angels, Liu Wen was the first Asian model to earn her wings and walk for the legendary lingerie runway show in 2009. Just a year later in 2010, Estée Lauder, the international cosmetics corporation, announced that Wen would be their first Asian face of the company. Although Wen lost in the 2005 New Silk Road World Model Contest, her beauty has been recognized by the East and West, making her China’s success story and proof that success is a lifetime journey. Appearing in French, Indian and US Vogue, Lakshmi Menon – one of the only South Asian models with international recognition – has been an important ambassador for

India. Lakshmi first began modelling simply to fund her studies at the Bangalore University. Since then she has been pursued by many fashion powerhouses, landing contracts with Hermès, Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier. While she admits “sometimes [she’s] looked upon as an exotic thing that’s landed on their shores” Lakshmi still sees herself as “any other model.” It is their innate ‘I can and will not back down’ perseverance that propelled Tyra, Liu and Lakshmi into the elite world of fashion. This raw exuberance has replenished our discretion for fashion and leads the fight for a diversified regime. Fashion is executed by the people for the people, so boastfully claim and project your own vision into the world, regardless of what haute couture is willing – or not – to accept. {w} thirty-five

Dance when you’re broken open. Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.


Photos courtesy of Benjamin Von Wong Dancers - Alexander Richardson & Sandra Naccache



colour our world athena tacet


LA VIE EN ROUGE From the impressionist paintings of Van Gogh and Monet to Warhol’s Pop Art; from cornucopias of fruit to frosting covered cupcakes; from neon and pastel clothing to little black dresses; from Little Red Riding Hood and Anne of Green Gables to A Clockwork Orange, colour surrounds and inspires us. Colour is an integral part of our culture, seeped into our everyday lives, sometimes even at subconscious levels.

In the business world, marketing experts are well aware that colour plays an undeniable (and again subconscious) role in shaping consumer behaviour. United Colours of Benetton is an excellent case in point. Since its inception in 1965, the company has focused its advertising campaigns mainly on the use of colour. This has proven effective in promoting their brand while conveying political messages, including tolerance for religious and cultural diversity. Marketers carefully consider choice of colour on logos and brands because this may influence consumption of a company’s products. “Colour is extremely important for marketing specialists, campaigns and branding efforts” says Bianca Grohmann, marketing professor at Concordia’s School of Business. “An example is the clear delineation of competing brands based on colour such as Coca Cola (red) versus Pepsi (blue), or the use of colour in imitation strategies, for

example, if a new entrant adopted an orange laundry detergent package in order to make consumers believe the product is associated with the brand Tide.” General cultural and gender issues surrounding colour also come into play: “Consumers tend to respond more positively to colours that fit their gender rule perceptions – for example, darker colours and masculine self-concept, pastel colours and feminine self-concept,” Grohmann remarks. “Marketers use these differences in tailoring their communication and branding strategies to gender segments by using the colours that are perceived to fit best with the targeted selfconcept.” One of the most striking examples of the differences in genderrelated approaches to colour is the critical role played by red. In The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About

Human Nature (2011), evolutionary psychologist and Concordia professor Gad Saad dedicates an entire chapter to “the red effect” or “the distinct effects of the colour red in the contexts of intersexual wooing versus intrasexual rivalry.” Saad refers to a related 2010 study: "Color and women hitchhikers’ attractiveness: Gentlemen drivers prefer red" by Nicolas Guéguen. The study tested the power of red, as worn by female hitchhikers. Results showed that women donning red had the highest chance of getting picked up, for red increased their attractiveness. According to Saad, this is a key reason marketers use – overuse – red to promote their products. While culture matters, biology determines. Indeed, some biological forces can unite consumers around the world, says Saad: “What makes the Peruvian consumer, the Jamaican consumer, the Canadian consumer quite similar to one


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THE COLOUR OF BEAUTY another is common shared biological heritage.” Colour also plays a significant role in defining beauty and social standards. “You know the stereotype: blondes have more fun,” says Anthony Synnott, sociology professor at Concordia. “Red hair is associated with fire, anger, and bad temper, while white hair is an age symbol, especially for women – not so much for men, for whom it may be a sign of wisdom.” As a result, he explains, women tend to change their hair colour more often than men because of the negative connotation associated with the colour grey. “Beauty is more important for women than for men. One indication of this

is cosmetic surgery,” Synnott notes in The Body Social, Symbolism, Self and Society. Cosmetics are critical in today’s society because they offer women opportunity to change their skin and hair colour; and “by altering the self, hence improving attractiveness, one changes people’s perception and evaluation of the self. Attractiveness attracts.” In other words, cosmetics contribute to enhancing self esteem. For Synnott, this phenomenon traces its roots to the Ancient Greeks’ claim that outer beauty is the reflection of inner beauty. In The Body Social, he contends, “physical beauty is believed to symbolize inner moral or spiritual beauty or goodness, so

too physical ugliness is believed to symbolize an inner ugliness or evil.” As well, Western and African cultures’ concept of evil is filtered through historical and sociological dimensions. In the West, evil is often illustrated in black, the symbol of the night and darkness. In contrast, while in Zimbabwe, Synnott noticed that white was the colour of evil for its reference to “bones and death” but, importantly, as a reminder of slavery and white slave traders. Overall, colour is clearly inherent to the ideal of beauty and goodness. “Beauty is highly valued everywhere but defined differently,” Synnott says. “It is part of our social capital in a free market.” {w}



1 Do the Olympic colours mean anything to athletes? To you?

...TALKS TO THE {W} Photos: Dave Holland


The Olympic colours have little significance for me, but the symbol of the five rings does. To the contrary, when I compete for Canada I’m very proud to wear red and white. I feel empowered by the colours; I feel fierce. I’ve even read studies of the ‘red effect,’ suggesting that wearing a red uniform can give a competitor a psychological advantage due to the aggression and dominance red symbolizes.

2 Presumably, you’re not above the occasional binge! What’s your weakness? How do you feel after surrendering? Was it worth it? I do binge during my downtime. When I’m not in training, I go right ahead and give myself full permission to let loose and eat whatever I want, binging on sweets and foods that are usually restricted in my diet. Although I try to enjoy the freedom, in the end I usually feel guilty and unsatisfied and regret it altogether. Perhaps, subconsciously, I do this time after time to remind myself that I’m not missing out on much during the rest of the year.

Ennis or Zelinka on the podium in 2016?


Three can fit on the podium, and I would like to take a turn come 2016. A lot changes over 4 years, and the competitor dynamics might look different than in 2012. The best both Ennis and I can do is to keep reaching for the top and take nothing for granted.

Could you describe your most heinous (maybe hated!) workout routine.


I can’t tell you of any type of workout I’ve regretted doing. The pain is always worth the payoff in the end. The hardest workouts are those at the conclusion of a hard 10-day training camp, when every muscle is throbbing and you can barley touch your toes at the beginning of the workout. The final workout of these camps is usually a long speed endurance routine (for 800m training); let’s just say it takes a very long time to peel ourselves off the track after it’s over. The tank is empty.

5 Do you envision yourself a ‘soccer mom’ someday? Haha, no...not really, but maybe I should start to! I want to be a supportive parent, like my parents were. ‘Supportive’ can mean different things to different people. For me supportive means giving my child the space to explore and grow in what drives them. I want to encourage a hard work ethic and the value of giving your best, which is just as important (or even more important) on the days that it’s hardest to do. Winning is not everything, and I hope that our child(ren) can discover fulfillment in the journey of the pursuit itself.

6 If you could race anyone - athlete or not, alive or not - who would it be? In general, athletes are pretty competitive and would want to get their butts kicked by any legend! But I’ve actually already had many great opportunities to race and compete with some amazing athletes and recordbreaking achievers. As a high school athlete, I would have liked to race the present-day me. That would have been pretty inspirational in getting through the ups and downs that led me to where I am today. {w}



FEATURE collaborator Phelipe Soldevila

I was born in Quebec. My mother is Spanish and my father is Irish. While I think I have the most boring background ever, I will say that the things you should know about me are that I'm a nice guy, a bit delirious, often crazy and known to be really positive...even when it's not appropriate. I live to colour my world with my personal, and unmistakable, definition of Funk!

Kondwani Mwase {the stock boy} founder | publisher {e}

Mohsen al Attar {the pacer}

managing editor {e}

Lisa Chan {chinadoll}

creative lead {e}

Casey Watson {the art monkey} art director {e}

Tiffany Davieaud {the human sponge} communications & marketing specialist {e}


Marissa Cristiano {the generator} social media specialist

Alyssa Favreau {jack of hearts} graphic design

CONTRIBUTORS Alex Giardini Athena Tacet Diabolique Elysse M. Presant Jessica Sudbury Michaela Di Cesare Reuben Cox Rodney Ramsey Samantha Garritano Tess Lin

PHOTOGRAPHERS Alexandre Chabot {cover} Jolianne L’Allier Matteau {cover} Samantha Garritano MODELS MAKE UP David Abraham PROVIDER Patrick Butler Makijaz & Kryolan Lisa Chan Chelsea Chisholm Alexis Johnston

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