Toronto’s next mayor?
It’s not you, it’s me reviewing your crappy band
University of Toronto’s Independent Weekly
Vol. XXXII N0. 26
April 1, 2010
Naylor announces Towards 2130
Bum Ambitions Homeless triumvirate could run more than just T-dot’s streets
Plan centers around sucking undergrads’ life-force
Amongst the candidates for Toronto’s upcoming Municipal Election, one unlikely perennial candidate has once again found himselfintherunning for Mayor ofToronto. That man is 46-year-old Kevin Clarke, who has run in every Municipal Election, and several other government elections, in Toronto since becoming homeless in 1998. Unlike many of theothercandidatesformayor,youmayhave seenMr.Clarkespeakonthestreets,probably wearing a colourful robe and carrying a cross. Sometimes called “The Prophet,” Mr. Clarke gained a sizeable amount of press during his 2006 Municipal Election campaign thanks to his presence in several YouTube videos. Alternating between his “street” campaign wear (the robe) and his “ex-con, ex-crackhead, ex-pimp gone good” wear (a cheap brown suit with an oversized tie) Mr. Clarke once meaningfully said “I don’t look like a homeless man, they say, but a homeless man don’t have a look. A homeless man just don’t have a home.” But this year, Kevin Clarke looks to have some support from his fellow homeless in the council elections as well. Given the Christian leanings of Mr. Clarke’s platform, it shouldn’t be a surprise that “Jesus Guy” who can regularly be seen preaching the good word at Yonge-Dundas will be running for Toronto Centre, Ward 27. Some question whether it is a good move for Clarke to gain support from “Jesus Guy” due to his reputation for scaring the shit out of Ryerson students. InTrinity-Spadina,however,thehomeless man known as “Stress” will be running for councilor. “Stress” is best known for being the beneficiary of Colin Farrell’s generosity during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008, when Farrell purchased him a suit along with some camping supplies and gave him enough cash to put first and last month’s rent down on a place (which he apparently did not do). When asked why he decided to run, “Stress” stated, “I got my Colin Farrell suit on! It’s the best suit on the block, baby! Vote for me!” While it’s true that “Stress” probably has nicer clothing than most of the other homeless people that populate Bloor West, it is also questionable whether or not he has taken the suit off or cleaned it since he received it in 2008. Upon speaking with “Stress,” it has become apparent that this triumvirate of delinquents wishes to have a homeless person running in every ward for the next Municipal Election. “Stress” also indicated that “Santa Claus,” the homeless man, named after his long white beard, that is known to wonder the Annex at night and sleep in various University of Toronto buildings during the day, mightbeannouncinghiscandidacyforWard 27. I find this doubtful, however, because I’m not sure if he can talk.
Documents leaked to the newspaper earlier this week reveal that President Naylor will soon announce his Towards 2130 plan, a strategic vision for U of T that has students and staff scared shitless. In a memo circulated around Simcoe Hall, Naylor explains that while Towards 2030 has paved the way to boosting graduate research at the St. George campus, it doesn’t go far enough. “We’re going to push 2030 to its logical, inevitable conclusion.” Enter Towards 2130. The controversial plan seeks to further the 2030 goal of improving U of T’s financial outlook by harvesting the brain-power of undergrads and channeling that energy to grad students to maximize their productivity. “Naylor always indicated undergrads would have opportunities to be involved in graduate research, we just never thought it would be in this capacity,” ASSU President Navin Gowlan said, biting his nails.
COURTESY OF ROLYAN CORP.
Age-projected photo of what President David Naylor will look like in 2130.
It also appears that longevity research from genetics professor Dr. Dee Enay will be geared toward keeping Naylor alive long enough to see his 2130 plan realized. “The science is there, thanks to our 2030 initiative,” beamed Naylor. An administration official, who spoke with the newspaper on condition of anonymity, shared her concerns. “What’s next – 2250?! There’s a term we use around here: ‘Naylor,’ as in he’s gone ‘Naylor’.” The plan has most prospective university students freaked out, but some are looking on the bright side. Take Scarborough High student Jerry BoBerry: “Does getting the life-force sucked out of you hurt? My guidance councillor mentioned there are ‘nobrainer’ grants available to participating undergrads, sooo that sounds pretty sweet!” Towards 2130 task forces will be meeting with business leaders in the community, namely from Rolyan Corp., in the coming weeks to vet the initiative.
Trin’s lofty ambitions New program sets tone for Trinity College GORD BROWN Trinity College students will have a new option for specialist degrees or major programs (but not minor programs) come September. The new Centre for Pretentious Living will be up and operational for the upcoming academic year. “This program is exclusive to Trinity students, and, naturally, even they will be required to ballot for it,” said David Ernst Pritchard, newly appointed director of the program, in an interview with the newspaper (which he insisted needed to be held at Barberian’s Steak House on Elm Street. You ever pick up the cheque at Barberian’s? On a student’s budget? Argh!). “Of course, academics will be stressed, but degree of connection to someone in the Canadian Who’s Who will also be given strong consideration. The size of one’s trust fund is another factor which will go a long way.” Specialized electives will include yachtsmanship, tennis, squash, af-
Yes, yes, yes! TTC Chair Adam Giambrone, in an effort to improve relations between riders and the beleaguered transit commission, is unbanning Zanta. Giambrone told reporters, “Christmas has come early for Zanta this year.” Riders can soon expect to see Zanta pumping his guns on a subway car near them. the newzpaper is particularly pumped about this news. ter dinner liqueurs, and bun tossing. Core courses in commerce (managing your trust fund), economics (that damn, liberal Scotsman Adam Smith), philosophy (Thomas Hobbes is always the right answer), and literature (biblical allusions in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Bret
Easton Ellis) will form the basis of the program. The university is watching this new program carefully. If it is successful, then they plan to introduce similarly tailored courses at the other colleges. Innis, for example, is planning a program in the manu-
facture of patchouli oil, cooking ratatouille, and tie-dying t-shirts. St. Mike’s is considering a program in Italian heritage (oops, wait, that one exists). New College is considering a program in how to be bland and boring, while Victoria is developing one in drunken debauchery.
April 1, 2010
Making dollars and sense out of U of T’s funding the newzpaper has some suggestions GORD BROWN From the moment you arrive on campus as a baby-faced undergraduate to the time you leave as a grizzled B.A. (B.Sc/B.Comm/M.A./Ph.D.), you are assailed with nothing but rhetoric about underfunding, cutbacks, and the general budget. In light of the controversies over flat fees and the disastrous performance of the university’s endowment funds, it is more than time to stand back and assess U of T’s approach to its finances. In the Middle Ages, universities coped with budgets and finances by charging attendance for each class. Well, why not? Mind you, I am not advocating that students should pay for lectures, but perhaps TAs could be given little meters (like in taxicabs) and students could pay cash at the end of every tutorial. Professors could have
their desks outfitted with similar devices, charging per hour of time. Extensions would, of course, be extra. Cafeterias are yet anther underused resource for the university. Each cafeteria could, for example, could have a cover charge in addition to the cost of food. Cover charges would be prorated on the basis of how many good-looking, eligible, and single trust-fund babies could be found at each eating place. Similar charges could also be placed on library reading rooms. Think about it: on this basis, Robarts would still be free. While we’re on the topic of libraries, why not abolish short-terms loans altogether? Loans would simply be auctioned off to the highest bidder. That way, you can hang on to the book and keep it from the brown-noser at the next desk. Not everyone know this, but the university rents the land under Queen’s
Park to the provincial government for a $1 a year. We think it’s high time it was bumped to $1.50. The university could also cut its losses by unloading University of Toronto Asset Management (UTAM). Why not just trade UTAM to the Yankees straight up for Alex Rodriguez? Underused space - for example, large lecture halls that are empty at night - could be put to better use. Why not convert these rooms into hotels for overnight visitors? After all, lots of people sleep there during the day. Perhaps the most dramatic solution of all would be to ring the entire university with turnstiles. Getting in would still be free, of course, but anyone wanting to leave would have to pay a toll. Obviously, there would be no fare collectors (U of T couldn’t afford that), so be sure to bring exact change. Student societies desperate for mon-
ey could also take advantage of these original approaches. Instead of having elections, why not just auction positions off to the hightest bidders? Those patronage streams have to be worth something to someone, based on the cost of the posters in the last election. The Lady Godiva Memorial Band could charge by the note, but with 50 per cent off for the sour ones. The Varsity could have a bake sale and a car wash. This week’s editorial is a slightly modified version of one which ran in the March 21, 1984 issue of the newspaper. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. To read the original (complete with Tod Cowan’s unfunny injokes and dated references), check out thenewsaper.ca.
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April 1, 2010
the newspaper University of Toronto’s Independent Weekly
Vol. XXXII N0. 26
April 1, 2010
Ready, set... Joe! Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone enters mayoral race LUKE SAVAGE
Davis second prof to win Holberg AMY STUPAVSKY U of T history professor Natalie Zemon Davis has been awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize. Lightning may not strike twice, but Davis is the second U of T faculty member to join the company of Julia Kristeva and Jürgen Habermas, among others. Ian Hacking, professor emeritus of philosophy, won the award last year. Named after the eighteenth-century polymath Ludvig Holberg, the prize was established by the Norwegian government in 2003 to perpetuate distinguished scholarly work in the humanities, social studies, arts, law, and theology. Davis will receive the award at a ceremony on June 9 at Norway’s University of Bergen. “When I first heard the news I was astounded and very moved,” Davis says. “I was sitting in the kitchen having breakfast with my husband and this call came through. The professor in charge of the committee was very charming, but he spoke with an accent. I didn’t think I’d heard him correctly when he said I’d won.” As the first historian to win the prize, Davis says she “feels good” for her chosen fields. Her research and books centre on social histories of the early modern era, ranging from gender and women to race and religion. “I bring people whose lives were less well-recorded to the forefront,” she explains. Davis exudes a palpable passion for her discipline. Currently, she is working on a study of slavery in Surinam, focussing on two family histories. She eagerly awaits the arrival of a boat journal from the Netherlands that may include records of the greatgrandfather from one of the families. “Did the mail come yet?” she calls expectantly to her husband while we sit in the front room. While the Holberg Prize is a great honour for Davis, she continues to probe the depths of history for new, untold stories. “I’ve never thought of my career in terms of pinnacles, but a continuing process of discoveries,” she says. “I’ll be very moved at the ceremony for myself and for what my work represents.”
Deputy Toronto Mayor Joe Pantalone wants the city’s top job. At his official launch last Wednesday, the thirty-year city councillor promised, if elected, to fight proposed cuts to public services and to fix what he calls the “big disconnect” between Torontonians and City Hall. In the wake of the disastrous collapse of Adam Giambrone’s campaign, Pantalone remains the only experienced candidate on the progressive side of the race, standing alone against a slate of centrist and center-right candidates that include former Deputy Premier George Smitherman and Liberal Party financial guru Rocco Rossi. Pantalone hopes his experience with city politics will be an asset: “People are looking around at the outsiders and think their experience does not match mine.” Pantalone moved to Toronto from a village in Sicily at thirteen. Speaking no English, he attended Harbord Collegiate and later completed a degree in geography at U of T. In 1980, after four failed bids for a council seat, he was elected and has served on City Council ever since. Pantalone hopes to wage a campaign centered on efficiency in the public sector, preservation of existing services, and fiscal
austerity. Transit will likely figure as a major issue throughout the campaign; other prominent candidates have promised to reverse Miller-era policies and projects such as Transit City and scale back the level of city involvement in transit through privatization and changes in the governance of the TTC. Rocco Rossi, for example, has promised to freeze existing transit projects and to replace the Commission’s board with private-sector experts. Speaking to a packed room at Montecassino Event Venue in North York on Wednesday, Pantalone made his approach clear: “I will continue to enthusiastically support Transit City. There are those who want to tear down our vision of fast trains crisscrossing the city north – south and east – west and for the first time providing fast public connections for people living in Scarborough with Etobicoke and vice versa…[but] Transit City is needed. Transit City is real. Transit City is funded and Transit City must be built!” Pantalonealsoarguedagainstproposed cuts to other city services like energy and garbage collection: “Privatization seems all the rage for those who know so little about our city. I want to keep these assets for the public good of all Torontonians.” While the crowd consisted largely of
Mayoral hopeful Joe Pantalone looks at home reclining against the City Hall arches. left-leaning city councillors and activists, prominent members of the business and local ethnic community leaders were also present. Although Pantalone spoke with many of the typical undertones used by left-of-centre members of city council (at one point he cheesily quipped “I went to Harbord, not Harvard!”), he also spoke of the value of public/private partnerships which, he says, were vital to the construction of popular projects like the BMO Field on the lakeshore. “I led the negotiations for the BMO Soccer Field,” he said. “The private sector contributed much more
Journalism in war zones Seminar fights the misconceptions and reveals the facts
VEENAY SEHDEV The dangers for journalists in war zones are ever-rising. During WWI, the death count for journalists was two, while in the Iraq war, the number is close to 150. Journalists are targeted specifically because of their importance in shaping perceptions and the high media attention when they are captured. The immunity the media once thought it had is diminishing. You may be wondering: with ever-increasing dangers, what are the psychological impacts on journalists and why do they go? Journalists in War Zones, a seminar held at the Munk Centre’s North House on March 31 by the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at U of T, answers these pertinent questions. Director of the Trudeau Centre, Ron Levi, says this seminar is important for two reasons. Firstly, the media has a huge impact on criminal
justice worldwide and this impact stems from their war zone coverage. The second reason: Dr. Anthony Feinstein, a U of T professor of Psychiatry, Guggenheim fellow, and expert in the psychology of war zone journalists. Dr. Feinstein showcased the Trudeau Centre’s focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and gave a fascinating lecture. The seminar was primarily based on his novel Journalists Under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War (2005, John Hopkins University Press), but also addressed his more recent studies. He compared a seasoned group of war journalists with a “domestic” group. Both groups were young (late 30s) and male-dominated. There were significant differences; war journalists exhibit more post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, heavy drinking, and general anxiety. So why do they even bother going to war
the blotters In an effort to put a little more pulp in our paper, both petty and indecent, we present you with the scoundrelly deeds that occurred on campus this week. March 25 Occurrence type: Suspicious odours; Location: Pratt building; Details: Campus police investigated a suspicious odour. All was in order. March 25 Occurrence type: Disturbance; Location: Munk Center; Details: Campus police investigated a disturbance. Several people were escorted from the area without incident. March 30 Occurrence type: Threats; Location: Woodsworth College (Interior); Details: Campus police investigated one person for uttering threats. The person was arrested and transported to 52 Division.
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if the payoffs are sleeping with the lights on and war zone vigilance at home? Aside from the social rewards of money, fame, and excitement are biological origins. Dr. Feinstein conducted an experiment on Ryerson journalism students, looking for differences in behaviour among those students who wanted to be foreign correspondents and those who wished to be domestic. He found that the foreign correspondent group was more risk-prone. By studying a set of twins, of whom one is a war journalist, he found risk-prone behaviour to exist because of the neurotransmitterdopamine.Dopamineisassociatedwith reward, so the higher the concentration in blood, the more thrills you will want. The take-home message for war zone journalists is that the risks can be detrimental to our health, but some of us just need excitement. It’s in our blood (and genes).
money than the city…and we still own it!” This mixed approach may serve Pantalone well in the race. It may help him appeal to progressive voters who support projects like Transit City, while also bringing in voters concerned with fiscal responsibility and prudent government at City Hall. With the support of key members of City Council (nine were present on Wednesday) and experienced political staffers like former David Miller Campaign Manager John Laschinger, Toronto’s Deputy Mayor may just have a shot at the city’s top job.
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April 1, 2010
Design duo Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong are the brains behind Toronto-based line
Greta Constantine the newspaper: Name a powerful thing. Kirk Pickersgill & Stephen Wong: Life. tn: What do you love about designing for fall/winter? What elements inspired this particular collection? KP & SW: There are so many more fabrications and elements available to the designer, a greater number of coatings, accessories, and layers. For the Fall/Winter 2010 collection, Greta and Ezra Constantine are plunging into the underbelly of the city. The doomed hero serves as the inspiration for the second Ezra Constantine collection. Both the protector and the villain, he shields himself in bold, structured woolen outerwear. Draped pieces cascade a dark yet cynical awareness. The Ezra man returns to the runway buried in vice and prepared for tomorrow’s unknowns. The Greta Constantine woman evokes a sense of erotic ambivalence - a juxtaposition of day-today living with the appeal of evening’s temptations. She adorns herself in accessories consisting of shattered plexiglass that depict these opposing pulls. She wears silk, woolen blends,
and flowing drapery, which evolve into a provocative transition of leathers, furs, and dull sequins. tn: What inspires you about Toronto? KP & SW: The diversity. Our culture embraces various languages, clothing, food, etc. This serves as a driving force in our collections. tn: How would you define Toronto’s sense of fashion, on the runway and on the street? KP & SW: It’s definitely a “Canadian” look. tn: What other Torontonian designer do you admire? KP & SW: Jeremy Laing. tn: Who is your favourite person on the Canadian fashion scene and why? KP & SW: Jeanne Beker. She’s pushed and featured Canadian fashion to such a point that it can not only stand its own, but also be recognizable on the world stage. tn: Describe your personal style. KP & SW: Contemporary refinement with an urban edge.
Evan Biddell Saskatchewan-born designer launched into Canada’s fashion scene when he won the first season of Project Runway Canada.
the newspaper: Name a powerful thing. Evan Biddell: Love. tn: How do you feel about these overarching concepts like “power” and “love” for LG Fashion Week? How do they influence your creativity? EB: Perhaps it’s a matter of how much you love it. How much power does it require to wield one’s love? In my opinion, it’s just fashion and it’s fun to get dressed up. tn: What do you love about designing for fall/winter? What are the challenges of designing for Canadian seasons? EB: You can get into layering in the winter. There are more structural challenges in outerwear, which can lead to more fun in the studio. I think there is something to be said about feeling luxurious when you’re simply wrapped up in a cozy sweater. I mean, really: we would all live in comfort if it could be considered posh. tn: How do you define Toronto’s style? EB: Vintage
tn: Your collections usually embody many personae. What characters did you look to for inspiration this season? Is there a specific story you are trying to tell? EB: I’m loving Miss Gaga (I know, super gay) - she’s fearless. I am also quite intrigued by Tavi [Gevinson], the 13-year-old blogger. I mean, I don’t read her stuff, but she has the style of an 80-year-old woman, and she’s 13! tn: Who is your favourite person on the Canadian fashion scene and why? EB: Favourite is a strong word, but I commend Jamil Juma on his success. He has built a stylish name for himself with what seems to be the perfect fit for our Canadian market. Juma is fresh, hip, and can be worn anywhere, anytime. tn: Describe your personal style. EB: Black on black. I used to have more fun, but then I moved to T.O.
the fashion Amidst Fashion Week chaos, the newspaper caught up with
two of Toronto’s most revered voices in fashion design about Toronto style, Lady Gaga, and the power of fashion. Cailin Smart
April 1, 2010
Sarah Nicole Prickett a religious family background, she garnered a rebellious interest in fashion, hoarding forbidden issues ofSeventeen and Vogue. Little did she know what she was unleashing. Prickett has an often biting sensitivity to fashion and an acute understanding of the developing Canadian fashion identity. Instead of the usual, flowery attitude of the Canadian fashion media, Prickett has never been afraid to swim upstream. She writes unique pieces about putting outrageous runway designs to the test of quotidian life and says what others are afraid to: that Canadian fashion has a long way to go. She explains that the difficulties range from production (“One of the problems is accessibility: it’s hard to get good fabrics in Toronto”) to show time (“The problem with Toronto designers is that they have trouble creating a “moody” show”). “Toronto has an independent spirit that resonds better to other arts, es-
pecially music, than it does to fashion,” she says. The million dollar question (and for what it’s worth, a million dollars goes nowhere in this industry) is, How do we define Torontonian style? When asked to describe her personal style, she smiles at a question she’s heard before and replies, “My best friend calls me Yves St. Lolita. [My style ] is a mix of the masculine and the feminine. I love the look of a long dress for day. I bought one at H&M in beautiful wool, but decided to cut it up. I like my boyfriend’s clothes. I love stripes.” On this particular day, she is wearing a black leather bustier on top of a white mini-crinolin in eyelet, leggings, outrageous suede wedges, and a classic trench coat. Does she wear Canadian designers? She takes a mental tour of her closet and replies, “I don’t believe in liking something just because it’s Canadian.” Long live the independent spirit.
This Georgian design team opened the week’s events with their trademark layering of rich fabrics—merino wool combined with silks, felts, laces, and tulles. The collection was inspired by traditional Georgian clothing, and the effect was an artisanal vibe with an avant-garde edge. The textures and colours were earthy and natural, reminiscent of what you might find on a forest floor: mosses, lichens, and dusty neutral tones. The strongest pieces were the coats, not only masterfully tailored but also printed to create veritable works of art. The collection, complimented by gold spray-paint make-up, was very photogenic, but by fault of its decadence and drama, troubled the prospect of wearability.
It’s a rare opportunity in fashion journalism to gush about a menswear collection, and I’m going to relish it. Imagine a sexed-up Draco Malfoy. A dark, gothic Brideshead Revisited. The risks taken with this collection tight-rope walked the fine line between the daring and the ridiculous. The careful conservation of masculinity was assured by (surprisingly not the video montage of powerful stallions) a classic colour palette: white, greys, and black. The true daring came in shape of the tailoring. Waist-lines were raised to chest heights, there were knit wool capes, there were cut-out peacoats, there were rain coats that conserved virility without being by the North Face. Extraordinary.
There is more buzz around the Joe Fresh show than any other show at Fashion Week thanks to his fun, casual basics and plethora of simply chic looks. As students, we can also appreciate the accessible price points, since Joe Fresh is the epitome of affordable style. Avoid like the plague if you don’t love the fake fur trend, though: ear muffs, mittens that look like bear paws, a furry purse, and the indispensable fake fur coat that’s been lurking around for a couple seasons. The other basics, like pleated skirts, classic white blouses, a lovely wool sweater-dress, and a particularly versatile grey pencil dress embody useful additions to any wardrobe as they can be layered for winter (hello, unheated lecture halls and over-heated subway cars.)
It’s a precious spring day in March, and Toronto fashion writer Sarah Nicole Prickett is painting her nails purple. She numbers the different kinds of lilac and tells me to write the names of the colours down, while she speaks energetically under her breath about Fashion Week. She names her favoured designers and doles out praise for last seasons’ highlights (Lucian Matis: “He is usually such a maximalist, and last season he showed a lot of restraint”). She asks me about myself and laughs: “I want to be the one asking the questions.” Prickett is irrevocably Toronto’s fashion it-girl. She moved from London, Ontario to study journalism at Ryerson, but left the program after being told by the faculty that she had enough talent to do pretty much anything she pleased. “I hate the feeling of things being too easy,” she says. Coming from
April 1, 2010
How to love a stranger A review MNRUPE VIRK Tuesday March 30th saw the one-time public showing of Loving the Stranger or How to Recognize an Invert, a new workshop production by Ecce Homo Theatre Company and staged through Buddies in Bad Time Threatre. Buddies in Bad Times is a unique non-profit Canadian professional theatre Company located at 12 Alexander St, downtown Toronto. They aim to produce and stage works that not only challenge current norms within theatre and also promote Canadian queer culture and LGBT identity. Directed by Toronto based playwright, Alistair Newton, Loving the Stranger or How to Recognize an Invert provides commentary on the history of gay rights, the construction of the gay identity, and the current state of gay activism through the medium of musical cabaret. The production focuses on the story of Peter Flinsch, the last known gay survivor of the Nazi Holocaust. In 1942, Flinsch would be arrested and imprisoned for sharing a kiss with a boy at a Christmas party, a criminal offense under Germany’s infamous anti-gay laws. Flinsch would eventually emigrate to Montreal and establish himself as a renowned visual artist and theatre designer. The production’s unconventional narrative weaves in Flinsch’s story with that of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. Born in 1868, Hirschfeld is considered one of the founding fathers of Sexology, the study of Human sexuality, and an early gay rights activist. By including his theories of gender
and sexuality, the production highlights his role in the construction of gay identity and the fight for gay rights. Loving the Stranger or How to Recognize an Invert is a powerful and thought provoking piece. Alistair Newton pushes the audience to question and critique current definitions of masculinity within the context of gay identity. As homosexuality becomes more mainstream and gains wider acceptance, what will become the acceptable definition of gay identity? Newton also aims to address the current trajectory of gay activism and gay rights movements. Parallels are drawn between Paragraph 175, the law under which Flinsch was imprisoned, to the contemporary political debates surrounding California’s Proposition 8 and Alberta’s Bill 44. Using interviews with Flinsch, Newton shows the audience just how far gay activism has arrived and leaves open the question for the future of the movement. Alistair Newton has created a vastly entertaining and unique piece of work. Loving the Stranger or How to Recognize an Invert blends music, humour, sex, politics and the real-life story of Flinsch to provide the audience with a theatrical experience like none other. Tuesday’s showing was just a workshop production, and a finished piece remains on the horizon for Newton. For more information about Buddies in Bad Times, please visit http://artsexy.ca/. TofollowEcceHomoproductionsandfind out when Newton’s finished piece will be staged, visit http://www.facebook.com/ group.php?v=wall&gid=61409237695.
For goodness cake Have your cupcake and eat it too TIM RYAN Unfortunately for my type 2 diabetes, which I am on schedule to develop by my 30th birthday, I have a relationship with sweets akin to that of Tiger Woods and women. Come one, come all. No allegiances. And when all my right buttons are really being pushed, I talk dirty to my sugary guilty pleasures. Enter, For the Love of Cake. This trendy new bakery, located in the city’s booming Liberty Village, creates custom cakes and a plethora of mind, and stomach tickling cupcakes. Cake Queen, Genevieve Griffin, who trained under the well-known Bonnie Gordon, left the nest and created her own studio earlier this year. The results sent me into a heavenly, half-dreaming state, where I was supplanted into a candy land like Homer Simpson’s Land of Chocolate. Onto my tasting list: The Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake. This is the new standard for anything strawberry or shortcake. The cupcake served as a pillow for the sharp, strawberry filling, topped with whip cream and a large slice of fresh strawberry. The key is that the strawberry is the star, as it should be; only complimented by the cream and cupcake base. The Guinness Chocolate Cupcake.
The bakery has a menu of Mancakes. I’m a man, so I tried the Guinness, a chocolate cupcake flavoured with Guinness beer, filled with an Irish whiskey chocolate ganache and topped with a cream cheese icing. The flavour profile changed drastically with this, the Guinness marked an earthy, savoury beginning, later over-taken by my favourite mistress, pure chocolate. A glorious, conquering cupcake built for the manliest of men. The Lemon Meringue Cupcake. A well made Lemon Meringue pie in cupcake form. Too tart for my tasting partner’s palate, perfect for mine. Finally, the Chocolate Covered Banana Cupcake. This banana cupcake was topped with chocolate ganache and a chocolate covered banana chip. The least successful of the bunch, it was dominated by the banana chip. While the chip offered a welcomed textural contrast, banana chips and bananas taste very different. The chip dominated, spoiling the subtle banana flavours found elsewhere in the cake. For the Love of Cake is a fantastic new edition to the city, and a fantastic nook not only to get cupcakes, but also one the custom-crafted cakes which are the specialty of the bakery.
Beach House, I have a crush on you Pop band wins crowd over SARAH D’ANGELO Dream pop duo, Beach House crooned and cradled the audience in last night (March 30th) at the Opera House under the tranquility of Victoria Legrand’s vocals and over an even softer guitar. Legrand’s voice, akin in strength to Stevie Nicks’, but with perhaps a dash of celestial lullaby, will make you feel safe and sound in the darkest hours of the night. Beach House sounds unlike anything you would expect out of the dream pop genre. Sometimes when my insomnia won’t let up I put on Teen Dream (new album) and drift into a recess of my mind, somewhere near meditation, only better. With a somewhat more melancholic flavor, songs like “Nor-
way” and “Lover of mine,” had the audience soaring at an altitude similar in hight to ecstasy, while unexplainably entangled in woe . And the atmosphere inside the Opera House reached its spacey height as the duo reentered for their encore. On a stage of semi circled, tinsel decorated diamond sculptures, that gently rotated under bright lights, songs like, “Take care,” were pumped out with genuine enthusiasm. Second to Legrand’s white blazer, the most memorable aspects of the night were here, while she tossed and fluttered her hair over a center stage keyboard. Scally’s vocals complimented her own quite nicely, in an echo like fashion that oozed off stage just as smoothly as the colored fog did. Released this January, “Teen
Dream,” is Legrand and Scally’s third full length album, and in my opinion their best work to date. The reviews for this album remain outstanding, especially with the slight tweaking of sound; a little less reverb and a little more sophistication. There’s nothing finer than witnessing a band enter their prime. And, while having accomplished wonderful things already, I don’t expect that this is the peak for Beach House at all. “Here my cry, lover of mine.” Prior to last nights show I considered myself an enthusiastic fan. But, the preciseness of their live performance has seemingly pushed me into the idiotic state of a high school girl crushing real hard. And I bet if you were there last night you feel my pain. Heart throbbing pain that is.
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April 1, 2010
It’s not you, it’s me reviewing your crappy band Bitter ex-girlfriend reviews estranged beau’s new band BELANIE BAFILLARO I heard about the show through a “friend” on Facebook. I figured it’s only a subway ride, streetcar, three buses, and about a 20 minute walk from my house, so two hours later I found myself in a part of the city I’m unfamiliar with, but the look on Mitch’s face would be worth it. This also helped me realize my dream to become a person who writes about bands and their shows, whatever
their title is. It can’t be that much different from my day job of testing rectal thermometers. The band started prematurely, which is par for the course with Mitch. I was just getting my first drink at the bar, when I heard the MC announce: “And now, ladies and gentlemen, Ooodetpazaw!” They started their set with the power ballad, “Zits, Not Herpes,” a head banging, jazz-influenced, electronic track, exploring the thin line between what
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would appear to be a zit and what could possibly be herpes. There was a girl in the front row, who was mouthing all the words - it appears that she walked that fine line herself. I can only assume it’s Mitch’s newest girlfriend. As he sang, “Only time can tell where it is zit will end up,” that lovely lady in the front row seemed to fully grasp the meaning – in fact, for her I would say the title could be “Zits and Herpes.” The next song was “Beware the Fish” - which I can only assume is also about his latest conquest. The show continued with songs like “Tearaway Pants,” “T3’s for Bald V’s,” and “Coffee Breath,” all of which were rather boring, climaxed at inopportune times, with lyrics as limp as the band’s lead member. Mitch was clearly perturbed by my presence but tried to play it cool as I grabbed the nearest male and honked his balls to the rhythm of the music. Mitch screwed up his chord when I stuck my tongue down the guys’ throat – although it’s hard to tell when he misses a chord because the whole progression is an assault on the ears. The set was over in the blink of an eye – I didn’t even finish my drink and the Oodetpazaw’s were leaving the stage, leaving the audience wanting no more. It didn’t matter though, because tonight I found my true calling and Mitch is heading home without me (only to find my review in the paper, which will undoubtedly find its way to his front doorstep – along with the dental dam I used with the friend I made that night).
April 1, 2010
“ the campus comment ” the newspaper asks: Hey famous people, what are some April Fool’s pranks you might pull this year?*
“Put a stink bomb in Kevin Drew’s guitar.” - Amy Milan
“Tell my dad that I finally found a way to create world peace. PSYCHE! - Avi Lewis
“Carry around a bible everywhere and tell people that I’ve found god.” - Richard Dawkins
“I’m thinking of twitpic-ing a photo of Billy Bob and I hugging.” - Jian Gomeshi
“Who in the what now?” - Margaret Atwood
“Whoopee cushion on Peter Mansbridge’s chair.” - Rick Mercer
* NOT REAL ANSWERS, PLEASE DON’T SUE ME.
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