The Essential Guide
Check inside this issue
for a free copy
of the martlet
#APPY FEELINGS p.2
ra w a n d h y per A P R I L
tu a n
for the urban
INTO THE WILD p.3
2 0 1 3
A 21st-century guide to 19th-century camping Words — Natures Neissl and Sherpa Shiach Every once in a while, it is important
softening your beard first. Which brings
to leave your office in the city jungle
us the next item to bring on your camp-
to get out into some real foliage and
ing trip: a portable propane tankless
become one with this powerful planet.
hot water station. It will allow you to
After all, the power to tame the wild
offer any guests warm showers without
and mould our environment is what
the fuss of a solar tank that only holds
makes us feel alive. But before setting
enough for a five-minute splash.
out to conquer the pure wilderness,
With classic shaves and soul-search-
it is important to be prepared. Only a
ing showers, you’ll want artisanal food.
fool would leave the comfort of home
Add gourmet cuisine to your gullet and
without the necessary equipment.
a craft cocktail in your hand, and that’s
Whether you venture out alone or
when Gaia will commune with you. To
with your dearest friends, pack a spa-
get there, you’ll need TrunkTrolly.com’s
cious tent that shields you and your
rolling bar and a Gusta wood-fire out-
belongings from wild creatures during
door oven. “Then what did I carefully
the night and the unbearable cold. If
flare the campfire with my butane torch
it’s not cold enough, consider bringing
for?” you ask. We recommend joining
along a portable camping air condi-
the marshmallow of the month club
tioner. They’re sold in 110-volt models
so you can lightly toast one of their 79
that can plug into any generator, and
small-batch flavours; use aluminum or
most have a heat setting, too, in case
cedar rotisserie prongs for best results
you want to simulate a grueling sum-
(the cedar adds an earthy whisper).
mer night and test your humanity. A generator is just another invention
your cellphone’s alarm, you’ll find your
that exemplifies our species’ ability to
world has fallen into place — in your
adapt and survive in all climates and
Grid-line luggage organizer — and
terrains. But if you haven’t built the
you’ll be ready to brew some espresso
muscle to lug one around, or in case
in the specialty Italian designer pot of
you run low on fuel, bring along some
your choice. Nothing helps the devout
innovative Power Rubbers. These are
camper tune in to Mother Nature more
Wellington boots that allow the refined
than the whoosh of a French press filter
camper to generate electricity from the
plunging into shade-grown grounds.
heat of his very sole. Twelve hours in
You should consider camping in close
the thermoelectric footwear gives one
proximity to a Whole Foods super-
hour of charge time for your cellphone.
market to get refreshments whenever
They also keep your $50 compression
needed. In fact, if your local organic
Merino wool socks dry.
grocery store has any sort of greenery
Don’t forget your straight razor kit
When you wake to the sunlight or
in the parking lot — a lone tree, a
unless you want to come back looking
grassy meridian — you could just erect
like Sasquatch rather than the proven
your authentic “Napoleon Bonaparte
gentleman you’ll be. Camping is all
— The Egypt Years” replica military
about centring yourself, and you’ll find
Luxury tent that fits all amenities (we suggest the aforementioned “Napoleon Bonaparte — The Egypt Years” replica military model) 42” Samsung 3D LED TV to relive the glory of the nature you captured on your GoPro HERO3: Black Edition camcorder
Propane-powered tankless hot water station — you need a hot shower to be as fresh as the forest air
Portable WiFi hotspot to share your experience with the less fortunate city-folk
A GPS device — preferably one that has an underappreciated explorer in its name (Magellan RoadMate, anyone?)
Silk-lined sleeping bag
At least 10 fringed cushions and Venetian glass lamps to create a relaxed environment for the sharing of stories with fellow campers
Kitchenware (wine glasses, martini glasses, cocktail shaker, your mother’s tiered dessert tray) — you do have to celebrate, right?
Three bottles of a full-bodied merlot that has hints of rosewood smoke and a robust finish. Its hue must remind you of the colour of an ex-lover’s hair
your shave much more meditative if
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you have some way to heat a towel for
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Boundless: the app guide to nature’s most beautiful Facebook profile pictures
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Words — William Woodsman III Sometimes you want to escape it all
You won’t be alone come the dying
Bridges, a Mad Men-hiatus Jon
individuality. Get away from the harsh
and just stand above the evergreens,
of the light, either. Boundless comes
digital style with hand-painted waterco-
perched atop the summit of an im-
with a curated yet comprehensive list
lour, charcoal sketch and burnt-wood
mense peak and enjoying the setting
of spirits and beverages to accompany
sun. Boundless can take you there with
any mountaintop image at any time of
little or no effort on your part.
day. For example, if you are stargaz-
special isn’t its powerful rendering
Boundless is more than just a map
shampooing free for first-time clients. firstname.lastname@example.org.
engine or any technical mumbo-jumbo.
Boundless suggests a flask of Jäger or
No, what makes this app so power-
nient, majestic natural landscapes near
a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. For
ful is that its creators understand the
your current location and provides the
morning walks along the shore, try a
need for tools like this. Tools that help
tools for rustic yet sensitive photo-ops.
modern thinkers and creators craft
In mere minutes, you can now imply
their current identity without prescrib-
hetero gentleman (25-35 y/o) for purely platonic pleasures. Let’s discover our souls together.
Boundless, you could spend an entire
to the outdoors. Your new Facebook
reproductions, Boundless is certain to
weekend solitarily hiking through
profile pic is going to look amazing.
leave you feeling in touch with your
the backcountry looking just for that
With the touch of a button, Bound-
surroundings like never before. But
perfect moment with your surround-
less will make sure that while the sun
more importantly, it’s even easier to
ings. Now you have the tool to do this
begins to set, you know just where you
purport this to others. You will also love
efficiently and in an aesthetically pleas-
need to be — leaning candidly against
the howl feature that allows users to
ing manner within an hour, ensuring
a Garry oak or arbutus. Just tap the
tell others how they’ve recently com-
you never have to miss a single class
Carpe Diem button, and Boundless
muned with nature.
in your DIY screen-printing workshop
moment for your photo, adding the
is its in-app store that provides users
faintest natural touches, such as lens
with even more ways of making the
flares or vintage filters.
application their own, sharing their
Hiking, biking, rock-climbing, wine-
ing what their future will hold. Without
interface to its option of authentic film
One of the best parts of Boundless
PERSONALS Straight male, 27, seeking another
an idyllic, bucolic lifestyle, connected
will select the right co-ordinates and
deserve to invest in yourself. Beard
The thing that makes Boundless so
ing atop Victoria’s Mount Tolmie,
From its gorgeous, oak-inspired
Ryan Gosling, look no further. You
#leaf #tree #nature
app. It guides you to the most conve-
to your friends and family that you live
Hamm or the highly requested
tasting, etc. Open to suggestions. I’ll bring the cigars, and you pre-
#water #clean #rover
pare for the epic adventures. Serious inquiries only pls.
HELP WANTED Personal assistant needed for young professional trying to distance self from technology. I need my cellphone for work but need
someone to meet me at 4:30 p.m. every day to take it away and keep it safe until 8:30 a.m. next day.
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Letter from the editor
How do you reconcile the urbane with the unbridled?
weighed down by recent rainfall, the thud of an acorn
see Leif Ferneygo’s meditation on a mammoth in a
The well-groomed with the untamed? The shade-
falling to damp soil. We plug in a pine-scented Glade
museum (page three).
grown with the sun-weathered?
air freshener. We open a window and try to lure the
And if you’ve ever doubted yourself — wondered if
Peregrine falcon who has been living on the roof of
your burning desire to rest your cheek to rough bark
our 14-floor office building onto our desks.
is a vestigial sentiment from more atavistic times, use-
These are the questions that preoccupy the urban woodsman. This is the man who, yes, is shackled to his laptop due to his vocation — but his heart and
Anything to get a little closer to the wilderness.
less in the modern world: take heart. Your grandfather
facial hair long to run riot amongst dew-soaked, de-
The fruits of these labours spill out of this, the
would approve of at least 50 per cent of the activities
ciduous flora. This is the person who, admittedly, lives
cornucopia that is the first issue of The Hatchet.
you regularly undertake (page three), and there are
in a refurbished undertaker’s office with one exposed
Our cover story tackles an issue that’s close to many
plenty of urban woodsmen out there who would love
brick wall and no tree in sight for at least 23 city
readers’ hearts: how to camp without compromise. If
to experience the outdoors with you (Classifieds, at
blocks. But he longs to erect a spacious canvas tent
you need inspiration to make a grand trek, check out
right). Learn what a man can do when he pushes him-
on a rocky promontory. He longs to hear the tent’s
Diego Goldstein’s reflections on the merits of time
self to his limits using only a map, a compass and a
frayed flap whipping in the breeze, giving voice to
spent in the wilderness (page three). And if you sus-
loincloth (page four), and know that, even during the
Imported watches: Nixon, Diesel,
his newfound freedom. He longs to escape it all — at
pect that you can’t make that trip alone, you’re right:
most solitary stint out of doors, you are not alone.
Toy Watch, Vestal, Seiko & more.
least on long weekends.
see Arnold Swiffer’s strong case for borrowing your
The Hatchet strives to answer the questions that fill the urban woodsman’s mind.
friends’ pets without telling them (page four). But if you’ve got a lot of freelance design work or
MErCHANDISE FOR SALE Show yourself to be a true aesthete
Join us, dear reader. Feel the faint grit of these newsprint pages. Let the ink soak your fingers like
with the most genuine knock-offs
the soot from all the campfires you’ve ever lit with a
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How do we discover the answers? We allow our-
blogging on your plate this month and the 20-minute
butane torch. And when you’ve read and reflected on
selves to be still, unmolested by the whirr of the of-
drive to even the closest city green space seems too
the words in The Hatchet, gently crumple it, stoop to
fice photocopier or the gurgle of the Tassimo coffee
far, fear not. We’ve discovered an app that allows
the stones you’ve arranged in a circle, and light one
brewer. We look to our own rich, interior landscapes,
you to convey your woodsman aesthetic to all your
knowing that the key to appreciating the landscapes
Facebook friends without venturing out of your neigh-
without lies within ourselves. We imagine a forest
bourhood (above). And you can find some of the
— the dappled light, the supine curve of saplings
most stunning examples of nature’s denizens indoors:
Curation — Tee Payne
the hatchet Staff
Google Ocean Expert
J.Paulus Zanzibar, PhD
Aby Hemt, Koala Geldrawn
S Pony, Puppy & Monster Expert
Q Creative Energy Engineer
Linguist Beast Tracker
GGG Sequined Zebracorn Tamer
Spiritual Energy Cultivator
Gold Panda Wrangler
Ashley "Oxford Comma Slayer" Ampersand
Expert Pocket Monster Trainer Cromwell Junkenheimer Cumberpatch. Esq.
e Ensign no.8
H m I Beard-in-Chief H
Design Guy William Woodsman III
Kaiju Research Analyst
Pat Allan O'Patrick
Photo Credits: A & B) mancity(sxc.hu) C) sarej (sxc.hu) D) marcaert (sxc.hu) E) mailsparky (sxc.hu)
‘breastaurant’ trend take off
in Canada? THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA’S INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER MARCH 28, 2013 • VOLUME 65 • ISSUE 29 • MARTLET.CA
Restaurants with revealing dress codes are surging in popularity, but what does it mean for women? > NINA NEISSL The 2006 Census showed 76.5 per cent of all serving positions in Canada were held by women and 77.6 per cent of all servers were between the ages of 15 and 44 years. So, it is fair to say that the average server in Canada is a young woman — a young woman who is very likely to earn around $9 per hour (the minimum wage for liquor servers in B.C.) and to be employed part time — only 29.3 per cent of all servers were working full time and full year in 2005. This young woman’s $9-per-hour job might require her to wear a short skirt or highheeled shoes — a dress code common in the restaurant industry. “Not all of the places where I have worked had a particular ‘sexy’ dress code. But in one restaurant where I was hired as hostess when I was 18 years old, I was instructed by a manager that I was to dress in all black clothes and — to use their exact wording — in a ‘sexy businesscasual’ manner,” says Kaitlyn Matulewicz, a UVic PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law and former worker in the restaurant industry. This was not the only time she would run into a sexualized dress code. “I felt uneasy because
I was told that as part of my job, to work as a hostess or waitress, I had to present myself in a certain ‘sexy’ or ‘classy-provocative’ way.” Matulewicz’s seven years of experience as a server, bartender and hostess inspired her research topic. She’s currently looking into the restaurant sector with a focus on the wide array of unwanted sexual experiences women face in their line of work. “Throughout the years, there were times when I encountered sexual advances: touching, sexual talk, or sexist jokes from customers, co-workers and even some managers,” says Matulewicz. She believes such experiences are common in the restaurant industry. However, she can’t recall any attempt at a formal discussion on how to handle sexual harassment in the restaurants where she worked. Recently, an especially revealing dress code has been on the rise: in so-called “breastaurants,” female servers not only serve drinks and food, but are integral to the restaurant’s concept. One of the most famous examples of this trend is Twin Peaks in the U.S. Its slogan is “Eats. Drinks. And Scenic Views.” Twin Peaks is currently thinking about expanding to Canada and is open to offers from serious franchisee
candidates — but only those from Alberta. The female servers working in “breastaurants” wear extra-short, revealing uniforms, usually accentuating their breasts, and are often instructed to engage with the customers using language predetermined by the company. “We have a certain language and we train that among our waitstaff,” Randy DeWitt, founder of Twin Peaks, told Entrepreneur magazine in 2011. “If you ask for a beer, the waitress will ask ‘Do you want the man size or the girl size?’ ” Designed mostly for a male target audience, these establishments nonetheless also cater to families. However, cracks are forming in the facade of the happy, sexy, uniform-clad server displayed in the merchandise calendars. Last year, 19 servers from a Chicago branch of Tilted Kilt, another well-known example of the breastaurant trend, sued the company for creating a work environment that was sexually offensive and degrading. Tilted Kilt reacted by firing the manager in question and pointed out that it does not tolerate sexual harassment within the company. Despite uproar from employees and related interest groups, this restaurant concept has
boomed in recent years. According to Technomic, a food industry research firm, the top three breastaurant chains behind Hooters each had sales growth of 30 per cent or more in 2011. “The days where restaurants were remembered by the quality of food, knowledge of servers and overall experience of the night is being trampled on by low-standard restaurants that exploit women’s features. I think it’s unbecoming and inappropriate,” says Christopher Trumper, a college student from Ontario with six years of work experience as a server, who thinks that female servers are far more sexualized than male servers. Anne Rodewald, a German student who worked for nine years in the hospitality sector in Austria and Germany, is shocked by the breastaurant trend. “[These restaurants] build a new image of women . . . certain ideologies are built because only certain women with an ideal proportion are probably hired.”
UVIC'S $5 MILLION IN INTERESTFREE LOANS FOR STAFF (P. 3)
BUS DRIVERS WON'T LET MOBILITY DEVICE ON BOARD (P. 6)
IT AIN'T FREE, BABE: THE COST OF INTERNET SERVICES (P. 9)
FRESHLY BAKED BREAD MAKES ME WANT TO VOMIT (P. 18)
Continued on page 3
UVIC VIKES UPDATE
2013 UVIC SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES MARK YOUR CALENDAR
The below Hall of Fame inductees will be honoured at the annual Celebration of Champions event on April 3, 2013. Tickets and more information are available at GOVIKESGO.COM/COC
SUNDAY JUNE 2nd
at Uplands GC
REGISTER: govikesgo.com/TFYouthGolf TLC CAMPS: APRIL 6th
BBALL: 9-11am XC & TRACK: 12-2pm
Cross-Country & Track ATHLETE UVic cross-country and track runner Silverado Socrates, formerly Brenda Shackleton, raced for the Vikes from 1985-88 and led the Vikes to three consecutive CIS and Canada West cross-country titles (1985-87). Socrates was honoured with almost every single accolade including UVic’s Rookie and Athlete of the Year awards, CIS cross-country Athlete of the Year and CIS All-Canadian honours for three-straight seasons. Socrates also set multiple records on the track, some of which still stand to date.
Soccer ATHLETE Women’s soccer goalkeeper Nicci Wright competed for the Vikes from 1992-96. Wright went on to also have a prolific international career. Wright earned 36 caps with Canada and recorded 11 shutouts, the third most in Canadian national women’s soccer history. From 1996-99, Wright set a national record for goalkeepers, making 16 consecutive appearances for Canada. Wright also competed for the Vancouver Whitecaps, in the Swedish Women’s League and for the Washington Freedom in the USA.
DR. DEREK ELLIS
Cross-Country & Track BUILDER Dr. Derek Ellis coached the cross-country and track distance program from its official inception in 1964 until 1973. Ellis was also an associate professor in the biology department and was involved in the initiation of the first 24-hour relay event, now an annual event at Centennial Stadium. Ellis also played a key role in the hosting of the 1973 national crosscountry championship at UVic. Ellis was a very accomplished and competitive runner until injury prevented him from competing in the 1980 World Masters Games.
All you newshounds: we'll be looking for Lois Lanes all summer long. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in writing for News but don't have time during exams.
Continued from cover Rodewald also thinks that this sexy dress code can set the stage for inappropriate sexual behaviour towards female servers. “Women [in breastaurants] are only valued as sexual objects and not as human beings,” she says. Breastaurants are still a rare and new concept in Europe, where servers usually have to dress more conservatively. Many breastaurant franchise chains start out in the U.S. With a federal minimum wage for gratuity-earning employees as low as US$2.13 per hour — frozen for the last 20 years — one reason for women to work in such restaurants is the prospect of higher tips. While many states have already taken matters into their own hands and imposed a higher minimum wage, there are still several that stick to this hourly wage. Even though employers are required to make sure that their servers earn enough tips to reach an hourly wage of US$7.25 — the federal minimum — or to make up for the difference, this requirement is often ignored. This leads to underpaid servers according to the report Tipped over the edge: Gender inequity in the restaurant industry by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United). The same report states 37 per cent of all sexual harassment charges filed by women in the U.S. with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) happen in the restaurant industry. This rate is five times higher than the rate for the general female workforce. But filing a sexual harassment complaint is often the exception. “I’ve also been told of occasions where women have gone to their supervisors or management after being faced with sexual comments, requests, grabbing, etc., and the experiences are not taken seriously,” says Matulewicz. For Chelsea Thompson, a UVic student and full-time server at a family restaurant who has five years of work experience in the restaurant industry, it is important that the management stands behind its staff in these situations. “When incidents of inappropriate sexual advances have been made towards our staff from customers, [those customers] have been ejected. All in all, management wants us to feel safe and comfortable at work,” she says. Thompson feels lucky in that regard. “I won’t say that I haven’t been objectified while serving, but I know that my manager or the male staff members would have my back if a situation got out of hand. It’s hard to control who walks into your restaurant, but you can control how they are dealt with.” According to Matulewicz’s research, women who experience inappropriate behaviour often laugh off the incidents or try to ignore the person harassing them. They may also share their experience with co-workers or confront the person who is harassing them. In more serious scenarios, some turn towards alcohol consumption while working to handle rude and inappropriate customers. Matulewicz hopes her research will provide concrete suggestions on how to improve the working conditions in restaurants. “I don’t think anyone should ever have to endure unwanted sexual experiences,” she says, “including in a place of work.” �
UVic offers millions in interest-free loans to new hires Senior administrators eligible for significantly higher loans > TIA LOW Within the last five to 10 years, UVic lent at least $5 918 089 in interest-free home purchasing and relocation loans to more than 160 new faculty, librarians and top-level hires, according to figures obtained through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. UVic’s new administrators, tenure-track or tenured professors, librarians and artists-in-residence are all eligible to apply for the loan within their first five years of hire. The loan can only be used for the purchase of a first home in Victoria. “It’s very much a recruitment tool to attract top-notch professors from across the country or internationally,” said Kim Hart-Wensley, UVic’s associate vice-president of faculty relations and academic administration, in an interview with the Martlet. “Similarly, to attract senior administrators within the university — and again, we need to be competitive, and we need really topnotch people working here. As you know, there’s a fairly high cost of living in Victoria.” New faculty members and librarians can be approved for a loan of up to $35 000. On the list released Feb. 25, there are 72 loans with original principals at $35 000, 80 at $25 000, one at $24 589 and one at $22 500. For many higher-up positions, such as deans, chairs, associate vice presidents and vice presidents, the original principal amounts are much higher. Hart-Wensley said this is “to make that position competitive in order to recruit outstanding people for those particular positions.” She said these amounts are negotiated as part of a package within an overall budget for a particular position. Though she did not provide specific figures, she said these loans are gener-
ally in the ballpark of $50 000 – $115 000. Ten high-level hires currently have loans out with original principals in that range. Another loan was originally for $200 000, and another at $225 000. “There’s a general parameter within which there’s some flexibility depending on what it is you’re trying to get [for] that individual, and they’re looking for a home loan of $50 000, and somebody else is looking at $100 000 — but maybe what they’re looking for in terms of salary is different. That’s why I can’t really set it down in stone for you,” said Hart-Wensley. “You’re not going to see a loan that’s $500 000 because that’s simply beyond what would be realistically budgeted for that kind of position,” she noted. The Ubyssey, the official student newspaper of the University of British Columbia (UBC), reported in January that UBC held $11.8 million in interest-free loans, some at $600 000. UBC cited the same reason for these loans as UVic does: competitive hiring. While the loan is interest-free to the individual, Hart-Wensley said the interest is paid for through the university’s “Scholars’ Fund,” established by the Board of Governors to enhance recruitment. Borrowers do pay tax on the amount the interest would have been — unless the university loan qualifies as a home relocation loan for that person under the Income Tax Act. To qualify, the employee must be moving within Canada more than 40 kilometres and be purchasing the home as a result of accepting the new job. For security, UVic requires borrowers to secure a second mortgage against the property purchased, which must be registered in the Land Title Office; UVic pays for the related legal fees
and registration costs. That mortgage, plus any other secured debt against the property, including the university loan, can’t exceed 95 per cent of the purchase price of the residence. UVic’s loan term is five years, during which the principal may be repaid at any time or through instalments. Individuals can apply for a five-year renewal six months prior to the end of the term; approval is at the university’s discretion. “You’d still have to be in the same kind of financial position [and] still be in the same first home you bought. We’d still have to make sure you have sufficient equity in your home. We wouldn’t want to renew in a situation where you’ve borrowed even more money against the house or something like that,” Hart-Wensley said. During the renewal period, monthly payments are mandatory — at least $400 for individuals who borrowed prior to July 1, 2011, and $584 for those who borrowed on or after that date. Hart-Wensley said UVic won’t reveal the remaining principals to protect individual privacy. “Our interpretation of the [FOI] legislation is we’re prohibited from doing that,” said Hart-Wensley, though UBC released remaining principals on its interest-free loans when it responded to the original FOI for a list of loans. Hart-Wensley did note, however, that there is now just under $5 million out in loans. Speaking about the program’s impact, HartWensley said, “[The loan] is clearly being taken up and being used. It seems to suggest that it is something of value to the university in terms of getting those top-notch people, so I think it’s a positive thing.” �
March 28, 2013 MARTLET • NEWS 3
Not much of a writer but a big fan of action shots? If you've got a great series of photos, we'd love to publish them on martlet.ca. Email email@example.com.
Denis Tumelty, a client of Streets to Homes, has lived in his one-bedroom apartment for almost two months after three years of living in Victoria homeless shelters.
Streets to Homes program given more annual government funding
Evidence-based homelessness transition program offers support for independent housing > VANESSA HAWK Victoria-based homelessness transition program Streets to Homes (S2H) will receive expanded government funding until 2015. The annual $400 000 from B.C. Housing allows the program to provide rent subsidies to 103 participants dealing with chronic homelessness and often mental health issues or substance abuse. Previously, the province funded 30 rent supplements, but S2H now has a maximum capacity of 120 participants. “The program was created to address chronic homelessness in Victoria,” says Brad Crewson, S2H program co-ordinator. “We’re working with people who are homeless right now and are exhibiting a cycle of homelessness.” Like traditional homelessness transition programs, S2H aims to get participants into stable housing. However, unlike many transition programs, S2H does not require that participants attend programs for substance use or employment and skills training. The program operates on a principle of housing first, which means it meets basic shelter needs before addressing other issues participants face. “A housing-first model says, ‘You know what? Get them housed and meet the baseline in
4 NEWS • MARTLET March 28, 2013
terms of shelter. Get them safe and secure, and then support them in starting to address whatever issues there are that have precipitated them being in a situation where they’re homeless,’ ” says Crewson. Denis Tumelty is a S2H client who had been rotating between downtown shelters like the Salvation Army and Rock Bay Landing for three years while he relied on unstable and low-wage construction work offered by temp agencies. “Even those places, you’re grateful for them that they’re there. You get a bed for the night and a shower,” says Tumelty. “It’s great, but it’s not a way to live. It wears on you. Day in and day out, it wears.” He says he understands why some people would rather sleep outside than in overcrowded shelters. After Tumelty was referred to S2H, he moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Esquimalt where he’s been living for just under two months. “Unless you have a stable home, you’re not stable. Period,” says Tumelty. He says unstable housing prevents people from securing steady health or employment or succeeding at things they otherwise would do well. S2H began as a pilot program by the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness in 2010 and is now managed by Pacifica Housing.
In December 2012, one year after the pilot project became a permanent program, 73 per cent of S2H participants remained housed, showing the program to be a cost-effective model with long-term results. The majority of participants who left S2H either moved into housing with a higher level of support or became employed full time and were deemed financially independent. As well, the landlord support system with S2H ensured that private landlords renting units to clients stayed on with the program. B.C. Housing provides a maximum of $300 in rent subsidies each month to each of the 103 participants in S2H. Based on an $850 000 total program cost divided among participants at peak capacity, Crewson says this is about $7 000 per person annually. For many clients who receive $375 per month for shelter through government social assistance, like Tumelty, the actual cost of housing in Victoria is more affordable with the S2H subsidy. Bernie Pauly, associate nursing professor and scientist at UVic’s Centre for Addictions Research of B.C. (CAR-BC), says an effective housing-first model requires a supply of affordable and available housing. “In Victoria, that’s been a bit of a challenge because we do have high rental and low vacancy rates.”
The average cost of rent in Victoria in 2011 was $676 monthly for a bachelor apartment, and vacancy rates for such apartments, while increasing since 2006, were an average of 1.7 per cent in 2011 according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Once housed, participants have direct access to services through S2H and can be referred to existing programs in Victoria such as health and recovery programs, food banks and employment and training workshops. S2H provides some funding for small expenses like obtaining basic furniture or identification, immigration and other documents. “These programs help people get their identity back. Identity is a very important thing, because you lose identity down there,” says Tumelty of S2H. “Streets to Homes helps bring people back up to normal living, which we all deserve.” Evaluations by Pacifica Housing and CARBC find that S2H is a successful model; however, other facets of homelessness have yet to be addressed. “We’ve added some new housing stock, and we’re housing people through the year, but it’s not enough to stop the flow into homelessness,” says Pauly. “So we’re moving out of homelessness, but we’re not preventing it.” �
Feral deer, like this one in a Gordon Head driveway, have become a serious issue, prompting some Victorians to call for a cull.
Victoria groups still divided on urban deer issue > CASSANDRA HANSON Today in the Greater Victoria area, deer roam the streets and neighbourhoods, feeding off residents’ gardens and vegetables. There were between 45 000–65 000 deer on Vancouver Island in 2011 according to B.C. Ministry of Environment estimates, out of 99 000–155 000 in the entire province. A controversy has arisen over how the Capital Regional District (CRD) may appropriately deal with the deer. The CRD is currently moving ahead with a deer management plan, implemented in December 2012, that includes public education, fencing and increased bag limits for deer hunting, among other measures. The CRD has been conducting meetings with Peninsula municipal staff and councils over the last two months, and Central Saanich Council has asked its staff to look into the use of sharpshooters and the feasibility of placing bounties on deer. The deer debate continues amongst Victoria residents. Valentin Schaefer, a UVic environmental studies professor who studies urban ecology and biodiversity, believes deer behaviour in Victoria has changed. “It looks as if the deer are becoming urban exploiters. Initially, they were urban adaptors,” he said. “It is not only how they adapt to our presence — they actually can exploit our presence and increase their numbers correspondingly.” Victorians have encroached upon and destroyed many of the deer’s initial habitats, leaving the deer no choice but to adapt to people.
Victoria resident Susan Bourjeaurd said, “Our neighbourhood has a lot to offer a deer: lots of food, protection and no predators.” Strategies for restoring balance may include reintroducing predators, culling or relocating the deer. A deer cull is a divisive topic: some believe it is unnecessary and inhumane, while others see it as the only option. “We are in essence, by doing a cull, replacing the predators,” said Schaefer, “like the coyotes and the cougars, and taking their role. It will be ongoing.” He says a cull of the deer in the area may not solve the problem; it will just manage the problem for now. Kelly Carson is involved with DeerSafe Victoria, an organization that tries to save deer and come up with humane ways to deal with them. “Through our own research,” said Carson, “we discovered that every problem with deer has a technologically advanced solution that does not involve killing. Fencing, road deterrents, wildlife corridors, repellents and adverse conditioning called ‘hazing’ with trained dogs, to name a few.” According to Schaefer, many local nurseries sell deer-deterring flowers. He says fencing gardens and being more cautious on the roads are a few simple options that will prevent further unfriendly encounters. The CRD’s Regional Deer Management Strategy has noted that public support for a deer cull is “average in the agricultural geography, relatively low in the rural geography and low in the urban geography” of the CRD. �
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March 28, 2013 MARTLET • NEWS 5
SPORTS & LIFESTYLE
This is the final Sports & Lifestyle section of the publishing year, but don't despair. We will continue uploading stories that make you want to sweat at martlet.ca.
UVic student with homemade mobility device refused service by some bus drivers > VANESSA HAWK When Leslie Sharpe fractured her ankle while bouldering at Crag X Indoor Climbing Centre almost two months ago, the fourth-year psychology student resigned herself to the bruises and half-speed hobble familiar to anyone stuck using crutches. After two pieces of bone were found in her joint and doctors said she would need surgery to remove them, Sharpe was frustrated by the idea of getting to and from class on crutches for an additional four to six weeks. Any alternative forms of transportation would be pricey: she rented a knee walker, a kick scooter with a stool on which to rest one leg, on a trip to visit her brother in California over reading break. The knee walker made getting around quick and easy, but the devices cost several hundred dollars to buy and ship to Victoria. Sharpe decided to take things into her own hands. “I did a lot of research and found these little kick bikes with handle brakes,” says Sharpe. “They’re pretty small, about the same size as the knee walker that I rented [in California], but bigger than a normal scooter. It has all-terrain wheels, and I actually got the kid version and just hiked up the handle bars.” Sharpe’s boyfriend, Matt Barker, installed a padded stool on the scooter’s platform for Sharpe to rest her injured ankle on while she rode around campus. She was pleased with how well the homemade mobility device worked. “It’s way faster and it’s way more stable,” says Sharpe. “Even if I’m going at a walking pace, it’s more stable than a knee walker because it has these
big, cushy wheels, so if I go over a bump, I don’t even notice, which is awesome. It’s also lighter than a knee walker, so I could pick it up easily, and the brakes actually work really, really well.” Despite its ingenuity, Sharpe’s homemade knee scooter was not celebrated by everyone. Though some bus drivers allowed her to travel with the scooter, four B.C. Transit bus drivers refused to allow Sharpe on board over the three weeks she used her modified device. She says the drivers did not offer her an explanation as to why. Sharpe phoned B.C. Transit, and the company sent her a letter confirming that her scooter is allowed on buses; however, B.C. Transit misunderstood that the device was homemade and was unsure how closely Sharpe’s device resembled a certified scooter. “When we had an understanding and a visual on what this homemade device looked like, we certainly support our operators who have refused to allow the boarding of that particular device,” says Meribeth Burton, spokesperson for B.C. Transit. B.C. Transit allows only Canadian Standards Association (CSA)-approved mobility devices on board, such as power scooters, wheelchairs, strollers and walkers, and mandates that a device’s dimensions be a maximum of 24 inches by 48 inches. “It’s true to say that there’s often a judgment call that operators make, which may explain why the woman sometimes has no trouble boarding the bus and some times where there are issues with operators,” says Burton on whether or not B.C. Transit allows for exceptions like Sharpe’s modified, temporary-use mobility device.
UVic student Leslie Sharpe modified a kick bike after she fractured her ankle. Sharpe understands that hers is an odd case, but feels that her knee scooter should have been allowed on the bus as it’s within the maximum dimensions, has no sharp corners (and therefore poses no risk to other passengers) and fits in one seat space. Sharpe says bus drivers who didn’t allow her on board, or who told her to get off, were not transporting their full capacity of passengers. She also notes that other passengers would have likely moved seats for a girl with an injured ankle. “They seem to have a very automatic response to say no,” says Sharpe. “Even the drivers who do let me on eventually will look at me and say no at first.”
Sharpe says that while many bus drivers were accommodating, she was frustrated with the inhospitable responses from several bus drivers and with the lack of consistency in whether she would be allowed on the bus or not. “If she feels she was treated badly, we certainly apologize, because every passenger should be made to feel welcome,” says Burton. Sharpe says she should be off crutches shortly and back to bouldering five times a week, a welcome relief from the one-footed, harnessed, indoor rock-climbing she’s been practising since her injury. �
The life of a transfer student Switching schools and cities can be messy — but in the end, worthwhile > CELINA SILVA
6 SPORTS & LIFESTYLE • MARTLET March 28, 2013
This is my first year at the University of Victoria. I’m from the small town of Nelson, B.C., a town buried deep in the snowy mountains of the Kootenays and known for its arts, culture and hippie scene. Before UVic, I attended Selkirk College, getting up at 6 a.m. to commute through the icy valley roads to the campus located on the outskirts of the even more remote Castlegar, B.C. These days, I just roll out of bed half an hour before class and walk across Ring Road to campus. Ah, the benefits of student housing. While at first I felt aimless at college, I became deeply inspired by the classes. The small class sizes gave students plenty of opportunity for individual guidance. The intimate community vibe of college made it fairly easy to meet people in classes. But I found it frustrating that I recognized or knew at least half of the student population from around town or from high school. Craving new faces and fresh experiences, and itching to expand beyond the small-town scene, I decided to transfer to UVic. The transition to university was a bit of a shock. My creative writing class at college consisted of 10 people, with ages ranging from 19 to 60. I was surprised on the first day of university when I walked into my writing class at UVic to find a massive lecture hall with over 100 people. Most of them looked like they were fresh out of high school. My heart stopped for a few moments. Was I making a mistake by transferring — did I belong here? While at first the large class sizes and a new campus and city to navigate felt overwhelming, I am now in love with UVic, my program and the
city. Selkirk is a community college; people commute to and from campus. What was lacking was campus spirit (of which UVic has plenty) and diversity (I had known the majority of the student population for most of my life). I’ve met many friends at UVic. In cluster housing, I had the opportunity to live with an exchange student from Denmark during my first semester. We are now friends, and I feel grateful to have expanded my worldview through her. There are pros and cons to being a transfer student. Most transfer students will have to retake an unrecognized course or two when beginning at their new school. And there is always the query, “What year are you in?” For us transfer students, that can be tricky. It took me three years to complete a two-year program. We don’t always fit inside the neat and tidy postsecondary box of a four-year degree. However, starting at college allows you to gain academic skills that can be utilized at university, and it gives you the freedom to try different classes without the pressure and increased tuition of a university program. Life is messy and expensive, and sometimes you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. It’s okay to change your mind and take your time, to transfer cities, schools and academic direction. I am 24 and in my first year of university. Sometimes I feel old in class, feel the pressure from society to already have a career. I sometimes wonder if being a transfer student was really the way to go or if I am taking too much time. But that doubt quickly passes. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience both the college and university life. �
THE STUDENT BAWDY
Surviving the March misery of student life > ELLA WEATHERILT March is the gauntlet. It’s a test to see if you are worthy of the student lifestyle. I’m not talking 99-cent ramen and Criminal Minds marathons; I mean the casual sex and stories to make your future grandkids cringe. Maybe only arts students will agree with me on this (I hear February is rough on you science kids), but the fact is: March is the worst part of the school year because it’s when you can see the end, but are nowhere near it. One minute it’s reading break, and then bam!
You’re staring at yourself in the mirror at 3 a.m., unable to sleep because you can’t remember the name of Cory’s brother in Boy Meets World. You’re not sure why it matters, but you know you’d rather think about that than about the 15-page paper you have to do. There is a zombie staring back at you with dark bags under its eyes and deep forehead wrinkles filled with regret. You seem to have aged 10 years in the last week and have lost any hope that you will ever get laid again. No amount of greasy food will fill your dark cavern of self-loathing. Then there are the people around you who
can’t seem to understand your inability to shower or form coherent sentences. “Just a few more weeks,” they’ll say, evidently attempting to reassure themselves as well as you. Eventually you get to the point where napping can’t even alleviate a constant tirade of self-nagging. If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, let me introduce to you the only way to stay sane during this month from hell: procrasturbating. Those of you who know what I’m talking about are probably too relaxed to care. Procrasturbating is the act of masturbating in order to procrastinate, as well as the most efficient way
to alleviate stress. Sure, you’re still not getting any work done, but after a couple orgasms, do you really care? I could cite some proven medical facts and say words like “serotonin” and “release,” but assuming you’re as mentally frayed as I think you are, it won’t make a difference anyway. Just try it. Do whatever it takes to get you in the groove — light some candles, put on some Hall & Oates and partake in the oldest form of selfindulgence. ’Cause sometimes the only way to let your brain rest is to take care of the part that seems to be the furthest away from it. �
What are your summer sports plans? Here’s what some folks in UVic’s McKinnon Building had to say
Third year Physical Education
Fourth year Physical Education
Third year Bio-Chemistry
Fourth year Physical Education
“Definitely beach soccer. All the beach sports, actually. Also, I’m looking forward to doing everything bare-footed — you get to play out in the sun and not have to worry about anything.”
“Well, we pretty much have one sport lined up for the summer: running. We can’t do too much else till our break. I am looking forward to sports bra weather and running outdoors in the sun.”
“Definitely track and field. I’ll have some big meets this summer. I want to qualify for the World University Games and compete at senior nationals.”
“I play soccer all year round, and I like to take the opportunity in the summer to do different things I don’t do normally in the year. I’m planning on playing a bit of baseball; have a few beers playing baseball, just enjoy myself.”
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March 28, 2013 MARTLET • SPORTS & LIFESTYLE 7
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Rape culture lives The Steubenville rape case has been on many people’s minds lately. For those unfamiliar with the case, two high school football players in Ohio repeatedly sexually assaulted and photographed a drunk and unconscious 16 year-old-girl, carrying her from party to party and documenting their actions on Facebook and Twitter. The football players were recently convicted of rape under Ohio law and sentenced to juvenile detention. The case, including the ensuing media coverage and the public response to it, is emblematic of rape culture; a problem that transcends a small town in the Midwest and is relevant even to us, on a university campus thousands of kilometres away. In November, the Martlet reported on one UVic student’s sexual assault in the David Thompson residence. She said she lacked the language to talk about this violence initially because the rampant alcohol culture in residence normalized an experience like hers. In 2006–2007 (the most recent year for which figures are available), UVic’s Equity and Human Rights office received nine sexual harassment complaints and 18 gender discrimination complaints. And in recent weeks, a female jogger was attacked on campus. Although she fought and escaped her assailant, her experience cements the fact that rape culture — part of a larger culture of violence — permeates UVic. We’re not immune. Rape culture is defined as a society in which the prevailing norms and attitudes make excuses for, tolerate, normalize and sometimes even condone sexual assault. Given the warped perspective on rape, perpetrators may not even realize their actions constitute assault. Members of a rape culture may feel that it is normal to treat rape with indifference or even humour. The cornerstone of the rhetoric of rape culture is victim-blaming. Victim-blaming perverts and distorts the cause of sexual assault. The fault of the crime is removed from the perpetrator(s) and attributed to the victim’s behaviour instead, whether it is how the victim dressed or how much they drank. Victim-blaming often ignores the fact that impairment legally removes any ability to give or imply consent. Victim-blaming softens the blow against people who have committed a crime, suggesting that an assailant’s raping of a non-consenting individual is excused or justified. More insidious but just as damaging as victim-blaming are troubling forms of victim-defending. Some people — understandably, even — strive to stir up empathy for victims when faced with rape apologists. But blogs like The Belle Jar have pointed to problems with anti-rape arguments along the lines of, “What if she was your wife, sister or mother?” Those nouns have one thing in common: they establish a woman’s value in relation to someone else (and you can bet that “someone else” is, in the majority of cases, a man). No one is more or less deserving of rape because of who spawned them or who married them. In fact, no one is more or less deserving of rape because there’s no continuum. It’s simple. No one deserves to be raped.
NUCLEAR POWER IS NO LESS USELESS (RE: “FUKUSHIMA: THE UNTOLD DISASTER,” MARCH 14, ISSUE 27) So nuclear power is to save us from climate change? Let’s consider this fact: nuclear power produces at most 11 per cent of the world’s electricity (according to a 2011 figure from the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012), and only about 2 per cent of the total world (final) energy consumption. Doubling the number of nuclear plants because they are low carbon-emitting while operating (though taking into account their construction and decommissioning, as well as the mining of uranium, changes that picture) would not significantly address the climate change emergency. And we are not about to see the number of nuclear plants doubling anytime soon: they can take from 12 to 40 years to build (can we wait that long to lower greenhouse gas emissions?); new ones will be replacing old ones that have reached the end of their life; in many cases, costs have at least tripled from initially announced numbers; we bequeath the future generations nuclear waste to manage Into Eternity (title of a documentary on a nuclear waste repository site in Finland); accidents do affect nature and people; finally, a police state and secrecy are hallmarks of the nuclear option. (In Japan, police have recently jailed anti-nuclear activists.) For an in-depth analysis of the situation, visit bos.sagepub.com/content/68/5/8.full.
CHAVEZ’S MEMORY THREATENS HARPER’S NARROW INTERESTS When Stephen Harper made the calculated decision to offer “condolences to the people of Venezuela” but not to Chavez’s family, it was for very good reason. Hugo Chavez and the ideas he embraced and promoted represent the biggest threat to our current socio-economic system; both Harper and the narrow interests he represents know this. Chavez, like Martin Luther King, Jr. before him, advocated for a kind of “dangerous” unity amongst the dispossessed, displaced and disenfranchised. His grassroots campaign to bring direct democracy to the poor in the streets and neighbourhoods of Venezuela resulted in repeated landslide election victories, declared as amongst the most free and fair in the world by the Carter Centre. Chavez’s economic and political revolution directly challenged the economic and political elites who had, up until Chavez, been sole beneficiaries of Venezuela’s vast oil wealth. That Chavez dramatically enhanced and extended democratic rights is not questioned by serious people who are able to cut through the state-corporate media propaganda of the West. The threat Chavez’s ideas pose to our own economic elite and their political pawns is real and mandates those of Harper’s ilk to continue to regard Chavez as a threat to our “democratic” ideals. Rajinder S. Sahota Community member
Marie Roulleau Language instructor, Continuing Studies, UVic
SKILLED WORKER SHORTAGE
Rape culture lives, and it’s up to us to choke it out, not just by staring in horror as high-profile cases like Steubenville unfold, but by taking a hard look at where we live. �
lil bub thinks it’s cool
VOLUME 65 • ISSUE 29
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8 OPINIONS • MARTLET March 28, 2013
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Why the term ‘settler’ needs to stick > COREY SNELGROVE This semester, I’ve heard at least one person express their love for this land and their discomfort with the term “settler.” This individual did not see how the term applied to their situation and found it divisive and hurtful. They chalked up conflicts within indigenous-settler solidarity efforts to simple differences in cultures and worldviews. The latter statement is fundamentally connected to the speaker’s discomfort with the term “settler.” Simplifying these conflicts ignores and hides the ongoing colonial power dynamics that shape indigenous-settler relationships. This logic frames colonialism as historic, rather than an ongoing structure. This is why the term “settler” is used: to denaturalize our — that is, all non-indigenous peoples’ — status on this land, to force colonialism into the forefront of our consciousness, to cause discomfort and force a reckoning with our inherited colonial status, to create the understanding and desire to embrace, demand and effect change. “Settler” is a political and relational term describing our contemporary relationship to colonialism. It is not a racial signifier. Rather, it is a non-homogenous, spatial term signify-
ing the fact that colonial settlement has never ceased. Colonial settlement is ongoing and it will remain so as long as we continue our implicit consent by remaining willfully oblivious to, or worse, actively and consciously defending, colonial power relations. Dispossession, disconnection and destruction is the story of Canada. But it doesn’t have to be our future. If we don’t acknowledge and understand our settler status, how will we work together, in solidarity and in practice, for a better future? Of course, being called a settler or self-identifying as a settler doesn’t mean we understand this relationship — perhaps we never will fully understand the extent of it. Nor is it an end in itself. Unsettling is a longer and larger-than-life process involving the emotional, psychological and mental, but more importantly, the material. We have inherited “settler” status because the structures of colonial domination remain to benefit us, whether you are first or eleventh generation on these lands (though these benefits flow unequally amongst us). Understanding this is the first step in creating new relationships based on peace and mutual respect — the first move towards producing the conditions for solidarity. But this is only the first step. �
On closed campus events > STUDENTS OF COLOUR COLLECTIVE IN COLLABORATION WITH THE NATIVE STUDENTS UNION In the Feb. 28, 2013, issue of the Martlet, there was a letter published regarding a Students of Colour Collective (SOCC) event that occurred on Jan. 25, 2013. This letter expressed concerns over SOCC’s policy of having closedmembership events. We of SOCC and the NSU would like to shed some light on the practice of closed-membership and IPOC (Indigenous and/ or people of colour)-exclusive events. SOCC and the NSU have been closed advocacy groups since their inception. This is not born of malice for non-IPOC students; it is to protect the health and well-being of self-identified IPOC students and to provide a safer space to find
solace and healing for those who experience omnipresent racism and colonial violence. We recognize that self-identification is not limited to how a person looks, and we acknowledge that there are self-identified IPOC students who may not be visually perceived as holding an IPOC identity. Our identities may arise from our personal histories, from our families’ histories and from the histories of our people(s). Our ways of describing ourselves may be resistive, descriptive or communal and are often not limited to how we are perceived by others. It is neither SOCC’s nor the NSU’s intent to regulate self-identification, and we leave it to the discretion of individuals to decide if and when they access SOCC and NSU office spaces and/ or IPOC-only events. If you identify as IPOC, participating in IPOC spaces can be liberating. We use these spaces to share, learn and organize
together. We recognize that colonial violence is pervasive, and these spaces exist to resist that violence in its many functions and to continue to have conversations about moving towards safety through community and solidarity. A common misconception of racism is that it is limited to the prejudice of one individual against a group of people based on the colour of their skin. Racism is not defined solely by prejudice, but by relationships and structures of power. It is what gives institutions the power to vilify people of colour for political benefit, and finally, systemic racism lends such incredible privilege that some around us deny that this is the actual world that we live in. Racism is the combination of prejudice and “power over,” and when this is acknowledged, the false equivalency of reverseracism is made apparent. No person of colour can be a reverse racist as long as white people
maintain power. A person of colour may have race prejudice, but individual prejudice doesn’t translate as the power to be racist. History is also important to contextualize IPOC spaces, when taking into account the history of exclusion, marginalization and segregation perpetuated against IPOC individuals of many backgrounds, identifications and visibilities. IPOC has no set definition; rather, we see it as a process that we are participating in to engage with what it means to organize under these identities. We as collectives are actively working on creating dialogues about how we can engage with communicating and considering what these spaces can mean, and we recognize that this is ever evolving. We invite self-identified IPOCs to join our spaces to gain support and exchange ideas. �
‘Free’ isn’t free on the Internet > DREW MAY
Recently, Google, the great and powerful Internet presence, angered a great number of people by dropping its free RSS feed service, Google Reader. Users were outraged that Google had the gumption to take Reader away from them. The thing is, this shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. As our lives have migrated to digital mediums in greater quantities, we should really be more concerned about the identity of the wizards behind the Internet’s great curtain and what their intentions are. After all, very few things in this world are truly free. To test this theory, leave your seat right now and ask the nearest person to buy you lunch. I’ll wait. So, what did you have to trade? Your time? Some dignity? An IOU? The same concept applies to the Internet. Instead of money, however, most of the “free” services we take for granted are funded by a combination of our attention and our information: the company in question makes its cash through advertising and selling what they know about us. Even if these service providers are not the monsters some believe them to be, we often forget that what we’re using is a service provided not for the social benefit of society, but to make money in some fashion. If a forprofit service stops making money, it only has so much time left before its parent company
pulls the plug. One day, unimaginable though it may be, there may not be a Facebook. If so much of our lives is going to be conducted online, I believe there is a need for publiclyowned, not-for-profit Internet services, just as there are public parks and public social services. If Facebook is such a vital communication tool, why don’t we nationalize it and turn it into a public service? The only retort you can offer is based on money, isn’t it? And it’s not like this is a foreign concept, either, or a never-been-tested utopian theory. In the stone age of the 1980s, many cities and communities maintained a public Bulletin Board System, or BBS. You could dial into these on a local phone number with your computer and have access to a messaging and posting system that allowed you to communicate with anyone who was online in the city. Some even had the ability to communicate with users of other Bulletin Board Systems, a sort of electronic postal service. The best part is that this required no monthly fee — just the hardware to access it. If governments and people could get behind this idea, the anxiety of losing our beloved and necessary tools of the digital realm would be a thing of the past. Decisions would not be made based on a shareholder’s needs, but instead to meet the needs of the community at large. �
March 28, 2013 MARTLET • OPINIONS 9
Under by Anna Czolpinski
ambridge Bay, a 1 500-person community perched on the south coast of Nunavut’s Victoria Island, comprises an eclectic mix of people including local Inuit families, teachers, contractors and government workers from other parts of the country. The community boasts two general stores, which sell clothing and packaged food, all of which must be flown in. There is also the Ikaluktutiak Elks Lodge No 593, a social gathering place that serves a steak dinner and drinks once per week in the otherwise “dry” town. Cambridge Bay is roughly the size of UVic’s campus — at least, that’s the comparison UVic student Ryan Flagg makes. He should know. Flagg, along with fellow fourth-year mechanical engineering student Ryan Key, spent a co-op term from May to September 2012 planning and installing an undersea mini-observatory in Cambridge Bay’s icy waters. “It was the ideal job [in that] we were given a goal and an outline but were given free rein in terms of how the design was to progress,” said Flagg. OCEAN NETWORKS CANADA LOOKS NORTH The Arctic mini-observatory is an Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) project. ONC is a not-for-profit society established in 2007 by UVic to support ocean discovery and ocean-related technological innovation. ONC is responsible for both the VENUS (Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea) and NEPTUNE (North-East Pacific Time-Series Underwater Networked Experiments) underwater observatories. These observatories gather data from numerous underwater instruments and transmit them via high-speed fibre-optic cables from the seafloor to an archiving system at UVic. The live and archived information is available on the Internet for free. This new approach to learning about the oceans revolutionizes traditional methods that relied on infrequent oceanographic cruises. ONC has been building a series of scaled-down versions of the larger observatories. Flagg and Key got the gig installing ONC’s first cabled undersea monitoring system in the Canadian Arctic. Flagg first became involved with ONC in the summer of 2011 when the organization was searching for senior engineering students to install a mini-observatory at Brentwood College School in Mill Bay. He was one of the students chosen to build and install the observatory, which included a weather station on a dock as well as an HD camera with audio capabilities, a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) water sampler, oxygen and turbidity probes and a fluorometer (which identifies the presence and the amount of specific molecules in a medium), all attached to a tripod and affixed to the seafloor. After the project was completed, Flagg kept in contact with ONC. He was keen to work more with the organization. “It’s important to go out and make your own contacts and get face time with the people that you want to work with,” he said. “I poked my head in the door every once in a while.” Following the successful installation of the mini-observatory at Brentwood Bay College School, ONC decided to install a mini-observatory in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and having actively stayed in touch with ONC, Flagg was in the perfect place to help out. He recruited fellow student Key to help him. Key was keen to get hands-on experience. “It’s a much less artificial environment than what you get in school,” he said. The project involved traveling to Cambridge Bay with everything they could possibly anticipate needing for the installation, such as steel pipes, drills and plywood, as well as a wide array of scientific instruments including an HD video underwater camera encased in waterproof housing, a water meter and an ice profiler. The students were also required to make connections with local contractors to help them with the logistics and installation of all of the instruments and equipment. The mini-observatory had to be able to withstand the harsh conditions of an arctic winter. While the two students had some project management support from UVic and ONC, they had a lot of autonomy. The project timeline was restricted only by the ice, which thaws at the end of June and begins to form again in mid-October. “We were given a lot of freedom to set our own timeline and do things in ways that were most practical,” said Flagg. “From beginning to end, we got to design [the observatory] ourselves, build it ourselves, come up with the timeline and budget.” After the ice melted, Key flew from Victoria to Cambridge Bay for reconnaissance. Back at UVic, he and Flagg organized two large crates of materials and equipment to be shipped to the Arctic. In September of 2012, the two students flew from Victoria to Cambridge Bay, via Edmonton and Yellowknife. In two weeks, they set up the observatory. SUPPORTING SCIENCE-BASED UNDERSTANDING OF CHANGING WATERS Cambridge Bay, located on an island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is roughly 1 900 kilometres north of Saskatoon. It was selected by ONC for an observatory pilot study because it has been designated as the location for the new Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), a facility devoted to the study of arctic land and marine environments that is scheduled to open in 2017. Cambridge Bay was selected for CHARS because of its relative accessibility; it features an airport and shipping dock. The ONC mini-observatory consists of an above-ground weather station and a collection of underwater
10 FEATURE • MARTLET March 28, 2013
instruments including: an underwater camera, a device that measures ice thickness and sensors that record physical properties of the water such as temperature and salinity. As is the case with ONC’s other observatories, the information collected is freely available on the Internet. In order to install the ONC observatory, the students had to connect the underwater instruments via a cable to a shore control station on a dock, which then sent the information collected via wireless signal to the Nunavut government building where there was a satellite uplink. The main challenges involved in the installation of the observatory were the remoteness of the area, the absence of the usual support services, such as reliable cellphone and Internet service, and finding a way for real-time transmission of data collected by the sensors back to southern Canada. The data and images generated by the larger VENUS and NEPTUNE observatories off Vancouver Island are used by researchers to study a wide range of topics, from geohazards such as submarine earthquakes, tsunamis and underwater landslides to the behaviour of whales and dolphins. When introducing the Cambridge Bay mini-observatory at the Arctic Net conference held in December 2012 in Vancouver, Kim Juniper, associate director of science for NEPTUNE Canada, said, “This specially designed, scaled-down version of our seafloor networks off the coast of Vancouver Island will support a longer-term science-based understanding of the dramatic changes taking place in Arctic waters. These changes include the historic receding of the northern sea ice and its impact on marine ecosystems.” In the shorter term, the data generated by the observatory will be used for research and educational purposes. Just as the data collected by ONC’s mini-observatory at Brentwood College School is used by the science program there, ONC hopes the data collected by the Cambridge Bay mini-observatory will be incorporated into science classes at local schools. Towards the end of their stay in the Arctic, Key and Flagg presented the project and the data being collected to a local senior biology class. The data is also being incorporated into various research studies, from testing a computer model for ice growth in the nearby Amundsen Gulf to aiding the study of how organisms respond to sea ice breakup. WHY STUDENTS SHOULD LOOK TO CO-OPS As engineering is an applied science in which hands-on experience is important, co-op is mandatory for UVic engineering students. Students must complete at least four co-op terms to graduate. According to Meeta Khurana, acting program manager at the Engineering, Computer Science and Math Co-op office, co-op gives students a chance to explore where their passion lies and also to discover more practical things like the size of company they would like to work for. Key values the exposure he has had to the logistics of creating and installing a design, as well as testing it out. “Building relationships with suppliers, co-workers and other people in the community is the single most important thing in the entire project,” said Key. As engineering is such a technical discipline, it is easy to overlook the softer skills that are also important to success. Key cites the experience of working in such a small community as one of the highlights of the experience. “It is important to understand how each individual person fits into the community.” “This co-op has given me a lot of great exposure to working with new people and new methods,” said Flagg. While school has to focus on knowledge and grades, co-op terms can go a long way to help students define themselves in terms of the type of work they want to do. “By the third or fourth co-op, you start to get a sense of what you want to do, and then you can start looking into what companies are doing work in that field,” Flagg explained. “The co-op office does a great job at finding work for people, but until you get face time, you are just a piece of paper.” Flagg has been interested in the marine and submarine environments for some time. In 2002, he joined the Navy Reserve. Since then, he has worked as a Marine Engineering Systems Operator with the local reserve unit, HMCS Malahat. In 2005, he graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Camosun College. Immediately after, he completed a six-month Mechanical Engineering bridge program, which gives college graduates university credit for their technical diplomas and bridges them from second-year college to third-year university. Co-op terms, many in the field of marine engineering, have been a valuable addition to his formal education. During his last co-op term at Camosun College, Flagg worked for the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS) and for a small company called Oceanetic Measurement. During these two work placements, he went on four different cruises aboard Canadian Coast Guard ships: two around Vancouver Island, one in the Arctic from Inuvik around the MacKenzie Delta region, and one from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, to Nome, Alaska. He also completed a co-op with Fugro Seafloor Surveys in Seattle, Washington, where he designed and oversaw the fabrication of a shipside seafloor mapping instrument. In addition to helping Flagg and Key carve out a meaningful professional experience for themselves, the co-op with ONC was a personal adventure. The students were able to experience a part of the world that is not easy to get to. “It is cheaper to travel almost anywhere else,” said Key. During his long morning runs on the road that led out of the hamlet of Cambridge Bay into the surrounding tundra, Flagg encountered tundra swans, snowy owls, Arctic foxes, lemmings and Arctic hares. He met people sailing around the world alone and in groups. He and Key were also able to participate in the first annual Cambridge Bay Run for the Cure, witness narwhals in the surrounding waters and celebrate the success of the observatory with a victory swim in the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean. �
the sea as
we’ve never seen it
UVic students build underwater Arctic observatory
All of the instruments, including an HD camera enclosed in waterproof housing, a water meter and an ice profiler, mounted on a tripod and ready to be submerged under the water and affixed to the seafloor.
The road into the town of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
An image taken by the mini-observatory HD camera of a diver assisting with the final touches of affixing the observatory to the seafloor. The light on the camera runs on a schedule. It is mostly kept off to prevent light pollution. When it is on, it is possible to watch live video from the seafloor.
OCEAN NETWORKS CANADA
March 28, 2013 MARTLET • FEATURE 11
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The Margarita Villains (in black) and the Belles of the Brawl (in pink) pictured after the 2012 Season Finale.
A culture we should all strive for A look at Victoria’s Eves of Destruction roller derby league > ARIANNA KLUS At 6:12 p.m. one spring evening at Eagle Ridge Arena in Langford, giggles emanate from the change room. Over the next few minutes, the women of Victoria’s Eves of Destruction roller derby league emerge in battle gear — helmets, mouth guards and wrist, elbow and knee-pads — and make their way to the track. This may only be practice, but with the blow of the whistle, their stances tighten, their pupils dilate and those giggles turn into growls. This is not your grandma’s roller derby; these women know how to hit hard. The modern roller derby rebirth happened in 2001. It was an all-female grassroots revival in Austin, Texas, and it spawned a global phenomenon characterized in movies like Hell on Wheels (2007) and Whip It (2009). From humble beginnings in Fernwood in 2006, Vic-
toria’s derby league grew to produce two house teams by 2009, “The Belles Of The Brawl” and “The Margarita Villains,” and has gone on to stage events and practices at the Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt and at the Eagle Ridge Community Centre in Langford. The staged animosity and fake hits of ’70s derby have been replaced by athleticism, sportsmanship and bravado. These days, derby is more sport than spectacle, and the actual competition is far from staged. But more than anything, today’s roller derby embodies a type of all-encompassing solidarity that few other sports have. The culture is uniquely derby; a potpourri that mixes punk, camp and creative pseudonyms with down-and-dirty female empowerment and athletics. “Derby isn’t just girls in fishnets,” says Ruby D. Vixen, a seven-year veteran of the league.
She’s somewhat soft spoken and reserved, but there’s no denying the respect she commands. She reiterates the intrinsic derby notion that women should support one another. Women often take on the world, from raising a family to going through a divorce; going to school or working multiple jobs, explains Ruby. “They don’t feel like they can have something for themselves,” she says. Being on a derby team is like having a tribe. While the sport is highly competitive, it still manages to foster ties from team to team, across leagues and even worldwide. This sense of community is what has drawn women — ranging from 19 to more than 50 years of age — to derby and kept them coming back season after season. Although Eves of Destruction is the only league in Victoria, The Belles Of The Brawl and The Margarita Villains at times play against teams from other
parts of Vancouver Island, the Mainland and Washington State. On these trips, players will often stay with their opponents, reinforcing the sense of community. “It’s competitive during the match, but we have fun afterward,” says Ruby. “It doesn’t matter who wins. Our saying is ‘win the after-party.’ ” The camaraderie is electric and the hits are hard, but whether it’s the outfits or alter egos, today’s roller derby leagues are some of the most inclusive and diverse groups around. You may see tattoos and piercings; teachers, moms or librarians. In a society that puts everincreasing pressure on athletes and children to play harder and win bigger, derby is the epitome of diversity, acceptance and sportsmanship: a culture we should all strive for. �
IMMIGRATE TO CANADA PERMANENTLY. The Canadian Experience Class program offers foreign graduates with Canadian work experience the opportunity to apply and stay in Canada permanently. Visit immigration.gc.ca/cec for more details and see if you’re eligible.
IMMIGREZ EN PERMANENCE AU CANADA. Le programme de la catégorie de l’expérience canadienne offre aux diplômés étrangers ayant une expérience de travail au Canada la possibilité de faire une demande en vue d’habiter en permanence au Canada. Visitez le site immigration.gc.ca/cec pour en savoir plus et pour voir si vous êtes admissible.
12 CULTURE • MARTLET March 28, 2013
Throughout his stay in Bangladesh as an intern with the Welfare Association for the Rights of Bangladeshi Emigrants (WARBE), Beaudin Bennett has witnessed many political protests.
The politics, peace and people of Bangladesh > BEAUDIN BENNETT Beaudin Bennett is a UVic Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI) and Students for Development intern working with the Welfare Association for the Rights of Bangladeshi Emigrants (WARBE) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is the first of two instalments that share his experiences. “Each time I go to a place I have not seen before, I hope it will be as different as possible from the places I already know.” - Paul Bowles, Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World, 1963
If you, like Paul Bowles, want to go somewhere that is as different as possible from the places you already know, find a globe, locate the Indian Ocean, drag your finger northward to the northernmost point of the Bay of Bengal and the Mouths of the Ganges, and check out Bangladesh. This primarily Muslim, South Asian nation has a population of roughly 160 million people packed onto the alluvial plain of the Ganges Delta and rivers draining the Himalayas. Except for a small border with Myanmar, the country is surrounded by India. I arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital city, in January 2013 as part of UVic’s Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI) Students for Development internship program and was met at
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the airport by a representative of my placement organization, the Welfare Association for the Rights of Bangladeshi Emigrants (WARBE). It was a cool morning when I left Victoria, and to my surprise, it was no warmer in Dhaka when I arrived by plane some 60 hours later. Dhaka was unkempt, dusty and definitely different. It was, as I had expected, nothing like I expected, and after two months of living here, I still know little of Dhaka. It is a complete stranger, exceedingly difficult to understand and never the same. Twelve–15 million people are believed to live here, though it’s difficult to get an exact census. When I complete my internship in June, I hope I will have something definitive to say of Dhaka, despite its nebulous nature. A few sensory vignettes may help to sum up Bangladesh. It smells of mango flowers, cardamom and kerosene. Its landscape — flat except for a few green hills on its periphery — resembles a piece of warm naan bread. The land is intensively cultivated, growing crops from rice and wheat to potatoes, carrots, sugar cane and okra — the varied colours of the crops give the land the quilt-like appearance of the Canadian prairie in summer. Bangladesh tastes of curried mutton, chili pepper, dates and cha tea sweetened with condensed milk and sugar. Bangladesh is skin sticky with sweat and gritty cracks and calluses on the soles of your feet from days spent hiking back alleys in sandals. Finally, Bangladesh is the sound of motor vehicle horns. They come in many versions — all of them eventually irritating — and are the most pervasive and inescapable sounds in the entire country, except for in the most remote locations. If you manage to escape the horns, then Bangladesh is the sound and feel of the rocking-chair motion of a pedal-driven rickshaw, the creaking
of the greasy axle and the clack-clack of the bamboo ribs of the folded rain cover evoking an odd sense of peace and tranquility. It is also a country of hospitable people, eager to assist and honour-bound to see to it that you are fed and sheltered — the makings of a vagabond’s paradise. The tired looks, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and casual rudeness of immigration officials, coupled with the omnipresent press of curious humanity (“What is your religion? What is your country? Are you married? What is your mobile number?”) can be a backpacker’s nightmare, regeneration, or both. Your enhanced visibility, in my case due to my height, long hair and Caucasian features, leaves you feeling exposed. You are forced to rediscover modesty and humility and adopt an air of affability and nonchalance in the face of constant human interaction. The sum of these differences may be disconcerting, but the diversity is the spice of life in a country with no shortage of spices. Public political life marks a conspicuous point of difference between Bangladesh and Canada. With the exception of Québécois and First Nations Peoples, our recent protest movements seem orderly, reserved and almost complacent. Massive crowds and no room to move, let alone breathe, are the hallmarks of a Bangladeshi demonstration. So, too, are the stink, noise and intensity of too many people in too small a space. Paul Theroux said, “nothing is more revealing of a place to a stranger than trouble” — political controversy and protest offer the traveller valuable insight into the national psyche. And there has been no shortage of trouble in Bangladesh since my arrival. Next week, in his second and final instalment, Bennett will write about political unrest and peace in Bangladesh. �
March 28, 2013 MARTLET • CULTURE 13
Victoria jazz quintet makes Tuesday nights swing The Capital City Syncopators share a sense of history and humour > TARA HAMZEH Victoria-based prohibition-era swing jazz band The Capital City Syncopators brings sounds of the past to those begging for danceable rhythms. The band began weekly performances at Swans Brewpub about a year ago. “Swans has had live music most nights since the late ’80s,” says banjo player and vocalist Avram McCagherty. “It’s a place for us to keep it together. It’s a paid rehearsal, if you like.” McCagherty is joined by a group of talented musicians, including sousaphone player Don Cox, guitarist/vocalist Reuben Wier, drummer Matt Pease and lap steel guitarist/vocalist Chris Herbst (whom you can catch at Swans every Sunday playing the dobro with The Moonshiners). Aside from musicianship, The Capital City Syncopators play in style, wearing wardrobes straight out of Boardwalk Empire. With influences like the Marc Atkinson Trio and Django Reinhardt, it’s hard not to wonder about their creative process. “There’s a large diversity within the group. There’s the odd original tune that will make its way, but often what we are doing is using an old canvas as a vessel. We take old standards and try and improvise and do something new with it,” says McCagherty. The band often takes popular songs from the ’80s and syncopates them back to the sound of the ’20s. “Syncopation is another word for swing — it’s about how you feel the rhythm,” says Mc-
The Capital City Syncopators (from left: Reuben Weir, Don Cox, Avram Devon McCagherty, Matt Pease, Chris Herbst) infuse songs of all stripes — including hits of the '80s — with swing.
Cagherty. “When you are playing with a banjo, a tuba and a Hawaiian slide guitar, ‘Sunglasses at Night’ sounds kind of funny. The melodies are sweet; it’s nice.” Prohibition and the Great Depression caused a migration that led to a greater dispersal of jazz music across the continent; as a result, the Jazz Age helped people shake off the Depression. “It was the pop music of its day, and it’s very danceable, and people like that,” says Cox. “It was the
music of youth . . . no one had heard it before.” The Capital City Syncopators blend the historic with the modern, and there’s nothing quite like hearing the sound of a foregone era up close and live. McCagherty admits that the band’s approach to the songs they cover is a bit different. “We just [decided to] do something weird, but the sum of its parts turned out to be really beautiful. It kind of surprised us,” says McCagherty. “There’s really good live music out there,” he
LEYA TESS ANDERSON
adds. “If you’re single, [you] don’t have kids and you don’t have to wake up at seven in the morning, then we expect you to do your cultural duty by being in the bar ’til midnight!” � The Capital City Syncopators Tuesdays, 9 p.m. Swans Brewpub (506 Pandora Ave.) Free
The art of the song Treat it like playtime: Dan Bern shares the secret to abundant music writing > BLAKE MORNEAU My introduction to Dan Bern went something like this: “I got big balls, big ol’ balls/Big as grapefruits, big as pumpkins, yes sir, yes sir/And on my really good days they swell to the size of small dogs . . .” You can imagine how much amusement a group of guys in high school took from a song that starts, and really ends, like that. But for all the big-ball bravado in “Tiger Woods,” it was a different line that got me. After the narrator’s friend achieves his life-long dream “to go down on Madonna,” he becomes despondent. So goes the line, “And ever since he’s been depressed, ’cause life is shit from here on in.” That line stuck with me . . . hard. Those words touched my ears with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. I had never heard anything so tragic and funny at the same time. I had never heard anything so innately human. This
14 CULTURE • MARTLET March 28, 2013
man, this artist — singer, songwriter, painter, writer, tennis player — had massively shifted my worldview with nothing more than a song. “I’ve thought from the very beginning [that] ‘song’ is such a big playing field, and most of the time people make it much smaller and have ideas of what songs can be about — what is appropriate and not appropriate for a song,” says Bern from his California home. “It has to rhyme, has to have certain kinds of words, be about a certain subject. All that can be fine and can work, but it can also be very limited. If you start to take the limits off, it just opens up. All our great song heroes were playing on a big playing field.” A wide playing field allows for more manoeuvrability in not only song structure and timing, but also, perhaps more importantly, in subject matter. No matter the words Bern sings — words about jail stints, alien abductions, evolutionary theories or even being the Messiah — his songs
carry the weight of the human condition, of our quest to discover meaning in the world, whether he means to or not. “I really trust the randomness more and more. I feel like human beings are meaning-machines,” says Bern. “We create meaning whether we want to or not. Sometimes, you’ll just grind it out and you get to the end, look back and say, ‘Oh wow. That’s pretty cool. I didn’t even realize that was happening.’ ” So prolific is Bern (his online lyric archive contains more than 400 songs, with many still not on there) that there are times he has to force himself to not write. “There’ve been times when I’ve intentionally decided I’m not going to write a song, on this trip or something. That’s a different thing, I think. I’ve sort of been able to keep my channels open. I don’t know. Other people might disagree, but to me it feels like a semi-conscious thing.” As a writer, this is baffling to me. Writer’s block
is something I struggle with on a near-constant basis. But perhaps it’s merely a self-made construct, Bern explains. “I think writer’s block happens when people expect certain things to be the result. And so I think that’s why you get writer’s block or just any kind of block, where you have this preconceived notion of how something has to be — this idea that something has to be as good as something else. Little kids don’t have blocks where they suddenly forget how to play. They just do it. It doesn’t have to be the greatest playtime ever, they just play.” And if you ever feel like you’re being hindered by some kind of block, like your playtime is being disrupted, just follow the simple but sagely advice in the refrain of Bern’s song “Breathe” — “Stop what you’re doing and breathe.” I’ve taken the advice many times, even while writing this column, and it’s always worked. �
APRIL 4–10 EVENTS CALENDAR ENTERTAINMENT THURSDAY, APRIL 4 AFRICAN PERCUSSION CONCERT You know how some people will think certain music is awesome while others will think it’s just “meh”? But then there’s music that, well, pretty much anyone would agree is awesome? African hand drumming, done well, definitely falls into the latter category. I don’t know why anyone would actually dislike it; it’s like seeing a really good YouTube video with 50 000 likes and 20 dislikes and thinking, “Who are those 20 idiots?” Anyway, a 30-member ensemble from UVic’s MUS 208-African Hand Drumming course will be treating audiences at this noon-hour concert to a wide variety of rhythms on the djembe, balafon and dundun. Sounds like a great way to spend a noon hour, don’t you think? Those pulsating beats could loosen up the most severe case of tight-assed-ness imaginable. For more info, call (250) 721-8634 or email email@example.com. UVic Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (MacLaurin Bldg.) Rm. B125. 12–1 p.m. Free. SATURDAY, APRIL 6 THIRD ANNUAL TARTAN DAY “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!” is a famous line (courtesy of Mike Myers in a classic SNL skit) that I admittedly disagree with — there are plenty of good non-Scottish things out there, including Nintendo Entertainment Systems and Nanaimo bars. But I wouldn’t dare argue that legendary statement with anyone at the Third Annual Tartan Day, lest they give me a good bollocking. In honour of National Tartan Day, Market Square will be full of non-crappy, all-Scottish activities including tartan weavers, bakers, pipers, dancers, Celtic bands and much more. Guys, this is your chance to finally go commando out in public in your kilt and have it be socially acceptable. For more info, visit sacsvictoria.com and click on events. Market Square (560 Johnson St.). 12–4 p.m. Free.
ENVIRONMENT TUESDAY, APRIL 9 WHAT ON EARTH IS IN OUR STUFF? NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES AND US Let’s face it — it’s just way too easy to take all the mountains of stuff that surround us for granted. It has to come from somewhere, doesn’t it? And we can only get so much stuff out of the earth before there is no more stuff to be had. If you’re not already aware of all this, then it is time to raise your awareness, no? Well, Dr. Eileen Van der Flier-Keller of UVic’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences is here to school ya. She’ll be hosting a presentation discussing the non-renewable resources that go into creating the products we use in every facet of our daily lives. It’s not that this issue hasn’t occurred to me before, but I’m sure this lecture will be a real eye-opener. Does anyone else think that we’ll likely end up digging through our garbage dumps for stuff one day? For more info, visit events.uvic.ca and click on April 9. UVic Fraser Bldg., Rm. 159. 7:30–9:15 p.m. Free. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 WHITE WATER, BLACK GOLD (FILM SCREENING IN COLWOOD) Director David Lavallee’s documentary White Water, Black Gold investigates the controversial Alberta tar sands from a slightly different perspective: where does the water needed to run the massive project come from, what happens to it and where does it end up? And who (and what) is affected along the way? The answer to those questions leads to quite an interesting, sometimes breathtaking and definitely unsettling adventure. This screening is worth the trip out to Colwood for sure, and if you miss this one, there’ll be another one, also at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, April 17, at Esquimalt United Church (500 Admirals Rd.). For more info, visit sierraclub.bc.ca/events. Church of the Advent (510 Mt. View Ave.), 7–9 p.m. Free.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6 BUILD THE BEST SOIL A lot of people think or talk about the various “when the crap hits the fan” scenarios that could happen to our society, but few take the initiative to act upon them. Jackie Robson is one of those few people, and I think one day a lot of people may be very thankful for people like her. After speaking with a friend who said that city folk are absolutely clueless when it comes to growing their own food, she was inspired to learn as much as she could about organic gardening. Robson’s inspiration has led her to become an expert on the subject, and at this event she’ll be sharing that expertise with you with regards to the chemical composition of your soil and how important it is to proper vegetable growing. I can give you a few tips: chicken poo is okay for the soil, but you have to wait a year or so for it to be useful; cat poo is not good at all. Pre-registration is required for this event. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250) 386-9676 (Wed. – Sat.) or visit compost.bc.ca. The Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre (1216 North Park St.). 2–4 p.m. Members $10/ Non-members $15.
FAMILY THURSDAY, APRIL 4 NO FOOLIN’ Getting through university is no easy feat; imagine trying to get through it as a parent! Some of you reading this don’t have to imagine, because that’s the boat you’re in, and I gotta say to you — you have my admiration, big time. While I don’t have children clamouring for my attention, I do have a cat, but it’s definitely not the same thing. Anyway, No Foolin’ is an annual event put on by the UVic Family Centre as a celebration of the intertwining of student-parents’ family life and campus life. Festivities include food, games, activities and more, including parachute games! Eeeeee! Parachute games were always my favourite as a kid! I would love to drop by and participate in the parachute games, but I’m sure that would not be appropriate. Sometimes it sucks to not be a little kid anymore. For more info, visit web.uvic.ca/family-centre, call (250) 472-4062 or email familyc@ uvic.ca. UVic Family Centre (39208-2375 Lam Circle). 4:30–6:30 p.m. Free.
EDUCATION WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 UVIC 50TH ANNIVERSARY DEANS’ LECTURE SERIES: EDUCATION – THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT Tablets and apps are a big thing — no, make that a big, big thing these days. No! Make that a big, big, big, big, BIG thing! No, make that a . . . okay, I’ll stop. If you’re into your hi-tech gadgetry, you know there’s an app out there to do just about anything you could imagine. So, how could this affect kids’ learning in classrooms, other than improve their ability to throw birds at things? Tim Pelton and Leslee FrancisPelton of UVic’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction will be on hand to speak to that. Kids these days, sheesh. You know, I didn’t have any of this cool, hi-tech stuff in the class when I was a kid, but at least I had Crayola Crayons. I don’t think there’s anything in the world that beats the smell and texture of a freshly opened box of wax crayons. Aaaahh . . . there isn’t an app for that yet! By the way, if you plan on going, make sure to call (250) 472-4747 beforehand and register to make sure you get a seat. For more info, visit uvcs.uvic.ca/lectures/ deans. Legacy Art Gallery (630 Yates St.). 7–8:30 p.m. Free.
> ALAN PIFFER � March 28, 2013 MARTLET • CULTURE 15
Wear your dance moves on your sleeve > KATRINA WONG I’ll cut to the chase: music festivals. Laneway already threw it down in Australia, and it won’t be long before the others — Coachella, Sasquatch, Tomorrowland, Noise Pop, Shambhala, and Victoria’s very own Rifflandia (just to name a few) — take over. Find a field, make some daisy chains and wear them on top of these bohemian looks. LADIES FIRST I’m going to work my way up the body, starting with Fred Perry’s polka-dot printed Alexis rubber booties. Those bad girls will look good even when it starts to get dirty . . . I mean muddy. They’re available at Still Life For Her (550 Johnson St.) for C$125. Unless you know for sure it’s going to be perfectly sunny at the festival you attend, I wouldn’t risk going out the door in sandals that have a tendency to get sucked down by sticky mire. But then again, you can always twirl around barefoot. And while you’re at Still Life For Her, be sure to visit its neighbour, Suasion (552 Johnson St.), for some rockin’ accessories. Sitting on the counter is a glass case of shiny studs that would add some subtle glam to the festival look. Between shorts and skirts, I’d go with shorts, but the Sahara dress by For Love & Lemons (US$150 at forloveandlemons. bigcartel.com) just epitomizes gypsy magic. The new spring collection by the Los Angelesbased brand pretty much sums up the avid festival-goer’s wardrobe. Urban Outfitters has a wide selection of shorts, and I’ve grown partial to the Hannah
silky runners by Silence & Noise (US$39 at urbanoutfitters.com). Nothing beats pockets when you want to run and dance without your phone in hand. Top any outfit off with the daisy chain headpiece by St. Eve (US$42 at threadsence.com), a contemporary take on the biotic daisy chain. GENTLEMEN, IF I MAY At Rebel Rebel (585 Johnson St.), Sperry Top-Siders for men recently stepped in with fresh colour, and boy do they want to dance. Because there are Top-Siders for women as well, I know how comfortable these shoes are. Believe me: once my shoes get worn out, the leather Top-Siders will be my next purchase. Most festivals aren’t held at beaches (though I think they should be), but the cool prints on the board shorts by Loser Machine and their Dark Seas Division collection (US$65 – $75 at urbanoutfitters.com) will leave your bottom cool, too. The basic cargo short by Scotch & Soda (C$125 at scotchsoda.ca) splices together the laid-back beer drinker and the mad shuffler looks. But if you’re more for pants than shorts, Scotch & Soda’s chino pants (C$125 – $165) come in a range of colours, from bright to neutral. Pick according to personality. I’m a personal fan of Topman’s T-shirts — the quality of the cotton just makes my skin crave it. A Zanerobe Bay shirt (US$92 at shopwasteland.com) could potentially spice up the ordinary tee by adding the sharp sophistication that emanates from a collared shirt. Those ziggy blue lines will simultaneously discombobulate and astound onlookers
trying to decide if they’re sharp marker twists or gentle ocean waves. As envious as I am of men being able to just rip their shirts off, you should throw on one of these tanks. The unisex Cat Power tank (on sale for US$15.99 at glamourkills.com) will make you quite Reddit-worthy. Or, Thanks (shop.thanksyo.com) has a swell of singlets and tanks that are geared towards a decent
music bash. A little handy carry-on for festivals that run for multiple days: dry shampoo. The UVic campus pharmacy sells Batiste Dry Shampoo for $4.99; you can find it by the corner with the post supplies. Just spray some shampoo into your roots and freshen up for the next gig. All you have left to do is to push up some sunnies and let your body do the dancing. �
UVic Grad SAGM! Thursday, February 14th at 1:30pm in Cinecenta. Come join us at the Grad 2013 SAGM! Meet your executive committee, and join in the discussion on your grad events: • Legacy project and budget • Grad event themes
3810 Shelbourne St at Cedar Hill X Rd
MONDAY MUSIC BINGO
-- FREE PIZZA --
7:30 PM $5.50 martini
*Remember to bring your Student Card*
tuesday Beef Dip + Fries
$7.95 w/ $5.50 doubles 3810 Shelbourne St at Cedar Hill X Rd
wednesday Wings + prawns
thursday $7.95 BURGER
SATURDAY & SUNDAY BRUNCH TIL 2:20PM
SUNDAY Sunday Jug and 12’’ Pizza for $29.95 FREE 16 CULTURE • MARTLET March 28, 2013
“Maude HUNTERS PUB”
EATS, CHEWS AND LEAVES
Doing the Japanese food emoji proud Sen Zushi delivers on the sushi experience > KAITLYN ROSENBURG
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MONDAY – SATURDAY 11:30 A.M. – 2 P.M. / 5–9 P.M.
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Martlet readers who know me IRL will be well aware of my technology obsessions. (By the way, “IRL” is online-speak for “in real life”.) Digital communication fascinates me. My latest fixation? The Apple emoji app. Most iPhone users understand the mystique and excitement that surrounds these miniature pictographs. Originating from Japan, a large number of Japanese food emojis are included in the app, and I needed a reason to use them. A sushi dinner at Sen Zushi solved my emoji problem. Ironically, as soon as we took our seats, the friend who joined me for dinner announced, “I’m off sushi right now.” I’d like to believe she overcame her aversion to raw fish in order to spend time with me. We split the assorted tempura ($9.95) for an appetizer, which included prawns, white fish, bell pepper, onion, zucchini and sweet potato. We left not a trace behind due to the delicate, crispy batter. I found the white fish an unexpected addition — unexpected, yet welcome. My friend ordered the ginger pork meal: panfried pork over rice with miso soup and salad ($9.45). Wanting to maximize my emoji options, I picked the kitsune udon ($5.95), vegetable roll ($5.50) and a few individual nigiri ($1.75–$2.25). The vegetable roll caught my eye with its unusual fillings, including kanpyo, yamagobo and takuwan. Kanpyo is a dried calabash gourd
with a texture similar to avocado and slightly sweet taste. Yamagobo, or pickled burdock root, is both slightly crunchy and tangy due to the pickling process. Pickled daikon radish, or takuwan, is known to aid digestion. These three vegetables, along with lettuce, cucumber and avocado, elevated the vegetable roll, which can sometimes be boring. The udon soup received a simple preparation: a light broth with udon noodles, crowned with tofu previously marinated in a sweet sauce. Flavour accompaniments come alongside, and I made use of the scallion, freshly grated ginger and soy sauce. I caved and used a fork and spoon to eat, while my friend made fast work of her rice dish with only chopsticks. For those who also dislike raw things, the ginger pork may be for you. If you prefer things on the fresh side, the ebi (cooked prawn) and sake (raw wild salmon) tasted of the sea and did not have that suspicious, fishy smell often associated with Westernized sushi. Setting-wise, Sen Zushi nails the sushi experience. A bustling bar area allows diners to watch the sushi being prepared. I had no complaints about service, even with every table full on a busy Thursday. I may be dating myself here, but the overall ambience reminded me of the sushi restaurant in Monsters, Inc. As we departed, the head sushi chef called out a goodbye, and I hit send on a Tweet filled with sushi emojis. �
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18 HUMOUR • MARTLET March 28, 2013
HUMOUR — Every now and then I walk by a bakery and am hit by the smell of freshly baked bread, wafting out all warm and rich and vaporous and moist. I hate it. The smell of freshly baked bread makes me sick. It’s like rich, gasified dough that soaks into your lungs and pores and settles there like moist, pungent sludge. I don’t like bread at all. Bread is spongy paste. Lots of people like it. But then people also like cheese, melted cheese, all gooey and drizzling down into everything like chewy rivers of plastic. I hate cheese. It isn’t real food. It’s goo. It’s oily goo. Perogies are basically disgusting. Yet, always, I look at the people around me and watch them happily chew on their dough, all dreaming and sharing and loving things that I don’t understand. I realize, example after example, that I am an outsider to the universal human condition. I try to understand. But I can’t. What is the appeal of eating goo and paste? Do people like anything that’s rich and melts in your mouth? Do people enjoy eating toothpaste? Glue? I like foods with the textures and tastes of real things. Leaves and stems and muscle fibres, chlorophyll and tannic acid. I can recognize these foods. I don’t like hard-boiled eggs. They are flavoured rubber. I prefer raw eggs. During my athletic days, I once ate a dozen raw eggs in a sitting. (Don’t do this.) I also once ate an entire jar of peanut butter in a day. Never do this. Peanut butter is kind of
gross, actually. It’s like oily paste. I never drink coffee. I can’t stand hot drinks. When I drink tea, I wait till it gets cold and then drink it all at once. My favourite foods include bok choy and cucumbers. I eat a lot of bok choy. I also really like watermelon and cantaloupe and raspberries. Watermelon on a hot day is possibly the best thing ever. So is running through a sprinkler, on a hot day, and drinking lemonade. I also like raw lemons. And slushies and popsicles. And comic books. I think about water a lot. If I cannot be around water, I begin to stare at pieces of glass, because they remind me of water. I get along well with dogs. We have similar interests, like water and running through things. But I also relate to cats. But I don’t like cat GIFs. Cat GIFs objectify and demean cats. I respect cats. I don’t like jackets. They’re too confining and heavy. I would rather just be cold. Anyhow, I am hardly ever cold, and I hate being too warm. Being confined and warm is the worst. Pullover sweaters make me panic. When the sky is always blue and the weather is always sunny, I become restless. It’s too stable and monotonous. Rain is refreshing, cathartic. When I live in the same place month after month, I become restless. Moving frequently is refreshing, cathartic. I don’t like forks. Why is it necessary to stab food before you eat it? Why not just pick it up? My computer runs Linux. I eat with chopsticks. I don’t own a towel. I strive for normalcy. �
Hasbro takes a hint and starts Nerfing the world > KLARA WOLDENGA HUMOUR — Toy company Hasbro has announced a new project to improve the world’s safety. Hasbro wants to cover America’s roads and public areas, such as parks and pathways, in the same substance used to create their popular Nerf products by the year 2030. When asked why they were starting such a project, Hasbro representatives stated that the company wanted to give back to the community. “People kept asking, ‘Why don’t you go and Nerf the whole world?’ ” says Derrick Altman, Hasbro representative. “We thought it was finally time to give the community what it wants.” Hasbro has connected with the governor of New York City for the project’s pilot stage. “We know New York is great at trying progressive things first, so we talked to them,” says Altman. “I think this is a great idea,” says New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “There’s nothing I want more for my city than safety.” Hasbro researchers claim that Nerfing the world would decrease broken bones in public places by 80 per cent. “Our researchers have been working around the clock for over three months,” says Altman. “Our urban collision and fall experts and have spent countless hours doing field work — sitting on park benches, watching every fall and every scrape and documenting their findings,” says Altman. “It was emotionally difficult but worth it,” states Andrea Grey, a certified urban fall analyst. “I had to stand by and watch at least two people a day fall over and get bruised and bumped for science. Some of them were children. I’m just glad I can help in changing this dangerous urban area we are subjected to for the better.” The famous Nerf substance is produced when
polyester resin reacts with a compound in the presence of carbon dioxide from another reaction. This gas creates open pockets within the polyurethane and makes the material soft and light. Hasbro plans to cover NYC’s public areas using the same type of planes used to dust crops. The planes will dust New York with the first substance, followed by the second. Nerf experts estimate it will take less than an afternoon to cover key areas throughout the city. The project is welcome news to many New York residents. “It’s refreshing that something is being done about all the injuries in this city,” says Bill Jackson, a New York native. “I think stopping the trouble at the source, the ground, is really what we need.” Amanda Flanders, a Brooklyn mother, agrees. She believes Hasbro will create a better world for her children. “I’m glad something is finally being done,” she says. “Now I can finally let my children outside without risk of harm. I never let them go outside without being covered head-to-toe in protective gear. It’ll be nice to not have to get up an hour early every day to get them ready.” Flanders also is excited about saving money after the city is covered in protective foam. “Gallons of antibacterial soap and tonnes of Band-Aids add up over time. It’ll be nice to save on those expenses.” If all goes as planned, the New York Nerfing should be finished by 2014, though the project is already encountering delays. While the procedure is simple, picking the colour is not. “We can’t decide between Fire Red or Electric Green,” says Altman. “Our scientists suggest green because it would confuse the animals less, but I just like the colour red better.” New York citizens are told to watch for the date and not to venture outside during the Nerfing process. �
Photoshop tools I wish I could use in real life
Undo: This one shouldn’t be a surprise.
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Paint Bucket: Spend a summer painting houses; you’ll want one, too. Hide Layers: The ultimate ad blocker for your life. Make annoying things, people, places and stuff disappear. Out of sight, out of agitated mind. Automate: Magically get your morning routine down. Yawn, shower, eat, put sandwich in brown paper bag and sit listlessly in class. Magic Wand: If you don’t understand why I want a magic wand, you don’t understand magic. Clone Stamp: Could it reproduce cheeseburgers? Find Edges: Ever try to find the bathroom in the dark? This would spare you a lot of pain. Sharpen More: Sometimes you’re stuck in class taking notes and there just isn’t a pencil sharpener to be found. Magnetic Lasso: I’d be like Wonder Woman and Magneto combined. Adjust Curves: If only I weren’t convex in all directions. Convert to Smart Object: We’ve all had encounters with the other kind. Magic Eraser: No, not like Mr. Clean — more like, “Farewell, student debt.”
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> WILLIAM WORKMAN � March 28, 2013 MARTLET • HUMOUR 19
NORTH-EAST LYNX BY PATRICK MURRY & MIKE PAROLINI
This isn’t the kind of board meeting you think it is. Agenda:
We’re having our semi-annual general meeting and we’d love for you to attend and help us decide on some important issues. The SAGM is on Thursday, March 28 at 3:30 p.m. in SUB B025
A nice break from all those pesky baby photos on your Facebook timeline. Plus: tons of awesome webexclusive content that will blow your mind!
20 HUMOUR • MARTLET March 28, 2013
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Call to order Motion to dispense with Robert’s Rules Approval of agenda Board Reports Motion to change the title of Managing Editor to Business Editor 6. Motion to determine whether or not the Martlet should remain a member of the Canadian University Press 7. Motion to change the organizational relationship for full-time staff 8. Motion to change the printing of issues during summer 9. Approval of the 2013 working budget 10. Other business 11. Motion to adjourn
WE PROMISE YOU WON’T BE BORED AT THIS BOARD MEETING. Editor-in-Chief • Vanessa Annand Production Co-ordinator • Glen O’Neill Managing Editor • Erin Ball Advertising Director • Marc Junker
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a your grandfather
t of thin s i l g
would be proud of and disappointed by proud of 1. Your haircut.
1. How much that haircut cost you.
2. How majestic you look perched in a coffee shop, working away on your laptop.
2. The fact that you are merely re-blogging inspiring idioms or literary quotes rehashed in vintage fonts.
3. Your well-kept facial hair.
3. Your adultescent, underemployed lifestyle.
4. Your fine choice of safety razor.
4. Your disregard for modern, affordable and effective shaving technology.
5. Your grizzled, outdoorsy aesthetic.
5. The sad truth that the only thing you are whittling away at is your B.A. in English Lit.
6. Your ability to articulate and elaborate on your many artistic endeavours.
6. Your dependence on your family.
7. Your steadfast dedication to stay abreast of controversial topics via social media.
7. The fact that the only things that rouse you to action are your privileged, first-world dilemmas (i.e. an unprecedented increase in your monthly Internet bill, a sudden decrease in cellphone reception, quinoa prices).
8. Your generous and chivalrous demeanor.
8. Your open-mindedness and respect for diversity.
On the mammoth in the Royal B.C. Museum Words — Leif Ferneygo f
Image — Aby Hemt
I experience no greater moment of
back,” I whisper to its draping, flaccid
of the museum. As I inch forward to
awe than I do at the feet of the woolly
trunk. “Take me back to the age in
straddle the neck of the great beast,
which the world was fair and traversed
more security guards appear, form a
by such well-bodied beings.”
dragnet about me and my steed. I think
This elephantine creature inspires a prehistoric admiration deep within
But he cannot.
of the processed meats these men
my simian being. The arctic winds he
He was struck down. With arrows
have subjected themselves to. I think of
weathered. The tundra he survived.
and rocks and spears and sticks, this
the wilds they’ve deprived themselves
The insurmountable obstacles this
magnificent specimen of raw nature
of and the lacklustre coffee they’ve
great pachyderm surpassed. It is a
was destroyed. He was extinguished.
But his figure could not be disguised;
As I reach to touch its gleaming, arcing ivory, as I close my eyes and sieve
his beauty could not be hidden. A security guard beseeches me to
I take my throne atop the neck of the mammoth and allow the blustery air conditioning of arctic fans to blow in
the tufts of its fur between my rough
descend. I lay on the back of the mam-
my face. Let them have me! It is late
and weathered fingers, I wish to travel
moth, heaving, sobbing. My tears mix
in the day. I could use an espresso. I
10 000 years into the past, when the
with my mustache and the animal’s
should polish my shoes. I’m long over-
most rugged and elite creature reigned
artificial hide. I cannot come down. I
due for a close shave.
supreme on this cold earth.
cannot let this grand creature go.
“Take me back,” I say. “Take me
Words — Cromwell Junkenheimer Cumberpatch, Esq.
Rain streaks down the windowpanes
One man’s journey through the wilderness Words — Diego Goldstein Many people talk about the power of
age the custom embroidery featuring
travel over our lives. Whether it’s a year
our corporate logo.
off before university to explore the
were airlifted by Sikorsky Skycrane
clubs of Barcelona, a weekend jaunt on
the outer city limits, many of the Seg-
one by one to the top of nearby
the corporate jet to the wineries of the
ways failed. The asphalt conditions were
Falconeaglehawk, a mountain known
Napa Valley or a week-long personal ex-
too much for even the triple-braced
for being the most challenging climb
ploration of the love hotels of Shinjuku,
suspensions of the $3 000 custom-built
in all of the Northern Hemisphere.
our travels have the power to not only
transporters. Thankfully, we were able
Our steel-toed wilderness boots
shape us as people, but also to bring
to abandon the battle-weary fleet in a
kept us rooted to the summit for our
out those aspects of us that we might
busy section of the Interstate and hoof
15-minute “spirit quest” periods as
not otherwise utilize.
it the final few blocks to the super-
we sipped imported Chinese jasmine
charger station to rendezvous with our
tea out of blown-glass thermoses. The
sponsored wilderness retreat on a
convoy of Eddie Bauer edition Tesla
isolation, being nearly out of sight of
series of uninhabited islands off of the
Model S vehicles.
the hovering helicopter, gave us each
Recently, I participated in a corporate-
West Coast. My friends at ConFusingLy
On the intense five-kilometre trek from
The culmination of our journey, however, was on the final night, as we
It was all worth it when we finally ar-
the chance to experience the freedom
NAMED T3knologi St/\rtup and I em-
rived at our destination — the pic-
and independence that comes with
barked on an epic, month-long journey
turesque, fog-laden hills evoked the
being the apex predator of Earth.
that led us deep within ourselves.
unflagging spirit of the solitary bear and
I can’t wait for next week, when we’ll
The feeling came over me as soon as
soaring falcon. We waited, hunkered
be touring the West Coast Trail and
I saw my co-workers — nay, brothers —
down in our MEC Arctic parkas while
blazing a new path with a converted
in the parking lot of the local micro-
the 100-person staff of baristas-turned-
WWII Sherman flamethrower tank. A
brewery that first morning. Watching
sherpas assembled our campsite. Rather
huge shout-out to Lone Pine Incred-
a cadre of capable, skilled young men
than avoid the elements, we turned
ible Wundertrips Inc. Ltd. — without
don their armoured shoulder pads and
off the heat in the passenger compart-
them, I’d have no idea who I really was
motorcycle helmets while priming the
ment of the SUVs and steeled ourselves
or what I was capable of. I can’t thank
electric motors of our fleet of Expedi-
against the chill. Coping with the sinking
them enough for giving myself and my
tion Segways was an inspiring sight.
temperatures together as we waited
team the opportunity to experience
We loaded our six stretch-limo Ford
without any reception on our satellite
nature as it was truly meant to be
Excursions with each man’s inflatable
radio helped bring us together as a team
experienced: unaltered by man.
polymer yurt, taking care not to dam-
and grew the bonds between us.
Three pets and what they can teach you: an experiential review The domestic fox, the Bengal cat, the ferret
wildnerness navigating to the extreme
Words — Arnold Swiffer
Words — Longbeard Laing
How can your physical, emotional and
blinking. I sat up uncomfortably, unsure
spiritual bonds with animals enhance your
of what to do next.
sensitivities to the world around you?
“Arnold . . . Arnold!” squeaked the
That’s a question I’ve often asked
ferret, finally breaking the tense silence.
myself. While dwelling on this subject
“Yes?” I asked, with a slight quiver in
last week, I realized there were three creatures that would be ideal for a bonding experience: the domestic fox, the Bengal cat and the ferret.
my voice. “You have chosen to make this journey with us to gain our wisdom.” “I have,” I answered.
Luckily, all of these animals were actu-
“Well . . .” growled the fox. “We’re
ally “owned” (if one can ever truly own
here with you, now. What would you
a sentient being) by people I knew, and
like to know?”
it occurred to me that it was time I lib-
Hmmm, I thought. Where to start?
erate them from their dreary domestic
“Okay, Mr. Fox,” I started. “What is
existence, just for one night.
the meaning of life?”
So, early Monday morning, after my
“Simply put, the meaning of life is
friends had left for work, I went into
experience,” answered the fox. “We,
their houses and, armed with chunks
you, everything in the universe, are all a
of ground chicken, lured each curious
unique expression of what some might
critter into its own pet carrier. With the
call the divine, existing to experience
animals safely loaded into the back
its own uniqueness for no other reason
of my weather-beaten Ford pickup, I
than to experience it. And by the way,
headed off to my special camping spot
my name is Leonard.”
out by Sooke.
“All right,” I responded. “And is this
I was hoping my camping journey with my new animal brothers would
experience leading towards something?” “Perhaps,” said the ferret. “But
teach me about my place in this world
don’t worry too much about trying to
as a thoughtful, curious young man.
know everything there is to know. You
What could I learn from the quick, sly
are expressed into the universe as a
fox, the playful Bengal cat and the
creature with many capabilities and
limitations, but those limitations are
As I drove past Sooke, I hoped the
what make your life so interesting. Just
answers would reveal themselves
remember to live life, keep an open
that evening while I was warmed by a
mind, work hard and learn what you
crackling campfire and a belly full of
can, while trying to face your fears and
grow from doing that, but never forget
After getting the fire going, I began to mix the ingredients for the hearty stew. A few promising test sips later, I decided to release the animals from their carriers and let the bonding
that life is about the journey, not the destination . . .” “Amazing,” I answered. “Um, what do you have to tell me, Mr. Bengal cat?” “We’re here to groove, baby,” he
process begin. The cat, fox and ferret
meowed in a low baritone. “Don’t lose
excitedly leapt from the back of the
truck to explore their surroundings.
With no more questions left to ask,
After taking a few more sips of stew
we all sat silently by the fire. With an
to quell my hunger, I joined them for
oddly satisfying feeling of numbness, I
a short time, laughing and frolicking
contemplated the animals’ wisdom well
with them in the brush of the campsite
into the evening. I can’t recall falling
before I found my child-like playfulness
asleep, but I awoke early in the morn-
replaced by an overwhelming sense of
ing, my body stirred to action by the
calm. Time to sit back by the fire.
sting of the crisp morning air.
As the night fell, I continued to
Man embodies an inextricable dichot-
Alberta, was the first Canadian to win
omy: the need to be one with nature
the World Orienteering Championships
course spans 270 kilometres, and usu-
while simultaneously needing to best
back in 2002. He was nine. After suc-
ally covers a 60 to 70 000-foot eleva-
it. To overcome that which we came
cessfully defending his title five years
tion change. “Sometimes three or four
from. To show nature that, sure, you
in a row, Summit retired from the sport.
weeks, no question,” Summit says of
might have made me, but I have since
“You know when you’re doing that
the time required to complete a course.
thing you love, that thing that takes
Think of extreme mountain climbing,
the night’s fire, packed up my belong-
anticipating the creatures’ return to
ings and headed for home. The fox,
me by the campfire. They would share
the cat and the ferret were nowhere in
their wisdom with me. Ah, the fire! I
sight. I considered searching for them,
was overcome by the blissful aroma of
but changed my mind, realizing they
wood smoke blending with the misty
must have gone off on their own for fur-
ocean breeze, the heat, the beautiful
ther contemplation. As I started up the
multi-coloured light energies emanat-
old pickup for my drive back to Fern-
ing from within.
wood, I knew the anger I would soon
And, sure enough, the trio did return.
orienteering is that the control markers
its participants always looking for the
“and there’s that persistent voice in
are all located in the upper branches
next seemingly insurmountable peak or
your head that tells you to keep going,
of trees, usually sequoia, Western
a more severe traverse over that which
to find that limit and push past?” He
redcedar or old-growth Douglas fir,
has already been bested. Think of ex-
pauses, smiles and leans back. “I never
because those are generally the tallest
treme base jumping, extreme spelunk-
around, according to Summit. He says
ing, extreme rappelling; the athletes in
after I told them about my experience
separate corner by the fire. The four of
the night before.
flaming circle. In perfect synchronicity, they turned to gaze into my eyes, un-
participants may access the markers in
these sports constantly search for the
of the international orienteering com-
whatever way they can find, so long as
next hurdle, the next death-defying ac-
munity, Summit wrote and posted a
it’s only using the nature around them.
complishment, the next opportunity to
blog on the international orienteering
He advises challengers to let their
stare Death in the eye and, unflinching,
website that proposed extreme orien-
fingernails and toenails run rampant for
say, “Gotcha, bitch.”
teering, claiming basic orienteering
at least six months beforehand.
Then there’s extreme orienteering. Orienteering is the sport of navigation with map and compass. The object
didn’t ask enough of its athletes.
Extreme challengers must abide by a
“It’s orienteering on crank,” says Summit.
specific dress code: loin-cloths. “It’s called
While the rules of extreme orienteer-
extreme for a reason,” says Summit.
is to reach a series of points shown
ing are basically the same as those of
on the map, choosing routes both on
its moderate predecessor, its adminis-
only registered extreme orienteer in
and off a trail, that will lead to all the
tration is much more . . extreme.
Canada — one of four in the world.
required points and the finish in the
“First off, you weigh in four days
As of January 2013, Summit was the
“Two are from Greenland, and the
shortest time. The points on a course,
before the competition begins,” says
other is from somewhere in Australia,”
called “controls,” are marked with
Summit. “Then you weigh in again two
says Summit. “Somewhere in the out-
flags and punch sheets or interactive
hours before. If you haven’t lost at least
back, I think.” He says the other three
electronic devices so contestants can
15 pounds, you’re disqualified.”
registrants have yet to compete.
prove they’ve been there. Each control
This extreme weight loss is achieved
“There hasn’t yet been a formal com-
marker is on a distinct feature, such as
primarily through sweating. Summit
petition,” he admits. “But this thing is
a river junction or the top of a hill.
wraps himself in a down sleeping bag
on the cusp of taking off.”
Just as mountain climbing, base jumping, spelunking and rappelling all have their big names, their most decorated
and sits in a stifling sauna, sometimes for 10 hours at a time. After the second weigh-in, partici-
Since this interview took place,
of challengers, so too does extreme
pants are permitted 50 millilitres of
Summit has been banned from post-
orienteering. Meet Johnny Summit.
water before the race starts. Then,
ing anything else on the international
for the duration of the competition,
orienteering website due to, as the
teering at age three, beating the previ-
participants can eat or drink whatever
site’s moderators call it, his “extreme
ous record of youth competition by
they want, so long as it comes from
spamming.” You can find out about
almost 11 years. “I would have beaten
land on which the race takes place.
Summit’s personal best times in the
it by more, too,” he says, clenching his
“Think about it,” says Summit. “Our
extreme orienteering courses he has
chiseled jaw. “I was reading compasses
ancestors didn’t have water from a tap.
designed, as well as learn about his
and maps when I was two, but my
They couldn’t just turn to Tim Hortons
fingernail strengthening techniques, at
parents thought that was too young to
when they were hungry. They lived off
enter the competitive stream.”
the land — while exploring, no less —
Summit set an age record in orien-
Summit, who hails from just outside of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump,
and that’s what extreme orienteering is all about.”
N AT U R E
us formed a perfect square around the
When he retired in 2007 to the shock
face from my friends would disappear
As if by ritual, each took its place in a
Another modification of regular
you to your limit,” he says wistfully,
I drowned the remaining embers of
slowly lap up spoonfuls of stew while
The average extreme orienteering
All shirts made with 100% recycled woodfibre and other Earth-based objects such as rocks, sticks, twigs, moss, grass, leaves, mushrooms, deer droppings, pebbles, smaller rocks, more twigs and pine cones.