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THE FACULTY OF ARTS PRESENTS A MCDONALD-CURRIE LECTURE
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Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government Columbia University Alfred Stepan’s teaching and research interests include compara�ve poli�cs, theories of democra�c transi�ons, federalism, and the world’s religious systems and democracy. He has published Arguing Compara�ve Poli�cs; Problems of Democra�c Transi�on and Consolida�on: Southern Europe; Rethinking Military Poli�cs: Brazil and the Southern Cone; The State and Society: Peru in Compara�ve Perspec�ve; The Military on Poli�cs: Changing Pa�erns in Brazil. Alfred Stepan was a Professor of Poli�cal Science, Yale University, 1976-82, Burgess Professor of Poli�cal Science, 1987-93, then served as First Rector and President at Central European University (Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw), 1993-96, and was Gladstone Professor of Government and Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford University, 1996-99. Professor Stepan is also a Fellow at American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of Bri�sh Academy.
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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Pop Montreal vs. Ville de Montréal City taking festival to court over poster fines Erin Hudson The McGill Daily
epresentatives of the popular music festival Pop Montreal are scheduled to appear in the Quebec Supreme =Court on October 7 to plead not guilty to breaking a bylaw regarding the placement of posters on Montreal public property. Pop will face over $11,000 if it loses the case. Hilary Leftick, who works for Pop Montreal and will be the festival’s court representative, told The Daily that though the bylaw against posters placed in spaces belonging to the city – which include mailboxes, lamp posts, bus stops, and other so-called “urban furniture” – has always existed, it has only begun to be enforced in the last two years. She described the enforcement of the bylaw as something that “just sort of happened.” “[To go to court is] definitely an investment, but its important and we’d rather try and do that than pay the fines,” said Leftick, explaining Pop’s decision to take the issue to court. Alex Norris, Projet Montréal
Councillor for Mile End, defended the fines. “The City spends $100,000 each year scraping posters off lamp posts. It’s a waste of tax payers’ money.” Pop is not the only organization that has been hit with these fines; QPIRG McGill, along with other small organizations, artists, and businesses that use posters as a means of advertising, have been affected as well. “We had heard that there had been a huge swell of fines both against artist-run spaces and organizations like QPIRG. But it’s also against small cafés and bars and places that do shows like Casa del Popolo and Cagibi. So we’d definitely heard of it and knew it was happening,” said Anna Malla, Internal Coordinator at QPIRG McGill. QPIRG McGill has been fined twice for its posters, the first for $628 and the second for $528. “[Paying the fines is] definitely not something we can afford to be doing,” Malla said. QPIRG McGill has pleaded not guilty to the fines and is currently in limbo, waiting to see if they will also be summoned to court. Leftick expressed concern over
Pow Wow on lower field Photo by Victor Tangermann
the fines impact on Pop’s operations. “We run a pretty bare bones budget and try to put as much of the money that we earn and get back into the festival itself. If we had $11,000, I’m sure we’d be able to do more creative things with it than pay fines,” said Leftick. Organizations also have the option of appealing fines before resorting to trial court as Pop Montreal has done. Malla said that some organizations might be unaware of this alternative. “I imagine that lots of organizations are getting these fines but either don’t know that they [can appeal]… . We feel that it’s important for people who might not know already to know that they can refute this. They can plead not guilty [to the fine] and refute the fines,” said Malla. Leftick explained how areas of Pop Montreal would be more affected by the renewed enforcement of the bylaw. “For the small shows when… you’re not charging a lot at the door, and you’re not making a lot of money, it’s hard to find a lot of advertising dollars for those shows,” she said. The Plateau-Mont-Royal commu-
nity has cause for optimism, however. Jaggi Singh, a local activist, won a case this July against the city over the placement of a poster, setting a precedent in favour of postering. Leftick has asked the city prosecutor “if he wants to withdraw the charges because of the Jaggi Singh case.” Malla also hoped the Singh case would set precedent, describing the case as “exciting.” “This is a basic right – to be able to put a poster up on the street and advertise an event,” Malla continued. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that people shouldn’t be allowed to put posters up.” “The city didn’t appeal the [Singh] decision so they have to provide space to poster,” said Leftick. Norris confirmed the city’s obligation to provide public legal spaces to place posters. He said that, in response to the Singh case, Montreal would be taking a “common sense approach” to the issue; one that, according to Norris, should have been taken earlier. Part of that approach includes Montreal city government creating teams to create prototypes of urban furniture in various designs and sizing that are currently await-
ing approval before being put into use on the streets. Mai Mac-Thiong, a member of this team, explained its role in greater depth. “If [the prototypes are] accepted we will make them for the boroughs. Normally it should be all 19 boroughs of Ville de Montréal …. [It] is the executive committee who will decide, but, in my opinion, there is a good chance,” he said. “Once we have designated places [for posters], there will be no excuse. We may be more severe [with fines] for posters illegally placed,” said Norris. Leftick outlined how Pop has been working with the City to improve the situation. “We’re working to try and develop an action plan for everything from the design of the [posters] to where they’re placed… . I anticipate a continual process and refinement and making sure that things make sense. I think everyone wants to work together to solve the issue,” Leftick said. “Once you’re in the court there’s nothing you can do to change it. Sometimes its better to look forward,” Leftick said.
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Eric Andrew-Gee The McGill Daily
he once monolithic Quebec student movement has split over yet another million-dollar question this fall, pulling McGill graduates and undergraduates in different political directions. said, “It is a comparative underfinancing: that basically doesn’t say anything that seems relevant to the financing of Quebec universities.” QSR sees things differently. Myriam Zaidi, SSMU VP External and a board member of QSR, which represents about 65,000 students in Quebec, calls the underfunding of the province’s universities a “crisis.” “As much as money is sometimes not managed the way we would want it to be, clearly university administrations are not wasting $400 or $500 million a year,” she said in an interview. “The FEUQ is just looking at these small instances where there was a mismanagement of money.” Joël Pedneault, vice-secretary general of QSR and former SSMU councillor, placed special emphasis on his association’s opposition to
Sarah Mortimer | The McGill Daily
provincial involvement in the internal management of universities. “It’s been a clash,” he told The Daily, “between FEUQ, who supports the idea of having a law to give a framework to universities… and people who are against the government legislating in any way about how the universities should function.” He included QSR in the second group. Zaidi also worried that FEUQ’s campaign against the internal mismanagement of funding was detracting from the federation’s focus on fighting tuition increases. “Going into this different kind of campaign seems to be an easy way out,” she said. Fighting tuition hikes is a hard battle, especially now, when “students are demobilized,” she continued. In fact, it is a battle that FEUQ takes part in. The federation released a press release Friday denouncing tuition increases. The same day, Savoie reaffirmed FEUQ’s commitment to stopping the pro-
vincial government’s current policy of increasing tuition fees $50 a semester for five years beginning in 2007, saying, “We believe that current policy is ill-advised and should be stopped in 2012.” The provincial government and FEUQ do agree on the issue of university mismanagement of government funding, however. In her first press conference as Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir, et du Sport (MELS), Line Beauchamp echoed FEUQ’s more than month-old refrain, saying she would look into whether “the public money given to universities [is] used appropriately for the success of university students.” QSR’s position on government funding, meanwhile, closely resembles the McGill administration’s. Both frequently use the same figure – $500 million – to describe the provincial funding shortfall facing Quebec universities. Both the administration and QSR believe
more funding is required from the government. McGill’s Provost, Anthony Masi, countered FEUQ’s accusations of university mismanagement, saying, “Often when groups or individuals make accusations and assertions without providing evidence regarding financial mismanagement it represents a politically immature tactic and a rhetorical device in order to try to deviate the discourse away from the real point: Quebec universities, and especially the researchintensive ones, are underfunded.” Max Silverman, who was SSMU VP External when SSMU defederated from FEUQ in 2006, sees other reasons for FEUQ’s new strategy. “It’s an organization that’s really struggling to keep itself relevant in any way,” Silverman said of the federation. “When I started out in all this, they were the only voice in the mainstream media representing students,” he continued. “And now generally when there’s an article in the Quebec media about student issues, ASSÉ [another lobying group largely comprising CEGEPs] speaks, TaCEQ speaks and FEUQ speaks.
Tuesday September 28, 5p.m. Thomson House Restaurant, 3650 McTavish The PGSS environment committee is hosting Bano Mehdi, a McGill PhD student on the impacts of climate change on crop land use, and consequences for water resources. Mehdi will discuss “Climate change impacts on agriculture in Canada.” The talk will commence at 6pm.
Midnight Kitchen Corporate Food Boycott Strategy Session So I think they’re to some extent trying to corner a market by saying, ‘We’re not only talking about fees, let’s talk about mismanagement.’ To me it just seems like a marketing strategy, to some extent.” Silverman also said it was “worrisome,” that FEUQ would choose a lobbying strategy that did not focus on returning to Quebec’s pre-2007 freeze on tuition fees. “The government’s going to try to cling to anything that distracts from that issue,” he said. Zaidi says she met with PGSS VP External Ryan Hughes recently to discuss FEUQ’s strategy. “I voiced my concern with their current campaign …. Instead of saying ‘There is clearly an underfunding crisis’ and instead of fighting for more government funding for universities, they are saying ‘universities don’t know how to manage their money.’ That is really dangerous ‘cause it can just push the government to bring a new kind of governance bill,” she said. Legislation that would have mandated external representation on universities’ Boards of Governors – Bills 38 and 44 – was scrapped earlier this year after widespread student protest. Zaidi went on to say, “I don’t know if [PGSS is] going to go for this FEUQ campaign.” In an email to The Daily, Hughes confirmed that he stands behind FEUQ’s campaign to focus on the mismanagement of funding by university administrations. “The external policy of the FEUQ is a representation of the will of the individual members,” he wrote. “The PGSS has direct involvement in the formulation and application of that external policy. If the PGSS were to have disagreements with the FEUQ, then we would be disagreeing with our own contribution to that process and the will of the majority of the members.” Despite Zaidi’s reference to a meeting on the subject, Hughes wrote in an email Friday, “Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with QSR’s priorities or the nature of their disagreement with the FEUQ.” Zaidi maintains that she and Hughes have a good working relationship and meet frequently. QSR and FEUQ, however, have “sparse” relations, according to Pedneault. He said the organizations met on June 27, although Savoie says he was not there. Asked why QSR and FEUQ, the two largest student lobbying groups in Quebec, had so little contact, Savoie said, “It just happens that way. I don’t have any more comments regarding that.”
Monday September 27, 7p.m. Shatner room 403, 3480 McTavish In an expansion of student protest against the closure of the Architecture Café, the Midnight Kitchen – the last student-run café on campus – is organizing a boycott of corporate-run food providers on campus. To learn more and get involved attend the first strategy session Monday night.
Sustainability Projects Fund: Meet the Projects Tuesday September 28, 5:30 p.m. James Square Thirteen projects have been approved by the Sustainability Projects Fund for this year, and will be on display in James Square Tuesday night. Food will also be served at 5:30.
Return to the Rainbow Reception Friday October 1, 5p.m. Thomson House, 3650 McTavish McGill’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community will celebrate diversity at the ninth annual Return to the Rainbow Reception hosted by the McGill Equity Subcommittee on Queer People and Queer McGill. Friends and alumni are invited to come meet current staff and students and hear about new LGBT programs and activities on campus.
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The two biggest student lobbying organizations in Quebec, the Federation etudiant universitaire de Quebec (FEUQ) and the Quebec Students Roundtable (QSR), the english acronym of TaCEQ, are taking drastically different approaches to the estimated $500-million funding shortfall currently facing Quebec universities. The catch, for McGill students, is that PGSS belongs to FEUQ, and SSMU is a founding member of QSR. Beginning in mid-August, as university administrators faced the National Assembly’s Commission de la culture et de l’education, FEUQ began a contentious campaign to reassess what is ailing Quebec universities, and what is putting such a deep dent in their bottom lines. The federation, which represents 115,000 students across Quebec, decided that the problem was not a lack of government funding to universities, but rather what the universities do with the funding they receive. On August 16, FEUQ launched a website detailing what they perceive to be the waste and mismanagement of university budgets by their administrations. The site singles out McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum’s 2008 salary, some $587,000, for particular scorn. FEUQ also goes after building expenses at UQAM, interest payments at Concordia, and the external affairs budget of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Louis-Phillip Savoie, FEUQ President, was quoted as saying in a French press release dated August 23, “Before reinvesting in universities, can we make sure that money from taxpayers and students is used efficiently[?]” FEUQ’s solution, as of September 9, was to suggest the provincial government keep a closer eye on universities’ books. The federation proposed that a commission was needed to evaluate the way universities were spending their public funding. Savoie told The Daily that the “new formula to make sure university administrations are more transparent” will be applied by the provincial government, independently from the ministry of education. He said concerns about government underfunding were beside the point: “It’s not an objective to attain a higher level of financing. What is an objective is to attain a higher level of quality in our university education.” Acknowledging that Quebec universities receive less provincial funding, proportionally, than universities in other provinces, Savoie
WHAT’S THE HAPS
Student movement splintered over underfunding from the province
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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Bike forum draws crowd Students vent frustrations but get few answers Maria Surilas The McGill Daily
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ver 100 people filled the Shatner Ballroom for an open forum on cycling and pedestrian safety Thursday, September 23. The panel was comprised of staff and students and was moderated by Chemistry Professor David Harpp. Associate VP (University Services) Jim Nicell presented a brief history of the decision-making process that led to the ban on cars and bikes on the downtown campus. “We considered principles and collected feedback… It’s our objective to arrive at a consensus view,” said Nicell. Barbara Lewis, Special Projects Officer for the Office of University Services, wrote in an email to The Daily that the University decided the forum “would be the best venue for…outlining the varied – sometimes competing – interests and constraints which all had to be balanced in coming to a decision regarding circulation on campus.” Lewis said she hoped the forum would achieve a higher level of understanding. The forum was a mixture of anecdotes, debate, and suggestions for how to successfully remodel the campus in order for cyclists and pedestrians to coexist. Suggestions included varying surfaces, speed bumps, and speed limits. Many in the audience spoke to the idea that bikes and pedestrians can coexist. “I just want to see some discussion,” said Joseph Giardini, a U3 Neuroscience student. There were concerns from pedestrians about the campus becoming
Victor Tangermann | The McGill Daily
a city thoroughfare, and concerns about general personal safety. Several students demanded to see data and proof that justified the University’s decision and explained their safety concerns. The forum ran late because of the volume of people seeking to be heard. One of the most impassioned comments was given by Associate Professor in the School of Architecture Pieter Sijpkes. He spoke about the hope provided by the increase of bikes and cycling on campus. He lamented that today, the very people at the forefront of the green movement, cyclists, were being separated from – and not integrated into – McGill’s new “green” initiatives. Bicycling is “urban dancing,” said Sijpkes, and perhaps with the inclusion of varying surfaces and road signs, he hoped a compromise could be reached. Political Science Professor Jacob T. Levy pointed out that cyclists and pedestrians aren’t mutually exclusive, that people respond to their environment and that if allowed, cyclists and pedestrians could respond to each other. The forum audience seemed largely in favour of allowing cyclists on campus, but Nicell said there
was strong support for the ban on cyclists on campus. “This happened to be a forum that mostly attracted people who had the perspective of the cyclists but there is a whole other contingent and actually an extreme contingent that says ‘Ban bicycles,’ and we’re not going there either,” said Nicell. Nicell also stated that he wanted to get rid of the security guards stationed outside every campus entrance – asking cyclists to dismount their bikes – as soon as possible. Randall Blom, a Faculty of Law student senator and panellist at the forum, said afterwards that while “it is a complex issue…I hope that [the ban] is reconsidered.” The panel encouraged everyone to continue emailing thoughts and suggestions to the Office of University Services. Part of Lewis’ mandate involves reviewing and responding to emails regarding “changes to campus circulation.” “I think it’s a little late for them to do something like this, I feel like this should have happened before they put anything in place, hopefully they’re going to listen to [everyone],” said Farid Rener, a volunteer at The Flat, the bike collective in Shatner.
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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
New police commissioner acknowledges racial profiling Anti-police brutality groups still skeptical Mari Galloway The McGill Daily
worn into office last Monday, new Montreal Police Commissioner Marc Parent has been busy courting media and Montrealers with his vision for a more tolerant Service de police de la ville de Montréal (SPVM) in the wake of a damaging internal report leaked to La Presse that cited racial profiling as a systemic and widespread problem among Montreal’s police force. The report, dated March 2009, confirms what many activist and community groups have been saying – that black males in certain Montreal boroughs are much more likely to be stopped and questioned by police than their white counterparts. The study, written by criminologist Mathieu Charest for the SPVM, shows that by 2007, 30 to 40 per cent of young black males in
NEWS BULLETIN AUS releases updated budget The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) released its 2010-2011 budget at its Council meeting last Wednesday. The budget projects a total deficit of $6,739, but that number relies on all AUS events breaking even for the rest of the year. AUS President Dave Marshall expressed his confidence in all the year’s remaining events after Frosh breaking even, despite the fact that the AUS Events portfolio does not traditionally break even, and that AUS Frosh posted an exceptionally large $30,000 deficit this year. “Traditionally the Events portfolio does not break even, and we don’t expect it to,” said Marshall. “The majority of the [AUS] deficit always comes from Frosh,” he said. The AUS is not cancelling any events this year – highlighted by Oktoberhaus and Red & White – but Marshall expects to compensate for the extra Frosh losses by planning for those events long in advance and minimizing their losses. “It’s a realistic budget,” said Marshall. “We’ve been very conservative with our revenue estimates… . The deficit can only decrease.” The AUS projects $4,055 in revenue from tabling in Leacock. Eight hundred dollards of that revenue is
areas such as Montreal North and St. Michel had undergone police identity checks, compared to five to six per cent of white males. In the immediate aftermath of the leak, the SPVM was quick to deny that racial profiling is as widespread as the study suggested. They claimed that the numbers were skewed despite the fact that the conclusions were derived from approximately 163,000 records of interactions, or “contact cards,” filled out by police officers between 2001 and 2007. However, in an interview with the Gazette last week, Parent broke from the SPVM’s long tradition of denying discrimination among the police force by admitting that racial profiling is a problem that the force needs to address. He pointed specifically to police street squads – such as a unit known as Project Eclipse – which needed to be restructured so as to place less emphasis on targeting certain
types of youths and instead go after “hard core” suspects. “I had a talk with Eclipse. I met with them, and we [told them to imagine themselves] in the place of those people who were targeted over and over as part of racial profiling,” Parent told the Gazette. “In years past their mandate was strongly about enforcement. I think [Eclipse] should continue as a team, but maybe we’ll merge them with investigation units in a way that is much more concentrated on what we want, which is to find really hardcore suspects.” A report released the same week as Parent’s appointment shows that while muggings and crimes against property are down, the number of drug dealers in Montreal has ballooned over the last ten years. The number of crack cocaine dealers alone has skyrocketed from around 514 in the late 1990s to 2,998 in 2007-2008. Parent said that such changing crime patterns would be
coming from table contracts to private companies, with the majority coming from traditional partnerships with Kaplan and Princeton Review. Marshall said that student groups are not charged to use the tables, and are always prioritized ahead of private companies. “Companies approach us all the time [about tabling],” said AUS VP External Todd Plummer. “We’re not trying to make a profit.” Plummer identified Future Shop as a company that has signed a table contract with the AUS, adding that Future Shop will be using the space to recruit student workers for the holiday season. “We don’t hunt them down,” said Plummer. “It has nothing to do with the budget.”
ciples. After McGill increased tuition fees for its MBA program from $1,700 for Quebec residents to $29,500, the Ministry of Education threatened to cut McGill’s funding by $30,000 for every Quebec resident made to pay the higher MBA tuition rate. In the fall, McGill went ahead with its new MBA tuition fees, which now stand at $32,500 a year for the two year program. Beauchamp replaced Courchesne on August 11. At that time Courchesne had not followed through on her threat. In her first press conference as education minister on Thursday, Beauchamp stuck to the government’s decision to increase tuition fees for Quebec universities. “We must absolutely discuss [tuition hikes] in relation to the question of university performance,” she said in French. The minister also announced plans to hold a series of meetings to address four key issues in the provincial education system: the integration of children with handicaps and learning difficulties in classrooms, university financing, the link between the labour market and technical training, and participation in school board elections. A meeting concerning university financing slated for sometime this fall – to which roughly a hundred as yet undetermined people will be invited – will examine increasing tuition fees, university performance, accessibility to studies and
Minister vows action vs. McGill Newly appointed education minister Line Beauchamp is promising action on her predecessor’s pledge to cut McGill’s funding in response to MBA tuition hikes, the minister’s office told The Daily on Friday. According to Beauchamp’s press officer Dave Leclerc, speaking in French, the education minister is “still reflecting” about her position, but said that “there will certainly be action in the future.” Last spring, former education minister Michelle Courchesne accused McGill of violating the province’s educational accessibility prin-
“We [told them to imagine themselves] in the place of those people who were targeted over and over as part of racial profiling.” Marc Parent Montreal Police Commissioner addressed as the force looks to shift its focus this fall. Unfortunately, activist groups who have and continue to fight racial profiling by the SPVM, such as the Coalition Against Repression and Police Abuse, remain wary about how much change Parent will actually be able to effect. “[Racial profiling] is clearly a much bigger problem than the authorities would like us to believe.
We have to remember that the police tried to hide this report, and we only saw it as a result of a leak to the media,” said Alexandre Popovic, a spokesperson for the coalition. “Therefore we are apprehensive about whether the new police chief will actually crackdown on this issue. We really have to wait and see,” Popovic added. The SPVM declined to comment to The Daily.
other potential sources of university funding.
are realities for us. And it’s personal for me and hard for me to talk about. All the women in my family have experienced violence and abuse from the men in our family …. There’s the stuff you hear in the newspapers. Then there’s the stuff that we go through everyday.” Yee also produced an investigation on the number of Aboriginal youth that were incarcerated, in custody, or in foster care. “Prison cells are the new residential schools for us,” she said. “We were able to find out that basically what you have to do to get shit done at the UN is embarrass Canada enough to get ministers to run after you,” she said. “When we finally had the opportunity to present this information, a Canadian minister came running after me and said ‘I had no idea.’ I asked ‘What’s your job?’ It turns out he worked at the Ministry of Corrections [sic]. And that all made sense. I should no longer be shocked or surprised that these politicians don’t know anything. Because they don’t.” Elliott underscored the importance of the youth movement. “We have to stop counting on the government to act responsibly toward our communities. History shows – in their abrogation of our treaties and their inability to fess up to and be held accountable for their actions – that we must actively pursue these changes ourselves,” she said.
Aboriginal youth speak out Jessica Yee and Melissa Elliott spoke at Concordia University September 23, at a panel discussion on Aboriginal youth rights. Elliott is the co-founder of Young Onkwehonwe United (YOU), a Six Nations youth group. Yee is a member of Akwesasne First Nations and the founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. The panel was hosted by QPIRG Concordia. Yee and Elliott spoke of the similarities between the persisting mistreatment of Aboriginal bodies and that of Aboriginal land. “The ravages of rape within Aboriginal communities directly parallels the rape of our land,” Elliott said. As co-chair of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Yee collected research pertaining to aboriginal sexuality. As part of a strategy for self-determination, Elliott urged Aboriginal youth to challenge the increasingly accepted idea that pursuing sexual dialogue is a “white thing,” as a lack of discussion is contributing to the proliferation of STIs within the Aboriginal community. Both Yee and Elliot discussed the staggering rates of sexual violence in Aboriginal communities. “These aren’t just words. These
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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Boycott McGill food services Erin Hale Hyde Park
f you support the Architecture Café and the future of studentrun initiatives on campus, you should boycott McGill Food Services. Most of you are likely aware of the broad strokes of the issue: the administration closed the last full-service student-run café on campus over the summer without consultation; they refuse to show us the financial records while claiming that Arch Café was in the red; they refuse to “revisit the issue” in spite of popular support across different faculties and interest groups on campus; and they belittled our protest on Wednesday, effectively calling us “students being students.” There’s a lot of momentum behind the drive to reopen Arch Café, which means we should escalate our actions, not take the administration’s dismissal lying down. An organized boycott is one way of letting the administration know that we support student-run initiatives on campus. If it’s large enough, a boycott could put the struggle for such initiatives in the limelight. The Montreal Gazette has written two stories on the Arch Café debate, and rumour has it that Maclean’s may be interested as well. Even if you never went to Arch, you should still support a boycott because this is ultimately about more than one café – the issue at stake is the hegemonic nature of McGill’s food services and the corporate attitudes of our current administration. To use an example, at 2 a.m. Thursday morning I started a
September 27, 2010 Shatner B-24 Dear Reader, I’ve got your letters. A couple, at least. One of them’s really beautiful – really hot. But you know I need at least five letters to publish a page of ’em. (Form over function, always.) And you know I’ve only got two letters. So send me some more. I know at least three of you have something to say about our pages. Love, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lukas Thienhaus | The McGill Daily
To get admin to listen, we need to strike something they actually care about: their profits. Facebook boycott event half-jokingly. Within 12 hours it had 1,000 members (at press time, around 1,700; though it won’t mean much unless they are serious). Wall posts were very telling about the universal anger felt by students: while the initial comments concerned Arch, within a few hours they turned
to a critique of corporatization of campus and absence of student consultation. There were angry posts about the overpriced and bland food provided by Aramark, McGill’s corporate supplier, as well as its questionable labour practices. Rather than let us have an alternative to Aramark (who just this year
replaced Chartwells), the administration has systematically shut down any non-corporate food services. The best places to start boycotting are faculty and library cafeterias like the Redpath Oasis, or anywhere you see the Martlet meal plan sign. And if you boycott, you won’t be alone. Midnight Kitchen is
hosting an organizational meeting today about how to proceed in support of Architecture Café (at 7 p.m. in Shatner). The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) Council voted Wednesday to work with SSMU and the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) on a one-day boycott; the EUS and SSMU Councils will likely debate similar motions this week. Even if faculty societies and Midnight Kitchen don’t provide food, though, boycotting isn’t that hard: there are still alternatives on or near campus, none quite as nice as Arch, but certainly cheaper than Aramark’s foodstuffs. Faculty food stands like AUS Snax, the Management Undergraduate Society store Dave’s, and EUS’s Frostbite are still student-run and serve fair trade coffee for half the price of the McGill cafeterias. If you want a meal, the Rabbit Hole Café and Midnight Kitchen provide vegetarian and vegan lunches (respectively) for a small donation, while the SSMU cafeteria and Thomson House provide a wider variety. And there are still places to eat across the street from school like McGill Pizza and Super Sandwich. You could even bring your own lunch! In the meantime, let Deputy Provost (Student Life & Learning) Morton J. Mendelson, the administration’s point man on Architecture Café, know that you are boycotting: email morton.mendelson@mcgill. ca, or drop off a hard copy at the Office of the Deputy Provost (Student Life & Learning) Room 621, James Administration, 845 Sherbrooke O. Erin Hale is a U3 Philosophy student and a former Daily editor. Write her at email@example.com.
What will follow withdrawal? A response to Gideon Levy’s visit to campus Michael Morgenthau Hyde Park
ast Monday, Gideon Levy spoke at McGill. Accordingly, The Daily interviewed him (“The unknown occupation,” News, September 20). After all, he is an Israeli criticizing Israel! Never have I seen something similar... Except of course when Khaled Abu Toameh spoke at McGill. A Palestinian lambasting his own leaders. But The McGill Daily didn’t cover that. No, they only cover the talk by Gideon Levy. Well I was there as he urged Israel to immediately withdraw from Judea and Samaria. (Oops… I mean the “West Bank.”) I asked Mr. Levy to envision such a withdrawal. I have an aunt and an
uncle in Israel. What if they come to visit Canada? The Judean (I mean WestBankian) Hills oversee Israel’s only international airport. No doubt terrorists will use it launch rockets. As they have from Gaza since Israel withdrew in 2005. The terrorists plan to continue launching rockets as long as Israel exists. Their charter says they “will fight the Jews (and kill them)” to bring about the end of days. And what if one of their rockets hits my aunt and uncle’s plane? What does Levy suggest to prevent their deaths? He has no suggestion. It doesn’t matter to him. Israel is the evil occupier and that’s the end of the story. Well, I, for one, think it matters. I prefer my family alive. I want Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. But I also want
guarantees. Terrorists must be prevented from launching rockets. The West Bank cannot be a steppingstone to kill my aunt and uncle. Those guarantees are possible. And they will happen. They will happen when Palestinian and Arab leaders stop rejecting peace agreements. In 1921, the land of Israel – then the British Mandate of Palestine – was first partitioned. Another Arab state was created: Jordan. The Jewish Agency accepted this partition. They just asked for the remaining quarter of the land. In 1937, the British Peel Commission came up with another proposal. Most of this remaining land would be yet another Arab state. A small part in the north would be a Jewish state. The Jewish agency accepted the plan. The Arab leaders did not and it was never implemented.
In 1947, the UN proposed another partition plan, this time splitting the remaining land. Many Jewish leaders, including David Ben-Gurion accepted it. The Arab leadership did not. In 1967, Israel called on Arab leaders to negotiate a peace agreement. The call was not accepted. In 2000, president Clinton proposed a peace agreement. Israel accepted it, but Yasser Arafat did not. In 2008, Ehud Olmert called on Mahmoud Abbas to accept a similar agreement. He did not. Peace will come. Terrorists will be stopped. A Palestinian state will be created. These things will happen – when the Arab leaders finally accept peace. Michael Morgenthau is a U1 Political Science student. You can reach him at michael.morgenthau@mail. mcgill.ca.
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Will we ever see Norman Cornett at McGill again? The administration’s unjust firing of the popular prof needs explanation and redress Slawomir Poplawski Hyde Park
ver three years ago, McGill dismissed without a word of explanation a knowledgeable and dedicated teacher, Norman. Nevertheless, his case has not been forgotten, because too many students still feel inspired by his creative methods. There has been a growing number of letters in The Daily (22) and the Tribune (16) demanding his return. Thus far, McGill’s only response has been an open letter from Provost Anthony Masi published in Le Devoir (“McGill honore la liberté d’expression,” July 13). It must be recalled that the decision to fire Cornett was taken with undue haste – he was given only a half day’s notice to clear his office. This is chillingly reminiscent of the speed with which wartime executions are carried out for treasonous behaviour. Such worries were expressed by a former student: “Cornett’s story creates a climate of fear among
university and college instructors.” Isn’t it time to ask which structures and mechanisms at McGill were involved in treating Cornett as the worst enemy? At the lowest levels, some administrators might have become resentful after being overshadowed by Cornett’s growing popularity among students, top artists, politicians, and religious figures. His platform for transformative educational experiences connecting the most intriguing personalities with a young generation was working successfully and with great impact, but he arranged it without using McGill notables as interlocutors. In doing so, he didn’t allow them to share the spotlight – especially when he invited such guests as a former prime minister or provincial premier. Instead of bruising their egos, he dared to outshine them from behind. Apparently, Cornett wasn’t aware of our administrators’ conversations at Senate and Board of Governors meetings about their personal chats with ministers or foreign eminences – or of their jeal-
ousy in such matters. It is quite typical for go-getting people to boast about their strong
practices in running the university that usually disturb the work of more creative and independent members
Creative and independent McGill community members’ free spirits and nonconformity challenge McGill’s centralized power structures networking. They simply feel less secure, and in McGill’s case, they try to develop closer links not only with superior institutions, but also with transnational corporations that are above politicians and governments. We can accept this approach; McGill might even profit from such individuals, if they are exceptional at lobbying for our school at higher levels. Unfortunately, such “achievements” are unstable and short-lived. Similarly questionable are ineffective efforts to adopt corporate
of our community. Their free spirits and nonconformity too often challenge McGill’s centralized power structures, composed of many well-connected but not necessarily competent administrators. This might explain the exodus of many autonomous thinkers and scientists over the last seven years, who went on to shine outside McGill’s walls. Unfortunately, among those eliminated was Cornett, who now organizes his amazing “dialogic” session in many places – but not at McGill.
So far, practically no one at McGill has addressed this problem, and only the francophone media have reported on how costly these departures have been. Now it’s time to correlate them – whether imposed or voluntary – with McGill’s significant drop in university rankings, revealed last week (though this trend was already noticeable in a smaller way since 2007). Our administration must learn to not control the community with structures – they must learn that by respecting and humbly serving the members of the McGill community, they will promote the key elements for potential improvements. Allowing Cornett to return to McGill would represent a proper first move in the right direction of greater inclusiveness that can start healing many old wounds in our community. Slawomir Poplawski is a technician in the Mining and Materials Engineering department. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cut the shit on the bike ban
he lockdown on bikes sucks, and the vast majority of the people at Thursday’s Open Forum on Cycling and Pedestrian Safety made that explicitly clear. VicePresident (University Services) Jim Nicell first went through his tenminute PowerPoint on the “Planning and Design Principles of the McGill University Physical Master Plan,” stressing the words “viable,” “sustainable,” and “consultation” at every available opportunity before the floor was opened up for Q&A. But most people made clear that they hadn’t been consulted at all. Most were unaware of this policy until it was set in stone, as was I. In fact, the most recent edition of the Master Plan is dated April 2008, and makes no explicit mention of the bike ban – just a single sentence buried on page 57 stating that “[i]n order to encourage a pedestrian-oriented lower campus, alternative recommended cycle routes and bicycle traffic-calming measures will be considered, in collaboration with City authorities.” That’s it. At the open forum, only one statistic on the popularity of the bike
ban was cited, and it was by McGill Urban Planning alumnus Jacob Larsen, who a few years ago had conducted a poll of 400-odd students. Only about 10 per cent favoured the idea of banning both bikes and cars from campus. And that was prior to the implementation of a car-free campus and the construction of the University bike path, which have substantially opened up space here and reduced the volume of commuters cycling through. Have Nicell and his task force polled students at all on this? When I asked, all I got was yet another list of “stakeholders” I’d never heard of, but who, importantly, had been “consulted” in the construction of the Master Plan. Clearly they have no such data, and I genuinely would have appreciated an admission of that fact. It might be smart, in the sense of Realpolitik, to consult a bunch of people and come out of the whole process with some arbitrary and unilateral decision, but it’s not classy, it’s not fair, and it’s undemocratic. —Niko Block Features editor
Movies in the park
Photo by Victor Tangermann Students gathered on Lower Field last Thursday, as the temperature dipped to fall temperatures, to watch Get Him to the Greek, presented by SSMU.
The Daily is still looking for columnists! Do you have a unique, interesting perspective, one often ignored by the mainstream? We want to print it!
For more information: email@example.com
10 Features We’re on our 100th volume this year.
elving into the archives of this newspaper can be an engrossing and intensely procrasturbatory past time for anyone who spends upwards of 50 hours a week in the Daily office. Among the many important milestones The Daily has passed since 1911 was 1982-83, our first year of independence from SSMU. Below is a selection of the year’s content – some juicy, some sensational, and some simply representative of the scandals and controversies that dominated the headlines throughout the year. Many of the hot-button issues of the early ‘80s remain the subject of raucous brouhaha to this day. Israel-Palestine is never far from page three, the Redmen are still psyched to beat their foes, McGill’s connections to the military are still under scrutiny, and, by-and-large, The Daily is still making the same mistakes it always has. On the other hand, the fear of nuclear war and the then-explosive discourse on divestment and boycott of South Africa have – for obvious reasons – since settled down. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did. —Niko Block
highlights h i d d e n wo rd s October 1 | Casa del Popolo (4873 St. Laurent) After years of unwanted fame, Alden Penner and Jamie Thompson have walked away, leaving an impressive wake behind them. Together as The Unicorns in the early 00s and more recently as members of Clues and Islands, the two musicians have been at the helm of some of the most influential indie rock bands of our time. It may raise a few eyebrows then – probably on thick-rimmed bespectacled heads – to learn that Penner and Thompson are now playing quiet, contemplative, and overtly religious music. The band is called Hidden Words and draws its name and lyrics from a 19thcentury mystical text written by Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith – an independent religion based on principles of justice, equality, and the unity of humankind. So what happened here? Did The Unicorns find religion? Not exactly. Penner has been a Bahá’í all his life, and while Thompson hasn't, he recognized
that, “the effect that religion has on people who have that sort of faith is really positive.” The pair's confidence in this belief has produced a fruitful collaboration. Their music is jaw-droppingly beautiful, with trance-inducing rhythms interweaving with Penner’s remarkable guitar playing. The essence of it, however, is the mystical words themselves, which Penner delivers flawlessly in his gorgeous tenor. Asked whether they miss their fame, the two musicians said they're much happier using their talents to encourage the unity espoused by their band's namesake. Hidden Words' shows are among the few to enjoy the attendance of both three year-old children and eighty year-old men. As Thompson asserted, “At this point in my life, I’d much, much rather work a menial job and sacrifice making a living in order to make the focus of the music to do something beneficial for humanity.” —James Farr
p o r t i co q u a r te t October 2 | L’Astral (1845 Ontario) Ever been so wowed by group of street musicians that you wished someone would just walk up and offer them a record deal already? Five years ago, London’s Portico Quartet was busking on the South Bank of the Thames. One thing led to another, which led to a debut album, Knee-Deep in the North Sea, which led to all kinds of critical swoons (from the London Times and the BBC, no less) and a 2008 Mercury Prize nomination. As they say, the rest is history. Last year’s Isla features the same mellow, moody hybrid of jazz and modern classical music that characterized the band’s first effort, though they’ve upped the ante a bit. “Knee-Deep was composed while busking in a very relaxed atmosphere, and as such the tunes are quite charming, lighthearted, and acoustic,” explained saxophonist Jack Wyllie. “Isla was written over the course of a month in mid-winter in a shed at the bottom of our garden – it was a much more intense atmosphere, and I think that comes across. We went much deeper into the musical ideas and were able to introduce electronics.” But new technology hasn’t led them to drop their signature instrument, the Hang. A more placid cousin of the steel drum, it lends their sound its distinctive shimmer. Too distinctive, at times. “It can be quite frustrating when you’re seen as being all about the Hang at the expense of the music,” Wyllie said. “This is partly why we are keen to move away from it.” He added, “If it were a person, it would probably be Jennifer Aniston: very attractive, and great in Friends, but unable to grow out of that first role.” Whether they hang onto the Hang or not, it seems unlikely that they’ll go back to collecting onepound coins in instrument cases anytime soon.
h u d s o n m o h aw ke
September 30 | Club Lambi (4465 St. Laurent) Hudson Mohawke is a man of many names. Born Ross Birchard and also known as HudMo or Hudson Mo, this twenty-something DJ/producer had one of the most highly anticipated (and celebrated) electronic albums of 2009 (Butter,
released by Warp records). Despite his youth, Mohawke is no newbie; he was a finalist for the DMC World DJ Championships at the ripe age of 11 and at 15, he was the U.K. DMC DJ Championships finalist – the youngest ever. Despite his unconventional fusion of synth and hip hop, Mohawke’s music is surprisingly soulful, tinged with an R&B sex appeal that would make Ginuwine jealous. As a co-founder of Scotland’s
LuckyMe music/art/party collective, Mohawke has shed his standing as a once-upon-a-time bedroom producer. His last album gained him international acclaim, taking him out of the limited circuit of European celebrity to which he first belonged. Ross Birchard is known to be a shy dude in the media. The London Times commented on his baby-like features and mentioned that he prefers not to make eye contact. However, performing as Mohawke, there’s certainly no evidence of the artist having a withdrawn demeanour. “I'm just trying to create sounds that aren't familiar to the ear,” Mohawke told the Guardian in an interview last year. Using equipment like his cellphone or digital camera, he creates an unconventional, but successful recording environment. One thing is for sure: when Mohawke is around, be prepared to dance. His music will get you moving in a no-holds-barred, no regrets kind of way – a merciless boogie-down that will have you waking up the next morning asking yourself, "WTF happened?"
mount kimbie October 2 | Le Belmont (4483 St. Laurent) Mount Kimbie’s haunted sound crosses categorical boundaries; from garage to pop to ambient to chillwave to glo-fi to dubstep and even R&B. But a music journalist won't do the U.K. based band much justice by attempting to box them in with genres or give readers a point of reference for listening. Mount Kimbie offer a breed of cool of their own – sceneless, if you will. Mount Kimbie’s debut album, Crooks and Lovers, released by Hotflush Recordings in July of this year, creates a dangerous interconnection between, well, crooks and lovers. Mount Kimbie occupies the euphonic space between dreaming and reality – a hypnotic space that they stretch and distort to no end with their hazy compositions and delicate melody shifts. It was, after all, because of this duo that the term post-dubstep (whatever that means) was brought to life. Dominic Maker and Kai Campos make up Mount Kimbie, creating sounds that swing between tender nostalgia and soothing raindrops that echo through the body of a piece. There’s a strong sense of emotive seriousness here – something that can be severely lacking in the electronic music that garners the most attention. However, don’t be fooled by all the musings, Mount Kimbie’s beat-focused music is dance-worthy just the same. Mount Kimbie is emblematic of a new age of music – where genres mean a whole lot less, and experimentation, diversity, and DIY culture reign. Auteurs of their own work, Mount Kimbie will pique your curiosity and take you to new heights. —T.R.
m a h a l a ra i b a n d a September 29 | Cabaret du Mile-End (5240 Parc)
deerhoof October 1 | La Tulipe (4530 Papineau) An indie/art/pop group based out of San Francisco, Deerhoof pairs frantic, uncharacteristically catchy, guitar-based riffs with tight, groove-driving, drums – all embellished with Satomi Matsuzaki’s oneof-a-kind vocalization. With over ten studio albums to their name, Deerhoof’s whimsical, experimental, and wholly engrossing sound has been cited as an influence by bands ranging from the Flaming Lips to Thee Silver Mt. Zion. When John Dieterich, the band’s guitarist, took time to speak with The McGill Daily over the phone last
week, he mentioned that Montreal was one of the band’s favorite places to play. “We always love coming to Montreal, I think we’re spending more time there than anywhere else on this tour,” he said. Deerhoof also recently played two shows with their longtime friends Xiu Xiu in which they covered Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures. When asked if, since both bands were going to be at Pop, we would be lucky enough to see any of the set performed in Montreal, the answer, was unfortunately no. With such a wide range in their back catalogue, it’s understand-
able that Dieterich’s recommended album for new listeners would depend on the individual. “I guess in a few months from now, I would say our new album because that’s what we’re working on and really excited about now.” The band’s new album (they did the primary mixing through the speakers of their van as they toured) is currently being mastered in Portland. When asked to describe the new album in one word, John offered in French, “brutale.” When offered the chance to expand, he replied, “très brutale.” —Tim Beeler
the budos band October 2 | Club Lambi (4465 St. Laurent) In our high school days, my friends and I would “blast” The Budos Band through the hallways with a gigantic sound system, causing a groovy ruckus and annoying our peers with instrumental soul dance hits. On our way home we would catch Jeremiah Lockwood, the lead singer of Sway Machinery, busking in the Union Square subway station with a guitar, harmonica, and tambourine. Sway Machinery has been described as funk with an old-style Jewish cantor. When I moved to Montreal, I soon caught wind of The Youjsh, a six-piece band that uses klezmer sounds and complicated compositions to create infectious dancing music. Once in a while worlds collide. This Saturday, The Budos Band, Sway Machinery, and The Youjsh
will be playing Pop Montreal at Club Lambi. For me, it will be an intergalactic planetary explosion. Actually, I can imagine everyone present will experience some kind of cosmic disturbance. “We seem to be a regular fixture now,” says Malcolm Sailor, composer and founder of The Youjsh. The Youjsh is definitely a prominent Montreal band: they've been playing Pop shows for the last two years, played a show with tUnE-YarDs this summer, and recently opened for Socalled. This isn’t hard to believe. As Sailor says, “It's music that you can listen to on an intellectual level...and music that’s got a party atmosphere to it.” The headliner, The Budos Band, is influenced by 60s soul, Ethiopian jazz, and afrobeat. Don’t worry,
though: you don't need to know anything about their roots. Whenever The Budos Band is selected by the DJ, the whole dancefloor starts moving – they're an instant crowdpleaser. With ten members – sometimes more – you'd think that they'd crowd the stage. On the contrary, the atmosphere is one of teamwork and camaraderie, both among the players themselves and with the other bands. Even though The Youjsh didn't arrange the show, Pop Montreal's pairing of the three bands isn't surprising: they all try hard to infuse dance with a smart, playful vibe. The result is a barrage of well-crafted grooviness that will effortlessly guide you to a state of ecstasy. —Aaron Vansintjan
l i a rs October 30 | The National (1220 Ste. Catherine) Liars is a band that's constantly reinventing themselves. Since forming in 2000, they've released an album of angular post-punk, a dense and noisy concept album, another concept album of wistful doom rock, and a standard rock album. Their latest release, Sisterworld, which came out earlier this year, is their only record so far without an overriding theme, and combines sonic elements from each of their previous albums. I had the opportunity to ask Liars’ drummer Julian Gross a few questions about the new album and
what’s in store for the band’s Pop performance over email. He told me that although Sisterworld wasn't a concept album per se, it does have an implicit theme insofar as it's primarily about Los Angeles. “L.A. is like a battle royale of the people,” said Gross. “You have the origination of gangs and skateboarding, porn and Hollywood, the homeless and super rich, segregation, gentrification…that area where those things clash together became very interesting to us.” The album reflects this contradic-
tion, and grapples with the underside of L.A. – full of poverty and disappointment, seething below the smiles, sunshine, and stardom. As far as what Montreal should expect from their performance on Thursday night, the only elucidation I received from Gross was, “a lot of pain.” But perhaps this is apt, Liars are known for their often raucous live shows, and if Gross’ statement is any indication, Pop Montreal will be no exception. —Tim Gentles
Mahala Rai Banda is an uninhibited cacophony of sound rooted in the impassioned traditional rhythms of the Romanian ghetto. What does this promise? “A real blast of brass!” said founding member Aurel Ionita. “We promise you to bring the party back to Montreal! May your nights be long, very long indeed!” He described their sound as “Romanian roots music combined with soulful power and finesse, urban grooves and Gypsy virtuosity.” For those unfamiliar with Balkan music, this translates into an uninhibited, and perhaps slightly inebriated, dance party. The band brings together musicians from two villages in Romania renowned for their talented music makers. Together they produce a unique sound which has recently garnered international acclaim. They’ve been dubbed the rising band of the Balkans and were awarded the title of Best World Music 2009 by PopMatters. Their 2009 album Ghetto Blasters was also singled out as being among the ten “Best Albums of the Year” by Songlines Magazine. “For our latest album Ghetto Blasters,” remarked Ionita, “we have changed our lineup and we included the best brass musicians from the village Zece Prajini – hometown of the legendary Fanfare Ciocarlia – and we are
lucky: we got the brass players in delirium together with their unstoppable rhythms. For this album we have revised our style of making arrangements and last but not least we had an experienced and very inspirational producer amongst us. “We had a great time and fun while producing the record and probably that’s what we transmit to the audience,” he continued When asked if they see their music as a political voice for Roma, Ionita’s answer was simple: “We are aware about that our international success gives us the chance and the commitment to represent our people. Our statement: Maybe we are a bit different but we are people like you are!” If you want to feel like you’ve wandered into a Roma wedding surrounded by a horde of carousing musicians, then make sure you hit up this show. And if being a passive audience member doesn’t satisfy your musical urges, then check out the event “Improvising with Mahala Rai Banda” taking place on September 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Agora HydroQuébec, 200 Sherbrooke West. The band is instructing a class on gypsystyle improvisational music as part of Pop Symposium. —Laura Pellicer
eve n i n g h y m n s October 2 | Divan Orange (4234 St. Laurent) Evening Hymns is the solo project of Toronto-based Jonas Bonnetta, who will perform at Pop Montreal along with fellow Toronto bands Forest City Lovers and The D’Urbervilles. All three bands are wonderful representatives of the burgeoning Toronto music scene. Evening Hymns, however, does not sound like Toronto. And that’s a good thing. Bonnetta’s upbringing in rural Ontario probably contributes to the soothing, ethereal, and naturally spiritual sound at work in his music. The vocals (often his own harmonies) sometimes take a backseat to the lush build-up of guitar and synth, but at times they echo brilliantly over minimal accompaniment. Evening Hymns’ debut album is called Spirit Guides, and the band has recently been touring in Europe after signing with French label Kutu Folk Records. “This is something I never would have imagined I’d get to do, so it’s definitely a big highlight for us,” Bonnetta said of the
past year. “Cedars” is a magical song from the album that features a haunting flute melody weaving its way through devastating lyrical terrain. Other songs like “Lanterns” include gradually building brass and other orchestral elements. Bonetta had helpers to put it together – James Bunton of Ohbijou, for one, who recorded and produced the album. “[Bunton] has definitely been a huge reason our record got made and that we are out here doing what we’re doing,” Bonnetta said, but he also acknowledged the support of countless other bands such as The Wooden Sky. Evening Hymns completed a tour of western Canada earlier this year, which allowed them to explore many gorgeous Canadian locales and meet many people. “Touring Canada and France is so entirely different yet so equally gratifying. I feel really lucky to be able to do this right now,” mused Bonnetta. —Madeleine Cummings
t h e d ea rs
b i g f re e d i a
September 29- October 1 | Santa Cruz Church (60 Rachel O.) Fifteen years into their career, The Dears are no strangers to Pop Montreal. “We’ve played Pop Montreal many times before (it’s somewhat of a tradition at this point), and it’s always something special,” wrote Patrick Krief, guitarist and backup vocalist, in an email to The Daily. This year, the band will be performing their new album, due out in early 2011, in its entirety at their three-night residency for Pop. Known for fist-pumping rock music with a heavy guitar sound and a bit of a dark side, The Dears should bring an intense energy to the stage at Pop this year. The band will also be giv-
ing away a commemorative poster for their residencies at the shows in exchange for donations to the Montreal City Mission. From their beginnings in Montreal in 1995, the band have grown immensely and performed all over the world, but they always love returning to their hometown. “Montreal has a special energy, [and] great audiences,” explained Krief. “It’s [also] always nice to sleep in your own bed after a show.” This show marks the return of Rob Benvie (guitar/keys/backing vocals), Robert Arquilla (bass), and Krief himself on guitar and backing vocals. The band will also be
October 3 | Espace Réunion (6600 Hutchinson)
introducing its newest member, Jeff Luciani (drums), to their audience. As always, the two steadfast members of the band, frontman Murray Lightburn, and keyboardist/vocalist Natalia Yanchak, complete the lineup. With new and old members joining the band, and an entirely new album to perform, the shows are sure to thrill old and new fans alike. “Everyone in this line-up has the right intentions, the right attitude, and the same vision. It’s been a great and seamless experience so far,” wrote Krief. “The musicianship is also up a huge notch.” —Erin O'Callaghan
baby dee October 2, 9:00 pm | Cagibi (5490 St Laurent) w/ Philémon Chante When Baby Dee performs as an “opening act,” she defies the usual connotation of the tepid warm up to a better and bigger performance. Opening at Pop this year for the beloved Montreal band Swans – though she considers this “such an honour” – this singer, harpist, and former circus-performer could easily be the main act. Now promoting her eighth album, Books of Songs, Dee’s second Pop Montreal performance promises to be exceptional. Like her fiery yet worn appearance, Dee’s music commands your full attention. Made up of a combination of harp, piano, and deep and fluttering vocals, Dee’s music is a layering of majestic sounds that inspires deep
reflection. Her lyrics, though deceptively simple and lullaby-like, are honest and contemplative. From sing-song lines questing for love to those that bare all, Dee’s openheartedness in her music is moving. “There's something very old-fashioned about the way I write music...I guess I just try to say little things that are, or were, true for a while,” Dee remarked in an email to The Daily. This modesty, which one senses not only in Dee’s interviews but in her performances, is the very intrigue of her art. Dee’s familiarity with (and seeming liberation from) questions of belonging is her art’s second appeal. The Ohio-born transsexual has often been rejected for her differ-
ences in her life, though she’s never shied away from them. After deciding to embrace life permanently as a woman, Dee amped up her musical act. “It was like, if people are going to look at me all the time then I was going to give them something to look at, and I was going to look back at them, too,” she told National Public Radio. “There was an attitude there.” This attitude is what redeems audiences through Dee’s art. “Every body has a right, the right to be the lover, to really be the beloved,” Dee wrote on her website. Welcoming her listeners with open arms and heart, Dee grants every one of us that right.
Sissy Bounce is shaking its ass out of New Orleans and is about to jump your bones. Bounce music has been around since Mardi Gras in the late 80s when MC T Tucker came out with “Where Dey At,” rapping call and response chants over a triggerman beat. The genre's signature drum and bass backbeat, combined with aggressive, sexually-directive vocals, compel and command you to shake your ass like it has never before been shaken. Sissy Bounce is bounce music queered; gay and trans people from Louisiana and the Deep South are singing, sampling, and rapping amazing bump and grind music from a perspective that defies notions of “dick” and “pussy” as bounce music would normatively have it. Big Freedia, legendary sissy bounce Diva, is gracing us with her powerful presence this year at Pop. Her live show is as much a celebration of booty busting as it is a vocal assault. She will
Ca tc h m o re Po p M o n t rea l h i g h l i g h t s a t m cg i l l d a i l y . co m
symposium or those who aren’t content with just watching stuff, Pop Symposium – a series of workshops led by the festival’s artists and creators – offers an intimate addition to one’s festival experience. From “free[ing] your inner ‘pussy’” with Big Freedia to improvising with nine-piece Romanian folk band Mahala Rai Banda, the five-day-long Symposium gives you the chance to get to know the artists you’ll be adoring later that night. Patricia Boushel, director of the Symposium, emphasized the importance of offering this opportunity to festival-goers. “The principal role of the conference is bringing some
tell you to put your hands on the wall with your ass stretched three feet behind you, and you will like it. “You can take [her] how you want [her] cos she's a real-ass bitch,” delighting and confusing audiences everywhere with a gender expression that is fierce, confident, and explosive. Although it's been almost seven years since the release of her second album, Queen Diva (2003), she has been traveling North America in a recent spate of tours, and will host a free workshop for Pop at Espace Reunion on Sunday, October 3. She's inviting all who might be interested to “find your inner pussy” and work those ass cheeks to their maximum potential. You could skip the workshop and just catch Big Freedia's show later that same day – but if you do that, will you be READY FOR ASS EVERYWHERE???
SYMPOSIUM HIGHLIGHTS •
of these legends and artists as close as possible to the public in as oneon-one a format as we can offer, ” she said. Pop Montreal is a festival with many differences; venues are scattered all over the city, the focus is multi-disciplinary, and the range of artists the festival attracts is unexpected and genre-twisting. But the inclusion of workshops held by performers themselves really sets Pop apart in the festival world. “The presence of the Symposium ensures that we all take a minute to look at the vital role that music – and derivatively, all cultural industries – plays in our lives,” said Boushel. Looking at the schedule, it’s obvious that Symposium will deliv-
er on this promise. Predictably, there are many music workshops with performers, but the scope breaks free from the constraints of the “play-along-with-me” formula to offer tutorials on the music industry, art workshops, and informative sessions on the lesser-known sides of the music industry. “Once you leave school, there aren’t that many channels for public interactive exchanges that can teach you skills or communicate experiences of others,” Boushel pointed out. It’s this void in our exposure to creative outlets that Symposium aims to address. All the workshops at Symposium are free – “so that more people can
demystify the role of the artist in society,” Boushel explained – and the variety is impressive. Some artists were approached by organizers to contribute – like Van Dyke Parks and Carole Pope – while other workshops are the brainchildren of the artists themselves, like Maximilian Lawrence’s DIY computer workshop. “They’re musicians by day and they have a passion for creating new musical instruments,” commented Boushel, “They want to have a platform for connecting with other people so they can awake some kind of interest in creating in others.”
• • • •
Mahala Rai Banda workshop - Wednesday 29, 12:30 p.m. Songwriting and arranging with Van Dyke Parks Thursday 30, 1 p.m. Jenny Holzer & The Address Project - Saturday 2, 11 a.m. From the crate to the dropbox - Saturday 2, 2 p.m. Bounce class with Big Freedia, DJ Rusty, & Altercation - Sunday, 4 p.m. See more at popmontreal. com/en/symposium/events
puces pop F
or many McGill students, “do it yourself” is not just a concept, it’s a way of life. DIY applies to almost every aspect of our student lives: painting our apartments, cooking a hearty meal after a long day, or even learning how to knit so that both our necks and bank accounts won’t freeze come the frosty winter months. This crafty craze is now experienc-
ing a reincarnation in the art and business worlds as well. DIY will be brought to life this month at Puces Pop, the arts and crafts segment of Pop Montreal, where up-andcoming artists and artisans are able to showcase their goods. Puces Pop cements the Pop festival’s role as a wild mash-up of creative outlets. It is Marilis Cardinal and Amy Johnson’s responsibility, as co-directors of Puces Pop, to ensure that the event stays true to its purpose. “We want to make [sure that] the debt the artists put themselves in for their passions is worthwhile,” Cardinal said over coffee at Casa del Popolo on St. Laurent. It can be risky to make use of one’s artistic skills as a profession, but with a helping hand from curators like Cardinal and Johnson these artists are able to get some much-needed exposure. In the challenging world of independent business it’s reassuring to know there is a community backing up the innovative DIY artist. Johnson agreed; “We’ve got a nice group of people here who are
really supportive…they think that doing it yourself is really important.” The demand for a back-to-basics approach to creation has elevated Puces Pop from a one-time event to a thrice-annual gathering of this DIY community. Johnson and Cardinal’s principal role is to carry out the screening process – a task that is in no way trivial. “It’s awful to pick someone who puts all this work in, but doesn’t sell,” Johnson commiserated. Nevertheless, she and Cardinal thrive on fostering independent talent. “It is very gratifying,” Cardinal explained, despite the endless hours on the computer and answering phones. Whether you are in the mood to support some artists, find a unique accessory or meet some great people involved in the arts industry, a visit is sure to be worth your while. And, if none of the above seem to apply, look on over at the walls of your apartment. Couldn’t they use some artwork? —Laura Chapnick and Fabien MaltaisBayda, with files from Sarah Mortimer
kids pop K
ids Pop is an exciting, interactive part of Pop Montreal that aims to engage and inspire children of all ages. Workshops, concerts, and other activities will be taking place on October 2 and 3 at Drawn & Quarterly and the Rialto Theatre. If you’ve got a gang of younger siblings, or if you grew up listening to Fred Penner, Kids Pop is sure to bring out your inner child. Established in 2008, Kids Pop has become an increasingly popular part of the festival. Its mandate, director Jenny Lee Craig said, is “to provide some awesome daytime programming that encourages and supports independent creation for young people.” All weekend long, Kids Pop will broadcast from Drawn & Quarterly on a low-frequency radio channel, thanks in part to CKUT. On Sunday morning, Heidi Nagtegaal will host “Radio Radio!” – a session that will explore radio history and give kids the opportunity to try their hand at playing DJ. But the fun doesn’t end there. Youngsters can attend a print-making workshop led by local singer-songwriter Krista Muir, or explore music through a workshop incorporating movement and drawing. Muir will also lead “Songwriting Machine,” a workshop in which kids can cre-
ate their own original songs using provided instruments. For those of you who don’t know Fred Penner, he was – and remains – one of Canada’s most beloved children’s entertainers. His TV show, Fred Penner’s Place, aired on the CBC from 1985 until 1997. There may very well be a lot of young adults at his Kids Pop concerts because according to Penner, the 18-and-over university age group is currently his predominant audience. “It seems like the strongest demographic right now really is the university kids, and until they start becoming parents, then that circle will be complete and turn around,” he said, on the phone from his home in Winnipeg. A few years ago, Penner played in Gert’s to a crowd of eager McGill fans. A video from that night has received over 35,000 hits on YouTube. In it, Penner plays a medley of The Cat Came Back, Hit the Road Jack, and Crabbuckit. That’s right, k-os’s Crabbuckit. In an age dominated by electronic entertainment and computer-generated TV characters, events like Kids Pop and performers like Fred Penner try to emphasize the importance of human interaction and the personal connection between the performer and audience. Are attention spans getting lower? “I think children are not given as much credit as they deserve,” Penner said, explaining that
so long as you “keep the energy going,” a young audience can be captivated by just one man with a guitar. “When I’m on stage, from the moment I step out until the moment that I am out of sight of the audience, I am aware of that entire audience,” he said, later adding, “That kind of connectivity doesn’t necessarily happen if you’re watching a computer-generated program.” The Drawn & Quarterly bookstore, run by the influential graphic novel publishing house, will be a small and intimate setting for the Kids Pop workshops. Event organizers are excited about the partnership. As Craig said, “I think it’s important to introduce kids of any age – people of any age for that matter – to smaller and more
innovative booksellers as well as independent production and independent creativity.” On Sunday at the Rialto (5723 Parc), Fred Penner and guests will perform two shows – one for kids at 3 p.m., the other for families (and you!) at 7 p.m. Drawn & Quarterly is located at 211 Bernard Ouest. For complete workshop descriptions and times, visit popmontreal.com/kids. —Madeleine Cummings
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Fountain of youth for yeast Science+Technology Writer
he idea of living forever sounds like something out of a science fiction book, but a project undertaken by researchers at Concordia University has inched humanity one step closer to realizing the ridiculous, yet fascinating, fantasy. Concordia University Research Chair in Genomics, Cell Biology, and Aging Vladimir Titorenko and his colleagues have identified that a type of bile acid called lithocholic acid (LCA) is able to greatly increase the lifespan of chronologically aging yeast. The compound is natural, synthesized in the liver of mammals. “For a long time, bile acids were considered to function only as detergents for the emulsification and absorption of dietary lipids and fat-soluble vitamins,” Titorenko said. “They are now also recognized for their essential role as signalling molecules regulating lipid, glucose, and energy homeostasis, and activating degradation of toxic products of metabolism.”
SCI-NOTES: PODCASTS Radiolab Officially started in 2005, Radiolab is probably the most interesting thing you will ever hear on iTunes. Radiolab is a science show that takes discussions about science out of the classroom and into the real world, where they are split, spliced, and pasted back together in a compulsivelylistenable hou-long show. Topics covered range from the scientific basis of morality, to the origins of language. If you only subscribe to one podcast this year, make it this one, you won’t be sorry. Podcast and other goodies available at radiolab.org .
Quirks and Quarks Looking for a little more news in your science podcasts? CBC’s Quirks & Quarks has been on air for 35 years. Each week the show thoroughly covers science news
The discovery may have implications for extending longevity in humans, as the genes, compounds, and enzymes involved in lengthening the lifespan in yeast are somewhat similar to those in all organisms. One of the known ways to increase the lifespan of practically any organism, including mice, yeast, and worms, is caloric restriction. That is, if mice eat less, they live longer. “Caloric restriction by itself increases lifespan depending in terms of organism, from 50 to sometimes 200 per cent,” said Titorenko. There are two different ways to achieve caloric restriction in experiments with mice. One is by decreasing the number of calories, for example by feeding mice cellulose, which cannot be digested. The second way, which is more often used, is eating every other day. It is also possible that caloric restriction might have beneficial effects on humans, according to studies where volunteers placed under caloric restriction diets exhibited improved health. However, studies on humans are not yet conclusive, as they have only been underway for around a decade. For the past two years, Titorenko has screened over 19,000 mol-
in a straightforward and easy to understand way. This one is definitely for the listener who likes to keep up to date with the latest science news. Podcast and weekly updates at www.cbc.ca/quirks/ .
Nova This show is probably best known for it’s television counterpart that airs on PBS stations across North America. They’ve taken the best of that show, condensed it, fit it for radio. The show length ranges from one to ten minutes – you can catch one in between classes. They also have a “Science Now” podcast, which offers even shorter segments that surround topics like evolution, black holes, and global warming. Podcasts as well as streaming episodes of the television show are available at www.pbs.org/wgbh/ nova/ .
ecules, a process which was facilitated by David Y. Thomas, Departmental Chair of Biochemistry at McGill. They’re interested in finding a compound which increases lifespan by affecting an aging process unrelated to caloric restriction. Titorenko explained that the LCA is just that: “We have a drug that increases greatly lifespan, even under the condition when it’s already increased by caloric restriction. So it definitely targets different processes than those already known about anti-aging compounds.” “We first designed a specific yeast strain and a mutant strain, which carry a single mutation,” said Titorenko. “This mutation greatly shortens lifespan only under caloric restriction conditions. And using this [mutation], we tried to find a chemical compound, which would restore the lifespan of this mutant. So as soon as we found it, we tried this chemical compound on normal yeast. And it was found to increase
lifespan of normally aging yeast almost three times, even under the caloric restriction condition.” The fact that LCA increases lifespan significantly even under caloric restriction conditions makes it unique. Resveratrol, a component of red wine and also the most famous of anti-aging compounds, is known to increase lifespan of yeast, flies, and worms – however, in mice, it only greatly extended the lifespan of the mice on a high-fat diet. Although it improved physiological processes in normally-fed mice, the increase in lifespan was not significant. The discovery of LCA is complete, but there are still other horizons to explore encompassing the topic of aging. Titorenko hopes to
experiment with LCA on cultured human cells. “In cultured human cells, we are trying to see if the compound has certain beneficial effects as an anticancer agent, in cultured breast cancer cells, and et cetera,” he said. Meanwhile, the ultimate question of what causes aging is still under examination. “One of the old aging ideas has been that when cells make proteins, [they] start to make small mistakes in those proteins,” said Thomas. “With time, cells will start to make mistakes that are critical to making new proteins. So [there can be] an exponential increase in mistakes, and the cells will eventually die. That theory has gone out of fashion right now. We are desperately seeking a better theoretical basis for aging at the cellular level, and how that translates to the organismal level.”
Living on Earth Another great NPR program, Living on Earth is a weekly podcast that focuses on sustainability, climate change, and human impact on the enviornment. Less “science-y” than the others, Living on Earth is easily understandable and good for a listener who prefers the more human side of biology. It also does a great job of integrating and explaining the impact of recent news events from an ecological and biological perspective. Available for download on www.loe.org .
Abigail Howard with Olivia Messer | The McGill Daily
Olivia Messer |The McGill Daily
Lithocholic acid, extended lifespans
time to do in between classes. Get the RSS feed at www.redshiftnow.ca/report/ .
The Redshift Report If you’re in the mood for a short, interesting science podcast that addresses questions like “Does all vodka taste the same?” and “What gives hot peppers their heat?” we may have the things for you. The Redshift Report is a weekly podcast that takes ten to 12 minutes to track down the answers to issues from the quirky to the controversial in an engaging and informative package. Great if you’ve only got a couple of minutes, or need some-
60 Second Science 12 minutes too long? How about one minute? This daily podcast put out by Scientific American, aims to bring you the most up to date science news in a compact burst of information. There is no excuses on this one, a must download for anyone whose into the sciences but low on time. You can find 60 Second Science at www.scientificamerican.com/ podcast/ where you’ll find both this, and longer length science related podcasts. —Tom Acker
Breaker illustrations by Alex McKenzie with Olivia Messer | The McGill Daily
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Robot Deception Algorithms developed at Georgia Tech might have applications in combat Gemma Tierney Science+Technology Writer
he development of social abilities and of military capabilities: these are the two paths that much of today’s robotics research follows. Researchers at the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing have brought the possibility of overlap between these directives to light. Ronald Arkin and Alan Wagner, the scientists conducting the research, have developed algorithms that give robots the ability to deceive, using funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR).
stated that the ONR has not given any indication of what direction it would like the research to take, the developments will undoubtedly be useful to the military in rescue missions and in combat. Military robots that employ deceptive abilities would be able to move more secretively through combat zones and protect sensitive information that they might carry. “Much of the robotics and artificial intelligence research has traditionally been funded by the military – especially in the U.S. – and this trend continues today as well,” explained Doina Precup, a McGill
“As their use becomes de facto reality, placing any limits on them becomes harder and harder.” Gregory Dudek McGill Computer Science Professor The algorithms allow robots to determine when it is advantageous to behave deceptively, and then select the best deceptive technique for the situation. The application has so far been limited to an experiment in which one robot must deceive another robot about where it is hiding by creating a false trail. No human-robot interaction experiments are currently planned, but Wagner explained that the algorithms are general, and may be applicable to a variety of scenarios where deception would be useful. Though Wagner
Computer Science professor. “So from this point of view, it is understandable that military applications would be showcased in the robotics community.” The expenses associated with robot development and production accounts for part of the colossal size of the U.S. military budget. Gregory Dudek, McGill Computer Science professor and director of the Center for Intelligent Machines (CIM), estimated that there are “close to 18,000 ground robotics in current use in the Middle East.” The role of robots in warfare will con-
tinue to grow: the U.S. Congress has mandated that one third of all ground-combat vehicles need to be unmanned by 2015. Designing robots with lethal and deceptive
capabilities raises serious ethical concerns, and many members of the robotics community are interested in designing restraints on these capabilities. Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” – which propose a moral code for artificial intelligence – are famous for their simple thoroughness. However, they have been rendered irrelevant by the acceptance of lethal robotics, since the first law, on which the other two depend, states that robots must not injure humans. There is not yet a consensus about the restraints that should be placed on deceptive abilities – though, at the moment, there is not a need for for them. “Robots are not yet capable of developing the capacity to lie in an autonomous fashion,” explained Precup, adding that the coordination of “integrating, planning, learning, perception, and action is still a very difficult task, and one that takes a lot of human time and engineering.” Still, Dudek was concerned about the difficulty of establishing an ethical system for robots after they are developed. “Perhaps there is still time, as a society, to place restrictions on what [robots] can and cannot be
Stacy Wilson for the McGill Daily
allowed to do even in military settings, but as their use becomes a de facto reality, placing any limits on them becomes harder and harder
from a political standpoint,” he explained. Arkin, the researcher at Georgia Tech, thinks that robots can be designed to act more ethically than humans in high stress combat situations. He has worked throughout his career to create a dialogue about ethics in robotics, particularly in lethal robotics. Because robots do not necessarily have a survival instinct and cannot harbour prejudices or bitterness toward enemy combatants, their behaviour would be more consistently ethical than that of a stressed and scared soldier. So far, however, robots lack any nuanced form of empathy that human soldiers have available to them when confronted with life and death situations. Dudek pointed out that as we concern ourselves about designing an ethical system for robots, we should remember that by no means do humans have a flawless ethical understanding. While caution is a necessity in developing technology that can kill and deceive, we also should not stop thinking about our own relationship to these acts. Precup expressed a similar opinion: “I am a lot more concern[ed about] people and big corporations deceiving us than of the issue of deceptive robots.”
STILL SEEKING: SCI+TECH COLUMNISTS Want to spill 500 words every other week in this here section? Submit a short vision statement, and three writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline extended to midnight on Friday, October 1st
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Super fans Michael Lee-Murphy profiles the Montreal Ultras
Photos by Victor Tangermann | The McGill Daily
The Montreal Ultras is one of the most fervent fan groups in North America.
“Encore! Mais pas en l’église, à la match! We have to win this fucking game!”
his was the megaphone war cry erupting from section 114 of Saputo Stadium – the home of Montreal’s professional soccer team, the Impact. For most North Americans, soccer fan culture is fairly alien. Organized supporters’ clubs are few and far between in football, basketball, hockey, or baseball. Yet head east from McGill for an Impact game and you will find a small beating heart of European “terrace” culture nestled under the gargantuan slant of the Olympic stadium. I had been told that Montreal’s team, defending champions in the United Soccer League, has one of the strongest “ultras” squads in North America, les Ultras de Montréal. Ultras is the term for the most fanatical supporters of a team – usually soccer – and mostly confined to European club teams. Ultras across the world are known for manifesting their support in deafening and visually dazzling ways. Think flares, smoke bombs, drums, and constant chanting. At times, watching the Impact play from section 114 felt more like a street protest than a sports game, and the feeling is not a coincidence: it’s the point. Many ultras groups across the world become associated with a particular set of politics. The ultras groups from the Italian club Lazio have become associated with Italian neo-fascism, while supporters of the AEK Athens F.C. are a major force in the anarchist
politics and occasional riots that have swept across Greece in recent years. In extreme circumstances, ultras become connected with hooligan firms and engage in violent confrontations with rival groups. Les Ultras de Montréal are much smaller in scale and influence, and don’t seem to advocate a certain political ideology, but the feeling of solidarity is palpable, the same as any street protest. The group started in 2002, according to Daniel NahmiasLeonard, one of the co-founders of the Ultras. I spoke to him a few blocks south of Saputo Stadium at Bar 99 on Hochelaga. The Ultras meet up here before every home game for a few libations and to get ready for the match. During big games, the Ultras walk en masse to the stadium chanting and lighting flares as they go (which is very much worth watching on YouTube). Nahmias-Leonard is excited about the Impact’s upcoming promotion to the Major League Soccer in 2012, which he sees as giving the club a higher profile in a hockey-mad town. “We’re still fringe, but we’re a lot less fringe than we were five years ago,” he said. The Ultras always stand in section 114, behind the visiting team’s first- half goal. The staircase leading up to the Ultras section bears a sign that forbids the wearing of scarves, jerseys, or paraphernalia of any kind from the opposing team. Section 114 has no individual seats, because
the Ultras never sit down. Security guards are specifically assigned to monitor the Ultras to extinguish the occasional flare or smoke bomb that appears. A pair of men stand on a small platform, their back to the pitch, and scream through megaphones to lead the Ultras through chants. Section 114 is almost exclusively male, although a few girlfriends and
children belt out chants as well. A full fifteen minutes of the first half had elapsed before the Ultras stopped chanting – for only about 30 seconds – to catch their collective breath. A deafening and amazing series of call-and-returns peppered the entire game. Pandemonium ensued after each of Montreal’s three goals, repeated and sustained. And last week’s game, according to
Nahmias-Leonard, was a relatively unimportant match, as the Impact has secured its spot in the league’s playoffs. The Impact’s final home game before the start of the playoffs is Sunday, October 3 at Saputo Stadium. Meet up at Bar 99 an hour before the match to drink and walk to the game with the Ultras.
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Political games The Daily interviews sportswriter Dave Zirin about politics in sports
n September 21, QPIRG Concordia hosted a panel discussion called “The Politics of Sports” featuring speakers Meg Hewings, who writes the blog hockeydykeincanada.ca and discusses queer issues in sports, and Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine and writer of the blog edgeofsports.com which discusses socio-economic political issues in sports. The Daily interviewed Zirin a few days after the event. For a full transcript of the interview, go to mcgilldaily.com. The McGill Daily: As someone who looks at the politics in sports critically, what do you think is the role of sports media in covering these issues? Dave Zirin: Unfortunately, far too much sports media has been reduced to basically either cheerleading for teams or exposing the various scandals of athletes. It sort of flows back and forth from the banal to the salacious and this underserves sports in two ways. I am a big believer that sports is like art, and it’s beautiful, and that it can stand for some really lyrical writing and I think writing itself has become in some ways debased in sports writing. But, the bigger issue is that sports isn’t just sports anymore. We need to have sports writers who can understand the incredible impact that sports plays on our economy, on our culture, how we relate to one another – these are big issues that require real analysis and real debate and real discussion, and my experience is that there is an audience of people that actually wants to have that discussion, and I think sports media underserves that audience pretty dramatically. MD: You spoke on this a little bit the other night at the panel discussion, but why do you think there is a schism between leftist thought and sports? DZ: I think that there is a thought among a lot of people on the left that sports is a distraction from things that are really important. It’s a view most associated with Noam Chomsky. There is so much in sports that has nationalism, racism, sexism, homophobia,…that people on the left who are understandably repulsed by all of that and say, “this is not for me.” I think that’s problematic for a couple of reasons. One is that that’s not all sports is – it’s not all reactionary refuse. There’s a lot of beauty in sports, there’s a lot of fun in sports, there’s a lot of joy in sports, which I don’t think the people on
the left should reject. I also think there are a lot of political issues in sports that are very, very, shades, of grey – that are very combative, very interesting, that people on the left should engage with. One of the examples is the possible funding of the Nordiques stadium. Do we really want the terms of the debate to be the people on the right say, “We want the Nordiques,” and the mainstream says, “We want the Nordiques,” and people on the left say, “No we don’t?” No, there are different ways to have this debate, like calling for partial public ownership of the Nordiques, or not just socializing the debt, but also socializing and not privatizing the profits. These are the debates that people who see themselves as progressives should want to strive to engage with. MD: Why do you think publiclyfunded stadiums continue to be built across North America when it has been proven to be a bad idea over and over again in the past? DZ: Yeah, it has proven to be a bad idea, but they are getting less subsidies now than they were getting ten years ago because of the preponderance of data that has come in. The second thing is that you’re right – they are still getting built in some areas and that’s because I think first of all, owners lie. Look down at the recent leaked documents from Major League Baseball and that’s proof positive. It’s right there – people can see it. They lie about how much profit they make, they threaten to move their teams, and then they extort our towns and municipalities. MD: The other night at the panel discussion, you spoke of the current business model of a lot of sports teams that inflate ticket and concession prices. Do you think this business practice is alienating major portions of their fan base and do you think this is sustainable for the long-term health of professional sports teams? DZ: We’re in a period where the fan is being alienated, but it’s not reflecting itself in the bottom line – the dollars – because fans aren’t as crucial to whether or not a team makes profit as they used to be. This used to be a kind of intrinsic mechanism or failsafe for sports, where if an owner didn’t put forward a good product or look like they were attempting to do so, their team would lose money and it would be a disaster. But now what we’re dealing with is that owning a sports team is like having a license to print money because of stadium
Writers Dave Zirin (right) and Meg Hewings (left) speak at an event hosted by QPIRG Concordia. construction, but also because of sweetheart cable deals, and because of luxury boxes, and personal seat licenses. My concern is owners are maxing out short-term profit at the expense of long-term health of their sport. That’s the key kind of point there that we’ve got to make when we talk about this. This isn’t just about criticizing owners; it’s about making sure there’s an attractive sports venue that I can pass on to my kids. Right now it’s becoming a little bit noxious. MD: You are one of the few journalists that cover sports politically and you bring to light a lot of important issues. Do you think that these opinions will ever become mainstream or do you think it will always be kind of a minority fringe opinion in the media’s coverage of sports? DZ: I don’t consider it a minority fringe opinion. There have been protests in seventeen different ballparks protesting against Arizona’s [immigration] laws. That’s not a fringe opinion. The majority of the United States now opposes public funding for stadiums. That’s not a fringe opinion. Sure, it is certainly a minority in media coverage, but at the same time when I was in town, I was on the CBC, on the rotation on ESPN, my latest book that came out was with a bigger publisher.
Photos courtesy of QPIRG Concordia
That’s not to be braggadocious at all. It’s not me – I don’t care about that part of it. What I care is that they wouldn’t be coming for these ideas unless they thought that I had an audience and that’s what I feel like is there. I think the audience is underserved, but at a point it’s going to take the fans themselves to
The Daily is looking for bi-weekly Sports columnists. We’re looking for columns with an interesting critical look at sports. Submit a one page candidate statement detailing the overall theme of your column with three writing samples: two general samples and a sample column (what your column would look like). Deadline October 1 at 11:59 p.m. Contact email@example.com with questions.
be active and demanding this stuff. I think the more active we are, and the more visible we are – and we are big, but we are not visible – the more visible we are, the more likely it is that editors will respond to the kind of writing that we do. —compiled by Eric Wen
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
The streets want eats Ban on street food vendors leaves a bad taste in the mouth Kate McGillivray Culture Writer
n the gastronomic paradise that is Montreal, only one thing is missing: street meat. Hot dog stands, common sights on the street corners of so many North American cities, are nowhere to be found. In fact, with the exception of the ice cream pushcarts in parks and at Tam-Tams, you will be hardpressed to find any kind of street food here. Street food isn’t allowed in Montreal, and hasn’t been for more than 60 years. Buying and eating food in the street is fun and convenient, everybody knows that. So why on earth would anyone in this fun-loving, food-eating town prevent it? There was a time in Montreal when street vendors sold everything from bananas to baked beans, filling the air with their insistent cries. Maybe it was all this yelling, but in
1947 Montreal began cracking down on the mobile food vendors that jostled for space on city sidewalks by creating health and safety bylaws that effectively cleared the streets. That decision was challenged – and upheld – in 2003 when a city commission studied the issue and decided mobile food vending shouldn’t be allowed in Montreal, period. They conducted a series of hearings – asking everyone from the owner of the hot dog serving Montreal Pool Room to the Quebec Restaurant Association – what they thought. The results were close to unanimous: street vendors, they decided, are hard to monitor, compete with restaurants, and are inconsistent with the image of Montreal as a
classy and charming place. This last idea was echoed in a 2009 report on food in Montreal by Al-Jazeera, the Arab-language news network. It quoted a Montreal food writer suggesting francophones preferred to savour and linger over their meals, while implying – with a hint of snarkiness – that anglophones ate more quickly, and wouldn’t mind scarfing a hot dog on the street; “Food is just food in English Canada. In Quebec food is like holy material and that’s a very French thing.” The city’s insistence to keep street food off the streets seems to say something about Montreal’s attempt to prove its culinary scene is world-class. Not everyone has taken the lack of street food lying down. Fed up, a Montreal restaurant owner named Ahmed Trabelsi took the law into his own hands when, in 2002, he set
up an illicit hot dog stand in a downtown square. For one glorious hour, he fed the hungry midday throngs the perfect al fresco lunch. After the cops descended and shut him down for not having a permit, CTV News
truck that sells duck confit tacos can’t change the mind of the powers that be, what can? When I asked at the permit counter at the borough office of Plateau-Mont-Royal, the clerk seemed genuinely con-
“[The lawmakers] are imbeciles... Everyone in the world has a right to sell hot dogs.” Ahmed Trabelsi Vigilante vendor
quoted Trabelsi as saying: “They are imbeciles… Everyone in the world has a right to sell hot dogs.” Not to mention tacos. The Montreal Mirror recently profiled a couple of professional chefs trying to get their taco truck legally on the streets. Unfortunately, they’ve gotten tangled up in red tape: neither the boroughs nor the city will grant them the permits they need to hit the streets. If a
fused about why street food isn’t permitted. Making vague gestures at health and safety, he then trailed off, citing the long history of the rule as the strongest reason for its ongoing enforcement. Street food is fun, handy, and encourages people to spend time outside and participate in public life. In fact, having tasty hot dogs or tacos for sale on every corner seems much more in keeping with Montreal’s epicurean joie de vivre than in conflict with it. It’s also rather difficult to believe that a few food carts around town could really threaten the thriving restaurant scene, especially considering that pretty much every other city in North America seems to pull off having both. Our food scene is amazing, but the city’s refusal to grant permits to vendors seems paranoid and, to the drunk and hungry staggering home at 3 a.m., downright sadistic.
Tsui is also displaying his “Spectral Residues” alongside “Horror Fables.” These are painted apparitions on the walls, embellished with smoke stains from matches. These paintings are more ethereal than the manga-influenced “Horror Fables” and depict faceless ghosts that appear to be coming out of the wall toward the observer. The inspiration for “Spectral Residue” came as a mistake when Tsui was at art school. Painting on large sheets of rice paper pinned to a wall, he did not notice the paint bleeding through onto the wall until he took down his art weeks later. The paint on the wall had created dreamy, translucent faces with hollow eyes, and shapeless bodies floating, “as if looking into clouds.” The smoke stains lengthen the ghosts and obscure
their full shape to the observer, encouraging them to look deeper into their misty forms. Burnt matchsticks on the floor below draw attention to Tsui’s process, and serve as a little homage to the mistake that created the technique. “Horror Fables” presents its audience with a world of horror, dark comedy, and strange new characters from a childhood unknown to many in the West. These characters are both violent and have violence inflicted upon them. In the end, however, the landscape in which they dwell is lighthearted, captivating the audience with its absence of the financial and political fears of today.
Stacey Wilson for The McGill Daily
Monster mash The traditional takes on the contemporary in Howie Tsui’s art Evelyn Stanley Culture Writer
here is a Japanese folk tale about a man long ago, who took a concubine when his first wife became very sick. Overcome by jealousy in her dying moments, the first wife clutched onto the breasts of the concubine. After her death, no one could remove the hands from the chest of the younger girl, and so they had to be amputated from the dead wife’s body. Only between one and four in the morning would the hands leave the concubine, crawling away from her body like spiders and returning at dawn. Macabre tales such as these are the stuff of Howie Tsui’s art. Tsui, who was born in Hong Kong but grew up in Nigeria and Thunder
Bay, Ontario, introduces a host of unearthly and oftentimes unsettling characters to those who view his work. His latest exhibition, “Horror Fables” satirizes today’s climate of fear, whether it be of war, disease, or economic decline. The majority of Tsui’s “Horror Fables” is acrylic painting, embellished with ink, tea, and smoke stains on canvas. Tsui’s Chinese upbringing is apparent in his work, which takes inspiration from Asian folklore, Buddhist hell scrolls, Hong Kong vampire movies, and imagery from the Sino-Japanese war. Into the mix, Tsui blends family ghost stories from their time in Hong Kong, living in an allegedly haunted apartment complex. “There is definitely a familial oral history I am sneaking into these paintings,” said Tsui, pointing out in one painting his great grand-
father, who escaped the Chinese Cultural Revolution in a shipping container, along with many others. The canvasses on which “Horror Fables” are painted create a dreamy landscape that depicts – among other scenes – vampires devouring humans, giants perched on top of tall mountains in the clouds, and a never-ending stream of bodies being washed down a river of blood into hell. Disturbing? For Tsui, the scenes in his work “re-examine experiences of fear during childhood,” thus the final experience of his art is not actually one of horror. As the title of the exhibition suggests, the monsters depicted in “Horror Fables” are not real. They are the stuff of children’s ghost stories, whispered in the dark at slumber parties, or told by a favourite uncle at family reunions.
“Horror Fables” is on display at MAI (3680 Jeanne-Mance) with free entrance until October 16.
Compendium! Lies, half-truths, and irony
The McGill Daily | Monday, September 27, 2010 | mcgilldaily.com
Hipsters under attack at McGill and Pedestrian Safety, regarding the recent campus-wide bike ban. A heated debate ensued between the minority Cyclists and the majority Pedestrians. In a bid to end the upheaval, Principal Beather Hunroe-Mlum offered the concession that, henceforth, only fixed gear bicycles (known as “fixies” in Hipsterspeak) would be banned from campus. Though the Cyclists and Pedestrians were mostly contented with this compromise, a Hipster in the audience accused Hunroe-Mlum of bigoted repression of select students. The principal balked at the suggestion. “When repressing students,” she said, “I’m hardly selective.” A final frightening development is the growing academic discrimination against Hipsters, indicated by the elimination of Humanistic Studies. The beloved program, established in 1970s, was axed this September. Defined as “the study of what it means to be human,” one Manthony Assi was overheard expressing his doubt that Hipsters even qualified as “human:” “Them studying humanness is ironic, isn’t it?” he was recorded as saying. Hipsterphobia aside, when pressed by this reporter on McGill’s apparent intolerance for the Hipster creed’s foremost tenet – irony – Provost Assi declined to comment. Even among students, it is not all solidarity, sunshine, and butterflies. One undergraduate naysayer,
Yael Luxemburg The McGill Daily
cGill University is facing charges of actively suppressing student life on campus. Same old, same old? There is, in fact, more to these allegations than first meets the eye. Until now, the various University-sanctioned crackdowns of September 2010 have been assumed to be unrelated. Fortunately, the admin’s web of deceit will be unravelled in this exclusive exposé. McGill has embarked on a new, exhaustive, and terrifying mission to target one particular historically and systemically oppressed McGill minority group: the Hipsters. This September brought the simultaneous demise of the last two Hipster shrines at McGill: the Architecture Café, and – less publicly, but equally as significant – the infamous Blackader library, which was subjected to Cybertèquization over the summer break. Where will the Hipsters go now? McGill has not limited itself to simply destroying the natural habitats of Hipsters. Their egregious and systematic targeting of this minority group also includes new limitations on traditional Hipster modes of transportation. On Thursday, September 23, McGill University Services and SSMU cohosted an open forum on Cycling
who requested to remain anonymous, asserted that to even maintain the aforementioned institutions was tantamount to affording the Hipster minority “special status and privileges.” Echoing Mortono Fendelson’s now-infamous quote, the anonymous naysayer felt that the government of McGill should not be subsidizing the lunches of “some students.” Driven out of their homelands, surviving McGill Hipsters are seeking temporary refuge in the GIC (Geographic Information Center). Members of the international community have offered interim support: the Republic of Mile End will be opening its borders to all asylumseekers. At a press conference, RME President Leonard Cohen, took a jab at McGill: “A quota on Hipsters? What’s next? A quota on Jews?!” [Ed: Oh wait, they did that already!] A press release is also expected from the United States of St. Henri, which has a burgeoning Hipster expatriate community. Insiders note that the existence of McGill protectorate Solin Hall (colonized on United States of St. Henri land in 1990) will complicate any forthcoming foreign policy decisions. Westmount and the McGill Ghetto have closed all immigration checkpoints, indefinitely. Architecture Café. Blackader. Humanistic Studies. Bicycles. “Regular students” have been commended for rallying around the clo-
Give me an R! 2
A photo of a refugee Hipster, in front of Islamic Studies. sure of the Architecture Café, but we have all neglected to connect the crackdown-dots. The closure of the Architecture Café is a symp-
Miss Nomer 1
Télésphore Sansouci | The McGill Daily
Marginalized ethnic group losing ground on campus fast
55 59 62 65
1. Assist in a robbery 5. Small 28-Acrosses 9. Gear teeth 13. Woman with a breakfast chain 14. Russian mountain range 15. Less false 16. Place to pitch a tent when sore? 18. Itty-____ 19. Printing measures 20. Second tones in a scale 21. Une espèce d’arbre 23. Appeared to be 25. Causing avoidance 27. Just OK 28. Untruths 29. Snake-like fish 30. Equestrian 33. 180’s 36. Contest among the highest cards of a particular suit? 38. Charm 40. Slang for a game of chance 41. Belonging to that guy 42. Fans of certain genre of music 44. Church area 48. Au naturel 51. Aspect 53. Smooth and shiny 54. Informal 64-Acrosses 55. Cabernet, e.g. 56. Common Roman citizens
tom of a much bigger problem: the McGill administration’s treatment of Hipsters. We will not stand for this. We are all Hipsters now.
57. Cardiac pulse during muggy period? 60. Unsettling 61. Re-read for errors 62. Bad day for Caesar 63. “Hey, over here” 64. Soccer ____ 65. Newborn bird’s home
34. Egyptian king 35. German submarine 36. Livestock stealers 37. Trig ratio 38. Fish in a sushi restaurant 39. Socializes at a party 43. Utter chaos 45. These occur on holidays, like Canada Day 46. Sifters 47. Firstborn 49. Action done on a regular basis 50. Latin 101 verb 51. Pub game 52. Montreal time zone 54. Injure 56. Liveliness 58. Tokyo, formerly 59. Be victorious
Down 1. You gain this by entering a password 2. Pacific island 3. Wipes out 4. When doubled, a Sunday event 5. Welded 6. Eye part 7. Nocturnal mammal 8. Part of a shirt 9. Rappers’ houses 10. Extreme deviations from the mean 11. Take your revenge 12. Apology in a text 15. Tremblant transport 17. Suffix meaning before 22. Conclusion 24. Lesson learned from a fable 25. Movement of wind 26. Chicago railway systems 28. Summer Zodiac sign 31. H2O state 32. Dissuades
Solution to “Happy autumnal equinox” A L A R
N O T E
I C O N
S O M E T B E F I A N I M D E S E G M T E A S E N S H I L N U B I A L I S P A S T
N E W A A R T S E R T Y E S E T L Y A T E
C O M B O
E V I L
P I N K
L E F T Y
S L A Y
H A R E
P A R E E T A H R I I C A A E T A L V A E S S
A G O N E L A W F U L
B A L E E N
A M I R
S M O G
E A S Y
O P T I E N R E I Y I A R K E I S
R O O D S
M E N S H
N E E M
G A P S
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