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VOL. 2 ISSUE 18 | MARCH 23 2010 NEWS AND CULTURE FOR THE STUDENTS OF KWANTLEN POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY


page two | March 23 2010 | vol. 2 issue 18

NEWS & POLITICS

CANADIAN UNIVERSITY PRESS

The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca

AROUND KWANTLEN

Talking Canada’s role in torture Canadians and their impact on the government’s approach to human rights violations [MEGAN RAFTIS] [THE CORD]

WATERLOO, Ont. (CUP) — As more Canadians protest the conditions of persons detained by the U.S. government, Andrew Thompson believes it’s a hopeful sign that human rights are starting to limit the ways in which a state can treat individuals. Thompson — global governance program officer at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ont. — was a panellist last weekend in a discussion Canada’s role in torture in Afghanistan at the University of Waterloo. He cited the treatment of Omar Khadr and Maher Arar as cases that are getting Canadians to speak out against torture. The event, sponsored by the Kitchener-Waterloo Anti-Torture Coalition, brought together members from universities

and the community to hear experts speak on the topic of “Confronting the Darkness: Canadian Complicity in Torture in Afghanistan.” This discussion followed a rally held March 3 on the steps of Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid’s office, which demanded “a full independent public inquiry into Canadian complicity in torture in Afghanistan,” said Luke Stuart, co-ordinator of both the protest and the panel discussion. In spite of logistical and technological difficulties, the words and message of Amir Attaran — Canada Research Chair in law, population health and global development policy at the University of Ottawa — was clear to the audience, in spite of the fact that he was unable to attend the event personally. “Torture has become part of our political culture,” he said in a pre-recorded message. “Canada has not tortured anyone directly; what they have done is hand over detainees to known torturers.” Attaran went on to claim that one is as bad as the other. “We are now in the ugly situation,

fellow citizens, that our country has engaged in war crimes.” Panellist Aislinn Clancy, from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture in Toronto, spoke from the experience of having worked extensively with refugees who have escaped from countries where torture is common. “A lot of the racism and post9-11 mentalities in Canada can lead to abuses of people coming from war-torn countries,” said Clancy. Throughout the discussion, the panellists stressed, particularly in response to audience questions, the importance of citizens speaking up and reaching out to their local politicians. “When people become complacent about human rights, we invite the government to abuse them,” stated Thompson. Clancy added that it was crucial for politicians to know that Canadians stand against torture. “It’s important for the Canadian government to be vocal (against torture abroad) because we’re seen as one of the leaders in this area globally.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT KWANTLEN

MAR

24

2010

Music at Midweek WHERE: Langley Campus Auditorium WHEN: 12:15pm WHAT: A free concert during your lunch break. Could it get any better? Listen to Kwantlen’s Percussion Ensemble, directed by Bob Caldwell

MAR

24 2010

COMIC

The Composers’ Concert WHERE: Langley Campus Auditorium WHEN: 7:30pm WHAT: Come out and listen to an evening of original compositions by the talented students of Kwantlen’s music department

MAR

KSA Executive Board Meeting

26

WHERE: Surrey Campus - KSA Office

2010

WHEN: 10:30am WHAT: Come out to the KSA’s Executive Board meeting and have your thoughts and opinions on issues affecting you heard.

GLEN O’NEILL // THE MARTLET

HOME OWNERSHIP

In pursuit of property: young adult interest in homeownership doubled

MAR

26

2010

Fundraiser for disaster relief in Chile WHERE: Foggy Dew pub, Richmond (7331 Westminister Hwy) WHEN: 6:00pm - 11:00pm

[ALEXANDRA BOSANAC] [THE EYEOPENER]

TORONTO (CUP) — You may still be experiencing the joys of rent cheques and cranky landlords, but some young adults are prepping to make the leap to mortgages. The results of the 17th annual Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Homeownership Study released this month show that 15 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 are “very likely” to buy property in the next two years — almost doubling the eight per cent who were so interested last year. Anneke Cundasawmy, an Ottawa realtor, insists that owning a home while still young is possible because she’s done it herself — she bought her first property at 24. “You can come up with down payment money somehow, and you buy a property before you go into first year. . . . Why not have

your roommates be picked by you and have them pay your mortgage for you?” Cundasawmy said it’s possible some of the respondents in the survey bypassed university all together and don’t have to worry about paying student loans. They might have gone into the trades, where the potential to earn money fast is greater. And then some people are born lucky. One of her colleagues inherited a trust on his 18th birthday, and instead of blowing it or investing in the stock market, he chose real estate. Toronto mortgage broker Romy Alegria has heard of young adults having their parent cosign on a mortgage, but to qualify for a mortgage, banks usually still need to see that the applicant has worked in the same field for at least three years and has built a good credit history. Alegria recommends

students saddled with debt would be better off paying off their loans first and take a few years to save money. “Save some money, live with your parents, put that money aside,” Alegria said. Cundasawmy was able to buy property because of the planning she did very early on. “I had five jobs when I was in my undergrad. You do what you’re committed to doing. .” “My view is that at 18, it’s just not in the cards. Who can put down a healthy down payment at 18 years old?” said Shannon Donaghey, a secondyear business management student at Ryerson University. Renting does have its advantages. Being a tenant allows for a certain degree of wiggle room — why get locked into a 15 year plus mortgage if you’re not certain about your current career path? In the current job market, there’s a distinct possibility that you might move around.

WHAT: The Vancouver Genocide and Human Rights Group, created by Kwantlen psychology students, is hosting a pub night to raise funds for disaster relief in Chile. Tickets are $15 and include a beer, burger and tip. Must be 19+ to attend.

MAR

29 2010

TownShift Public Forum WHERE: Surrey - Cedar Building Conference Centre WHEN: 7:00pm WHAT: Where do we go from here? Panel discussion and public dialogue on using and applying the TownShift competition ideas the revision of Surrey suburban to urban.


NEWS & POLITICS

www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner

vol. 2 issue 18 | March 23 2010 | page three

THE ELECTION

FREE SPEECH

Want to talk to government? Too bad.

The Results: Student Board of Governors and Senate 2010

This is Matt, the Runner’s political columnist. He is not happy that P.M. Harper is making even more effort to censor free speech and the media.

Just over a 100 of you voted Kwantlen. So without further ado, here are the results of the 2010 student election for Board of Governors and Senate. [CHRIS YEE] [STUDENT AFFAIRS BUREAU CHIEF]

Elections for student Senate and Board of Governors representative took place on Mar. 11-15, with students being able to vote through Kwantlen’s Web portal, MyKwantlen.ca. According to the Kwantlen Senate’s website, the Senate is “the senior academic governing body at Kwantlen Polytechnic University,” responsible for “the approval of credentials, advising [to the Board of Governors] on the priorities of the university and the university budget, and selection of honorary degree recipients,” as well as setting “curriculum content for programs” and handling student appeals. There are four student representative positions on Senate, each for a one-year term from Sep. 1 to Aug. 31 the following year. The Board of Governors, working with Kwantlen’s President & Vice Chancellor, is responsible for setting “the direction for the

>>

IN BRIEF

University” and “monitoring its progress” toward its goals as a “teaching-led” university, as well as “representing the university to its owners through community events” (among other duties listed on the Board of Governors’ website). There are two student representative positions on the Board of Governors, also for a one-year term from Sep. 1 to Aug. 31.

“While there was perhaps a fair share of incumbents running, some candidates were entirely new – Mae Velasco, of the Kwantlen Runner, had decided to run for Senate while working on a story on the Senate’s need for more committee members” Six students ran for Senate representative - Matthew DiMera, Vanessa Knight, Ken McIntyre, Derek Robertson, Josephine Thom, and Mae Velasco. Four ran for the student positions on the Board of Governors - Matthew DiMera, Ryan Keigher, Vanessa Knight, and Derek Robertson. Ken McIntyre (38 votes), Vanessa Knight (39 votes),

[NATSUMI OYE] [CURRENT EVENTS BUREAU CHIEF]

Another province needed? Does Canada need another province? Conservative MPP, Bill Murdoch thinks so. Murdoch wants Toronto to become its own province, according to cbc.ca. Murdoch’s plans would see those living in the Greater Toronto Area remaining part of Ontario, “while Toronto becomes its own province.” Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak can see where Murdoch is coming from, but doesn’t agree with his stance, reported cbc.ca.

Mae Velasco (45 votes), and Derek Robertson (49 votes) won the contest for Senate representative, while Matthew DiMera (26 votes) and Josephine Thom (33 votes) were left out. Derek Robertson (37 votes) and Ryan Keigher (54 votes) were elected to the Board of Governors, leaving out Matthew DiMera (22 votes) and Vanessa Knight (24 votes).

Hockey to re-examine head injurys Hits to the head and the consequences of concussions have been splattered across the news lately, calling for a change to National Hockey League rules. The NHL is now looking at how these changes can be fast-tracked, according to thestar.com. One of the changes recommended was a minor or major penalty for “blindside hits to the head,” according to the report. These hits would also “be subject to supplemental discipline.”

Ligert, BC Ferries worker charged with sinking, to appear in court Charges for criminal negligence causing death have been laid in the deaths of two passengers of the Queen of the North, which sunk in 2006, according to Canada.com. Karl Ligert, a BC Ferries worker, was charged last week and will appear in court again on April 14th, according to the report. He is the only one being charged at this time, although BC Ferries fired two other staff members along with Ligert after the incident.

While there was perhaps a fair share of incumbents running (Robertson and Thom had held positions on Senate before), some candidates were entirely new – Mae Velasco, of the Kwantlen Runner, had decided to run for Senate while working on a story on the Senate’s need for more committee members (and in an email interview, had mentioned she was “not really

intending to.”) Derek Robertson used Facebook to promote his (successful) candidacy for re-election to the Senate and re-election to the Board of Governors, along with Ryan Keigner’s Board of Governors candidacy and Ken McIntyre’s candidacy for Senate. The groups have and members , respectively, and the groups sent regular Facebook message updates to their members. So, where to from here? The Runner had sent email interviews to find out what the candidates would like to see done and would like to promote as student representatives, and in turn received a variety of responses: extended reading breaks; more classes being provided more often; greater student involvement and awareness surrounding “student issues,” as Vanessa Knight stated in her response; or simply “more opportunities with research, financial support... a better university experience“, as Ryan Keigher envisioned in his response.

ENVIRONMENT

Earth Hour: Coming to a planet near you

D TO

[ABBY WISEMAN] [ENVIRONMENTAL BUREAU CHIEF]

1.

It’s nearing the end of March and we all know what that means. Earth Hour! The one day a year where those who are globally-minded, environmentally conscious and enthusiastic about candles turn out their lights for one full hour. Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has quickly grown to become a global event backed by such environmental activists as Al Gore. If you’re on the fence as to why you should participate in Earth Hour, here are some good reasons.

O’S

You’ll be making a personal statement to those in power that you won’t stand for climate change.

2.

You’ll be involved in something bigger than yourself.

3.

It’s an excuse to tell ghost stories like you’re a kid again….don’t act like you don’t want to.

4.

You don’t have to leave the house to do it.

5.

Lights out, candles….. need I say more? So write it down! Earth Hour 8:30-9:30pm on Saturday, March 27.

[MATT LAW] [HEALTH BUREAU CHIEF ]

Last week, I was forced by our current government to question why I was spending thousands of dollars on an education in journalism. If journalists can’t answer a question and get a legitimate response then what is the point of being a journalist? The latest move to create a completely non-transparent government by the federal Conservative party and PM Stephen Harper is completely ridiculous. Harper is effectively blocking Environment Canada scientists from speaking to the media. I had heard nothing about this until I opened the Vancouver Sun last Monday and read an article by Mike De Souza which referenced a 2007 government document regarding new rules to keep scientists quiet. A statement made by Andrew Cuddy after the Climate Action Network investigated the document attacked the Harper government on their policy towards climate change, “all [documents] point to the government trying to undermine climate science research,” said Cuddy in the Vancouver Sun article. Of course, I had to Google this to find out more about it. This led me to a 2008 story in the National Post by Margaret Munrow. “Researchers have been told to refer all media queries to Ottawa. The media office then asks reporters to submit their questions in writing. Sources say researchers are then asked to respond in writing to the media office, which then sends the answers to senior management for approval. If a researcher is eventually cleared to do an interview, he or she is instructed to stick to the approved lines,” wrote Munrow. If this isn’t a case of the government wanting media control I don’t know what is. In fact this reeks of the George-W-Bush-style scripted town hall forums, which saw every question carefully approved by the administration before it was asked in front of a public audience. This style of media control doesn’t even allow for valid journalism to occur. If all journalist get from asking questions is a scripted, edited and approved response then what is the point of asking the question in the first place? If Stephen Harper and the Conservative party continue to destroy what little transparency there is in government with controversies like this or the Afghan detainee issue then Canadians need to think very carefully the next time we go to the polls.


NEWS & POLITICS

page four | March 23 2010 | vol. 2 issue 18

The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca

FASHION FIRST

Kwantlen’s got talent: Carlie Wong Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Design Grad has been blazing the fashion trail for the past four years including landing a spot on Project Runway Canada and launching her own line. The Runner caught up with Carlie to ask her a few questions about life post-grad. [KASSANDRA LINKLATER/ MAE VELASCO] [NEWS EDITOR/ ARTS AND DESIGN BUREAU CHIEF]

C

arlie Wong has been very successful since her graduation in 2006. She appeared in the hit television show Project Runway Canada’s first season in 2007, becoming the youngest of twelve finalists. After being eliminated in the sixth episode, Wong went on to be one of four Project Runway Canada contestants to show a collection at Toronto Fashion Week in March of 2008. When asked what motivated her to join the show, she responded “My own arrogance, and the thought of why not?” Ever since then, it has been an unending journey for Wong. This wasn’t the end of it for her. Her charm and determination brought a fulfilled dream of having her own clothing line ‘Carlie Wong.’ She continued working in the industry for a while before starting her own label. “The more I worked for others, the more I realized I hated doing that,” says Wong. Her elegance, passion, and grace is displayed within her own clothing line. Wong’s collection presents the modern, sophisticated women in today’s world. According to her bio, Wong’s own line aims to be “ designed for the confident woman who expresses herself through femininity, sophistication and a desire for everyday luxury.” Wong herself is quoted to “not own a pair of jeans,” instead opting to look her best everyday. “In short, the journey has been incredibly stress filled. I’ve been flying blind for the most part, but am fortunate to have people in the industry I can trust.”

GIRLS!

Grrrls, Grrrls, Grrrls Portraits rooted in feminist and punk-rock ideologies

[LEAH WERIER] [THE MANITOBAN]

WINNIPEG (CUP) — In 1991, Kathleen Hanna wrote that riot grrrl came to be “because we are angry at a society that tells us girls = dumb, girls = bad, girls = weak,” in The Riot Grrrl Manifesto. Hanna was the lead singer of Bikini Kill, an all-female lineup of punk rockers who, in the same year, self-released a cassette entitled Revolution Girl Style Now. The motto was quickly embraced by the riot grrrl movement. They called for women to create their own scene; to revolutionize music, art and writing in an entirely “girl power” way. They moved feminism out of the ivory tower and into the underground music scene of Washington, D.C. Echoes of the riot grrrl cry resonate in Show Grrrl, a wildly expressive portrait of a woman with deep auburn hair and a hot pink boa over her shoulders. In one hand dangles a lit cigarette, the other flashes a perfectly manicured middle finger to the viewer. Done in an illustrative style

using vivid colours, this Show Grrrl assaults the very notions of “girls = weak.” The portrait hangs alongside 10 other highly-stylized oil paintings of in-your-face women as part of the show Iron Maidens by Winnipeg artist Arlea Ashcroft. Rather than referring to torture chambers, the exhibition title reflects the defiant personalities that these women embody. “Iron Maidens sort of said it all,” says Ashcroft. “Most of the chicks in the portraits are all in the music scene. They are all rock girls.” As such, it comes as no surprise that Ashcroft has been involved in the Winnipeg music scene, playing guitar for the (recently defunct) all-female punk band Shrimp. “It depends who you talk to — a lot of people could look at these ladies as medieval torture devices, but it’s more about the music thing. It’s more about an attitude. You know, these are women of iron. They are not just your fair maidens. They are not your typical portrait of femininity at its finest, lavender flowers. These women rip the heads off of flowers,” says Ashcroft.

Through hand gestures, facial expressions and body language, these portraits assault traditional representations of women in art. “There are enough pictures of women in the history of painting — particularly portrait work — of shy smiles, coy grins, little looksies, seductresses, slutty whores, let’s say; and I wanted to have a fighting attitude,” says Ashcroft. She does just that. There are no smiles to be seen in Iron Maidens — only raised fists and mouths caught mid-scream. With visible brushstrokes, there are women in white dresses wearing gas masks, “ready for battle” rather than preparing to be the perfect bride. In another work, Ashcroft interprets perfect matrimony through a portrait without a face; it is a cropped image of a woman below the belt with a man’s tattooed arm resting suggestively on her thigh. “I sorted through photos that I had taken of her at a bar one night and the thing that I liked about this particular shot is that her husband’s hand is

in there and you can see their wedding ring. And so to me that is some sort of punk-rock wedding bliss,” says Ashcroft. Many of the works in the collection are highly personal images of the artist’s friends. Because of this closeness, Ashcroft was able to capture heightened moments in which her subjects are displaying emotions nakedly. Whether they are screaming at the top of their lungs or ferociously glaring outward, the viewer always gets a strong sense of the subject’s character and personality. Ashcroft has celebrated these women and, to her, an Iron Maiden is “someone who speaks their mind, doesn’t take shit and doesn’t become a victim to their own tragedies. Bad things happen to everybody. I wanted to show that these are people who had bad things happen, moved forward and I really admired that skill because sometimes it’s hard . . . but most of these gals, they turn it into a song. They will play it out on the stage, they’ll write it down, they’ll use it, they’ll enrich their lives through their experience, as opposed to shut it down.”


SPORTS

www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner

vol. 2 issue 18 | March 23 2010 | page five

BADMINTON

Kwantlen Varsity Badminton: Medal Rush! [DOMINIC SRAMATY] [SPORTS BUREAU CHIEF]

It’s been a very successful year for the Kwantlen Eagles Men’s and Women’s Badminton teams. The road to success began in Nanaimo at Vancouver Island University during February where the Eagles won second overall with a 14-11 record in the team event at the 2010 BCCAA Provincials. The tournament saw team Wu/ Kwee (Men’s Doubles) win bronze, with team Simard/ Jang(Women’s Doubles) and Rihela/Ly(Mixed Doubles) winning silver. The second place finish at provincials bought a birth into the national championship where the best players from the best CCAA ranked schools were all in attendance. The Eagles were definitely looking for more hardware. The team of Simard and Jang got off to a fantastic start as they won their first four preliminary round matches only to lose to a very good Douglas College team in the fifth round. The duo qualified for semi-finals where they

met with the championship team from Ontario, the Cambrian Dragons. The girls got off to a great start winning the first set 16-21, but tragedy struck. Team power house Michelle Simard injured her ankle near the end of the first set and according to her, had a profound affect on her game. The girls lost the second set 21-11. A birth into the gold medal match came down to the final set where the girls just could not hold on and as a result lost 21-13. However, a bronze medal was still on the line. It definitely looked as though the girls were looking for some reparations for losing in the semi’s. With Simard back to 100 per cent the girls steamrolled past Mount Royal (ACAC) in two sets 24-22, 21-16. The team ended the season with five medals overall; three silver and two bronze. Coach Dave Cruthers is very proud of his team and his hoping to improve even more next season as the team only managed to finish thrd in seasonal play. Cruthers said his main focus is to improve to at least second place.

WOMEN’S HEALTH

women on WEIGHTS

Myth #5 Taking a week off from the gym is not ok [MICHELA FIORIDO] [SPORTS BUREAU CHIEF]

Actually, good news, it’s totally fine and even recommended! However. don’t get too excited and abandon your whole workout schedule for a month. Also, if you just started working out last week and think you deserve a week off then get real. The week off is for those who have been steadily working out for some time now (2-3 months of consistent exercise). A little bit of time off from the gym has many benefits. Firstly, that week off allows for intensive muscle and joint recovery and will prevent you from overtraining your body. Secondly, in that week you build up motivation to hit the gym again faster and harder. You will come to hate the way you feel when you don’t work out and, consequently, you’ll be pumped to hit the gym and you’re likely to see great gains.

COURTESTY OF KWANTLEN ATHELETICS Both the Kwantlen Men’s and Women’s Badminton teams had a great showing at the 2010 BCCAA Provincials. In total, the teams brought home five metals including three silvers.

PUMP IT! Speaking of gains, if you’ve hit a plateau in your workouts, don’t try to force it and bump up your weights to some insane amount - just take a week off! Sometimes the muscle recovery and the newfound motivation is enough to bust your plateau. A week off may also be necessary if you’re sick (nobody wants your nasty sick germs all over the equipment anyways) but seriously don’t go all hypochondriac and create every excuse in the book to avoid working out. Weeks off can and should be planned strategically, in fact this is my week off which happens to fall during a heavy exam and assignment week. This is not a coincidence, however I do wish that my week off was a little more fun. And another thing, if you’re taking a week off, this is not a free pass to sit there in your basement eating pork rinds and cheese puffs while watching reruns of The OC. Maintain your healthy habits, eat well, take the stairs, just be normal! The only difference is you temporarily relieve your body of the pressures and rigors of intensive weightlifting and/or cardio. Before starting any fitness routine, consult a qualified fitness professional.

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From princess to pumped: Procrastination Meet Hayley. Hayley is the Miss B.C. Ambassador. Hayley is also on a mission to win a bet against a fellow classmate. The stakes: eternal glory and her pride. Follow Hayley as she ditches the crown to master the chin-up. [HAYLEY WOODIN] [CONTRIBUTOR]

Deadlines are toxic, whether they’re for a class assignment that’s worth your entire grade or for a chin-up competition. Fortunately, some deadlines can be extended. After conferring with my chin-up opponent, we both agreed that we would push the competition back to Friday, Apr. 16, in order to give us both more time to prepare. Well, mostly to give me more time to prepare. See, we had a minor disagreement over what

constitutes a “proper” chin-up. He argued that you have to start with your arms fully extended, while I said that it is perfectly acceptable to begin in a chin-up position and end like that. He won the debate, but I got my much-needed extension so I’m calling it even. Last week’s goal was to actually start practicing full-on chin-up. I had thought that I was making progress, but seeing as my methods have been “incorrect,” apparently I haven’t been doing too well. As of right now, I can hold myself in a chin-up position

without any support for a decent amount of time. I can also lower myself in a slow and controlled manner without my arms giving way. But my efforts seem to be strengthening me in all aspects other than the single most requisite to executing a chinup: What I need to work on is pulling myself up. The clock is ticking, and I have less than a month left to perform a minimum of two chin-ups if I want to stand a chance against my competitor. So let’s try this again: Next stop, working on the actual chin-ups.

FREE FOOD FREE DRINKS FREE MEETING Every Friday at 2:00 pm Runner Office: #205 - 12877 76 Ave. Surrey, B.C.

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EDITORIAL

www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner

THE RUNNER The Runner is student owned and operated by Kwantlen Polytechnic University students, published under Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society.

OPINION: SPRING BREAK

Spring break at Kwantlen: No Miami Beach? Should Kwantlen offer an extended reading break for next year? One writer shares their personal thoughts.

Vol. 2, Issue no. 18 March 23, 2009 ISSN# 1916-8241

[BRITTANY TIPLADY]

#205-12877 76 Ave. Surrey, B.C. V3W 1E6 www.runnerrag.ca

EDITORIAL DIVISION: Co-ordinating Editor // Denny Hollick editor@runnerrag.ca Culture Editor // Melissa Fraser culture@runnerrag.ca News Editor // Kassandra Linklater news@runnerrag.ca Production Editor // Cat Yelizarov production@runnerrag.ca Media Editor // Christopher Poon media@runnerrag.ca

BUREAU CHIEFS:

vol. 2 issue 18 | March 23 2010 | page seven

Well, it’s the third week back from the luxurious Olympic “reading break,” and I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m still hung over. Actually, I do know that nearly every Kwantlen student feels the same. Classes are plagued with groggy, bleary eyed, unmotivated students that can barely wrap their heads around the concept of coming to school, let alone mid-terms and looming finals. Sure those two weeks off

were 14 days of alcoholic, Olympic crazed, party central bliss, but in the end, was it really worth it? Let’s be honest, no one actually “read” anything, and the fact that Kwantlen excused the break as such is what I find the most obscene.

“University is no stroll in the garden... a week long reading break would be rather therapeutic...” Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about having the time off, I feel it was just the circumstance of the Vancouver 2010 once-in-a-lifetime Olympic games that being held in lieu of the break, set my motivation back to the speed of

a snail. Coming up to the point of the “reading break,” I could feel my fellow students and I yearning for timeoff, and so in the long run, I don’t think a twoweek extended reading break is an atrocious idea. Considering another Olympics in Vancouver may not be seen in my life again, I don’t think a “reading” break of the same length at Kwantlen each year will be of any disservice to students. Because it wasn’t the break itself that caused my permanent hangover, but the up until 4 A.M., partying with foreigners in the streets for two solid weeks that did me, and everyone else in. University is no stroll in the garden, and a two week reading break next year, hell, even

a week-long reading break, I think would be rather therapeutic for Kwantlen’s hard working student body. Looking around, and all I see is my classmates chugging Red Bull still reminiscing about Olympic festivities, and mumbling a countdown until summer. I can barely stomach the sight of a simple assignment. So if Kwantlen offers an extended “reading” break next spring, I’m thinking I’ll actually crack open my textbook.

>>

Do you have an opinion? We would like to hear it! Maybe you’ll even get paid for it! Email for more info: editor@runnerrag.ca

OPINION: REALITY TV

Arts & Design // Mae Velasco Creative Writing // Jared Vaillancourt Current Events // Natsumi Oye

How real is real? Reality television here to stay

Entertainment // Kristi Jut

[NATSUMI OYE] [CURRENT EVENTS BUREAU CHIEF]

Environmental // Abby Wiseman Health // Matt Law Politics // Jeff Groat Politics // Cole Griffin Sports // Michela Fiorido Dominic Sramaty Student Affairs // Chris Yee Travel // (Vacant)

CONTRIBUTORS: A.D. Gentle, Agatha Entote, Max Hirtz, Ryan Keigher, Steven Ruggles, Brittany Tiplady, Hayley Woodlin,

Love it or hate it, if you watch television you are unlikely to escape the pull of the reality TV phenomenon. The great thing about reality TV is that there are shows for everyone from dancers to singers, to fishers, to bakers. The not so great thing? You never really know how real what you’re watching actually is. The newly engaged Bachelor Jake Pavelka and his fiancé, Vienna Girardi, were on Ellen a few episodes ago and Girardi

commented that Ellen’s use of the word “edited” was very appropriate in describing a scene on the show where she is shown sneaking out to see Jake. When Lauren Conrad announced that she was leaving The Hills, she said that she was tired of having two birthday parties, one for the show, and one for all of her friends who aren’t on the show. She has friends who aren’t on the show? Her life isn’t actually exactly how it appears on MTV? People, for the most part, seem to be aware that what they see labeled as reality TV isn’t actually “reality” as we know it. So why bother watching it? Society seems to get a twisted sense of pleasure when they

watch someone fail. Thinking back to American Idol beginnings, William Hung gathered many laughs and applause not because he was a good singer, but because he was so ridiculously awful people couldn’t help but laugh, and couldn’t not watch. It has been eight years since the first season of American Idol, which paved the way for shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, and 10 years since the first episode of Survivor, the show that made reality TV cool. Reality TV has since taken on a life of its own. If you tuned into the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars on Monday, you saw reality TV stars competing on a reality TV show. Is this phenomenon getting

out of control? DWTS contestant Kate Gosslin’s failed marriage may be a pretty good warning against reality TV, as is former DWTS contestant Melissa Rycroft’s short-lived engagement to Bachelor Jason Mesnick. But if you watched the DWTS premier you also saw Chelsie Hightower whose participation on So You Think You Can Dance landed her a job as a pro on the show, as well as her dancing partner, bachelor Jake Pavelka, who is happily in love with his new fiancé. As with all things in life, viewers and contestants must take the good with the bad of reality TV because as the shows get into their double-digit seasons, it appears that they are here to stay.

Cover Art // Cat Yelizarov

OPINION: DRIVING AND YOU BUSINESS DIVISION: Operations Manager // DJ Lam ops@runnerrag.ca Office Co-ordinator // Victoria Almond office@runnerrag.ca

Rant: Learn to drive please... Seriously! [RYAN KEIGHER] [CONTRIBUTOR]

Distribution // The Now Newspaper

WE F**KED UP In our Happy Birthday Runner Issue on March 9th 2010 (Vol 2, Issue 16), we published an article titled “The Results: The 2010 KSA Election,” and made an error in spelling one of candidates names, Gurbaksh Dhaliwal, which was spelled Gurbraksh Dhaliwhal. We apologize for the error and promise we’ll be more careful in the future...

I drive a lot! I drive to and from work, to and from school, when I am going to hang out with friends and so on. I drive regular city streets, highways and freeways. Let’s just say that I have grown many pet peeves from driving often. I am not a driving expert, but I know my place on the road. And unless you are being an absolute jerk to me, then I let you know your place on the road; that is typically behind me until you learn to back off. You know that little stick thing on the left that is behind your steering wheel? It’s called a turn signal, you should use it. My ESP is not always working, so I would appreciate it if you use your turn signal so that I know you are turning or changing lanes. I forgive you though

since you’re talking on your cell phone because Bluetooth headsets were sold out at your local electronics store. You know that highway and freeway you drive often? It’s pretty convenient huh? That left lane that you are driving in is left for passing. Here’s a hint... if you’re not passing anyone and everyone on the right is passing you, then you shouldn’t be in that lane. You should move out of that lane and let the passers in, but please, use your signal when you’re moving into the lane and it might be easier when you are not holding on to your cell phone. There is probably an electronics store on the next off-ramp too. Driving at night is nice too. There is usually less traffic and people are not in as much of a rush. I like it, but you have night lights for a reason. You

really need to turn those on. Why? Because I don’t know whether or not you are tapping your break lights or are actually clueing in to them being off. Not only that, but you high beamed me for having a tail light out. Ironic, huh? Just so that you are aware, I can see your signals with your night lights off when you change lanes, but you still need to use your signals. Finally, when you are ready to merge in...think! Do not just move in because you feel like it. You most likely waited until the last moment to move in, but figure it is still okay anyway. If am already going slow and am forced to pretty much stop just so that you can move in, that is a good indication that you waited too long. How about this...I don’t stop, you hit and then your insurance premiums begin to rise ever slightly.

Merge earlier and avoid the accident. You pay a select amount a year for insurance, and when I say select, I mean ICBC selects it for you, so wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t pay any more than you have to? How about you consider that as part of your driving etiquette. Put down your cell phone, use your signal, drive in the left lane if you are passing and do not wait until the last moment to merge in. And please note, that you flipping me the bird does not help you to make me drive according to your standards, but only encourages me to make sure you drive properly. Like I said, I am no driving expert but let’s all do our bit to keep our roads safer. Do not speed, drink and drive, and respect our new learning drivers.


page eight | March 23 2010 | vol. 2 issue 18

FEATURE

The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca

AGE [CHRISTOPHER POON] [MEDIA EDITOR]

U

nfortunately, age plays a large role in how people respond and communicate with one another. As a teenager, how many times were you not taken seriously by adults because of your age? A friend of mine recently related a story to me on how she had applied for a job online. Being highly-qualified, the company seemed ecstatic at having garnered the interest of someone of her calibre, and expressed as much through emails and phone calls. When she showed up to her job interview, the prospective employers were shocked at how young she appeared to be. They were stunned that somebody so young was capable of work that was apparently expected of someone older than she. My friend did not get the job. It comes down to nothing more than textbook stereotyping. Many ‘adults’ believe that age, and age alone, defines a person’s intelligence, skill set, and mental and emotional capacity. This only serves as a detriment to both parties involved. As illustrated in the example above, the employer missed out on a

potentially great addition to their company because they were unable to get past their own ignorance, and my friend came away with doubts about her own abilities. As for myself, I’m pretty damn young-looking for my age as well. As a reporter, interviewing people is part of my job, and I’ve definitely come across people who seemed like they wouldn’t take me seriously based merely on how young I look. Imagine their surprise when I peg them with researched and well thoughtout questions. A few people have been caught off guard in this regard, and that may even be a good thing in the world of reporting, but it’s something that could have been avoided altogether had they simply appreciate the climate of the situation (a reporter is going to ask you questions), rather than let their guards down because it’s just some ‘kid’ interviewing them. Ageism isn’t an issue with just young people either, but for older people as well. Young people may think it weird when somebody who’s 10 or 20 years their senior enjoys the same music as them. I’ve come across this before, and even been guilty of it myself. Seniors probably have it the worst, as

things seem to come full circle towards the end of our lifetime. Seniors are seen by many as being unable to properly care for themselves, perform simple functions such as driving and many are prone to being treated as if they’re helpless. You can only imagine how demoralizing this can be for someone who may still be perfectly able to perform certain tasks. So suck up whatever preconceived notions you may have, maturity doesn’t merely refer to age, and that applies to both sides of the spectrum.

“Many ‘adults’ believe that age, and age alone, defines a person’s intelligence, skill set, and mental and emotional capacity.”

RELIGION [JARED VAILLANCOURT] [CREATIVE WRITING BUREAU CHIEF]

P

raise (Deity’s name here)! Did that offend you? Then you need to lighten up. Seriously. Religion is something that is integral to every single human being on the planet, even those who claim to reject religious practices and faiths. Do you know why? This is because religion is simply about believing in something, which everyone invariably does, especially the belief in nothing, naysayers. Let me be perfectly clear here: I’m not bashing anyone’s religion. We all know that religion is a tool, a construct of the collective human mind

to create a sense of comfort through faith in the belief that thing we don’t understand can have benevolent machinations we can’t see working behind the scenes. Most religions were started thousands of years ago when people didn’t understand much about anything, so those of you thinking that science is a crock, well, that’s another non-issue altogether. Let me say that science and religion can go hand in hand if you have a rational, logical and open mind, unlike the naysayers. But I digress. Everyone believes in something. Everyone is unique. Even if you’re a member of a full-fledged religious movement like Christianity or Islam, your beliefs will be

your own interpretations of the teachings presented to you by your teachers. This automatically (according to the strictest of faiths) makes us all heretics to each other. Relax – a heretic is simply someone who doesn’t believe the exact same thing you believe. Geez. That poor word has been given so much negative attention. But once again, I digress. Religion shouldn’t be an issue. Its ultimate purpose is to provide a moral framework that will give you comfort and reason to help guide you through a turbulent world and to take solace in the fact that you won’t understand everything (case in point: try watching a few episodes of Star Trek. I like the show and I don’t know what they’re blabbering about). It’s nothing to argue about, and it certainly isn’t worth fighting and dying over. Those people who do that are just unreasonable. Praise (Insert Deity here – it’s all relative).

“You need to lighten up. Seriously. Religion is something that is integral to every single human being on the planet.”


FEATURE

www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner

vol. 2 issue 18 | March 23 2010 | page nine

SEXUALITY “what they do in the privacy of their own bedroom is no one’s business but their own”

[JARED VAILLANCOURT] [CREATIVE WRITING BUREAU CHIEF]

W

orried someone might be gay? Concerned that a friend may be into a weird sexual fetish that you don’t happen to share? Well, worry no more, my friends… because it’s really none of your damn business, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, let’s look at this logically. Human beings spend about ninety-nine percent of all their time here on Earth, either sleeping, eating, relieving themselves, working or waiting for stuff (like buses, late guests, et cetera). Only one percent of your time will ever be spent on sex (if it even amounts to that much it’s also none of your concern). Conversely, and this is where the issue that shouldn’t be an issue arises, all human beings spend about ninety-nine percent of their mental capacity

STYLE [MELISSA FRASER] [CULTURE EDITOR]

I

magine that you’re going to a career fair at Kwantlen and you’ve been told again and again that you have to dress professionally. But, you also know what you wear is a direct reflection of your personality. So, you rummage through your closet looking for an outfit that will not only say “I’m ready to work hard eight hours a day, seven days a week” but also, “I love death punk and there’s no way I’m shaving this mohawk for your stinking capitalist job, man.” What you wear is an issue. And, on one hand, it should be. Fashion tells people a lot about who you are before they even get to know you. It’s great for first impressions when you’re meeting your friend’s new boyfriend or you’re at a party. Unfortunately what you wear is also an issue when

“I love death punk and there’s no way I’m shaving this mohawk for your stinking capitalist job, man.”

you’re in an interview or you’re applying for a loan. This is when fashion should be a nonissue. Fashion says a lot about who you are but you shouldn’t have to change your style to fit into any one category. A friend of mine used to have blue hair. She said that she would have loved to have blue hair forever. But, she’s chosen to pursue a career path that involves wearing suits and giving firm handshakes. She knows this path doesn’t allow for blue hair. She’s decided that she chose this path and therefore she’s chosen to dress a particular way. The way she dresses for conferences and such says something about her personality. But, she hasn’t chosen to dye her hair back to a more natural colour. She’s been forced into this norm because of the career she’s chosen. In this case, fashion should be a non-issue. If she were to dye her hair blue and show up at a conference, she would most likely not be received in the same way she is now. Fashion is a great way to tell people about yourself but when you are unable to look or dress in a particular way because your fashion sense doesn’t quite fit it, it’s stifling. What you wear is a definite issue, but shouldn’t be. If you want to have blue hair, you should be able to have blue hair and all those stuck up old folks should be able to see that you can run a business or a country no matter what you’re wearing.

fantasizing or reflecting on sex, and one percent of their mental prowess thinking about other things (of course that’s a bit of a hyperbole, but it is common for everyone – and I mean everyone – to think about sex a lot). This, of course, is a practice in illogic and has in and of itself created this irrelevant controversy. Does it really matter if someone is gay? No. This is because what they do in the privacy of their own bedroom is no one’s business but their own. It doesn’t matter if they’re into some strange positions involving toys you’d never thought could be used in the manners they’re using them in. It makes absolutely no difference to the fate of the planet whether or

not they like johns or janes (or something in between). Are they ever going to approach you? Perhaps, but once you turn them down politely they’ll know you’re not into what their into… and oddly enough, unlike what most people would do, they’ll respect that. Remember that very little time is actually devoted to acts of intimacy. The non-issue arises from our obsession and fascination with it. Sex is just another biological function, just like eating and breathing, so accept that everyone’s going to have different tastes and it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what those are. After all… What if they were disgusted by what you were into?

MONEY [STEVEN RUGGLES]

W

hen applying for scholarships, financial need is a non-issue. Scholarships should be based on a student’s academic ability, not on their inability to support themselves financially. When an organization makes financial need a requirement in a scholarship they are, in effect, providing a disincentive to becoming financially responsible. I would argue that students who can prove that they are responsible with money should receive benefits. What we see is quite the opposite. Scholarships that factor in financial need are rewarding students who have proven their lack of strategy in long term budgeting. A query: When deciding which of two companies to invest in, which one gets your money? The one that clearly displays profitability or the one that is in dire straits? You can put your money where you want; I’m investing in the sure thing. The obvious objection to my stance is to bring up the case of the student who could not

save any money because their family needed any and all income to meet their current needs. Fair enough. These students (providing they are capable academically) should absolutely be provided with options like student loans but it should also be noted that these students are rare. The issue is that a student with a 3.9 GPA and all the volunteer experience in the world is penalized for not being broke. What if society worked like this on a larger scale? That is, what if those who were not doing well as a result of lack of effort were given unearned rewards. Where does that leave the intellectuals and the truly productive members of society? Essentially the argument is that those students who excel need to stand up and fight to eliminate financial need as criteria for scholarships. Not because those with financial need are always less deserving, but because requiring financial need is encouraging irresponsibility. If today’s students are to lead in the future they need to be rewarded not for their vices, but their virtues.

“Scholarships that factor in financial need are rewarding students who have proven their lack of strategy in long term budgeting.”


CULTURE

page ten | March 23 2010 | vol. 2 issue 18

LIST OF TEN

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ADVERTISEMENTS

The leaders I’d like to know

This should offend you

Being a truly great leader is about more than just pleasing the people; it’s about how awesome a party you can host. [COLE GRIFFIN] [POLITICAL BUREAU CHIEF]

along with killing a whole wack-a-doo of people for whimsical reasons, make him

2.

10.

Jesus of Bethlehem: Ok, so he was never really in charge of anything. Calling his political career unsuccessful would be a massive understatement. Yes, yes, he was even some bastion of virtue who shines through history as an example of how to be, or some shit. So I can see why most people are wondering how he’d be any fun at a party. Three magic words folks: water into wine. Anyone who can turn tap water into fine potables is welcome at my party. Who stole my beer? Who cares? We got Jesus on the job.

9.

Kevin Rudd: Most of you probably haven’t heard of Kevin Rudd. He’s the Prime Minister of Australia. Apparently it was a big deal that one day he went to a strip club. Of course, reports from anonymous strippers confirm that he remained a complete gentlemen, which isn’t too cool in our books. Still the scandal made the paper, so he’s in.

seem a little salty for our tastes. But he didn’t attend parties people, he threw them. Who cares who’s throwing the party if it rocks? Am I right?

6.

Marie Antoinette: While the poor people of France were dying of starvation, this little cutey was up in Versailles living the good life. Not many people have been accredited with bankrupting a nation by partying. She can make that claim though. This girl partied herself right into the guillotine. A rumour I just made up records her last words as “party on.”

7.

Caligula: If this guy weren’t such a jerk, he’d be higher on the list. His orgies were the stuff of legend. Of course claims of incest and pimping his sisters,

Silvio Berlusconi: He’s rich and powerful. He runs Italian media, which is famous for its poor representations of women and sex. There are allegations against him of mafia involvement, corruption, and infidelity with prostitutes. His response to the prostitute allegation was that he’d never paid for it in his life; he didn’t even bother to lie about being unfaithful. On top of all these bad habits, he plays the upright bass. So when the drinks are empty, and the girls all passed out, he could still jam with the boys in the band.

5.

Alexander VI: Known to most of you as one of the villains in the new Assassin’s Creed, this guy put the corrupt in corruption. What were they thinking making a member of the Borgia clan a pope, we’ll never know. But a legacy of whores in the Vatican

8.

Boris Yeltsin: Rumours of his drunkenness are legendary, but hardly confirmable. Of course no one would know about my list of vices either, if I had the KGB cleaning up after me. Of course, enough of his drunken flubs were public that we are accepting them as truth. One author even claims that he was picked up by the cops on Pennsylvania Avenue, in his underwear, trying to hail a cab to buy a pizza. Being naked, drunk, and having a pizza makes you a party animal people; look it up, it’s in the dictionary.

one ever earned a crown by being nice about it. But did you know he also threw a party worth writing about. Get this: at the shindig he threw, he had a castle built out of marzipan and the guests eventually laid siege to it with sugar plums. I’m not even sure what marzipan is, but it sounds like an epic good time.

1.

George ‘Dubya’ W. Bush Jr.: Everyone hates him now, so I can see why there might be objections. But in his day this guy was hilarious. Seriously. There’s footage of this guy drunk at parties on YouTube, and he was a riot. Not only would he be fun to have at your party, he might also bring his frat brother, the hardest partier of them all: Satan. “Hi mom, yeah it’s me. You’ll never guess who I’m drinking with…”

CHRISTOPHER POON // THE RUNNER Don’t expect these man hands to be in any dish soap advertisements any time soon.

[JARED VAILLANCOURT] [CREATIVE WRITING BUREAU CHIEF]

I don’t know if you’ve seen these commercials lately, the ones that show the dish soap that’s got hand moisturizer in it so you can keep on top of your skin care regimen while you do the dishes? Or how about all of those commercials with the suicidal little chocolate eggs? Maybe you’ve been watching some foreign media, and have seen the woman who needs eyeglasses because she went down on her boyfriend’s gear shifter instead of his… shall we say, “clutch”? Commercials have always been targeted towards specific audiences, but it seems like nowadays the companies that make them no longer care about the achievements we’ve made as a society. The person in the dish soap commercials is a woman, goaded on by a sponge with a feminine voice, and then a male voice comes on and barely manages to keep the condescension out of his voice as he proudly claims that “you can keep your hands moisturized while you do the dishes.” I may be male, but I know stereotypes when I see them, and this commercial reeks of the bigot’s theory that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. As for those self-destructive “release the goo” commercials,

the thought of them make me never want to touch candy ever again (think about that statement – I love candy). These little eggs, which chirp the word “goo” in a Pokémonesque manner, come up with inventive ways of utilizing household items, such as blow dryers, champagne bottles, rubber bands and even typewriters to commit horrific acts of suicide that leave them smashed beyond recognition, their precious “goo” splattered everywhere (and in one instance, right across the screen). It’s not hard to replace the image of those eggs with people and become truly disgusted. I can understand the idea of advertising to the lowest common denominator, but what does that say about the advertisements we see today? Are the most common members of our society a bunch of anti-feminist suicidal freaks? It’s hard to believe that such offensive stuff would be allowed on our airwaves, especially since all it takes is half a brain and a sense of common logic to identify all of the sexist, bigoted messages underlying the products these commercials try so hard to convince you to buy. Oh, and on a related note, never buy a Sprite in Germany. Google it and you’ll see why.

COMIC and an army of illegitimate children make us suspect this guy knew what a good time was all about. After all, pleasure feels better when it’s blasphemous.

4.

Nicolas Sarkozy: Why is this guy on the list? I’ll tell you why. His wife is hot. Hot girls have hot friends. Invite him to the party, tell him to bring a couple of his wife’s friends, it’s gonna be a goodlooking party. No, I wasn’t serious about actually having researched this article. Derrrr.

3.

Richard III: This guy is always portrayed as a fascist king, probably for good reason. No JARED VAILLANCOURT // THE RUNNER


CULTURE

www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner

vol. 2 issue 18 | March 23 2010 | page eleven

MUSIC AT KWANTLEN

Composers take the stage Grab a free concert and hear an arrangement of original compositions by music students [MELISSA FRASER] [CULTURE EDITOR]

The fact that Kwantlen doesn’t have a music composition class puts this show near the top of the to do list.

W

e’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if you can attend even one concert put on by Kwantlen students we highly recommend it. This week’s Composer’s Concert is set to take place on Wednesday, Mar. 10 and the free price tag makes it one of the more appealing concerts to attend. The fact that Kwantlen doesn’t have a music composition class also puts this show near the top of the to do list. The six composers being featured in the show aren’t writing songs for marks, they’re composing because they’re passionate about music. Adrian Talens, a first-year music student at Kwantlen and one of the featured composers said the show will be a mix of all types of music. “You have classical piano, symphonic stuff and then more singersongwriter styles as well,” he said. “It’s really just a nice mix.” Without rules about the music that’s to be played during the show, the audience can expect a variety of styles

coming from a variety of personalities. But, the lack of rules doesn’t mean a lack of preparation. In the months leading up to the show the composers met on Wednesday evenings to share their work with one another. “Students could come in and show their own music and we give our own feedback,” Talens said. “It’s nice to have since Kwantlen doesn’t have a composing class.” This isn’t the only concert the music department is offering before the semester. Music at Midweek is still every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. and it’s still free. Also this week, Music at Midweek is visiting Surrey on Wednesday at noon. Classical guitarists Andrew Beugh and Sean McGowan will each have a 30 minute set in the atrium of Surrey Main. For those interested in poetry and music, check out Folk Songs and Frostiana on Friday Mar. 26. The show features the poetry of Robert Frost and student tickets are just $10.

>>

See Kwantlen.ca/music for more concert listings.

OM

Hip to be holy Don’t fret kids, religion isn’t about sitting in church for an hour staring at scary Jesus nailed to cross as his head bleeds, anymore. [AGATHA ENTOTE] [CONTRIBUTOR]

To all you religious practitioners out there, let me ask you one thing: when was the last time you touched your own faith, even with a ten-foot pole? For many, the concept of having a “religion” is slowly becoming just as outdated as the Slinky and VHS. This new day and age have given rise to a myriad of personal and philosophical beliefs, many of which have faith taking a back seat. And who can blame them? There was once a time where going to your house of worship meant spending long hours listening to old men drone on about sacred scriptures written by a select few many eons ago. Add religious extremists to the mix and you can see why many people these days are turned off by the thought of subscribing or affiliating themselves with a particular denomination.

Man has seen centuries gone by without much of a change in the field of all things theological. Many faiths are still very much constrained by tradition, unwilling to bend to the rushing tides of change for fear of losing the religion’s true essence. “Too many concessions have been made to make the faith more accessible” they say. Or, “we are losing sight of what to really believe in”. Teachings and scriptures are being watered down so much that they lose their true meaning, nobody celebrates the true spirit of Christmas anymore, all these crazy sects are starting to accept members of the third sex into their clergy...it’s almost like Girls Gone Wild (hold the bikinis please). While the aforementioned cases are really at heart, worstcase scenarios, should we be worried that all this New Age fluff is going to triumph over solid belief in a diety? As we

go forward as a civilization are we conceding too much to the forces of change? Is secularization a dastardly thing? To all of that I say: Why the fuss? If anything, they should be glad that once again, people are starting to dabble in things they once considered boring. Thanks to innovators across all denominations, religion as a whole has become more accessible and more “people-friendly” – it’s not just something your Nana imposed on you anymore. As the faiths are starting to relate scriptures to more contemporary issues (and in the process, making the faith itself more relevant), followers who once took to the sidelines are rekindling their belief in a higher entity. Modern renditions of religious concepts are now enriching, not diluting, the experience. Rapping monks like MC Happiness (who raps Buddhist sutras in Tokyo) are allowing the true

VANESSA PIKE-RUSSELL // FLICKR Religion may seem like it’s as outdated as the deli meat in the back of your fridge, but as long as leaders are making it hip to holy, religion can be accessible.

core of religious life to touch the lives of young and old people alike. The statue of Jesus wearing modern-day clothing outside a church in East Sussex is an example of how we can

see Christ even in this new day and age. There are many more examples, but this just goes to show you that it’s hip to be holy as it is hip to be square – and that isn’t such a bad thing at all.


CREATIVE

page twelve | March 23 2010 | vol. 2 issue 18

POEM

Weather Music [A.D. GENTLE]

“Looks like it’s starting to rain.” “Yeah, you’re right. Let’s turn up the volume.” The two boys, one short and one tall, turn up their headsets to hear if it is going to rain. Sure enough, there comes the whinny of a horse and the occasional snort as one drop hit a puddle. Each boy turns down the volume as the downpour ensues. “Oh boy, it’s raining hard,” the taller boy shouts over a full stampede of hooves. He put up his umbrella and the two boys don’t have enough homophobia to find anything wrong with sharing the cover. “I hope my comics don’t get wet!”t he shorter boy worries aloud. His companion takes off his coat and puts it over his short friend’s backpack. “No problem.” As the dark clouds pass, the rain lets up and the sound of horses recedes. The sound of sunlight replaces it, the quiet melody a relief after the pounding rain, with an occasional smooch as a ray of sunlight peeks through. They sigh and turn their headsets down so they can speak again. “I love— the sun.” He blushes as his friend puts away the umbrella slides an arm over his shoulders. “The sun loves you back.”

The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca

SCI-FI

Shifting Ice: Farewell, Kapilo [JARED VAILLANCOURT] [CREATIVE WRITING BUREAU CHIEF]

Chapter Nine Izraal psychology was at a course at the local learning annex Vintis now felt it should have taken. It probably would explain all the pain it was in. On the other hand, maybe the Zwitii psychology course could help explain to it why that was the first thought that sprung into its head. “Vintis? Vintis, can you hear me?” a voice inquired. Vintis couldn’t tell whom it belonged to. Now that it had some time to think about it, why wouldn’t a desire to understand why Kyraa and her Izraal cohorts beat it up be the first thing it would wonder about? It would be nice to have an explanation. “Our equipment reads neural activity,” an unfamiliar voice droned in a trademark Jukkopo manner. “Relax, Mr. Klezyp. Mrs. Vintis will regain consciousness shortly.” Klezyp, Vintis mused? It took it a second, but the first voice had been Klezyp’s after all. That was comforting. “Who did this?” Klezyp’s voice asked. There was a sound like water bubbling through a narrow channel filled with dead leaves; that was undoubtedly a trademark Jukkopo sigh. “We have detained seven Izraal, including Mrs. Vintis’

co-worker, Mrs. Kyraa,” the Jukkopo voice replied. Vintis couldn’t help but feel a twitch of frustration. It wasn’t a woman! “I knew that Izraal was bad news,” Klezyp replied. “Great stars!” it cursed. Vintis tried to move its fingers, only to find them sealed in a medical cocoon. Just what had Kyraa done to it? “The incident is regrettable,” the Jukkopo conceded. Klezyp snorted. “Regrettable? It’s downright appalling!” it refuted the Jukkopo. “I bet this is because of Jaxal.” Of course, Vintis mused. Jaxal. Kyraa did blame it for his death. “Izraal are known for their passion,” the Jukkopo conceded. “They will turn on anyone or anything that shows even the slightest hint of betrayal. I believe the Hegemony is still having problems suppressing extremists even to this day.” Vintis concentrated. The Jukkopo was… male? “That’s not reassuring,” Klezyp grumbled. Their voices were clearer now. Vintis coughed. “If you two are done,” Vintis lisped when it realized its mandibles were bandaged up, “I happen to be in a considerable amount of pain.” It informed them sarcastically. Something heavy was suddenly pressed tight up against its chest. “Oh – hey! Now… I… can’t… breathe…”

“Oh, sorry,” Klezyp said as it removed itself from its hug. “How are you, Vintis?” it asked nervously. Vintis tried to move, but found that its fingers weren’t the only parts of it that were encased in medical cocoons. “How do I look?” Vintis replied. The Jukkopo cleared his throat. “The Izraal did quite a number on you,” he informed it. “They broke most of your bones, fractured your skull, caused severe internal bleeding… we arrived just before they had a chance to dismember you,” the Jukkopo informed it proudly. Vintis coughed. “Lucky fucking me.” It snorted. Klezyp offered a nervous laugh. “Dr. Alzorx informs me you’ll be fully healed by the end of the day,” Klezyp said softly, the closeness of its voice warm on the exposed skin of Vintis’ cheek. Vintis tried to smile. “This may seem strange,” Vintis asked, “but could you give me a ride home?” it asked. Klezyp and the Jukkopo, Alzorx, sighed. “Kyraa’s goons ransacked your apartment,” Klezyp stuttered. Vintis sighed. “Pity. I’d just paid rent last week.” “I had another idea,” Klezyp continued. “In two days’ time, I’m leaving Kapilo for the colony on Uixynki.” It hesitated. “I’d like you to

come with me, Vintis.” Vintis coughed as it considered the words. “Leave Kapilo?” it asked. “I bet the local Izraal would love that.” “Damn it, Vintis, this isn’t about pride!” Klezyp snarled. It took in a deep breath. “I’ve… I care for you, Vintis. I can’t sleep right knowing you’re on a world with hostile aliens.” “I think I’ll leave you two in peace,” Alzorx muttered. Klezyp took a sharp breath. It sounded close to tears. “I appreciate the offer,” Vintis said slowly. Klezyp swallowed. “But?” it asked. Vintis coughed. “But I’ll be travelling light,” it continued, causing Klezyp to let out a little gasp of excitement. “I’m afraid I don’t have any possessions to pack. It seems someone ransacked my apartment.” “Oh, Vintis!” Klezyp exclaimed as it hugged Vintis again. Vintis gasped. “Easy there, Klezyp,” Vintis whispered. “I care for you, too.” It wasn’t too sure, but it thought it felt Klezyp place a little kiss on its cheek.

>>

To be continued next week... Check out other Shifting Ice chapters at runnerrag.ca

PHOTOGRAPHY

CHRISTOPHER POON // THE RUNNER

CHRISTOPHER POON // THE RUNNER

CHRISTOPHER POON // THE RUNNER


CREATIVE

www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner

vol. 2 issue 18 | March 23 2010 | page thirteen

PHOTOGRAPHY

POETRY

On a Wet Day in Winter, Look at the Mountains [JEFF GROAT] [LIFESTYLE BUREAU CHIEF]

Green goose-bumps of the sage skinned mountains prickle with the Haida’s exhalations, echoing up the silent slopes. Lachrymal sound of white noise drip-dripping on the doleful maple, the lackadaisical lichen frost shimmers in soaking damp. Biting air winds its way through flesh and bone, piercing pith that aches with every monkish breath, the wind where no words have walked. But the charcoal ghost’s clever caw crashes into the dream-quiet, carried from heaven between raindrops like lonely revelations. CHRISTOPHER POON // THE RUNNER

SHORT STORY

Con-vacation [A.D. GENTLE]

“Here at Conviction you will have memories to last a lifetime,” the bus driver says as we leave the hotel transport van. She is topless, with long, pierced nipples, and a Londonstyle, leather cabby hat rimmed with chain over the short bill sits atop her mass of red ringlet hair. We, the passengers, are all male. The resort looks great, exactly what I needed. It is up-to-date, but with a rustic feel from the wooden pillars guarding the lobby entrance. The air out here is clean and perfectly warm while the sparse trees and barren, red land complete the unnerving feeling of being isolated. Two topless blonde women open the glass doors and welcome us inside as the bus driver slams the door and spins the tires, kicking up a cloud of dust, as she drives off. A line of tourists like me are already lining up at the reception desk and I follow their lead. I can’t get enough of the neglected, yet functional look this resort has and I can’t wait to see if everything I’ve heard is true. The black haired woman at the desk gives me a red-lipped pout as I hold out my ID tag, her sharp red nails scratching my skin as she takes it from me. “Room 9,” she exhales with her heavy breasts heaving up and down, nipple rings dragging down the breasts to give them a sad look. I think I may have seen someone like her on a street corner in the red-light district, but now that I think about it, all the women could have been hand-picked from any number of seedy locations. I am excited by them and I start to fantasize about what they’ve got lower down on my way to the room, a key with a wooden penis inscribed with the number hangs from my twitching fingers. The room is pretty standard with a hastily made bed with plain white

sheets, some mismatched floral drapes, a bathroom with rusty toilet, and a single light bulb on the ceiling. There’s no TV, but a card folded in half is sitting on the bed. It reads: We offer three entertainment packages. Check your box of choice. • A walk in the park. $5 • A swim in the ocean. $50 • All the way (Must sign waiver) $500 Being on a budget, I choose a walk in the park and make a mental note to walk the card down to reception when I go down to take the place in, not that I worry they’ll run out of space. My day is just beginning and I unpack my masturbation toys along with my day clothes--in that order--and take out a map of the resort. The bus in took over a solid day’s worth of driving, most of which I slept through, but my clothes stink as a result. I take my room key and head out in my fresh clothes. Corridors and dead ends amuse me for a little while until I realize that I want a walk in the park, so I find the red talon woman and the front desk, only she’s no longer there. Her replacement is another topless woman, a brunette, wearing a pair of gaudy sequin arm bands, but the desk hides the rest of her and my imagination is running. “A walk in the park?” she nearly sneers at me with curling lips. “What kind of man chooses that when you could go all the way?” My face burns and my cock is hard. I feel my throat close and I mumble a reply while I pull out the extra money and add it to my reservation card. “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” she commands and I only manage to get as far as her lips, which keep speaking at me, but I’m lost in watching them move, the glimpse of her teeth and tongue, the dark passage

down her throat--“You meet back here in an hour.” Glad to escape, I leave the main building, which seems to have hired prostitutes for every position from front desk to room maids. I shower to prepare for the walk in the park and take a short nap to avoid touching myself before the main event. My alarm goes off and I head down for a walk in the park. Time has passed. I don’t remember what happened during the walk in the park, but I have bruises along the back of my legs and my head is bleeding a little. I must have fallen. Disappointed that I can’t remember, but tired as night has fallen, I rest until morning. Next morning, card in hand, I sign up for a swim in the ocean. I repeat my routine from the previous day and return an hour later. Once again, from the time of the meet up in the lobby, my memory is gone and I find myself in bed, nearly too sore to move. By this point, I must know what is considered all the way. I feel that I’ve been taken all the way twice already, but I want to know, I need to know. On my way to the front desk, I notice that some of the loungers by the pool have fresh facial wounds, while others sport the kind of bruises that suggest internal bleeding. The little card in my hand, slowly turning from crisp paper into a floppy tissue from my sweating palms, feels heavy. A new receptionist. She holds the most contempt for my soggy card. “Sign this and cash up front.” Her mouth has a set of dentures stuffed into it; she can’t be older than 18, and her breasts lie on the top of the reception table like sand bags. I read the waiver over and notice the words death and/or disfigurement and nonliable. If it gets to be too much, I can just not participate, I tell myself, after all, I’m paying for a service and that puts the control in my hands. I tell her

I don’t have the money right now. “No cash, no entertainment.” I apologize and she yells at me for wasting her time. I feel close to coming, so I carefully walk out the front door with my little card back in my pocket. The young men are covered in lines of blood running from their faces down into their white shirts. Their bottom lips have six ring piercings a piece and a long spine driven through the center vertically. Another spine pushed through the skin of the neck, just under their chins, runs horizontally and forms a sort of T with the other spine. Blood is pouring from incisions on either side of their foreheads. One of them is missing an eye. Other freshly bleeding wounds are present on their bodies, but their clothes thankfully obscure the details. I feel sick. I feel afraid. My body convulses and I taste stomach acid. Disgusted with myself, I realize I still have a painfully strong erection. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It makes sense. The convicts that run this place, I haven’t seen them yet, but I know with certainty that they, and not the women, are responsible for the damage I’ve seen. “That was the best!” one of the boys says, his words speckling blood on the face of the boy beside him. The other reaches into his stretchy, blood soaked pants and pulls out a penis so damaged it’s little more than a urethra with a thin bit of skin on it. “That’s great for you. I’ll never be able to have sex.” A sneer. “So what? Who needs sex after THAT?” “You’re too young to be here. You’re barely a man,” a 20 year old boy said from behind them. “You know there is no bus back.” “And no refunds,” I add helpfully, but they are not here to make friends, they are here on vacation, like me.


CULTURE

page fourteen | March 23 2010 | vol. 2 issue 18

JAMMIN’ WITH GINGER

The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca

GROAT IN THE SACK

Au natural is out This is Jeff Groat. He’s the Runner’s sex columnist. He has only one qualification for the job: his last name sounds like a dirty word. That’s good enough for us. [JEFF GROAT] [LIFESTYLE BUREAU CHIEF]

COURTESY JIMIHENDRIX.COM

Hendrix is fucking awesome This is Kristi Jut. She loves music. She’s also a ginger. And she does have a soul. And she likes music with soul, too. [KRISTI ALEXANDER] [ENTERTAINMENT BUREAU CHIEF]

For those of you who don’t know, a new Jimi Hendrix album came out last week. I sat down to listen to it the other night, accompanied by fierce anticipation and a glass of wine (which is what Hendrix asphyxiated on, causing his unjust death, just so ya know). The album of previously unreleased and remastered songs, Valleys of Neptune, with its familiar licks was fucking great. Of course. And as I was listening, I thought “even though this stuff was recorded in the ’60s, it somehow doesn’t sound dated. It really seems innovative” (albeit there were really only two previously completely unheard songs on the album). And herein lies the

paradox: it’s not new, and yet somehow it is. It’s a strange thing, rereleases; “new” albums from someone who died nearly 40 years ago. Usually, I would be against an estate’s decision to release music from its successor (like when Courtney Love released those Nirvana songs and took all that money for herself— bitch), but I have to agree with Janie Hendrix, heir to the Hendrix Estate, on this one. The world deserves a glimpse into the late acid-rock icon’s unfinished works. But does this warrant a cash-in for all deceased artists’ estate owners? Not in my opinion. Not only is it exploitation of an artist’s personal creation for monetary gain, it’s unethical to overproduce something said artist never had the chance to finish. How would you know if that would have been their vision? Moreover, how can you guarantee that the person’s

TRENDING TOPICS

hands the estate falls into will treat the music with respect? Everybody knows Yoko Ono is not well-respected among the public as the heir to John Lennon’s estate, and maybe those critics are right. She did, after all, whore out a very rare recording of “real love” for a JC Penney commercial. Was that necessary? Did the world need to hear that recording in a commercial for cheaplymade clothing? The Hendrix release was a rare exception to the re-release cash cow. The songs were remastered by the same audio engineer Hendrix worked with when he originally recorded the songs, and Janie Hendrix released the album as it was meant to be heard—as a full album, not a lame-ass commercial.

d>

DOWNLOAD THIS: Valleys of Neptune Jimi Hendrix

COMICS

You have a bush. It’s time to deal with it. For women, the standard has been that the less hair the better – especially in porn (not that I know, but I’ve “heard”). Among us guys it’s generally not attractive for a woman to have the natural look going on down there, it’s hard to work with, and let’s face it, we don’t like anything to get in the way of our sex. Now of course it’s not really fair for the expectation to be on the woman to cater to our every desire, but it’s nice to see some care go into shaping, trimming, and generally tidying up. But this true for guys too. No girl likes to look at a gross, untended bush of wiry black hair. In the word’s of the wise Wesley Willis, “your hair looks like a rat’s nest.” Women have a variety of options to choose from when taking the razor down there. There’s the Brazilian; the full Brazilian, which I thought was just the plain ol’ Brazilian; the landing strip; the tooth-brush mustache, which is a hilarious, if not historically insensitive name for a shorter version of the landing strip; and my personal favourite, “the butch” (which is apparently favoured by lesbians) is fully shaven with a small patch of au naturale hair, the ensemble resembling a rat-tail.

Yes I said rat tail. Of course it’s not all about sex, either. Many women groom because they want to go to the beach in Mexico for springbreak and wear bikinis and not be stared at by creepy old men. Those are the only two reasons why women groom, trust me. Now I am a guy, and I take special care to keep sharp cutting objects away from my region, even though I want to look like I take care of my body. It’s all about keeping up appearances. Some people advocate using scissors to trim around your package, and cutting danger aside, with my hands the result would be some sort of layering hairstyle. Fortunately, this leaves a few other options. Most guys own a razor for shaving the more visible regions of their body, luckily this works perfectly well using the same careful principles as shaving the face and neck. My personal choice would have to be the electric trimmer, mostly because of the lack of large, exposed blades which tend to dull over time. Let’s just say I’m sensitive. The electric trimmer works well, but beware the noise. You may have some explaining to do after a half-hour of buzzing emanates from the bathroom and you emerge with an intact beard. I almost don’t want to talk about those creams like Nair. In my opinion, a cream that dissolves anything should definitely stay away from my balls.

t>

Follow Groat In The Sack on Twitter. @groatinthesack

PRESIDENT'S HEAD

#God is #Corey Haim Trending Topics, or TTs, are the current most-tweeted phrases or words on Twitter. [MAX HIRTZ]

#ripcoreyhaim A guy named Corey Haim died of a “suspected” overdose. I didn’t know who he was until I did a bit of research, but a lot of other people on Twitter seem to remember him from their childhoods when he was a well-known actor and, you know, not a drug addict. I looked him up on a blog called Washed Up Celebrities and his bio came up right away. Apparently he was “one of Hollywood’s top teen stars in the late 80s” until he “flamed out” and started doing too much coke and eating too much fast food. #BieberIsMyHero I didn’t even know who this little guy was until a few weeks ago, but now that I do, he’s really starting to get on my nerves.

Justin Bieber fans – “Beliebers” as they like to call themselves – clog up the trending topics list everyday with their constant praise for the 16-yearold pop idol, pissing the rest of us off royally in the process. #GodIs God is a trending topic! Turns out a lot of Twitterers love God, otherwise known as “the light,” “the one person you can’t lie 2,” “everything,” and “the Greatest.” What this shows us is that you don’t have to be a pop star, a Hollywood actor or a cokedup superslut to be recognized as an important cultural figure in North America. He’s not as popular on Twitter right now as, say, Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga, but he’s getting there.

David Giraffe-kinson

MELISSA FRASER // THE RUNNER


PROCRASTINATION

www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner

vol. 2 issue 18 | March 23 2010 | page fifteen

MY LIFE IS AVERAGE - NODNAS

HOROSCOPE ARIES Mar. 21 - Apr.19

One minute you want pepperoni, the next minute you want yogurt. Make up your mind.

TAURUS Apr. 20 - May 20

PISCES Feb. 20 - Mar. 20 It’s fair to say that you are not going to be teaching any alpacas to surf any time soon.

If someone tells you that your hair is a mess they probably mean you should get a puppy.

GEMINI May 21 - June 20

CANCER June 21 - July 22

LIBRA Sept. 23 - Oct. 22

Use your spare time this week to start planning your first annual Oktoberfest gathering.

Stop worrying about what your aunt’s pet ostrich is doing. Worry about your own pet ostrich.

LEO July 23 - Aug. 22

Now would be a good time to gather up all your empties and lay in them for an hour or so.

VIRGO Aug. 23 - Sept. 22

SCORPIO Oct. 23 - Nov. 21

CAPRICORN Dec. 22 - Jan.19

The idea of buying a house just to hold your elastic band collection is nowhere near normal.

In a metaphorical world, you would be the court jester, but this is real life so you’re royalty.

AQUARIUS Jan. 21 - Feb. 19

SAGITTARIUS Nov. 22 - Dec. 21 You’re going to get caught up in a televised spelling bee this week. It happens to everyone.

Go for a stroll through Bear Creek Park. Remember to bring your Monopoly board.

You’ve been slipping and falling a lot these days. It could be because you walk so weird.

RIP OFF KWANTLEN

Be careful. One of these days something is going to happen and you’ll stop eating tomatoes.

THE SMART ZONE

Things priced differently for Canadians

INTERESTING FACTS: ENERGY AND BUGS

As our dollar nears parity with our American brethren, Canadians are sure to find more reason to hop across the border and purchase things on the cheap. Things like electronics and clothes are just a few of the things that are pretty cheap compared to their price on our side of the border. Sure, there are those who say that we need to support Canadian business, but when a starving student has the choice between paying $200 for a textbook in a Canadian bookstore, or $150 shipped from the U.S. what do you think they’re likely to choose?

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. Mosquito repellents don’t repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there.


page sixteen | March 23 2010 | vol. 2 issue 18

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