THE VOL. 04
THE JUSTICE ISSUE
ISSUE 01 09.13.2011 NEWS AND CULTURE FOR THE STUDENTS OF KWANTLEN POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
LEGAL FEES KSA BURNS THROUGH YOUR MONEY
CULTURAL IDENTITY NEW EXHIBITS AT SAG EXPLORES AUTHENITY
CONCERT MOVES OFF-CAMPUS
FIND US ONLINE
WHY SEATTLE TRUMPS VANCOUVER
IN THIS ISSUE
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The Runner is student owned and operated by Kwantlen Polytechnic University students, published under Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society. Arbutus 3710/3720 12666 72 Ave. Surrey, B.C. V3W 2M8 www.runnerrag.ca 778-565-3801
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Born in a test tube in 1990, Jenna Zadorozny was genetically engineered by the Soviet Union to dominate the world’s children in arts and crafts. On a moonless Moscow night, when she was only two years old, Jenna escaped from behind the Iron Curtain and began moving east through Siberia. Upon encountering the Pacific Ocean, she latched her crayons together into a raft, and paddled her way to Vancouver. Now, 21 years later, she continues to dominate the artistic world. Jenna was the artistic force behind this issues cover.
When Melissa Fraser was just a young girl, she sat upon her father’s knee and he told her of the wonderful world of Communism. And not that Chinese state-run capitalism bullshit communism either. No, he told her of a heavenly place of equality and solidarity. She’s a strong believer in absolutely nothing that Stephen Harper does and would rather not think about Christy Clark because it gives her a tummy ache. She’s a real Pinko, a Bolshevik and a Red. Check out Melissa’s article on Bumbershoot on page 13.
Simon Massey is a creative writing student and humourist. He spends his time taking the minimum amount of courses to qualify as a full-time student, sidetracking creative writing guild meetings, working a strenuous wire factory job that involves up to eight whole hours of sitting around and watching movies. When he’s not busy with all of that, he occasionally finds the time to churn out a mediocre story. Look for Simon’s satire piece “Questionable methods of political socialization” on page 17.
RIP OFF KWANTLEN SENIOR WRITERS: Senior Culture Writer / Chris Yee Senior Entertainment Writer / Mike Shames Senior Features Writer / Lliam Easterbrook CONTRIBUTORS: Melissa Fraser, Simon Massey, Jenna Zadorozny, Jacob Zinn, Mae Velasco, Ashley Fehr
NEIL T / FLICKR
Cover Art: Jenna Zadorozny BUSINESS DIVISION: Operations Manager, Ads, Classiﬁeds DJ Lam firstname.lastname@example.org / 778-688-3797 Ofﬁce Co-ordinator / Victoria Almond ofﬁce@runnerrag.ca / 778-565-3801
Funds are collected by the university and channelled to PIPS via the KSA.
OK, what was up with those burgers at welcome week? I think we could have done a little better than a plain-ass burger with ketchup and mustard. Where were the pickles KSA? Where were the pickles? ... Did Jay Sean get them?
Correction regarding Aaron Takhar: Incorrect information appeared on p. 4 of the August 16, 2011 paper issue of The Runner and August 15th online article. The lawsuit by the Kwantlen Student Association against Aaron Takhar and others, commenced in 2008 and recently again in the news, does not include allegations of fraud or theft. The allegations against Mr. Takhar in the lawsuit are for wrongful financial transactions and breach of fiduciary duty. The Runner retracts the incorrect references and apologizes for the error.
on the web
www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner
vol. 4 issue 01 | September 13 2011 | page three
The Runner Roundup A brief run around the latest news from the world of Kwantlen and beyond.
— Dear Council, I am considering a name change to President Diddy. Any thoughts on this important development? Someone inform the Runner so that the student body can be informed of this breaking news. The issue of rising tuition is less important to students so it can be discussed next month. Yours truly, Sean Diddy Birdman An actual Aug. 17 email from Kwantlen Student Association president Harman “Sean Diddy Birdman” Bassi on the latest of his many recent name changes.
KSA loses top staff The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) lost its two highest-ranking staff members last month. General manager Ryan Brown and student services manager Catherine Wilkinson are no longer employed with the KSA as of the end of Friday, Aug. 19, according to an email sent by KSA president Harman “Sean Diddy Birdman” Bassi. In an email sent Friday morning to KSA staff, Wilkinson explained that she had found another job at the BCIT Student Association and that her last day would be Sept. 1. However, Bassi’s email suggested that Wilkinson’s departure would be immediate. Wilkinson ordinarily filled in as acting-general manager when needed, so the double departure of Brown and Wilkinson leaves a large hole at the top of the KSA. While Ryan Brown was a recent hire, Wilkinson had been employed by the KSA since January 2007. Before being hired as staff, she served as both women’s liaison and Surrey campus director.
‘Interkwantlenental’ Kwantlen students who attend the Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley campuses were treated to the new intercampus shuttle on the first week of classes. The shuttle, endearingly nicknamed the “Interkwantlenental” goes between the Kwantlen campuses – excluding Richmond – picking up students at the shuttle’s designated pick-up and drop-off areas. The earliest shuttles leave at 7:30 a.m. from Surrey and Langley campuses each weekday. A third shuttle runs during the evening, starting at 5:30 from Surrey and going between campuses, with service ending at 11:10 p.m. The three 17-passenger minibuses are an added feature on the new U-Pass/Multipass system, which is unique to Kwantlen.
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The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca
KSA conﬂict allegations still unresolved I
MATT DIMERA NEWS EDITOR
More than six weeks after allegations surfaced that two Kwantlen Student Association executive members were directly related to Aaron Takhar, neither one has yet to publicly confirm or deny their connection to the former KSA official. Justine Franson resigned as the KSA’s director of operations shortly after the news broke that she was Aaron Takhar’s sister, though she has so far refused to comment publicly on their familial connection or her reasons for resigning. Nina Sandhu (also known as Balninna Sandhu and Nina Kaur) has stayed on as the KSA’s director of finance and has also repeatedly refused to comment on her relationship to Takhar. The KSA filed a civil lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court in 2008 against five former members of the Reduce All Fees (RAF) party, including the onetime director of finance, executive adviser and group leader Aaron Takhar. The KSA’s lawsuit alleged that Aaron Takhar and his RAF slate misused more than $2 million in student fees to commit
mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty. In a media release dated Aug. 8, 2011 KSA president Harman “Sean Birdman” Bassi wrote the following: “The Director of Operations and the Director of Finance, respectively, understand the appearance of a possible conflict. Both have, and will continue to abstain from any decisions pertaining to the civil actions against former directors.” On Aug. 2, four days after the story first broke, Bobby Padda, Tarun Takhar and Jaspinder Ghuman passed an out of meeting motion to readopt the original April 1 motion directing Justine Franson to order the KSA’s lawyers to “cease all activity pertaining to the RAF case until further notice.” The readopted motion still reaffirmed Franson as “the sole liaison with KSA legal counsel.” A note attached to the new motion said that Ghuman, Padda, and Takhar had made this decision independently. In the original April 1 motion both Justine Franson and Nina Sandhu voted in favour of the motion. Three council members have raised questions and concerns over the allegations
of conflicts-of-interest. Richmond campus director Harj Dhesi wrote an open letter Sept. 4 to Bobby Padda, the chairperson of the executive board and director of external affairs, demanding that the issue be discussed publicly at the next council meeting. “If she [Franson] has not done anything wrong, than why has she not explained to the student body why she resigned and why was the resignation done at an in-camera meeting?” asked Dhesi. “Why is there no accountability to students on the resignation?” Dhesi also raised concerns that Sandhu had not declared any conflict of interest during her previous term as Langley representative from April 2010 to 2011, writing that she was present during confidential in camera meetings when the RAF legal case was discussed. Two other KSA directors, Langley campus director Jennifer Campbell and Langley representative Ken McIntyre both wrote their own nearly identical open letters, Sept. 5 and 6 respectively. The next council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14.
KSA conﬂict-of-interest: a brief timeline
KSA director of ﬁnance Nina Kaur Sandhu outside of the Aug. 17 council meeting. JEFF GROAT/THE RUNNER
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vol. 4 issue 01 | September 13 2011 | page ﬁve
KSA legal expenses soar to $159,000 Legal and professional fees line item over budget by nearly 300 per cent.
MATT DIMERA NEWS EDITOR
The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) has spent more than $159,000 on legal and professional fees in 2011. The KSA budgeted $55,000 for 2011 in their legal and professional fees line item. Currently, they have spent nearly three times the budgeted amount.
Since Jan. 1, the KSA has paid money to at least eight different law firms, six of which were engaged after the KSA’s current board took office April 1. While council is ordinarily responsible for legal decisions, at the Aug. 31 KSA council meeting, a motion was passed granting the executive board “absolute authority over all legal matters.” There is no conclusive official list of
legal matters or disputes the KSA is currently involved in. Legal issues are typically discussed in secret in camera sessions. However some cases have been discussed publicly. In late August former general manager Desmond Rodenbour filed a civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court against the KSA for wrongful dismissal, breach of employment contract, and for defamation.
Earlier this year in an interview with The Runner, then-director of operations Justine Franson expressed concerns about the amounts of money past boards had spent on legal fees, saying there seemed “to be a lot of frivolous spending.” KSA director of finance Nina Sandhu did not respond to an email request for an interview before press time.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon Heenan Blaikie
$15,548.59 Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy
Sugden, McFee & Roos
$10,000 Actual 2011 legal spending:
Harris & Company
KSA 2011 estimated legal budget: Jeffer Mangels Butler Mitchell
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The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca
Former general manager sues KSA Student association accused of having “irreparably tarnished his professional reputation.”
JEFF GROAT MATT DIMERA
Former general manager Desmond Rodenbour is suing the Kwantlen Student Association for wrongful dismissal, breach of employment contract and for defamation, seven months after he was abruptly fired in February 2011. A notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court Aug. 26 alleges that the KSA breached his contract and “terminated Rodenbour’s employment for cause despite being aware that no cause for termination existed.” It further alleges that “open and public discussions regarding Rodenbour’s employment, and the attack on Rodenbour’s reputation in open Council meetings on 12 January 2011 and 9 February 2011, irreparably tarnished his professional reputation.” According to Rodenbour’s statement of claim, he was fired improperly after the previous KSA executive board commissioned a consultant’s report on the governance and structure of the KSA. The Baldwin report, Rodenbour claims, is built on false statements which wrongly
attack his tenure as GM. The claim alleges that consultant Wayne Baldwin was hired to complete a “strategic review” of the KSA, but that Baldwin had an undisclosed pre-existing relationship with the then-chair of the KSA’s executive board. It alleges that at the Jan. 12 special council meeting, Rodenbour’s employment and his possible termination was discussed publicly with students and staff present. The claim also singles out Sean Bassi and Nina Sandhu, who are current council members, of offering their votes of support for Rodenbour in exchange for his efforts to intercede with the KSA’s chief returning officer on their behalf. At the time Sandhu and Bassi were facing serious allegations of wrongdoing and of campaign improprieties in the 2011 KSA election campaign, according to Rodenbour’s claim. The claim further alleges that the current KSA executive board issued a defamatory press release in early August, accusing Rodenbour of fraud, embezzlement, mismanagement, corruption, conflict of interest, improper sexual relations, and wrongful interference with a purported
Rodenbour at a 2007 rally protesting high tuition fees. STEVELEENOW/FLICKR
forensic audit. None of the allegations have been proven in court. KSA president and spokesperson Harman “Sean Diddy Birdman” Bassi declined to comment, saying the matter was before the courts. Rodenbour’s claim seeks general, special, punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages, but does not ask for a specific dollar amount. An earlier demand letter sent by Rodenbour’s lawyers to the KSA asked for more than $300,000 to settle. However, that demand was sent before the allegedly defamatory August KSA
press release. That press release has since been removed from the KSA’s website. Rodenbour had worked for the KSA since 1999 and had been general manager since November 2006 up until his termination.When Rodenbour became the general manager after a court-ordered KSA election in 2006, the KSA was running an operational deficit of more than $350,000, according to the statement of claim. It further claims that, by 2010, Rodenbour had led the KSA to improve its student services and more than doubled its revenues.
Former KSA general manager Desmond Rodenbour. STEVELEENOW/FLICKR
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vol. 4 issue 01 | September 13 2011 | page seven
KSA hires private security; bars students Executive board pays $681.79 to Genesis Security for four guards.
MATT DIMERA NEWS EDITOR
The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) held most of their Aug. 17 council meeting behind closed and guarded doors, barring non-voting council members, The Runner and Kwantlen students from attending. While council meetings are normally open to all students, council voted to move to a secret, in camera session with only voting members and a staff minutetaker. The motion was moved and seconded by student-at-large Harman Mann (holding Surrey representative Jagraj Hayre’s proxy vote) and director of events Tarun
Takhar. Before the motion to go in camera was raised, student-at-large Ashley Fehr asked council why security guards were present, how much they were costing and who had authorised the expenditure. The KSA director of finance, Nina Sandhu, told council that both the RCMP and KPU security had suggested that they should hire external security. No member of council chose to answer questions about the cost. Student senate representative Christopher Girodat expressed concern and outrage that some council members were intentionally being cut out. “I am shocked that the president and the executive board would have con-
tracted third party security and billed Kwantlen students for it in order to intimidate members of council and keep out student’s elected liaisons for traditionally discriminated against groups,” said Girodat. After the motion passed, the meeting was moved into the KSA’s office and four private guards from Genesis Security were posted at the entry points. Genesis Security later billed the KSA $681.79. Justine Franson, who resigned as KSA director of operations Aug. 11, told The Runner in the hallway outside the meeting that she was just a student and was no longer with the student association. However, shortly after voting to exclude students from the meeting and re-
Genesis security guards keep international liaison and non-voting council member Gurbaksh Dhaliwal out of the Aug. 17 council meeting. JEFF GROAT/THE RUNNER
convening the meeting on KSA property, the KSA council moved to invite Franson into the meeting. Franson then chaired the rest of the meeting. Among the scheduled items on the agenda that were likely discussed in camera were Justine Franson’s resignation, the selection of a chief returning officer for the upcoming KSA by-election and the suspension of executive procedures to hire a former elected official. “I’m a member of council. I’m not going to be excluded,” said Girodat. “I don’t think non-voting members should be removed from these decisions.” No minutes or motions from that meeting had been publicly released as of press time.
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The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca
Cram Jam concert moved off-campus City officials and university dispute charges of racism. King Palace banquet hall Thursday night instead of in a Kwantlen Surrey campus parking lot as had originally been planned. The Kwantlen Student Association’s Cram Jam 2011 conKPU sent a mass e-mail Wednesday Sept. 7 advising cert was unexpectedly held off-campus in a local banquet students, staff, parents and the community that the concert hall last week, after city officials revoked the necessary per- had not received “the approvals required from the City of mits. Surrey that would have enabled the event to take place on Cram Jam headliner Jay Sean took the stage at the Royal the Surrey campus” and was “not a university sanctioned event.” In an email sent to KSA staff and elected officials, director of events Tarun Takhar blamed the venue change on Kwantlen and accused the university of providing “misleading information” to the RCMP. “We are displeased and disheartened by the actions of the University. It has caused unnecessary strain and damage to the KSA and our Working on three credentials directors and staff; those who have had to work extra hard to ensure the success of CramJam simultaneously, Stephanie combined [sic]. We will address this issue with KPU in credits from other institutions to help due course,” wrote Takhar. her complete a bachelor’s degree Takhar also claimed that the “RCMP, and in turn the City, were led to believe that the event through Open Learning. was not advisable, primarily due to security risks associated with the possibility that a large Ninety percent of Thompson Rivers University, number of South-Asians may attend.” Open Learning program students applied previous “We find these allegations discriminatory as credit from education, work and life experiences to past CramJam [sic] events have not been quesaccelerate their educational progress. We accept tioned in accordance with what ethnic group(s) credits from previous learning so you can accelerate attended or hosted the event,” wrote Takhar. your education and your career. Associate vice president students Jody Gor-
MATT DIMERA NEWS EDITOR
don and KPU spokesperson Joanne Saunders disputed the KSA’s allegations. “A couple of days ago both the city of Surrey and the RCMP had contacted Jody [Gordon] to let her know that permits and liquor licenses were being rescinded,” said Saunders. “The university did not seek out this information. It was brought to our attention by the RCMP and obviously the RCMP brought it to the city’s attention and the city made the decision to withdraw the event permit,” added Gordon. According to Laurie Cavan, general manager of parks, recreation and culture for the City of Surrey, the original application from the KSA indicated that the concert would be of the same size as the year before with local entertainment. She explained that permit applications state that any significant changes to events must be reported to city and that in this case it wasn’t done. She also dismissed the idea that racial profiling was a factor. “About five days before the event it came to our attention that in fact it wasn’t a local entertainment that was booked,” said Cavan. She said when Jay Sean performed at Fusion Festival in Surrey earlier in the summer more than 8,000 people attended. “We knew that that individual would draw quite a significant crowd; far beyond what was the information originally provided to us in terms of the anticipated crowd.”
Cram Jam 2011 at the Royal King Palace. ASHLEY FEHR/THE RUNNER
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vol. 4 issue 01 | September 13 2011 | page nine
KSA proposes fee change; calls by-election New fee structure to axe special purpose funds in favour of one larger fee.
MATT DIMERA NEWS EDITOR
Students will be headed for the election booth once again this year after the Kwantlen Student Association decided to hold a fall by-election and referendum. The KSA council voted by secret ballot Aug. 3 to call a by-election to fill vacancies on council and to hold a concurrent referendum to change the KSA’s fee structure. The proposed fee change would abolish most of the KSA’s special purpose fees and replace them with a larger, single fee. If the referendum passes, the following funds would cease to exist: the student union building fund, the START volunteer program fund, the social justice fund, the REBOOT computer service fund, the peer counselling fund, the intramurals program fund, the clubs and events fund, the advocacy service fund and the lobby fund. Four fees will not be affected by the referendum: the Canadian Federation of Students fee, the Multi-Pass fee, the extended health plan fee and the dental plan fee. The director of operations, a Langley representative, a Surrey campus officer, two Langley campus officers, one Cloverdale campus officer, and the women’s liaison positions are all currently vacant. The empty Langley representative seat was vacated by Amy Singh before the term started. The former director of operations, Justine Franson, resigned in August after questions were raised about her connection to a defendant in a civil court case being pursued by the KSA. The polls are scheduled to open on all four campuses Wednesday, Sept. 21 and Thursday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. KSA director of finance Nina Sandhu did not respond to an email request for an interview before press time. Former KSA council member and current student-at-large Ashley Fehr strongly opposes the new fee structure. “Right now, students can see exactly where their money is going,” said Fehr. “This new structure is less accountable, less transparent, and it opens up the soci-
ety to more risk.” “The current fee structure shows the true costs of programs.” Fehr worries that the programs that directly benefit students will be cut. “If the referendum passes, the board could spend money on anything they want. They could spend more money on lawyers, or they could give themselves huge pay raises,” said Fehr.
FUNDS THE KSA PROPOSES TO MERGE INTO ONE SUPERFEE: Intramurals Clubs and Events fund Advocacy Lobby fund Publication fee
Student Union Building START Volunteer Program Social Justice REBOOT Computer Service Peer Counselling
BCIT FORENSIC SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY You’ll learn from industry experts in forensic investigation, crime and intelligence analysis, computer crime, forensic nursing, and video analysis. To find out more about our part-time credential programs and professional development workshops, attend an information session: Monday, October 3, 5:30–7:00 pm BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street
To register, visit bcit.ca/infosessions
It’s your career. Get it right.
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Ten years on, the smoke s
With economic upheaval, political instability and growing civil unrest worldwide, Sept. 11, 2001 marked our world in its profound prescience. The West’s narrative of militant Islam and its “hatred of Western liberty” has left us suspicious of our own freedoms, and suspicious of those struggling for freedom from Middle Eastern and North African authoritarianism. Lliam Easterbrook is deeply sceptical of the surveillance state in all its forms.
LLIAM EASTERBROOK SENIOR FEATURES WRITER
ept. 11, 2011 — ten years since 19 Al Qaeda members hijacked four commercial jet liners and strategically crashed them into various predetermined targets across the continental United States, killing nearly 3,000 U.S. civilians and destroying economic, strategic and symbolic infrastructure — most notably the World Trade Center in the heart of downtown New York City, the Mecca of Western capitalism. Posthumously, the infamous attackers of 9-11 wrought many consequences for Western society. The United States and her allies were provoked into (or instigated, as many believe) a decade long war with Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of American Exceptionalism. Romantic claims of victory and justice were made what would be an effort to maintain essential Western ideals of egalitarianism and liberty — intrinsic values of Western philosophy. Promises by the Bush administration contingent to their “duty” to uphold liberty was the apprehension of Saddam Hussein, Osama
Bin Laden and to dismantle their respective chains-of-command. The Bush administration also made countless portrayals of Hussein’s “plots” in 2001. He maintained that Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction and that he was hell-bent on destroying America – a hard-line attempt to further justify immediate war with Iraq and to secure a war in the Middle East. What the Bush Administration told the world, and especially the American public — the information, misinformation, and sheer omission of information — Dr. Wade Deisman, chair of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s criminology department and policing, security and intelligence instructor, refers to as the “noble lie.” This lie justified war under a loose pretense. The “noble lie,” according to Deisman, is a lie a leader can tell to deceive the public in order to achieve a desired end. He says that this lie was the hallmark of the Bush administration, leading to a “state of exception” — the theory that when extraordinary circumstances arise, such as 9-11 — the state can assume control and operate above the rule of law. Where Bush and Cheney succeeded most was through the Patriot Act, making their
“state of exception” a perpetual institution, even when their claims were uncovered as being deliberately falsified. The damage had been done. “When the claim was exposed as fraudulent, some people expected the consequences of a scandalous exposure of that magnitude [to] be more momentous than they were,” he says. Further, the “reliable information” passed down from numerous intelligence agencies, when shown to be fraudulent, could have sparked anger and protest from the American people. Besides, they simply could not—would not wait for the infamously theatrical ‘smoking gun,’ because by then it would be too late. And the Bush administration could not — would not — allow the American people to be put in that kind of cataclysmic jeopardy. It was, essentially, just a tepid repeat of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, a tried and true formula sure to spark an already emotional nation into the American battle cry once again: a lack of correct information deliberately used to incite war, only this time — in part due to the American public’s emotionality — dissent and protest among the masses simply did not happen.
vol. 4 issue 01 | September 13 2011 | page eleven
still stings our eyes
s the war began overseas, the biggest change in North America happened in the way of security. There was a direct change in the way police and security forces were to operate. Deisman calls the change “about face” policing, or a change in the way police view the public. He says that police moved away from working with the public to keep the peace, and instead viewed the public itself as the potential target. He calls this a “move away from the democratic [policing] notion and to a more authoritarian [policing] notion,” identifying the community with a strict sense of “otherness,” rather than, part and parcel, the inclusionary liberty and sameness that Western democracy is built so proudly upon. This change in the policing model, in conjunction with the Bush administration’s Goebbels-like propaganda machine served as a kind of extinguisher for the once bright burning fire of due process — inside and outside the United States, and also internally and externally. For an administration so publically obsessed with freedom and democracy, it seems they were willing to dawn the cloak of despotism rather easily — even with regards to their own people.
With the Patriot Act the American government had the right to increased search and seizure at home, while their twisted foreign policy through the use of their “noble lie” propaganda gave them ripe opportunity to torture suspected terrorists in secret prison camps strategically located away from U.S. soil while the public so easily refrained from asking questions. The fact is many people will gladly give up a portion of their freedoms in order to curtail their fear. In this case the relinquishment of civil liberties happens under a cozy guise of security, but it’s merely only a tactic in trickery used by a lawless, warmongering government to aggrandize control and squash all possible dissent. By instilling their hyperbolized dogma of fear into the American consciousness, the Bush Administration succeeded in beguiling the public with promises of victory abroad and protection at home — like the mafia charming a smalltime convenience store owner: the “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse” type speech. And like the confused and afraid storeowner could not refuse, the American public could not refuse. With the implementation of the Patriot Act, they had
no choice but to “pay” — not with money, but with their freedoms — and now with their money as well… and their houses… and their jobs... And immediately after the dust settled on the catastrophe of 9-11, what the Bush administration did best in those eight years of bureaucratic jockeying was prey on the fear of the American people through the use of fantastical propaganda. Hitler did it. Stalin did it. It worked for them. Why wouldn’t it work for Bush? The result ten years after 9-11: the apprehension and death of Saddam Hussein and the (presumed) recent death of Bin Laden. The only other implications have been the downfall of the American economy and the suppression of a nation’s individual and collective civil liberties in the name of national security. Civil liberties are delicate and will blow back with even the smallest gust of wind. Deisman says “there isn’t any going back . . . but did we learn from this?” His answer is a fearful, “I don’t think so.” It’s hard not to entirely believe him.
page twelve | September 13 2011 | vol. 4 issue 01
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Director of ﬁnance still in conﬂict and should resign
We’re back in business After a rather unpleasant and public dispute, the KSA has reversed its decision and has chosen to remit over $60,000 in ear-marked publication fees to The Runner’s Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society. According to letters from president Harman “Jay Sean Diddy Birdman” Bassi, the KSA took issue with The Runner’s coverage of the KSA and decided to withhold money that does not belong to the KSA, thereby flouting the KSA-PIPS autonomy agreement which explicitly forbids such action and protects Kwantlen’s free press.
On behalf of The Runner, I would like to commend the KSA for making the right decision. As is true in Canadian provincial and federal politics, elected (student) government officials have no business interfering in, silencing, or in any way hindering investigations by an independent and free press. It even says so in our autonomy agreement. Sincerely,
JEFF GROAT COORDINATING EDITOR
Nina Sandhu served as Langley campus representative before this year’s election. MATT DIMERA/THE RUNNER
I THE RUNNER
At the beginning of August, The Runner broke news that two KSA executive directors were directly related to Aaron Takhar, the former KSA director of 2005-06 who was alleged to have mismanaged millions of student dollars – but they never publicly disclosed their family ties, despite the KSA’s ongoing legal battle against Takhar. This flagrant conflict of interest was never disclosed during last year’s election and has yet to be fully answered for by the KSA’s executive directors. Justine Franson, the then-director of operations, is Takhar’s sister, while Nina Sandhu, the current director of finance, is his first cousin. Franson has since resigned (having made no mention of the conflict of interest) but continues to hold influence over the KSA’s executive board by chairing in camera meetings – after her resignation. Sandhu was also Langley representative on KSA council during the previous term and before her current stint as finance director. As a vote-holding member of council, she had (and has) certain obligatory duties to the KSA as a society. For instance, any director has access to most, if not all of the society’s documents, filings and paperwork. This includes court cases like the RAF civil suit against Aaron Takhar. Sandhu’s conflict-of-interest is already over a year old. Presumably, she has had access to every single document in the
litigation the KSA had against Takhar, her cousin, since April 2010. This has yet to be addressed either by the KSA’s president, Harman “Jay Sean Diddy Birdman” Bassi or any of the four remaining executive members. Sandhu is in the very same conflict of interest as her cousin Justine was: having direct family ties to Aaron Takhar, whom the KSA was in the middle of suing. Franson resigned as director of operations, seemingly confirming this conflict by the resignation – so why has the director of finance not tendered her own resignation? KSA council even brought forth out-of-meeting executive motions to council, re-stating the KSA’s position on the RAF case while noting the two directors’ asbtentions from the decisions. This raises two clear points. One: this act, again, seems to confirm the conflict. Further, this suggests the conflict has existed as long as these two were directors of the society. As well, the fact that this was never disclosed is alarming. The lack of prudent and proper disclosure on the part of Sandhu raises far too many questions about her intentions as an elected member. Given the current KSA executive members’ recent action to adjourn the RAF case, one can only guess at her real motivations. Sandhu must immediatley answer to this conflict-of-interest and resign from her position – there is no “doing-over” that can solve this problem.
Referendum removes ﬁnancial accountability I THE RUNNER
The KSA plans to hold a referendum on Sept. 21, asking students if they support a move from a fee system that scraps the old, “ear-marked” fees that are split up and delivered accordingly, to one that rolls all of these specific fees back into an amalgamated “general revenue” fund. Taking KSA council’s recent behaviour into account, this could only mean an unwelcome shift to opaque financial practices and a reduction in much-needed accountability. This summer, the KSA executive board voted for giving themselves pay raises, adjourned the civil suit against a former director who had already been found in default judgment (the KSA only needed to find out how much money was to be awarded to them), all the while attempting to silence dissent by bullying the few council members who dare speak up in protest. Since January 1 of this year, legal spending has ballooned to an amount three times the budgeted dollar amount. The KSA has retained no less than six law firms through out-of-meeting motions, which are often not released to council in a reasonable amount of time. If this referendum passes, students will
be handing the KSA a blank cheque when it comes to their fees. The accountability that comes from having ear-marked fees which require specific dollar amounts to be tracked and accounted for will disappear under the new system. It would become difficult to confirm that money budgeted for programs like START volunteers wouldn’t be slashed and put toward, say, a ballooning legal budget. This referendum looks like the continuation of secretive practices that the KSA seems to love. Banning recording devices from meetings, asking council members to vote on secret regulations, and removing this set of checks and balances from the books – it’s all the same. Contrary to what is being said publicly by the KSA’s president, the KSA is clearly not moving forward on the path to accountability, transparency and good governance. Council members are elected by and for students. Students have entrusted the elected officials with millions of dollars in society money. The KSA should be reminded that they hold this fiduciary duty to the society – a duty to maintain sound finances on behalf of those they serve. Students won’t stand for any more reckless spending of their own money behind closed doors.
www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner
vol. 4 issue 01 | September 13 2011 | page thirteen
Culture just a hop across the border Bumbershoot festival serves up an annual weekend of culture unlike anything in Vancouver. all have their own positives they aren’t like Bumbershoot. The Folk Fest can alienate a large portion of Vancouver that can’t afford $150.00 per person and the Jazz Festival doesn’t have the same variety of cultural experience. The success of Vancouver’s 125th birthday was a great example of how
people in Vancouver are interested in these types of events. There needs to be a venue, at least once a year, where people in the Lower Mainland are comfortable spending time with each other while getting to know about the artists in our community.
Seattle’s Champagne Champagne is making waves with the group’s ability to wow live. JEFF GROAT/THE RUNNER
I MELISSA FRASER
Bumbershoot: Seattle’s premier culture festival takes place every Labour Day weekend in the city’s centre –– an inexpensive way to enjoy tons of music, dance and comedy acts; something that is actually fun and cool to do in the city. Something Vancouver
Quadron’s sultry vocals and electronic beats chilled out an overheating crowd. JEFF GROAT/THE RUNNER
is missing. This past weekend hordes of Seattleites and a slew of their neighbours met under the space needle to share a weekend of culture. The festival hosted over 100 bands on seven stages and had a full schedule of comedy, panel discussions and talks, performance arts and film. Of course, the music ranged from jazz to country and from rap to that music that can’t be labeled. The performance and visual artists were a wellchosen, eclectic group. The days were full of musical and comedy acts, and if someone found themselves with spare time between shows there were beer gardens and patches of grass to be enjoyed. Like the 40 years before, it was a peaceful weekend meant for anyone and everyone to enjoy. In it’s 41st year, Bumbershoot knows a thing or two about getting groups of completely different people to spend a little time together for a culturally educational experience (at just US $90 for the weekend). The festival was worth drive to Seattle, but it raised questions about why we had to make the trek for this experience. We’ve seen Vancouver try it with the Folk Fest, the Jazz Festival and most recently Vancouver’s 125th birthday. And while they
Caleb Klauder Country Band This good ol’ honky tonkin’ country band sounded like they were playin’ a ho down in a smokey barn all hopped up on whisky and chewin’ tobacco. Songs about sunshine, pretty girls and worn out shoes were far from the binge drinking messages of popular country. The audience couldn’t help but at least tap a foot along to the tune. Champagne Champagne If you haven’t seen 50-year-old women in Birkenstocks grooving to rap music in under the afternoon sun, then you haven’t seen the best an urban festival can offer. This rap duo from Seattle had everyone in the crowd nodding their heads, arms in the air by the time they brought out “Starfucker” that no one seemed to notice the title. Vusi Mahlasela With a voice that sounds like he’s calling out for something barely reachable, Vusi Mahlasela’s protest songs are inspiring and beautiful. Out of South Africa, he’s been part of the apartheid struggle and the current strife in a country so different from our own. Mahlasela makes South African folk music accessible and educational. And he can speak really, really fast. Kore Ionz This reggae outfit from Seattle were perfectly suited for an afternoon show. As people lay listlessly in the unrelenting heat, the music took us to a more relaxed more “Caribbean” place. The smell of pot wafting through the air and the old hippies swaying in the grass really fit the spirit of the band.
Fly Moon Royalty does modern soul meets dance music. JEFF GROAT/THE RUNNER
The Jim Jones Revue Getting to the performance was like walking into a Hell’s Angels church service. The audience was bombarded with rockabilly guitar, piercing piano and raspy male vocals singing, I mean yelling, about “motherfuckers.” It was beautiful music for a biker’s wedding. The Horde and the Harem Such a big sound from a young folk group in plaid and paisley. The horn section and the lead singer’s robust voice offered a rich, full sound, which is sometimes lacking in folk music. Out of Seattle, the band specializes in West Coast, nature-inspired songs full of harmonies and piano riffs. Quadron Quadron is made up of bleak, Scandinavian electro pop layered with soulful bass lines and lead by beautiful jazz vocals. If you stood by someone smoking a cigarette and shut your eyes you couldn’t help but imagine you were in the middle of a small nightclub in Denmark: blinking coloured lights, silver sparkles on the floor and copious amounts of vodka.
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The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca
Fringe Fest adds twists At 27-years-old, the Fringe Festival is still moving – literally – and shaking.
CHRIS YEE SENIOR CULTURE WRITER
might be surprising to some, but the Vancouver Fringe Festival is only the second one of its kind not only in Canada, but in all of North America – indeed, neither it nor fringe theatre in North America are 30 yet. The Vancouver Fringe Festival was inaugurated in 1984, inspired by the Edmonton Fringe Festival, the first of its kind in North America. Started in 1982, the Edmonton Fringe was itself inspired by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which began in 1947, once the misfit twin to the somewhat more orthodox Edinburgh International Festival. The Edinburgh Fringe is now the world’s largest performing arts festival. Like all Fringe Festivals, everything the Vancouver Fringe Festival features has been chosen by a lottery selection process –
no juries. “Everyone has a chance [at putting on a show],” says David Jordan, executive director of the Vancouver Fringe Festival – something that was not lost on its founders, Joanna Maratta and the First Vancouver Theatrespace Society in creating the space that became the Fringe Festival in 1984. On top of this, the Fringe Festival also has a Bring Your Own Venue program, which lets theatre and other performing arts groups organize their own shows affiliated with the Festival, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Speaking of venues, the Fringe Festival has moved a lot in its 27-year history: from its original home in and around the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood in Vancouver, it moved to Commercial Drive in 1995, then to its current main location on Granville Island – but at 11 years and counting, the Festival might as well be settled
there now. New additions this year include Fringe Onsite, a series of site-specific theatre on the Festival’s Granville Island site . “We want to make theatre spring out of every nook and cranny [of Granville Island],” Jordan says of Onsite), and Sounds from the Fringe, featuring a variety of comedians, DJs and musicians, and a series of installations around Granville Island by the Art Is Land Network. This year’s instalment of the Vancouver Fringe Festival runs from Sept. 8 to Sept. 18, with the most popular shows encore Pick of the Fringe from Sep. 22-25. For more information on the Fringe Festival, including ticket prices and current shows, see vancouverfringe.com.
Top 4 fringe-worthy features
The Blind Date - Gallery of BC Ceramics, 1359 Cartwright Street (Granville Island) Debuting at this year’s Fringe Festival, this Bring Your Own Venue performance by Invisible City Theatre puts a “20-something-year-old” couple on a blind first date through “a series of date scenarios” ranging from the “good” to the “bad” to the “embarrassing” and “flammable” (whether that was meant literally, we don’t know). Probably good for couples, don’t you think?
ShLong Form Improv - Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street Come help these Seoul-based ex-pat comedians play matchmaker to two short-form improv sets and create two “separate and innovative” long-form improv sets at this Bring Your Own Venue improv show. No, we will not make any dick jokes regarding this event, that would be lazy and juvenile. Sorry.
3 Fruitcake: Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward - Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street (Granville Island). Spoken word performance by “reformed psychiatric nurse” Rob Gee, full of yuks, guffaws and poignant moments for the psych nurses in your life - or anyone, really.
Stay Away From My Boat @$$hole - Alder Bay Bridge (Granville Island) Taking place in the waters underneath the Alder Bay Bridge, this Bring Your Own Venue site-specific performance by ITZAZOO Productions is self-explanatory. There’s a man, a boat, and some asshole who may or may not want on the boat and the man off it. That being said, Stay Away From My Boat @$$hole is probably funnier and more thought-provoking than what the previous description might suggest - at least, we think it is.
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Volbeat rocks Vancouver again The tattooed, Danish posse rocked the Commodore Ballroom on Aug. 25.
JACOB ZINN CONTRIBUTOR
Volbeat returned to Vancouver for another floorboard-jarring performance at the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday, Aug. 25. The tattooed Danish posse brought their brand of heavy metal, punk and rock and roll back to Rain City for the second time this year. Dallas’ own band, Anchored, opened the show to a half-empty ballroom. They played their singles, “Last Night” and the fledgling strip club anthem, “Dirty in Texas”, as well as a self-indulgent cover of Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch.” Their power chord-driven, southern rock sound is akin to Nickelback, but not as greasy. The crowd tolerated the warm-up group, but there was no question, they wanted Volbeat. The show wasn’t sold out, but the floor filled up by the time they took the stage. Volbeat opened with “The Human Instrument” and transitioned into the crowdheating third-album title track, “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood”. Most of the tracks came from their newest disc, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven. Lead singer Michael Poulsen (clad in a sleeveless Death T-shirt) pushed his pitch-perfect vocal chords to the limit on “Heaven Nor Hell”. Four songs in, his gelled-back jet-black hair came unglued with sweat. Lead guitarist Thomas Bredahl shredded through “A Moment Forever” and “Halle-
lujah Goat” while bassist Anders Kjølholm picked low notes that stood out, even next to the riffs of dual electric guitars. The punk tempo of “Radio Girl” stirred up the energy of the crowd and they carried that through “The Mirror and the Ripper”. “Let’s play a song for Johnny Cash,” said Poulsen, garnering cheers. In tribute to the Man in Black, the band performed the “Folsom Prison Blues”-inspired “Sad Man’s Tongue”, which started country and soon turned metal. From punk to metal to country, Volbeat wasn’t afraid to frequently switch genres — they moved into blazing hard rock with “Mary Ann’s Place” and “A New Day”. Between songs, Poulsen asked for Volbeat requests, but the band teased them with opening riffs of Motörhead, Metallica, Diamond Head and Queen instead. “You want a Volbeat song?” asked Poulsen as the band burst into the tongue-twisting “16 Dollars”. Bredahl provided backing vocals on “The Garden’s Tale” and drummer Jon Larsen double-kicked our asses on just about every other song. “Let me see the horns!” yelled Poulsen as they moved into the headbanging, upand-down jumping, bass drum-throbbing “River Queen”. They closed the main set with sing-along “Still Counting”, and left the stage to prepare for the last few songs. Poulsen started the encore with a swig of
Volbeat singer Michael Poulsen pushed his pitch-perfect vocals to the limit on Aug. 25. JACOB ZINN/THE RUNNER
Jack Daniels and the fight anthem “A Warrior’s Call”, followed by the palm-muted “Fallen” and the fan-dedicated “Thanks”. The band performed their rendition of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want to Be With You” before going into their own “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza” and finishing with the opening riff of Slayer’s “Raining Blood”.
If they didn’t do it five months ago, Volbeat proved they are one of the best live bands today. They sounded just like their albums, but exhibited more raw energy than could be recorded in a studio.
ton. Each place was dear to his heart as he spent his time there each week. Many jobs that Aiken tried were: radio DJ, winemaker, cattail picker, preschool teacher, exterminator, and park ranger. All of the careers that were offered to Aiken for fifty-two weeks helped him set the next career experiences in other cities. Trying a new career every week was both a challenge and a joyous experience. Aiken met the love of his life and close knit friends that became family. All of whom he’s thankful for sharing their experiences
with him. Aiken hopes that the project will inspire others to follow their dream or even find a new direction. Others may not have the answer to their newfound direction but eventually the time will come. On the other hand, some may have a direction for their career, but obstacles come in the way. During Kwantlen’s career week, Aiken asked “What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?”
52 jobs, 52 weeks
MAE VELASCO CONTRIBUTOR
Sean Aiken had a vision. Fifty-two jobs in one whole year was the goal. When he graduated from Capilano University, he still had questions about his career. Instead of just settling into one set job choice, Aiken decided to try a bunch of careers and search for his dream job. Aiken travelled around Canada and the
Sean Aiken explores 52 possible career paths in The One-Week Job Project. MAE VELASCO/THE RUNNER
United States where he met many people in cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Washing-
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The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca
A reunited Blink-182 wows at Rogers Arena I
MIKE SHAMES SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER
When a a band reunites there are many concerns, like whether the issues that caused the break up resolved, or wondering if they still have the same magic. For Blink-182, the answers are a resounding yes, especially to the latter. They brought down the house at Rogers Arena on Aug. 31 with – by their own admission – “the best line up of the tour,” including Against Me!, Rancid and My Chemical Romance. Blink-182 went on an indefinite hiatus in 2005 and each member went on to other projects. There seemed to be many reasons for the break up; Tom Delonge (guitarist) was burning out, and said there were creative differences. Post-break up, there was much speculation about who was to blame and why Blink-182 ended. Mark Hoppus (bassist) and Travis Barker (drummer) went on to create +44, and Delonge started Angels and Airwaves. But two events jarred them into reconciling. The first was the sudden death of long-time producer Jerry Finn in August 2008, then a near fatal plane crash on Sept. 19, which Barker barely survived. At the 51st Grammy Awards, the guys officially announced the reformation of Blink-182. Since then the band has toured all over the world, and after several delays, are set to release their new album Neighbourhoods on Sept. 27. The concert at Rogers was part of
BLINK-182 PROMO PHOTO
Blink’s Neighbourhoods Tour and they brought along their friends from Rancid, My Chemical Romance and Against Me!. For a semi-well known band, Against Me! did get the crowd going. Rancid has remained in the shadows of their more popular and mainstream counterparts Blink-182, Green Day and The Offspring, but that suits the band and their fans just fine. Rancid’s hardcore following are al-
ways rewarded with an excellent show and this one was no exception. During the short set, the crowd sang along and mosh pits were feverish. My Chemical Romance was a different story. By the time the band hit the stage, many were getting impatient to see Blink and some expressed it with plastic projectile beverage containers. Others struggled to remember lyrics of songs from early MCR
albums.MCR rode on the energy created by the earlier acts and anticipation for Blink-182. Finally the patience of the crowd was rewarded. Blink-182 arrived on stage with a thunderous cheer from the crowd and immediately jumped into their set and classic Blink-182 concert hijinks. Known for their potty humour and poor taste in jokes, Hoppus and Delonge had the audience laughing as much as singing along. One point between songs Delonge started playing the joke song “I Wanna Fuck a Dog”, and then told the audience to “grow up” as the crowd started singing along. After “I Miss You”, Mark brought the crowd back from near tears with “We Have Lasers”. One wouldn’t have known the near death experience Barker went through, as he was on top of his game and demonstrated his mastery of the drums. At the beginning of the encore, Barker was suspended above the audience, gave a tremendous show before his band mates launched into the final songs. Blink’s set lasted over an hour and the audience soaked it up. Despite a great show, there was a somewhat disappointing attendance – the floor was full, but the stands were vacant. Perhaps the nearly five years apart have damaged Blink’s popularity. Hopefully Neighbourhoods will show fans of old that Blink-182 is truly back in action.
Exclusive Online Content
Jacob Zinn’s review of Santana in Vancouver Matt Law’s article “Kwantlen giving away free car” Listen to a podcast on Slam Poetry by Simon Massey
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vol. 4 issue 01 | September 13 2011 | page seventeen
Questionable methods of political socialization I
SIMON MASSEY CONTRIBUTOR
Option A: Grow up with a slight ambivalence toward authority, picture yourself as “hardedged.” Listen to punk-rock and worry about “the man” trying to keep you down. Read the Wikipedia page on Bakunin and start wearing clothes with a red “A” in a circle on them. Hang posters of Che Guvera on your wall but know next to nothing about him. Believe that government is the problem and that society would be better without it. Declare yourself an anarchist, pass high school but don’t care what your grades are. Take a year or two off and become more politically active. Go to rallies and protests, the more the better, you can figure out what you’re protesting later. Possibly grow dreadlocks and tweet that Rage Against The Machine wrote the soundtrack to your life. Interject yourself into politically minded conversations by shouting “legalize it!” Use the time you don’t spend protesting Wal-Mart’s attempt to set up a location in your city to work a customer service job at a multinational chain-store. Become “that” coworker, the one who refers to customers as consumerist sheep but oddly has no qualms with taking full advantage of the employee discount. Watch in horror as your fellow revolutionaries all grow up and get careers. Attend university as a last ditch effort to find people who “Get what you’re saying.” Take political science and realize how completely ineffective an anarchist government would be. Use this revelation to explore alternative points of view. Consider adopting Buddhism or Hinduism in order to prove you’re not stuck in the cookie-cutter mould of the Western world like your parents. Read Ayn Rand but only The Fountainhead. DON’T LISTEN TO ALEX JONES! He’s crazy and no good will come of him. Define yourself as a social libertarian and vote for the Marijuana party, though the green party is an acceptable substitute if they aren’t running a candidate. Spend your life maintaining that virtually all problems facing any given government would be instantly solved by legalizing pot. Find yourself a comfortable corner between mainstream and socially conscious,
pretend its edgy and stand there trying to act aloof.
Option B: Grow up showing a slight interest in politics. Pay attention to your beliefs that smaller government is better but, be more concerned with knowing who to blame for any given situation than what the solution is. Underachieve in school, fall short of your social expectations. Do not attend post secondary. Steadily work simple jobs like moving inventory in a warehouse or stacking produce in the grocery store but don’t work any jobs that are meaningful or have possibilities for advancement. Blame the government and others for your situation. Discover and listen to Alex Jones. Become a conspiracy theorist and consider yourself enlightened to the true nature of the world. Define yourself as having an “alternative point of view” and wear it like a badge. Examine your old beliefs but not your new ones, treat new beliefs as undeniable facts. Convince yourself that government and democracy are a sham and that the same collective pulls the strings behind all parties and governments. Become “that” member of your family, the one who at Christmas used your aunt’s innocent comment about Obama to launch into a tirade
on the “soon to be” fascist state of America. Adopt conspiracy buzz words like fear bombing. Begin referring to those who don’t agree with you as “sheeple.” Stop brushing with fluoride and begin using an assumed name on Facebook. DON’T LISTEN TO THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY! They’re all in on it and would only try to mislead you. Deny global warming and Insist anything with a lens or a microphone is being used to monitor you, but never explain how or more importantly why. Always assume the end is just around the corner, it will never be more than two years before the global elite or whichever secret society is pulling the strings rises up and kills off or enslaves all of humanity. Offer no explanation as to why you’ve been saying this for the last 20 years and still nothing has happened. Live a life of constant paranoia, get your news from choice “enlightened” websites and talk radio shows. Demonize all progress so that the internet is “just another way they can track us,” jet engines become “an elaborate scheme to control the weather” and gun control is just “taking away our only means to fight back!” Accomplish little in life but don’t be bothered in the least by it. It’s clear that insurmountable forces have been conspiring to keep you down and there was nothing you could have done differently. Never live to see this end you’ve been prophesising, but worry for those who are still around as it is surely just around the corner. Option C: Grow up in an upper-middle-class family. Extol the virtues of your parents’ preferred right-wing party, be sure to always have a clever comment for why you support this party ready in case anyone should ask. Wear a tie to high school and strive to always be somewhat overdressed for any given situation. Support the political party you think will gain you the most respect from other students. Do not over-achieve in high school but do well enough to be accepted into the general studies program of the most prestigious local university. Wear your admission like a badge, ignore the fact that many of
your peers have gone on to far more prestigious schools elsewhere. Flirt with religion, choose the one that is most accepted among the majority of people you know. Strive to gain as much status within this religion as fast as possible, have a 6-month plan to be wearing whatever robes, hat or garment that will set you above the other commoners who attend your place of worship. Change your preference in political party to suit your new found religion. Now that you are old enough, vote, and vote enthusiastically. Wear a suit and gloves to the polling stations and announce your vote to whoever will hear you. When you finally notice the high extent of voter apathy among your peers decide to stop voting as it is not the social boon you thought it to be. For future elections be sure to always have a clever comment you are ready to volunteer for why you didn’t vote. Decide to take some time to work even though your parents are covering your tuition fees. Get a corporate job with an oil or logging company and try to rub shoulders as high up the corporate ladder as possible. Change your political views to ones that favour your particular corporation. After a respectable semester of work return to school still on your parent’s dime. Finish your bachelors degree and end your flirtation with religion. See yourself as an “academic” and memorize clever quotes from respected members of the scientific community. Always have a pithy comment by anyone from Carl Sagan to Tesla ready should the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge arise. Begin to read about authors who have written on political topics. DON’T READ ABOUT AYN RAND! a brief glance over her Wikipedia page will teach you everything you need to know to hate her and the people who read her. Read newspapers that you believe have opinions others will respect and quote them often. Provide heated commentary but never act to change the system. Spend your life thinking more about how others view your opinions than about the opinions themselves. Find yourself at 48 standing alone in a classroom and wondering what other paths you might have taken.
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Disscontinent exhibition at Surrey Art Gallery draws on travels
In “Voodoo You Doo Speak,” artist Brendan Fernandes mixes audio with visual animations to examine how we entwine language, culture and sprituality. This is one of seven pieces from Disscontinent. COURTESY SAG TO RUNNER
KRISTI ALEXANDRA CULTURE EDITOR
Born in Kenya, of Indian descent and raised in Toronto, visual artist Brendan Fernandes has a bit of an occupation with cultural identity. The now New York-based artist explores themes of language, diaspora and ethnography in his upcoming solo exhibit Disscontinent, coming to the Surrey Art Gallery on Sept. 17. Made up of seven different pieces which mesh audio, video and other visuals, the works in Disscontinent all investigate the basic question: who am I? So who is Brendan Fernandez? “I am Kenyan, I am Indian, I am Canadian. I feel that cultural identity is always in flux — it changes, it grows through experiences,” he says over the phone from his new home in New York. “Now that I live in the U.S., that affects me; the way I think, the way I act. To be authentic is stabilizing.” The exhibit features “Voodoo You Doo Speak,” a large-scale installation that uses audio and visual language to convey “spiritual take-
over”. Four different zulu masks are accompanied by a pair of headphones, which will speak dada-ist poetry, and video animations. “These four masks each have a speaker’s soliloquoy that you will listen to on headphones, and they reference the idea of the exotic and the voodoo takeover, voodoo gods, spirituality and the loss of tongue,” says Fernandes. “The animations have flashes and the flashes indicate another type of language inscribed into the piece. It’s not articulated but it’s through Morse code flashing. Those flashes become mesmerizing, so then the piece kind of becomes a spiritual takeover. It’s a lyrical, spiritual takeover.” The exhibit doesn’t just explore “nonsensical” dada-ist poetry and languages from the artists cultural background, but explores communication between animals as well. Fernandes shows the interplay of a pride of lions calling
out to each other in his installation, “Homecoming.” “Going into the main gallery, there’s a video called Homecoming,” he says. “Homecoming is footage of lions calling each other. At night, lions go hunting and sometimes the pride gets broken up. In the early hours of the morning they call each other with this specific roar that is kind of pathetic and sad, and it’s kind of a call to bring back the family together.” The concept of the video, Fernandes says, is about what it really means to go home. He jokes at the idea that as soon as people enter the exhibition, they are essentially being told to go home. “Everytime a lion calls to another lion, I have put up a subtitle that says ‘go home.’ So I’m questioning the idea of what it means to go home. It’s not a direct translation, we translate things through differ-
ent texts. It can be kind of confrontational, like ‘get out and go home’ but it’s also an idea of ‘I want to go home’ – a longing for home.” The exhibition also references J.M Coetzee’s sequel to Robinson Crusoe, Foe, the idea of Western art historians placing mythology on African objects and distance between cultural understanding. Fernandes says he is excited to hold his first solo exhibition in the Lower Mainland. “It’s nice for me to come to Vancouver. It’s a very large arts community to come to and show my work at this large scale. Surrey has a large community of Indians, so for them to see my story — which is their story — and all the other people who have immigrated … I can talk about these things through my own story, but it’s something that everyone can really identify with,” he says. “Disscontinent” opens at the Surrey Art Gallery on Sept. 17 and runs until Dec. 11. Fernandes will be speaking at the exhibition’s opening at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 17.
www.runnerrag.ca | The Runner
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Vinyl Dust-off: Kyuss’ Blues for the Red Sun I
LLIAM EASTERBROOK SENIOR FEATURES WRITER
Kyuss lives! At least that’s what news headlines said in early 2010. And after ripping up Australia and Europe last year under the pseudo name “Kyuss Lives!” — the influential stoner rock outfit from Palm Desert, CA, brings their nasty brand of sludge to North America for their first continental tour in fifteen years. Even though guitarist Josh Homme is currently on tour with his band Queens of the Stone Age (opening up for the newly reformed Soundgarden), Kyuss Lives! has still managed to receive glowing reviews, selling out small venues in numerous cities overseas. Kyuss Lives! comes to Vancouver’s own Commodore Ballroom Sept. 23. But lets back things up a bit, shall we? Lets go back to early Kyuss — before they “lived” again, and take a look at a hidden gem in the gravel pit of stoner rock. From the dustbowl of garage rock from whence it came circa 1992, this is Blues for the Red Sun, Kyuss’ second full length LP. The sound that is Kyuss is as grimy as the muck in
your tire well, as gritty as a set of busted premolars and as frenetic as an unregulated public lynching. It’s everything you want in an underproduced hard rock album, and more. Consisting of guitarist Josh Homme, bassist Nick Oliveri, drummer Brant Bjork and vocalist John Garcia, Kyuss takes its name from Dungeons and Dragons — more specifically from the demigod Kyuss, whose powers re-
gard creation, and who serves as the master of the undead. On “Blues” songs like “Thong Song” and “Freedom Run” showcase the bands innovative sound, heavy and slow, while producer Chris Goss captures the rawness of a band having found its form. For his guitar sound Homme uses a bass amp to feed his down-tuned guitar into, creating a heavy and distorted tone and riffs that form what one reviewer called “post-Hendrix guitar flurries.” Garcia screams, “I don’t need a séance/ I hate slow songs/ . . . my hair is real long,” on the aforementioned “Thong Song,” showing a tongue in cheek irony about the band itself (the song is abysmally slow trodden). Overall the album is one big gurgle from the throat: more bravado than reservation, more go-for-broke and fast, than anything else — the way they want it. On Blues for the Red Sun, Kyuss kicks your ass. It’s one loud sonic ass kicking after another; but it’s not always fast — no no — sometimes it comes on slow — dirgy — like the stomp of a large Doc Martin to an undefended ribcage. But then they quicken the assault and beat you into a strange kind of catatonic listening psychosis. So, after making my aural trip to the California desert to get my ass kicked by Kyuss, I felt like I had to take a trip to the goddamned hospital. I felt like I had to salve and bandage my wounds. I felt I’d best find a way to prepare for my next trip out to the freedom run of the desert.
Spin that black circle... I
LLIAM EASTERBROOK SENIOR FEATURES WRITER
The resurgence of vinyl is a trend that is seemingly here to stay; its prevalence in mainstream culture in the post 2000’s is not merely a puzzling and ridiculous fad like auto tune. Vinyl is somewhat of an anomaly of our age; it hasn’t been the leading technological extent in sound — as far as convenience and innovation are concerned — since the mid 60’s. And unlike, say, the 8-track player or compact disc — both having reigned in the limelight of technology’s reach for their time respectively, but have since wilted and vanished — vinyl remains. And even though a record player is awkward and, more or less, moored to your living room, the allure of spinning vinyl has ripened for new generations, remaining unique in its antiquity and in the superiority of analog sound. Further, the resurgence of vinyl isn’t merely the relic of some hipster craze vintage artifacts; it is a cherished sacrament for the musically inclined, and the only analog anti-
pode to the tawdry ipod era. The continuation of vinyl, as a sought after and cherished medium to play and mix music, has, and will endure, simply because it is tangible, more organic and fallible than artificial and perfect; it is something real in an increasingly unreal world. It endures as a symbol of the human resisting the inhuman. The humanity of vinyl is reflected in its ritual. Every time you select a vinyl record — digging its album art, the size, the clarity of the image — and pull the slick black disc (never in remiss) from its sleeve, fit it to the turntable, position the needle above, and drop it down oh so gently; it is in every turn, every note, every nuance, every time you drop that needle, that you are literally scraping the music from the surface grooves of the vinyl, and essentially killing that record very, very, very slowly. Just like the poet Keats said in Ode to a Nightingale, a meditation on creation and the mortality of human life, Where youth grows pale, and spectre–thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Vinyl has a dichotomous life: the life of the album, its musical duration; but also its life in a mortal or bodily sense. Like everything in life and the universe, nothing is static; nothing endures; everything is constantly changing, growing, thriving, withering, dying. Playing a vinyl record places the listener in a finite romance with the music, a romance that is ultimately as forlorn as our own mortality. Some say art is a function of our intellect with the underlying intention of confirming our own existences in a universe that is destined to forget us. The vinyl record shares our futility; it is a small symbol representing a larger attempt by humanity to confirm existence through art, creation, and the human imagination, not because it lives only to die, but because it dies just a little more every time it lives. The reason vinyl endures in this technological age, then, is because the human spirit endures. And because the scraping spin of a record player enchants the listener a hell of a lot more than the dull, synthetic glow of an iPod.
page twenty | September 13 2011 | vol. 4 issue 01
The Runner | www.runnerrag.ca
REALISTIC FACEBOOK RSVPS - JOHN MORRISON III (CUP)
VIRGO Aug. 24 - Sept. 23
PISCES Feb. 20 - March 20
Drinking a couple beers before class will make you sluggish and unclever during class discussion. It might also make you an alcoholic.
LIBRA Sept. 24 - Oct. 23
You might ﬁnd yourself in an unexpected sexual tryst. Try to wear nice underwear for the next two weeks. Washed.
SCORPIO Oct. 24 - Nov. 22
Your level of commitment to Dirty Dancing is getting out of control. Someone better put you in the corner.
ARIES March 21 - April 19
Don’t mailorder sex-toys if you live in an apartment building. Or your parents’ house. In fact, perhaps don’t mailorder sex-toys at all.
TAURUS April 20 - May 20
Your bum may have looked good in those shortshorts on the ﬁrst day of classes, but we know you’ll be donning sweatpants for the rest of the year.
SAGITTARIUS Nov. 23 - Dec. 21 Step 1: gain a small amount of political power. Step 2: control an apathetic population. Step 3: privatize, and then pop your collar.
CAPRICORN Dec. 22 - Jan. 20
You might be accused of being a space-cadet this week, but take it as a compliment if it’s coming from a sci-ﬁ nerd.
GEMINI May 21 - June 20 Spend an entire day adding “between the sheets” to the end of your sentences.
CANCER June 21 - july 23
Soda crackers are a necessary addition to soup. But not chili. Remember that.
AQUARIUS Jan. 21 - Feb 19
Bring back duck-duck-goose. And try to get Red Rover going again, while you’re at it.
LEO July 24 - Aug. 23
The word “inﬂuenza” comes from the Italian inﬂuentia because people used to believe that the inﬂuence of the planets, stars, and moon caused the ﬂu — for only such universal inﬂuence could explain such sudden and widespread sickness. The world’s most unusual shark, the megamouth (Megachasma pelagios), wasn’t discovered until 1976. Its mouth can reach up to three feet across, while the rest of the body is about 16 feet long. Only 14 megamouths have ever been seen. A ‘jiffy’ is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second
You’ve taken a geriatric lover. Make sure to ﬁll that Viagra prescription for him on your next trip to the pharmacy.
When your instructor asks you a trick question, jump up and yell “IT’S A TRAP!”
facts from facts.randomhistory.com
Published on Sep 20, 2011