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EDITORIAL Mistakes happen, some are worse than others MITCH HUTTEMA VANESSA BROADBENT THE CASCADE

Mistakes happen and sometimes they are just unavoidable. Part of being a human includes occasionally making errors, and that’s likely never going to change. Unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes can profoundly affect a large number of people, no matter how unintentional they might be. On Nov. 25, an email was sent out to all students registered with a disability at UFV, reminding them to register with disability services if they need to make any special accommodations for the upcoming finals. However, the email failed to follow standard practice and instead of blinding (bcc) the email addresses of all students registered with a disability, it revealed them. This was one of those mistakes. While this is a serious breach of privacy, it’s also a human error — someone literally clicked the wrong button, something that I, and probably most people that regularly use email for their work, have done more than once. Mistakes like this are bound to happen. Anytime you’re working with people, those people are going to make mistakes at some point and, unfortunately, occasionally those mistakes are going to affect a large amount of people — in this case, 435. However, what’s also bound to happen, is that people involved could be deeply hurt.

As shared by the Student Union Society (SUS), for some students, having the fact that they have a disability publicized can be life changing. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, shared their story with SUS and The Cascade, of having an acquaintance see their name on the list and share that with others.

“Wednesday’s incident has changed how my family looks at me. It’s changed how a lot of people look at me.” “Before Wednesday, my parents did not know that I have a registered disability. By Thursday morning, they confronted me about my disability and I had to have some really painful and uncomfortable conversations with family which I didn’t think I would ever have to have as a UFV student,” they said. For this student, the actions that UFV took regarding the incident weren’t enough.





Margaret Trudeau to come to UFV

Musings on Christmas

UN Day of Solidarity with Palestine

July Talk at the Commodore

Who is she? Why is she coming? What does she have to talk about?

To shop or not to shop? Is the holiday just a big marketing scheme?

The Rachel Corrie foundation and Palestinians speak out at UFV panel talks.

Interacting with fans and getting up close and personal.







Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Broadbent

Culture & Events Editor Jeff Mijo

Multimedia Editor Martin Ranninger

Managing Editor Mitch Huttema

Arts in Review Editor Martin Castro

Distributor Quintin Stamler

Business Manager Jennifer Trithardt-Tufts

Production Manager Brittany Cardinal

Researcher Trevor Johnson

Copy Editor Kat Marusiak

Online Editor Tanya Vanpraseuth

Staff Writers Emma Groeneveld

News Editor Joel Robertson-Taylor

Features Editor Bradley Peters

Michael Chutskoff

Opinion Editor Panku Sharma

Illustrator Amara Gelaude


“UFV’s response to the incident feels like the gravity of the situation has been downplayed. The email sent on Wednesday wasn’t just a minor accident that had no impact on students with registered disabilities,” the student said. “Wednesday’s incident has changed how my family looks at me. It’s changed how a lot of people look at me.” But in this kind of situation, how exactly should UFV have handled things? UFV followed all of the required procedures: the email was deleted from students’ myUFV inboxes, an email was sent out the same day to all students that received the initial email, and a report was made to UFV’s board of governors, as well as the B.C. privacy commissioner, whom students were also given the contact information for if they wished to file a complaint. Rather than trying to hide the error, or at least trying their hardest to make sure that as few people as possible knew about the mistake, UFV owned up to it, let students know that it happened, and apologized. The email sent out to students clearly outlined the incident and included a formal apology from the university. This isn’t easy. No one likes to admit their faults, and when making unintentional errors like this one, most people’s initial response it to hide it, or at least try to play it down where it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. UFV did their diligence in every way they could, and regardless, people’s lives were changed. So here’s to hoping that when they send out the email offering counselling services to all those affected by the crisis, they don’t make the same mistake again.

Klara Chmelarova Rita Metwally Harvin Bhatal Josh De Silva WWW.UFVCASCADE.CA @UFVCASCADE Kayla BWD FACEBOOK.COM/UFVCASCADE Rebekah Brackett INSTAGRAM.COM/THE.CASCADE Seamus Heffernan

Volume 24 · Issue 31 Room S2111 33844 King Road Abbotsford, BC V2S 7M8 604.854.4529 Wrapping paper cover design: Brittany Cardinal

The Cascade is UFV’s autonomous student newspaper. It originated under its current name in 1993, and achieved autonomy from the university and the Student Union Society in 2002. This means that The Cascade is a forum for UFV students to have their journalism published in an entirely student-run setting. It also acts as an alternative press for the Fraser Valley. The Cascade is funded with UFV student funds, and is overseen by the Cascade Journalism Society Board, a body run by a student majority. The Cascade is published every Wednesday with a print circulation of 1,250 and is distributed at Abbotsford, Chilliwack (CEP), Clearbrook, and Mission UFV campuses and throughout the surrounding communities. The Cascade is open to written, photo, and design work from all students; these can come in the form of a pitch to an editor, or an assignment from an editor. Writers meetings are held each Monday at 2:00 p.m. in The Cascade’s office on the Abbotsford campus. In order to be published in the newspaper, all work must first be approved by The Cascade’s editor-in-chief, copy editor, and corresponding section editor. The Cascade reserves the right to edit submissions for clarity and length. The Cascade will not print any articles that contain racist, sexist, homophobic or libellous content. Letters to the editor, while held to the same standard, are unedited, and should be under 400 words. As The Cascade is an autonomous student publication, opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of UFV, The Cascade’s staff and collective, or associated members.




Project manager hired for pedagogy investment fund The project aims to invest in innovative and upgraded teaching practices

BCNet UFV recently joined the BCNET Advanced Network, an ultrahigh-speed network that can provide internet speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second with fibre optic infrastructure. The network extends across eight UFV campuses and connects UFV to 86 other colleges, universities, and research institutes. UFV originally switched to BCNET in January 2015 from previous internet provider PLNet.

Visual Arts open house UFV’s visual arts department will be holding their annual Studio Open House event Wednesday, November 30 from 5-7 p.m. The open house provides an opportunity to visit senior VA students in their studios and talk to them about their work. The VA116 exhibit “Multiples” will have its opening reception at the same time in the S’eliyemetaxwtexw Gallery in B136. The exhibit will continue until Dec. 7.

The recently added touchsceen adjustable height computer implemented in room A233 is one of many that will be introduced. MICHAEL CHUTSKOFF JOEL ROBERTSON-TAYLOR

SUS accepting applications for Angel Tree program SUS has begun accepting applications for their Angel Tree program. The program offers support to UFV students who face the various challenges of raising families while pursuing a university education. “Angels,” children of the accepted UFV students, will be up for adoption and are posted on the tree located in the Atrium of the Student Union Building on the Abbotsford Campus and in the Atrium of Building A on the Chilliwack Campus, with each Angel representing a child and their gift wish. Donations of gifts or money can be made to the angels by signing up through or by phone at: 604 864 4613 (SUS Office)

Photo: Mitch Huttema


UFV’s Information Technology Services hired Nicole Bourget as project manager for the Pedagogy Investment Fund. The project, a $1.5 million investment announced by the office of the provost in May, will bring innovative technologies and techniques to UFV classrooms. Bourget comes most recently from Telus, managing IT and infrastructure projects as well as organizational transformation projects, change management, product and business cases, and program and portfolio management. The UFV project she now manages focuses on improving students’ ability to learn and develop. By upgrading technology in classrooms, the project will take an innovative approach to education delivery for both students and instructors. The project has undergone constant consultation between different working groups and committees since its inception. While it doesn’t have a set completion date, pilot classrooms have been set up to introduce and test new technologies. “We still have a number of funds and various things that we want to do, so we don’t want to have a deadline but we do have a list of things

we want to accomplish,” said Bourget. “We want to make sure it’s done right as opposed to just done.” Bourget’s role is to help settle the logistics side of implementation that comes with classroom upgrades, and ensure the general process functions properly. “It can mean upgrading the classrooms, it can mean professional development, opening up opportunities for research, a number of different things,” said Bourget. Dr. Maureen Wideman, who is the director of UFV’s teaching and learning, said the project “enables faculty in being flexible with teaching their students, and gives them more flexible options.” Various “eRooms” have also been set up, some of which feature smart boards — interactive whiteboards that allow users to control a computer via a projector’s projection onto the board with a stylus. “We haven’t got a full list of what we’ll do yet but what we’re currently looking at is taking some of the more static, lecture-style classrooms and adding in items to help with collaboration,” said Bourget. Other developments so far have been the addition of a touch-screen computer, wheeled chairs and tables, and an increased amount of whiteboards in classrooms. Mobile furniture and multiple whiteboards in classrooms can

allow for students to get up and collaborate in groups. UFV has a portfolio of multiple intersecting projects relating to the fund. Part of Bourget’s job will be to track the developments and keep a master list of what is happening within each classroom to ensure that upgrades are going where they need to to facilitate their purposes. This includes furniture, various technology upgrades, and any other classroom changes. She will also keep track of the pilots and feedback to ensure that each upgrade is a useful addition.“When you put up a technology, you sometimes have to change the way people teach and the way students expect the teaching to happen, so you have to work through that as well,” said Bourget. Along with the changes, Wideman believes that the project will help make UFV a better place of learning. “It’s important that UFV is doing this, it shows that [UFV] cares about students.” Wideman also said that with this funding, UFV is becoming “the envy of B.C. schools,” referring to UFV’s innovation and developments. “I’m happy to be a part of it and to see where it will take us,” said Bourget.




SUS announces Margaret Trudeau as keynote speaker for health and wellness advocacy initiative VANESSA BROADBENT THE CASCADE

In efforts to increase conversation and education surrounding mental illness, the Student Union Society (SUS) has announced that Margaret Trudeau will be speaking at UFV on Jan. 10. Over the past year SUS has worked to increase events and support for students regarding mental illness on campus, and saw this as a way to continue those initiatives. “Margaret Trudeau is a Canadian icon who is admired for her courage in publicly sharing her personal experiences of living with bipolar disorder,” SUS president Sukhi Brar said. “Her advocacy efforts aim to reduce the social stigma of mental illness. With the SUS’ focus on health and wellness initiatives and mental health awareness this year, we believed bringing Margaret Trudeau onto campus was a great way to kick off some of the programming we have planned for next semester.” As part of the SUS Health and Wellness Advocacy Initiative, the event is one of many that SUS is launching in the new semester that will address education surrounding mental health. “The results from a health survey conducted in March 2016 (over 400 UFV students

responded to the survey) revealed that there is a need for mental health literacy and education on health and wellness topics on our campus,” Brar said. “There are still widely held misconceptions about mental illness and general health and wellness. Events like this help to educate UFV students on these topics.” An error in the booking of a keynote speaker for an event SUS hosted last year came as a blessing in disguise when it resulted in the agency attempting to make up for it by offering a discounted rate for this term. “I had reached out to a booking agency to procure a keynote speaker for a SUS event last year and a logistical error on the part of the agency resulted in a dropped booking,” Brar explained. “Earlier this year, the booking agency reached out to get an understanding of the type of advocacy work that was prioritized for the 2016-2017 term and recommended Margaret Trudeau at a rate that we could afford.” Although tickets for the event only became available earlier this week, Brar noted that excitement is already building. “Based on student comments on social media and emails submitted to the Student Union Society, the UFV community is very excited about this event,” she said. Photo: SUS Facebook

Stories worth paying attention to #Pipelinebullshit



Trudeau cabinet approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

Haiti: violent protests erupt over presidential election result

Demand an End to Second-Class Status for Reserve Children: Blackstock

The prime minister and his cabinet approved two pipelines that will pump oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the Pacific coast and Superior, Wisconsin. The pipelines approved were the Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3, the Northern Gateway was rejected. “The decision we took today is the one that is in the best interests of Canada,” Trudeau said in an announcement Tuesday. Although the axing of the Northern Gateway pipeline was largely expected, activists say that the other two pipelines threaten the survival of many indigenous populations.

“Violent protests have erupted in Haiti as losing candidates rejected the preliminary results of an election that indicated political newcomer Jovenel Moïse would be the next president.” The election on Nov. 20 saw the victory of Tet Kale Party with a 55.67 per cent lead. Although the the closest competitor only got 19.52 per cent of the vote, three of the losing candidates contested the results. Because the frontrunner received the majority of votes, there is no need for a second round of voting. “However, turnout was low and 10 per cent of sheets tallying votes were thrown out because of irregularities.” As a result, violent protests erupted and police have been deployed using tear gas on protesters. of large amounts of foreign money.

Cindy Blackstock, executive director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada traced discriminatory policies that disadvantage Indigenous children back to residential schools in her address to the B.C. Federation of Labour Convention in Vancouver on Tuesday. “Canada’s Human Rights Tribunal ruled earlier this year the government was discriminating against First Nations children on reserves by failing to provide the same level of child welfare services offered to other areas of the country.” Indigenous children, especially those on reserves, receive less funding and services than children in the rest of the country.




Student identities revealed in email Email sent from Disability Resource Centre fails to blind recipients VANESSA BROADBENT THE CASCADE

An email sent out to all students registered with a disability with UFV’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC) on Nov. 23 accidentally identified students on the email list. David Johnston, the university registrar, explained that the email, which went out to 435 students, unintentionally failed to follow the standard procedure of blinding the email addresses. “An employee was emailing instructions to a group of students in the DRC and put the student email addresses in the cc instead of the bcc, so it exposed students’ email addresses to everybody, so everybody knew who else got the email,” explained Johnston. “It’s a human error. It’s an unfortunate, inadvertent human error.” Within a few hours, UFV’s IT department recalled the email, making sure that it was deleted from all myUFV student emails. “We did work with the email team in IT and they were able to delete it from people’s email boxes, myUFV email boxes, because that was the right thing to do, to correct that part of the error,” Johnston said. However, Johnston noted that with many students having their UFV emails automatically forward to their personal email accounts, there is no way to verify that the email is no longer in circulation. “Some people had seen it, some people hadn’t, and then of course some people forward

it to an off-campus email,” he said. “So we did what we could in terms of that, and then we’re required to communicate with people who have had their personal information breached.” To let affected students know about the email, an additional email was sent out by Johnston, letting them know of the error. “They got an email from me describing in quite simple terms what happened and what we had done and advised them that … no other personal information was released, if they had concerns they could contact me,” he said. Since the email was also sent to 128 external email addresses, Johnston’s email requested that anyone involved delete the email from their personal email address. “If you forward your UFV email to a nonUFV email account we ask for your cooperation in double deleting the original email and the recall notice from your inbox and then from your deleted or trash folder,” the email read. Because the incident is considered a breach of privacy, UFV’s privacy officer was required to file a report with the B.C. Privacy Commissioner, whom affected students were provided with the contact information for, should they have any concerns. “We informed the board, the privacy office here, which is in our legal counsel office,” Johnston explained. “[They are] now required to report to the office of the information privacy commissioner what the breach was and what we did to stop it, what we’ll do to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and what we did

Photo: Mitch Huttema

to inform the people who had their information breached.” Jody Gordon, UFV’s vice president students explained that the requirement exists as the province’s way to ensure that breaches of privacy are dealt with accordingly. “They want to make sure that we’ve done things so that in the future this can’t happen again,” she said. “Our legal counsel will tell them exactly what we have done and what we will do in the future. If they think we’ve missed something they’ll tell us. If they think that there’s a risk of greater exposure, they would then step in.”

To prevent similar incidents from recurring in the future, Johnston and UFV’s chief investigation officer are currently exploring options to switch to an email management software program that will automatically send out the emails and blind the email addresses. “Email management software can help with that where you’re not relying on someone putting it in the right column, cc versus bcc,” Gordon explained. “It’s human error and human error is going to occur and software is a way of making it harder for human error to occur.”


30 DEC


NOVEMBER WALKING PROGRAM @ The Abbotsford Centre 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM WINTER SOLSTICE LUNCH @ Chilliwack Campus - A1454 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM



ROTARY CHRISTMAS PARADE @ Downtown Chilliwack 5:30 PM UFV THEATRE: 7 STORIES @ UFV Performance Theatre 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

DANIELS V. CANADA: WHAT’S NEXT FOR CANADA’S METIS @ Abbotsford Campus - B121 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

UFV THEATRE: 7 STORIES @ UFV Performance Theatre 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM



CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING @ Historic Downtown Abbotsford 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM UFV THEATRE: 7 STORIES @ UFV Performance Theatre 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM PLAY: A FULL HOUSE @ Chilliwack Cultural Centre 7:30 PM



POP UP ARTISAN MARKET @ Highstreet Shopping Centre 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

WINTER SOLSTICE LUNCH @ Abbotsford Campus - Indigenous Student Centre 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

CAREER AND LIFE PLANNING WORKSHOP @ Chilliwack Campus - A1318 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM










POP UP ARTISAN MARKET @ Highstreet Shopping Centre 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM UFV THEATRE: 7 STORIES (FINAL SHOWING) @ UFV Performance Theatre 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM FOOD BANK SKATE @ Twin Rinks 3:15 PM – 4:45 PM

CHRISTMAS AT CLEARBROOK LIBRARY @ Clearbrook Library 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

SPEAKER: KIM GEMMELL @ Abbotsford Campus- A225 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM FOOD BANK SKATE @ Twin Rinks 3:15 PM – 4:45 PM

ABBOTSFORD FLEA MARKET @ Exhibition Park- 32470 Haida Drive 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM WALK MISSION @ Downtown Wander 10:00 AM – 11: 00 PM CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE @ Sweet Dreams Luxury Inn 1:00 AM – 5:00 PM





18 DEC





24 JAN






2 3 4

FOOD BANK SKATE @ Twin Rinks 3:15 PM – 4:45 PM



STUDY BREAK Crossword By: Jeff Mijo


Horoscopes Aries — Mar 21 to Apr 19 The time has come to clean out that one drawer in every home that amasses junk (don’t pretend that you don’t have one). Do so, and you will be rewarded with a nearly empty box of Tic-Tacs and some pretty cool rubber bands. Taurus — Apr 20 to May 20 Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll you, but I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

Gemini — May 21 to Jun 20 You may soon be approached by a Scientologist who claims they can sell you salvation and perfect clarity for the low, low price of $20,000. Tell them you already picked up some salvation at Superstore for $12.99. Cancer —Jun 21 to Jul 22 A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Now put that poor baby down! What did he ever do to you?


Astrological mysteries interpreted by Master Moji

Libra — Sep 23 to Oct 22 Take the time to write your Gran a letter this week. She hasn’t heard from you in a while and is suspicious you’ve joined a cult. Scorpio — Oct 23 to Nov 21 I know what you wished for when you blew out your birthday candles this month. Sorry, but I can’t magically make your pet cockatoo learn a collection of Lionel Richie favourites. Pisces — Feb 19 to Mar 20 The positioning of Jupiter means that next week’s horoscopes are going to be even better. For a start, there won’t be any cop-outs like this! Aquarius — Jan 20 to Feb 18 Mars in retrograde means you’re likely to get a foot stuck in a toilet within 72 hours. Awkward! Stay away from bean-heavy dishes until you get that over with.

Sagittarius — Nov 22 to Dec 21 Don’t be alarmed if you catch people staring at you rather intently this week. You don’t have spinach in your teeth, and your wig isn’t askew… people are merely staring at the spectre who’s taken to sitting on your shoulder and sniffing your freshly washed hair.. Capricorn — Dec 22 to Jan 19 Stay away from eating dessert right after dinner. It’s that sort of overzealousness that landed my cousin Jim in the hospital with mono. Leo — Jul 23 to Aug 22 There’s one thing that I think it’s vital you know, for your continued health. It’s very, very important that you remember it at all times. Never forget: while hydration is important, don’t drink like 30 cups a day. Over-hydration is dangerous too! Virgo —Aug 23 to Sep 22 Take a note from Pluto: don’t ever let anyone call you small or redefine you out of the solar system. You are a strong, beautiful dwarf planet who don’t need no man.

1: Famous documentary director Noam _______ 3: Super hero Tony’s ferrous alternate identity 5: What workers join (and Capitalists want to bust) 6: U.S. entity that gathers info internationally 8: Famously bad movie _ _ _ _: The Hands of Fate (also the Spanish word for hands) 10: Home of a masked phantom. 11: “Live long and prosper” alien species 13: Whoopi Goldberg (and most other characters) in “Sister Act” 14: Note of intention to pay later 15: Hooded garment 17: Video game bear; Kazooie’s partner 20: Troll says “u mad, _ _ _?” 22: Opposite of pro 23: Ursula’s henchmen 24: A PC’s microprocessor that handles booting, or a collection of personal stories 26: Famous cellist 28: Equals 3 tsp, or 1/16 cup 30: Best time for an old west duel? High _ _ _ _ 32: Mischievous fantasy creature 34: Slang for a very small unit of time 35: Car food or butt emission 36: To convey or bring forth 38: To wander, perhaps internationally with your phone 39: A project with some crafty assembly required 40: Loving embrace 41: Shortened form of tàijí quán, a Chinese martial art (2 words) 43: The animals inhabiting a region 44: To long deeply 45: Branch of tailless primates 46: Action taken to open a jacket 47: Part-deity, but only part 48: Annual period, motivation for such a giant crossword (2 words)

Down 1: A period of increased unlawfulness (2 words) 2: One of two provinces/territories with a smaller population than Mission’s. 3: Largest American empire, pre-Columbus 4: High Priestess of Soul, _ _ _ _ Simone 7: Good as a face mask, or on chips 9: To give someone the cold shoulder 12: Only U.S. president to resign 14: To allude to something without saying it (which I guess I’m doing now?) 16: Star Wars creator surname 18: First name of CIVL’s station manager 19: Elongated shape 21: Acute antonym 25: Surname of character referenced in clue 3 across 27: What Leo Dicaprio finally won 29: Bespectacled Lord of the Flies character 31: Capital of our neighbour state to the south 33: To have been drawn out, delayed, or lengthy 34: Onomatopoeia of bug squishing 37: Experimental, avant-garde, or maybe just dark and brooding for its own sake 40: Most positive Snow White dwarf 42: Community’s Inspector Spacetime fan, _ _ _ _ Nadir 43: Game show, Family _ _ _ _





Curtailed commentary on current conditions

I won’t sit for this! Jeff Mijo

Winter Solstice Klara Chmelarova

So, here’s the deal. I’ve had enough with this excessive hypersensitivity ruining UFV. I am, of course, talking about the toilets. Now, as someone who spends a lot of time on campus, I’m generally quite happy with the quality of UFV’s bathrooms. They’re usually clean, I’ve never run out of toilet paper, they don’t smell, that’s all great. Good job to the janitorial staff. However. It’s frankly absurd how sensitive the automatic flushers are. For a campus covered with water bottle stations, which equips all its bathrooms with those weird, fancy hand dryers and generally prides itself on being environmentally friendly, you’d think they’d be more worried about wasting water. But no. Sit down on the toilet? Maybe it’ll flush! Stand up? Flush, as was intended. Take too long doing up your belt? Have another flush! Had a thought? Flush. Grab your backpack from the hook on the way out? Flush. Look, we’re all happy that this means nobody’s leaving behind the frankly baffling kind of toilet deposits some public bathrooms see, but I know the person in the stall next to me hears three flushes in a row and judges me. And then they come out of their stall, we wash our hands besides each other, and they silently let horrible images dance in their mind of what might have prompted three whole flushes.

It’s around this time of year when the crosseyed, toothy monster known as “Christmas Shopping” knocks on the door of our sanity and my hair goes white like Santa Claus’ beard, because, what do you get? What should you buy for you mom, dad, sibling, significant other, neighbour, or barista? And how do you buy something meaningful without going bankrupt? I know what they tell us. “Oh, you don’t need to get me anything,” or “It’s the thought that counts.” But, let’s be honest, if you don’t get anything there will be looks aimed your way, and in your 20’s a homemade macaroni picture won’t be enough. Having limited resources and ideas usually lands the results on socks, soaps, and wine bottles with pretty labels and not so drinkable content. When you think about it, you should be happy getting gifts for your loved ones — but are you? The Christmas season is filled with nervous breakdowns from decorating your house and finally, holding a tight lip during dinner, trying not to flip the table while being roasted by distant relatives who suddenly became experts on your life. I would much rather celebrate the original way, when pagans gave their thanks to the returning sun. It just sounds less stressful.

Sentience deserves respect Mitch Huttema

CCR? More like PBR! Panku Sharma

Abuse and discontent are an everyday element of North American culture. Tempers run high in regards to race, sexual orientation, religion, and opinions surrounding those things; everyone feels the need to defend, protect, or state their own position. Much of this is because of the individualization that is so prominent in our culture (which is really honestly just homogenization), and because these people over here want to hold this opinion while those ones over there hold the opposite, and each one wants the other to come to their side. We’ve got to start valuing people based on sentience, instead of history or origin. It doesn’t matter if they’re a robot, a cow, a woman, or a person of colour; if they can think for themselves or represent something that does, then consider the morality of how you treat them. Racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism — the list goes on, all of them can be traced back to some sort of difference in history, standing, opinion, or origin from the accuser to the accused. If we take away the qualifications that we place on respect and come from a starting point of “the being across from me still can feel pain regardless if I disagree with them,” then mutual pleasure in coexistence is much more probable.

Abuse and discontent are an everyday element of North American culture. Tempers run high in regards to race, sexual orientation, religion, and opinions surrounding those things; everyone feels the need to defend, protect, or state their own position. Much of this is because of the individualization that is so prominent in our culture (which is really honestly just homogenization), and because these people over here want to hold this opinion while those ones over there hold the opposite, and each one wants the other to come to their side. We’ve got to start valuing people based on sentience, instead of history or origin. It doesn’t matter if they’re a robot, a cow, a woman, or a person of colour; if they can think for themselves or represent something that does, then consider the morality of how you treat them. Racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism — the list goes on, all of them can be traced back to some sort of difference in history, standing, opinion, or origin from the accuser to the accused. If we take away the qualifications that we place on respect and come from a starting point of “the being across from me still can feel pain regardless if I disagree with them,” then mutual pleasure in coexistence is much more probable.

Illustrations: Amara Gelaude




Merry shopping spree, I mean Christmas MARTIN RANNINGER THE CASCADE

Dear John Santa, This is the first time I am sending a letter to you. Usually (at least a couple of years back) I would be writing to baby Jesus, as most of the Czech kids do, but this year it seems appropriate to address you. Should I just pick my gifts on this year? The majority of the gifts you will deliver are made in China anyway, even the socks and underwear Grandma used to give us have the same supplier. I heard that your sweatshop products made in Bangladesh and Thailand are still a hit. However, much better, I would prefer second hand or thrift store clothing. I feel too old for asking for toys and useless crap. You’ll deliver plenty of that, so instead can you try to somehow educate people and show them a few things? Don’t worry — nothing fancy, or too expensive — just to make a point. You could show them that global climate change does exist and it’s not a hoax from China. Maybe share a link on your Facebook to an ongoing NASA study about climate change ( I’m sure one of your elves could recommend some good documentaries. Or show them that treating Native Americans without any respect for their traditions and invading their sacred land is not OK. A history book maybe? Oh, I get it. You have to spend some money otherwise they could just fire you, right? Maybe send a link to a paid-for movie. Cowspiracy* could show them that you don’t need corpses every day on your plate to thrive. You wanna thrive? Go VEG! If that’s not your cup of tea buy them Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things to show them we don’t need your crap to be happy. Your ex, Martin Ranninger *It’s on Netflix! Illustrations: Rebekah Brackett

Meanwhile, in Canada: Policing potty language in the House of Commons MICHAEL CHUTSKOFF THE CASCADE

While many Canadians anxiously watched the drama unfold in America after the election results, Canada’s parliament had its own stink. Conservative MP Michelle Rempel likened the job crisis in Alberta to a “fart in the room nobody wants to talk about.” As she was blasting her impassioned speech, she was interrupted by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who couldn’t even bring herself to repeat the dreaded “f word” and instead spelt it out. In her rebuttal, May cited the word as “unparliamentary,” and continued to bark back at Ms. Rempel. The Calgarian MP was fuming, and refused to take what she said back, much to Ms. May’s dismay. As the leader responded to the backdraft from Michelle Rempel, she addressed the importance of decorum while in session, and called out those who tooted their distaste of her own actions.


So called “fart-gate” has now divided the members of parliament, with some saying words like that should join the banned list of phrases, and join the ranks of “Canadian Mussolini” and “evil genius.” Some even go on to say that Michelle Rempel is just full of hot air, while others praised her speech, and hailed her colourful language. Shortly after the incident, videos of the altercation started swirling around social media, and are once again reminding the world that not every country in North America is going downhill, despite Canadian politics becoming the butt of the joke for the next month. With Brexit and Trump dominating many of the world’s newsfeeds, it’s nice to see a squeak from Canada to remind the world that we are still here. Despite her creative word choice, Michelle Rempel is definitely passionate about the people she represents, and in this case, it was wrong for Elizabeth May to interrupt her and criticize her instead of debating job markets for the working class. Ms. Rempel didn’t dance around the issue or use fluffy words, but

instead addressed the issue head on, and now people are talking about it. Whether it was intentional or not, the debate around a fart is now causing many people to become interested in what our members of parliament are doing for the people, and all it took was an utterance of odour for people to look into real issues. Personally, I am absolutely okay if the worst thing elected officials are doing is debating the use of the word fart. In fact, watching how this incident is causing a rumble throughout Canada, and seeing fellow Canadians laughing over the absurdity of it all reassures me of our peace in our socialist utopia. After watching the aftermath of a political bomb drop in the States, and watching an orange monster who is also President-elect starting even more Twitter beef with other celebrities, it’s refreshing to see my newsfeed slowly being replaced with wholesome Canadian drama. I would much rather hear about all things Canadian than listen to the roar from our rear neighbours.




Earlier this week, as I often do, I found myself in the position of therapist to one of my good friends. She had come to me regarding this guy she’d met who — surprise, surprise — hadn’t been the guy she’d thought she’d met. I am by no means a relationship expert, but for whatever reason, I’ve always been the one my friends come to when they need advice. Somehow, I’ve actually managed to set up three couples — two of which are still together — so perhaps that amounts to some sort of credibility. Nevertheless, I proceeded to receive her bombardment of texts regarding the matter and tried to be as supportive as I could. My friend eventually asked me a question that she’d never asked me before: “Rita, why do they all end up like this? Why do they all wind up to be guys who have just broken up with their ex of two years, looking for a rebound?” I responded with, “Maybe that’s your type?” She replied with, “So my type is emotionally unavailable?”

I stared at my phone, pondering this. The question had merit to it — why does this keep happening to her? Why is it always a very scarily similar story? Eventually, I had a bit of an epiphany. Perhaps it wasn’t her type, but rather her curse. If we can get deep here for a moment, I have this theory that we are all born with a bit of a curse — an “Achilles’ heel,” if you will. In my theory, I’ve separated the “Categories of Life,” as I call them, into seven key aspects: family, friends, wealth, intelligence, love, morals, and luck. I believe that everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from, is born cursed in at least one of these aspects, and it doesn’t just have to be in one way. Some struggles are more serious than others, perhaps involving the law or life-and-death situations, but that does not discredit the fact that, big or small, everyone has at least one problem. Perhaps a woman’s family is broken, and therefore she struggles to maintain strong relationships with all of her family members — she may have to pick sides. On the flip side, another woman’s family might love her so much that they are overprotective of her, and this in turnhinders her ability to find

a relationship because her parents don’t approve of her choices (and this is a merge between family and love). According to this theory I’ve come up with, just because you are cursed does not mean you will never achieve satisfaction in that category. It just means that you will have to work extra hard to overcome that particular struggle. On the contrary, you may have blessings in other categories, and those level out the distress of your struggles. I explained this concept to my distressed friend, saying that maybe her curse is in love, particularly that it seems she becomes attracted to the right person at the wrong time. I told her it wasn’t necessarily something wrong that she was doing; perhaps the universe is telling her that a relationship isn’t in the cards for her right now. Perhaps it’s pointing at a different person altogether. Who knows? She told me she appreciated the insight and that it made a lot of sense, so I was inspired to share the concept on a broader scale. I want to make it clear at this point that I do not condone blaming a curse and simply avoiding the struggle altogether. If anything, I

think our curses should encourage us to work harder on our struggles, to overcome things we find challenging, and to feel good about the success we have in them. But if something just isn’t working one way, don’t beat yourself up over it — find an alternative. Use it as a sign directing you towards the right path. Your curse shouldn’t be an excuse to just sit around and sulk about life. You should take the negatives and make something productive and positive out of them. And if we are all indeed cursed, we should be a bit more lenient and caring with one another. We should help each other with our struggles instead of tearing each other down. I believe that I have a curse of my own that I wish not to share. It frustrates me. But I will also say that I’ve learned a lot from the struggles it presents me, and that I try and make the best of its results. I’ve come to discover a lot more about myself and who I am as a person; I’ve developed more as an individual, a growth I think was necessary for me. In this way, I can look at my curse as a bit of a blessing. I encourage you to try and do the same.

2016 “stop shopping” Christmas gift guide PANKU SHARMA THE CASCADE

It’s that time of year, folks! When friends (who should really know better or were tangential and distant enough in your social circle that you never would have expected it from them) will give you surprise Christmas gifts. Now, big or small, the social custom is that you are now obligated to respond in kind. This is under threat of them complaining about you behind your back or your own crippling guilt leading you to crawl to their doorstep in a drunken stupor on Christmas Eve with a beaten up old fruit cake crumbling in your shaking hand as the bitter December wind threatens to blow it away into the darkness with what little is left of your hope for peace on Earth. Yeah, it has been quite the year. Now, it’s always worse when you are caught off guard and scrambling to find unopened liquor or a Hallmark card that was written in pencil to regift, so my present to all of you who deserve it (if you don’t, please stop reading now) is five gift ideas you can keep on hand in case anyone you know hates you enough to get you a gift.

buyback programs, and the horde of flakes on, chances are you weren’t going to ever make back even a little of the hundreds you spent on first-year courses that were irrelevant to your program. What better way to spread the cheer than freeing up the space on your bookshelf or backseat of your car for things you might actually enjoy — like action figures or groceries. A cardboard box full of dirt Remember that future-documentary ***Waterworld? With the rate we’re going now, in a year’s time a cardboard box will be worth its weight in gold and cigarettes with most of the world’s arable land below sea level. This gift not only provides long-term value, but it also shows that you’re looking out for your friend and their future bloodline as well, as their mutant offspring will no doubt use the advantage of dirt to lay claim to a kingdom over the snivelling, seaweedharvesting “wet-men” flotillas.

Homemade pickled or preserved food Got leftovers or questionable berries? Throw em in a jar and boil! If you don’t know how to make your own, just tear the label off of whatever is still in the back of your fridge. Don’t worry, it’s preserved, it’ll last forever. They’ll be fine. Probably.

Your debt Get them to sign some sort of legal document that makes all of your financial problems their problems. This will require some fun improvisation and creativity on your part, but it will teach them a lesson. You’ll also be respected more in a postTrump world where deceit and trickery is the only measure of good business acumen. Heck, even if this ploy doesn’t work out you can always just declare bankruptcy or stop paying taxes — you’ll still be popular.

Your old textbooks Knowledge is priceless after all! Thanks to the soulless publishing industry, laughable book

A fucking clue If they had one they wouldn’t have sprung this on you. Illustrations: Rebekah Brackett



Christmas in the department store trenches How a retail newbie found a paycheck and redemption — just in time for the holidays

Written by: Seamus Heffernan Designed by: Brittany Cardinal It’s shortly before 6 a.m. Cold air blows into the warehouse as the truck’s backdoor opens. Boxes are sent flying down the conveyor strip, the rollers hissing as they slide past. My eyes are bloodshot and my hands shake, a mix of nerves and too little sleep. It must show. “Wake up! This is how your mornings will be from now on!” the red-shirted woman across from me cheerily booms. I smile and reach for my first box to sort, stack, and eventually stock. It’s mid-November, 2014, my first shift for Target in Abbotsford. Retail at this time of year is pretty much the only job almost anyone can get, regardless of their experience or background. I’ve been hired as part of the “seasonal” crew: short-term, part-time help meant to stem the Christmas rush. For some of the students and middle-aged moms I will work with over the coming weeks, this is part of their yearly economic cycle, a way to make a few extra bucks for tuition, beer money or their kids’ Christmas presents. For others, the hardcore retail lifers, it’s their job, and they’re determined to see Target succeed. It’s a big company with a solid reputation, and those who impress early could advance quickly. The warehouse we start work in is freezing, and my hands will soon be dry and cracked from both the chill and the constant slap of cardboard against them. I am the newest member of the “flow” team, the people who unload merchandise from the trucks, organize them on pallets and flatbeds, and then roll them out into the store where the team organizes into a “wave” that sweeps through various store sections (Health and Beauty, Grocery, Toys, etc.), unpacking and stocking the products amidst a constantly growing pile of discarded boxes and the crackle of the “walkies” some staff carry to coordinate with other teams. I don’t want a walkie. I didn’t even want one of the scanner guns (PDAs) used to zap a product’s barcode to reveal its price and

location. Frankly, both seemed like far too much responsibility. I wanted to show up, do exactly what I was told while keeping my mouth shut, and get paid. Lauren, my team leader, had other ideas. By my third shift I am a regular PDA guy. By my sixth I am helping break in a couple of 18- and 19-year-olds, the store’s final seasonal hires, as we were tasked with building and sustaining the toy department. “How’s it going?” Lauren asked. Lauren had been at this location when it was

been told, in no uncertain terms, there is to be no overstock of toys. In other words, find a spot on the shelves and stick it there. The work is going generally well, and I am fortunate to be with some people who are very good at this, including Terry and Mike. Terry is tall, soft-spoken, and one of those guys you’d think was nice to a fault if you didn’t take the time to get to know him. Terry isn’t try-like-hell nice. He’s just a good dude, quick to pitch and smile while he’s doing it. Mike had glasses

The toy department at a major department store six weeks before Christmas is exactly the kind of mirthless, kid-swept wasteland you imagine it to be.

a now-forgotten Zellers. Both her parents were dentists but, as she told me, she had no interest in spending the next 30 years staring into people’s mouths for a living. We had hit it off over a shared love of punk rock, Star Wars, and dark humour. “I’m not leadership material,” I said. “And these Monster High dolls are freaking me out a bit.” “You’re doing great!” she said, moving onto the next section. I wasn’t so sure. The toy department at a major department store six weeks before Christmas is exactly the kind of mirthless, kid-swept wasteland you imagine it to be. By mid-December I will be seeing Elsa dolls and Tonka trucks every time I close my eyes to try and get some sleep, and I have the tinnitus of constant PDA beeps of price checks for eager children and their weary parents. Every morning I work, the stacks of boxes from the trucks grow higher and higher, a cardboard Stonehenge with one key rule: Open me and stock me — anywhere. We have

and close cut thinning hair, and was prone to occasional outbursts of profanity that meshed well with his constant manic energy. He was also one of the hardest working guys I have ever seen. I was pushing myself to carry more, cut open boxes faster, stack shelves tighter, but I couldn’t touch this guy. I told him as much. “Don’t sweat it,” Mike tells me. “It’s just about getting shit done, yo.” “I’ll keep that in mind,” I said, opening another box of Transformers with my yellow cutter. “They put you here in toys ‘cause they thought you could handle it,” Mike opined. “You’re being tested, bro.” I shrugged. Aren’t we all, I thought to myself, collapsing the box. Following one of my first shifts, Terry an Following one of my first shifts, Terry and I hit a nearby Tim Horton’s for a coffee (which he paid for, flatly refusing my money) and life-story swap as he waited for his

girlfriend to pick him up. I’ve told him a bit about myself — a couple of previous jobs, a failed marriage, almost losing my house — as he nods, intently taking it in. Terry’s story is remarkable, brutality tempered with perseverance: A tough mom, two marriages (one to a junkie), domestic violence, an attempted kidnapping, part of a childhood spent on the run in Colombia. My head was spinning a bit by the time Terry wrapped the story up with his first dad finally getting clean (albeit far too late to salvage the marriage). “Of course, my stuff doesn’t really compare to yours,” he said. You need to know Terry to believe me when I say he was being completely serious. Terry’s 24. He wants to work in home care, helping those who can’t help themselves. He’s looked at a few programs but like it is for a lot of these guys, it’s hard to make ends meet working retail and then find time to search out (and pay for) multiple college applications. “What are you gonna do, brother?” he asked as his girlfriend pulled into the lot. “When this wraps up, I mean.” “I guess I’m hoping they’ll ask me to stay in January,” I said, realizing I hadn’t allowed myself to plan anything in my life past Christmas. This was both liberating and terrifying. “It’s not a bad place to work,” he says. This was a common theme in all my conversations with co-workers here, especially the retail vets: Target treats you OK. The money was slightly better than other places, but more importantly they never make us feel, for lack of a better term, small. Target never indulges in that late-capitalism trick of treating you like human garbage while reminding you how lucky you are to be there to take it. There is no rah-rah bullshit, no cult of corporate personality around these red shirts and khakis. The attitude from our managers was largely this: Let’s all get on with it, work hard, and try for a few laughs along the way.

There was a lot of optimism on the floor from folks I worked with who were seeking full-time employment after Christmas. We knew it wasn’t quite as busy as we had anticipated, but the store was still pretty hopping. Maybe we didn’t believe in Target, but a lot of us were counting on it. Late November. Even though he has explained it to me many times, I still end up asking Mike every so often what box numbers I’m responsible for as they are rolled out to us from the truck. I can’t keep up with the number system, plus the boxes move damned fast. My first day was a nightmare, and I was admonished several times by more experienced colleagues for missing boxes. The second day I was merely terrible. By my third shift my eyes had just about adjusted to the pace and I estimated I was snagging over 90 per cent of my assigned stock. “A-40 to A-50!” Mike yells over the racket of the boxes flying down the rollers. I nod my appreciation. I’m still shaking the pre-dawn fuzz out of my brain and I look over at Jackie, a recent high school grad with a weakness for Fall Out Boy, to say hello. She smiles sheepishly. She has a monstrous hickey on her neck, a bloom of purple on her slender throat. “So, I had a good night,” she blurts out. I nod and smile, turning back to my boxes. Jackie, however, is eager to chat. I stacked some bleach on my pallet, wondering how I had become an 18-year-old’s work girlfriend. Later, she will tell me she is a Christian and keeps everything physical “above the waist.” I was offered extra hours today, which I gladly took. The longer shift means, however, I now had a 30-minute lunch break. Dead time. Too short to go home, too long to sit in my car reading a pretentious magazine that I won’t bring into the building. With no other real options, I dawdle in the staff room and brew a pot of strong black coffee. I look around for Terry, but he’s off getting proper java from the Starbucks downstairs. Mike’s already locked into an intense Batman and / or video game discussion at the head of the table. There is a row of fellow flow members, all women, chatting amiably and eating stuff ranging from Lean Cuisines to samosas. I tentatively take a seat a few feet from the ladies. They all say hi. “How are you finding it, Seamus?” Pardeep asked. Pardeep is about five feet tall, somewhat bossy and, I had assumed, only knew who I was to yell at me when I missed stock on the rollers. I shrug. “You only missed four boxes today,” she says, sounding almost proud. “Thank you,” I say, then make some self-deprecating joke to deflect the compliment. The ladies all laugh. In my gut, though, I feel a twinge of gratitude. Target has what they call a huddle every morning. Management uses it to tell us what’s new in the flyers, remind us of specials, and urge us to get customers to sign up for the Target rewards Red Card program. Phil, the 60-ish ex-con with a steelwool brush cut and faded Navy tattoos on his arms, is the king of this. For Phil, it’s a


simple numbers game: He just asks every single person he sees shopping in the store if they’d like to sign up. A lot say yes. Huddle is also when staff members are given “recognitions” where we’re invited to acknowledge fellow workers for doing good work. It sounds silly, maybe even ridiculous. But it works. Morale is pretty good and we are happy to acknowledge the efforts of each other. They’re typically specific: “X helped me get something from the top shelf” or “Y stayed behind after shift to help a customer,” but sometimes they can be a bit broader in scope. I’ve been

to Christmas, nerves were fraying among our ranks. We were struggling to keep up with the demands from management to keep the shelves constantly full, and we struggled to keep up with the demands of a customer base going through its typical holiday spike in consumer anxiety. I’m tired. I’m tired of getting up at 5 a.m., I’m tired of being broke and being afraid when the phone rings, I’m tired of knowing I can’t buy my folks decent Christmas presents, I’m tired of being older than these guys and them thinking I have anything figured out more than they do. Lis-

“It was a great place to work,” he says, sincerely. He hands me my receipt. “Take care of yourself, brother.”

recognized for being funny, being chatty with customers, and helping the newer flow folks out with their questions. Today ends up being tough, though. We are assigned to fashion duty, but the stock is all unmarked so our PDAs are useless. We’re grabbing clothes, finding where the biggest display of them is, and adding to the piles as customers grapple with each other over marked-down Under Armour tees. I’m working with Jeff, a fellow flow team member I’ve hit it off with a bit. We’re chatting political philosophy while trying to figure out where the leggings go. “Read John Stewart Mill,” I say. “And Bentham. Some good starting points.” “I’m more of an anarcho-Marxist myself,” he says. “But I’d say I have strong libertarian sympathies.” Jeff is 23 and one of the best-read guys I have ever met. It’s like stocking shelves with a less-smug Stephen Fry. He grew up in a pretty tough household with a problematic extended family — there were problems with addiction and a range of criminal dabbling, and at least one is a dedicated con artist — and he has two young kids with his high school sweetheart girlfriend. He wants to go to university, but life is already pretty expensive — and complicated. Jeff becomes one of my regular car poolers. I had a vehicle so I ended up giving him and a few other staff — Mike, Terry, Jackie, occasional others — rides to and from work. In the car, the dim pre-dawn or post-shift coffee, we share our stories: Abusive parents, anxiety meds, failing out of school, saving up to move out or maybe buy that girl a ring, sharing an apartment with a transgendered co-worker, too much weed sometimes, too little idea what to do next. Or maybe moving 8,000 kilometres to B.C. from Newfoundland to shake things up, and now celebrating up-selling a weary mom on a set of Marvel pint glasses. I’m still in touch with some of them. It’s also where Mike and Terry ask me what I’m going to do about Jeff. “Whattya mean?” I ask. “Dude,” Terry says. “He should not be working here. You gotta help him. He should be in school. He’s gotta do something else with his life.” It had been a long shift. Getting closer

tening to Terry, I want to shout, We’re all supposed to be doing something else with our lives! I’m supposed to be doing something else with my life! But I don’t. It’s pointless. It reeks of selfpity, and at that point, who was I to think it was even true. “I’ll talk to him,” I say. Huddle the next day. Phil, the Red Card master, cracks a joke and everyone laughs, some of the Christmas tension blowing away a bit. Shortly before Christmas, Target has a big slap-up turkey dinner for us all in the break room and we all jump in during our breaks to partake. I’m going home for the holidays, so it’s a chance to say my goodbyes and merry Christmases. In January, I’ll get an email telling me I made the cut for post-holiday employment. Shortly after, Target Canada will declare bankruptcy and shut down across the country. I end up taking a job for the local school district as a youth worker in a middle school. Someone sets up a Facebook page for the flow team, where people swap life updates and memories. There aren’t a lot of posts there anymore, but every so often someone has a baby or lands a new job.

I do talk to Jeff. We had become good friends and I even got him in to see a career counsellor, someone who could help him find some funding and take the next step. He would go on to do sales for a big furniture store for a while. We drifted out of touch but I still text him every now and then, let him know I’m still around. I can’t remember Pete’s joke but I remember how I felt. I laughed with everyone in huddle and I realize now I was being completely genuine. I wasn’t laughing politely because everyone else was. I laughed because I liked being there, part of a team. I laughed because it was funny, and for something to be funny it has to be true. I always loved Christmas, and like many who enjoy the luxury of a secure job and other trappings of alleged adulthood, I too would bemoan its ever-growing and crass commercialization. You could always count on me for an eye-roll when holiday music chimes into the local mall or decorations begin glinting throughout November neighbourhoods. I still hate all that, but maybe not quite as much. We have an idea of what Christmas is supposed to be — spending time with your family, finding the perfect gift for someone you love, watching Elf for the 87th time — but Christmas also represents a pay cheque for a lot of people, a cheque they are damnwell counting on. I’ll remember how it felt, sitting in my car and breaking down with relief when Target offered me that job, for the rest of my life — especially whenever I see a cashier getting yelled at for a missed coupon, or a kid melting down in Toys “R” Us as December 25 looms overhead. I bump into Phil at Shoppers Drug Mart about a year later. He’s running the cash — still chatting to customers, still joking around, still asking about store cards — and we don’t recognize each other at first until I notice his old tattoos. We chat for a moment — how are ya, what’s going on? — and I ask if he’s in touch with anybody from the store. He swaps the odd e-mail here and there. “It was a great place to work,” he says, sincerely. He hands me my receipt. “Take care of yourself, brother.”



Learning to relax Fight off information saturation with a meditation orientation KLARA CHMELAŘOVÁ CONTRIBUTOR

Sometimes the world around us moves too quickly and among all the ruckus we tend to forget that we should take care of ourselves too. If you’ve been feeling down lately, Kadampa Meditation Centre opens its doors every Tuesday night. Hidden in an unassuming building on South Fraser Way in Abbotsford, they provide tea, cookies, and solace from all the stress life throws at us. Once you find your way in (which is harder than it sounds, with the doors hidden out of the way), a small, very un-Buddhist-like hall greets you with a reception table and a witty monk peeking out from behind it. If you felt out of place before, all worry leaves you here. Chatting away, time runs quickly and sooner than you know it, the meditation itself is about to begin. The participants move into another room, with statues of Buddha both big and small, made of clay and gold, smiling at you from the opposite wall. They watch as you sit down on a rather uncomfortable chair and await the second monk, who guides the meditation. Dressed in a typical temple tunic, he talks you through the whole process. The meditation itself takes about an hour, and it is divided into three parts. First you go through 10 minutes of breathing exercises

to relax and settle down. Then a half-hour long talk follows, concerning the topic of the actual meditation. Every meditation is concentrated on different areas in our life and mind, like love, pain, or happiness. After the monk is done talking, the last 20 minutes are given to the meditation itself, and showing attendants how it should be approached when they do it at home. I won’t lie to you, when my friend took me there for the first time, I was quite skeptical. With no great knowledge of Buddhism, I believed that there was no reason for me to be there. How wrong I was. One of the beauties of the Tuesday sessions is the fact that you are not pushed into anything. You don’t need to know anything, believe in certain things, or associate with specific ideas. The only thing asked of you is an open mind. The monks are very welcoming people with calming presences, and the whole place just oozes a non-judgemental atmosphere. More important, having someone experienced leading you through the meditation gives you an opportunity to take its benefits without figuring out how to do it properly. During the sessions, you will see folks from all walks of life attending regularly. This feeling of mutuality is quite profound, and really stuck with me. During my very first visit to the centre, the head monk said: “Always remember that every living being wants to be as happy as you want to be, and doesn’t want to suffer as badly as you don’t

Illustration: Rebekah Brackett

want to.” We seem to forget that sometimes. It’s not bad to be reminded of it, for your sake as much as for everyone else’s. Kadampa Meditation Centre runs every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. You won’t need anything except $10.

Boardwalk Cafe and Games to bring fun and games to Abbotsford Local couple Darin and Gabby Graham get in on the flourishing downtown community MITCH HUTTEMA THE CASCADE

If you’ve ever wanted a night out, something more than dinner and less than just drinking, a game cafe might be just what you’re looking for — and the best part is Abbotsford is about to get its very own. Husband-and-wife team Darin and Gabby Graham had a recent experience on a trip to Edmonton that set them on a path towards becoming business owners in downtown Abbotsford. “We went [to a gaming cafe] and we just had such a good time that we went back the next two days and when we came back we were like, ‘This would be such a cool thing for Abbotsford,’” Darin Graham said. The concept of a gaming cafe is a simple one: you pay cover ($5 in the case of Boardwalk) and then are allowed to stay and play as many of the games they have for as long as you like while you may also enjoy the food and drink they serve. The shelves at the back of the cafe are crammed from top to bottom with all styles of games. They range from board games such as Settlers of Catan to Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and on to card games like Dutch Blitz and Coup. “We’re hovering probably just below 250 games and we’re going to get over that 250 line shortly,” Graham commented about their games collection. For the fiends who want to play Cards Against Humanity without affecting their reputations with neighbouring tables, or for those who were hoping for a more personal experience, there will be a private room at the back of the cafe. “It will also be reservable so people can book ahead,” Graham explained. “So hopefully it will be a popular part of what we do here.”


The couple have plans to open the location sometime in early December and hope to offer a variety of food and drink options. “We’re going to be doing a lot of espresso-based drinks and coffee and tea, as well as other non-alcoholic beverages like soda and Good Drink, which is out of Langley,” Graham said. The cafe hopes to eventually become licenced to sell alcohol and offer local craft beer and wine, but don’t expect the liquor licence to clear before they open. Graham hopes that the hours of the cafe will be something around 2-3 p.m. until 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. on weekends to accommodate a night out in downtown Abby. “Really there’s no better time than now with what’s happening in the downtown area, and the official community plan that’s out there and the intentions by the City of Abbotsford to really grow the different sectors into something vibrant, into hubs of the community,” said Graham. “There’s no better time to do something like this than now.” Boardwalk Cafe and Games faces various start-up issues yet, one coming in the form of a building code compliance that requires them to build a second washroom. They’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the various unexpected costs and at time of publication they have achieved and surpassed their $5,000 goal by over $1,000. “We’ve had a really overwhelming response to what we’ve been doing and that’s been really encouraging,” Graham said. “It’s not just from people who want to come and play games but other businesses are excited for what we’re doing. They see the value that hopefully we can bring.” “The biggest thing for us that’s been central to the theme of what we’re doing is that we want to make Abbotsford an even better place to live. For a long time Abbotsford was not viewed very positively within the Fraser Valley, and a lot of people who

Photo: Jayme Johnson

lived here wanted to get out and no one really wanted to move here, but they had to if they wanted to go to bible college or something,” Graham said, reflecting on Abbotsford’s history. “Abbotsford is quickly becoming a very desirable place to live and our goal is to contribute to that.”



Art of the month: December

SPORTS SCORES Men’s basketball Nov 25 UFV Cascades vs. UNBC Timberwolves L 66-63 Nov 26 UFV Cascades vs. UNBC Timberwolves L 76-60 Women’s basketball Nov 25 UFV Cascades vs. UNBC Timberwolves W 59-55 Nov 26 UFV Cascades vs. UNBC Timberwolves W 75-63

Men’s volleyball Nov 26 UFV Cascades vs. COTR Avalanche W 3-1

Emilie Kvist Charcoal


With the semester drawing closer to Christmas and temperatures soon to drop below freezing, students and others with comfy homes with beds to sleep in at night may not realize the struggles some people face to just to stay warm on the upcoming winter nights. With the time for giving here, don’t forget to donate to your local food bank, hand out a few of your extra dollars to those who need a helping hand.

Gavin Cox Collagraph Print

The Nightmare

“The Institute called me a fool! Ever since the fallout of the Third World War, they’ve been attempting to bring humanity back the halcyon days of technology. But I was able create something that would hopefully put us back on top: a real life Nightmare. What I didn’t expect was the anger of the beast, or it’s thirst for human flesh. From sharpened rocks to metal blades and from gunpowder to the atomic bomb, we always create something so terrible that it gets to be too powerful to control. It also seems that my fate is sealed with the monster. I write this letter in hope of some hero being able to end this Nightmare and…”

Nov 27 UFV Cascades vs. COTR Avalanche L 3-1 Women’s volleyball Nov 26 UFV Cascades vs. COTR Avalanche W 3-0 Nov 27 UFV Cascades vs. COTR Avalanche L 3-1

UPCOMING GAMES Men’s basketball Friday, Dec 2 8:00 p.m. UFV Cascades vs. Brandon Bobcats (away) Saturday, Dec 3 7:00 p.m. UFV Cascades vs. Brandon Bobcats (away)

Women’s basketball Friday, Dec 2 6:00 p.m. UFV Cascades vs. Brandon Bobcats (away) Saturday, Dec 3 5:00 p.m. UFV Cascades vs. Brandon Bobcats (away) Artificial Nutrition Madeline Hildebrandt Acrylic on panel Artist Statement: This piece was inspired by a fierce desire as a child to have sugary treats for school lunches, and an appreciation for not having them as an adult. This painting illustrates a school lunch mid-feast when the goodies, reluctantly added to the bag at the request of the child, have been quickly devoured, while the healthier options have been pushed aside and forgotten. The bright fluorescent hues of the sugary snacks allude to artificiality, crushing their attempts to be perceived as real fruit.

Natural Canadian

Cepuran M. Photography, digital art, and acrylics

Artist statement: The materials and mediums I choose to work with are a marriage of organic and natural beauty, with man-made materials and technology. This piece was inspired by my elders, who made me realize what a blessing it is to be a Canadian. As a Canadian, I find myself accustomed to luxuries I now deem as needs. I have forgotten that only a short time ago, this country strove and sacrificed for the freedom we live in today. I long to capture the natural love we once had for our neighbours, the kindness we could continue to have.

Men’s volleyball Thursday, Dec 1 8:00 p.m. UFV Cascades vs. Capilano Blues (away) Women’s volleyball Thursday, Dec 1 6:00 p.m. UFV Cascades vs. Capilano Blues (away)




UN Day of Solidarity with Palestine at UFV Speaking with the Rachel Corrie foundation and Palestinians about the ongoing IsraelPalestine conflict



On November 26, the University of the Fraser Valley was host to a six-hour conference for the UN Day of Solidarity, where Craig and Cindy Corrie from the Rachel Corrie Foundation spoke on the issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict, as well as Palestinians who live in Canada. The event aimed to bring light to the issue of the conflict and the fact that it remains unresolved, as Palestinians are yet to attain rights such as the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced. The story of the Corries and their foundation began with the unfortunate passing of their daughter, Rachel, on March 16, 2003. She was attempting to protect a Palestinian family’s home against unlawful demolition as she was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza. She was an activist drawn into the movement, whose interest in the conflict was sparked by a sympathetic connection to the suffering of Palestinian children. After the passing of their daughter, Craig and Cindy Corrie began to immerse themselves further on the issue, eventually leading to the creation of the Rachel Corrie Foundation. At the conference, the Corries detailed the facts of the conflict, as well as expressing their personal thoughts. During their presentation, Craig showed an image of the loss of land by Palestinians from 1946-2000. The drastic change from owning a majority of the land to less than 10 per cent was eye-opening. In addition, Craig said that West Bank (an area under control by the Palestinians) was essentially “Swiss cheese,” as there are Israelisettlements riddled throughout. Craig left the attendees with a powerful thought by comparing the Palestinian loss of land to that of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the United States. Cindy added that the most important change since the death of


their daughter has been that the younger generation of Israelis and Palestinians have found their voices and are doing work on getting the word out. After the lunch break, a panel of Palestinians, joined by the founding member of Independent Jewish Voice Canada Sid Shnaid and UFV political science student Colter Louwerse, sat down and gave their own personal thoughts. Rounding out the panel was: Sireen El-Nashar, a settlement program officer for a non-profit organization helping the Arabic-speaking refugee community in Surrey; Amer Alshayab, a Palestinian who has lived in three prior places to Canada as a refugee; Omar Mansour, a Palestinian with a global mindset, having completed a master of global business at the University of Victoria; and Jeeda Musleh, a music curriculum developer and early childhood music educator in Palestine and now in Canada. El-Nashar touched upon her personal experiences in Palestine and how unjust it was for her and fellow Palestinians to be treated in such a manner as to disregard them as humans. Alshayab told the attendees of his emotional journey of arriving in Canada after being a refugee in Syria, Cyprus, and Indonesia and how he could not be gladder than he is living in British Columbia. Mansour provided a look into living in the Gaza Strip, a constant war zone and one of the world’s most dangerous areas. Musleh voiced her thoughts on the power of music for traumatized children, and the tragedy of Palestinians — including her brother — being imprisoned for the most trivial offenses, such as throwing rocks. El-Nashar added that Israel tortures young children to break them for the future. While not as personal as the Palestinians, Shnaid and Louwerse added their analysis of the conflict. Louwerse compared the current state of Palestine to Gandhi’s four stages of struggle. First, the world ignored the pleas of Palestinians, followed by laughter until they felt forced to fight, as in the United States arming Israel with weapons, and lastly, overcoming the struggle. Louwerse offered a possible solution to the conflict: the South African

model of fighting apartheid with a mass, non-violent movement as the base for the Palestinians to fight back and overcome their struggles. For the attendees, the conference was both a venue from which to learn more about the Israeli-Palestine conflict as well as a look into the lives of Palestinians who have lived through the conflict first-hand and survived. Summarizing what people should view Palestinians as, Rachel Corrie said it best when she once wrote: “We should be inspired by [a] people ... who show that human beings can be kind, brave, generous, beautiful, strong — even in the most difficult circumstances.” During the lunch break, The Cascade sat down with Craig and Cindy Corrie to get more insight into their thoughts on the IsraelPalestine conflict, and advice for a person interested in the conflict and wanting to learn more. Before your daughter passed away, what were you thoughts of the Israel-Palestine conflict? Craig: Rachel brought us into the conflict, [but] it was around all our lives. We’re from the state of Iowa, out in the Midwest, and I was born right after World War II and the Holocaust. I remember as a kid that I was for the formation of Israel. It was a new topic. But in the back of my mind, I also remember having the thought that if I were the promised land, I might feel a different way. We just didn’t really know any of the narrative of the Palestinians until Rachel went and then we started reading. From my viewpoint, I was drafted into the U.S. military and went to Vietnam for a year. When I started reading what Rachel was writing, I thought, “There’s a military that is out of control.” It only takes a couple weeks for a sharp person to figure out that this is what happens. I was much more frightened for her when I started to hear about what she was seeing because I just realized there weren’t the overall controls. I know that the U.S. did horrible things in Vietnam but continued...


CULTURE & EVENTS my squad, my company didn’t, and I know it takes a lot of work to make sure they don’t. Cindy: I was sympathetic to the Israeli perspective, that’s what we knew the most about. I read to [our children] the diary of Anne Frank, about kids who had been hidden away during the Holocaust and survived, and those who didn’t. That’s where our sympathies were, that’s what we talked about. I think I heard about the conflict through the years, but just always assumed it was never going to get better. Sometimes the part I feel the guiltiest about it is that we didn’t pay attention to it earlier because I, like any people without a direct connection there, just thought “It’s always going to be a problem, we’ll never fix it.” That was an invitation to tune it out. I’m grateful though that more people are tuning in, or have in the last decade. I hope people continue until we figure out what to do. What was the most alarming thing you discovered when you first began avidly learning about the IsraelPalestine conflict? Craig: Particularly when you go there, it’s all overwhelming, the wholesale destruction of houses to make military space. It’s hard to understand that there’s the family with kids, living in a house [where] they haven’t done anything wrong, but then all of a sudden the house is going to be destroyed. I relate to the children; you see these pictures of little kids and they’re everywhere. If you walk, they’ll follow you and ask you, “What’s your name?” and want their picture taken. Kids everywhere are delightful and they’re a real treasure. The attacks are not only an attack on the lives of the children but the future of the children. That’s something I don’t understand, and that’s something I won’t understand. Cindy: Figuring out the whole story is about the displacement of people from the very beginning. That really is the goal of the Israeli government. I don’t think there has ever been a serious intention to [figure out a solution], because if there had been serious intention, we’d have a solution by now. When you’re on the ground, as somebody who has a lot of privilege, who is outside of that system, you start to see how the system works at every turn to inhibit what the Palestinians can do. It’s shocking. The endurance of Palestinians through this is amazing to me. We talk to Palestinians all the time who have not been able to go to Jerusalem, even though they might have had family there. This complicated network of restrictions looks to subdue and displace an entire people — [it’s] shocking to me. In witnessing the conflict first-hand, what do you think you have gained as a person? Craig: Talking to Jewish and Israeli friends who have worked a whole lot on ending the occupation, one of the things their daughter said was that the thing she said didn’t like about going to school in Oregon is that when you go to a big football game, there are not enough guns there. She doesn’t feel safe because there are not enough guns. In that same town, there’s the sister of a Palestinian who was shot to death in October of 2000 by Israeli police. What I realized was [the first girl] doesn’t get it, even though her whole family is involved ... she still doesn’t get what it’s like for that Palestinian neighbour. You can read about it, you can see it, you can be told about it, but unless you live it, you don’t quite get it. Part of it to me was the realization that I will never understand it from my position of white-male privilege. Cindy: I don’t like when people say [the conflict] is such a complex issue because it’s not that complex, but I do think that there can be negative feelings towards a group of people. I think what we’ve been blessed with is the opportunity to see all the distinctions and all the individuals, and to learn from them and see what their questions are. We have Jewish-Israeli friends who work really hard on this but still, they still admit that they have trouble letting go of the idea of a Jewish state because of their family’s previous experience. Most people are really

good people, in sometimes terrible circumstances. Is there an aspect of the Israel-Palestine conflict you think hasn’t been touched upon enough? Cindy: I don’t think people see that all of the restrictions and [how] the occupation affects the Palestinians that are there living it, and even the Palestinians living outside, wanting to come back and establish a connection there. Movement, land ownership, and jobs touch so many places and I don’t think most people have an appreciation for that An aspect that hasn’t been touched upon enough in my opinion is the role of the United States. When I first learned about the Israel-Palestine conflict and how Canada supported Israel, I was disappointed because that’s not reminiscent of the reputation that Canada is perceived to have. Cindy: There’s a lot of things driving that; sometimes people would say that it’s the Israeli lobby in the U.S. that’s driving that but in fact, it’s weaker than it was in the past. Christian Zionism is a very powerful piece of hope for the United States. We have Boeing in our backyard producing all these weapons. Jeff Halper has just written a book about Israel (War Against the People), he’s supplying so much of the intelligence and security mechanisms for countries throughout the world. Countries you’d think would be critical of Israel are not being critical of [them] because they have bought into that Israel is selling them things for security. Craig: To me, I’m surprised about Canada. We do give a lot of attention to the United States’ role in it. Jeff Halper points out that military policing is learned specifically from the Israeli military. American police forces go over there and find out how to police. It’s policing for a hostile society but it’s largely hostile because of the policing. What you see back home is a self-fulfilling prophecy; you see a militarized police in the United States or you see a military doing traditionally what would be policing activities. The wall being built on the [United States-Mexico] border is being funded in part by Israeli companies. You’ve seen the technology they have and my Canadian friends want to use the same technology to keep them out of Canada. It’s a mundane banality of all these rules and what they do to life, and we ask all these young [Palestinian] people that are basic college age, or a bit past college age, “What would you like to do the most?” and they say, “I want to go to the ocean and have a beer with my friends.” It’s just that common and people not understanding that [not being able to do that] is the basis of interference in your life. For a person beginning to learn about the IsraeliPalestine conflict, what would you say to pique their interest even further? Craig: Go there, and it’s not impossible. I used to think, “That’s insane, I’m not going to go there,” but Rachel did, and now we have a number of times. It’s not that hard. Cindy: People should know that this particular issue has impacted what is happening in the rest of the Middle East and the rest of the world. Canada and the United States, they are a minority if you look at the United Nations, and the support for the Palestinians is very strong. There are only four or five countries [that support Israel]. It’s in our interest and it’s really concerning to see what is going to happen if we don’t work it out soon, particularly looking at Gaza right now. Recognizing that the world views [the United States and Canada] negatively for the positions [they’ve] taken and the messes [they’ve] helped to create there and are largely responsible for. It’s bigger than Israel and Palestine, it’s about the entire region. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.



As a seed head of a dandelion, I am swept away by the breeze for a journey where I find you and plant seeds in your fertile soil, growing and waiting for the next breeze to deplete me until all we have left is each other.

Yoga is choc(olate) full of fun UFV yoga club and mental health awareness club’s delicious collaboration KAYLA BWD CONTRIBUTOR/PHOTOS

There’s nothing better than combining the decadence of chocolate with the relaxation of yoga. On Tuesday, November 22, UFV’s yoga club and mental health awareness club did just that. The yoga session incorporated mindful eating into the poses. Taking time to use all of the senses to enjoy pieces of chocolate brought another level of focus to the yoga practice. After the mindful eating and yoga, participants were encouraged to socialize and enjoy some colouring. There were also handouts with information on mental health available to take home. The event was planned as a stress eliminator for students nearing the semester’s end, and the two clubs are considering collaborating again in the future. Here’s hoping that if they do, their next event will also involve chocolate.





A Full House plays for a full house


The Canadian Football League had a championship game to rival the unparalleled excitement of this year's Major League Baseball World Series Game 7, and accordingly, had a forgettable halftime performance. Here is a forgettable shuffle inspired by that insipid booking decision.

Bastille — “Pompeii” Perhaps a British accent is all that I need in order to get an earworm stuck right inside my head, but this song has been undeniably rattling around my head since it came out in 2013, despite the fact that aesthetically, I can't approve of the style and over production. OneRepublic — “Counting Stars” Speaking of stuff I can't stand, did anyone catch the Grey Cup halftime performance from Canada's own ... neighbours ... from ... halfway down the Rockies, in Colorado Springs ... OK, so it's not Canadian-relevant at all, much less Can-Con, but it WAS the most Shazaamed song of 2013, so that counts for something. Lenny Kravitz — “American Woman” Ironic that the Grey Cup halftime performance from 2007 should feature a song written by Canadians, performed by an American man, about an American woman, for a primarily if not completely entirely a Canadian audience. I wonder if Lenny was required contractually to include this tune in his set list. BTO — “Takin' Care of Business” Perhaps even more ironically, Bachmann and Turner failed to perform the Guess Who's “American Woman” in their 2010 Grey Cup halftime performance, though they did rock the two essential BTO classics, “You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet,” as well as the title displayed here. No “These Eyes” for Maestro Fresh Wes.



Preoccupations Preoccupations


A Tribe Called Red We Are the Halluci Nation

3 4 5

Sad13 Slugger Majid Jordan Majid Jordan Blessed Blessed


Kishi Bashi Sonderlust


Jay Arner Jay II


Against Me! Shape Shift With Me


La Sera Music For Listening To Music To


Hot Panda Bad Pop


Eleanore Eleanore


Cheap High Picture Disk

13 14

Phantogram Three Red Velvert Russian Roulette


FT Island Where's The Truth


Elephant Stone Little Ship Of Fools


Harpdog Brown Travelin' With The Blues


Sunday Wilde Blueberries and Grits


Al Lerman Slow Burn


Ghost Popestar


In a society that continues to become more multicultural, preconceived notions and stigmas surrounding varying religions and cultural groups are bound to exist. A Full House, a play written by English professor Rajnish Dhawan not only addresses these issues, but it focussed completely around them. Directed by former colleague and recently retired English professor John Carroll and produced in part with the UFV English department, A Full House tells the story of four female roommates, all from various cultures and religions, and their difficulties — and efforts — in striving to understand each other’s ways of dealing with grief. With a Muslim from Afghanistan, a Hindu from India, a Sikh from India, and an American who all relocated to the Fraser Valley, clashes in beliefs are bound to happen. A Full House explores themes of differences between cultures — something that is growing in relevance given the increased globalization in Canada and, more specifically, the Fraser Valley and by focussing on common misconceptions about terrorism, religion, and women’s roles in society, A Full House takes on a heavy topics. However, it can be hard to talk about multiple issues at once, especially when they include violence, rape, and sexism. While at times the inclusion of so many themes seemed almost overpowering, it was obvious that this was the point that Dhawan was trying to make — that these are topics that need to be addressed and should not be ignored. The play heavily focuses on terrorism, especially through the perspective of different religious groups but the blame isn’t necessarily on any one group, rather, on the way the world is.

With all female characters, there were scenes that seemed to imply the blame is on how men do things. However, it never seemed to blame men simply for being men, but as a collective. Dhawan’s strong writing and the play’s script allows for a lot of subtleties, some of which may or may not have been picked up as a result of the acting. However, many of these subtleties included numerous sexual innuendoes, sometimes bordering cliché and far from realistic. With the play’s characters being four female roommates, a lot of the comic relief felt over sexualized, reinforcing the taboo rather than breaking it. Overall, A Full House did what it intended to do: make viewers think about their views on terrorism by demonstrating that terrorism isn’t something that’s limited to anyone of a certain race or religion.

Nominate a teacher who has made a difference in your education. Those eligible for nomination include all UFV faculty and lab instructors and sessional instructors who have completed two years of instruction. Selection criteria include mentorship, attention to student learning, respect for students, integration of scholarship, and professional activity. For more information, contact Ruby Ord at 604-504-7441, ext 4382 or email

Deadline for nominations is January 9, 2017 at 4 pm Download a nomination package from or pick one up from Ruby in room G104 on the Abbotsford campus.



Lukas Graham stuns the Vogue


As an avid concert goer, I’ve learned that one of the best ways to attend various concerts and not feel irrevocably guilty about it is to gift a pair of tickets to a friend and (hopefully) accompany them to the show. I found myself at Lukas Graham’s concert as a direct result of this process on Thursday, November 10. The concert just so happened to coincide with my good friend’s birthday, and together, we went off to experience what may have been my favourite concert to date. Lukas Graham is a four-piece band from Copenhagen, Denmark. Their lead singer Lukas Forchammer is accompanied by drummer Mark “Lovestick” Falgren, bassist Magnus Larsson, and keyboardist Morten Ristorp. They were also joined on stage by a trio called The Rusty Trombones. Lukas grew up in a neighbourhood that suffered waves of poverty and crime, which is reflected in the vast majority of their songs, the genre of which could be classified as something between pop, funk, and soul. Admittedly, going into the concert, I was not familiar with most of the band’s work; however, the talent showcased on the singles “7 Years” and “Mama Said” off of their selftitled album piqued my interest more than enough to make me want to attend the show. The band opened with a confident power-anthem, “Take the World by Storm.” Lead singer Lukas’ charisma and stage presence was impossible to ignore as he bounced between upbeat, romantic

songs and soulful ballads. He revealed as the concert carried on that inspiration for their songs usually came from problems they’ve faced in life, such as the passing of his own father. “There are two types of problems in this world: problems you can solve, and problems you can’t,” Lukas stated about halfway through the show. “Your father being dead is a problem you can’t solve. So I write about it.” And write about it he did; aside from mentions in most of the band’s work, Lukas Graham also gave him a beautiful tribute song titled, “You’re Not There.” “Though I know that you're not there / I still write you all these songs / It's like you got the right to know what's going on / As I struggle to remember how you used to look and sound / At times I still think I can spot you in the crowd,” Lukas proclaims on the track. In the song “Happy Home,” Lukas also exclaims: “I had the perfect dad, I wanna be the perfect son.” Another event often referenced in the band’s work is the jailing of one of Lukas’ friends. “They tried to get you down / But you refused to die / They tried to give you angel wings / But you refused to fly / You'd rather stay in hell / And take your time in jail / They are only punishing the soul you will never sell,” Lukas belts in the minorkeyed “Better Than Yourself (Criminal Minds, pt. 2).” A notable accomplishment of the band’s performance was the flow of their show — they balanced these important, slower-paced songs from the soul with cheeky and funky tunes, such as “Strip No More.” “I was at table three, b.y.o.b. and / Destiny sat next to me / She

asked me if I liked her dance / I told her ‘I'm your biggest fan’ / Then she took me by the hand, and turned this boy into a man / Inside a private room, I hope you understand,” Lukas boasted, tongue-incheek, during the interlude. The vocal and instrumental quality exceeded expectations throughout the entire show, but I felt a particular level of excellence was exuded in the performance of “Funeral,” my favourite song of the night. “Welcome to my funeral / Everyone I know better be wasted / You know I would pour one up / Cause the way I lived, it was amazing,” he chants, unusually cheerful for a song revolving around death. The band returned for an encore and ultimately finished the night off with the hit single “7 Years.” The show was the first of their 2016/17 tour and Lukas chimed gleefully and gratefully, “I don’t think you can hope or pray for a better first show. Thank you so much Vancouver!” It was obvious the Vancouver crowd felt similarly; the intimate setting of The Vogue helped to connect further with the band, and the atmosphere was one of adulation for their sheer talent and performance value. I would not hesitate to agree with the statement that the concert was worth far more than the $35 general admission ticket in, and it is shows like these that remind us that intellectual and meaningful art doesn’t necessarily have to come with a hefty price.




July Talk rocks the Commodore Up close and personal with Canada’s alternative rock sensation


It was my first time at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, and getting the chance to see one of my all-time favourite bands play at such a small venue was incredibly exciting. July Talk, a five-member alternative rock band formed in Toronto, are known for their mindblowing live shows and how they love interacting with their fans, and I couldn't help but hope I might be so lucky as to get the chance. They performed two sold-out concerts on both November 23 and 25, and when my husband and I arrived on Friday night, I rushed to the front of the stage. I had never been so close at any kind of concert before; I couldn't believe it! But even then, I still had no idea what was in store for me. The first group on stage was Mona, a rock band from Ohio. I had never heard any of their work before, but they were great, their set getting us all head banging along. Up next was Adam Baldwin, a Nova Scotia-based singer and his band. Adam was a very enthusiastic and lively guy, and helped get the crowd even more hyped up, and blood pumping. The stage was all in black and white, with several bright white lights highlighting the fog from a nearby machine, making them look like large, triangular pillars of smoke; a simple but very striking set up, and fitting considering the band’s fondness for this contrast. When July Talk finally appeared, they were greeted by a deafening roar of excitement from the crowd. Their set started off with “Picturing Love,” the opening song on their new sophomore album, Touch. Peter Dreimanis’ passionate playing on the keyboard is always


enthralling to watch, but so incredibly amplified by actually being there in person, only a few feet away from him. Head banging, wild blue eyes blazing, he puts so much intensity into every chord, every note he plays on both it and the guitar that it's practically palpable. (The sweat that hit my face was, literally, however — I never imagined I'd feel honoured to be sweat on by someone.) During the song, Leah Fay went up to the front of the stage across to the right, leaning out to wave and touch hands. I watched in partial disbelief as she walked over to the side where I was standing, bent down, and reached out to me. I reached back, and as she stood back up our hands parted, our index fingers still pointing at one another, both singing the line, "Someone like you..." My heart soared. They played a great mix of songs from both their self-titled debut album and Touch. Peter and Leah have amazing chemistry, playing off of one another perfectly with a sort of “Beauty & the Beast” aesthetic. Their endearing playfulness combined with how exquisitely her smooth, silky voice and his rough, deep one (often likened to Tom Waits) flow and blend together makes watching them all the more intoxicating. Later on during “Now I Know” Leah came back to our side of the stage and crouched down again, encouraging me towards the mic. Forehead to forehead, our noses almost touching, we sang into it together. Actually getting to sing with this unbelievably talented and beautiful woman, one of my muses, was an absolute dream come true. Throughout the night there were plenty more antics, with both Leah and Peter (while still playing his guitar) crowd surfing; Leah teased a lucky guy with a sultry solo; a cell phone was stolen and taken up on stage before being returned, as well as a stunned looking girl for a hug from Leah. Danny Miles’ drumming was just fantastic, as

usual, and Ian Docherty and Josh Warburton both absolutely slayed on electric guitar and bass respectively. I had a chance to see Ian’s gorgeous guitar up close, wood with intricate carvings etched into the body. After “Paper Girl” and many thanks, the band left the stage. We all instantly started chanting “One more song!” and pretty much knew that we would get it, as they hadn't played the new album's titular track, which seemed one they definitely would have chosen to include. (At least I had certainly hoped so, it probably being my favourite on the album.) Sure enough, they appeared once again to tons of grateful cheers and applause, playing both “Touch” and “The Garden” to finish off the night. At the end of the show, Peter threw some picks into the crowd. One came toward me and I reached up — as a tall guy behind me snatched it out of the air, yelling, "I got it!" I looked back and noticed that Danny was still on stage watching us. He threw one of his drumsticks to me, and the other to another lucky fan. I stood for a moment clutching it in disbelief. I was so thankful; talk about an awesome souvenir! The concert was an explosive, adrenaline-surged flood of emotions, for both the fans and the band members alike. Peter mentioned more than once, sounding a little choked up, just how happy they were to be back home in Canada after touring in the U.K. and U.S., and how much all of the love and support from the fans means to them. I think they could tell from our reactions that we were equally happy to have them back, and just how much they and their phenomenal music means to us, too. It was one hell of an incredible, unforgettable evening, and I already anxiously await my next chance to see them perform live again. When July Talk, we want to listen.



Hardwired… to be a rollercoaster JOSH DESILVA CONTRIBUTOR

It’s been nearly a decade since Metallica’s last album Death Magnetic was released, and two and a half years since they released an album that has been received as positively as this one. After a quarter-century losing streak with Load, Reload, Garage Inc., S&M, St. Anger, and Death Magnetic, Metallica seems to be crawling back to the beaten path that popularized them; that’s true for some songs, anyway. Take the opener and ender (of the first two discs, if you bought the deluxe edition): “Hardwired” and “Spit Out the Bone,” which gallop and thrash their way back to …and Justice for All’s “Blackened” and Master of Puppet’s “Battery.” It’s the blood rush that everyone came to expect of them after “Ride the Lightning.” That same rush can be found in the intro of “Moth Into Flame.” Other songs I found similarities between included “Confusion” and “Am I Savage?” The record seemed to be going in a certain direction, but veers off into a different sound, one which I found to be not-very “Metallica.” Examples include “Atlas, Rise!” in which the chorus makes me curious if Iron Maiden hired James Hetfield as their new lead singer. Don’t get me wrong, “Atlas” is one of four best songs on the album. “ManUNkind” had the same problem, where the intro reminded me of Maiden’s “Still Life” or “To Tame a Land.” Yet that same song answers the question if

Thin Lizzy took their swing into the metal genre. It’s a good album nonetheless, and I enjoyed it for the most part. While I do think they could have cut at least a few songs, my choices being “Am I Savage?” “Murder One,” “Halo on Fire,” “Here Comes Revenge,” and “Dream No More,” the album stands on its own. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for variety in their metal, as it can range from Battery-like thrashing, to Black Sabbath doomy, to Maiden-esque rock and roll. (There’s a reason why the genre on iTunes states “Rock.”) I definitely would not say it’s a great album, or even close to their best. While it is enjoyable if you trim the fat, it’s largely forgettable. Death Magnetic at least had “Cyanide,” which was a memorable song, and among Metallica’s coolest I’ve heard in a long time. Hardwired… however, did not live up to the standard. After hearing it multiple times, unlike classics like Metallica (nicknamed the Black Album), it gets dull really quick. Unfortunately, it will still peak #1 in most weekly charts and Billboard 200s due to the band’s fame alone. This has been true since Metallica, so there’s no surprise there. From me, it gets a 6/10. Not great, far from terrible, a step up from the past 25 years of albums, but I think Metallica should stop here, and end on the highest note they’ve had for that time, and — I predict — that they will ever have from here on out.


A short reflection on the therapeutic qualities of patterned tonal sequences through the lens of Jean Tonique’s Plage d’or MARTIN CASTRO THE CASCADE

We’ve got one day left until December, so let’s take a breather — I know, I know, you have exams to prepare for and papers to write and labs or experiments to finish. You’re almost there. And if this semester has been as rough on all of you as it has been on me, I hope you don’t think it presumptuous of me to take this opportunity to speak collectively for us all and say — man, I could use a break right around now. A good, solid, two-to-three week break. For some reason I’ve been gravitating towards funk and, dare I say it, disco. Not old disco though. I’m not there yet. Anyway, Jean Tonique’s Plage d’or is great because it immediately brings to mind beaches and gold, two things which I haven’t seen much of in the past month or so, let alone beaches made of gold. Also it’s in French. I have to explain that last bit: I don’t speak French. So listening to Plague d’or, especially at this time of year, is an interesting experience in itself. It’s a bit like sitting down despite the tension headache unrelentingly pulsing its numb whiteness steadily out behind your eyelids with the goal of cranking out that 15-page economics paper. It’s raining. It’s cold. You’re cold. An unreasonably cheerful student walks into the library — Why is he smiling? you think, Doesn’t he have papers to write?

In the meantime, Jean Tonique’s “En Voilier” starts pulsing away. (When did I press play? What’s going on? This synth is kind of cool.) Maybe you start to nod, tap your foot, add a couple of words to that thesis paragraph before realizing the source you desperately need, the clincher, the one you’ve based your entire argument on, isn’t fully available. ***Oh, the injustice! What are you going to do with an abstract and three pages of introductory material? You start to curse ebscohost, preparing a soliloquy of such petty dissatisfaction that even Milton’s Satan would think it unnecessary. The bass line in this song is kind of funky, though. You think while trying to figure out how you can salvage the nowworthless research in front of you. What does “En Voilier” even mean? Also what’s up with this chorus? Is this singer sad or emphatic? Maybe he’s hopeful? You can never tell with the French. Wine would be a good idea. You look around and realize the library’s never been this full. (Or at least you’ve never been in it while it’s this full.) Somebody sits down next to you, miserably pulling out an economics textbook. They open a notebook labeled “Biochem II” and start taking notes. Your fellow student sighs and looks up at you and asks, “Why are you so cheerful?” “Je vous dirais porquoi, mais je ne parle pas français.” We’ve got one more week, ya’ll. Play something funky and get to it.


The Cascade Vol. 24 No. 31  

The Cascade is the University of the Fraser Valley's autonomous student newspaper, and has been since 1993.

The Cascade Vol. 24 No. 31  

The Cascade is the University of the Fraser Valley's autonomous student newspaper, and has been since 1993.