MARCH 7 TO MARCH 14, 2018
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 8
Living, laughing, and loving since 1993
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Editorial // STAFF Editor-in-Chief Joel Robertson-Taylor email@example.com Business Manager Quintin Stamler firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor Kat Marusiak email@example.com News Editor Jessica Barclay firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Manager Caleb Campbell email@example.com
Opinion Editor Jeff Mijo firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Assistant Renée Campbell email@example.com
Features Editor Joel Robertson-Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy Editor Cat Friesen email@example.com
Culture & Events Editor Cassie de Jong firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustrator Amara Gelaude email@example.com
Arts in Review Editor Martin Castro firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustrator Simer Haer email@example.com
Staff Writer Aleister Gwynne firstname.lastname@example.org
Columnist Mike Friesen email@example.com Online Editor Jeff Mijo firstname.lastname@example.org
Parking pass go
Staff Writer Jennifer Klassen email@example.com Distributor Alena Zheng firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTORS Paul Okano Jeremy Barichello Silvana Unipan Cover: Renée Campbell Back Cover: Caleb Campbell
@UFVCASCADE FACEBOOK.COM/UFVCASCADE INSTAGRAM.COM/THE.CASCADE Volume 26 · Issue 8 Room S2111 33844 King Road Abbotsford, BC V2S 7M8 604.854.4529 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 1,000 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 every second Monday at 12:00 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 200 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.
JOEL ROBERTSON-TAYLOR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A 1998 Volvo is on the prowl. It crawls expectantly, hunting for a stall. Seeing a Chev rev to life, the Volvo quickens her pace. A noble Ram is alerted by the Chev’s shaking, too. A subdued race ensues: 16 km/h of heat. The Ram, the most assertive (read: aggressive) of the automobiles, sets its sights and leans into a pounce, arrogating the only just emptied stall. Luck of the draw: the Chev’s turn to the right was in favour of the Ram, approaching from the left. The Volvo will go hungry, once again. There’s a parking problem at UFV. Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. empty stalls are as elusive as a coffeeless student, pre-10:00 a.m. The lack of stalls is frustrating, and the frustration is compounded by parking tickets. I’ve got several Impark tickets, and I’m not going to pay them. UFV doesn’t make money off the tickets, so why bother? Impark pays an agreed upon rate to manage the lot, and they profit off the stall payments and tickets. Judging by the amount of fluttering tickets I see on windshields when I leave campus, they’re doing alright. For the last two years, I’ve had a parking pass. Despite that, the eager ticket man has left me a surprise under my broken windshield wiper at least three times. You can get the ticket waived if
you’ve got a parking pass; it’s not an awful process, but upon calling Impark, they’ll ask for a picture of the pass. Not sure why; they have me on record, and I could have grabbed anyone’s pass. Probably a vetting process. The bigger issue is that in two months the outstanding fine (if that’s what it can be called; more like invoice) is sent to a collections agency where they don’t give a rats bottom about the lot’s policies or your parking pass — you owe them money. But here’s the thing: these aren’t bylaw tickets, and you don’t have to pay them. UFV’s lots are private, not managed by a municipal bylaw enforcement officer. Municipal parking tickets are enforceable because the municipality has the power to penalize unremitted payments. A driver with outstanding parking tickets won't be able to renew their driver’s license or vehicle registration. Impark, a private parking management company founded in Vancouver in 1962, runs more than 400,000 parking spots across 3,400 lots in 240 cities across Canada and the United States. Their statement letters claim that the fine will “cover lost revenues, as well as the costs of patrol and preliminary collection.” But, according to the Globe and Mail, Impark doesn’t disclose how much it makes off late fees. According to Julian Jones, senior vice president, corporate development
with Vancouver's Impark, “We're a business, we're not a municipality,” he said. “The whole objective of our enforcement program is to enforce our payment system — not to write parking tickets and generate revenue,” the Globe and Mail reported. Once at CEP, I parked on what I would have called a dirt stall. The rest of the lot was mostly empty, and my parking pass was displayed clearly — but parking in a non-designated stall is a violation. The other three cars also donned blue wiper-flags when I got back. These tickets are deceptive, because they imitate actual tickets. Toronto lawyer John Weingust told the CBC that even once the fine goes to a private collections agency, it won’t affect your credit rating: “They have to go to court to collect that money.” It would require the collections agency to go to small claims court, which likely isn’t worth their time or money. “If you feel you've been taken by them, I say don't pay the ticket,” Weingust said. “Let them sue you.” CBC also asked the credit-monitoring firm Equifax the same question. They confirmed that an unpaid parking ticket from a private lot won't affect credit history. I’m not going to be a stick in the mud for no reason. I’ve paid the tickets I legitimately got prior to the parking pass. But I won’t pay the ones I deem illegitimate. And I wont worry about it.
Jessica Barclay — News Editor email@example.com
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
UFV Conflict //
Fraser Valley eagles outfitted with tracking system
Allegations of interference go to Labour Relations Board Union claimed that UFV’s investigation into harassment and bullying interfered with administration
Five eagles in the Fraser Valley are sporting new “backpacks” donated by the Hancock Wildlife Foundation. The backpack radio transmitters are used to survey the location of the eagles. The foundation is also working on a way for the public to receive updates on the eagles’ locations. David Hancock of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation began monitoring eagles more than 50 years ago, when there were only three nesting pairs in the Fraser Valley. Today, there are nearly 400 nesting pairs in the Fraser Valley, with 35,000 eagles visiting each year. “It’s been an incredibly successful story of recovery, and it’s totally and absolutely due to the changes in human attitudes,” Hancock said. -the Abbotsford News
Overseas student enrolment in Canada rises by 11 per cent Canada has seen an increase of 11 per cent in international student enrollment over the last year, according to recent surveys of 96 Canadian institutions. British Columbia has seen an increase of 15.6 per cent enrollment, the greatest increase of all the provinces. The Canadian government hopes to more than double the number of international students in the country by 2022, increasing the number from 192,000 to 450,000 students. “These students bring diverse global perspectives and experiences to share with their fellow students, help build and strengthen Canada’s international connections, and contribute economically to their host communities,” Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada, said. -The World University Rankings
Building A, UFV CEP Campus. Chilliwack, B.C. (The Cascade)
JESSICA BARCLAY NEWS EDITOR
UFV and the Faculty and Staff Association (FSA) must agree upon a way to deal with an intra-FSA bullying and harassment complaint, as decided by the Labour Relations Board (LRB) on Feb. 9, 2018. The hearing was initiated by the FSA, an internal union, and the official collective bargaining agent for UFV employees. The FSA said the university had interfered with the administration of the FSA through an investigations of harassment complaints. In the final ruling, LRB vice-chair Koml Kandola considered both the university’s obligation to maintain a workplace free of bullying and harassment, and the FSA’s need to protect confidential correspondances and documents. Kandola ruled that while the university overreached in its investigations, and was unable to present evidence of its necessity to immediately conduct a full investigation, it was likely not in malice. “I accept that the university has a legitimate interest in seeking to ensure it has a harmonious, harassment-free workplace,” Kandola said. “[T]he university did not present any authority for its assertion that failure to conduct a full and formal investigation of the Complaints in the circumstances would result in sanction by WorkSafeBC.” Kandola concluded that it was “difficult to imagine” the investigations proceeding without revealing confidential FSA information. History In November, the university began ha-
rassment investigations of three FSA executives based on written complaints from the two FSA administrators, who are also university employees, but were on full release from their primary positions with the university in order to serve as the FSA’s faculty and staff contract administrators, according to the hearing decision issued by the LRB. The LRB ruled that UFV overreached in investigations of recent harassment allegations, and that UFV violated the Discrimination, Bullying, and Harassment Policy, which applies to all members of the university community engaged in university-related activities. The FSA requested an immediate stop to the investigation, stating that the complaints involved confidential internal FSA information. They also requested the university allow them to retrieve confidential FSA documents, and information from the complainants’ offices. The complainants had gone on sick leave with no return date at the time of the complaints. The university delayed FSA access to the offices, saying over email that allowing the FSA to enter may violate the privacy of the two complainants. The offices are located on campus, and were provided by the university for FSA workers. The FSA claimed that the university refusal to cease investigations “was interfering with the administration of the union, and engaging in intimidating and threatening conduct.” “It is regrettable that the university administration elected to pursue a course of action that failed to respect the interests of the FSA,” Sean Parkinson, president of the FSA, said in an email. “The Faculty
and Staff Association was forced to initiate a cease and desist order and, later, pursue a complaint with the Labour Relations Board for interfering in a trade union. Dave Pinton, UFV’s director of communications, said over email that the university would not comment at this time. “At this point, we’re not offering any further comment as we work together on the LRB matter,” Pinton said. According to the LRB decision, “In letters dated November 21 and 22, 2017, counsel for the FSA wrote to the university president, demanding the university immediately cease and desist its investigations of the FSA executives.” The university’s delay in releasing the confidential files and property from the complainant offices also interfered with the administration of the trade union, as did the delay to grant release time to replace the two FSA members on sick leave. Kandola encouraged the university and the FSA to use the assistance of a investigating officer of the board to determine how they wished to proceed, and determine an appropriate method for addressing harassment complaints from within the FSA. “In such circumstances, I find it is most appropriate to let the parties attempt to mutually determine the appropriate steps in this regard,” Kandola said. “We hope that this ruling from the LRB helps to clarify important and necessary boundaries that will enable both organizations to work more effectively with one another,” said Parkinson.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
UFV's Future //
Future visions of the UFV area Abbotsford presents UDistrict neighbourhood plans JEN KLASSEN STAFF WRITER
The City of Abbotsford and UFV have officially reached stage four on the UDistrict project. In this final step, the plan will go to council to receive its endorsement before moving forward. The UDistrict is a partnership project between the university and the city to help create an overlap between the city and the campus as Abbotsford and the community grows. “This was an important driving principle...to integrate the campus and the community,” Craig Toews, UFV vice-president, external, said. Toews has been involved with the project since its conception. The project began in 2011/12 with Abbotsford residents and UFV students and faculty coming together to imagine what the university campus, as well as the surrounding area, would look like in the future. Out of this brainstorming, the UDistrict neighbourhood plan was born. The UDistrict website states that the idea behind the plan is to “help guide the future development of this area. It will outline the proposed land uses, densities, built form guidelines, public spaces, multi-modal transportation network, and green infrastructure strategies.” This will include rentable condos in the area, retail spaces, and more walkable access points, to connect the surrounding neighbourhood areas to the rural university campus. “There is going to be a cool public plaza, and market housing with ground floor commercial
retail,” Toews said. “It’s going to bring service and amenities within a walking distance to our campus; a village, a complete neighbourhood is what we are looking for. With the expected growth of the community in the future, this project hopes to provide more liveable spaces, thus creating the impetus for businesses in the area to advance.” Work has already begun in areas around UFV. The Salton Road pedestrian overpass, one of these projects, will connect the north and south side of the highway. Construction has begun and is expected to be completed in time for the fall semester. Work will also commence on other projects in the immediate area. The effect of the UDistrict neighbourhood plan will be visible come September, and the entire project will continue over the course of the next 20 years. Going forward in the fall, Toews hopes that more students on campus can be involved in the project, with the possibility oncampus forums for students to participate in and give feedback. Currently, the university is piloting CityStudio courses, a model where students and city planners join together to solving problems in the community. Toews believes this initiative will be a good way for students to become involved in the UDistrict project, regardless of discipline. For more information on the UDistrict project, the documents, plans, and drawings are available on the City of Abbotsford website. Artist's renderings of proposed U-District neighbourhood. (City of Abbotsford)
SUS Initiative //
Advanced Leadership Program to bring unique voices to UFV JESSICA BARCLAY NEWS EDITOR
The Student Union Society launched a new initiative to bring important social issues onto campus. The Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) is a series of modules featuring community leaders and experts who will come to UFV to discuss their experiences of issues faced by Canadians. The goal of the program is to expose students to real life issues and to build empathy for those marginalized in society. It looks to build student leaders who are compassionate, and advocate for posi-
tive societal change, according to Sukhi Brar, mentorship and leadership coordinator for SUS. “Something that I really wanted to do with this program was to get students to challenge their beliefs that people in Canada are treated equally, and that we all have equality of opportunity,” Brar said. Each module is structured as a one hour presentation by the speaker, followed by a 30 minute Q&A period, and a 30 minute reflection period. The structure looks to generate open and respectful discussions amongst the students and the presenter about the topic.
“It's pretty open,” Brar said. “People can ask uncomfortable questions, and I've worked to bring speakers that are open to that.” Last Thursday’s presenter, Kamal Dhillon, spoke on her experience of surviving 12 years of domestic abuse, and why she remained in the relationship. “It was really gritty,” Brar said. “I think everyone found it difficult to hear her story, but she was really great, and open to any questions people had, like ‘why did you stay,’ and ‘why didn’t you reach out?’” Brar said student turnout for the module was great, with around 80 students
attending the presentation. Students who attend for the full two hours receive a cocurricular transcript, which outlines the competencies and learning outcomes received through the module. Two more modules are scheduled for this winter. Jolene Greyeyes will speak on addiction, racial discrimination, and understanding intergenerational trauma on Thursday, March 8, and Laura Tribe will speak on net neutrality and “open media” advocaters on Wednesday, March 21. More modules will likely be planned for the fall, said Brar.
Jeff Mijo — Opinion Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Letter Another day, another to the American shooting editor Our Southern Neighbours //
If you are going to start university, a great place to go is UFV. As a student who learns in his own way, my experience at UFV has been welcoming. What has made it a positive experience are the courses, the teachers, the orientation, and the campus. I have enjoyed the interesting courses. The teachers are positive, approachable, and helpful. They go at the students’ learning pace, and give leeway for assignments while expecting students to be responsible. They use various methods to present ideas and concepts. The orientation for the new students helped me become familiar and start my year off with excitement and fun. There were games and activities to get to know each other. The tour helped the students to become familiar with the campus. The fair gave us information on the courses, and a chance to meet the instructors. The campus is relaxing and comfortable. The buildings on the small campus are interesting, and easy to get around. The environment is close to nature. I don’t feel overwhelmed by the number of people at UFV. I will never forget my experience being at UFV.
An anti-gun protestor’s sign. (Creative Commons)
JEFF MIJO OPINION EDITOR
I’m going to marry an American in two months. Yesterday, there was a shooting right outside of her work. She’s okay. As far as we know, nobody was hurt. Her coworkers called the police. They didn’t show up until that evening, once everyone had gone home for the night. She works in the middle of a major city, in an area that mixes residences and businesses. And the police didn’t show up until hours after being told around eight shots had been fired. I was going to write a full article on it, and on gun control, and on the absolute absurdity of what’s going on every day in that country. I was going to
talk about how I have a slight feeling of unease in the back of my mind whenever I cross the border to visit her. I was going to talk about the jarring sensation of seeing rows of weapons for sale at Walmart, with only exercise equipment separating their section from the toys. But what can I say that hasn’t been tirelessly said already? I’d just be another Canadian shouting from the sidelines, giving one of the world’s most powerful countries a solution that’s obvious to everyone else, a solution that’s obvious to millions of people within that country. My fiancée and I have discussed for years where we’ll live once we’re married, where we’ll raise our family at some point down the road. She’s moving up to Canada first, but
with the understanding that we’ll live down there in the future for some time before we decide where to settle. As statistically improbable as anything happening is, it’s hard to imagine raising my future children in a place where school shootings are a regular, multiple-times-a-week occurrence. And if not a school, then a movie theatre. A church. A mall. It’s improbable, yeah, but it’s a whole lot less probable here. If a few things had gone differently, my whole life, my entire future, could have changed yesterday. All because a bunch of people believe they might need guns to overthrow a government that doesn’t serve its people (which they’re clearly in no hurry to do). I couldn’t find a news article
about the shooting yesterday. There was one about a gun murder, but that happened in a different part of town. There were three threats of shootings in her city’s schools that day. And one about shots fired at high school very nearby, a few days before. But why would the news cover a shooting that wasn’t even important enough for the police to show up to until hours later? It wasn’t significant. Someone shooting a gun eight times in a populated place wasn’t significant. I’m glad yesterday didn’t play out a little differently, in the way it has so many times across that country. I’m glad I’m still going to be able to marry an American in a two months.
Silencing Solicitation //
Slamming the door on unsolicited sales
Ontario bans certain door-to-door sales to protect consumers PAUL OKANO CONTRIBUTOR
March 1, 2018 marked another shift in the world of commerce. The Government of Ontario banned door-to-door sales for products such as air filters, conditioners, and purifiers, as well as water filters, coolers, treatment devices, and softeners, to name a few. This comes in response to the high number of complaints the Government of Ontario received from consumers. In the official government press release, Tracy MacCharles, minister of government and consumer services said,
“These new laws will ensure that people aren’t being taken advantage of through unsolicited doorto-door contracting. We have heard from many consumers, including many seniors, who are being taken advantage of at their doorsteps.” There will always be those who will take advantage of another for their own personal gain, and whether the unwitting victim be young or old, it is an injustice all the same. Do MacCharles’ remarks allude to elder abuse? If so, this is one action that may serve to lessen the exploitation of our seniors. However, people are crafty. If
you’re not being pressured to sign on the dotted line and enter a contract that you don’t fully understand for a product you may not need then you have likely already received an email from a dubious “Nigerian Prince” asking you to help wire money back into his bank account. Whether in person or online, people will be used. While there was a time where sharp dressed men went door to door selling the Encyclopedia Britannica, a phenomena such as that is hard to imagine for a millenial like me. My experience with encyclopedias is largely limited to that of Wikipedia. That age is no more. As the world in-
creasingly moves online, so does the world of commerce, and while there may be fewer people knocking at your door trying to sell you something, there are more email promotions, video ads, and notifications asking you to pull out your wallet, and spend your money digitally. Door-to-door selling does have its perks, though. As much as we love Amazon Prime’s two day shipping option, you can buy your must-have product that much quicker when it’s being offered right at your door. That was the original model of convenience shopping. And what’s more, you got to enjoy a personal relationship with your retailer, especially if they brought you a product that you would periodically need more
of, such as Avon’s beauty products. While door-to-door selling can be intrusive, it offers a more human experience than shopping via a lifeless app. Regardless of how it is restricted or prohibited, the market will always find a way to supply society’s demands, whether legally or illegally, sold in person, or through the internet. Mankind’s propensity to consume is great. The Government of Ontario’s decision to ban certain forms of door-to-door sales is admirable, but it only addresses the symptoms of a greater issue, the predatory capitalists who believe, and sell, as though “a sucker is born every minute.”
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
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ABBY Photography by: David Myles Written by: Jen Klassen
The sound of footsteps fall hollow on the cold ground. The glass eyes of vacant buildings reflect grey skies, and echo the damp feeling that resides in my chest. I glance around, and it seems as if I am the only one on the street. As my gaze roves around the landscape before me, I see a sign in an empty window: â€œClosing soon.â€?
I walk a few steps further, and spy yet another boarded up building. The pockmarked visage above the windows denote another dashed dream; maybe another hope crushed under the weight of bills, expenses, and the pressure of an economy unfavourable to the local entrepreneur.
I wonder about the previous owners; what was their story, what future did they imagine for themselve that first day they opened the doors? What did they feel as they closed the doors for the final time? The lock clicking with finality, they turned and walked away, footprints fading from view, an end to their delusion of grandeur.
New businesses open up alongside these empty skeletons. Itâ€™s a harsh juxtaposition of promise and potential against the sensation of a building holding its breath.
Overlooked and passed by, these buildings watch the hustle of dreams pushing past. Theyâ€™re bottled up in the brains of passers-by, who rush onward to other places. They lay forgotten, and pushed aside for brighter spaces.
Even the building where the workman works away, the sound of thudding hammers quietly haunts its walls, and still it sits vacant. A destiny unfulfilled. A monument to nothing yet.
Graffiti adorns the windows, amplifying their abandoned existence. Empty words, on empty places.
Peering through a window, the blank walls and floors yearn for decor, to be used for what it was created to be. Facilitating visions of vibrant futures, vestibules of whimsy, never to be realized.
Boarded up windows offer little in the way of hope for the next venture. They provide an untrustworthy backdrop to a town thirsting for the next new identity, a lingering sense of failure haunts the streets where these buildings stand.
STUDY BREAK Crossword //
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Made by Cassie de Jong
6: A hostile, barren landscape or environment that can be hot or cold.
1: A picture or pattern made by arranging small, coloured shards of hard material.
8: To renounce a position, often a throne. 9: Product from cows that has had its water removed, and is referred to as “sweetened.” 11: The conversion of one substance into another through nuclear reaction. 13: To enhance the quality of sound, images, or video. 15: A city-state in ancient Greece, known for its warrior society.
LAST ISSUE’S ANSWERS: Across: 2: Munich 4: User 6: Tan 8: Cyan 9: Earl 10: Adverb 12: Cornea 14: Bulb 16: Belt 18: Keg 19: Dojo 20: Seabed
Astrological mysteries rudely interpreted by Lady May
Aries — Mar 21 to Apr 19 Clumsiness has plagued you this month, and it will continue to for the next while. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but please use caution. For example, next time you’re at the bar, try not to drop your phone in the toilet. Again.
Leo — Jul 23 to Aug 22 Leos are born with a naturally superior intuition and subconscious psychic ability. So, essentially, you are always right about everything, which is handy. But stop flaunting your ability all the time. It’s starting to annoy your friends.
Taurus — Apr 20 to May 20 You’ve been working so hard lately, your peers swear that steam is starting to blow out your ears. Please try not to over-exert yourself. This week, take some time to kick back and celebrate everything you’ve accomplished thus far; and also everything you’re not going to.
Virgo —Aug 23 to Sep 22 Virgos live in a constant state of out-of-body experience. This is why you never seem to be paying attention. Come down from your cloud and try to pay attention to a lecture for once. You might even pass a midterm or two.
Gemini — May 21 to Jun 20 You’ve been itching with kinetic energy for days now, and just really need a way to release it. I’d hit the gym quick, or you’ll likely end up using your nearest Scorpio friend as a punching bag. Even though they likely did something to deserve it.
Down: 1: Pun 2: Marina 3: Hot Tub 5: Ruby 7: Aloe 8: Clue 11: Debt 12: Clerks 13: Abroad 15: Brie 17: Lead 18: Koi
Cancer —Jun 21 to Jul 22 You have a wide variety of career destinies available to you. This includes, but is not limited to, sailor, CEO, or radical cult leader, with the latter being the product of strange and unexpected circumstances. I didn’t say your future was smooth sailing.
Libra — Sep 23 to Oct 22 You have a hard time staying within the lines, which is fantastic; creative expression is something a lot of people don’t do enough of these days. But try not to let your creativity get you into too much trouble. Though if things go south, the police will likely let you go. They’re all Libras too, after all. Scorpio — Oct 23 to Nov 21 You are already constantly hiding from Geminis, but this week you have double the reason. Now would be the time to start asking your friends what their zodiacs are, since the Gemini seems to have it out for you.
2: A country in Oceania that is made up of more than 300 islands. 3: A numeric system that originated in ancient Rome. 4: To think insufficiently highly of something, surprising yourself when it surpasses your expectations. 5: A comedic or repetitious performance or routine, that is characteristic or trademark of someone. 7: The highest point of a mountain. 10: The capital city of the state of Colorado. 11: The statement in a paper which you are trying to prove. 12: Countries from Northern Europe and the North Atlantic are described as_ _ _. 14: Japanese rice wine.
Illustration by: Amara Gelaude Sagittarius — Nov 22 to Dec 21 Sagittarians eat a lot of strange hipster food in an attempt to appear cultured and sophisticated when often they have absolutely no idea what they’re actually putting into their mouths. Start educating yourself on what kombucha actually is, friend. It helps to know what you’re ingesting. Capricorn — Dec 22 to Jan 19 Most Capricorns are loud and lacking key social skills. Often, when your intentions are well-meaning, you end up offending people instead. Stay inside this week — seriously. Your awkwardness is currently off the star charts, so it’s likely best to avoid confrontation altogether. Aquarius — Jan 20 to Feb 18 People walk over you often. Actually, not often — all the time. You might as well go as a carpet next Halloween. You must learn to stand up for yourself, and learn to say the word no. In fact, I challenge you to say no to something this week. Use the extra time to put your feet up for a moment. Pisces — Feb 19 to Mar 20 This week you will boil over and burn out. There is no avoiding this. Instead, embrace your inner volcano. You may get burned, but you’ll at the very least be smoking hot during your emotional meltdown.
Cassie de Jong — Culture Editor email@example.com
Column // Physics
First moon problems MIKE FRIESEN STAFF WRITER
The year is 3000 A.D. Humanity has colonized the moon, making it a fun place to take the kids on the weekends. Aside from the massive problem of installing a breathable atmosphere on the moon, and taking care of the inevitable wind storms that would form between the hot sunlit and cold dark sides of the moon, there are certain smaller aspects of life on the moon that would be surprisingly hard to get used to. Transportation is a challenging enough problem on Earth; how would getting around on the moon work? Transportation may not be as straightforward as it might seem because the gravity on the moon, as is commonly known, is about one-sixth of Earth’s own. This is the same reason why the moon would be a great place to take the kids; or to take literally anyone who knows what fun is. The low-gravity environment would allow us regular humans to literally run on water (so long as we were wearing snowshoe-like shoes), or to jump over 10 feet in the air with about four seconds of air time. We could even run around a loop-the-loop 30 feet in diameter. So, if acrobatic stunts are so easy, why then is transportation an issue? I’ll present a simple, relatable example. Imagine you’re on Earth running down a hotel hallway at a good clip of about 10 km/h, pushing five of your friends on a hotel dolly. Twenty feet down the hall a guest opens his outward-facing hotel door; you immediately lean back, and start dragging your feet along the carpet, trying to slow down your friend-filled battering ram — but there’s just too much momentum. The collision happens as if in slow motion, taking nearly four seconds to reach its inevitable conclusion with you and your friends
colliding into the door. Now imagine it takes this long to stop all the time. On the moon your body would have six times as much momentum relative to the gravity, so just running down the street, it would take you a little over 20 feet to come to a full stop, the same as our Earthbound hotel hooligans. Actually, as a side note, avoiding a person or a door on the moon (so long as you are outdoors) wouldn’t be much of a problem, since you could simply jump over your obstacle and carry on your way. Cars, on the hand, are not very good at jumping, and they too would have trouble with stopping. The physics of the situation tells us six times less gravity means a six times longer stopping distance, so even at a moderate 50 km/h, it would take over 80 metres to come to a full stop — and that’s slamming on the brakes. At highway speeds, it would take nearly half a kilometre to slow to a stop. My solution to cars is fitting, considering the futuristic setting: flying cars — ahem, sorry — airplanes. Since we’ve got an Earth-like atmosphere with low gravity, planes would be extremely efficient, and easier to handle than on Earth. In fact, a pedal-powered plane on the moon would take about as much effort to fly as briskly walking takes on Earth, and it would travel at about 15 km/h. That’s all well and good, but we can do better — putting solar panels on a personal-sized plane would allow for car-like speeds, and the three dimensions of travel means traffic would be much easier to accommodate. Stopping wouldn’t even be a problem; airplane engines can reverse thrust, meaning we don’t even need to rely on gravity to slow ourselves down. Truly, a colonized moon could look as predicted by historical visionaries and sci-fi authors of the past. It would be so cool.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Column // Kin
Freshman 15 JEREMY BARICHELLO & SILVANA UNIPAN CONTRIBUTORS
We have all heard horror stories about the dreaded “freshman 15.” When getting bogged down by exams and group projects, it can seem like an impossible task to stay on top of our health and nutrition, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of little things that students can do to make eating healthy meals easier. According to scholars Linda Mann and Karen Blotnicky in the article University Students’ Eating Behaviors: An Exploration of Influencers from College Student Journal, today’s students are not getting the nutrients they need at the “critical phase in their lives.” Poor eating habits are very common among university students. Most lack fruits, vegetables, and milk, since most of their food intake is filled with easy fats and sugars. If you think you could improve your eating habits, then try to incorporate some of the following tips. One step is to prep your meals ahead of time. As an almost universally recommended strategy for people with busy lives, the basic premise of meal prepping is that instead of cooking your meals right before you eat them, you cook a very large quantity of food at one time, and eat it over the next week or so. The degree to how much you prep is up to you. You can decide to only prep dinners, or you can prep all your meals. Even just bringing healthy snacks with you when you are on the go can greatly reduce the
amount of impulse eating you do. Regardless of the degree to which you meal prep, the benefits are apparent. Meal prepping dramatically cuts down the time you spend cooking and grocery shopping each week, it saves you money by reducing the amount you spend eating out, and it gives you far greater control over your diet. Crockpots or slow cookers can be a godsend for allowing you to cook large meals at one time. Examples of meals you can make in bulk are chilis, pastas, soups, rice dishes, and other staple dishes. When it comes to shopping for groceries, the article “19 Clever Ways to Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget” from Healthline gives some great advice: come to the grocery store with a grocery list of what to buy. It will help you avoid buying unnecessary items. Additionally, generic brands are usually the same quality as brand name items, and will save you money. If you are planning on meal prepping, buy food in bulk. Using frozen fruits and vegetables can also keep the costs down. Finally, coupons are a good way to save as well, so keep an eye out in the flyers from your local grocery store. We know that eating healthy can be hard, but we hope you found these tips useful, and can incorporate them into your everyday life. Remember, healthy eating is healthy living.
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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Trades & Tech //
Pick of all trades
Open house showcases opportunities with UFV’s trade programs
ALEISTER GWYNNE STAFF WRITER
Last Wednesday, the trades department at UFV hosted an open house at the Trades & Technology Centre at Canada Education Park (CEP). There, the various trades programs at UFV showed what they have to offer. Most of the attendees were teenagers, children, and their parents, investigating future opportunities in the trades, which are a much in demand field nowadays. Trades offered include
carpentry, electrical, drafting, hosting & events planning, and others. Teachers and senior students were on hand to explain the various aspects of their programs, dispel myths and misconceptions, and exhibit the tools and products of various trades. The automotive engineering program offered hands-on demonstrations using tools such as paint sprayers and riveters. Some the advanced technology used in their work, such as plasma cutters, were also showcased. This diverse field includes engine di-
agnostics, collision repair, custom finishing, and more. Carpentry, which was modestly stated to be “the most amazing program at UFV” by its host, is a versatile field that can find its skilled persons work anywhere where buildings are built or maintained. Not content to merely build and repair, carpentry and other trades seek to push technology in new directions. Carpentry’s pet project is the net zero energy home of tomorrow, which seeks to eliminate energy wastage through superior insulation, and
other improved design aspects. Culinary arts’ presence at the open house consisted merely of brochures, and some delicious cookies made by their students. However, if one wishes to help them hone their skills, they serve breakfast and lunch at the trades & technology centre cafeteria for very reasonable prices. Their program offers unique experiences, with one student quoted in their brochure having tasted emu, rabbit, and alligator. Other highlights included working models of a maglev rail system (electrical), and a robotic arm (robotics). While not strictly considered
a trade, UFV has its own Makerspace. The trades & technology centre is equipped with a 3D printer that all students are allowed and encouraged to use, although one should first make arrangements with the faculty if one wishes to do so. As befitting our location in B.C.’s premier farming country, UFV also has an agriculture program. A rather high number of international students choose to enroll in the agriculture program here. A new agricultural science & horticulture program, currently in its first year, shows great promise.
UFV Conference //
Preview: Welcome to Riverdale Conference UFV staff and students to discuss themes of the popular, locally filmed TV show
CASSIE DE JONG CULTURE & EVENTS EDITOR
With a film and television industry as booming and busy as ours, the Fraser Valley seems home to many worlds. These worlds include Smallville, Arrow, the Flash, or more recently, Riverdale. Familiar with Riverdale? Or just curious to see what all the fuss is about? The conference “Riverdale: A Land of Contrasts” is taking place in the Fraser Valley on the UFV Abbotsford campus, Sunday, March 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at U-House. The purpose of this event is to present and discuss papers and other projects surrounding narratives of the show. Topics will include themes of race, the inclusion of gothic tropes, why the show has a narrator, and an analysis of its use of dialogue. It is the hope of Heather McAlpine, UFV English professor and one of the event’s organizers, that people will bring their “critical toolkits” to analyze this piece of popular culture, and ultimately to have fun doing it. Anyone with an interest in critical discussion surrounding the TV show Riverdale is encouraged to attend. So why Riverdale? The Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas have recently been home to a number of big-time television shows. McAlpine stated two reasons why this
show in particular was selected. With the show being filmed just up the road from UFV, many local landmarks are recognizable. This makes it an interesting experience watching the show, while trying to imagine the setting as a fictional American town. Another reason is the mix of familiar and strange elements in the show. Many viewers are quite acquainted with the Archie comics series, but this version turns that familiarity on its heel, adding dark twist after dark twist. Interestingly enough, the conference’s origins began from a conversation between several UFV professors on Twitter. McAlpine began watching the show on Netflix last fall and immediately took to Twitter to post about it. This was how she discovered that many other faculty members at UFV watch Riverdale as well. During one particularly energetic Twitter-based discussion, one professor suggested that McAlpine plan an entire conference around this show. While McAlpine recognized that the idea was meant in humour, it occurred to her that organizing a conference around the same ideas they had been discussing and opening it up for more critical minds to add their voices would actually be a brilliant idea. The notion was certainly a success, and many UFV students and
staff have since contributed. For example, UFV student and local photographer Sarah Sovereign has produced a photo series inspired by Riverdale and the Betty & Veronica clothing line, and UFV grad Alexandra Schuurman is scheduled to speak about her experience working for the casting agency in Vancouver associated with Riverdale, and how that affected her impressions of season one. These are only a few examples of many fascinating and engaging projects planned for the event. Presentation will run approximately 10 minutes each, and will then be opened up for discussion. At the conclusion of the day’s schedule, attendees will be invited to drive to Rocko’s Diner in Mission for burgers and shakes, as it was the filming location for Pop’s diner in the early first season episodes. McAlpine hopes that if the event is a success, it will have the opportunity to continue in the form of conferences devoted to other shows filmed in B.C., such as the X-Files, or Twin Peaks. If you are interested in attending “Riverdale: A Land of Contrasts,” you can register ahead of time at www.fraservalleyriverdale.wordpress.com so the organizers have an idea of how many to expect. The website also lists a conference schedule to give you an idea of what is happening, and when.
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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Cascade Events Calendar 20
Note: Some of these events require tickets, most are on Facebook. If something catches your eye, take to the internet for more details.
Long Night Against Procrastination @ Chilliwack (CEP) Building A, 3:00 - 10:00 p.m. & Abbotsford Building G, 5:00 p.m. - Midnight. Sumas Mountain Film Festival @ Matsqui Centennial Auditorium (Abbotsford), 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
A.L.P.: Jolene Greyeyes. Understanding Intergenerational Trauma @ Evered Hall (Abbotsford Campus), 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
International Women’s Day: Encourage.Inspire.Connect @ Chilliwack Golf Club, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Songwriters Unite! @ Tractorgrease Cafe (Chilliwack), 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Poetry Now: A lecture with Miriam Nichols @ Room A225 (Abbotsford Campus), 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Plumbing the Depths
2018 Paddling Film Festival @ Room B101 (Abbotsford Campus), 7:00 10:00 p.m.
David Gogo @ The Stage in Mission, 7:00 - 11:59 p.m.
Last Monday, Dr. Sam Pimentel of Trinity Western University held a lecture at UFV wherein he described methods he and his fellow researchers have developed to measure sea surface temperatures. While this may sound of niche interest, understanding the heating and cooling patterns of the sea can greatly aid in predicting the weather, as well as telling us how biological processes and marine ecosystems may be affected by conditions. Readings of the ocean’s surface can be taken using infrared or microwave sensors on satellites in real time. However, infrared cannot penetrate the “skin” of the water, and microwaves only slightly. This limits observers’ ability to know what is going on at lower depths. A method called General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM) is used to calculate temperatures at lower depths, but the middle to upper reaches are difficult to determine without taking readings at the source. Logic dictates that shallower water will be warmer than deeper water due to receiving more exposure to the sun’s rays. This is partly true. At night, there is no significant temperature difference between the surface and the depths, but even during the day, there is a depth at which solar heat does not affect the water’s temperature. The warming and cooling of ocean water does not occur at a consistent rate, but is affected by ocean transport (horizontal movement of water), air-sea exchange (evaporation, sunlight, etc.), and ocean mixing. The warming gradient can even start in reverse. A phenomenon known
The Sky’s No Limit: Girls Fly Too! @ Abbotsford International Airport, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Opening Reception: Justin Gedak Solo Exhibit @ Mission Art Gallery, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Farmteam @ Tractorgrease Cafe (Chilliwack), 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Unpacking the Backpack, a one-woman show by Charlene Hellson @ Room F124 (University House), 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Visiting scientist shares new methods of calculating sea temperatures
FVWE Presents: Mostly North American! @ Matsqui Centennial Auditorium (Abbotsford), 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
UFV Sustainability Case Competition 2018 @ Room B101 (Abbotsford Campus), 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
A Beginners Guide to Zerowaste @ Studio B Yoga & More (Chilliwack), 2:00- 3:30 p.m.
11 13 15
Hearing Trees: Quiet Dreams tour @ The Railyard (Mission), 7:00 11:00 p.m.
Shakespeare Names / Sto:lo Memoryscapes @ UFV U House F125 (Abbotsford Campus), 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Suds & Spuds: UFV Graphic + Digital Design Pub Night @ Townhall Public House (Abbotsford), 5:30 - 10:00 p.m.
The Cascade’s special recomendation: Mac’s 14th Birthday Party! @ UFV Peer Resource and Leadership Centre (Abbotsford Campus), Noon - 2:00 p.m.
The Fab Fourever with the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra @ Chilliwack Cultural Centre, 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. Jim Byrnes @ The Stage in Mission, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production Fundraiser @ Room B101 (Abbotsford Campus), 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Self Advocacy Conference @ Quality Hotel & Conference Centre (Abbotsford), 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Roots and Blues Night w/ Harpdog Brown & the Travelin’ Blues Show @ Tractorgrease Cafe (Chilliwack), 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. Colin James Blues Trio @ Clarke Theatre (Mission), 7:30 p.m. Creativfestival @ Tradex (Abbotsford), 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. CreWri UFV: Deliciously Descriptive Writing @ Room A315 (Abbotsford Campus), 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Creativfestival @ Tradex (Abbotsford), 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
as the “cool skin effect,” caused by high winds, will cool off the surface water, but the undisturbed water beneath it will be warmer than at the surface. Readings of sea water temperatures showed that under conditions of low wind and high insolation, skin and subskin temperatures could be significantly higher than what was predicted in models, and vice-versa for high wind and low insolation. Pimentel and his colleagues sought to create a mathematical formula that could be used to accurately determine sea water temperatures at various depths, while taking all the myriad variables into account. Over the course of a year (2013–14), Pimentel’s team took readings at multiple depths at several points throughout the Mediterranean Sea, and took notes of local conditions that affected temperatures. They then compiled their data, and created formulae for calculating oceanic conditions based on observed patterns and known quantities as a starting point. This Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) model uses satellite measurements of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) as the starting point, from which other data about marine conditions can be determined using the mathematical equations developed by Pimentel and co. Subsequent tests of the Canonical Correlation Analysis system in the Aegean Sea region showed 11 per cent greater accuracy in measuring marine conditions and predicting weather than without it. However, doubt remains as to how applicable the results of CCA are outside the Mediterranean, and whether one year’s study is enough to accurately capture the typical annual cycle. Additional tests in different regions may be required in the future.
My Chilliwack Writing Workshop @ Chilliwack Museum and Archives, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Opening Reception: The Poetry of Art @ Kariton Art Gallery (Abbotsford), 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. St. Paddy’s Day Bash @ Tractorgrease Cafe (Chilliwack), 7:00 - 11:59 p.m. Kings of the Mic @ Replay Boardshop (Abbotsford), 7:00 - 10:00 pm.
Correction: On Feb. 28, 2018 the article “Club Spotlight: CreWri” erroneously named CreWri’s president with her middle name as surname: Marlena Leighann. Her correct name is Marlena Ashton. 13
Martin Castro — Arts Editor
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Movie Review //
Annihilation is both bizarre and beautiful CHARTS
Nap Eyes I’m Bad Now
Faith Healer Try ;-)
Iskwé The Fight Within
Sue Foley The Ice Queen
Weaves Wide Open
CIVL Station Manager Aaron Levy wants you to know what you may already know, in that if you are or were at Castle Fun Park from 6-10 a.m. (or so? Maybe finished earlier than 10?), then you may or may not have participated as an extra in the music video shoot that Cassiar Film Co. is doing for local rocksters Casinos as a prize for their positive adjudication in this past winter’s Fraser Valley Music Awards! Here’s some “extra” songs!
Jack De Keyzer The Best Of Vol. 1
Mary Is nonlinear
Prada West Clouded Thoughts
Leah Abramson Song For A Lost Pod
Laila Biali Laila Biali
Saint Soldier Duality
Shred Kelly Archipelago
Jo Passed Their Prime
Elan Noon Have A Spirit Filled
Susan Williams and the Wright Groove It’s About Time
Shrouded Amps World Well Lost
U.S. Girls In A Poem Unlimited
Lucy Dacus Historian
MF DOOM — Hooks is Extra MF DOOM is known as many things; the Metal Face, Metal Fingers, Money Folder, the Mother Father, kinda, Viktor Vaughn, just plain DOOM, and so many more, but here he is, reminding you that hooks are not part of the standard entry-level package provided to those retaining his services. Britney Spears — Piece of Me I used to hear this song exclusively at Sagano Sushi on South Fraser Way in Abbotsford, across from the soon-to-be-old Seven Oaks Mall, the food court of which CIVL happens to have co-hosted a Fraser Valley Music Awards Showcase in this past November on a Saturday afternoon! Ozma — Game Over If we’ve ever met, and we’ve talked about the American rock and pop band I used to love named Weezer (typed =w= if you’re super cool), then no doubt I’ve told you about the experience I had watching this band of =w= aficionados opening for the vaunted ones in Hamilton. Gob — Extra Extra! From Langley’s unchallenged locally seminal ‘90s punk record, Too Late... No Friends, comes this song that I did not previously know existed, but which is a great tie-in to go out on for this Casinos edition of the CIVL Shuffle. Remember the “jump in a lake” video?! That’s this!
KAT MARUSIAK MANAGING EDITOR
Annihilation is a sci-fi horror film by writer-director Alex Garland (also known for Ex Machina) that is based on the book of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, the first part of his Southern Reach Trilogy. The movie follows Lena (Natalie Portman), a biology professor whose life takes an unexpected turn into the bizarre when her husband, Kane (Oscar Isaac), suddenly returns from a secret military mission after being missing for almost a year, presumably KIA. Kane, with no memory of what happened, is extremely ill, and the two are taken into government custody where Lena learns he was part of a group sent into a mysterious, aberrant area of coastland referred to as “Area X” or “the shimmer,” in reference to the strange iridescence that encompasses it. Craving answers and hoping to find some way to save her husband, Lena embarks on an expedition alongside four other women of science, plunging into the unknown. This adaptation deviates a great deal from the source material, and it’s clear that Garland’s writing skills aren’t quite up to par with those of VanderMeer, with several of the changes made just leading to more questions and/or confusion. For example, in the cinematic version, no one has ever entered Area X (not even a few feet past the barrier) and come back alive before Kane, whereas in the book, this is not the case. Though it might increase the sense of foreboding for the viewer going in, without any further explanation ever given, it seems to hurt the plot more than it helps enhance anything.
The film does manage to capture the surreal, dark atmosphere of the story, however, and the heaviness of a work which deeply explores themes such as severe depression and introspection. The acting was satisfactory overall, with stirring performances given by the lead actresses playing the group of intelligent but broken individuals, each dealing with their own personal torments and existential crises. Natalie Portman brings her usual acting prowess to the leading role, and the talented Tessa Thompson was wonderful as the shy, introverted physicist, Josie, but most memorable for me was probably Jennifer Jason Leigh, who did an excellent job in her portrayal of the abrasive psychologist and team leader, Dr. Ventress. The unique story is very intriguing, able to keep the viewer’s curiosity peaked throughout, always eager to discover new pieces to the puzzle. The suspense and horror elements are executed quite effectively, although at times do suffer from some typical genre cliches, such as large, noisy beasts being able to instantly become ninja silent and disappear. All else aside, even those who might not be fans overall would still have to give credit to just how visually stunning it is: beautiful usage of brilliant colour and vivid imagery brings the spectacular sci-fi world and all of its imaginative fauna and flora to life, immersing you in it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, after not performing overly well in its summer test screening, Paramount Pictures decided that the film may be “too intellectual” and complicated, and not likely to make as much money as they hoped, so they pressured Garland to make
alterations (including changing the entire original ending) they felt would be more appealing to mainstream audiences. Garland did not want to compromise his artistic vision to that extent, and backed by producer Scott Rudin, refused. Paramount subsequently sold the international release rights to Netflix, and because of this, the movie will only be shown in theatres in Canada, the U.S., and China (having opened on Feb. 23), with others getting a straight-to-Netflix release later this month. This is really a shame, not only seeing studios less and less willing to take chances on anything they don’t think will make as much bank as the next Marvel flick, but also because Annihilation is such a gorgeous cinematic piece that was made to be seen on the big screen, as specifically mentioned by Garland, whose native Britain is among the many countries who won’t have the option of watching the film in theatres. Also, being based off the first book of a trilogy, there is great potential for sequels which may never come to realization if not enough funds or interest is generated. If you’re a fan of the genre, I would recommend seeing Annihilation before its unfortunately limited theatre run is over, as it deserves to be viewed in all of its intended theatrical glory. If not, still consider checking it out on Netflix sometime if you’re ever looking for an original, captivating sci-fi/fantasy thriller. And if you find it to your liking, then I would definitely also suggest checking out the Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2018
Album Review //
Franz Ferdinand move on up on Always Ascending MARTIN CASTRO ARTS EDITOR
Scottish indie royalty Franz Ferdinand’s careers in the years that spanned their 2004 debut and 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand cemented their ability to consistently play around with a sound that was both ever-evolving and wholly unique to the band. Yes, it was indie rock, but it’s always been imbued with a danceable, energetic spirit that blurred the lines between pop and rock more effectively than acts who would normally self-identify as poprock. All this to say that Franz Ferdinand’s batting average was, up until 2010, nigh unparalleled by other European acts. That is, until 2013’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions. Which, at 10 songs long, only left us a handful of memora-
ble tracks. “Evil Eye,” “Goodbye Lovers & Friends,” and “Love Illumination” being the most noteworthy. Needless to say, Right Thoughts was a far cry from the intense success of the band’s first three records, the second of which seemed now to taunt us by having promised that You Could Have It So Much Better. Even worse, Always Ascending’s eponymous first single failed to inspire much hope that the band would again reach the heights they once had. I did what any self-respecting non-masochist would have done: I tuned out. It was better to wait for Always Ascending’s release, I thought, than to embrace the record through its singles, and thereby convince myself of its demise, given how they had thus far failed to impress. I don’t know whether or not that was the right thing to do, but
some weeks after its release, Always Ascending is proving to be just as appealing and infectious as Tonight. Here’s the thing about Franz Ferdinand: the band built the core of their content over several years through a strategy of using a rock setup to play what essentially boils down to nonelectronic dance music. Sure, the occasional ballad pops up once in a while. (2005’s “Walk Away” comes to mind, and is paralleled on their latest record with “The Academy Award.”) but for the most part, what Always Ascending gets right is that it updates (but doesn’t move away from) the band’s original dance-rock background. Songs like “Finally” and “Huck And Jim” play almost as throwbacks to the band’s early glory days, but are constructed around a tighter, more mature playing style. As far as ballads go, “The Acad-
emy Award” tries to emulate or build upon the bittersweet tinge of previous tracks like “Walk Away,” but ultimately falls flat. What’s strange, then, is that the disco-influenced “Glimpse of Love” proves to be a much more effective ballad (even though it’s still poppy). However, for all their floundering on Always Ascending, the band still manages to pull together and deliver tracks that successfully merge the energy of their early records with the more melancholy electronic aspects of their recent work. “Lois Lane,” for example, pulls away as one of the most memorable tracks on Always Ascending, and it’s telling that it reveals itself as a gem in spite of the fact that it’s clearly a B-side. It’s as if the only thing that has gotten in the way of Franz Ferdinand moving forward this
decade has been their attempt to make music that still adheres to the Franz Ferdinand band. On Always Ascending, the band has started to realize that they can’t release their debut record repeatedly under different titles, and that despite that fact, they ought not fight what they become. One way to characterize the aesthetic exploration undertaken by musicians throughout their career is to assert, as Franz Ferdinand’s latest record does, that musicians are, despite it all, always ascending.
Nap Eyes I’m Bad Now
U.S. Girls In a Poem Unlimited The pop soundscape is, regrettably, an echo chamber. Not as far as the exchange of ideas in the field is stunted (although it is), but more as far as the aesthetic freedom inside the genre of pop is constricted, by any rate. There are, of course, exceptions, Charli XCX being one notable pop contender. U.S. Girls, Meghan Remy’s current project, is rapidly establishing itself as another exception. Her latest record sculpts together a collection of work that, while incorporating 1980s sheen and aesthetic references to ‘70s pop, emerges as a distinctly individual record. An-
chored by the nostalgic “Mad As Hell” and “Rage of Plastics” as well as by the more upbeat “Time,” In a Poem Unlimited brings back an instrumental focus that has been largely absent from pop music for decades, and indulges in lyrical explorations into femininity and, of course, love. (We’re still in the realm of pop, after all.) That said, the record’s instrumental presence dwarfs its lyrical content (which isn’t damning, simply a fact). For more proof of this, see the monumentally rad album closer, “Time.”
Charting number one on CIVL’s Top 30 last week, Nap Eyes, an indie-rock band from Halifax, released three singles from I’m Bad Now which will see its full release March 9. The pre-releases include “Every Time I Get The Feeling,” “I’m Bad,” and “Dull Me Line.” Like their previous two albums, I’m Bad Now is toned-back indie: shimmering slow strums and a dip shoulders back and forth kind of rhythm, indicative of shoe-gazey heritages. Vocalist Nigel Chapman has got a bit of a Lou Reed kind of croon going on, which is thrown off-kilter on songs like “Dull Me Line” and “Every Time I Get The
Feeling” with a short, explosive guitar solo, like a dropped cymbal except with melody. This element association brings balance, aligning Chapman’s somewhat dry vocals with their keen lyrical quality. And despite the apparent simplicity, the tracks showcase a tight composition of working with what they’ve got. That’s to say that this four-piece actually sounds like there’s four musicians — a distinction against contemporary indie-pop, often choosing to smear every colour onto the canvas.