Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights: a modern retelling of good and evil P.10
The highs and lows of Canada s medical marijuana system P. 6-7
Voters burst CSU s student centre bubble
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
music The haunting home coming of Montrealbased band Stars P. 14
sports Foul-line heroics by Kyle Desmarais give men’s basketball a win in home opener P. 18
opinions Banning the Frankenbeverage otherwise known as Four Loko P. 21
Volume 28 Issue 14
Graphic by Katie Brioux and Frankie Descoteaux
Page 3, editorial page 22
Shooting for seven out of eight CSU maintains they will follow through on other campaign promises this year Evan LePage News editor With the fall semester drawing to a close, Concordia’s student union has only fulfilled one of the eight campaign promises they ran on last spring. While a second promise, the student centre, has failed, CSU president Heather Lucas is very optimistic that the remaining six will be completed during this academic year. “I am 100 per cent confident that we will excel [at fulfilling those promises],” she said. Thus far, the CSU has completed its promise to hold monthly town hall meetings, though attendance has been low. ‘’We do the best we can by offering free snacks to entice students to come out to tear us a new one, let us know what needs to be done or improved,” she said. “A perfect example would be the student centre, we wanted to hear what students had to say. We would have liked a more engaging experience for the students.” Lucas also said they would soon complete another campaign promise of offering free coffee and snacks during exam period. The five other platforms, however, represent a much larger challenge for the union. “It’s hard to pre-
dict right now when some of these other initiatives will be completed because everything is very dependent on other things,” Lucas admitted. After the university administration signed a new contract with PepsiCo. in late October, it seemed that the promise of a water-bottle free campus would not be fulfilled. But the CSU’s VP sustainability & promotions, Morgan Pudwell, says that this project is not only alive, “it will happen,” as long as students support it. Pudwell said the CSU is meeting with Acting VP Services Roger Cote and Pepsi next week to talk about removing bottled water from campus. They are planning an information campaign on bottled and tap water during the winter semester “to let [students] make their own decisions.” Another option that the CSU is also seriously considering is a referendum on the issue. “What the university has said recently is that the only way they’ll consider it is if we go to referendum and ask students to make that decision,” Pudwell said, adding that the administration had never mentioned this in previous discussions. “Other universities have done that, so that’s why what we’re going to look at doing is bringing it to the elections.” Pudwell did not share Lucas’ optimism about the another campaign promise, the greening of Mackay. The CSU has been trying for over a decade to turn Mackay into a car-free green space. Lucas acknowledged that the project was probably
See “‘Despite setbacks...” on p.3
The students have spoken, and most said no Evan LePage News editor
Nearly 70 per cent of voters defeated the CSU’s proposed student centre fee-levy increase in last week’s referendum. “The students spoke and I respect it,” said Adrien Severyns, the CSU’s VP external and projects, in the minutes following the release of the results. “I’m here to serve them, not command them, and they’ve expressed their will and I’ll respect it.” Severyns attributed the proposal’s failure largely to the current financial climate. Sibona MaDewa, an organizer for the victorious “no” campaign, agreed. “For one, people, if you talk about reaching in their wallets, they will react,” she said. “And secondly, if you want to reach into their wallets without a clear product to give them it just makes
See “‘69% of students...” on p.3
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Got a news tip? firstname.lastname@example.org
City in brief Sarah Deshaies
To Quebec City we go!
Fresh off the yes campaign for the student centre, the CSU is launching a new campaign this week to drive three busloads of students to the Dec. 6 protests against tuition increases in Quebec City, which coincides with the provincial government’s conference with university heads and lobby groups. CSU President Heather Lucas said this is a strategic decision on the government’s part,“[...] they know students are in exams, and that not everyone’s going to leave their exams to go protest.” To join in, sign up at the CSU’s office on the seventh floor of the Hall building. The CSU will even throw in a wake-up call.
High school tells champion student athletes to trim mohawks
The juvenile boys volleyball team at Royal West Academy was threatened with suspension after they got mohawks. The students got the haircuts to celebrate their first-ever championship. But the school administration was determined to prove their lack of school spirit. They enforced their conservative dress policy, which includes a uniform, and the students complied, while protesting that the policy violated freedom of expression. School officials refused to comment. Earlier this year, students protested summer reading policies, which timed with the release of local movie The Trotsky, where Montreal high school students went on a fictional strike.
Petition calls on CSU to become more involved in tuition fight, organize a general assembly Over 160 students sign petition, but CSU councillor says the union supports the idea Evan LePage News editor An online petition has been created, calling on the CSU to organize a university-wide general assembly in February to “rebuild Concordia’s student movement” in order to better represent Concordia students in the fight against provincial tuition hikes. “The Concordia Student Union remains largely absent from the scene. Here at Concordia, the CSU has not issued a single statement regarding the provincial budget or the financial crisis,” the petition reads.
“There is something wrong with this picture.” The online document also noted that francophone universities and CEGEPs have already engaged in general assemblies, strikes and other forms of action and have seen success. It also mentioned the recent protests in Britain which saw 130,000 students march against tuition hikes. As of Monday night, 164 people had signed the petition. One of the signatories was CSU councillor Lex Gill who, despite the criticisms within the petition, said the union executive had actually expressed support for the idea of a general assembly. “I spoke to Adrien Severyns and Heather Lucas and both of them said that they were really supportive of doing a general assembly.” CSU president Heather Lucas, however, would only say that a general assembly is “something we’re looking into.” When asked about the
criticisms, Lucas said “We appreciate that the students are mobilizing on keeping us accountable. And I expect everyone that signed that petition to be on the bus with us on Dec. 6.” Lucas was referring to the multiple buses the CSU has organized to take Concordia students to a massive rally against tuition increases in Quebec City on that date, something Gill commended them on. Addressing the petition, Gill said “It certainly wasn’t something coming out of malice but rather we’re gearing up for 2012. Tuition is a huge, huge issue. “Students are very passionate and want to get more informed,” she continued. “And we were hoping, with people signing it, that this would be a great opportunity to get everyone who’s talking about these issues in one place and turn it into this big, giant information meeting.” According to Gill, the criticisms of
the CSU may be due to the university’s reputation as an activist school. “I think that a lot of people around Concordia remember a time when Concordia was the centre for this kind of activism,” she said. “The fact is, it’s a different time, it’s a different era and I think they’re really stepping up to the plate right now.” She also noted that while last year’s executive was very preoccupied with major struggles, like their efforts to get out of the CFS, this year’s executive “is doing a great job really picking up on the spirit of the mobilization that’s happening now,” Gill said. Ultimately, as illustrated by the volume of the petition’s signatories, students are aware that the union could be very valuable for mobilizing support, Gill said. “A union is a powerful organization to combat these things and I think the CSU is the ideal vehicle to do that.”
PHOTOCAP État d’urgence, a festival which aims to “humanize homelessness,” may be no more. The five-day, 12th edition of the event, which kicked off on Nov. 25, offered entertainment, free clothing and food for up to 150 street people. But the festival’s future has been
Prochaine station... Villa-Maria... brought to you by Home Depot
Have no fear... your beloved green metro line is at no risk of changing colours or being renamed the Bell line. But despite those restrictions, the STM announced last week that it will go ahead and open public tenders for the sponsorship of metro lines within a few weeks. This is just one of several cash-generating ideas the STM is tossing around. The money from the planned 10-year “partnership” deals will supposedly go towards technology that informs users of train schedules in real time. Opposition party Projet Montreal opposed the idea, calling it “harebrained.” They released their own projected sponsorship map. Unlike the STM’s minimal map, this one was plastered with ads.
McGill prof: don’t give money to the beer drinkers!
Ed Clark, CEO of Toronto-Dominion Bank, in an unusual move for bank brass, made a statement in Montreal that would probably not find favour with his colleagues. He told the Canadian Club that while Canada is in a comparatively good state in today’s lax economic climate, the nation should address a couple of issues to keep from falling behind other countries, like the uneven tax system. Clark advocated lowering taxes for the poor. Not everyone is in the same boat, though. McGill economist Thomas Velk told the Financial Post, “I would really dispute Mr. Clark’s notion that we need to give money to the beer drinkers.” We resent that.
threatened by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s decision to cut its $43,500 contribution to État d’urgence’s $150,000 budget. Mayor Gérald Tremblay, who publicly champions the event, mused to the Gazette that the reason for the budget cut was because of the “T word” in “Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable,” the title of the group that organizes the event. Photo by Cindy Lopez
Canadian campus gossip website launches Students upload party photos from 15 schools, not including Concordia Sarah Deshaies Editor-in-chief Forget Facebook. Canadian students now have a new place on the Internet where they can upload all their scandalous campus party pictures. Canadian campus gossip site room110.com was launched online last week, and according to a press release, it’s generated opposition from six different universities, though spokesperson Derek Paul declined to name them “due to legal reasons.” Users are required to sign up with their email address at the site and create a user name and pass-
word. Once signed in, one is invited to select from one of 15 universities, including McGill, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and Ryerson University. Most of the schools are located in Ontario. There are no restrictions on which schools the viewer can see. The photos are laid out on a plain black background, and the photos are mostly party shots, of students with beer bongs and the like. Underneath, captions, which suggest that photos are sent by friends of the subjects, expound mostly on the school’s ability to have a good time. “The website was designed for students to submit information and gossip about each other, current school affairs or other events about their school,” said Paul. Monitors for each school approve the pictures that go up on the site. “We make sure we don’t post any harmful things, anything dealing with violence, sexual orientation, and anything mean,” explained Paul. “We are just trying
to have fun and give everyone a look into what real university life is like.” One example is a photo of a woman under the header, “Montreal girls know how to drink!” The woman is dressed in a Dorothy costume and is on her knees with her eyes closed. She drinks alcohol from a bottle extended to her. There is no censorship, save for black stars over women’s breasts. Paul said original submissions are altered to avoid using people’s real names. If readers see photos they do not like, they will remove them. “We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Easy as that.” He maintained that readers are enjoying the site, and that “the response has been amazing.” Paul declined to comment on the site’s creators, maintaining that the website was designed by a few webmasters, and that site is “for the students, by the students.” The name originates with the room number of detention room at the
founders’ elementary school, according to Paul, where they would go to gossip. An online search for the domain name identified the domain owner only as godaddy.com, a popular domain registry. At the moment, the only Quebec post-secondary institution with its own page is McGill. University. Representatives at McGill could not be reached for comment. A page for Concordia may be in the works. “At this time, we are not adding anymore schools, but if enough people email in requesting a certain school such as Concordia, we will gladly look into adding it, as we will be expanding down the road,” said Paul. Until then, Concordia students will be delegated to Facebook for posting racy photos. “The Concordia Student Union remains largely absent from the scene. Here at Concordia, the CSU has not issued a single statement regarding the provincial budget or the financial crisis,” the petition reads.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/theconcordian Continued from cover ...
Despite setbacks Lucas stands behind promises the most difficult of the promises and that the CSU had many options to consider, but she said she believes it can be completed. “I’m optimistic because there are other groups who are still working hard on it. We’re not giving up on it.” But for Pudwell, the project faces too many obstacles for it to be completed on this street. “There’s so much opposition to it, from the city putting up barriers, with different businesses putting up barriers,” she said. “I think that it’s a great idea and I would love to see it happen, but maybe that specific part of the street isn’t the street for it.” Consequently, Pudwell does not believe the project could be completed this year, as a new street would mean a completely new plan, not something that could be done in a short time frame. “But I think we’re going to start looking at the possibility of other streets in this area,” she added. “Be-
cause I think there’s a lot more community feeling in other parts of this quarter of Concordia than perhaps on that street specifically.” For Pudwell, the greening of MacKay is “forever a possibility, but a big stretch.” A few of the remaining campaign promises have seen some progress, despite their incompletion. The first phase of expanding the Loyola Luncheon, consisting of renovations to expand the kitchen, has been completed, Lucas said. There are still certain installations to be completed before the Hive Café can open, but these are underway. While it’s not finished, Lucas believes the project is “looking good,” and should be completed this academic year. The CSU’s efforts to exit the Canadian Federation of Students have hit a temporary standstill. The CFS has yet
to acknowledge the CSU’s referendum where students voted to leave the federation, and still considers the CSU a member. The CSU has taken some initial steps towards legal action, such as asking for a declaratory judgement. ‘’[We] haven’t heard anything thus far,” Lucas said, “but we’re currently looking into our financial records to see what is exactly owed to the CFS and how to proceed.” Lucas added that the CSU would be able to pursue a case against the organization as soon as they receive the financial figures reflecting how much money per student is distributed to the CFS. The final campaign promise of fighting tuition increases is a project that will not likely see any results under this executive. The fight is a long term one, pushing into 2012, but the CSU is beginning to mobilize students, and is
organizing buses for a trip to a Quebec City rally against tuition hikes on Dec. 6. The CSU is still working with the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), and dealing with the provincial government to “find ways for them to give us more money,” Lucas said. This promise, though, is not something that will see completion under the current executive. So, while the checklist is pretty bare to date, the CSU executive is maintaining their dedication to the seven campaign promises beyond the student centre. “I think we’ve done well as an executive thus far. They’re very hard working and I think we’re on our way to accomplishing a good majority of what we set out to do,” Lucas said. “I’m really proud of how far we’ve come.’’ With reporting from Jacques Gallant.
PHOTOCAP ficult for the poor and students, according to over 1,000 people protesting a plethora of issues downtown on Nov. 23. Tuition fee increases for students was one of the hot topics, along with increased health-care user fees and shale gas exploration. The protest was timed to stage opposition to Premier Jean Charest’s Liberal party, which is currently facing allegations of corruption. Similar demonstrations occurred around the province, including Quebec City and Sherbrooke. Photo by Cindy Lopez
Continued from cover ...
69% of students shut down proposed student centre fee-levy increase to “look more deeply into how to reform electoral rules.” MaDewa agreed that the decision made by CSU chief electoral officer Oliver Cohen to not register their “no” campaign had the potential to hurt the “yes” side. “In retrospect maybe it would have been a good idea to do so,” she said. “In this case if people did break rules there would be no one to hold accountable. I don’t think we intentionally broke any rules, but we weren’t bound by then.” But despite being refused registration, MaDewa said that the current
Nation in brief Evan LePage
Homeless recruited for Grey Cup clean-up
Having the Grey Cup in an outdoor stadium has its clear downsides, the most obvious of which being that the field and the seating are both exposed to Canada’s unforgiving elements. But this downside turned out to be a positive for dozens in Edmonton’s homeless community who were recruited to shovel snow from the stands of the city’s Commonwealth Stadium, the CBC reported. Most of the shovelling crew, which hit 70 people, were homeless, recruited directly from a local mission in the area. All workers were paid $15 an hour in cash by Bee Clean, the company hired for building maintenance. In total, 62,000 seats were cleared of snow in the days preceding Sunday’s game.
UBC student union in its own Gaza conflict
The provincial government is making life more dif-
it worse.” MaDewa, who said she was “ecstatic” with the results of the referendum, also believes that the proposal failed because many students felt they were being misled or misinformed by the CSU. Results of the referendum were made public on Friday afternoon. Despite only 2,397 students voting, representing around eight per cent of Concordia’s approximately 30,000 undergraduate students, the turnout was well beyond the 2.5 per cent quorum and actually much higher than previous fall by-elections. A year earlier, in November of 2009, only 1,201 students, or about four per cent of undergrads, voted on three fee-levy questions in the CSU’s by-election. Severyns called the turn-out “unprecedented for a by-election,” adding that despite the proposal’s failure, he was happy the CSU “really created an interest in the project.” “It’s a project students are already paying for, if anything this just slows it down a bit,” Severyns reiterated. He also said that the CSU was “going to be analyzing the outcomes of the vote, what went right, what went wrong,” and confirmed that a similar fee-levy increase would not be proposed for the spring election. The proposal’s defeat ended a slightly controversial campaign which saw an unregistered group of individuals pushing the “no” side of the issue, unrestricted by electoral rules. “A lot of rules were broken and we could not find who was responsible because there was no one to blame,” Severyns said, adding that this referendum definitely indicated that the CSU should perhaps try
registration requirements are a necessary element that she doesn’t believe can be reformed. For her, it is the date of these referendums that need reformation. “November 20-something is a horrible time of year. We’re obviously not going to be very aware of what’s going on and the rules and so forth,” she said, explaining that if the by-election was held earlier in the semester, people would not be so stressed with final papers and exams, and would consequently be more involved and more aware of all the rules.
The CSU’s “yes” campaign was also called into question by one of its own councillors, Lex Gill, who filed a contestation with Cohen, citing multiple postering issues, among other violations. But in light of the referendum results, Gill said she would be willing to let the contestation go, though the final decision is Cohen’s. Despite Severyns’ own complaints about the broken regulations, he said the CSU would not contest the elections. Cohen, again, could not be reached for comment.
The University of British Columbia’s student union and two student groups supporting Palestine were at each other’s throats last week following a decision by the union to freeze a $700 donation to an aid flotilla heading to Gaza. The tension culminated when the president of one of the groups, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, was removed by security from the student union president’s office following claims of physical intimidation, the Ubyssey reported. The executive of the Alma Matter Society, which represents the school’s undergrads, had previously approved the grant to the Social Justice Centre, the group attempting to make the donation. But on Nov. 18, the president of the AMS announced at a council meeting that due to multiple student complaints the fund allocation would go to council vote. The decision on the grant has been moved to Dec. 1.
Minister fired over cookie, health board crumbles
Alberta’s Health Services is slowly falling apart after president and CEO Stephen Duckett was fired from his position in a bizarre cookie incident. Three members have resigned from the province’s health superboard since Duckett was fired last Wednesday for refusing to answer reporters. Despite the journalist’s offering to wait until he had finished, the former head of the Australian Department of Health turned down media questions six times, saying he was too busy eating a cookie. He even thrust the baked good in the face of a female reporter. Duckett had been criticized prior to his firing for the rising wait times for care in Alberta hospitals. The video has been viewed over 250,000 times on YouTube. Only in Canada.
God smote opposition: P.E.I. official
The 2,397 students that voted in the referendum doubled voting numbers from Nov. 2009. Photo by Sarah Deshaies
The transportation minister of P.E.I. has been criticized following comments in which he suggested that a fall suffered by the leader of the opposition may have been an act of God in response to a bill she introduced. Tory leader Olive Crane sprained her ankle and wrist after falling off a raised platform following a media interview Monday. Crane was commenting on her private member’s bill which would remove all restrictions on Sunday shopping in P.E.I., where stores are currently forced to close on Sundays between Christmas and Victoria Day. During Thursday’s debate, transport minister Ron MacKinley addressed Crane’s fall, telling her “the Lord works in mysterious ways, and maybe you should start worrying what’s going on here?”
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
World in brief Evan LePage
Wikileaks > U.S.
The international image of the United States has been dealt a painful blow with the Wikileaks release of some of the reported 250,000 classified State Department documents to various media outlets across the globe. The files, released Sunday, reveal some very questionable tactics employed by the department, including having diplomats spy on U.N. officials like Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The documents also apparently revealed questionable or inappropriate assessments of foreign leaders, from comparisons of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler, to calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a “flabby old chap” and French President Nicolas Sarkozy “the emperor with no clothes.” The U.S. government had condemned the release of this information earlier in the week stating that it puts countless lives at risk. Wikileaks had also apparently come under attack from hackers, preventing them from publishing the files directly.
Basketball too rough for Obama?
U.S. President Barack Obama apparently caught a stray elbow in a basketball game with personal aide Reggie Love last Friday, leaving him with a gash that required 12 stitches. According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, Obama was treated in the White House doctor’s office. He was given a special type of stitch formed with a smaller filament, meaning a higher number of stitches, but a tighter bond and consequently a smaller scar. The president was photographed hours after the incident sitting in a White House window holding an ice pack to his face. But, a persistent man, Obama was back on the court Sunday morning. His opponents this time: his daughters.
Just a prick in the wall
A home renovation project turned into a weekend prison sentence for a German man last week. The 64year-old took it upon himself to seal up his cellar with bricks, to save on his heating bill, only to realize after the fact that he had sealed himself inside. After two days being trapped down there, the old man apparently got fed up and took a drill to the wall he shared with his neighbour. After hearing the noise, the neighbours, who had already been fighting with the man, phoned the police. This turned out to be a good decision since as soon as he broke through the old man apparently began insulting the homeowners. The old man is now under investigation for various charges, including trespassing. Someone invent Germany’s Worst Handyman and hand this guy the trophy.
McDonald’s enters the education market
You know all those jokes about dropouts working at McDonald’s? Well the fast food chain put a dent in that gimmick last week by launching a foundation degree in business management for restaurant managers in the U.K. The degree, to be accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University, will teach students how to manage business operations in the restaurant by using in-class and online education, as well as on-the-job training. Employees taking the courses will not only be able to keep their jobs during the required two-year period, but the degree is also funded fully by the employer. Fifty-three workers will begin the inaugural course this month. We wish them McLuck (had to be done).
Assault prevention centre seeking public generosity Services offered to women and children are “essential”: coordinator Renee Giblin Staff writer Women will be the most affected by recent cuts in provincial and federal funding for certain social services in the city, says Michele Chappaz, the coordinator of the Montreal Assault Prevention Centre. The centre opened its doors to the public on Nov. 25 to promote the message that the services they provide to women and children in Montreal are essential to a safer and
non-violent community. “A study says a girl who has an hour of prevention lessons is less likely to be assaulted as an adult,” Chappaz said. The study, conducted by Laura Gibson and Harold Leitenberg, stated that if women are taught prevention tools early on in life, then they are better equipped to defend themselves from predators. Chappaz said the centre provides women and children defense techniques that fit their personalities and lifestyles. She stressed that no judgements are made and people are left with strategies that help them. She added that the tools they teach help children and adults to deal with bullying and other forms of mental and physical assault. This year, Chappaz said, after 10 years of government funding,
the centre will have to depend on the generosity of volunteers and community donations to stay afloat. Chappaz said that women and children will be affected the most since the centre will no longer be able to provide free services to them. “Women living in poverty can’t afford to pay $60 for the program,” Chappaz said. The most popular of the programs offered is called the Action program. Action is a course designed to help all women and girls defend themselves against a predator. Now women are asked to pay for the course and Chappaz is worried that the women who need the service the most will not seek help. “People are donating,” Chappaz said, “but we would need a 100 times more to meet the needs of all women.”
According to Chappaz, the Child Assault Prevention Project [CAPS] that is taught in schools will also be severely affected. She said they may have to cut the program short by a couple of months if they do not get enough money to fund it. The centre has applied for grants and is now reaching out to the community to ask for their support. Chappaz said the centre has less of a financial budget to work with than they had 10 years ago, but they have double the staff, a large clientele, and their rent is three times as much. Chappaz said there are several ways Montrealers can help the centre. They can become a member, volunteer, write a letter of support or donate money. “If there is more prevention earlier on,” Chappaz said, “there is less to do later.”
Blair vs. Hitchens debates up a holy storm Freethinkers’ streams debate for first-ever event Sarah Deshaies Editor-in-chief In the long-running discussion over faith and the role it plays in society, the atheist side appeared to have fought a winning battle last Friday night. Former British prime minister Tony Blair and author Christopher Hitchens debated the resolution “that religion is a force for good in the world” on Friday night at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. The event, sponsored by businessman and philanthropist Peter Munk, had 2,700 people in attendance and streamed live to many more over the Internet.
Blair converted to Catholicism after he left his tenure as British prime minister. Since then, he established the Tony Blair Faith Foundation as a move to encourage inter-faith discussion. Hitchens is a Britishborn journalist, known for his work with Vanity Fair magazine, and an avowed atheist. Hitchens highlighted the negative outcomes of religion, such as persecution and ignorance. Blair’s arguments focused in on the charity work that religious organizations have wrought, while Hitchens’ rebuttal was that all humans have an innate sense of treating others with respect, and that religious authority is not needed to enforce that. According to those in attendance at Concordia’s screening, and to observers around the world, Hitchen’s argument was the most convincing. “I was just thinking, Hitchens is standing up there, dying of cancer, and he’s still destroying [Blair]” said one organizer, Todd Whitworth.
“I think [...] it’s the passion that he has for his subject that seems to keep him driven,” Whitworth added, noting that Hitchens, who scheduled the debate in between chemotherapy sessions, seemed to have brought the same vigour to his presentation as he had displayed in previous, healthier speeches. “I don’t think he had real thought about religion,” said organizer Doga Col about Blair. John Bellingham, an independent student and a staff member at Campus for Christ, did not side with Blair despite his own personal convictions, or well, because of them. He also found Blair’s arguments lacklustre and, as an evangelical Christian, disagreed with the exPM’s views on religious pluralism. The live audience voted for their preference before and after the debate, with 56 per cent disagreeing with the motion,only 22 in agreement and another 21 undecided.
The final tally at the end of the night was 68 per cent for Hitchens’ side, and 32 per cent for Blair. The setting for the Concordia crowd in the darkened classroom H-531 was like a movie theatre, save for the lack of popcorn and explosions onscreen. About 60 students and members of the public congregated to quietly watch the live, streamed debate while occasionally laughing at quips made by the orators. The screening held at Concordia was the first-ever event for the Freethought and Humanist Club. The six founding members were pleased with the crowd, and acknowledged that most were swaying to Hitchens’ side before the debate had started. The Freethinkers believe their club to be the only secular student group on campus (Concordia does host a number of clubs of different faiths and denominations, as well as the Multi-faith Chaplaincy).
Was Mary Shelley’s novel a warning to solitary scientists? Frankenstein addresses the danger of separating science from sociability: Dr. Jan Golinski Michael Lemieux Staff writer When most people think of Frankenstein, they think of the large, green, somewhat dim-looking fellow with bolts on the side of his neck. Others who delve a little deeper believe that Frankenstein was author Mary Shelley’s warning about the dangers of new scientific discoveries. And a rare few, like Dr. Jan Golinski, chair of the department of history and humanities at the University of New Hamp-
shire, think that Shelley was trying to forewarn future generations of what could happen when scientists forsake normal human relationships. “[Shelly] issues a stark warning against the dangers that could follow when a man of science turns his back on social and familial ties,” he said. In order to explain his interpretation of Frankenstein, Golinski discussed the novel in a historical context. “Mary Shelley’s novel reflects ideas of the enlightenment, about the connection between sociability and virtue,” said Golinski, adding that “many thinkers of the 18th century declared that participation in society is an ethical imperative and a demand of human nature.” The presentation was part of an ongoing series entitled Science and Its Publics hosted by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs. The series explores the relationship between scientists and the public, and how this translates in to knowl-
edge. Golinski’s lecture, Frankenstein in the public sphere: Science and the virtue of sociability in the British Enlightenment, examined an often overlooked theme in Shelley’s masterpiece. “Shelley was responding to the situation in her own time and place which had witnessed something of a crisis in the epistemic virtue of sociability,” said Golinski. He went on to explain that for centuries sociability served to keep scientists in check. “Scientists’ socialization should give them a sense of their wider obligations to society,” he said. But the enlightenment changed everything, according to Golinsky, who said that many writers during that period, like Edmund Burke, questioned the true value of sociability. This worried people like Shelley, which is what Dr. Golinski thinks drove her to write the character of Victor Frankenstein the way she did. “One of Frankenstein’s charac-
teristics is that he turns his back on his family and society in general,” he said. “He breaks off relations with his fiancée and other family members. He isolates himself from his friends and fellow students.” The monster created by Victor in the novel is therefore Shelley’s form of punishment for this behavior. “The novel gives us an image of the anti-social man of science whose creature is both the offspring of this abnormal solitude and the means by which Frankenstein is punished for it,” Golinski explained. The academic believes Shelly’s text is still so popular today because the idea of the virtue of sociability was one of the main themes in the novel; it resonates with our current moral dilemmas. “The novel is still pertinent because it reflected the birth of modern scientific institutions with their associated moral quandaries,” he said. “To that extent, Frankenstein’s monster is still living among us.”
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/theconcordian
FEUQ rallying against fellowship taxation Group wants postdoc grads to be recognized as “students” and not “employees” Jacques Gallant Assistant news editor The federal government’s recent decision to declare postdoctoral grants as taxable income has the provincial graduate students’ association infuri-
ated, even more so because of the fear that the policy could apply to grads as far back as 2006. “We are especially worried that this decision in the federal budget is retroactive,” said Laurent Viau, president of the National Council of Graduate Students of Quebec of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec. “The budget specifically states that the policy only starts in 2010, but we’ve had certain indications from the Canada Revenue Agency that this decision could go back to 2006.” Viau explained that ideally, the federal government should recognize those completing postdoctoral work
as students and have their grants tax exempt, as is the case for doctoral students. Quebec already considers postdoc students as just that, and Viau said they have received assurances that the provincial government’s position remains the same. “We are therefore lobbying with other groups to make sure the federal government recognizes that those who received a postdoctoral fellowship between 2006 and 2010 not have to pay taxes on it because these people believed this was not taxable income,” said Viau. He said he was optimistic that the Harper government would eventually acquiesce to this demand.
“It is a very important issue for us at the moment and we have been making some noise,” he said. “The Bloc Québécois has even told us that they might be introducing a motion to grandfather in the 2006 to 2010 postdoc students.” At Concordia, postdoc taxation has yet to be thoroughly discussed. “It is on the agenda for our meeting this Thursday, but I haven’t heard any concerns voiced so far,” said the Graduate Students Association’s VP external, Mathew Tziritas. Viau noted that making postdoc grads pay income tax on their fellowships, especially those from past years who have already spent the money,
has the potential of greatly affecting their personal lives. More than 80 per cent of them are over 30 years of age, a third of them have children and the vast majority already have heavy debts to pay. But Viau is also worried that taxing postdoctoral grants could harm Canada’s ability to attract skilled researchers. “A postdoctoral grant is suddenly going to look a lot less attractive than a doctoral grant,” he said. “Many of our postdoctoral researchers are from other countries. They may be less attracted to come here when they find out the grants are taxable. It is certainly not a position that can help Canada be more competitive. ”
Students, professors want major changes to Quebec universities Release manifesto calling for increased funding, autonomy and a reinstated tuition freeze
Jacob Serebrin CUP Quebec bureau chief A large number of umbrella groups representing university students’ and teachers’ unions in Quebec have released a manifesto calling for a rethinking of the future of universities in the province. The groups, calling themselves the Table des partenaires universitaires, say they have given up on
consultations with the provincial government, such as the upcoming meeting of “education partners” on Dec. 6, in Quebec City, and are instead calling for broader provincewide discussions on the future of universities. “Education is a right, not a privilege for the wealthy of society,” said Carole Neill, president of the Quebec Council of university unions at a press conference on Nov. 25 during which the manifesto was released. The manifesto calls for universities to be independent, both from government and market pressures. According to the Table, universities are being forced to focus on training workers and developing research that can be commercialized. The manifesto claims that this is leading to the commodification of education and leading university’s away from their real purpose.
“For us the transmission of knowledge and the training of critical thinking are the core of the university’s mission,” said Neill. The manifesto criticizes competition between universities over reputation, saying it reduces students to “clients.” Among the groups backing the petition are several student union umbrella groups, including the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, Quebec’s second largest student lobby group and umbrella groups representing university professors, lecturers and non-academic professionals as well as the university branches of several province-wide labour federations. The manifesto takes particular aim at what it calls the “lucides,” a strain in Quebec politics inspired by a 2005 manifesto released by several prominent Quebecers, including former premier Lucien Bouchard. That
manifesto called for increases in tuition fees, coupled with reinvestment in universities to support the “knowledge economy” The Table manifesto also calls for the province to abandon planned tuition fee increases in 2012. Those increases are expected to be one of the main topics of discussion at the meeting of education partners, however opponents to the meeting say that the only discussion will be to work out minor details of the increase. In October, ASSÉ spokesperson Gabriel NadeauDubois said the government’s “only goal is to legitimize a decision that has already been made.” Additionally, the document calls for greater government investment in universities, reforms to Quebec’s student aid program to reduce, or eliminate, student debt, and greater autonomy for universities. According to the manifesto,
money to pay for the plan could come from increasing taxes on business and cracking down on tax cheats. While some of the groups who signed the manifesto, including ASSÉ, have announced their intention to boycott the meeting, other groups will participate. Some groups, such as the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, who are members of the Table but did not sign the manifesto, intend to participate and protest the meeting. The manifesto is one of several documents to come out in the run up to the education partners meeting. On Nov. 18, FEUQ released a major survey on the finances of Quebec students. On Dec. 2, the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities will release a study on the “underfinancing” of universities in the province.
Campaigns, little controversy fill CFS meeting Hundreds of delegates pass new policies at national general meeting
Emma Godmere CUP Ontario Bureau Chief OTTAWA (CUP) — Several hundred students representing campus unions across the country met in Gatineau, Que. last week for the Canadian Federation of Students’ national general meeting. On the docket for the national student lobbying group’s 29th meeting, held Nov. 24-27, were presentations from speakers such as Council of Canadians national chairperson Maude Barlow and parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, and an hours-long closing plenary where delegates passed decisions on CFS policy, budget and campaigns. Successful motions included pledging support for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, a proposal to expand the We Ride Transit campaign, a move to collect loan
and financial assistance data from students to aid national student debt campaigns, and a call to the government to reinstate the long form census, among many others. All campaign-related motions passed, including an emergency motion to write a letter commending outgoing Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams “for his long-standing commitment to students and their families to increase access to post-secondary student education and reduce student debt.” Current national treasurer and newly-elected national chairperson Roxanne Dubois — who will take on her new role next spring — explained one of the successful motions aimed at updating an existing campaign. “‘No Means No’ is our campaign to end violence against women, and there was a motion to revamp it — not only the materials, but also the language that we use to reflect harassment online, and stuff like that,” she said. Among those motions that failed were a handful proposed by the University of Victoria students’ society. Originally one motion that was broken into multiple parts in opening plenary, the proposals included withdrawing any claims of
outstanding fees from the students’ union and launching a referendum on continued membership. In October 2009, union members submitted a referendum petition to the CFS head office and have since filed a court petition to validate their original petition, after the CFS declared the petition invalid earlier this year. While the proposal to waive outstanding fees was rejected, the referendum-related portion was referred to the national executive through a motion that stated, “It would be highly irresponsible for the member local unions of the federation to endorse a course of action that would result in the violation of its bylaws.” A UVSS delegation was present at the meeting, as was a small one from the University of Regina, where the students’ union is also currently encountering referendum issues with the CFS. Student associations who have previously encountered referendum and legal issues with the CFS, such as the University of Calgary graduate students’ association and the Concordia University students’ union were not present at the national meeting. Additional motions that received majority approval included producing materials that highlight “the
victories students have won locally, provincially and nationally through years of activism through the federation” and seeking sports and recreation-related ticket discounts
for students across the country. Members will meet next in May or early June 2011. *With files from Antoine Trépanier*
Delegates at the Canadian Federation of Students’ 29th national general meeting. Photo by Antoine Trepanier/La Rotonde
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Write to the editor: email@example.com HEALTH
Looking for the green lining: a view of Canada s medical marijuana system How the program works, how it could be better, and one man’s treatment
physician willing to enroll him in the program in 2002. Arcand’s intuition also turned out to be right since this past summer a wide-scale raid hit the compassion clubs of Quebec that accepted letters signed by physicians. Compassion clubs are not legally allowed, but police normally permit them to function as long as they remain transparent and maintain a strict set of rules regarding membership. Many clubs enforce a daily purchase limit for members and keep prices relatively high to prevent the possibility of resale on the streets. Health Canada stresses to MMAR patients that compassion clubs are illegal and that their program is the only legal venue to fulfil their prescriptions. Patients have the option to buy ground marijuana from Health Canada, grow their own plants, or designate a grower that will supply enough for their prescription.
Brennan Neill Managing editor As a young law student, Francois Arcand had his future set up. What Arcand could not have planned for was the massive arteriovenous malformation that burst inside his brain in 1989, when he was only 20 years old. The ruptured vessel, which was caused by an abnormal and usually congenital connection between veins and arteries, left Arcand paralysed on the right side of his body. Eventually, Arcand was able to regain some movement and learned to talk and walk again, but the scar tissue that built up around the malformation left him severely epileptic by 1990. Arcand was left experiencing measurable seizures 24 hours a day. The mixture of medications Arcand was taking helped alleviate some of the convulsions that accompanied each episode, but did not help to reduce the amount of epileptic seizures that still occurred in the brain. Arcand could only describe his condition as constantly “thinking trhough cotton wool.” The incessant epileptic episodes were taking a toll on him. “It made my life basically a living hell. People used to think that I was actually dying of AIDS. I couldn’t eat,” explained Arcand. “I looked like a skeleton.” With a simple suggestion from his mother that he try marijuana for his epilepsy, Arcand’s life changed dramatically in 1998.
The birth of a medical marijuana system In 1997, Terrance Parker was fighting his way through the Ontario justice system following his arrest for the cultivation and possession of marijuana. Parker, an epileptic since childhood, had been using marijuana as a treatment to reduce the frequency of his seizures. By 2000, Parker’s case had been heard by the Ontario Court of Appeals. In July of that year, Justice Marc Rosenberg struck down the prohibition against marijuana since it infringed
on Parker’s right to liberty and security of person. The courts granted the federal government one year to modify the law and to grant medical users, like Parker, access. In the following year the federal government and Health Canada implemented the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations to allow access to those that suffer from “grave and debilitating illnesses.” In order to be licensed under the MMAR program, applicants must fall into one of two categories. The first category consists of patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS infection, a severe case of arthritis or epilepsy. The second category is reserved for patients who have a debilitating symptom or illness that is not included under the first category and that is confirmed by a specialist. A category two patient must also have sought all other possible treatments but found that marijuana is the only one that works. As of January 2010, 4,884 patients in Canada hold an Authorization to Possess card which allows them to use dried marijuana. Of all the provinces and territories, Ontario, the location of the groundbreaking decision, has the most patients with 1,873. British Columbia with 1,372 patients and Nova Scotia with 619 round out the top three. Quebec falls fifth on the list behind Alberta, with 321 patients holding a card. While the federal government may see the current system as an adequate solution to the questions posed by Parker’s case, others have seen the MMAR program as a Band-Aid to save the prohibition on marijuana. “Health Canada didn’t wake up one day and realize that there are millions of people benefit-
ing from marijuana and decide to help them,” said Adam Greenblatt, founder of the Medical Cannabis Access Society. “The courts forced them in to this and they’ve taken a very reluctant approach.”
From a suggestion to treatment Following his mother’s suggestion in 1998, Arcand sought out information on using marijuana to treat his epilepsy. After consulting with his neurologist he turned to the street to find a dealer. Using marijuana cut down the amount of epileptic seizures he experienced but did not eliminate them. An additional benefit of the drug was that his appetite returned to normal. “I went from a man that weighed 120 or 135 pounds back to 165 pounds, which is the weight I weighed before the brain hemorrhage,” said Arcand. After Parker’s case opened up a legal way to access medical marijuana, Arcand was sure that he would be given a licence. However, none of the doctors or specialists were willing to fill out the necessary forms and prescribe a dosage to enrol him in the MMAR program. They preferred to give him a letter attesting to his condition so that he would be able to purchase marijuana at a compassion club, a location set up to distribute medical marijuana. Arcand turned down the letters because compassion clubs are not part of the federal program and because they are susceptible to raids and other legal ramifications. In the end, he found a
A new world of cannabinoids The question of how to supply himself with enough medical marijuana led Arcand to Greenblatt and his organization in 2009. MCAS either pairs MMAR patients with a designated grower or will teach card holders how to supply themselves. Greenblatt, who is a designated grower himself, immediately had Arcand try a number of cannabis strains. After some experimentation, Arcand had the perfect mixture to treat his condition. Arcand’s prescription calls for him to consume 20 grams a day in various ways including smoking, vaporizing and eating products made with cannabis. It would be a staggering amount if the strains were laden with tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid otherwise known as THC that causes the sensation of being high, a feeling most people associate with marijuana. However, the four strains that Arcand is currently using all have low levels of THC, and one strain in particular blocks any THC he may have consumed. Few people know that there are at least 85 cannabinoids that have been isolated and found to have a number of different effects on users. Arcand and other medical users are not in search of high doses of THC but are looking for the other cannabinoids that could alleviate some of the symptoms of their illnesses. “I’m beating the odds and I’ve never felt better right now. It’s all thanks to the cannabinoids,” said Arcand. “It’s not thanks to the THC.” Health Canada is currently only providing one strain of medical marijuana, Cannabis satvia L.
A comparison between Adam Greenblatt’s medical cannabis (left) and the medical marijuana provided by Health Canada (right). Photos by Trevor Smith
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/concordianlife
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
(Top & bottom) Some medical cannabis users prefer to vaporize their marijuana. The Volcano is one of the most popular models. Indica, to patients in the MMAR program. In 2002 Health Canada awarded a contract to grow that particular strain to Prairie Plant Systems Inc., a Saskatoon-based pharmaceutical plant-growing company. This particular strain has a moderate amount of THC, about 10.5 to 14.5 per cent, and is rigorously tested to make sure it is safe. Each lot of marijuana is irradiated to ensure that the microbial content is low since most patients have compromised or lowered immune systems. After using the four strains in addition to his regular medication for epilepsy, Arcand has found a treatment that works for him. “For the first time in 21 years, after finding the right strain of cannabis, I’ve stopped having seizures completely,” said Arcand. “I’ve never had my head more clear.”
An imperfect system Michael Pearce is well versed in how long it can take to become a licensed MMAR patient. Pearce has suffered from chronic pain for over three decades because of a case of inflammatory arthritis of the spine, called ankylosing spondylitis. It took seven years to find a doctor willing to sign the necessary forms to make him part of the MMAR program. Once Pearce is entered into
the program, he must renew his card every year like every other patient. The result is a backlog of applications and renewals that eventually slow down the entire process. “The program that we have right now with Health Canada and the federal government is a broken program,” said Pearce. “It takes far too long to get the cards, it takes far too long get our renewals done, it takes far too long to get the documents done.” Pearce now helps other potential patients find the right doctors that are willing to sign the MMAR documents. Health Canada has said that they are addressing the issue of delays in processing and are trying to reduce wait times back to eight to 10 weeks. However, Chad Clelland, director of online and community relations for the website Medicalmarijuana.ca, has seen delays of eight to 10 months. While Health Canada may say they are getting better in terms of processing, he believes a significant change can be made when it comes to renewals. “One thing that they’re strongly considering is that if you’re a category one with a condition that won’t necessarily improve they’re looking at making it a three to five year renewal,” explained Clelland. “But if somebody had cancer and they go into remission and they’re not needing the treatment they’re getting, that might be a different scenario.” The limited number of doctors willing to sign the MMAR forms has also posed a problem for patients seeking treatment. Across Canada only 2,373 physicians have signed for a patient more than once. By January 2010, Quebec only had 182 doctors sign for their patients, compared to 939 in Ontario, the leading province. For Dr. Yves Robert, secretary of the Quebec College of Physicians, the trouble with medical marijuana is the lack of knowledge regarding its use. “The problem we have right now under the current special program for medical marijuana is that it is not a drug that can be prescribed because there are no standards for production. There are no standard dosages, and the medical indications are not clearly identified by the evidence of that,” explained Robert. MMAR forms cannot be completed without a proper prescription, which results in patients being left out of the program. However, many doctors are willing to sign a letter that confirms a diagnosis, which would grant patients access to a compassion club. Clelland sees the pressure from the medical colleges on physicians as a problem, but notes that patients and doctors are beginning to open up a dialogue. “I think the biggest backlash that [doctors] get is from the College but I think with increasing numbers ... it’s a conversation that is happening,” said Clelland. The lack of recognition on Health Canada’s part regarding the possible benefit of various cannabis strains is also seen as one of the program’s flaws. The official Health Canada position is that marijuana is not approved as a therapeutic drug in Canada and that there is no scientific evidence that validates its therapeutic value. The only proof attesting to its effectiveness of various strains has come from anecdotal reports.
Greenblatt, who introduced Arcand to a variety of cannabis strains, has noted that the product supplied by Prairie Plant Systems Inc. is inferior to anything he has grown as a licensed medical marijuana grower. “The shortcoming is that marijuana as a commodity has evolved to a point that Health Canada’s program won’t acknowledge,” said Greenblatt. “The trimmed, strain specific, manicured buds that cannabis consumers are used to seeing are not coming out in the Prairie Plant System product.” Greenblatt was also surprised to see that when he became a licensed grower, the only instructions that were provided to him by Health Canada were on how to ship cannabis without being detected by Canada Post. He explained that Health Canada should be teaching patients how to become self-sufficient by growing their own plants in a safe way.
“Right now I’m happy…” Now living in Ottawa, Arcand is 42-yearsold and terminally ill. Surgeons were unable to remove all of the malformation and the scar tissue has begun to build up in Arcand’s brain. In February, the growth, now more than five cubic centimetres in size, pushed out and fractured his skull. Arcand uses a strain of cannabis that is incredibly effective at reducing pain, so much so that he was able to stop taking the morphine he was prescribed. “The pain that I was in was so immense that I don’t know what I would have done if I had to keep on living with it. The morphine couldn’t do anything,” said Arcand. “Right now I’m happy, I’m not in the kind of pain that I was [before] medical cannabis.”
Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while (Mk 6:31)
Advent Retreat December 4, 2010 10:00 AM until 5 PM Loyola Chapel, Loyola Campus 7141 Sherbrooke St West, Montreal Register at: firstname.lastname@example.org Advent Retreat is a time to give ourselves a break from our busy academic and work schedules so that we can spiritually empty our minds and replenish ourselves as we prepare for exams. It is also a time to prepare for Christmas with our hearts and mind renewed. Just as the foliage take a rest during each autumn; we too need a fruitful rest inspired by our Lord. See us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=126888124035350 For more information: Fr. Paul Anyidoho Multifaith Chaplaincy 514-848-2424 ext. 3586
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The other side of
Sarah Ladik Contributor Warren Hammond is a 16-year-old living and working on his father’s dairy farm in Lachute, Que. Last month, he wore a t-shirt to school that said “Farmers Feed Cities” and another boy in his class told him that it wasn’t true and that “McDonald’s feeds cities.” While the comment was meant to draw laughs, the boy said it with absolute conviction. This may be an extreme example of ignorance, but we can all fall into the trap of forgetting where the food we eat comes from. This is a sad situation and it’s getting even worse because of the growing number of people who buy into the trend of organically-labeled food, thinking that they know how it is produced. Words like “natural” and “freerun” are plastered all over everything from hand cream to waffles but does anyone know what they really mean? Take a trip to the grocery store and try to find out where the stuff in your basket really comes from. Fruits and vegetables are easy; you can normally find the names Chile or Mexico written on the rubber band holding your broccoli together. The middle aisles of grocery stores are usually a writeoff. Unless you buy your salad dressing from a local brand sold exclusively in that store, you can bet that most of what you’re eating was grown in the American Midwest and processed elsewhere in the U.S. The dairy section is fairly straightforward, unless marked otherwise; everything is Canadian and most of it is produced in-province. Meat is a little more complicated, but there is a very good chance that anything fresh, not frozen was raised and slaughtered here in Quebec. Other than that, all the frozen burgers and TV dinners most likely started off somewhere in the U.S. or Alberta.
Organic vs. non-organic: myths and misconceptions If you are able to accept that your food is produced on a massive scale somewhere far away, you are fine. If you believe in a global food economy in which we all share as many
resources as we can with countries on the other side of the planet, again you are fine. Go ahead and stick with the Brazilian red peppers. However, if you subscribe to the growing trend towards organic food because you have been told it is better for you and the planet, farmers in Arundel, Que. would like to tell you that sadly, you have been misinformed. Gordon Graham and Kristen
have a clue,” says Larsen. “We get sent 100page pamphlets detailing what it would take to be recognized as organic and they are full of technical jargon no regular grocery shopper could understand.” After finishing college, there was a brief period when she and Graham considered overhauling the family farm and going organic, but the cost was far too high. “I only ever considered it because you can make a killing once you’re set up,” said Graham. The problem is that switching over
from conventional farming to organic is both expensive and difficult. One of the biggest struggles is that the organic certification takes three years. During this F time, the farm has to run organically, which involves much higher operating costs and more labour, but still sell as non-organic.
Where your beef is really coming from
Larsen, both 26, took over the Graham family beef farm, in Cedarthorne Farms in Arundel in 2005. They converted to dairy in 2007 and it was a calf/cow operation, the first part of conventional beef production. At its peak, the farm held 30 cows. Then there is Mike Rossy, who owns and operates Runaway Creek Farms a few kilometres from Graham and Larsen’s place. He bought the land as virgin forest in 1995 and opened it up to the public as a retailer of organic produce and meat in 2000. As organically-labeled food continues to occupy an increasing amount of shelf space in the grocery store, farmers on both sides of the line agree that consumers are less and less aware of what they are buying. “The thing is, the consumer just doesn’t
Conventional farming: the steps and process of raising beef cows The beef sector is divided into three main kinds of operation. The first is the calf/cow farm, like Graham’s, which raises the beef from birth to about eight months. Then, they are typically sold at auction to a feedlot, which bulks them up before they are sent to the third type of operation, the slaughterhouse. The life of a beef cow on the Cedarthorne farm before they made the switch to dairy seemed quite idyllic. They lived outside all summer in nice green pastures and in the winter the cows heading for slaughter
would go inside while the rest stayed outside eating hay in cozy shelters. At birth, each calf was injected with some vitamin D, a vitamin needed to grow healthy bones and maintain nice skin. They were also injected with selenium, another supplement in most daily vitamins highly recommended for good health. They were not given any kind of growth hormone or appetite enhancer. And, if a cow got sick, which was very rare, it was given medication. The biggest difference between an organic beef cow and a non-organic one is the use of antibiotics. Regulations in Canada permit lower use of penicillin in livestock than in the U.S., but it is still quite common, depending on the size and type of operation. Feedlots will generally use more antibiotics simply because the cows are crowded together and are more vulnerable to contagion. Think of it like taking public transport during flu season. “When a person gets sick, they go to the doctor and they get an antibiotic to make them well again,” says Larsen. “When a cow gets sick, the organic people want you to do a voodoo dance and give it a saline solution,” finishes Graham. “What does that say about the animal’s quality of life?” Graham and Larsen made the change to dairy for primarily financial reasons. Graham says that to be profitable, it takes a minimum of 130 cows over which to spread expenses like machinery and labour. A dairy operation is much more labour-intensive, but overall is a safer bet for the young family working to support their children, one-year-old Aiden and three-week-old newcomer Colby. According to Larsen, the difference in scale is really the key factor in how organic a farm is. She says there is not a definite line between organic and non-organic operations and that it is more of a continuum. Cerdarthorne is probably more organic than some certified organic farms in the area, simply because she and Graham don’t believe in pushing their animals to produce. There is also the question of enforceability. As remote as the area is, there aren’t many representatives of the certification boards making sure no organic farmer buys straw or hay from a non-organic neighbour. To add to popular confusion, there are multiple levels of organic certification and they don’t all have the same requirements. Last year, Canada imposed a federal standard that would apply to all the provincial certifiers, but that does not mean that they are in line with the standards of other countries. Furthermore, and perhaps most damning, there is no governmental board of control for organic food in Canada. All certification boards are privately owned and operated and do not necessarily agree with each other. So, how does the average consumer come to know about all this? Graham’s answer is
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/concordianlife
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
that they don’t. The media focuses on how organic food can stop global warming in its tracks and feed the starving populations of Third World countries, not on the fact that the label “organic” is rapidly losing its meaning. “Unless you know a farmer, you’ll just never be exposed to reality.”
Organic production: one farm and its struggles with certification guidelines Mike Rossy started his organic farm in 1995 after having made his fortune with the family retail business in Montreal. While growing up, Rossy says that he always dreamed of being a farmer, and he worked hard and saved money until he could afford to do it. “Starting up a farm has an astronomical cost,” he says. “Because I didn’t inherit anything, I had to start from scratch, clearing land and building everything from the ground up.” Rossy and his wife Yasmin run Runaway Creek Farm, a farm that will fill the niche market of local organic food for Montreal and the North Shore. They have a home-delivery service on the island as well as a small store on their property in Arundel. There, they sell all kinds of produce and meat most of the year, except January through March when they leave for vacation in the South. Runaway Creek Farm does a bit of everything, from chickens, goats and baby beef to rare varieties of vegetables and herbs. Baby beef is defined as cows that are slaughtered between 12 and 20 months old; though no longer a baby, the cow is not full grown yet either. Like the Graham cows, they live outside in the summer and are not given anything to make them grow bigger quickly or eat more. The difference is that when a cow gets sick and cannot be cured using natural homeopathic remedies such as garlic and hot pepper, the animal is eliminated from the herd. Then it is either sold to a conventional producer who can give it antibiotics or killed outright. Unlike the conventional beef operation, Rossy’s farm skips the feedlot step and goes straight to the abattoir. From there, they go to Rossy’s local butcher then either straight to the freezers at the store or to store clients. Rossy believes in Organic (capital ‘O’) as a concept and practice, but is seriously coming to doubt the certification process. “It’s a money grab,” he says. “What started out as a movement of farmers and consumers wanting to do things a better way became a big money-making industry that prefers to cater to big companies than pay attention to the small local farm.” This year, Rossy paid Ecocert, a Quebecbased certification company, $1,200 for the right to advertise his products as organic. Certification for a company like Heinz would run closer to $30,000. “Which do you think the certifiers will go after?” asks Rossy sardonically. “I’m really considering letting it slide this year. My customers know how I
Number of organically certified farms in Quebec in 2001, or 1.2% of total
Gordon Graham and Kristen Larsen thought that the costs to make their farm certified organic were too high. Photo courtesy of Gordon Graham run my farm and they don’t really care about the sticker in the window.” Further proof of the inefficiency of the private certification boards came with the last visit Rossy had with an inspector earlier this year. Because the position turnover rate is high, the same inspector never visits from year to year. Rossy recounts how the inspector showed up with the wrong paperwork, thinking that Runaway Creek was an organic dairy farm. Rossy took this as evidence of the waste of his money and came away feeling conned. “If these people can’t even get the kind of operation I run straight after 14 years, how can I trust them to keep anything else in line?”
Slaughterhouse rules: a look at what happens after the farm Both Cedarthorne and Runaway Creek Farms take care of the production side of things and, by law, have to leave the processing to someone else. Graham’s beef cows were sold at auction in Vankleek Hill, Ont., mostly to feedlots that would take them up to the abattoir a few months later. Rossy’s babybeef cows are taken directly to the Thurso abattoir, about two hours away. Theoretically, the cows from both farms could wind up at the same slaughterhouse and be processed on the same line.All abattoirs in Canada need to adhere to certain standards and each has its own government inspector and veterinarian who inspect the beef before and after slaughter to maintain a rigorous high-quality standard. Any question-
Number of organically certified farms in Quebec in 2006
able meat is immediately removed from the line and taken away. There is no further inspection for organic beef.The stipulation is that organic cows have to go through the line in the morning when all the tools and surfaces are clean. Rossy does not necessarily think this is actually the case. The slaughterhouse floor is off-limits to all but employees, so Rossy can’t see for himself that his cows are being slaughtered in accordance with organic norms. Again, the certification boards like Ecocert do conduct inspections of abattoirs used by organic farmers, but they also charge the farmers for this service. Furthermore, if the abattoir is certified by a provincial organization, the beef processed there can only be sold as organic in the same province. The cost to operate a federally certified slaughterhouse is prohibitive and as all slaughterhouses are privately owned, most have opted out of this classification.
Finding a solution: what to do and who to trust So, if as a consumer you can’t trust the organic label on your meat in the grocery store and you are unable to tell where anything on the shelf came from, what are you supposed to do? The worst part is that you thought you knew what was going on with your food when you bought organic and now you feel a bit cheated. The answer is not to go back to the land and only eat the food you raise yourself. The beef market is already flooded right now and you’d just make it worse. Also, your neighbours would not appreciate the smell. The answer, according to both Gordon
Number of organic certification boards in Quebec as of 2006
Graham and Mike Rossy, is to get to know a farmer. While Graham probably wouldn’t greet you at the door and give you a tour, Rossy most definitely would. In fact, his stipulation to his customers is that they come and see his farm for themselves before he will sell them anything. “There’s your certification process,” he says. “If you walk around and ask questions and are satisfied with the answers, you really don’t need an expensive sticker from a company that has an interest in certifying as many things as they can.” Currently, it is almost impossible to eat anything without making a statement of some kind. There are so many buzzwords flying around, and terms like “all-natural” and “grain-fed” don’t have a concrete standardized definition. This makes it hard to know what they actually mean. Yet people are attracted to them anyways. Many conscientious eaters have decided to consume only locally-grown food. A popular version of this trend is the 100-mile diet where only food produced within a 100-mile radius can be eaten. Adhering All this would seem to lead down the path to apathy and cynicism and to some degree it does. We have to accept that we cannot and will not eat perfectly according to the latest study, and move on. The best we as average people can do is to really think about what we are eating. Try not to just consume it; ask questions about where our food comes from. Do your best to support local farms and, in the best case scenario, you may get to know a farmer whose production methods you can trust.
Percentage of organic farms of total farms in Quebec in 2006
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Write to the editor: email@example.com
Concordia theatre department explores the eternal struggle between good and evil Is technology worth being damned for? Doctor Faustus seems to think so
Jacqueline Di Bartolomeo Assistant arts editor The mood backstage at Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights is agitated. It’s T minus three days before their first performance. The D.B. Clarke Theatre is a mess. Scaffolding and various construction parts are strewn outside the entrance. Inside, director Nathalie Claude is testing the sound as a crew member scrambles up and down a huge mountain of books that are stacked one on top of the other on stage. The lights are just bright enough to see the dust particles in the air. “It’s almost like a portrait of a mind disintegrating. It’s almost like a nightmare,” says Callahan Connor, who plays the title character. He’s referring to the play itself, but he might as well be describing the preparation that has cast members and stage crew alike buzzing around. As he is speaking, Sara Rodriguez – chorus member number two – steps into the room. “I won’t bother [anyone],” she says, and starts rummaging through a bag full of black combat boots to find a pair. However she, like most everyone else involved in the play, is eager to speak about it. The first dressing room is a small rectangular space with white walls and counters. It bears a
heavy resemblance to the other dressing room next door. The faint sound of an actor singing and strumming a ukulele drifts through the hall. It’s suppertime backstage: Connor is snacking on breakfast foods while Cameron Sedgwick slurps up Thai Express noodles. Sedgwick plays Faustus’ counterpart Mephisto (better known as the Devil.) The legend of Faustus is one of a man tempted by Lucifer to sell his soul for knowledge. The story of man’s struggle between good and evil has been retold for centuries. Dr Faustus Lights the Lights is Gertrude Stein’s take on Goethe’s version, which is considered to be the classic telling of the story. In turn, Stein’s piece is a classic example of modernist work. It is written in the style of a stream of consciousness, leaving much of the interpretation up to the director, and to the audience. The abstract nature of Stein’s writing was a possible roadblock to the production, which only started rehearsals in mid-October. Sedgwick, for one, is appreciative of Claude’s skill in cutting straight to the point. “You really have to trust her vision of it, and that she knows what she’s talking about,” he says. Claude is an industry veteran: her lengthy resumé includes a recurring role on the sitcom km/h, which aired on TVA from 1998 to 2006, and a position in the experimental theatre company Momentum. Connor and Sedgwick agree that the text is complex. The “odd form that the language takes” is one of the factors that appealed to Connor in the first place. “It seems to capture the rhythm and direction of actual thoughts in all of their incomprehensibility at the time,” he says. “When characters are expressing themselves [...]
Director Natalie Claude imposed “formal constraints of image” in order to “bring the play out properly,” according to actor Callahan Conner. Photo by Tiffany Blaise it almost seems to reveal the jumps that are happening between ideas inside their own heads. It can seem really abstract but there’s still a visceral momentum to all of it.” Lights the Lights, written in 1938, also captures the essence of the dawn of the Western industrial age, and the fears that accompanied the transition. In Goethe’s version, Dr. Faustus seeks divine knowledge and in despair turns to the devil to obtain it. In Stein’s, he seeks the ability to create light. The production includes elements such as electronic music and fluorescent light bulbs,
things that, as Sedgwick pointed out, “didn’t even exist when Gertrude Stein wrote [the play.]” According to Rodriguez, the inclusion of those components “shows the timelessness of the piece.” Sedgwick adds, “Those things are still very much at home in this, because they represent what it means to us now, just as the devil still means the devil now.” Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights will play Dec. 2 to 5 at Concordia’s D.B. Clarke Theatre. For box office information call 514-848-2424 ext. 4742 or consult theatre.concordia.ca
National Novel Writing Month wraps up in libraries and coffeehouses across the continent Final weekend of competition sees writers racing to meet their deadline Valerie Cardinal Arts editor Rebecca J. Blain has a headache. It’s been two hours since she and Kim Droz-Nadeau arrived at the Eleanor London public library in Côte-SaintLuc for a National Novel Writing Month write-in. Behind two large wooden doors in the children’s section, they sit at one of six fold-out tables, sipping tea and waiting for others to arrive. Droz-Nadeau is smiling excitedly, enjoying a small pile of Rockets candy she has placed in the middle of the table. She’s ready to build on the 42,000 words she’s written so far throughout November. It’s Friday, and the competition ends on Tuesday. How to win at NaNoWriMo? Write a 50,000word novel before the end of the month. It’s a lofty goal, but the competition’s website gives participants a lot of support, from forums to local write-ins, where writers gather to spur each other on. Blain is one of the municipal liaisons in charge of organizing these writing sessions. Every Friday, six to 10 participants gather at the library to chat, enjoy a cup of tea, and write. There are two other weekly write-ins in Montreal, one in the West Island and one downtown. According to the website, there are 640 participants, or Wrimos, in the Montreal area. At press time, Wrimos from all over the world had collectively written 2,147,483,647 words.
Blain has already far overshot her goal for her “political-action adventure.” A former freelance non-fiction writer, she now specializes in fantasy and science fiction. With four days left to spare, she’s already reached 69,000 words; she hopes to hit 80,000 by the month’s end. “Ironically, my goal was to hit 70,000 tonight,” she says. It’s obvious by her position as municipal liaison that Blain is an old hand; she’s been a Wrimo for a few years now. Even though she started her novel almost a week late, she was still the first person to hit the 50,000 word mark in the Montreal region this year. According to fellow Montreal municipal liaison Mike Lorenson, many of the Wrimos are writers by trade. However, many participate just for fun. Blain’s friend Droz-Nadeau is a graphics designer. “She’s normal. Watch out, it might be contagious,” whispers Blain jokingly. Attendance to the write-in is lower than usual tonight due to ice, bad weather and a hockey game. Just as the girls are about to give up hope, Droz-Nadeau spots someone on the other side of the double doors. Waving her arms, she exclaims (as loudly as one can in a library), “Bearded guy!” The man in question is Hendrik Boom, a 62-year-old self-proclaimed housewife. He lives up to his nickname, sporting a flowing, graying beard and rounded spectacles. He speaks with the poised manner of an academic, explaining that his story explores what would happen if men tried to create God. “I have a goal of writing something I will be happy with afterwards,” he says. Boom has been participating in NaNoWriMo for a long time, and it is his third year as municipal liaison. He compares writing 50,000 words in one month to the ancient Greek orator Demosthenes putting rocks in his mouth to improve his speech. The analogy is fitting, as the goal of
NaNoWriMo is not to end up with a publishable end product, but to allow writing practice. “They say you have to write about a million words before you can publish,” he explains. Blain is open about the eccentricity of some of the participants. “To participate, you need a certain detachment from reality,” she states. She gives as an example the Night of Writing Dangerously, an event held for NaNoWriMo in the United States, where “a bunch of crazy people stay up all night writing.” When 8 p.m. hits, it’s word war time. Blain sets her computer timer for one hour. The participants have the hour to write as many words as
they can. Spelling and punctuation don’t matter, emphasizes Blain; it’s only the word count they need to worry about. As soon as the timer goes off, the room goes quiet. The only sounds to be heard are mad typing and Ke$ha coming through Droz-Nadeau’s earphones. An hour whizzes by before Blain is declared the winner, largely due to her fast typing. By the end of the night, the participants are all one step closer to reaching their goal, as the deadline for their material quickly approaches. To learn more about NaNoWrimo, visit www.nanowrimo.org.
NaNoWriMo allows participants to write, write, write, no matter the quality of their final product
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/concordianarts
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Yes Men save the world one untruth at a time Pranksters document their efforts in 2009 film Race Capet Staff writer The Yes Men Fix the World, is the follow-up to 2003’s The Yes Men, chronicling the further adventures of world-renowned “culture jammers” and “gonzo activists” Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum. Their modus operandi is simple: set up a fake website parodying a corporation or government agency and wait. (A few of their targets include Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Chamber of Commerce and Halliburton.) Surprisingly, invitations begin to arrive: to conferences, to interviews, to live audiences on CNN. When the film opens, we find the duo in Paris in 2004. The BBC has invited Andy Bichlbaum, in the guise of an executive from Dow Chemical, to give an interview. It is part of their coverage of the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, in which a chemical plant owned by Union Carbide (which is now owned by BP), exploded in Bhopal, India. The explosion killed thousands and left environmental contamination which even now continues to cause chronic illness and birth defects among the local inhabitants. In front of an audience of 300 million, Bichlbaum announces Dow’s commitment to invest $12 billion in victim compensation and cleanup, and expresses his confidence that the shareholders will be willing to forgo a little profit to be part of such a “historic” act of right-doing. The hoax is now legendary—Dow’s stock lost $2 billion in 20 minutes, and the company was forced to issue a statement dispelling the notion that it was prepared to do anything for the people of Bhopal. When interviewing Bichlbaum and Bonanno (as themselves) about the hoax, many journal-
Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum hang out in their SurvivaBall suits, their proposition for protection from the effects of climate change. ists admonished them for giving false hope to the victims and toying with their emotions. When the Yes Men travel to Bhopal, however, they find that the victims see things differently. The locals meet them with appreciation for having brought attention to their continuing plight, and for publicly humiliating the company which has never fully compensated them for its wrongs. Bilchlbaum and Bonanno are often accused of being liars; they insist that the entities they impersonate are the ones who lie. They claim they are the ones telling the truth when, again representing Dow Chemical, they give a presentation of a new method for corporate risk assessment;
or when they unveil a new fuel made from the future victims of climate change on behalf of ExxonMobil. While posing as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Bichlbaum and Bonanno reverse its public housing policy in New Orleans so that the displaced poor can return. However, when they present their distortions of reality, the Yes Men do not present the untruth of the world, but the possibility of the world as it could be. This moments invite the listener to ask why these lies cannot be the reality, and they are the moments in which the Yes Men are at their best. Toward the end of the film, they publish a fake
special edition of the New York Times with the tagline, “All the news we hope to print.” The Yes Men’s gift lies in helping us to reimagine our own potential, and in helping us to remember that we have, all of us together, made the world as it is. Together, we could make it however we wish it to be. The Yes Men Fix the World will be screening in Room H-110 at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6. The Yes Men will be available after the screening to give a presentation and answer questions. For more information, visit www.cinemapolitica. org.
Department of exercise science set to ‘Leap’ into the future Concordia grad unveils art for the upcoming PERFORM centre Emilie Salvi Contributor Tattoos aside, nothing says forever like a monumental piece of art. Such a piece was unveiled when artist and Concordia graduate Adad Hannah presented plans for “Leap,” a photo-based project on glass, to a congregation of university officials last week. The project was commissioned to portray the mission of the future PERFORM centre, which upon its completion will be a hub for health research, academic training and community service on the Loyola campus. PERFORM (acronym for “prevention, evaluation, rehabilitation, formation”) is a project that will run in conjunction with the department of exercise science. As such, Hannah’s inspiration for the piece comes from Eadweard Muybridge’s studies of human motion. “Leap” displays a series of 17 brightlycoloured human figures engaged in a range of physical activities. The figures are professors, staff and students of the faculty. They symbolize the future users of the PERFORM Centre, the key “leapers” within Concordia’s academic community. The figures are positioned to show different kinds of motion: bending, walking, skipping and so on. Some of the figures are greater than life size to give the viewer a deeper understanding of the piece of work. “Leap” isn’t Hannah’s first foray into public art; he contributed art to the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Hannah said, however, that he doesn’t treat a work of art differently when it is for public as opposed to private use. “In a work like this, of course there is more consideration in terms of whether it will last under rain or snow,” he explained, “but I still want it to work as an art work in the
Adad Hannah “Leap,” which will decorate the walls of the future PERFORM centre. Photo by writer same way.” Although most artists are inspired by their personal life, Hannah does not feel “Leap” has any intimate relation to him. The artist, whose work is exhibited around the world, graduated from Concordia with a master’s degree in fine arts in 2004 and is currently working on his doctorate in interdisciplinary humanities. The act of creating such a work did not seem to impact Hannah at first. “During the making of it, it hadn’t sunk in for me,” he said. “Today, being here is nice.” “We like to make the quality of the art we use available to a wider public,” said president Judith Woodsworth, who was present at
the unveiling. According to her, Concordia’s ethos is that public art should be designed for students, administration and visitors to connect with. “We like to bring [the fine arts’ department’s] quality and make it available to the wider public. We support and promote our art in our daily experience and that of Montreal citizens.” The exercise science program started at Concordia in 1972 as a small department, but has since taken off. According to Dr. Robert Kilgour, professor and chair of the department, the program “has and will become extremely strong in research within Canada and across the world.” Symbolically, the work
of art represents “people who are ready do to something about their lives, ready to do something about their health.” One of the figures in Hannah’s work is Amanda Rossi, a PhD student who has been at Concordia since 2003. She said “it’s an honour to be etched forever in a building that hopefully I’ll be doing research in. […] I’ve been hearing about this since my undergrad, so it’s nice to see something finally materialize. I think it’s just really special.” Dr. Kilgour ended his speech by emphasizing that “this is a fantastic piece of art... [Hannah] is the man of the hour and I have to take my hat off to his work.”
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
La Virée des Ateliers offers insight into the working world of the artist Grover building artists open their doors to the public Jacqueline Di Bartolomeo Assistant arts editor For four days at the end of November, La Virée des Ateliers gave members of the community the chance to observe artists in their natural habitat: their studio space. The event, held at the Grover building in Ville-Marie, ultimately served as a meeting place not only between buyers and sellers of art, but between the artists and the community they live in. “It’s an opportunity for people to come into an artist’s working studio, to see the behind the scenes,” said Patrycja Walton, an artist who helped organize the event. “People like that. People like to see the artists from their grassroots and be able to follow them.” The Grover houses a collective of artists called Sauvons L’Usine. The cooperative was founded in 2005 when they got wind of a plan to turn the former industrial building into condominiums. Their fight to keep the building intact was successful. Moreover, it gave rise to the idea of welcoming the community into their studios. The first Virée, in December 2009, was moderately sized, but its success convinced the artists to create a larger scale event. The next, in May 2010, attracted over 2,000 people. Outside the studios, the building retains its industrial feel. The hallway that leads to Walton’s studio is long and snaking; the wooden floors creak. Three hours before La Virée officially began, the building was nearly deserted. The doors to the artists’ studios, which line the hallway, were all closed. Once they opened, people started to stream in, roaming throughout the building. Walton’s studio is smaller, and brighter. The walls are lined with artwork, and the wooden floors are splotched with paint. The space is friendly - Walton calls it her “second home.”
Pierre Léveillée’s studio is one of many in the Grover building that was open to the public from Nov. 25 to 28. Those who visit become privy to the obstacles the artists must overcome, both in their career and in their personal lives. Walton is a prime example: her struggle with chronic vision loss, incurred while removing mortar from a home over 30 years ago, is a recurring thematic element in her work. “Overnight, being a very successful tapestry weaver with provincial tours in Saskatchewan, [I] had to drop everything because I couldn’t see,” she said. The loss of her eyesight prompted a move to Montreal in 1985 and a foray into painting. However, she returned to working with her hands after being commissioned to create an art show for the blind. Since then, she has worked with sculptures, glass and even recycled materials, always with the underlying theme of vision loss. Walton, and La Virée des Ateliers on the whole, typifies the perennial struggle that artists
are put through to achieve success, or even todefine it. She asked, “If you do art, do you do it for your own pleasure, or do you do it for your own pleasure and to eat, or do you do it so that you hope that you will be able to sell it?” It’s a question she asks herself constantly. “The artist deals with success and failure every day,” she said. “I have beautiful children, wonderful family support, a lot of people that love me all the way around. Is that success? I have no money. Is that success? Is that not success?” La Virée operates on what Walton called a shoestring budget; the artists invest their own money into the event. The previous incarnations of the event benefited from a few small grants, but even those sources of funding dried up. Art has become an extremely competitive career, she noted. “No longer do galleries and what they used to call angels, people that support you who just love art, come to the studios anymore,” she said. This especially doesn’t happen in
Montreal, where “people are just in love with art, and don’t need a reason to buy it, but on the other hand are a little bit hesitant to put money on it.” The balancing act between commercial success and creative integrity is a difficult one, especially for Walton. At the moment, her partner Michel Pedneault, who is also an artist, supplements their revenue by working in renovation, but it’s still not enough to provide financial security. “I wouldn’t mind making a living at it,” Walton said. “I’m tired of being hungry. But I won’t compromise my work in order to please the general public. I can’t do that.” Until then, Walton will continue to walk the line between business and art. For now, she survives off her credit card, “which I think is maxed out,” she laughed. “It’s a battle and a hustle, and I’m a woman who is a multitasker so I know how to do it.”
German breakdance crew too hot to Handel Bach Festival and Red Bull fuse classical and hip hop in unique performance Gabriel Rotily Contributor Organized as part of the Montreal Bach Festival, the premiere of Red Bull Flying Bach at the Saint James United Church on Sunday night was a success. By setting their breakdancing to the music of classic composer and musician Johann Sebastian Bach, Germany’s famous Flying Steps b-boy crew attracted and seduced an audience composed of all demographics. The room was filled with university students, adults, children and grandparents. Although the show has been performed in Berlin, this was its premiere in North America. As a cultural crossroads between North America and Europe, Montreal seemed the perfect choice to experiment with the clash of classical and urban cultures. The dance troupe consisted of one woman and eight men, supported by two pianists and one organist. The music smoothly incorporated Bach’s music with hip-hop elements. There was no dialogue, but a clear narrative developed over the course of the show: the men vied for the affection of the woman while the forces of classical and urban movement struggled to conserve and promote their values. Projected video, images, and dynamic lighting enhanced the church setting, making it even more breathtaking. One projection
Members of German crew Flying Steps egg on a fellow b-boy as he breakdances to the sounds of Bach. Photo by writer was directed toward a white sail held by the team of Flying Steps performers and played some black-and-white clips of slow-motion breakdance moves. The other one was a giant projection of green digitalized faces onto the organ at the back of the church. In addition to the astounding quality of the moves, the troupe also interacted with the audience by faking some jumps on the spectators at the corners of the stage. Flying Steps managed to relate the two different musical styles with humour, elegance and above all, energy.
At first, energy was at first what seemed to be the only link connecting the show with its main organizer, Red Bull Canada. “Red Bull really wants to help organize fun events for people, and this is not limited to extreme sports contests” said student Derek Brenzel, the energy drink’s Student Brand Manager for Concordia. Montreal’s fourth Bach festival started last week, and will continue to feature other concerts to celebrate Bach’s 325th birthday, including a performance of works by Bach,
Brahms and Bruckner by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and and his masterpiece, “The Goldberg Variations,” arranged by Catrin Finch, considered to be “queen of the harp.” Prices for students are less than half the regular price for most concerts. Red Bull Flying Bach’s last show is Nov. 30. The Bach Festival runs until Dec. 8. For more information, check out www.festivalbachmontreal.com
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/concordianarts
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Looking for Anne of Green Gables Takako Miyahiraâ€™s first film tackles Japanâ€™s love for P.E.I. Andre Joseph Cordeiro Staff writer Prince Edward Islandâ€™s most popular export might not be its delicious potatoes, but rather a spirited redhead who lives in the pages of L.M. Montgomeryâ€™s Anne of Green Gables. In Japan, the book and island where the story takes place are a nationwide passion, and generate much tourism in P.E.I. when Japanese tourists want to visit the home of their beloved Akage No An (red-haired Anne). This cultural interest serves as the backdrop to Looking for Anne a new Canadian-Japanese film, opening Dec. 3. Looking for Anne is the story of 17-year-old Anri, who leaves Japan to visit P.E.I. for three weeks. Anriâ€™s grandmother has recently passed away; all she has to relive memories of her grandmother are video clips on her cell phone and posts about flowers and culture on her grandmotherâ€™s blog. Anri stays at a B&B owned by her grandmotherâ€™s friend, Mari, and frequently socializes with an eccentric retired neighbor, Jeff, and the islandâ€™s Japanese tourists. She has a secret mission, however: to find her grandmother Shizukaâ€™s first love, a WWII veteran. They nicknamed each other after the main characters of Looking for Anne , Gilbert and Anne. Anriâ€™s only clues are the copy of Anne of Green Gables that â€œGilbertâ€? gave Shizuka as a gift and the knowledge that he used to live near a lighthouse. She gradually comes out of her shell, befriending some of the houseguests and Jeff, despite his habit of playing bass clarinet late into the evening. Anri slowly unravels the mystery in Nancy Drew fashion, riding her bicycle to the various lighthouses while making new friends, finding love and discovering the value of her grandmotherâ€™s message of peace and love through Anne. Looking for Anne is Takako Miyahiraâ€™s directorial debut, and took only 26 days to shoot after two years of preproduction. Miyahira is a protĂŠgĂŠ of the filmâ€™s producer Claude Gagnon, famous for his 2005 film Kamataki. The film was sponsored by SociĂŠtĂŠ de dĂŠveloppement des entreprises culturelles, the federal government as well as the provincal governments of Quebec and P.E.I. Miyahira said that, alhough the process was stressful, she had the benefit of an experienced staff. The summer of 2008 was very rainy in P.E.I., forcing the crew to budget their time effectively. â€œBut magically,â€? Miyahira excitedly recounted, â€œevery time we had to shoot an outdoor scene, the sky was 100 per cent blue!â€? After touring across all 47 prefectures of Japan in an RV and booking art house theatres to show the film, Miyahira has now garnered international attention for her first film, winning the coveted prizes of best film and best director at the Asian Festival of First Films in Singapore. Casting for the film includes French-Canadian
After her grandmother Shizuka passes away, Anri (Honoka, left) travels to P.E.I. to search for the WWII veteran who was Shizukaâ€™s first love.
Anri befriends the other guests of the B&B where she is staying, including Mika (Wantanabe). actor Daniel Pilon, as well as many Japanese actors including Hanako, who plays Anri and Japanese-Italian opera star Rosanna Zanbon. The film seamlessly interweaves English, Japanese and a little bit of French. Japanâ€™s passion for Anne of Green Gables can be traced back to the early 1950s, when it was made a mandatory reading in all high schools. Miyahira remembers Anne of Green Gables as an influential book in her life. â€œAnne was very
fun to read,â€? she remarked on reading it in high school,â€œbut it also teaches us how to live life. Even though it is a book that was published 100 years ago, it still teaches us the true root of happiness, in communicating with one another.â€? Despite the century that has passed, that ability to connect remains. â€œWe look at technology today, and we often remark about how there are many bad things done with technology. But I wanted to explore the goodness of it
as well, how Anri is able to still feel connected to her grandmother, despite her passing,â€? she explained. â€œHuman beings can develop a nuclear bomb, but at the same time, it is a human being that has written a book that has inspired us to live a better life.â€? Looking for Anne opens on Dec. 3 at the AMC Forum.
>AS>K@BZPVSBAR@>QFLKBOE@>OBBO 5IF64$PNNFSDJBM4FSWJDFBUUIF64$POTVMBUF (FOFSBMJO.POUSFBMXJMMIPTUBOJOGPSNBUJPOTFTTJPO PO%FDFNCFS UPJOUSPEVDFUIF6OJWFSTJUZPG 4PVUIFSO$BMJGPSOJB 64$ BOEJUT.BTUFSPG4DJFODF QSPHSBNTJO&OHJOFFSJOH
1SPTQFDUJWFHSBEVBUFTUVEFOUTDVSSFOUMZFOSPMMFEJO PSXJUIBOFBSOFE#BDIFMPSPG4DJFODFEFHSFFJO &OHJOFFSJOH .BUIPSB)BSE4DJFODFBSFFODPVSBHFE UPBUUFOEUIJTFWFOU1MBDFTGPSUIJTJOGPSNBUJPO TFTTJPOBSFMJNJUFE
(FUBOPWFSWJFXPOMFBEJOHQSPHSBNTTVDIBT(SFFO 5FDIOPMPHJFT 'JOBODJBM&OHJOFFSJOH 1FUSPMFVN &OHJOFFSJOH "FSPTQBDFBOE.FDIBOJDBM&OHJOFFSJOH "TUSPOBVUJDTBOE4QBDF5FDIOPMPHZ $IFNJDBMBOE .BUFSJBMT&OHJOFFSJOH BOE#JPNFEJDBM&OHJOFFSJOH BNPOHPUIFSEJTDJQMJOFT
1MFBTFSFHJTUFSCZ'SJEBZ/PWFNCFS BU XXXUIFNDPODFQUDBPSDBMMFYU
*/'03."5*0/4&44*0/ %FDFNCFS QNUPQN %":-*()5'"$503:4U"MFYBOESF4U .POUSnBM 2D);14RVBSF7JDUPSJB.FUSP
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Write to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
We spoke to the band fun and saw their show with Steel Train and The Postelles at La Sala Rossa! Read all about it on Wednesday: www. theconcordian.com/ music
Stars bring their haunting album home Ten years in and Stars have already made their mark but they intend to keep on shining Katelyn Spidle Music editor Montreal-based group Stars have a lot to brag about. With five full-length albums, five EPs, two Juno nominations, a Polaris Prize nomination, as well as having had songs featured on television programs The O.C. and Degrassi: The Next Generation, it’s safe to say the quintet has enjoyed their fair share of success. “This did not all happen in the bat of an eye,” assured drummer Pat McGee. “We were a band for seven years before anything really started happening.” Conceived in early 2000 in New York City by vocalist Torquil Campbell and keyboardist Chris Seligman, the two gave up their respective Broadway gigs - Campbell was acting while Seligman was playing French horn - and moved to Montreal along with singer/guitarist Amy Millan and bassist Evan Cranley. McGee rounded out the group shortly after. The last few years have been a time of change and reflection for the now 10-year-old band, who certainly has no intention of slowing down. Their fifth LP, The Five Ghosts, was released this past June. The album’s title is a feng shui term which refers to the bad energy left behind in a
Stars have reconnected with their synth-pop sound. Photo by Norman Wong house after a loved one dies. “The theme of ghosts came about [while writing the new album],” said McGee. “There really wasn’t any conscious decision to do it, it was just various events and experiences that arose that dictated what the theme of the album would be,” he continued. As some of the song titles, namely “Dead Hearts,” and “I Died So I Could Haunt You” suggest, the band had to contend with some
troubling circumstances while working on the album. Campbell lost his father, an event which McGee said was very hard on the singer and directly influenced the lyrics in some of the songs. “When you lose someone close to you, it makes you reflect on all the people in your life who are here and not here anymore and how you relate to the people who are no longer here,” the drummer explained. Around the same time, Seligman claims to
have experienced an actual haunting while living in Vancouver. The keyboardist’s paranormal experience was what really kicked off the theme of the album, according to McGee. In making The Five Ghosts, McGee explained that the band wanted to do something different and to get back to a sound from earlier Stars days when they were more of a synth-pop band. “Our last two records were quite grandiose and orchestral, and I think we made a conscious effort to slim things down,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of strings or horns [on the new album] and there are a lot of synthesizers.” The musicians experimented with analog and bass synthesizers as well as electric drums. “We wanted to take what we’ve learned over the years and apply them to a more slimmeddown synthetic sound,” he emphasized. In Canada, the album was released on the band’s own label, Soft Revolution Records. Having been in the business for so many years, they felt that Stars would benefit from more independence and control over their music. The group spent the past few months touring North America extensively. However, after the tour, which ends next week in Montreal, the band will be staying put due the expected arrival of Millan and Cranley’s baby in March 2011. Fans can definitely expect some new tunes in the coming months as the band plans to spend the winter writing new content. “I think we’re going to try to take a new approach to music in that we won’t necessarily sit down and try to write a whole record. [Rather], we just want to take it one song at a time,” McGee hinted. Stars will play with Young Galaxy at Metropolis on Dec. 4.
No bears on bicycles, at least not yet Buke & Gass bring new meaning to “inventive sound” Colin Harris Staff writer Call it quirky if you want, but it’s innovative. This Brooklyn duo makes use of their arms, legs and the female half’s voice to create unorthodox, rhythmic pop. Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez are Buke & Gass, a band named after the unique instruments they play. “We need a light show or something,” said Dyer, who sings and plays the buke, a lowerregister version of the ukelele. “I want to get a bunch of people to have a choreographed dance. I want fireworks and I would like a bear on a bicycle.” To fill out the sound, both members stay seated while performing - Sanchez with a modified kick drum in front of him and Dyer with bells around her ankles. “We’re just sitting there; granted there’s a hell of a lot going on between the two of us,” she continued. “But especially people who aren’t directly in front of us don’t see that we’re using our feet too.” When asked if it’s tough to get people moving with this limited mobility Dyer jokingly responded, “Especially in New York. I’d love to get up and dance myself. I tell the audience that.” The duo released their debut LP Riposte in September and have been gaining recognition ever since. “On the last tour we did with Efterklang we were introducing ourselves to a lot of new people,” said Dyer. “We were really well received, especially on the West Coast. Radiolab really helped us out a lot. They exposed us to
lots of people... otherwise I think they wouldn’t have known what to expect.” “We were the support, but towards the end of the tour there were more and more people coming to see our set,” said Sanchez, who plays his own invention, the gass – a hybrid bass and electric guitar. “We’re both super into rhythm and trying to fuck ourselves over playing really complicated things,” said Sanchez. “I think the desire or perhaps need to do that comes out of the fact that we’re only two people and it’s a way for us to sound bigger, having those weird polyrhythms.” “Especially with the kick drum,” added Dyer. “It’s not like he’s doing what people would consider the kick drum part which would be keeping the beat in a really downbeat way. We’re using it to accentuate a particular part of the rhythm we’re working with.” “It’s more to fill out space, we will use it in percussive moments,” Sanchez said. “It’s like a compositional trick to make things sound like more than they are.” The duo have been involved with electronic music projects in the past but now feel that playing instruments live fits them best. “Playing a real instrument brings on energy a computer couldn’t,” said Sanchez. “I’m not interested in going to see electronic music live; there’s no energy there. We prefer to make all the sounds organically onstage.” With the added creative depth of building their own instruments, Buke & Gass have honed in on a sound that is truly theirs alone. “The fact that we are making the instruments is satisfying in that we are making something unique,” continued Sanchez. “It’s leading us down a path that is a little unorthodox, taking us places that we wouldn’t normally go if we were just playing a guitar or bass.” This inventive style suits the group, who above all want to extend their sense of fun to
Arone Dyer (left) plays the buke while Aron Sanchez plays the gass - both unconventional instruments. Photo by Grant Cornett listeners. real shit happen.” “We just want to move and affect people,” said Sanchez. “It’s not necessarily about the gear Buke & Gass play Casa del Popolo Dec. 3. we’re playing, we’re just trying to make some Tickets are $10.
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/concordianmusic
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
One more reason to switch back to vinyl
Over 350 Canadian musicians, including members of The Tragically Hip, Metric and Nickelback, banded together on Thursday to ask that the government impose a levy on MP3 players. In a letter addressed to Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement, the musicians expressed their concern with Bill C-32, which would allow Canadians to copy music for personal use. The artists, brought together by the Canadian Private Copying Collective, wrote: “MP3 players are this generation’s version of blank media. A copy is a copy and the principle of fair compensation for rights holders should apply whether the copy is made onto blank media or MP3 players.” The letter goes on to suggest that the proposed MP3 player levy could be redistributed to the artists in the form of royalties, much like the levies on blank media which are already in effect.
Cover band Brand Trine (above) got the party started. Photos by Luke Perrin
Local music venue Il Motore turns two years old While celebrating its 2nd anniversary, operator Meyer Billurcu discussed how the venue is doing and what the future holds Corey Pool Contributor The lights dimmed and musicians cranked their amps on Friday night as friends and fans prepared to celebrate Il Motore’s second year in business. The discreet-looking building is located on the corner of Jean-Talon and Waverley Streets in Little Italy. The warehouse-style venue, with its high ceilings and industrial feel, is nonetheless a compact space: a tiny bar lines the back wall and at the front sits a wide, albeit messy stage under dim overhead lights. Turned on by the dingy atmosphere, people willingly crammed the wide floor area to witness a lineup of highenergy bands including Grand Trine, Black Feelings, and TONSTARTSSBANDHT. “We wanted to have a party for our second-year anniversary and we had a few ideas,” said Meyer Billurcu, operator of Il Motore and co-founder of the concert promoting company and former record label Blue Skies Turn Black. “My good friend Sasha is moving to Toronto so I [figured], why don’t we do the anniversary party and get some of [our] favorite bands? We’ll get some DJs and we’ll make it [a] going away party as well as the second anniversary of Il Motore.” Billurcu and his partner Brian Neuman founded BSTB in 1999. They, along with several other partners operate Il Motore, but things are changing. In the beginning, the venue was owned and operated by five different partners. One of them was Mauro Pezzente, bassist for the influential Montrealbased experimental group Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Along with his partner Kiva Stimac, Pezzente runs and manages Mile End music venues Casa del Popolo and La Sala Rossa. However, Pezzente pulled out of Il Motore less than a year after taking it on. “He had a lot on his plate already [with
Casa and Sala] and Il Motore had only been open for a year,” explained Billurcu. “There were still a lot of struggles and the money wasn’t really coming in.” He admitted that some details were overlooked in the beginning. “To be honest, I think we got in over our heads when we first got involved [because] there were just a lot of new challenges and things we didn’t think about [beforehand],” he said. Though booking bands wasn’t much of an issue, thanks to BSTB’s connections, the venue still struggled with finances, new landlords and regulating alcohol and ticket sales. It was a lack of leadership and clarity that needed attention. Billucru explained: “In the last couple months I started looking at Il Motore and asking ‘OK, what can I do with this place to [help it] reach its full potential?.’ I think the one thing we’ve been missing since the beginning was a real sort of vision. No one was really taking the reigns, taking control and saying ‘this is what we should be doing, this is what we need to do.’”
Billurcu and Neuman have many aspirations and plans for Il Motore that they are excited to put into action in the coming year. One such change will see them stepping into the driver’s seat. “It looks like within the next couple months, Brian and I are probably going to take over Il Motore completely from all the old partners,” Billurcu revealed. “It’s probably going to be 100 per cent Blue Skies’ establishment pretty soon.” BSTB alone already have between 20 and 30 events set for the new year and Billurcu believes that this is only the beginning. “I think 2011 is going to be a really good year for Il Motore because now we have some freedom to approach it show by show and [ask ourselves]: what’s best for the show, [and] what can we do to make the circumstances for this show work best at Il Motore? Not just for Blue Skies, but for anyone who is renting.”
Off the road again
Country star Willie Nelson was arrested on Friday after Border Patrol agents allegedly discovered six ounces of marijuana on his tour bus. The 77-year-old “Whiskey River” songwriter was traveling to his next show in Austin when he was stopped at a checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas. He was taken into custody, but posted the $2,500 bail and is continuing his current musical tour. If convicted, Nelson could face up to 180 days in county jail.
Fans tell Kanye to get stuffed at Thanksgiving Day parade
Hip-Hop star Kanye West got the cold shoulder last Friday at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The “Power” hitmaker was heckled and booed by attendees of the annual event. Upon seeing the big apple float the rapper was riding, the crowd began chanting “Taylor,” a reference to Kanye’s infamous interruption during the 2009 MTV VMA’s. In a video that has found its way onto YouTube, jeers of “You’re an asshole, buddy!” and “Hey, Kanye! Jump!” can be heard as West’s float paraded down 7th Avenue.
The Doctor is out
Super-producer Dr. Dre announced that his next album Detox would be his last as a performer. The former N.W.A. star said he had a hard time completing the record because he felt that, at 45, he had trouble “being able to identify with the younger audience.” Dre says he intends to focus on cultivating the new talent in hip hop, but that will be the limit of his involvement: “As far as me going into the mic booth, that shit is over. I’m always going to talent scout and try to find new artists to work with. But, yeah, that’s it.” Detox is scheduled for release this February.
Gaga goes off the grid
Starting Tuesday, a host of artists including Lady Gaga, Usher and Justin Timberlake will be giving up social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter for charity. The celebrities’ digital disappearances were orchestrated by R&B star Alicia Keys as a way to raise funds for her Keep A Child Alive organization. The stars have agreed to maintain their virtual silence until the charity receives $1 million in donations. To donate or find out more, visit keepachildalive.org. Local experimental group Black Feeling (above) made a quaint speech before starting their set.
National Anthems Colin Harris Staff writer
Canada is full of high-calibre musicians. This is a quality that can easily be seen when living in one of the country’s most vibrant artistic centres: Montreal. Here are a collection of songs from bands that aren’t from Montreal, although a
couple did move here for a while. Some are still playing and some are now defunct. While some tour the world, others stick to their scene. Enjoy the tunes, eh! To listen go to www.8tracks.com/ the_concordian/national-anthems.
1. “My Friends Are All Assholes” - Male Nurse - Everything’s Amazing, No One’s Happy, 2009 2. “Liberties” - Attack in Black - Years (By One Thousand Fingertips), 2009 3. “Hendrix With Ko” - Manitoba - Up in Flames, 2003 4. “Freedom” - Clock Strikes - Lost And Found, 2004 5. “Apparatchik” - For The Mathematics - We Impend, 2006 6. “He Was A Jazzman” The Flatliners - Cavalcade, 2010 7. “Copy Constructor” - We Fled Cairo - Adult Braces, 2010 8. “Goodbye Baby & Amen” - Constantines - Shine A Light, 2003 9. “Drain The Blood” - The Rural Alberta Advantage Hometowns, 2008 10. “Lotus Flower” - The Souljazz Orchestra - Rising Sun, 2010
11. “If One Day I Go Mad” - Trevor James & The Perfect Gentlemen - Trevor James & The Perfect Gentlemen, 2008 12. “Danse Macabre” - Wintersleep - Untitled, 2005 13. “(I Am Like a) River” Sebastien Grainger - Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains, 2008 14. “Tic Toc” - Mother Mother - Touch Up, 2007 15. “What to Say” - Born Ruffians - Say It, 2010 16. “Oh, My” - Hilotrons Bella Simone, 2006 17. “Sometimes I Feel So Sick At The State Of The World I Can’t Even Finish My Second Apple Pie” - The Bulletproof Tiger - Stab The New Cherry, 2009 18. “Interlude 3” - Jetplanes of Abraham - Jetplanes of Abraham, 2006 19. “Blueprint” - Arkells Jackson Square, 2008 20. “When We go” - Jon Brooks - Moth Nor Rust, 2009
Generationals – Trust (Park The Van; 2010)
Bikini- RIPJDS (Lefse Records; 2010)
Summer Camp – Young (Moshi Moshi; 2010)
Death From Above – Heads Up! (Ache Records; 2002)
Sunshine, camping trips, walks on the sand and drinks by the pool. Being now at December’s door, these things couldn’t be further from our minds. However, one listen to Generationals’ new EP Trust will leave us dreaming of the lazy late-summer afternoons we’ve all but left behind. Generationals are comprised of Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner, two Southern boys with a clear sense of musical direction. Each song on Trust features catchy bass riffs and shiny guitars, giving the EP a very playful feel. The title track inquires: “Do you feel like you’re living with a curse then? Are you making it worse then? Can you take any more?” hinting that someone else may understand what the slow crawl towards another Montreal winter is like. In any case, Trust’s sombre lyrics and light-hearted music might make it the right soundtrack for this time of year, injecting a little sunshine into an otherwise grey day.
Bikini’ s second album RIPJDS dishes out feel-good vibes that are reminiscent of gleefully skipping in the park on beautiful summer days. The songs will make you curse the recent cold weather and daylight’s 4 p.m. curfew. Under the monikers Oliver Oliver and Nigel Diamond, this New York electro duo describes itself as “Salinger on MDMA.” Their staple murky bass and chiming melodies will have you tapping your foot within seconds. The track “(((()))) / Diamond’ s Departure” puts the EP in first gear with lo-fi waves of ether. Next are the songs “Palm-Aire” and “ ACheerlaeder.” These songs are the pillars that support the album’ s six songs, with lilting vocals and infectious melodies which you won’t be able to help gyrating to. Once you’ve found your way to the end, you will be greeted by the ever-pretentious title “Untitled (Bonus Track)” and lulling falsettos and piano, which will see you off in the same melancholy manner as our recent parting with summer.
British duo Summer Camp plays mostly upbeat indie pop and consists of Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey. They formed the band a little over a year ago, but that hasn’t stopped their electronic pop from meshing together seamlessly. With such contrasting voices, one would think that the combination would give an uneven result. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Songs like “Round the Moon” and “Ghost Train” boast catchy beats and lyrics that will inspire thoughts of a summer camp in the ‘70s. For reasons which are most likely due to the myriad of instruments used in the songs, the whole album throws the listener back in time. This is a quality that should not be taken for granted. With all the bands out there that sound alike, Summer Camp truly manages to stand out with something original and of substance.
Above was a breath of fresh air during a time when punk had become segregated into weird emo hierarchies and multi-member twee-pop bands were on the cusp of acceptance. Both predating and providing the inspiration for the deluge of stale dance rock that would eventually infiltrate the mass consciousness of indie rock audiences, DFA stomped like a punk band, skronked like stoner fuzz metal, but was savvy enough to appeal to club kids. The group was eventually forced to affix the 1979 to their name due to murky legal issues. Unfortunately, they would never again capture the rawness that made this six-song EP so appealing. In a relatively short amount of time, Death From Above would evolve from an obscure garage phenomenon to opening for Nine Inch Nails. And after releasing a vaguely misogynistic full-length, the band thankfully broke up. Nonetheless, Heads Up! still holds up as an excellent introduction to an already bygone era.
Trial Track: “Trust”
Trial Track: “Round the Moon”
Trial Track: “Palm-Aire”
- Nelson Landry
- Dominique Daoust
Trial Track: “Dead Womb”
- Chris Morin
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/concordianmusic
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Indie-pop tunes with a grunge-punk attitude Montreal’s Parlovr prove that you don’t need fancy instruments and a lot of friends to be successful in today’s music scene Katelyn Spidle Music editor It’s refreshing to meet a band who doesn’t appear to take itself too seriously. Sporting wily grins and brimming with sarcasm, singer/guitarist Alex Cooper and singer/guitarist/ keyboardist Louis Jackson of Parlovr artfully recreated the heartwarming series of events which gave birth to the Montreal trio. Cooper and Jackson used to play in a poppunk band back in the day, but it disintegrated and they lost touch. In 2006, they happily, albeit accidentally, reunited at a show and, after a nifty celebration which included broken beer bottles, smashed instruments and black eyes, the two moved into a loft they named “The Parlour.” “We needed a business as a front to be able to live there because it was a commercial loft,” Cooper explained between sips from his tallboy of Pabst. Drummer Jeremy MacCuish joined in 2008 and within a year the group self-released
Louis Jackson (left) and Jeremy MacCuish (centre) and Alex Cooper of Parlovr. Photo by Alex Cairncross their self-titled debut. The LP was re-released in 2010 on Dine Alone Records, along with a four-track EP entitled Hell/Heaven/Big/Love. Although some may assume that the spelling of Parlovr was a simple attempt at being trendy and clever, the story is much more complicated. A noise band from Ohio goes by the same name - news that came in the form of a telephone call from the group’s manager to organizers of Under The Sun, a music festival in Montreal that Parlovr was to be playing at. Fans had been delightedly posting all over the Cleveland band’s Myspace page after see-
ing the Montreal group’s name on the lineup. So to avoid further confusion, Parlour became Parlovr. Unlike many bands which emerged around the time that they started playing, the threepiece is perfectly content with not following the trend toward multi-member musical collectives. “It was all the same band,” Louis remarked of the music scene at the time. “It just seemed so incestuous and I wasn’t incestuous with anybody because I didn’t know anyone.” Cooper laughed, adding “I think we kind
of missed the idea of just having a threepiece playing rock ‘n’ roll.” To elaborate on that point, Jackson said: “I’d like to have some strings in some parts, but I wouldn’t have a fucking violinist and a cellist at every show just so that they could play three bars. There’s no need for that.” The self-proclaimed “sloppy pop band” have long-since bid farewell to their high school days, but it was during that time when their musical tastes reached their full maturity. “When you talk about influences, [they] stop at a certain age,” said Cooper. “You get your main influences and then you don’t really change them after that.” “We grew up in the ‘90s, [so] that’s the music we listen to,” Jackson added. While most bands are in an endless crusade against categorization, Parlovr are more than happy to offer detailed, precise, yet humorous descriptions of their music. They are currently in the process of recording a new album which will hopefully be released in late spring 2011. According to Cooper, the record could fall under the made-up category of “spacey, surfy, sexy, sloppy pop.” Jackson’s vision was even more imaginative: “If you take an Elvis movie and put it in space and then add a bunch of naked chicks [you’ll get the new album.]” How thrilling! Having played a series of festivals in the past year including M for Montreal, North By Northeast, South By Southwest, Osheaga, Mini M, CMJ and Pop Montreal, the band will be making their way down to Texas for a tour that will start in January 2011. Catch Parlovr at Cabaret du Mile End on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Write to the editor: email@example.com
Desmarais Zen state at the foul line lifts Concordia over McGill Will last two wins keep Stingers in the national top 10? Kamila Hinkson Sports editor Kyle Desmarais found himself at the free throw line four times in the last two minutes of the Stingers’ home opener Friday night. McGill had jumped out to a 60-53 lead earlier in the quarter, but took four fouls in five minutes and Concordia benefitted from the bonus free throws that resulted from McGill’s frustration. When Desmarais stepped up to the line for the first time in the quarter, Decee Krah’s fifth three-pointer of the night had tied the score at 65. His first shot went in, but not the second. The Stingers had a one-point lead. But another foul on McGill rookie Simon Bibeau sent Desmarais right back to the line. This time, he made no mistake. In fact, he was perfect at the line for the rest of the game, netting six points for Concordia and lifting them over the Redmen by a score of 72-68. Standing on the foul line so late in the game when the score is close may be daunting for some. But Desmarais knows he’s the right guy for the job. “In my head I say ‘Okay. I’ve been there before, I’ve done it before, it’s no big deal, I wouldn’t rather anybody on the line but me.’ So that kind of calms me down. ” He also mentioned that head coach John Dore’s new relaxation techniques help him in those kinds of situations. “We also do some meditation, so we practice
methods and ways of calming yourself down so that you’ll be able to just cool out and get the shot.” McGill scored the first basket of the game, but also took the first foul. James Clark made two of three foul shots to tie the game at two. Bibeau came out strong for the Redmen, making a basket, two three-pointers and recording a steal in a matter of three minutes. With five minutes left in the opening quarter, Evens Laroche was dribbling at the top of McGill’s key. Seeing no opportunities to pass, a look of pure determination came over his face and he drove right in through the McGill defenders and drew a foul. The two shots he made at the line were good and brought the Stingers within one. But Concordia could never grab the lead in the first. They went into the second quarter trailing 20-15. About 40 seconds into the second quarter, Desmarais stole a bounce pass intended for McGill’s Olivier Bouchard and made a layup. Krah sunk his second three-pointer of the night and Concordia had their first lead of the game, 23-22. The Redmen would regain the lead after a jump shot by Bibeau and a free throw by veteran Michael White, but Morgan Tajfel made two shots from beyond the arc and gave the Stingers their biggest lead of the game, 29-25. McGill tied it up two minutes later, then took the lead after a basket by Karim Sy-Morissette. But with seconds left on the clock, Jean-Andre Moussignac dribbled down the court and passed to Aamir Gyles, who powered through the key to take the shot. At the last minute, he dished to Kevin Selman, who put it up for his second basket of the season. At the half, the score was tied at 33.
The Stingers’ Kyle Desmarais hangs from the net after a dunk. Photo by Cindy Lopez The two teams kept the score close in the third. The Stingers secured 13 rebounds in the quarter alone, compared to McGill’s two. Laroche generated seven of Concordia’s 18 points in the quarter, including three when he made a shot but was fouled by Nicholas Langley. But the Stingers still trailed the Redmen by the end of the third quarter and continued to trail until three minutes had elapsed in the third, when Zach Brisebois’ two foul shots started the Stingers’ comeback from a 60-53 deficit. Brisebois finished the night with eight rebounds, the most of any player on either team. Laroche and Krah carried most of the offensive weight for the Stingers, netting 20 and 18 points respectively.
Desmarais netted 13 points, including his foulline heroics at the end of the game. Coach Dore gave McGill credit for their performance and acknowledged that the games will be tough this year. “Everybody knows each other really well… so every game is going to be highly competitive,” he said after the game. At the end of last week, the team was ranked sixth in Canada. The standings for this week will be released after press time. The Stingers won their game on Saturday against Bishop’s 74-65. They will host Laval at home in a rematch of their season opener Dec. 4. Tip off is at 6 p.m.
Stingers can’t tarnish McGill’s perfect record Late game points blitz not enough to beat the Martlets in the home opener Kamila Hinkson Sports editor The women’s basketball team wasn’t able to pull off a come-from-behind win on Friday and succumbed to the McGill Martlets by a score of 61-57. Missed shots were a problem for the Stingers, especially at the foul line. The team went 5-for15 on free throws, 6-for-20 on three-pointers and 17-for-46 on two-point field goals. They couldn’t seem to catch a break, some shots missing the net while others just didn’t go in. “We were tight, then we missed some shots, and we got tighter,” explained head coach Keith Pruden.“I understand why the girls were tight. I was nervous, it’s a home game, a personal game, it’s McGill… you know, they really wanted to do well, and they screwed up. You got to deal with that, and we didn’t.” McGill jumped to an early lead. Marie-Ève Martin hit a three-point shot, Anneth Him-Lazarenko, last season’s Martlets MVP, made a jump shot and Natalie Larocque made a three as well to make the score 8-0. But the Stingers went on a tear of their own when Anne-Marie Prophete nailed a three-pointer and a free throw, Magalie Beaulieu scored after Kaylah Barrett stole the ball
off of Martin, and Barrett scored after Yasmin Jean-Philippe forced a McGill turnover. The score was tied at eight. Stinger Kendra Carrie was productive in the last five minutes of the quarter, recording a rebound, a block, an assist and two baskets. McGill was ahead by two at the end of the first, but Carrie tied up the score at 16 early in the second quarter. With a little under five minutes to play in the half, Barrett missed a shot down low and Prophete recuperated her rebound. Her shot also missed, but Barrett was there to get that rebound. She missed again, retrieved her own rebound and scored. Prophete added two points of her own 30 seconds later and tied the game at 26. The Stingers trailed 33-31 heading into halftime. Jean-Philippe powered through the key and put up two points for Concordia early in the third. McGill would score next, but a three-pointer by Jean-Philippe and a basket by Prophete evened out the game. A three-pointer attempt by Prophete bounced off the rim, but Nekeita Lee was there to get the rebound. Prophete was fouled by Valérie L’Ecuyer under the net and she made one of the two ensuing free throws. The Stingers scored two more points after that, on a basket by Jessica Eng. The Martlets added 12 points to their total and headed into the fourth with a 50-41 lead. Prophete fouled out of the game early in the last quarter after four fouls were against her in a matter of 40 seconds. Neither team put many points on the board until the Stingers’ offensive onslaught started
with about three minutes left in the game. The Stingers trailed by 13 points when Carrie scored a basket from inside the paint. Barrett stepped to the free throw line 30 seconds later and made both shots to bring the score to 59-50. Andreanne Grégoire-Boudreau made it 59-55 after she sank a three-point shot, then beat the shot clock buzzer down low beneath the McGill basket. Martlet Roya Assadi pushed Carrie down while she was shooting, and though she missed both free throws, she came back with a basket soon after. The Stingers were down by two points with 58 seconds on the clock. But it was Him-Lazarenko who hammered the final nail into the Stingers’ coffin, making a jump shot that put the win just out of Concor-
dia’s reach. Including free throws, it was her 15th basket of the night. “I’m not very happy with a lot of what I saw today, but the good part was that we didn’t stop playing,” Pruden said. “When [McGill] went on that little run [at the end of the third quarter] they could have easily opened it up to a 15- or 16-point lead and we didn’t allow that. Which was good, and it’s good that we went at them at the end, but the other thing that I just asked them was ‘Where was that the whole game?’” The Laval Rouge et Or will have a chance to avenge their loss to the Stingers on Dec. 4, when they visit the Concordia Gymnasium. Game time is 8 p.m.
Stinger Nekeita Lee keeps the ball away from two McGill defenders. Photo by Cindy Lopez
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/concordiansports NHL
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me NHL players comment on the lack of respect in the game today Marc Soumako Contributor In light of what has been going on in the NHL in last year, the word “respect” gets thrown around a lot. Vicious hits to the head and cheap shots were and still are being dished out throughout the league. Two blindsided hits made headlines last year. Philadelphia Flyer Mike Richards’ hit on Florida Panthers forward David Booth started the debate. The incident began when Booth made a pass in the neutral zone. As his eyes were following the play to the left, Richards came charging from the right and lined up a perfect shot to Booth’s head. Booth missed almost the entire season due to concussion-like symptoms. The league decided to do nothing, as there was no rule against these hits. Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins laid a similar hit on Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins. Instead of a pass in the neutral zone, Savard took a shot in the offensive zone. Cooke hit him the same way as Richards did Booth. The league again looked the other way. Before the beginning of the 2010-11 season, the league decided to act. They cracked down on blindsided hits to the head. They made a video to ensure that everyone around the league was aware of what is considered a suspendable offence. The video displayed clear examples of what not to do and what is tolerated. The hits from Richards and Cooke were the main examples the league used as suspendable offences. Players did not get the message. The NHL is currently on pace to shatter its record for concussions in a season. Colin Campbell, senior VP and director of hockey operations, is handing out suspensions for these hits at a rapid pace. He has already suspended or fined 11 players for dangerous hits to the head. The league is doing what it can to rectify
the problem. Now it is up to the players to respect their opponents and their well-being. “Respect” is a loosely used word across the league. After a game on Nov. 16 that saw the Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0, Mike Richards called out Canadiens’ rookie defenseman P.K. Subban for having no respect for veteran players, saying Subban was running his mouth during the game. Richards demands respect, but he “respectfully” ended David Booth’s season last year. Booth has not been the same since that hit. Josh Gorges, a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, is seeing the difference in attitude. “As years go on, there’s less and less respect,” said Gorges. “There’s no real consequence. You miss a game, you get suspended or you get fined. That’s never good and you have to do it, but what does it really do?” Other players, such as Gorges’ teammate Hal Gill, believe the instigator rule is to blame. The rule says players must have mutual consent to drop the gloves. If one attacks the other without consent, the instigator will be penalized. “It used to be that you would hit a guy and you would get jumped and get beaten up and it would be a pretty good deterrent and that doesn’t happen anymore,” said Gill. When the lockout ended in 2005, league officials were looking to get the fans back by giving them a better show. They elected to remove clutching and grabbing from the game by becoming less tolerant of interference and hooking. As a consequence, the game is now faster, and players generate more speed before delivering the punishing blows. Los Angeles Kings forward Justin Williams acknowledged that. “Players have had to adapt to different changes in the game with interference and the lack of holding and hooking. That has been attributed to some of the head shots.” The league is cracking down on these hits, but the punishment isn’t getting through to the players. They have voiced their opinions, and believe the instigator rule should be removed, so that they can police themselves. Fear and respect usually seem to skate hand in hand. The word “respect” does not exist in the professional ranks. Respect in the NHL is as useful as the goalies’ blue area in front of the net: it’s there but completely ignored. It’s a relic of the past.
Graphic by Katie Biroux
Charles-Antione Messier takes a shot on net. Photo by Faiz Imam
Men’s hockey losing streak extends to four Goaltender Maxime Joyal struggles in weekend games against Lakehead Simon Tousignant Staff writer The Stingers’ woes continue after they lost twice to the Lakehead Thunderwolves in a two-game home series this past weekend. Concordia suffered a complete meltdown on Friday night and was outclassed 11-2 by Lakehead. The Thunderwolves got on the board only 32 seconds after the game started. Brock McPherson made matters worse for the Stingers a minute later when he doubled the lead for the visitors. Sadly for Concordia, it was only the beginning of a very long game. Lakehead added three more goals before the Stingers finally answered. Derek Famulare opened the score for Concordia with just under five minutes to go in the first frame. Stefan Lutzenkirchen picked up an assist on the play. Maxime Joyal allowed three more goals in the first half of the second period before he was replaced by Sheldon Baerg. However, it didn’t stop Lakehead from adding another goal in the second period when forward Brennan Menard scored his second of the frame. Dominic Martel scored the Stingers’s other goal of the game just over seven minutes into the third. Alexandre Monahan and Charles-
Antoine Messier picked up points on the goal. It was too little too late as Lakehead then scored twice to end the game with a nine goal lead. Concordia had a better game on Saturday but lost its fourth straight after giving up a big lead in the first period. The Thunderwolves scored five unanswered goals in the first and second periods before the Stingers got on the board. Messier scored 4:52 into the second period off a pass from Monahan. Concordia added to the score just 20 seconds later when Kyle Kelly scored the Stingers’ second goal of the game; Monahan and Jesse Goodsell grabbed the assists. Lakehead grabbed a four-goal lead back with just over three minutes remaining in the second period. Concordia had an encouraging start in the third period, scoring two goals a minute apart. First, Monahan scored his ninth goal of the season, collecting his third point of the game. Messier got an assist on the powerplay tally. Then, George Lovatsis beat Thunderwolves goaltender Kyle Moir after passes from Goodsell and Joyal. However, with 3:34 remaining in the third, Lakehead put the nail in the coffin when forward Devon Welsh beat Joyal to make the score 7-4. Joyal allowed a total of 15 goals on 57 shots for the weekend. The Stingers are now taking a break for the holidays. They will be back in action on Jan. 9 as they host powerhouse McGill Redmen at Ed Meagher Arena; the puck drops at 3 p.m.
Write to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org DRINKING
Banning Four Loko is no solution at all Education, not prohibition, is key and the United States should lower their legal drinking age Kelsey Pudloski Contributor Four cans of beer, two cups of coffee, one nasty hangover. Mix these ingredients together and you’ve got Four Loko, the caffeinated alcoholic beverage that sent nine Central Washington University freshmen to the hospital and ignited a debate in the United States on whether the drink should be banned. Four Loko has been dubbed a “blackout in a can;” it was invented by university students, for university students. Prior to the investigation, the beverage was sold throughout most of the United States and Europe. Four Loko comes in eight fruity malt-liquor flavours and sells for about $3.50 a can; A fiscally responsible investment for young party-goers. It had not even made it past the Canadian border before a group of watchdog politicians from the state of Washington began calling for its demise. My apologies, Canucks, for you will never be able to experience the wonder that is purple-coloured vomit. Experts argue that caffeine, a stimulant, offsets feelings of drowsiness caused by
alcohol, a depressive. This combination keeps the person alert, allowing them to drink more than they perhaps normally would. Since the controversy began in October, Four Loko has been banned by dozens of universities and in six states. On Nov. 17, the United States Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to the manufacturers of the beverage demanding they remove its caffeine content and the company agreed to comply. By mid-December, Four Loko will no longer exist anywhere in its caffeinated form. But who is actually at fault here? The producers of Four Loko or those college students who chose to consume it illegally and in excess? Why isn’t anyone pointing fingers at them? It’s a typical freshman, typical politician scenario. If you ask me (an American), it’s our entire messed drinking culture. I live in a magical land where soldiers can die for their country at age 18 but cannot drink a beer with dinner — thanks a heap, Ronald Reagan. Our drinking age might technically be 21 but this has done nothing to curb binge drinking on college campuses. In reality, it has spurred more of it, as students are confined to cramped house parties where “social drinking” doesn’t exist. I’ve been there myself; I attended my first year of university down south, where the purpose of drinking is to get drunk. There are beer bongs, keg stands and drinking games galore at these parties. When I packed up my winter coat and moved to Montreal, I essentially became the Boo Radley of nightlife. I slowly emerged from the grimy basements of student housing and took to the streets, eagerly exploring the
clubs and bars of the city. “Going out” takes on a whole new meaning in this province. It’s not just about “gettin’ slizzard”: it’s about dancing, meeting new people and having a genuinely good time with friends. While it might not always be wholesome fun, it’s certainly more entertaining than sitting on that couch at the Frat house (the one with mysterious stains on it) and gossiping with your roommate about how Sally Smith is a whore for wearing a miniskirt in November. Perhaps if the United States were to once and for all reduce the drinking age to 18, our culture would gradually shift towards that of Quebec. If students were exposed to and educated about the effects of alcohol at a younger age, they might develop a glimmer of common sense by the time they leave home to begin university. And hey, President Obama—it would stimulate our miserable economy! Take a cue from this province and tax the hell out of it. Whether or not Four Loko is banned across America, students will continue to find ways to get obliterated in the same fashion. Vodka Redbulls? Tilt? Bailey’s and coffee? Jägerbombs? There are plenty of other products on
the market that produce the same effect. Over the weekend, while visiting my boyfriend in Vermont, I decided to try my first (and probably last) Four Loko. While I’m not particularly heartbroken that these drinks are being taken off the shelves (grape-flavored beer is not my favourite), I can’t help but feel embarrassed over how my country has reacted to this situation. It’s the students who need be held accountable, not the beverage manufacturers. So America, raise your final can of Four Loko and—in the words of Kanye West—“have a toast for the douchebags” who run this place.
Graphic by Katie Biroux
Is Montreal trying to get rid of cars? Recent legislation suggests so Morgan Lowrie Copy editor In Montreal, car owners are under attack. In recent years, the municipal and provincial governments have unrolled some of the strongest anti-car legislation out there. The latest measure is the new car tax. Beginning in January, car owners will pay an extra fee to register their vehicles. The exact amount is based on the engine’s number of cylinders, but is estimated at an “average maximum” of $50 for most car owners, with the profits supposedly going towards public transit. This comes despite the fact that motorists already pay a special 1.5 cents per-litre gas tax for this purpose, as well as a $30 public transit tax each time we renew our licences. Let’s do the math. A small economy car like a Honda Civic has a gas tank of about 50 litres. That means that the driver of such a car pays about 75 cents for public transit every time they fill up. If they buy gas three times per month, that comes out to $2.25 a month, or $27 a year. Add that to the $30 licensing fee, and the new (approximately) $50 car tax. That is over $100 per year that car owners will now pay in extra taxes. This is in addition to the regular taxes that every Quebec resident already pays towards transit. For Concordia students using the University’s parking lots, the fees begin to quickly add up. A student using one of Loyola’s parking lots pays $145 a term. Students unlucky enough to be driving downtown face a university parking lot fee that ranges from $3.25 for a half-hour to the daily maximum of $12.75. It’s easy to see that students, who may have no other option but to drive in to Concordia, will be feeling the pain of the car tax even more than regular drivers.
For drivers looking to park their cars on the street it doesn’t get any easier. Parking meters are springing up like weeds all over the city, and the price keeps rising. Last week, a city council meeting in the Plateau almost came to blows as several merchants’ associations came together to complain about the borough’s plan to increase both the number and the price of meters in the neighbourhood. They claim that the plan will discourage out-of-town shoppers and drive them out of business. Their supposed representatives in government refused to listen, and would be plowing along with their agenda regardless had the mayor not intervened and stopped the boroughs from gaining control of the meters. In general, anti-car rhetoric pervades every level of public discourse. With every new plan that is unveiled for the Turcot interchange, more protesters complain that there should be fewer car lanes. In the Plateau, streets are being permanently closed to auto traffic. It is becoming harder and harder to park anywhere for free. Many boroughs in Montreal now require expensive residential parking passes in some of the higher-density areas (in N.D.G., they cost $60). Where is all this money going? Car owners already pay much more than anyone else does in public transit taxes. This money is supposed to improve transit so we can all drive less. Yet, we have not seen much improvement in service. Instead of looking at their finances and the way transit is managed, the municipal government decides to slap another tax on drivers. They get away with it by playing the environmental card, and by counting on the fact that nobody wants to speak up to defend motorists. It’s like taxing cigarettes, or raising taxes on the highest-income earners. Car owners are bad people, right? They’re wealthy and environmentally irresponsible. They should feel guilty about owning cars. The fact is, on many parts of the island,
aw ersh K n ea by S hic p a Gr
public transit just isn’t all that great. Large areas of the northeastern portions of the city have no metro stops coming anywhere near their neighbourhood. Those West Islanders who are not lucky enough to live right on the 211 bus route often face a bus commute of upwards of an hour. Many of them take the train into work, most of the West Island residents I know have to drive to even get to the station. Furthermore, many of the cars in the city are owned by families. Try getting around with a toddler or buying groceries for five by bus. But besides this, car owners shouldn’t have to justify every time they get behind the wheel. Municipal politicians are elected to represent
the interests of their constituents. Car owners vote and pay taxes too. Why does nobody advocate for them? Why are their interests not represented? Now, it is a given that public transit is important and that we need to promote it. In the city, most car owners tend to get around using a combination of transit, walking and driving. The better the transit system gets, the more likely people are to use it, and that’s a good thing for everyone. The burden for funding it just shouldn’t fall so disproportionately on the backs of car drivers. So, to the municipal politicians: car owners are people, too.
Concordia’s weekly, independent student newspaper. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010 Volume 28 Issue 14. Sarah Deshaies Editor-in-chief email@example.com Brennan Neill Managing editor firstname.lastname@example.org Evan LePage News editor email@example.com Jacques Gallant Assistant news editor Emily White Life editor firstname.lastname@example.org Savannah Sher Assistant life editor Valarie Cardinal Arts editor email@example.com Jacqueline Di Bartolomeo Assistant arts editor Katelyn Spidle Music editor firstname.lastname@example.org Kamila Hinkson Sports editor email@example.com Chris Hanna Opinions Eeditor firstname.lastname@example.org Owen Nagels Assistant opinions editor Jacob Serebrin Online editor email@example.com Tiffany Blaise Photo editor firstname.lastname@example.org Katie Brioux Graphics editor email@example.com Aeron MacHattie Chief copy editor firstname.lastname@example.org Trevor Smith Morgan Lowrie Copy editors Jill Fowler Production manager production@theconcordian. com Jennifer Barkun Francois Descoteaux Lindsay Sykes Production Assistants Board of Directors Tobi Elliott Ben Ngai Richard Taradif email@example.com Editorial 7141 Sherbrooke St. W. CC.431 Montreal, QC H4B 1R6 514.848.2424 x7458 (Newsroom) 514.848.2424 x7499 (Editors) 514.848.2424 x7404 (Production) Francesco Sacco Business Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Marshall Johnston Advertising advertising@theconcordian. com Business and Advertising: 1455 de Maisonneuve W. H.733-4 Montreal, QC H3G 1M8 514.848.2424 x7420 (Office) 514.848.7427 (Fax) STAFF WRITERS AND CONTRIBUTORS: Renee Giblin, Michael Lemieux, Cindy Lopez, Sarah Ladik. Emilie Salvi, Race Capet, Andre-Joseph Cordeiro, Gabriel Rotily, Corey Pool, Colin Harris, Rob Flis, Andrew Guilbert, Dominique Daoust, Nelson Landry, Chris Morin, Simon Tousignant, Kelsey Pudloski, Eva Kratochvil, Morgan Lowrie, Matias Garabedian, Faiz Imam, Sean Kershaw
editorial Thanks for the snacks; but where s the meat? It’s time the CSU gets back on track with its mission
Last week, the Facebook profile photos of the Concordia Student Union executives and their supporters blazed hot pink with signs of enthusiasm for the student centre fee-levy increase referendum. The polls closed, the votes were slowly tallied and the results came out: seven out of 10 of voters, a slim margin of the undergraduate student body as whole, decided another increase to their student fees was not what they wanted. But that was last week, and now the same people’s profiles blare more sombre, earthy tones of yellow, orange and blue. This time, the message is for you to hop on a bus and join them at a mass student protest against tuition hikes on Dec. 6 in Quebec City. The protest is scheduled to coincide with a meeting between the provincial government, heads of the universities and different lobby groups. The date, says president Heather Lucas, was a gesture of ill will on behalf of the organizers, picked at a time when students are wrapping up classes and buckling down to study for finals. In the blink of an eye, the student establishment has gone from hands outstretched to fellow students, to fists clenched up and raised in protest against the man. Of course, the two campaigns at hand are different in a sense: one was asking for a higher payout for a student centre. The other is a rallying cry against tuition hikes that will negatively impact students. But the bottom line is this: both eventual outcomes would affect students’ pockets by further emptying them. And whether you’re struggling to buy groceries, make loan payments, or your parents’ wallets are hurting, you’re watching every cent. The CSU misjudged this campaign; it’s clear the yes campaign put up a good fight for something they believed in. That K’nex dome in the Hall building is a good indication of what lengths they would go to to get their message
Graphic by Katie Biroux
across. But, as it turns out, Concordia students are no fools; we’re not misled by a hazy mirage floating in the not-so-distant future. The student centre plans had too many sketchy details. Perhaps it was just too ambitious a project. Or perhaps we just did not want to pay more for something that won’t materialize until after our diplomas have long been gathering dust on our walls. The appearance of vigorous but supposedly illegal opposition campaigns, and the resulting weekend petition chiding the CSU, proved that there are students who do care about the work the CSU does beyond planning cultural nights and producing discounted coffee mugs. While perhaps not an organized opposition, it’s doing a decent job so far at keeping the CSU in check. Lucas has acknowledged the petition. It’s a call to regroup, and this new campaign to transport protesters to a province-wide march smacks of good sense. If anything, this year’s edition of student government has shown itself to be adaptable
Re: In defense of moderation, issue no. 13 Alex Woznica blamed the problem of low participation in student politics on “radical and unrealistic anti-capitalist” groups. However, this is an entirely erroneous misdiagnosis of the political situation at Concordia. Woznica subtly accused “radicals” of hypocrisy by suggesting that students who oppose the commercialization of higher education should have no business “purchasing” degrees, because such an act endorses the very changes that they oppose. However, our universities are not (yet) capitalist institutions; they do not operate for profits and are primarily supported with public funds. Tuition payments are not an endorsement of anything, provided that students are not forced to incur the full burden of education costs. The mandate of our student unions is to ensure that this does not happen. Student unions exist solely to protect student rights and interest. It is their foremost mandate to oppose powers that would otherwise act unchecked. A complacent CSU allied to the university would be nothing more than a means to provide a few cheap luxuries and redundant services — a co-operative of sorts, but not a union. Woznica argues for the existence of a
“rational” silent majority with “moderate” political beliefs. Since a “radical” is someone who advocates reform, demanding that “moderates” rise against political “radicals” is completely absurd, because this very act would make one a radical! But if a moderate belief is one that is held with little conviction, then perhaps those with moderate political beliefs are least likely to vote. After all, if politics result in weak compromises, then why participate? Why vote for someone if you don’t believe in his or her capacity to sway the opposition? Our problems are not symptomatic of an irrational CSU government, they are symptomatic of an impotent government. Non-voting students are caught in a self-perpetuating cycle of nonchalance. The university knows that 10 per cent — a hardly significant minority — of students voted in the 2010 elections. This empowers it to make decisions without the risk of offending many students. In a sense, Woznica might be right. Students must vote so that this cycle is broken. It is the role of the CSU government to lead us in opposition to market influences, so that higher education progresses toward becoming a right to Canadians rather than a product. This, not ubiquitous laissez-faire arguments, must be the primary rhetoric of prospective student politicians who seek to revive politics at Concordia. Philippe Talbot Sociology student
and receptive to criticism. After the public snafu that was the request to film council, the peacemaking motion with CUTV suggested that the executives and their council know how to take a beating, and then kiss and make up. We’ve evaluated the CSU’s stated goals and how far they’ve come with them. The marks are in, and from the mid-term report, it’s clear they’ve accomplished one solid goal: town hall meetings. Another goal, the snacks at exam time, are likely to go off without a hitch. These are manageable and achievable goals. The remaining are weightier: Loyola luncheon renovations (do-able), CFS (ongoing mess), preventing tuition increases (longshot, but you try), the greening of MacKay (no chance). Perhaps getting the government to rescind on its tuition hikes is as fanciful an idea as establishing a new student centre downtown. But it’s something we’re sure students can get behind. By getting back to something tangible for students, we’re getting to the heart, or the meat, of the matter of why we elected them in the first place.
Want to get involved with the Concordian? Love readin and writin? Hate speling mistakes?
Were looking for people with strong reading & writing skils to join our copy editing team. New copy-editors will be trained and will receive a weekly honourarium. Please send all question and applications too copy@theconcordian. com
Your friends at
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Etcetera Page
Mindy Kaling is probably best known for playing the ditsy Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s The Office, the hit show she produces and sometimes writes for. But, she’s also one hell of a comedienne whose sometimes-deep thoughts you should check out on Twitter @mindykaling.
Q: What mode(s) of transportation do you use to get to school?
-“Do you think that the biggest womanizers in Hollywood are also the biggest environmentals bc Mother Earth is the ultimate score?” -“Inception was so confusing to me I have to pretend I didn’t see it so no one asks me my opinion or any questions about it.” -“Egg whites turkey breast steamed spinach almonds StairMaster blow my brains out #suicidenote”
Sandra Lambert first-year political science “I walk. I’m five minutes from here, so I walk.”
Jennifer Sewell first-year international business “B.M.W.: Bus, metro and then walk.”
Jason Toupin second-year finance “The train and the STM services, so the bus and metro.”
Complied by Eva Kratochvil
Christmas lights are up in Place Ville Marie. Photo by Matias Garabedian
Horoscopes Aries - March 21 to April 20 It’s not the best idea to be socializing this week. You’ve got finals coming up, and although you’re feeling the pressure, procrastinating won’t help one bit. Hit the books and get those As.
Taurus - April 21 to May 21 You’ve got an amazing skill up your sleeves. You’re able to touch people with your youthfulness and easygoing outlook on life. This week, start planning your Christmas vacation. You need a break. Gemini - May 22 to June 21 If you need time to chill out and vegetate on the couch, this week is the time to do it. Just make sure to turn off the TV once in a while and open those school books, because otherwise you’ll fall behind. Cancer - June 22 to July 23 Speak your mind this week. People will be taking you more seriously once they see
your particular insight into different things. You’re definitely one of a kind, learn how to manifest this part of yourself.
Scorpio - October 24 to November 23 You’ve got a lot of options on the table this week. Really think about each decision before you make any final plans. You’re impulsive at times, so don’t make up your mind too quickly; it could be the wrong choice.
Leo - July 24 to August 23 Watch your finances. There are a few purchases you need to make, but opt for the generic names instead of the more expensive Sagittarius - November 24 to December 21 brands. In the end, your savings will make a People want to follow your lead this week. Make sure you set a good example since othdifference. ers will be watching and copying what you do. This doesn’t mean you can’t get inspiraVirgo - August 24 to September 23 tion from others, though. You’re full of energy this week, a welcome change from how you’ve been feeling lately. You’re creative and inventive, even more so Capricorn - December 22 to January 20 Put yourself in the shoes of your friends, than usual, so take advantage of this newly family and colleagues. Make sure you see found invigoration. their point of view. This will help expand your own mind and accept other opinions Libra - September 24 to October 23 Think before you make any huge decisions. beyond your own. You’ve got a million things going on, and Aquarius - January 21 to February 19 lots of them require you to make up your People are demanding more from you than mind on something. Don’t fret though, you can give. Try to keep cool and collected, you’ll make the right choice.
it’s easy to lose it when you’re under pressure. You’ll be breathing better by the end of the week. Pisces - February 20 to March 20 You’ve been very easygoing, but someone will test your patience this week. You hate offending people, but don’t let anyone walk all over you. Be strong and confident and you’ll come out being the better person. You share a birthday with... Nov. 30: Elisha Cuthbert, Clay Aiken, Ben Stiller Dec. 1: Bette Midler, Richard Pryor, Woody Allen Dec. 2: Britney Spears, Nelly Furtado, Lucy Liu Dec. 3: Julianne Moore, Brendan Fraser, Daryl Hannah Dec. 4: Tyra Banks, Jay-Z, Marisa Tomei Dec. 5: Frankie Muniz, John Rzeznik, Walt Disney Dec. 6: Andrew Cuomo, Peter Buck, Steven Wright
EVENTS AT A GLANCE HELP PROMOTE CONCORDIA EVENTS! ALL EVENT LISTINGS ARE ADVERTISED FOR FREE SEND YOUR IDEAS TO EVENTS@THECONCORDIAN.COM PLEASE LIST NAME OF EVENT, LOCATION, AND TIME
+MUSIC +MUSIC +CHARITY +THEATRE
Le Divan Orange Casa Del Popolo CJ Atrium Theatre du Nouveau Monde Monument National Segal Center
+THEATRE +THEATRE +THEATRE +VISUAL ART
She's Got A Habit + TAKK + armen at the Bazaar Bear Hands + Hesta Prynn + Golden Isles JSA Food Drive (donate non-perishable food until Friday) Le Dieu du Carnage Champs de Mars: A Story of War Blithe Spirit Black Theatre Workshop's A Raisin in the Sun COMBINE 2010: Annual Undergraduate Student Exhibition
+MUSIC +MUSIC +VISUAL ART +FILM/TALK +PERFORMANCE +TALK/FILM +VISUAL ART +VERNISSAGE
Hooded Fang + The Breezes + Caroline Glass Le Divan Orange CJLO Reggae Night "Ladies DJing Ladies" House of Raggae (1693 St-Denis) Taverne du Cheval Blanc Vernissage of "Restez Pour Souper" Book to Big Screen: The Turn of the Screw/The Others Frank Dawson Adams Auditorium (3450 University St.) Auditorium and Foyer of the Grande Bibliotheque A River of Poetry What are they Spraying in the Stratosphere? and The Case against Fluoridation of our Water Supply MB 4.206 Ctrllab Artist in Residence Exhibit: Gayle Arnold Galerie Mezz'Art Expo Photographique Pop Urbaine de Pascal Normand
19h00 ongoing until Dec. 4 17h00-20h00
Snailhouse + Elfin Saddle Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights
Casa Del Popolo D.B. Clarke Theatre
+MUSIC +MUSIC +MUSIC +MOVIES +THEATRE +THEATRE +VERNISSGE
Il Motore Ra Ra Riot + The Most Serene Republic + Imaginary Cities Hollerado + Parlovr + The Hoof And The Heel Cabaret du Mile-End Buke & Gass + Talk Normal + Technical Kidman Casa Del Popolo Premiere: Black Swan, I Love You Philip Morris, The Warrior's Way, Looking for Anne, London River D.B. Clarke Theatre Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights MainLine Theatre Jesus Jello Ctrllab Artist in Residence Exhibit: Gayle Arnold
20h00 20h00 18h00
+MUSIC +THEATRE +THEATRE +HOLIDAY +STORYTELLING +WORKSHOP +FLEA MARKET +STINGERS +STINGERS +STINGERS
Stars + Young Galaxy Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights NO JOY+Ducktails+Grimes+Metz Professor Norman Cornett invites you to 'dialogue' with Helene Dorion The Storytelling Cafe and Celebration Exam Cram for Math CEASE Holiday Flea Market Women's hockey vs. McGill Men's basketball vs. Laval Women's basketball vs. Laval
+MUSIC +THEATRE +THEATRE +CONVENTION +FLEA MARKET
'O The Fool + Tanya Davis + Fraser Gielen Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights Jesus Jello Montreal Mini-Comiccon CEASE Holiday Flea Market
+CINEMA POLITICA +COMEDY +FUNDRAISER +FAIR +ACADEMIC
The Yes Men Fix the World screening and Q&A with the directors Just for Laughs Showcase Tie-a-Ribbon-on-the-Tree 4th Annual ECEE Science Fair Concordia last day of classes
ongoing until Dec. 11 ongoing until Dec. 4 ongoing until Dec. 12 ongoing until Dec. 5 ongoing until Dec. 3 20h00 22h00 17h00 18h00 19h30
ongoing ongoing until Dec. 18 19h00-23h00
Metropolis 20h00 D.B. Clarke Theatre ongoing Casa Del Popolo 20h00 Galerie Samuel Lallouz (1434 Sherbrooke west) 12h00 18h30-23h30 Rad'a Montreal Hall H 440 9h00 The Dep[art]ment 12h00-18h00 Ed Meagher Arena 14h30 18h00 Concordia Gymnasium 20h00 Concordia Gymnasium Casa Del Popolo
20h00 ongoing ongoing until Dec. 18 11h00-18h00 12h00-18h00
H-110 Comedy Works LB Library Atrium EV Atrium
19h00 20h30 11h00 18h00
D.B. Clarke Theatre BainMainLine Theatres St-Michel