October 10, 2011
Head of theTrent: more than a fancy kegger No really, look at all these athletes. Go Excalibur!
Photos by Andrew Tan
Del Mastro uses federal website to influence Ontario voters By Andy Cragg
Last May, Dean Del Mastro was re-elected as the federal MP for the Peterborough riding. Del Mastro has been in the headlines of late for some controversial activities, specifically his wading into the Ontario election, defending Sun News’s attacks on the CBC, and attacking the NDP for its ties to unions. Early in the Ontario election campaign, McGuinty announced a proposed tax incentive for businesses that hire recent immigrants. Del Mastro spoke out against this proposed policy on the grounds that would discriminate against Canadians who are not recent immigrants. In the Globe and Mail, he recalled the days of his youth when the Ontario NDP government took similar actions to increase employment equity for women and people of colour. Ignoring the reality of inequality that existed and continues to exist in Canadian society, he lamented, “I was in my early 20s and thought, ‘How dare they create an entirely discriminatory policy that was going to affect my future.’” Statistics Canada has reported that Indigenous people, recent immigrants, people with disabilities, single parents, and youth continue to have a higher unemployment rate than the Canadian average. Later in September, Del Mastro again entered the Ontario election fray, this time
Dean is far too good an MP to actually believe that this complaint was properly before the ethics commissioner. But he seems to be using this scattergun of stupidity lately.”
commissioning a public relations firm to create a poll showing that the local PC candidate was not trailing as badly as had been reported in a poll done by Peterborough This Week. While this sort of activity is not strictly unethical, especially since the “poll” was paid for by the local riding association, Del Masto set off alarm bells when he posted the poll to his parliamentary website, thus making improper use of his parliamentary resources. The poll was taken down within hours. Del Mastro stated that he had only meant to encourage participation in electoral politics. In his role as a member of the Ethics Committee, Del Mastro has also been busy, attacking both the CBC and the NDP. Del Mastro made headlines last year when he was seen to support the privatization or elimination of the CBC, after he speculated
about the government getting out of the broadcasting business. More recently, Del Mastro has supported attacks on the CBC by Sun News and other private media outlets which compete with the CBC for audiences. The private media outlets have sought to gain information about the CBC via access to information requests. The CBC has resisted these attempts to pry into its journalistic and creative privacy. Del Mastro, for his part, claims to be only making sure that the public broadcaster is held accountable to taxpayers. Del Mastro has also spoken out in the House of Commons and in the Ethics Committee about union sponsorship of last June’s NDP convention in Vancouver. Under the Elections Act, unions are prohibited from making donations to political parties and candidates.
The Conservative Party has alleged that the sponsorship of the NDP convention violated this stipulation, and has attempted to bring the NDP to account at before the Ethics Committee, and has requested that the Federal ethics commissioner, Mary Dawson, investigate the case. Ms. Dawson stated that there are no “reasonable grounds” for her to investigate and that the issue is under the jurisdiction of Elections Canada, and not the ethics commissioner. NDP MP Pat Martin accused Del Mastro of “misusing the process in order to grandstand on an issue that he knows full well is not properly there.” Martin went on to say that “Dean is far too good an MP to actually believe that this complaint was properly before the ethics commissioner. But he seems to be using this scattergun of stupidity lately.” The NDP has responded to the allegations, saying that the unions in question paid fair market value for any ads and sponsorship at the convention, and so they shouldn’t be seen as donations. Further, the NDP allege that the Conservatives are using this issue to distract from their own more serious cases being investigated by the ethics commissioner, for example their active circumvention of the Election Act associated with the “in-and-out” scandal, and the investigations into illegal activities by former top Harper aide Bruce Carson.
in the paper this week:
Volume 46 | Issue 5 | October 10, 2011
Masthead by Jackson Creek Press 751 George Street • Suite 104
We totally go to them.
Peterborough, ON • K9H 7P5 tel: 705-745-3535 email@example.com • www.trentarthur.ca
Co-Editors Business Manager Iris Hodgson Miranda Rigby
News Reporters Andy Cragg
Wesley Collett-Taylor Mya Rushnell
Photography Andrew Tan
p. 4 - Funding model closes schools p. 5- Raj Patel & all kinds of faith p. 6 & 7 - food security & spider women p. 8 - Vriesinga & so much drama p. 9 - 50/50 & fiction writing p. 10 - Co-op & HPV & KWIC p. 11 - music & more occupation (cartoon!)
Board of Directors Chair • Kate Taylor Secretary • Caitlin Currie Treasurer • Not yet named Members at Large • Matt Rappolt, Brett Throop, Joel Young
Contributors Sarah McDonald • Matt Rappolt
The Unpopular Vote
Yolanda Ajak • Rebekah Watson Brian Lukaszewicz • Christian Metaxis Caleigh Morrison • Natalie Guttormsson Zach Ruiter • Chanel Christophe Hana Mohamed
Submission guidelines Articles Articles should be submitted via email to editors@ trentarthur.ca, in the body of the message, or as an *.rtf, *.doc, or *.txt attachment. The body should be approximately 800 words. Listings, announcements, or briefs should not exceed 100 words. Feature pieces can be up to 1500, but must be arranged in advance with the editors.
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By Iris Hodgson
People are saying that Thursday’s provincial election is about one seat. If only the Liberal party could have won in one more riding, they would have a true majority government – at least, so says the mainstream press. During TVO’s televised election coverage, Steve Paikin and friends speculated about whether the Liberals would ask for recounts in close ridings or try to sway someone to cross the floor in order to get a majority. So far, no attempts of this sort have been made. On Friday, Dalton McGuinty said, “I’m going to proceed on the assumption that we are where we are, which is what I’d like to call a major minority.” McGuinty knows (or should know) that he and the Liberals are goddamn lucky that “they are where they are”. The Liberals have 16 more seats at Queen’s Park than Hudak’s Conservatives do, but received only 2% more of the popular vote. Somehow, this 2% of the vote translates to 15% more elected representatives. It’s the day after an election, and as usual, I’m pissed about our first-past-the-post voting system. This isn’t to say that I’m disappointed that xenophobic, homophobic, straight-up-lying-about-queer-curriculum Tim Hudak doesn’t have more seats. None of you will be shocked to read that I breathed a big sigh of relief about that one. But. The Greens won 4% of the popular vote, so it would have been cool if they actually had some representation in government. The NDP won 23% of the popular vote but hold only about 16% of the seats. Voter turnout last night was another unsurprising recordbreaking low. Just over half of the people who could have voted this time decided not to. When we talk about public disinterest and disillusionment in the electoral process, the discussion is often focussed on politicians who don’t follow through on their campaign promises. But I’d wager that another, equally strong reason is that election results actually don’t reflect, at least on the whole, what the voters actually want. First-past-the-post is the reason that Stephen Harper has a majority government when a majority of voters, over 60%, chose someone else. He won just under 40% of the vote but the Conservatives have 54% of the seats. This voting system is the cause of discussions about “wasting your vote”, “strategic voting”, or vote splitting. Paikin wondered why he was seeing Conservative ads attacking the NDP, since NDP voters are unlikely to suddenly decide to vote Conservative. Former NDP leader Howard Hampton pointed to Peterborough’s bellweather riding, where Liberal incumbent Jeff Leal continues to win because strong support for both the Conservatives and the NDP here splits the vote. People end up voting against the candidate that they really want to lose, rather than voting for the candidate that they would actually like to win. Not exactly inspiring stuff. Perhaps this is why our democratic process can often seem so disconnected from life in general. Canada, and particularly Ontario, is a diverse place to live. Certainly there are some issues that matter more in some areas and less in others. For instance, voters who want a say about the wind farms that have been built in their communities are likely better off voting as a group. But other crucial issues don’t depend as much on where you
live. People with disabilities, immigrants, people of colour, queer and trans people, poor people, and more exist in every riding, and these constituents are unable to vote in solidarity with each other. Right now, my ability to impact the laws that are passed in this province depends very much on whether my next door neighbours agree with me, regardless of how many people elsewhere in the province think the way I do. I’m reading Teresa Cheng’s editorial from October 2, 2007, the last time that a referendum offering an alternative to firstpast-the-post was held. Cheng points out that this system pressures parties to disproportionately nominate someone “middleaged, middle-class, white, and male”, because parties must win in local ridings to be represented at all. She characterizes the choices as, “Joe Schmoe, Joe Schmoe, or...token-candidate-ofmarginalized-identity.” Sound familiar? Electoral reform could encourage party leadership to support candidates with a broader range of viewpoints, lived experiences, and social locations. The problem is, whatever party is in power got there as a result of first-past-the-post, and might not have been elected otherwise. The federal Conservatives will be unlikely to support electoral reform that would better reflect the popular vote because it would jeopardize their ability to get elected next time. But, by Friday morning, the notoriously-right-leaning National Post was already running articles about the benefits of electoral reform. Perhaps the provincial Conservatives would be wise to think it over.
A little bit of unbiased journalism by the Ottawa Sun.
PCVS Sadness I was a student at PCVS from 1987 until 1992. Everything I know about myself was revealed to me in the halls of that building. The decision to close the school is the most dismal thing I’ve heard in a long time. The callous disregard shown to students and the city they live in will be the lasting hallmark of any official with a hand in the closure. With sadness, Doug Wilkinson
School Closures in Ontario Small schools are closing all over Ontario with egregious effects on students, families and entire communities. It’s time to halt the gutting of small town Ontario. Several groups of concerned citizens, students, parents and municipal leaders have formed networks to draw attention to the flaws in the Accommodation Review process and in the delivery of education in Ontario. This network mentioned below is one of those networks. Every school board in Ontario has the right to close any school regardless of the wishes of the community, even if it is the only school in the community. Not even the Minister of Education or the Premier of Ontario can countermand these decisions. Many boards are closing schools under the guise of reacting to declining enrolments, but many of their actions have nothing to do with enrolment, for example, building more schools. The Liberal government imposed a Pupil Accommodation Review process, guidelines for boards to follow including full consultation with the community. That sounds great! But it fails to work when the board and the community do not see eye to eye. The board’s decision trumps the community’s wishes – always! No one enforces these guidelines. Many boards ignore the guidelines entirely or in part. There is no appeal. No one holds the board to account for their decision. Even an administrative review has no effect on the decision. And this is apparently fine with the Minister, Leona Dombrowsky, and Premier Dalton McGuinty, the “education premier”. When a community loses its only school, it can no longer attract or retain young families. Its property values begin to decline immediately by as much as 20 per cent. Its business community is decimated and identity begins to erode. Its children can no longer walk to school. It is the beginning of a downward spiral which no community should ever be exposed to by their own elected school board. The education act must be changed so that school boards are held accountable to their community and prevented from making arbitrary decisions which affect the wellbeing of the community. In the wake of the 2011 provincial election, we are asking all candidates to consider the implications of Accommodation Reviews and if elected, take the necessary action to stop the decimation of small town Ontario and place a moratorium on Accommodation Review processes. Schools unfairly closed should be re-opened under new legislation.
Re: Issue 3 Cover I was disappointed in the coverage of the Curve Lake Pow Wow in the past issue of Arthur. What first caught my eye was the headline aiming to be clever calling the event a “Pow WOW”. Instead, this simply represents the Trent community as ignorant settlers in awe of Indigenous culture and tradition. The Eurocentric lens that informed the coverage places Trent readers as outside of First Nations people’s culture and history. This both invisibilizes Indigenous students at Trent and all of our relationships to colonialism. Caitlin Currie
Correction Last week's contributors list included Cornel West. While the Race Matters author has written many important books, he hasn't submitted to Arthur (yet.) He's been too busy as a speaker at the Occupy Wall St protests to pitch stories to this community press. Instead, we need to thank fortnightly reporter Cornel Grey for his AIDS Walk coverage.
We always want to hear what you have to say. If you are angry at us or happy with us, if you just have something to say. We always like to hear from you. We will do our best to piblish every letter to the editor that crosses our desk, so get angry and (more importantly) let us know you are angry.
Thank you, merci, miigwetch, Save Our Schools (SOS) Ontario Committee H. Brock Vodden Blyth, ON
Volume 46 | Issue 5 | October 10, 2011
Funding, not just lower enrolment, closing schools across Ontario, critics say
By Brett Throop
Along with a declining birth rate, critics say an out-of-date funding model is closing the doors at hundreds of schools across Ontario, like PCVS. When the Ontario advocacy group People for Education (P4E) last gathered data in 2009, 172 publicly-funded elementary and secondary schools were slated or recommended to close by 2012, with another 163 under review for possible closure. It’s the largest slew of school closures in Ontario since cuts to education funding by the Mike Harris government forced the closure of more than 250 schools between 1999 and 2004. The group points to declining enrolment driven by declining birth rates and an outof-date Harris-era funding model to explain why so many boards are closing school doors. Enrolment at Ontario elementary schools dropped 15% between 1997 and 2009 and secondary school enrolment decreased by 14% between 2002 and 2009. A declining fertility rate is mainly driving declining enrolment. “In Ontario, enrolment is declining in all but 17 school boards,” a 2009 P4E report notes. “While the decline is much more extreme in Northern and rural Ontario, it is also being felt in the core of Ontario’s older cities.” Only areas experiencing high rates of new immigrant settlement have steady or growing enrolment rates, P4E spokesperson Gay Stephenson told Arthur. Declining enrolment is a growing problem nation-wide and “Statistics Canada does not predict any school-age population boom in the foreseeable future,” the report states. With low local population growth predicted by the province into the next few decades, Peterborough is no exception. In the case of PCVS, the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board has taken all
of the heat for the closure decision, but as Stephenson points out, provincial funding puts pressure on boards to close schools when enrolment declines. “Ultimately, the rubber hits the road at the school board, they have to make the final decision,” she said. “But [provincial] funding has an enormous impact on the decisions that they can make.” Stephenson’s organization is calling on the province to revise that funding, which is still based on a model brought in by the Harris government in 1997. “When [Ontario’s school funding formula] was originally devised it was devised on a lot of assumptions, and not necessarily real benchmarks.” One of those assumptions was that school populations were on average greater than P4E’s research at the time showed they really were. Since funding was given out partly based on a strict ratio of students to floor space, the funding model encouraged school boards with declining enrolment to invest their limited funds in fewer schools. Since that time, the Liberals have added grants here and there to help boards cope with declining enrolment and other challenges, but the overall funding scheme has stayed the same. The funding model “should be reviewed and updated to reflect the realities of today,” Stephenson said. With no real commitment from provincial parties to change the funding formula, school boards are pressured to shift students to fewer schools to keep school populations near levels set in 1997. Stephenson believes more research needs to be done to determine optimal sizes for Ontario schools. “There’s a great deal of research that says that there are optimal sizes for schools, where students are most successful, at school and at life, at graduating, and feeling connected to their communities,” she said.
Finland seems to have the question of optimal school size figured out. According to the U.S. National Centre for Education Statistics, that country has some of the world’s smallest average school sizes and some of the most successful students. Stephenson said her organization wants the province to investigate what size of school is best for Ontario students and adjust its funding accordingly, rather than encouraging schools to stay big simply to save money. There are other reasons critics are calling for a new funding model to keep schools open. York University Geography Professor Ranu Basu has studied the impact of school closures on neighbourhoods in Toronto. She said that schools act as “neighbourhood hubs” which often provide more services than education, including child care centres, “inter-generational programs”, and parenting and settlement centres. She said that the network of connections those kinds of programs spring from take many years and lots of resources to cultivate and are lost when a school closes its doors. She also noted how important schools are to community identity, saying that the loss of a school can be a “blow for the community morale.” As it stands, “looking at community issues and what the school provides in terms of a broader sense is often neglected,” she said. Basu wants to see a more “integrated” approach to decisions in the education system, that would take into account the many roles schools play in neighbourhoods and communities. She said school boards should work more closely with municipal governments, social agencies and youth. She thinks that broader thinking about what schools mean and offer to communities will lead to funding that reflects their true value. Education planning also needs to be more
long term, according to Basu. Enrolment might currently be declining in most areas, but she noted that ups-and-downs in enrolment and community use of school facilities are cyclical. “It’s much much easier to close a school than it is to build one.” Basu added that when school boards do decide to close schools, it’s usually low-income neighbourhoods with higher unemployment and more new immigrants that are the first to lose their schools. “Schools that are more marginalized are often the most targeted,” she stated. Basu criticized the accommodation review process school boards use to decide which schools to close as often “tokenistic,” leaving some voices out of decision-making and giving a false sense of decision-making power to community members. Stephenson shared that concern. “I think one of the biggest complaints that people have is that they go into the process thinking that those committees will be listened to and will have some kind of impact on the decision and quite often people come away from those processes feeling like they had no impact at all, but that really the decisions were already made in advance,” she stated. The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board says that by 2015, Peterborough’s four high schools would be 2700 students below capacity if all the schools stay open. But in a time of declining enrolment across the province, the Ministry of Education may soon have to rethink exactly what the realistic capacities of individual schools are. This article was posted earlier last week at trentarthur.ca/blog. Check it out to see the comments so far.
Population Growth vs. Food Production
Noted Activist Raj Patel Forms an Uncommon Opinion By Chanel Christophe
“The Green Revolution will not feed the world.” That was the bold assertion made by Dr. Raj Patel as he delivered the fourth annual David Morrison lecture to a packed Market Hall auditorium this past Tuesday. The annual lecture brings together globally renowned scholars to share their work in
International development. According to the chair of the IDS department, Haroon Akram-Lodhi, this will help in “strengthening the intellectual capacity” at the university. In addition to the many International Development majors, faculty, and members of the public, this year’s event was also attended by the current Trent President Dr.
Steven Franklin, as well as the founding President Tom Symons. Patel, who is a best-selling author, activist and academic, spoke on the theme “The Long Green Revolution.” He examined and discussed modern schemes to feed the world and the impact that the world’s current food distribution has had on an ever-growing population. During his presentation, which was laced with humorous anecdotes, Patel laid down the premises of his argument as to why the Green Revolution was not the answer to feed the world’s growing population, expected to be over 10 billion by 2100. In his historical overview of the Green Revolution he posits that, unlike its stated philanthropic aim, there are undercurrents of a war between race, class, technology and population upon which the Green Revolution hinges. The American elite presumed that population growth would outpace food production and result in “sufficiently hungry people [taking] to the streets to demand change.” This assumption, as well as a preoccupation with crushing the threat of communism, propelled agencies like the Rockefeller Foundation to become involved in the search for ways to harness technology (including fertilizers and highyielding seed varieties) in order to address the global problem of food production. Patel concedes that there has been success
in increasing food productivity in countries like India, Mexico and the Philippines, where the Green Revolution experiments have been carried out; however, he says that agricultural diversity has been sacrificed for the production of commodity crops, increased fertilizer use (which has degraded soils), and land prices that have ballooned out of the reach of citizens. The result is that “hunger increased because more food is not the passport to having more to eat.” What then should the response be? Patel answered his own question by suggesting that there be resistance to “the pure and unfettered neoliberalism promoted by organizations like the World Bank” (where Patel once worked). With the advent of initiatives like the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, he fears that the mistakes of the last few decades will be replicated on the African continent. He says that the international trade systems and global trade networks “threaten food security and food sovereignty.” He pointed to the success of agro-ecological studies in Malawi as an example of counter-initiatives that have produced fruitful results, while also addressing core social issues like the gender imbalance in agricultural production. The objective must be “facilitating ways for people to feed themselves.” “What we need,” he says, “is a revolution that can be sustained.”
Multi-Faith Room Opens in LEC By Cornel Grey
At the beginning of this academic year, Trent University opened its first Multi-Faith room. Located in Lady Eaton College, Room 202, the space is intended to act as a sanctuary where anyone can feel free to express their faith as they would in a place of worship. Being a non-denominational institution, the formation of such a facility certainly speaks to the administration’s growing awareness toward the need for religious spaces on campus. The student population at Trent is composed of individuals from a range of religious backgrounds. For some, Room 202 will be their haven to find their spiritual centre when temptations of a secular world seem to be tearing at one’s sense of self. For others, particularly those of us who are international students, the space will be the entity that is seen as our resident place of worship. If a student cannot find a place of worship for their religion locally in Peterborough, or if they do not feel welcome in that worship community, the Multi-Faith room is a warm, open, and accepting place. The Trent International Student Association (TISA) referred to the room as “a space for all students, from different religions with different faiths and beliefs, where they can feel comfortable and safe.” The body
also referred to the room as an opportunity to make the transition of living in a new environment “a lot smoother.” There is, however, the question of accessibility. Some students may find the distance inconvenient, depending on where they are on campus. The tedious trek across campus during the winter may deter some students from using the space. Those that are off-campus are obviously at more of a disadvantage. Then there is the question of the space in terms of the room’s dimensions. Having made a visit to Lady Eaton, I find that it’s a cosy space but it does not appear to have the capacity to hold a relatively large number of people. Granted, one does not get the impression that the facility was created for individuals to have religious services every week. Still, it may alienate those students who are members of marginalised faiths in Peterborough and would like to gather as a group in a sacred environment. All in all, the Multi-Faith room is a step in the right direction and it certainly does make it easier for the faithful to satisfy their spiritual hunger on campus. It remains to be seen whether or not the multi-faith room will be an effective solution to this need, but regardless, it is an active step toward religious tolerance.
Volume 46 | Issue 5 | October 10, 2011
Look to the East: Food Security may include guns By Anthony P. Gulston
“Speaking of the brutal and criminally organized hunger of East Africa…” –Keinaan Warsame, NYT On September 29, three members of Trent’s international community gave a talk about the famine in East Africa due to a drought this summer. The talk was part of the World First Colloquium, which will be hosting talks about international issues by international students all year. Each country had unique problems dealing with the drought and subsequent famine and each speaker had a unique way of framing the problems and positing solutions. Rishad Kabar, a first year Chemical Physics major from Mombasa, spoke about Kenya. Hana Mohamed, who has a degree from Trent in Politics, taught English in the Czech Republic before working with Kings College Hospital in London. She continued to go home to Somalia to teach throughout her education, so she spoke about her experiences in that country. Nejat Abdella, a fourth year International Development Studies student, interned with African Humanitarian Action this summer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. AHA is a non-governmental organization that has offices in over 17 African nations and specializes in refugee centres and repatriation efforts. AHA boasts “African solutions to African problems”. Only some regions in Kenya has been affected by the drought, largely due to its geography and infrastructure. 2.4 million Kenyans are starving and are “not only battling hunger, but battling diseases,” Rishad said. Rishad posited that the problem is more geographical than political, but “in my opinion, the government isn’t doing enough to feed people.” Kenya has one of the most corrupt governments in the world, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Due to this corruption, the Kenyan dollar is the second-worst performing in the world. The country does not have the infrastructure to get food out to the remote areas that need it. “I felt that the government just sat back and watched,” Rishad said of Mwai Kibaki, ignoring the “ominous signs of Climate Change and weather predictions.” The simple solutions that do not even touch on the corruption issues in Kenya are to develop infrastructure to get food to remote areas as well as unify Kenyans by reducing tribalism. And the best piece of advice Rishad had for Kenya that every nation should listen to: subsidize farmers! The worst famine in decades pillages the flesh of the already wounded in Somalia, and the world’s collective humanitarian response has been a defeated shrug. If ever there was a best and worst time to return home, it was now. –Keinaan Warsame, The New York Times Somalia is used to droughts. December to March is the Jilal, the harshest of the dry season. Gu, which lasts from April to June, is the wet season. This cycle of wet to dry is predictable, but the intensity of this year’s Jilal was not as predictable. It is the worst drought to occur in 60 years. Tens of thousands of people have died and many more are malnourished. On July 20, 2011, the UN supersized Somalia’s food crisis to a famine. Unfortunately, famine brings about power shifts and struggles in Somalia. Mohamad argued that famine is manmade in Somalia because there is a vast traditional knowledge of seasons and growing techniques to draw upon. After World War II, Britain held not only their British Somaliland, but Italian Somaliland too, until, after years of negotiations with local political groups, Somalia gained its independence. A coup in 1969 brought with it a new socialist regime lead by Mohamed Said Barre. The socialist government suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament. The government controlled everything, but literacy rates (urban and rural) soared due to public education. “Your tribe is as important as your postal code” in Somalia, according to Mohamad. By appealing to the tribal nature of the country and the totalitarian nature of the socialist regime, Ethiopia’s communist Derg supported local militias to overthrow the government. During this civil war, there was a massive exodus from the country, especially the capital city, Mogadishu. Until 2005, tribal leaders would meet with each other under a tree to decide upon things and war lords would terrorize the streets of Mogadishu. But in 2005, a famine led to the formation of the Islamic Courts. The Islamic Courts asked the UN for assistance in January and did not receive it until July. “The problem was getting the food to the people.” Mohamad continued to explain that the militia of the Islamic Courts, Al-Shabab, “refused to have women work in southern Somalia,” blocked assistance, or just kept it for themselves. Unlike Kenya and Ethiopia, the famine in Somalia is an urban problem. Independent farmers see the price of wheat soaring and secure their food supply as a precautionary measure to a well-foreseen phenomena. In Addis Ababa, some people do not even know that there is a famine going on. Media awareness is minimal and food is plentiful. The problem is perceived as a rural problem. Abdella reiterated that the dry spells in Ethiopia are also well-foreseen and the government of Ethiopia prepared “buffer stops,” or stored food. Although Ethiopia was able to deal with the drought a bit better, the influx of Somali refugees is difficult to deal with. The African Humanitarian Action built 300 shelters this summer for victims of starvation. Most of the assistance they asked for was spent on non-food related items needed for shelters, such as blankets, pillows, and mosquito nets. AHA also participated in the Inter Agency Standing Committee where all of the UN agencies (and some NGOs) got together to solve some problems surrounding the famine. “It was one of the most sad things I’ve seen in my life[…] all talk and no action”, Abdella said of the conference. “The money is not coming; it’s always tied up in bureaucracy.” Since there is no money, the relief shelters are overrun with people and on top of the lack of supplies and starvation, there was an outbreak of Cholera. For Abdella, money is the only thing East Africans need from the West. The solutions to the problems are there, it’s just that the people with the money to do something in East Africa are too corrupt to contribute. Nejat posits that it is “non-traditional” donors that can really have an effect. Countries like America and continents like Europe need to stop being the only source of aid.
The Matriarch, Spiderwoman at Nozhem By Zach Ruiter
“Maybe I’ll die on the stage, I have a lot left to perform” says Gloria Miguel, co-founder of the Spiderwoman Theatre. The multidimensional matriarch of indigenous performance landed for a two-week residency in Nozhem, First Peoples Performance Space. Your ticket was an insert found inside these pages in Arthur Issue 2. Why go to Peterborough’s Galaxy multiplex when you can go multidimensional with artistic producer and Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Arts and Literature, Marrie Mumford, resident diva and Metis Granddaughter to the Resistance. We sat and she told me where she came from, of ancestors and the past. Marrie’s ancestors were mixed between nations at the Red River Settlement. “Cancel my four o’clock” Marrie commented to Trent Alum and House Manager, Leah Simms-Karp. With apostrophe, Marrie Nozhem Mother Mumford just lays it right out “I was always driven, not by making money, we dealt with a lot of poverty – ask my children… but we do the work because we have the passion and spirit”. Let’s continue: her auntie lost an arm in a skirmish with the Mounties and sometime in the decade of sexual freedoms, protesting Vietnam, and student rights, Marrie was in Theatre at Brandeis University. There she studied under actor Morris Carnofsky, a survivor of Sen. McCarthy’s House Committee on Un-American Activities’s blacklists. To satisfy the committee, artists or professors outed or speculated on ten colleagues with communist sympathies. “Those that did,” Marrie sighs, “just lost passion for their art”. Other faculty at Brandeis included Abraham Maslow, the famous professor of psychology and Herbert Marcusa, of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Red Mother can take you on an escape… on the back of an imaginary horse that can fly through the air propelled by its flatulence. Enter Muriel Miguel, as Red Mother, a performance evoking “the women who are not credited for their convictions but who are active in their own survival and the survival of their children”. A recorded voice begins to list successive massacres of indigenous people and a projector fills the stage with names, dates, and places. Witness the Group of Seven erase the landscape of Aboriginal presence, read Leonard Cohen writing a necrophilia fetish of young Aboriginal women, or see Pierce Brosnan in the 1999 motion-picture, Grey Owl, and you can see Canadians are creatures of colonial culture and privilege. Red Mother sells her daughter into prostitution; Red Mother’s children are taken away from her because “they need a good home”; Red Mother loses her son to a military deathon-the-job; Red Mother will sell you everything she owns for only five dollars.
to say art is to protect a woman’s body is to say it is sacred, revered, and with great purpose”.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government cut off women’s advocacy organizations including Sisters in Spirit who were trying to identify the 600 murdered and missing aboriginal women in this country. These absences resonate throughout this play as Muriel Miguel speaks for many women who cannot. The performance is directed by her daughter, Murielle Borst Tarrant. Muriel’s sister Monique Mojica gave a lecture about her most recent play, Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way, which may come to Trent in the near future. “In order to go any further” says Mojica, “I had to go to ancestral land”, there she learned what being Kuna was about. They are governed by poets and are “a fully functioning modern matriarchy” whose “sacred power centre comes from art”. In studying Kuna visual traditions, she realized “art is action and defense, it makes our knowledge speak, art is a woman”. Monique explains, “to say art is to protect a woman’s body is to say it is sacred, revered, and with great purpose”. The sacredness of women in Kuna culture was something “I wasn’t ready for, I still had my western stuff to deal with in a matrilineal society”. Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way makes use of painted panels by Oswaldo DeLeòn Kantule that access the dimensional spirals of the generations, as Sky Women fall to earth. “I am she and she is me” Chocolate Woman discovers as she lands in New York City, Monique’s birthplace where Gloria meet her “Trotskyite Parisian academic” father. Gloria, in her 80s, also performs in Chocolate Woman. To witness two generations of Spiderwomen sharing the stage, telling their biographical and ancestral stories, opens up onto the dimensions right there. To hear Gloria and Monique in alternating vibratos while belting out Jefferson Airplane songs is out of this world. The project of Monique’s son Bear is a musical weaving as “A Tribe Called Red.” Pow Wow music mashed-up with dupstep and electronica, invites the listener to dance where different cultures can converge. Returning to Marrie, she tells me, in looking seven generations ahead, “there is an opportunity to change the course” and “understand each other’s culture and honour difference”. And with that she receives a tap by Leah Simms-Karp, who keeps people at Nozhem where they have to be, performing, grant writing, or in this case another meeting. Gloria recounted her life through arts and presence on the stage, but reminds the audience, when she tells people she is part Rappahannock Tribe, they go “Whaaaat?” and all she needs to do is mention Disney and Pocahontas “and they instantly know what I’m talking about”.
Volume 46 | Issue 5 | October 10, 2011
Fergie Don’t Want No Drama ... But Trent Radio Do! Give voice to your stories with radio drama By Caleigh Morrison
It’s hard to listen to Trent Radio on a regular basis without encountering some form of radio drama. Be it The Insecure Pirates of Newfoundland, Moon U, Philosopher Roommates or The Fantastic Strange Adventures of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, these dramas are sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartfelt, and consistently entertaining. James Kerr, Trent Radio’s Programme Director, works tirelessly to ensure that radio dramas are well written, produced and broadcast to listeners at home and abroad. But wait a second. Is radio drama really that cool? Yes! Radio drama isn’t just for old-timers and stodgy Brits. It’s for everyone! -Do you delight in the craft of acting but break into a cold sweat as soon as someone mentions the word audience? Try radio drama! Radio dramas are typically pre-recorded, which means that the only people who will experience your live performance are the director and the other actors in the booth. -Have you ever written an amazing piece and seen it languish in a file on your desktop, unread and unvoiced? Try radio drama! If you bring a script (or even an idea for a script) to Trent Radio, you will find the resources to develop and produce your very own radio drama. -Do you hope to one day make it big as a writer for television and film? Try radio drama! Many popular movies and TV shows, from Royal Canadian Air Farce to The Green Hornet, started
Peacemaker Vriesenga Visits Trent By Natalie Guttormsson
Canadians for Mining Awareness
out as radio series, and writing radio dramas is a great way of developing script ideas for your next major screenplay. -Do you talk to yourself? Try radio drama! The audience can’t see you, so you have the freedom to play multiple characters in the same script. -Do you have big-budget dreams but live in a low-budget reality? Try radio drama! Sound effects and narration make your setting and characters so much more believable than papiermâché and fake moustaches. -While watching movies, do you pay more attention to background patter and the sounds of doors creaking than the actual plot? Try radio drama! Trent Radio is equipped with a vast library of sound effects and an amazing foley box that you can use to create your own! -Do you dream of hearing your voice on the radio but can’t commit to a weekly program? Try radio drama! Radio dramas are typically recorded in an afternoon and are re-broadcast often throughout the season. You’ll be all over the airwaves! Radio drama is a cure for many ills and a fantastic creative outlet. So what are you waiting for? Come on out and try it! Radio drama auditions will occur sometime before the end of the month and we’re always accepting script submissions. If you’d like to get involved, send James Kerr an email at email@example.com or drop by Trent Radio House, 715 George Street North, during regular business hours.
“There are a lot of misconceptions made about Colombia,” said Stewart Vriesenga of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). Stewart has been working in Colombia for the past 6 years. On Wednesday, October 5, he gave a presentation at Sadleir House titled: Going for the Gold: Human Rights and Foreign Investment in Colombia, shedding light on Canadian industry interests in the country.The CPTs that Stewart works with operate as allies. They live in communities in Colombia, raise the profile of the resistance, and accompany leaders in hopes of offering whatever protection their status as white-foreigner can provide. In rural Colombia, this can be enough to get past military and paramilitary checkpoints. The misconceptions people have are about Colombia are usually about the cocaine trade and the War on Drugs. But the drug wars have calmed since the eighties and nineties, and even though there is still a travel advisory for the country, many travellers acknowledge how much safer Colombia is for tourists, especially in the larger cities. The belief that all of Colombia has become more peaceful is also a misconception of sorts, because it depends on who you are and where you live. The community of Las Pavas, where Stewart has been working, will tell you that the war in Colombia is not over and that their lives are continuously at risk from a variety of forces. The community of Las Pavas is in the department of Antioquia in the North East part of the country. The two main sources of income that sustain the community in modern Colombia come from food that is grown and sold to nearby communities and artisanal mining, a practice that pre-dates Spanish colonialism. In 2001, Colombia’s mining code was re-written with the help of the Canadian International Development Agency and leading representatives of the Canadian Mining Sector. The resulting document lowered environmental standards, lowered corporate tax rates for foreign companies, and
extended land concession times for mining companies. The new code also made artisanal mining illegal, declaring it an act of stealing from the Government and/or the companies with stakes or concessions in the area. Canadian mining companies represent 52% of all mining in Colombia. Also, this past summer the Canadian Government officially ratified the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia. The Colombian Government has been unable to assert a state presence in rural areas for decades. Communities like Las Pavas are constantly caught in the middle of other forces, like the Guerilla groups or the Paramilitary groups. The Colombian Government declared the disarmament of the Paramilitaries in 2005, after many scandals erupted around Para-Politics and strong connections between politicians and the Colombian military. This announcement by then President Uribe, created another misconception. The Paramilitaries did not disappear - they are now referred to as Bandas Criminales (meaning something like random armed groups) to distance their connections to the military and the State. When Bandas Criminales are not acting on State interests, clearing communities off their land for mining interests, they are forcefully displacing communities to turn the land over to the lucrative palm oil industry. Colombia is home to an estimated 5 million internally displaced people. The numbers are most likely higher due to a fear to register as a victim and risk becoming a target for denouncing the Bandas Criminales or the State. Without land to farm, these victims lose their food sovereignty. Without rights to mine for gold, they lose a practice that has been done for centuries. The CPTs are facing challenges both with funds and personnel. They cannot hope to help every community. For more information about Las Pavas, the CPTs and Stewart’s involvement in Colombia visit: stewart-incolombia.blogspot.com.
A creative piece by Christian Metaxas
-You fold then yeah? I looked up, trying my best to look innocent. We had been playing cards now for three hours and the vodka was beginning to taste like paint thinner. I glanced back at my hands in my lap; I had been quickly sifting through the deck of cards and rearranging the order to ensure I won hands. It was hard to cheat quickly and efficiently while dealing to three other people in Texas Hold’em. -No, I’m in. I replied. I took a hand off the deck and tossed in enough chips to match and put the deck back on the table. I took another long gulp from my glass; I had this hand in the bag. -I’m all in. Zeke began pushing all his chips into the table dramatically; it was to show that he was sure of himself and had nothing to fear. I smiled as I carefully pushed in mine. -Straight, I said as I flipped over my pair of cards. -Flush, Zeke retorted, as he began to claw the chips back to his end of the table. I stared at the cards in disbelief, it was a total oversight. I took one last swig and finished off my drink, shook his hand and stumbled toward the couch to wait for the game to finish.
-You lost then? Ally asked me with a sort of condescending smile. -Yeah, I shrugged as I reached for the half empty bottle of paint thinner. -Mmmmyeah Zeke plays really good; he won this watch from some kid in residence back last Christmas. Really well, I thought to myself as Ally leaned over, slopping her drink into my lap as she showed me the watch. It was a Swatch; it dangled off her wrist and didn’t look like it suited a lady at all. Suited, if I had what suited me I would still be playing poker instead of sitting around making small talk. I glanced at the television - Risky Business was on. I looked back at Ally, who had slumped back into her corner on the couch looking forever pleased with herself as she sipped on her drink. I gulped down another mouthful of paint thinner. -You have the time, I asked Ally as I motioned to the watch. She glanced at it without lifting her wrist, as though the couch was so infinitely comfortable that moving would be too much to bear. I pressed my mouth to hers. She kissed me back. -Mmm, what are you doing, she mumbled. She continued to kiss me as I smothered her in the corner of the leather. I felt her hands on my ass as she sucked on my tongue. My
pant leg was wet, she must have dropped her drink. -YES! Good game man. Zeke had won and gotten up to shake hands and show he was a good sport, and that the spirit of healthy competition meant more to him than all the money he just won. I pulled myself off of Ally and polished off the bottle of paint thinner; she stared back at me, licking her lips. -I won baby, Zeke smirked as he made his way over to the couch. -Mmmmthats my boy, she smiled as Zeke climbed on top of her and smothered her in the corner of sticky leather. Jealousy consumed me as I tried to dry off my jeans. We all went outside after that and had a smoke. I sat on the cobblestone steps stealing glances at Ally as the other guys went to leave. Why else would she get dressed up like this just to watch boys play poker? Just to sit on the couch and watch television while boys play poker with no one else to keep her company? She looked at me from the corner of her eyes as she passed the joint to Zeke, I stared back at her, my heart pounding. We made our way to the park to toss the roach in the sewer grate. Ally fell down into the dirt as we made our way down the beaten path. It was cloudless and clear outside, the stars softly swimming
50/50 tells Director’s Cancer Story
through the early morning sky. We kept walking as we made our way to a baseball field by the Catholic school down the street. The box where all the chalk got kept was unlocked. We took it all out and started to write things on the field. I took out the shovel and chased Zeke and Ally around the field with it until I gave up and flung it into the darkness. All the running and paint thinner and weed had caused the ground to spin. I tried to grab on to the fence but it was at the other end of the field. I collapsed where second base ought to have been and threw up. -I love you Zeke. Ally whispered as she embraced him with her bleeding, jaded arms. I wanted to impale myself with that shovel, anything to get her attention.
5/5 By Brian Lukaszewicz
There was a moment, about three quarters of the way through this movie, where my mind just sort of shut off. I stopped analyzing, stopped debating what would come next, stopped thinking. In that moment, I was completely immersed, surrendering to the experience. That’s how good 50/50 is. 50/50 is a movie about cancer, not the lightest of subject matters. We follow the film’s main protagonist, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), from his diagnosis through his treatment. It’s not always an easy journey to watch, but the script is sharp. This isn’t like any movie I’ve seen before about cancer. Most use the disease as a prop, a way of adding heightened meaning to the proceedings before the main character eventually kicks the bucket. 50/50 simply enlightens its audience to the experience, and the result is surprisingly more universal than you would expect. This of course all makes more sense if you know some of the story behind the movie. 50/50 is loosely based on screenwriter Will Reiser’s encounter with the disease, and his insights into the subject matter really do feel as though he’s letting you in on his own personal experience. The relationships in this movie are complex, and the friction between Adam and his support system is palpable. Of course all of what I’ve said so far is
completely ignoring the fact that 50/50 is really, really funny as well. The true feat of this movie is its ability to almost effortlessly transition from some genuinely heavy moments straight into laughs. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have your best friend played by Seth Rogen, who for those of you who don’t know is actually one of Reiser’s real-life friends. Needless to say he does an excellent job of playing what I can only assume is pretty much himself. The rest of the cast is quite strong as well. Anjelica Huston is not surprisingly a forceful presence as Adam’s spiralling mother, and Anna Kendrick shows why her Best Supporting Actress nomination for Up in The Air definitely wasn’t a fluke. The real star here though is Joseph GordonLevitt, who seems to have had an incredible run of hits of late. His performance as Adam is wonderfully poignant and is a large part of why the film works so well. He’s come a long way since his days as Tommy Solomon on Third Rock from the Sun. The Oscars are still a few months away but I don’t think it’s too early to start talking about nominations, and 50/50 should definitely be a part of that conversation. Few films have ever been able to tackle this kind of subject matter and simultaneously come out both this heartfelt and this funny. 50/50 makes it look easy.
Volume 46 | Issue 5 | October 10, 2011
Housing Co-op Plans to Open in 2012 Matt Rappolt, Site Planning Director, Peterborough Student Co-Operative
Housing co-operatives have been a popular choice for students across Ontario for the better part of a century. In Toronto, Campus Co-operative Residence and Neill Wycik Co-operative College have been operating since 1936 and 1970 respectively. The Guelph Campus Co-op began as a bookstore in 1913 and later expanded into housing. Waterloo Co-operative Residence opened its doors in 1963 and Science ’44 Co-operative at Queen’s University launched in 1941. Co-operative residences give students a way to better take control of their housing situations. They are owned and controlled by their members, which means that students are able to contribute to their community and play a central role in building and shaping their co-operative experience. Student housing co-operatives are also not-for-profit, which means that they are able to offer students the most affordable and flexible rates possible. The Peterborough Student Co-operative was founded in 2008 and has been working for the past three years towards establishing a student-owned, student-operated residence in downtown Peterborough. Currently, we have more than 100 members and have received support from both the Trent and downtown Peterborough communities. At the core of our mandate is the ever-growing need for quality, safe, and affordable housing for students. Downtown Peterborough is an amazing place to live, with a thriving culture and exciting nightlife, and a co-operative residence will allow students to live both independently, safely and affordably, in a community of peers dedicated to working
towards the best possible living and learning experience. At Trent, our university has a long history of promoting co-operative style residences. In essence, the college system shares many of the same goals of building community, fostering engagement and promoting a learning environment. Once upon a time there were two in-town undergraduate colleges that linked the downtown and the campus communities. Those days are sadly gone and it is our hope that the establishment of a co-operative residence will resurrect that link, and begin to bring student space back into the downtown. For the past six months, PSC has been investigating different approaches to establishing the residence and are now moving into a new phase of planning with the ambitious goal of having our doors open by the start of the 2011/2012 academic year. If you’re interested in becoming a member or would like to learn more about our organization, our email address is info@ trentcoop.ca. We are also holding our All Members Meeting on November 2 at Dreams of Beans Café on Hunter Street, with our Annual General Meeting to follow on November 24. This will be an opportunity for students and community members to come and chat with our members and our directors about the future of this project and to get involved in making the co-op a reality. There are positions available on committees and on the Board of Directors so if you want to make a difference and help build better student housing in Peterborough this is a great place to start. We hope to see you there!
GET THE FACTS ON HPV... Understanding Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Brought to you by Trent Health Services Written by Rebekah Watson, 4th year Nursing Student
HPV is a virus that is highly contagious. Approximately 75% of all Canadians will have at least one HPV infection during their lifetime. HPV can infect anyone who has ever had a sexual or intimate encounter by skin-to-skin contact. Because people who have HPV may not show any signs or symptoms, they can pass on the virus without even knowing it. HPV has more than 100 types. Some types of HPV can lead to cancer. Other HPVs can cause genital or anal warts. How can I protect myself from HPV? Get vaccinated. The vaccine can prevent infection against four types of HPV, the types that cause cancer and genital warts. It has been approved for people of all sexes. Although the vaccine is an important advance in preventing HPV infections and genital warts, it does not replace pap tests or using barrier methods for safer sex. Regular screening with pap tests can prevent almost all cases of cancer of the cervix. Dental dams or condoms are necessary to prevent other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Who should not get the HPV vaccine? The HPV vaccine is not recommended for people who are pregnant, or have a true allergy to yeast. Some age restrictions apply – check with Health Services for details. Check it out: Trent Health Services and TCSA are offering HPV immunization clinics on campus at a discounted rate (60% off) for all students on the TCSA Benefits Plan in Trent Health Services, Blackburn Hall, Suite 111. If you have any questions regarding HPV and the shot, please visit our website at www.trentu.ca/healthservices or our Facebook page: Trent University Student Health Services 1) October 13, 2011 @530pm - 730pm DOSE 1 2) November 15, 2011 @ 530pm - 730pm DOSE 2 3) February 9, 2012 @ 530pm - 730pm DOSE 3
Eating at the Casino
Hunger and the World Food Economy at the KWIC World Issues Cafe By Yolanda Ajak, KWIC Media Liaison
Food is an essential component to human life. Imagine going to bed hungry, waking up hungry and not knowing where your next meal will come from. This is the daily life and struggle of nearly a billion people worldwide. The unremitting rise in global food prices is not only problematic for low income families, but it also constitutes a major threat to food security particularly in developing countries. According to the World Bank, between 2010-2011 incessantly rising food costs have resulted in over 70 million people living in extreme poverty, 44 million since June alone. The price surge for wheat and maize may be an inconvenience for us, but it is a serious issue for the world’s poor who spend more than 50% of their incomes on food. The number of hungry people worldwide is continually increasing, and little attention is paid to the role of global financial markets in shaping the world food systems. In today’s global international market, the wellbeing of a country may depend on the export of goods from another country. Russia, one of the world’s leading wheat producers was ravaged by fires during the summer of 2010 record breaking heat wave. Wheat harvests in Ukraine have also dropped 15% as a result of incompetent weather. Both countries have exercised export bans on the commodity therefore resulting on world shortages of the commodity. And like the domino affect, the price of wheat has gone up in the international market. October 16, 2011 will mark the 32nd annual World Food Day, a globally acknowledged day to commemorate the creation of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The theme of this year’s FAO World Food Day program is “Food Prices- From Crisis to Stability.” The objective of this year’s theme is to explore the impacts of food prices on the poor and explore alternatives to prevention of the patterns of increasingly rising global food prices. In conjunction with World Food Day, Kawartha World Issues Centre is hosting a free World Issues Café on Thursday October 18 at 5:30pm at the Market Hall. This event will include a community feast of Indigenous black bean soup from Grandfather’s Catering, wild rice salad from Food Not Bombs, and traditional corn tortillas and salsa provided by Ivan and the ChocoSol Tortilla Project, followed by a presentation and discussion. During the feast, several local groups working on food issues, such the Peterborough Community Food Network will be represented to share information about their work creating links between the local and global food systems. Keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Clapp will focus on the features of the world economy that make the business of food more and more like a global gambling casino. Clapp will give an overview of the causes and possible solutions to the problem of rising global food prices. Clapp is a Professor and CIGI Chair of Environmental Global Governance, Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Department of Environment and Resource Studies, at the University of Waterloo. Clapp is a renowned researcher in the areas of Global food and environment politics and governance; environment and development; trade and environment/agriculture; politics of food aid; global politics of hazardous and plastic waste; agricultural biotechnology and implications for developing countries; transnational corporations and environment. She is also the author of a number of books, including two upcoming works: Food (Polity, 2011) and Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid (Cornell, 2012). The issue of hunger and the scarcity of food is abominable and inescapable. This is your chance to play a role. As Jacques Diouf stated (FAO Director General) “Hunger is not an issue of charity. It is an issue of Justice”.
a coffee house is a good house
Businesses hope you’re too busy for Occupy TO
By Sarah McDonald
By Matt Jarvis
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so musically reluctant. Living at Trent University, I’m surrounded by talent. It’s such a brilliant school when it comes to the arts. It’s something I wasn’t used to being exposed to in my old high school. Sure, we had the occasional talent show or musical on stage. but never before had I been to a coffee house. In Lady Eaton College (LEC), a coffee house constitutes sitting in the Junior Common Room (JCR), watching students from that residence display their talents. The last one I attended had instruments ranging from acoustic guitars to those fancy drums that I only see in movies about marching bands. When a popular song is played, everyone sings along. Others who may or may not be musically off-tune suddenly join in with the singer up front. My best friend, who did cafeteria jams at our old high school, found a jamming buddy in my neighbor across the hall. Now, all I hear are country-music renditions with an acoustic guitar and their beautiful voices drifting through the cracked door. Recently they have discovered how well they can perform in front of an audience at LEC. There’s about five or six people in my hallway that are especially talented at playing the guitar. Sometimes it’s the best background when doing homework alone in your room. Not that that’s the only musical influence I have been exposed to while here at Trent. I’ve seen gifted pianists, drummers, and singers in the month that I’ve been here. Champlain College recently held their Riverside Music Fest on Wednesday Sept. 28, which featured many talented student artists in the Great Hall. During Head of the Trent weekend, Lady Eaton had a bonfire where students were invited to play their instruments. Award-winning musician John Kameel Farah from Toronto performed at the LEC pit on September 28, which attracted local residents as well as students. Farah is a composer and pianist. He demonstrated his talent for mixing electronic and classical music and wowed the audience with his tracks. He even had one song he announced contained some “dubstep” and proceeded to impress us. Peterborough is for sure a town for the arts. Every time I’m downtown there’s always a man on the corner playing a guitar. I’ve been eyeing Tonic, the karaoke bar, thinking it’s about time I drag a few friends in there. And I find myself looking forward to the day I can finally enter a bar to see a decent rock show. Or maybe I should get up in front of a student audience next time there’s a coffee house in the JCR and sing that Tragically Hip song my friend and I discussed a while ago…
I’m a student dad. I work. I have projects. I think I understand (at least a little) what “busyness” means. At some point, I think we all do. Most of us never use the word in this way. I looked deeper into the word, first to see if it was a real word (it is). As I learned more, the conspiracy theorist in me began to think maybe there’s something in the distinction to the more common spelling. I have some entrepreneurial friends. Busiest people I know. As far as I can tell, as a business owner you are in the business of accumulating the most amount of others busyness for the least amount of your own. Business is the linguistic child of busyness: when the vowel switched, its meaning became abstract. Busyness is almost self explanatory, probably even in translation. It is the noun form of busy, and means “purposeful activity.” But this is a subjective definition. It’s a type of sensory experience that can be recognized in yourself or empathized with in others’ (happ[y]ness). Business is more complex. “What is your business here?” “The best in the business.” “Big business.” “Go into business.” It’s something to believe in, an “objective” truth. In order for business to work, people have to use the busyness of themselves and others as weapons in a battle to reach the highest possible point, which is delineated by the gradually decreasing necessity of personal busyness. The general idea is that this is a viable option for a worldview because “the business” will provide for everyone through the work necessary to alleviate the busyness of those at the top. That’s why we have more gas station attendants than Lamborghini drivers. These well-fed people enforce this idea by surrounding themselves with people totally and violently committed to the business, just in case the lower ones decide they want to keep their busyness for themselves. At some point, the busyness that regular people need to maintain a basic level of happiness is interrupted or made impossible by business and the violence surrounding the businesspeople starts to seem less terrifying then the alternatives. When this happens crowds of people go into the streets. As I said before, I’m a dad, a husband, a student, an employee. I don’t have time to go to the streets in anger. But I’m going. The most purposeful activity I can think of is trying to make the world a better place for my family and my community. When my son grows older I want to tell him his dad was there representing the family when the people took control of their own lives. Occupy Toronto. King + York. October 15. 10am. Occupyto.ca Facebook.com/ occupyto
Volume 46 | Issue 5 | October 10, 2011
Listings English Country Dancers: Peterborough English Country Dancers are hosting a Community Dance on Saturday October 15, 2011 from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. at St John’s Anglican Church Guildhall, 99 Brock St, Peterborough. English and American style dancing to live music. Families (6 yr & up) welcome. Adults $8, students $5, kids 2-12 $2. For info, call 705-745-1630 Election Debriefing (& free coffee): Wednesday, October 12th at 2pm at Hausu, 240 Murray Street (www.facebook.com/Hausu). Talking about Canadian politics is challenging, let alone participating in a meaningful way. An informal session on the election could allow us to vent or celebrate the political happenings in Ontario. Film Screening- Gibney’s Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Friday, October 14th at 7pm at Hausu, 240 Murray Street. End of October Thompson’s The Rum Dairy is coming to theatres, and I thought it would be nice to know the author a little better first. Gibney’s documentary on his life is worthy of more than one viewing. Live/Participatory reading of Brecht’s Three Penny Opera: Thursday, October 20th at 8pm at Hausu, 240 Murray Street. Be one of the characters in Brecht’s play. We will read a few acts and discuss the play following. Film Screening: Von Trier’s Antichrist: Thursday, October 27th at 7pm at Hausu, 240 Murray Street.
It’s Halloween, how about a spooky film? Von Trier caused a bit of a scandal at Cannes 2009 when this film was released. Come and see what all the fuss is about. Candy and chocolate will be provided. Warning: violent and sexual content. Pizza Party! On Thursday, October 13th from 6-8pm there is a Frontier College-free pizza party in the Champlain College lounge on the 2nd floor. We will also be offering information on all of our volunteer opportunities. Need $ for your theatre-related activity? Theatre Trent’s funding proposal deadline is this month and you can apply painlessly at www. theatretrent.ca. We are welcoming new executive members to write cheques for theatre-makers and gain non-profit Board experience: you are needed. As always, you are welcome to borrow props and costumes from the storage space at Sadleir House - email theatretrent@trentu. ca. Biff Hannon and Donna Collison: On Sat. Oct. 8 and Sat. Oct. 22, come out and see Jazz Duo, pianist Biff Hannon and vocalist Donna Collison at Curry Village, 306 George St. From 6pm to 9pm. The Mangy Moggy: a United Way Fundraiser. A bicycle scavenger hunt by COIN. Meet at Millenium Park, 2pm on Sat. October 15. Register at COIN (251 Charlotte St), Peterborough Green-Up (378 Aylmer St. N), B!KE (336 Rubidge St.), or the TCSA Office. Cost of registration ranges
from $15-$30. The options for the scavenger hunt are the Alley Cat Race for bitterly competitive individuals, or the more leisurely Poker Run for teams of 4. Prizes for performance, prizes for panache. This scavenger hunt is for avid cyclists, commuters, Sunday-afternoon-cyclists, and families, so come out and join the fun! Fall Monday night Yoga Class! Prana Flow Yoga 12 week series. Yoga has proven to reduce stress, increase euphoria, and maximize health in body and mind. This is an all levels class. All are welcome! Instructor: Tiina Kivinen 50 hr certified. Dates: Mondays Sept 12 - Dec. 5. (not including Thanksgiving) Time: 7:30 - 9pm Cost: 12 weeks for $108 (commit to your practice!) or Dropin for $12-$15 sliding scale. At Sadleir House Dining Hall, 751 George St. N Peterborough. Introduction to Buddhism: “Travelling from Confusion to Original Sanity” A 10-week Study Group based on talks given by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and carefully compiled under his direction. Starts September 15 at Sadleir House. Whether you are new to Buddhism or already have experience studying the Dharma, this is a great opportunity to engage in lively discussion of Buddhadharma. For more information, call 705-755-0063. Scottish Country Dancing at Trent: The twenty-first year of Scottish Country Dancing at Trent begins Thursday, September 15th in The Gathering Place, Peter Gzowski Col-
lege, on the Main Campus from 8.00 to 9.30 pm. Social dancing for all ages. FREE nine week introduction. If Thursday does not work for you the Peterborough Scottish Country Dance Society have a Beginners class on Tuesday evening from 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm in the parish hall of All Saint’s Anglican Church. They offer a special reduced fee for students. For more information on either of these groups call John or Joan Reeves at 748-5255 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
classifieds Are you thinking about doing an internship? Internship Panel Wednesday, October 19, 2011. Plan to attend and get informed from the perspective of an intern and also of the employer. Where: Champlain Living Learning Commons (old Seasoned Spoon) When : 2:00-4:00pm. Thinking about Adoption? If you are pregnant and need a nurturing loving home for your child, then we would love to talk to you about our family. We look forward to hearing from you! Call Trish at 1-519-304-1555 Need essay help? Experienced Masters and PhD graduates can help! All subjects and levels, plus resumes, applications, and editing. Nursing, English, Business, Sociology and more! Call toll free 1-888-345-8295 or email email@example.com for a quote today!! www.customessay.com