Page 1

I’m a brown bear! since 1918

up, up and away: ubc kicks off its 2010-2011 basketball season. page 7

taking care of rocking in the summer of ‘69: the top 100 canadian songs page 6

the ubyssey

OCTOBER 25, 2010 • volume 92, number xv • room 24, student union building • published monday and thursday • feedback@ubyssey.ca

The Stuff of ‘Nightmares’

Videos show severe hazing at University of Alberta fraternity. Page 3


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events

october 25, 2010 volume xcii, no xv editorial coordinating editor

Justin McElroy : coordinating@ubyssey.ca

news editor

Arshy Mann : news@ubyssey.ca

tuesday, oct. 26

associate news editor

Sally Crampton : associate.news@ubyssey.ca

culture editors

Jonny Wakefield & Bryce Warnes : culture@ubyssey.ca

associate culture editor

Anna Zoria : associate.culture@ubyssey.ca

sports editor Vacant

features editor

Trevor Record : features@ubyssey.ca

photo editor

Geoff Lister : photos@ubyssey.ca

production manager

Virginie Ménard : production@ubyssey.ca

copy editor

US and Them: An Intimate Evening of Theatre Created by you

UBC improv Presents: UBC improv in a UBC improv Spectacular

At this event, audiences will experience an intimate evening of theatre without a play. No actors, no script—just an open theatrical dialogue about why and how humanity creates the other, asking questions about how we recognize there is only “us” here.• 7:30–10pm, First Nations Longhouse, 1985 West Mall, reservations recommended, call 604-871-0508, go to headlinestheatre.com for more information.

UBC Improv is hosting themselves in their first of two October shows after their success during Firstweek. What is being improvised, you ask? Are there explosives? What about Iago-styled revenge plots? No, it’s theatre! Which sounds boring, but it’s actually totally great! • Oct. 26 –27, 6:45 – 9pm, Scarfe 100, $3 at the door, free with a year-long UBC Improv membership ($10).

Kai Green : copy@ubyssey.ca

multimedia editor

Tara Martellaro : multimedia@ubyssey.ca

associate multimedia editor Stephanie Warren : associate.multimedia@ubyssey.ca

video editor

wednesday, oct. 27

Matt Wetzler : video@ubyssey.ca

webmaster

Jeff Blake : webmaster@ubyssey.ca Room 24, Student Union Building 6138 Student Union Boulevard Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 tel: 604.822.2301 web: www.ubyssey.ca e-mail: feedback@ubyssey.ca

business Room 23, Student Union Building print advertising: 604-822-1654 business office: 604.822.6681 web advertising: 604-822-1658 e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.ca

business manager

Fernie Pereira : business@ubyssey.ca

don’t forget your pap

UBC Film Society Screening: GET LOW

Join the national campaign for Pap Awareness Week and help prevent cervical cancer. FREE Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap tests) for UBC students. You can drop-in or make an appointment for your Pap test. Tests are 5-10 minutes long. • 10am– 3:30pm, Student Health Service, main floor of UBC Hospital, call 604-822-7011 for an appointment or go to students.ubc. ca/livewelllearnwell for more information.

The UBC Film Society will be showing Get Low, starring Robert Duvall and Bill Murray. A movie spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party... while he was still alive. • Runs until Oct. 31, 7– 9pm, Norm Theatre, SUB, $5 non-members, $2.50 members.

thursday, oct. 28

print ad sales

Kathy Yan Li : advertising@ubyssey.ca

web ad sales

MOSAIC (A Night of Music for Darfur)

Goh Ballet Youth Company

accounts

UBC STAND is a branch of the national STAND organization, the largest youth-led organization in Canada for genocide and human rights awareness. They are proud to present Mosaic: a night of music for Darfur, featuring Sneaky Pete and Their There. • 8pm, Gallery Lounge, SUB, $7 tickets, go to standubc.com for more information.

The exciting young dancers of the renowned Goh Ballet Youth Company perform a rich selection of classical ballets for the October edition of the Dance Centre’s popular Discover Dance! noon series. • Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St (at Granville), $10 adults, $8 students and seniors, order tickets at ticketstonight.ca.

Paul Bucci : webads@ubyssey.ca Alex Hoopes : accounts@ubyssey,ca

contributors

Kelly Han Colin Chia Ian Turner Ginny Monaco Kalyeena Makortoff Brian Platt

Joe Peace Jon Chiang Henry Ye Matt Naylor Paul Bucci David Elop

Page 6 photos: Derek Hatfield, Mcflyer Cover photo: Dan McKechnie

legal The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of British Columbia. It is published every Monday and Thursday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous, democratically run student organization, and all students are encouraged to participate. Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey Publications Society. The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP’s guiding principles. Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your phone number, student number and signature (not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone. “Perspectives” are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and are run according to space. “Freestyles” are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is time sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run until the identity of the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clarity. All letters must be received by 12 noon the day before intended publication. Letters received after this point will be published in the following issue unless there is an urgent time restriction or other matter deemed relevant by the Ubyssey staff. It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value or the impact of the ad.

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printed on 100% recycled paper

Send your events our way. Delicious, delicious events. Mmmmmmmh. events@ubyssey.ca

U theubyssey.ca


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News

editor ARSHY MANN » news@ubyssey.ca associate SALLY CRAMPTON » associate.news@ubyssey.ca

Videos show hazing at University of Alberta fraternity “If you’re hammered through the whole thing, you’re going to have a lot less nightmares” Alexandria Eldridge The Gateway EDMONTON (CUP)—The Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity at the University of Alberta tells pledges to eat their own vomit, deprives them of sleep and closes them in a plywood box as part of a four-day initiation process, according to video footage from January 2010 obtained by The Gateway. A DKE alumnus, who wished to remain anonymous to protect his identity, and who will be referred to as Joe, described his experience during initiation as traumatic. “[Pledges are] not told what happens. There’s very little...actually done for them. They’re stolen from, they’re taken advantage of, they’re yelled at [...], they’re not told when it will end,” Joe said. “They’re definitely hurt mentally and physically at the end of it.” According to Joe, the initiation weekend took place last year near the end of January. Pledges arrive at the DKE house on Thursday and do not leave until Sunday. During check-in, when pledges arrive at the house, the initiated DKE brothers put the food and alcohol each pledge brings into the communal fridge. One of the videos shows a pledge being yelled at by at least five of the active members or alumni during check-in because he brought two small cans of beans instead of one large can. “Do you have a problem following instructions? Because if you do, your life is going to become extremely difficult... Do you have a learning disability? Are you retarded?” The video also shows the pledges being told to do wall

s it s, b ei n g pressured into taking a bite out of a raw onion a n d being pressured into eating raw

eggs, to which one brother says, “Go salmonella.” Video footage also shows pledges attending an off-campus dinner, where they eat food that is intentionally disgusting and then smoke a cigar as quickly as possible after eating. Joe explained that for these reasons, some pledges are forced to vomit and then eat their vomit. “As far as I know, no chemical is added to the food, and there’s always a percentage of the people that just eat it,” Joe said. “But here are the instructions: get him to eat as much as possible, get him to puke. When he pukes, try to get him to clean up his plate. His plate should be empty, including his vomit.” Over the weekend, the brothers also hold extended exercise drills for the pledges called “circles.” One alumnus, called the circle master, stands in the middle of a group of pledges who are surrounded by active members and alumni. The pledges must do and say whatever the circle

master tells them to, including sit-ups and push-ups, while being yelled at by their surrounding brothers. Multiple times over the weekend, pledges also go into “The Hilton”—a plywood box that Joe described as a confined space. He said that the brothers alter the size by putting desks and chairs inside of it. “I’m guessing you could possibly stuff 30 people in there, but if you’ve got a class of 15, you just close off half. You couldn’t stand in it.” Joe said that often, someone would squirt ketchup or throw food into the Hilton, or urinate inside before the pledges enter. The pledges usually won’t stay in the Hilton for any more than 15 minutes and Joe said that anyone who is claustrophobic is not forced in. Many hours over the weekend are also spent in “meditations,” during which pledges

are instructed to sit upright facing the wall, but are not allowed to sleep. The alumni play extremely loud, repetitive music. After a few hours, Joe said many people start to hallucinate. The video indicates that over the course of the weekend, the personal property of the pledges is often stolen. At one point on the video, one brother says to another, “We steal their shit.” Jo e a d de d t h a t t h e pledges get no substantial time to sleep. Accord i n g t o schedu les obtained by The Gateway, t he pledges a re on ly a llotted time to sleep for a half hour on Friday night and for five

geoff lister graphic/the ubyssey

15-minute intervals and one half-hour interval on Saturday night. In addition to sleep deprivation, Joe said the pledges are also encouraged to drink large amounts of alcohol throughout the weekend, but this is not mandatory. “I’ve always wondered if it’s better to get drunk or not, because the alcohol dehydrates you, but [it] definitely helps deal with the trauma. If you’re

Creationist speaker creates clamour at UBC Sally Crampton associate.news@ubyssey.ca Evolution was the hot topic on campus last Friday, when Dr Jonathan Sarfati gave a lecture on his latest book The Greatest Hoax on Earth?—a direct response to Richard Dawkins’s book The Greatest Show on Earth? Safarti, founder of the Creation Ministries International, spoke to a crowded auditorium of around 200 listeners, including many families and children. Sarfati, who has a PhD in chemistry, is the founder of the Wellington Christian Apologetics Society in New Zealand. He refutes Darwin’s claims that life evolved from non-life, and that our ancestors were microbes t hat developed over hundreds of millions of years. As a creationist, Safari believes that the Earth and universe are the creations of a supernatural being. He spent much of his speech attacking Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist who is famous for his

opposition to creationism. “Claims of evolution and creation are really claims of history,” he said. “We disagree that all things come from a single cell,” he said at the end of his speech. “Dawkins clings to Darwin’s evolution, because he needs it for his faith.” The event was hosted by the Ambassadors for Jesus at UBC, whose mission statement is to represent “Jesus in the power of the Spirit to bring students to the Father and God’s kingdom to UBC.” Creationists reject the theory of evolution and instead try to justify Biblical theories of creation with what they claim is scientific evidence. The website of his book claims that belief in the Bible’s account of creation ‘does not commit intellectual suicide, it is if anything the intellectually superior position.’ “Evolution says life came from non-living chemicals,” said Sarfati. “There’s no evidence; it’s anti-science.” Sarfati’s claims have garnered widespread criticism. In

jon chiang photo/the ubyssey

the National Centre for Science Education Executive Director Eugenie C. Scott’s Antievolutionism: Changes and Continuities, Sarfati’s books’ are described as “a crude piece of propoganda.” The same paper warns that in light of his writings’ large circulation, “[the] shoddiness [of his methodology] is no excuse for complacency on the part

of the scientific community.” Last year, Sarfati was given the March “Moron of the Month” title by anti-creationist blog “Creationist Idiocy.” “Fossils don’t come with a label saying [they are] 100 million years old, nor does the Grand Canyon,” Sarfati said at the lecture. “How can we have the same evidence and come up [with] lots of different explanations? Because we have different starting assumptions.” He continued, “When people read the Bible they could no longer believe that the world was made in a certain way. Students started looking at the Bible objectively and then looked at nature objectively.” Beth Squire, a third year Arts undergraduate, said that Sarfati wasn’t able to make a compelling case against evolution. “For the most part, I think his speech was incomprehensible. Although it was an interesting topic, I’m not convinced by his beliefs at all,” she said. U —With files from Trevor Record

hammered through the whole thing, you’re going to have a lot less nightmares than if you’re sober the whole time,” Joe said. After Friday night, pledges are not allowed to leave the initiations. On the video, a group of alumni discuss the basic rule that once someone starts on Friday they can’t leave until Sunday unless it’s a special circumstance. Joe explained that some of the pledges actually enjoy the challenge of initiations, and many of the brothers enjoy it as well, but he feels it’s unfair that pledges do not know what to expect from initiations before they begin. “I’d call it hazing, I call it abuse. I think the better word i s abu se. You get abu sed, absolutely.” A second DKE alumnus, who also wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the information listed above. According to the DKE International Risk Management Policy posted on their website, hazing by any chapter, student or alumnus is prohibited. Having the permission of the person being hazed is not an admissable defence. At a press conference on October 21, Dean of Students Frank Robinson said that the university is currently investigating. DKE International did not respond to requests for comment as of press time and requests for comments from the U of A chapter of the fraternity were sent to its alumni association. A spokesperson for the DKE alumni association denied the allegations. “We never would do anything to offend the honour of any of our own guys or any potential member either,” the spokesperson said.

crime briefs On Oct 21 around 3:00am a female entering her residence building was approached by an unknown male from behind and groped. The RCMP were contacted and provided the following suspect description: Indo-Canadian male, 5’7, 25-30 years old, heavy build, shoulder-length dark hair. Suspect was wearing a hooded sweater, blue jeans and dark shoes. This is the third such incident in two months. On Oct 20 around 9:00pm, a male walking on East Mall was ap proached by an unknown male who accused the victim of stealing his iPod. The unknown male accosted the victim and fled when bystanders intervened. Campus Security was alerted via a Blue Phone and contacted 911. The suspect was able to get away before Campus Security or the RCMP got to the scene. On Oct 21 around 2:00am, a male walking near the Bus Loop was approached by two unknown males who said, “Show me the money,” and then punched the victim. Campus Security and the RCMP were called to provide assistance.


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UBC Allies looking for a fresh start

Resource group looking to “support rather than lead” feminist groups Kalyeena Makortoff kmakortoff@ubyssey.ca A l lies at UBC is beginning t he year wit h a new v ision and executive t hat hopes to increase activity and visibility on campus. Allies is an AMS Resource Group that aims to provide male support for women’s and feminist groups and movements. “The call for a men’s focus group is to start pointing that out, that we as the privileged group are never forced to look at our privilege,” said Allies President Isaac Rosenberg. “In the language that we use, men are the standard. I don’t know how anyone could say there isn’t [a need for Allies at UBC].” Rosenberg admitted t hat while the group has not been noticeable on campus in the past, what may have kept Allies a more insular group has been the emphasis on theory rather than action. “What Allies has been in the past is focused on the construction of masculinity, which is very philosophical. And while I feel that’s very important and something we will focus on, without action that’s nothing.” An annual pancake breakfast to support the White Ribbon Campaign, a men’s organization to end men’s violence against women, has been the only organized activity in recent years, Rosenberg added. “Rather than just campaigns and fundraisers, we want the

Allies at UBC members at their office in the SUB. Jon Chiang Photo/The Ubyssey

group to be about something... so that we can provide an end in and of itself to become an ally rather than just to support the Women’s Centre or just to buy a pancake. We want people to sign on to end violence and oppression and particularly subjugation of women, that’s our focus.” Allies is planning to hold antioppression workshops, as well as provide education on what feminism actually means, “because that’s hugely misunderstood...I know there are people who come

up against very archaic views... on general beliefs on feminists and feminism, who feminists are and who they can be.” Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director for Vancouver’s Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS), said that any men’s group must be careful when looking to be part of women’s movements. “They would need to have clear women’s leadership they could name and be sanctioned by the women’s group. They have to declare the leadership

of women that they are following....and the perspective they are coming from.” Rosenberg agreed. “I think that a lot of our effort has to be based on support rat her than leading, because there is a potential for the patriarchal system that exists in society to reify within the women’s liberation movement, if men are allowed to take charge as liberators.” A variet y of groups have been suggested as potential on-campus partners for Allies,

including the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC), AMS club Students for Reproductive Rights, and Access and Diversity’s Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign. However, the “ally” terminology and the “supporting” concept could generally be reassessed, MacDougall explained. “I’m not sure I like the ‘ally’ language these days because it comes from a 90s analysis of feminism. I think it came from a well intentioned language from a particular point in time…[but] we’re in the 21st century...I prefer an activist that understands that he is accountable to the anti-violence movement that women are part of. “An ‘ally’ is a buddy. I don’t need a friend—they need to be wearing some of the war stains.” Whatever the contribution, there is still a call for this group on campus, according to Becki Ross, a professor for UBC’s Women’s and Gender Studies. “Allies at UBC sends the important message that men are speaking up and challenging sexist, racist and homophobic advertising and jokes, drug-facilitated sexual assault, and rape on campuses and beyond,” Ross explained. ”These are not women’s issues—they are issues of concern to everyone committed to safety and security for all students, staff and faculty at UBC. We need to communicate how it’s cool for men to respect women, at all times, and in all venues.” U


2010.10.25/ubyssey.ca/perspectives/5

perspectives

Visa arrangements to Kabul: Not your ordinary travel planning brian platt bplatt@ubyssey.ca A lot of people have asked me if I’m nervous about going to Afghanistan. It’s not nervousness, I reply; it’s a funny feeling of having no clue what you’re about to experience. I’ve also been asked whether I’m frightened at all. I know for sure that this isn’t an issue. Big spiders scare me. Afghanistan doesn’t at all. Although Afghanistan does have big spiders.

I think it’s important to be confident but not naive about my safety while travelling. Yes, Afghanistan is one of the most violent countries in the world right now. But Kabul is also a gigantic city and hosts a very large assortment of foreigners, both governmental and otherwise, from all over the globe. Seeing a white-skinned face in Kabul is not uncommon these days. And from what I’ve heard, the cliché about the hospitality of Afghans exists because it’s entirely true. Furthermore, not being with the military or a United Nationsaffiliated organization makes me safer in some respects. An anti-government fighter in Afghanistan could care less about the notion of international law,

meaning that UN employees and military convoys are both prime targets. In a horrific episode that occurred on October 28 last year, a UN guest house in Kabul was charged by suicide bombers. Six UN staff, two security guards and an Afghan civilian were all murdered. The sole purpose of such attacks is to drive the United Nations out of Afghanistan, but the UN has refused to be cowed. When I applied for my visa to get into Afghanistan, I did not specify it as a work trip—although “holiday” didn’t seem right either. So I marked it down as “other.” I immediately got a phone call from the Afghan Embassy in Ottawa. “You aren’t coming for work?” the man asked.

Not really, I told him. It just feels like it’s time for me to go. There was a pause on the other end of the line. “You know what the situation is there, right?” This caused me to laugh, although perhaps it shouldn’t have. It must be terrible to have to warn people against visiting your country. Then again, as a friend has commented to me, it would seem wrong to be going as a tourist, considering what most Afghans are dealing with on a daily basis. This trip is decidedly not about tourism. It’s about declaring my uncompromising solidarity with Afghans who are once again facing the prospect of being abandoned by the international community, and to tell their stories as best I can.

Most of my other preparations have been of the kind you might make before any large international trip. My arms are perforated with vaccine needle holes. I’m packing novels and homework for the 24 hours of plane travel and trying to manage my sleep so I don’t get devastated by jet lag. A pharmacist leaned over the counter the other day and handed me a bottle of pills. “Now, don’t take these for regular diarrhea. Take them if you get terrible, agonizing, bloody—” Alright! I get it! If you’re reading this on Monday, I’ll be in an airplane or airport on my way to Kabul. Starting Tuesday, you can follow my trip on the Ubyssey’s website, at www.ubyssey.ca/afghanistan. U

UVic bans sororities, but threats and coercion politics continue as usual

kai green copy@ubyssey.ca In their Annual General Meeting on October 14, the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) voted not to recognize fraternities and sororities on campus. The move was attributed to concerns that Greek letter organizations (GLOs) are bastions of racism, sexism, homophobia and classism that endanger safe spaces on campus.

In light of recent fraternity fuckuppery across this continent (disgusting initiation chants at Yale; horrific, abusive hazing at U of A, to name two), UVic’s decision might seem logical, even sensible. After all, what kind of stone-aged horror show would allow an organization of this kind onto their campus? Well, UVic, for one. The vote to withhold recognition ignores two facts: first, that the fraternity responsible for the aforementioned incidents, Delta Kappa Epsilon, already exists on the Victoria campus, and is not affected by the ruling. Second, while the national Intrafraternity Council does not require a letter of recognition to establish a chapter on a

university campus, the National Panhelllenic conference does. In plain English: UVic, in attempting to make its campus a safer space for women, has instead simply told them they can’t join the same societies the men can. Ah, you say, but now UVic has spoken out. They’ve proven—these 100-something people who were able to vote at a meeting in the middle of midterms— that an atmosphere of oppression and disgusting, disgusting violence cannot stand. It’s an atmosphere which must be prevalent, since Rachel Chapman, who spoke at the AGM, told The Martlet she found the meeting itself an unsafe space. “Someone said they wanted to punch me in the

face... Someone said ‘Take that, you racist asshole.’” What better argument for a more enlightened university? Except Chapman was at the meeting on behalf of students who wanted to form a sorority. In a notespecially ironic twist for UVic, those threatening her were the same people speaking of a culture of violence against women. It’s ironic because UVic is in many ways a perfect location for GLOs. With a hypersensitive political atmosphere and incredibly dedicated student body, fraternities would find no room for their alleged bad behaviour. Concerned students could organize mass-rushes to ensure the presence and inclusion of minorities

and safe spaces in GLOs. At the very least, a motion condemning GLOs would have had much the same effect, with the added bonus of not removing anyone’s right to associate. Instead, UVic chose to play politics as usual, revoking the opportunity of students to freely associate to placate a few reactionaries‚ and doing it, as per usual, with no consideration for the tactics they’re using or the outcome of their actions. Refusing to recognize GLOs doesn’t fix the problem with the organizations; it just sets a nasty and patronizing double standard. Hey, that’s two misogynist groups— frats and the student union—for the price of one! U


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culture

editorS BRYCE WARNES & JONNY WAKEFIELD » culture@ubyssey.ca ASSOCIATE ANNA ZORIA » associate.culture@ubyssey.ca

The sounds of Canada Author charts the top 100 Canadian singles #2 Neil Young

Album Reviews Joe Peace Contributor Beekeeper, Be kept

#14 Tragically hip

david elop photo/The Ubyssey

Canada’s top ten singles 1 “American Woman/No Sugar Tonight”— The Guess Who 2 “Heart of Gold”—Neil Young 3 “The Weight”—The Band v 4 “Summer of ’69”—Bryan Adams 5 “Hallelujah”—Leonard Cohen 6 “Born to be Wild”—Steppenwolf 7 “If You Could Read My Mind”— Gordon Lightfoot 8 “Takin’ Care of Business”—Bachman-Turner Overdrive 9 “Four Strong Winds”—Ian & Sylvia 10 “Snowbird”—Anne Murray

#4 Bryan Adams

#6 BTO

#70 Celine Dion

Ginny Monaco Contributor Bob Mersereau’s The Top 100 Canadian Singles could have easily been called 100 Reasons It’s Great to be Canadian. By the time you reach number 100—Wintersleep’s “Weighty Ghost”—your heart will swell with (appropriately humble) Canuck pride. Mersereau, an arts reporter for CBC News: New Brunswick, says that a jury of over 800 people from across the country was tapped during the process of writing the book. “The bulk of the jury was formed by people who made their living in the music world: musicians, journalists, roadies, managers. But I also wanted to have fans voting. I didn’t want it to seem elitist.” While the selection of the songs was an involved and ambitious undertaking, Mersereau feels placement is secondary to the stories that run alongside the number. There are those who would scoff at the idea of Canadian musical history filling a glossy 216-page book. Mersereau delves into this history and the result is a complex story of solitude, open roads, ingenuity and good old fashioned rock and roll. “The list is what’s going to draw people in to read the stories. I mean, I could publish a list,” said Mersereau. “But this is a way to get people to read about the musicians, read about their stories and get to know a bit about the history of Canadian music.” Critics of Mersereau’s last book, The Top 100 Canadian Albums, took aim at the lack of Francophone inclusions. This time, he aimed for a selection that was as balanced as possible; rankings are not contingent on chart positions and do not reflect a preference for any one location or language. But Mersereau says it is difficult to reconcile the two languages. “The only thing that doesn’t work well is trying to compare English to French. Francophones know English music but it generally doesn’t go the other way.” The criteria are broad. Some songs, like the Tragically Hip’s “Wheat Kings” (87) or Robert Charlebois’s “Lindberg” (31), directly reference Canadian events. Some are simply great songs by musical legends that happen to hail from the Great White North. “It’s rare to hear people outside of the country talk about Canadians, unless it’s Neil [Young] and Joni [Mitchell],” said Mersereau. “Even then, so much of their stuff is directly linked to Canada. Who else in the world would write a metaphor about the need to escape and get away and [turn] it into ‘I wish I had a river I could skate away on?’ Americans can’t write that, unless they’re from Maine. They don’t have frozen rivers.” Attempting to summarily describe Canada’s musical tradition is a perilous task. Mersereau hesitates when making such statements. “The only generalization I like to make is we have very strong singer-songwriters,” said Mersereau. “We are really, really good at crafting songs for people to sing along to. Perhaps that comes from those early immigrations in the 1600s and the need to entertain oneself in rural settings with very sparse instrumentation. It gets passed on and on. Jim Cuddy and Greg Keeler [of Blue Rodeo] wanted to sing songs like Lightfoot did and Lightfoot wanted to sing songs like the earlier folk singers. And then there’s Rush, who have nothing to do with any of this.” There’s a great range in Canadian music. This is the country that gave the world “Hallelujah” (5), “ Big Yellow Taxi” (11), and the classic “Working for the Weekend” (46). We’re a strange mix of undeniably talented people, and Mersereau’s collection of our top 100 singles proves that. U

Luke Cyca and Devon Longheed are two of the core members of Beekeeper, a wonderfully unconventional Vancouver-based indie band with an ever-changing line-up. I asked, “So, out of you guys, who’s ‘the talent’?” and the pair instantly pointed at one another. “Luke and I have a really wonderfully complementary relationship,” explained Longheed. “We’re both creative in just the way the other person needs to actually get things done.” Thoug h prima ri ly based around Cyca, Lougheed and violinist Tegan Ceschi-Smith, the band itself is a “strange community, augmented with extremely talented friends,” as musicians and artists from all corners of the country are enlisted to contribute parts. “It’s kind of a revolving door of people,” added Cyca. Both Longheed and Ceschi-Smith are graduate students at UBC. Their debut album, Be Kept, was made on a shoestring budget on their own terms. From the vocals being recorded in a room with nine others, to crowd noises in the rain outside a hotel in Toronto, they used “exactly the wrong recording techniques,” said Lougheed. The album is the result of several months of haphazard and off-the-cuff recording, which manages to come together as a cohesive and tight pop record. Wall of sound pop and pitch perfect harmonies make comparisons to the New Pornographers inevitable. “One of the main challenges has been adapting songs from the album to the stage,” said Lougheed. “Sometimes there’ll be two people on stage, sometimes thirteen, all you know is it’ll be fuckin’ good!” The official album release ties in with “Faithful Neighbours,” a concert series with proceeds supporting various Downtown Eastside charities. “We didn’t want the fanfare for ourselves really, the album speaks for itself, everyone will love it!” joked Lougheed. “The idea of doing a show for the release where everyone comes out and should love us seemed a bit weird to us. People should come out and love the Downtown Eastside.” U Beekeeper’s debut album, Be Kept, is available on November 24th. Full disclosure: Beekeeper played The Ubyssey’s fundraiser party Saturday night.


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sports

editor VACANT

Men’s basketball splits home opener Colin Chua & Justin McElroy coordinating@ubyssey.ca

Friday: UBC 91, Saskatchewan 60

Jon Chiang Photo/The Ubyssey

Last March, UBC lost to the Saskatchewan Huskies in the CIS Championship game. Friday night, in a home opener that doubled as a championship rematch, they showed they hadn’t forgotten the loss. In front of a crowd of nearly 1200 at War Memorial Gym, UBC went on a 20–0 run in the first half to break the game wide open, eventually winning 91–60 and showing why they are one of the top picks to be national champions. They dominated outside with 12 three-pointers, inside with nine blocks, and in transition with 23 assists. Sakatchewan’s offense looked lost at sea for most of the game, shooting 30 per cent from the field overall, with UBC centre Balraj Bains making life miserable for the Huskies inside with a total of five blocks. “I thought Balraj probably played his best basketball as a Thunderbird, even though he didn’t score a point,” said head coach Kevin Hanson. “He rebounded and when he had to guard the point on switches he did a fantastic job. In that second quarter he was just outstanding.”

Last year’s CIS MVP Josh Whyte led UBC with 18 points and ten rebounds, while Doug Plumb added ten points and seven rebounds.

Saturday: UBC 96, Saskatchewan 97 A spirited comeback was snuffed out by the Huskies in the final seconds, leaving the home fans bitterly disappointed after a dramatic 97-96 win for the Huskies, splitting the season-opening series. Saskatchewan came out of the gate fired up following their loss Friday night to take a 22-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Seventeen points from Josh Whyte kept UBC in touch through the first half, but UBC found themselves behind 56-43 at half-time. It was a fast-paced start to the third quarter with both teams trading baskets before UBC seized control, taking a 15-2 run to race into a 69–65 lead. After Melvyn Mayott and Nathan Yu had brought the Thunderbirds to 65-62, Balraj Bains made a key block and seconds later brought UBC to within one with a spectacular dunk, and UBC finished the third quarter ahead 76-68. The fourth quarter was played more evenly with Saskatchewan drawing level at 84-84 with 5:14 on the clock, but UBC pulled away again

and seemed to have the game in hand when Brent Malish scored with a put-back with one minute left, bringing the score to 96-90. But in stepped Jamelle Barrett, who nailed a three-pointer and then added another bucket to bring Saskatchewan within one. The War Memorial Gym erupted in howls of protest as Josh Whyte was called for a push on Rejean Chabot with 3.8 seconds left. With the spectators on the edges of their seats, Chabot made no mistakes and put Saskatchewan ahead 97-96. With the ball back in play, UBC’s Melvyn Mayott attempted a desperate lay-up but it bounced off the rim as the final buzzer sounded. Jamelle Barrett was instrumental in the Huskies’ win, finishing the night with 34 points, 15 of them in the fourth quarter. Josh Whyte finished the game as UBC’s top scorer with 23 points while Brent Malish contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds. Assistant coach Randy Nohr said the Thunderbirds “played our type of basketball” during the third quarter. He found little else positive to say about the rest of the game, however. “We gave up too many points in the fourth quarter... our defensive numbers were just terrible. To let in 97 points is a humongous let-down for our team. “When you play a team two nights in a row, you have to be ready to play both nights and we just weren’t.” U

Huskies tear apart Thunderbirds, send UBC to their third straight loss Colin Chua Contributor

Friday: UBC 65, Saskatchewan 73 The Thunderbirds got off to a tough start to the season at the War Memorial Gym, losing in a game that was closer than the scoreline suggested. After finishing the first quarter behind 19-17, UBC started the second quarter strongly and went in front, but couldn’t hold on as the Huskies then took control. While the T-Birds drew close to the Huskies several times, they were never able to regain the lead, though they kept it close to the very end. One of the Huskies’ leading scorers, former SFU star Katie Miyazaki, spent most of the third quarter on the bench after getting into foul trouble, but UBC could not take advantage, with Kim Tulloch making up for her absence, finishing with 24 points. Zara Huntley led the way for the Thunderbirds with 21 points and eight rebounds, and one potential turning point came with 8:06 left when Huntley grabbed

a rebound, was fouled and made the free throw to bring the score to 59-55. But, repeating a pattern throughout the night, the Huskies pulled away. Chloe St. Amour missed a chance to bring the Thunderbirds within a bucket, bouncing a three-point attempt off the rim with 1:40 to go and the Huskies leading 70-64, and while she quickly put in two from the freethrow line, the Huskies held on to take the victory. UBC head coach Deb Huband was satisfied with the team’s performance off the back of a disappointing exhibition game loss to Lethbridge last week. “We were much improved from a week ago,” she said after the game. However, she also added, “We had one player in double figures, but we’d like to see three or four getting there every night.” Zara Huntley agreed that the scoreline flattered Saskatchewan and t he Thunderbirds played better than the eightpoint margin suggested. “There were lapses on both teams,” she said. She was also quick to praise her teammates’ efforts and contributions to her individual performance. “Everyone was doing

a good job, and they were feeding me the ball really well.”

Saturday: UBC 40, Saskatchewan 66 The team took a step back the next night, falling to a tough 6640 loss as the Huskies completed a season-opening weekend sweep over UBC. The Thunderbirds trailed 1117 at the end of the first quarter, but stormed back in the second with Devan Lisson scoring a three-pointer, the first of eight unanswered points to tie the game at 17-17. The Huskies went on a run of their own, however, and had pulled away 28-21 by the end of the half. Chloe St. Amour, who needed treatment for an injury during second quarter, recovered to start the third with a three-pointer that brought UBC to within four points at 24-28. However, that was all UBC scored for the next six disastrous minutes as Saskatchewan went on a 15-0 run and closed out the quarter ahead 50-26 with Jana Spindler and Marci Kiselyk scoring 11 of those points between them. Summing up UBC’s offensive struggles, Jana Spindler finished the game as the Huskies’ top

jon chiang photo/The Ubyssey

scorer with 16 points as one of three players on her team in double digits, while UBC had three players tied for the scoring lead with six points each. Speaking after the game, Thunderbirds head coach Deb Huband said, “Saskatchewan worked hard defensively and we didn’t have any intensity. We wanted to set the tone but it didn’t happen.” Huband focused on the team’s shooting percentage as particular factor in the loss. “When we’ve got open looks we have to hit them, and we’re just not hitting them right now.” UBC struggled to find the basket throughout the game and finished the game having scored 13

of 56 shots, for a 23.2 per cent field goal shooting percentage. In contrast, Saskatchewan made 24 of 51 of their field goal attempts to end the game at 47.1 per cent. “We got a good look at ourselves,” said Huband. “The team has good potential but we need a lot of work individually.” U Game notes: Zara Huntley led all T-Birds with 26 points over the two-game series...UBC had 13 wins and nine losses last year...Saturday was Shoot For The Cure night. After the game, Devan Lisson hit 16 free throws in 30 seconds to raise $1,600 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.


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Engineers—UBC’s most efficient athletes Applied Science students balance sports and homework Ian Turner iturner@ubyssey Davis Wuolle woke up at 5:15am. By 5:45, he’d eaten, changed into his speedo and hopped into UBC’s indoor pool for an hour and a half of swim practice. After showering and a quick meal at the SUB, he was off to the Engineering buildings for the remainder of his day: material engineering courses, three more hours of swim practice and dinner, followed by study time. Wuolle is one of the select few varsity athletes who are enrolled in Engineering, and says he craves the grind of his busy schedule. “I enjoy the challenge of it. I don’t think if I was doing anything else, I’d be really happy with that. I think no matter what I was doing, I’d load the commitments up until I was completely full of things to do. I enjoy the pressure and challenge of it, I guess.” The pressure can build up to unhealthy levels, however. During her first year at UBC, current third-year chemical engineer Grainne Pierse fell ill because of the stress that comes from the endless and exhaustive cycle of training and an arduous academic program. “We do 18 hours in the water a week plus six hours dryland so it’s a lot of extra work. And of course all that physical exercise tires you out and you don’t have the energy to keep up with everything. Trying to take a full course load... I got sick,” Pierse said. Pierse has the support of four teammates who are also engineers, which helps to ease the burden. This past summer, she and Wuolle took Stats 251 together. “It’s good. When we miss something, we’re all missing it together so that way when we catch up, we catch up together. If we’re on a trip, we can all sit down and work through the problems. It really helps to have people in the same state as you are. They’re not ahead or behind you. They’re in the same place,” Wuolle said. But as swim team captain and mechanical engineer Rachelle Salli found out last year, there a re some i n su r mou nt able roadblocks. Registered in mechanical engineering’s second-year program, Salli was unable to attend both the swimming team’s morning and afternoon workout because her program’s requirements, which had to be

Tibiriu Banica (left) and Serge Kaminsky (right) balance sport and school. Henry Ye Photo/The Ubyssey

completed all in the same year, conf licted with the training schedule. “I’ve always been pretty open about people who want to be varsity-level athletes and do engineering. All I’ve said, is, ‘Okay, ease off on your course load. Plan to take a little longer or plan to take some courses in the summer.’ And that seems to have worked,” said Bruce Dunwoody, who is an engineering academic advisor. But even wit h a reduced course load, Dunwoody is somewhat concerned: “A lot of highlevel athletes are very organized people, and they seem to be able

to do more in a day than most of us would ever contemplate. And so trying to balance off participating in a sport and doing study, they do more than I think would be reasonable, but it is their choice.” Their choice does not, however, result in their professors granting them leeway. Fifth-year civil engineer Kirsten Mihalcheon, who in her first two years was voted the women hockey team’s top defenceman, emphasized she has received no academic privileges. “[P r ofes sor s] a r e pr et t y good... They understand, but at the same time, they don’t

really give you any special privileges. You still have to get everything in on time or early,” Mihalcheon said. Most of the other athlete-engineers seconded Mihalcheon’s statement. In fact, academics are often the priority. Take women’s basketball player and chemical engineer Arianne Duchesne as an example. Last January, Duchesne’s department organized a field trip to Alberta to see potential job sites and possible lines of work. Schedule conflicts meant Duchesne had to ask her coach for permission.

“I had to go on [the trip] because it was part of one of our assignments. It was hard to get out of. But I wanted to go too. And my coach, she let me go. She was totally fine with it... School comes first,” Duchesne said. In an email, the women’s head coach Deb Huband confirmed her emphasis on school first, academics second. “In the university setting our team members are student-athletes (with the student listed first) and you cannot be an athlete at a university unless you take care of academics,” Huband wrote. Huband also noted that Duchesne was not the only player on the team to miss a game because of an academic field trip last year. Duchesne has also publicly stated her intention to leave UBC after four years to pursue a career. Having attended CEGEP in Quebec, Duchesne is already 22, but only in her third year of eligibility. In Canada’s athletic association, the CIS, student-athletes are given five years of eligibility. Again, Duchesne’s career aspirations don’t differentiate her from her teammates: last year, fourthyear Montanna Dunmore left the team to earn a Masters in Education. Huband also noted she was initially unaware of how much stress Duchesne was under because of how well she manages to organize her life. An emphasis on organization was a sentiment echoed by the other engineers as well. “The thing with playing football and being in engineering at the same time is that it keeps you on track,” said Serge Kaminsky, a football defensive linebacker and a civil engineer. “You don’t have time to mess around. During first term, I go out once a month. You know you need to be at school. You know you got to do this, this and this. After that, you go to practice. Then go home, and pass out. It’s tough, I’m not going to lie.” With a constant tug-of-war between athletics and school, they often miss out on the social side of a university education. “Once you get into the season, your own social life goes down. You don’t get to go out as much. The Pit doesn’t really happen,” said Tibi Bianca, a running back on the football team. “It kinda of sucks when you get to practice and you hear all the guys talking about what they did the night before, and you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, I did my math homework last night.’” U


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games & comics suscomic.com, by michael bround

corpus christi, by robert e. lee (yourcorpuschristi.blogspot.com)

blundergrads, by phil flickinger (blundergrads.com)

sudoku (very easy)

philosophrenic, by Rachael Freedman

solution

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letters

Of women and death cults: A critical response to Brian Platt Dear Mr. Platt, I just finished reading your article in the October 21 issue of The Ubyssey entitled “Why Afghanistan matters and why I’m going there.” I want to complement you for your passion and your commitment to serving others. I really believe that your overall attitude is commendable and that your heart is in the right place. This being said, I find a number of elements in your article, and your trip as a whole, problematic to say the least. You characterize the war in Afghanistan as an “international project to fight off the Taliban and build up democracy in a country that has been absolutely devastated by three years of war.” This rose-coloured picture ignores the fact that some of the worst devastation that Afghanistan has experienced in its history is happening now as a result of the war that we are waging there. To say, as you do, that “grievous mistakes have been made” is to downplay the horrendous impact that the war has had on Afghan communities. It is estimated that the war effort kills 65 civilians a day. In over nine years of war, that works out to almost half a million people

who had absolutely not hing to do with the Taliban killed. It works out to millions more displaced, millions of family members traumatized and a whole generation of orphaned children. That is not a “grievous mistake” that somehow got made by no one in particular. That is an act of mass murder that Canada is complicit in. Moreover, the benefits and motives which you ascribe to the war effort are nothing short of phantasmal. This war has brought no democracy to Afghanistan, nor does it show any sign of doing so in the future. All that the occupation has done is to replace one set of brutal warlords with no respect for human rights with another—and possibly a worse one at that. Much of your justification for all of this is based in the picture you paint of the Taliban. You draw a caricature of them as “gangs of religious death cults.” You pretend that the “enemy” we are fighting in Afghanistan is an irrationally, irredeemably evil entity—and a faceless one at that. You dehumanize the enemy, thus making it easier to shoot at them. Don’t get me wrong. I do not want to see the Taliban back in

power in Afghanistan any more than you do! But to use them as a bogeyman to frighten and disgust us into supporting the war is both intellectually and morally reprehensible. The existence of the Taliban and similar groups arises from a specifically colonial context—a context that we helped to create. The Taliban are not brutal because they are irrational or religious. Rather, they are brutal because of the conditions of brutality that western colonialism and neocolonialism have created and continue to create in enterprises like the occupation that you support. Finally, I want to say that I hope that your trip to Afghanistan is an eye-opener. Hopefully you will be able to talk to people who have experienced the horrors brought on by the occupation firsthand and who will be able to give you an alternative perspective to the one that you now hold. I hope that your articles for The Ubyssey in coming issues are something more than thoughtless propaganda. May you have a safe and enlightening journey. Sincerely, —Gregory Williams

In response to “CITR: your community radio station?” Dear Ubyssey, Although we appreciated your coverage of CiTR last issue, your editorial created an inaccurate impression of the station which we would like to correct. CiTR is a club with very high levels of student involvement. In addition to hosting radio shows (including arts, sports and news reports) there are many other ways in which students are integral to the station. We publish a music magazine with student writers and photographers. Station promotion opportunities allow student volunteers to make valuable connections within the local music scene and throw their own on-campus events. Our highly dedicated student executive is composed entirely of undergraduates. It is true that to run these multifaceted operations as a nonprofit organization, we depend on student fees, fundraising initiatives, and club membership fees (discounted by $15 for UBC students). In exchange, members are taught valuable skills through their involvement in the aforementioned opportunities, as well as how to use industry standard

broadcasting equipment (BURLI), and more. The recent introduction of one-on-one training sessions aims to improve the accessibility of programming opportunities for students. Although we would greatly appreciate the extra dollar earmarked for CiTR if the referendum passed (which we would use in developing our new DJ training program), we must stress that this dollar is a small part of the greater referendum, intended to offer students an overall improvement of AMS services. We support this initiative and it is far from an arbitrary proposal. CiTR has always identified as a campus-community station. Greater student involvement is our priority but we will never close the door on anyone and we pride ourselves on the continuing dedication of our alumni members. Our slogan at CiTR is “Own Your Frequency”; we ardently invite The Ubyssey and the entire student body to do so. Sincerely, —Penny Clark, CiTR president, on behalf of CiTR’s student executive

Agenda for Tuesday’s Staff Meeting:

Have this look when you see

1. Introductions 2. New Members 3. Hootenanny Wrapup 4. NASH Fundraising 5. Retreat Discussion 6. New Business

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2010.10.25/u byssey.ca /opinions/11

opinions

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editorial NewsflasH: We have a “web-site” There was a time you could walk down to the corner tobacconist or dry goods store and pick up the day’s news for a nickel. Of course, our Pappy had a yearly subscription. Every morning he’d be at the breakfast table with a cup of chicory coffee, his old briar pipe and a copy of the paper. We never interrupted him, for fear of the switch. But every now and then, puffing on his pipe, he’d muse aloud on the rising cost of barrel pork or the brashness of some AMS President. Boy, have times changed. Radio and television, in their day, sent many a newspaperman to the soup line. Now this new-fangled Internet World Web has folks in a tizzy, all suggesting it’s set to be the “death of print media!” Young folks today haven’t a straw of common sense or decency. We ourselves have seen what this “cyber-net” has to offer, with its lewd pantomimes and its “laughing-out-loud cats.” To think that this glorified picture box could ever compete with good, honest paper—the lunacy! The hubris of it all! And yet, as our Pappy was wont to say, “Grandfather Time spares nary a grain of sand in his hour-glass for any mortal on this earth.” The ages march onward. We place no confidence in the fads of the current generation—inured as they are with tight trousers and castrati pop-music idols—but we cannot help but look back on the demise of the telegraph and the ticker tape, and wonder to what fate these “electro-mails” and “face-books” may condemn our own beloved medium. That is why, as a contingency against the failure of the folded page, we have taken steps to digitize The Ubyssey. It is now possible, with the tapping of a computer mouse, to access a facsimile copy of any of the fine written and photographic content you hold now in your hands. Simply direct your personal computer to www.ubyssey.ca, and all the news of today will be etched in light upon your screen. And, on the advice of experts in the field, we have taken further steps, bringing our fine publication into the “social” sphere of this ethereal realm. You can now, through the services of Twitter and the aforementioned “FaceBooks,” up-link yourself to all our latest breaking stories. Simply enter “Ubyssey” into the searchfield of the service you wish to use, and in a moment’s time you will be given access. Furthermore, our technicians have perfected a method of compressing cathode ray tubes to such a minute size that they can be delivered via the narrow passages of optical-fibre wires. Yes, you read that correctly: the moving-picture charms of the modern television can now haunt the screen of your personal computer or lap-book. At www. ubyssey.ca, you can view a number of tastefully assembled news reels. The purchase of additional “multiple-medias” staff has taken up a sultan’s salary of our spare capital this year, but we’re still looking for enerprising young upstarts, well-versed in the fashionable mediums of the day, to help make it work. In fact, our investment in this technology is so dead sure, so adamant, that we are currently seeking the talents of video-composers. Do you have a friend or acquaintance who is familiar with the operation of a modern digital movie camera? We suggest they visit The Ubyssey editorial office, SUB 24, UBC Campus, to enquire further. Doing so may open up a wealth of artistic and economic opportunities with the likes of Al Jolson in their immediate future. As a further memorandum, anyone familiar with the workings of web applications of the Adobe imprint such as the “Flash” program would find themselves in high esteem in the respectable company of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Technomancers versed in the coding scripts of Java or any of the other digitized languages of our era may also find themselves considered peerless in our midst. This applies doubly to anyone entertaining clever new machinations we might employ to capture this generation’s ever-fleeting attentions. So go, now, and indulge yourself in this newfound convenience. Enjoy it while you may. In the end, only one medium will prevail—print or digital. And as willing as we may be to make concessions to certain trends, our money will be—will always be—on good, honest paper. U

Und now, ve train you for ze fundraising!.Anne Tastad Illustration/the ubyssey

opinions

Why I’m excited for the Rally to Restore Sanity Matthew Naylor Contributor On Friday morning at some ungodly hour I will be boarding a bus to take me on the first leg of my weeklong journey to Washington, DC. I’ll be headed there for the Rally to Restore Sanity, Jon Stewart’s exasperated cry for a little more understanding and respect in American political life. There are a host of reasons why I’ll be going, not the least of which is that the rally looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. As a religious viewer of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report since I came to UBC and one of the poor fools who waited in line from five in the morning to get close to the stage at the Olympic Colbert Report tapings, this was an opportunity that I wasn’t going to miss. But, as Ron Popiel of Ronco fame would say, “That’s not all, folks.” I

tend to follow politics like a sport, paying the same amount of attention to the ups and downs on pollster.com as some others will read baseball stats. I have asked the bartender in the Pit Pub to change the channel so I could drink while watching the Quebec election results come in live. I have gone to Super Tuesday Parties and paid my dues in drinks when Hillary Clinton came up short. I have planned evenings around the Manitoba election returns. I am, in short, a massive political nerd. Therefore, the chance to bear witness to Americans collectively making a massive error in judgment was too tempting to pass up. Every government town is its own special little bubble from which the view is entirely different, and I’m looking forward to the view from within the Beltway.

I’ll have a couple of days to do the standard touristy things. Well, standard is probably going too far, since my itinerary includes, in addition to old favourites like the Lincoln Memorial, some things a little more off the beaten path, like the Lincoln Skull Fragments at the National Museum of Health and Science. Still, it’s mostly about the politics. The fact that two comedians have become the voices of a generation is an interesting enough phenomenon in its own right. More and more young Americans are getting their news from Stewart and Colbert, packaged with just as many biases as Fox News, although perhaps less destructively. I can’t honestly say that I blame them, given the alternative. If every Canadian station emitted the same kind of meaningless, sensationalist schlock that rules the US airwaves, I’d probably be hanging off of Rick Mercer’s every word. U

The Internet Generation finally generated something good Paul Bucci pbucci@ubyssey.ca Pay attention. Smarten up. One of the most important cultural events of our generation is about to happen, and you don’t want to miss it. On October 27, I fly out to Washington, DC to take part in the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I will be armed with a DSLR, a digital recorder, a video camera, my iPhone and MacBook and a brand new blog that I’m sharing with Matthew Naylor at ubyssey.ca/washingtondc. The rally is being put on by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart as a response to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally. The idea began on reddit.com while Redditors were having discussions about holding a “Restoring Truthiness Rally.” Stewart agreed to hold the rally after Redditors raised over $250,000 for educational charities through DonorsChoose.org.

The rally is for the 70–80 per cent of Americans who don’t believe in extremism, and therefore don’t have a voice in a sensationalist media environment. This will be the Woodstock of our time. Let’s break it down. This is a rally for the Internet, by the Internet, held at one of the most significant cultural landmarks in one of the most important cities of the United States, and it’s being run by two comedians who just want people to be reasonable. If that doesn’t define who we are as a generation, I’m not sure what does. We want things to be funny and intelligent. We’re pro-health care, but not into inefficiency. Welfare is good if it isn’t abused. The state should regulate some key things, but shouldn’t overstep their boundaries. Drugs are fine in moderation, but we shouldn’t take it too far, and certainly

no one should be getting killed over them. And when we debate these things, let’s be reasonable about it. It’s very Canadian. It’s like their slogan: I disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler. How absolutely perfect. Over the next week, I invite you to live vicariously through Matt and me as we rub shoulders with thousands of people who have different opinions about things and we’re OK with that. In fact, Matt and I are a great expression of the ideas of this rally. We have clashed spectacularly over the last four years in the media. We’ve been at each other’s throats directly and indirectly. I still view him as dangerous and unethical, and he probably still sees me as obtuse, pig-headed and unstable. However, we can always sit down and have a beer. And I really think that that’s what this rally is about. U


2010.10.25/ubyssey.ca/advertisement/11

October 25, 2010  

October 25, 2010 issue