Thursday, May 8, 2008

Victor Shops Candjun, eh?

I wandered into the Bay yesterday and finally saw the Olympic unees. Everybody has a subjective take on the design. I think they look like camouflage suits for an army on acid but Georgio Armani hasn't called me lately for fashion advice so what do I know?

My real gripe is with the rationale for the design that I've heard from the official spokespeople. Two themes come forward. First, these designs are based on an interpretation of the traditional Chinese folklore elements , i.e. fire, water etc.

The second rationale is that we are sending a message that Canada is multicultural.

Regarding the first theme, why are we putting Chinese iconography on our unees? When the Chinese come here in 2010, I don't think their uniforms will contain subtle renderings of Canadian folklore (donuts, beavers, sleeping senators). That's because China, unlike Canada, doesn't suck up.

The second rationale is both arrogant and ignorant. Arrogant because we assume China, or any other country for that matter, gives a fig about Canada's ethnic makeup. Ignorant because the Chinese are no great fans of multiculturalism. In China, the Han Chinese make up 92 per cent of the population with the other 8 per cent containing over 40 minorities. China tolerates minorities but keeps them on a tight leash (sometimes very tight as in Tibet but this is the exception). China believes that unfettered multiculturalism can be a destabilizing influence on national unity. They may have a point there. In any case, China will be supremely indifferent and perhaps annoyed at our less than subtle attempts to preach?brag?

Editor, Please

Friend Ben writes The Province:

Letter to the Editor,

Re: Boy, 11, rouses building's tenants – The Province, Page A3 - Thursday, May 8, 2008

NORTH VANCOUVER: Three elderly women die as flames sweep through apartments

I take issue with the manner in which the fatal fire in North Vancouver has been handled by your newspaper and by local television.

Frank Luba's hard news story is certainly well-written, but the newspaper has inverted the important elements in an offensive way. Three elderly women died. The boy as hero should only be a silver-lining sidebar to a very sad lead story. At the very least, the headline and kicker should have been reversed. More important, media members in general should strive to keep news matters in an appropriate perspective, rather than spin stories in a way that diminishes the value of victims and takes attention away from what should be the central points. Coverage like that encourages readers and viewers to disregard the bigger picture. And that is a very dangerous thing for society to do.

Bentley Doyle

Vancouver, BC

The Greatest Wool over the Most Eyes

Insite is a train wreck that cannot be stopped.

This may be the last thing I ever say about this obscenity.

Gordon Campbell, Mike Harcourt, Philip Owen, Peter Ladner, Gregor Robertson, Raymond Louie, Barbara Jaffe, the Sun editorial board, Larry Campbell - they are all singing the same tune.

"Harper is playing politics with people's lives. Harper is evil. Insite is wonderful. The science proves it."

They are all wrong. They are all full of it.

Both the Campbells, Harcourt, Owen, none of them has ever put one red cent or one moment of effort into supporting treatment.

But they are completely behind this tragic waste of time and money.

99% of all citizens that I have ever met or talked to detest Insite.

But this is the current mythology and there's no stopping it.

And nobody wants to hear the opposing point of view.

Such is the state of our enlightened democracy.


I'm tired of listening to my own nagging on this subject. I feel that I and a handful of police and judges and ordinary citizens and knowledgeable cleaned-up addicts are tiny voices dying in the wind tunnel of madness.

Basta. Enough.

I can't talk about this any more. It's making me sick.

I will support real treatment where ever I may see it, and on the subject of Insite, I will put on a cracked smile and remain mute.

Genius in our Midst

When Bill Reid died in 1998, I said publicly that we often do not notice when Mozart walks among us.

I believed then and I believe now that Reid was a brilliant artist.

The Haida Gwai, which can be seen at YVR or at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, and the Raven, on display at the Museum of Anthropology, are stunning, inspiring works.

Congratulations to all who worked so hard to open tonight the new Bill Reid Gallery on Hornby St.

James Taylor - You've Got a Friend