UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Jan 28, 2000

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 too smart for Winnipeg since 1918
by Nicholas Bradley
MMMMM...PEAR: Calvin
Johnson likes organic ones.
"Is that a potato?*
It is. In the band's dressing room, on
the counter that runs below a row of mirrors lit up by bright make-up lights, there
is, for no apparent reason, a potato. Calvin
Johnson is very excited at this latest discovery. He pokes the said tuber, turns
around for another quick photo, then wanders out of the room, mumbling something
to no one in particular, his fuzzy grey hat
crooked, the ear flaps sticking out from his head.
I've known Calvin Johnson now for three-quarters of an hour. And the
potato has made him as excited as I've seen him. Forty-five minutes
ago, this may have seemed strange—to see someone's face light up at
the sight of a slighly shrivelled piece of food—but now, it's almost normal.
In some circles, Calvin Johnson is a celebrity. An icon. Olympia,
Washington's closest thing to a rock and roll legend. He's in town with
his band, Dub Narcotic Sound System, to play Rock for Choice, an annual benefit concert held to raise funds for two local women's health clinics. Three hours before Dub Narcotic is scheduled to go on stage, the
band is lounging around the dark, cold dressing room in the basement
of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Calvin Johnson, in his tight plaid
pants, red hunting jacket, and cockeyed hat is farthest from the door,
slouching down in a chair, a very large bag of peanut M&Ms next to him.
A steady stream of other musicians, technicians, and concert organisers filters in to and out of the room.
When I walk in, Calvin Johnson appears bored, and he looks as though
he's about to get up to leave. I ask how much time he has for this interview. "We have all the time in the world," he answers in his distinctive baritone drawl. He may well be serious. I'm pretty sure he's joking.
Actually, that's the sort of response a
lot of people receive when they first approach Calvin Johnson. As the
guitar player and one of the singers in the lo-fi trio Beat Happening, he
was responsible for a cult following that, oddly enough, counted Kurt
Cobain and Fugazi's Ian Mackaye among its members . The late Cobain,
who once played in the Go-Team with Calvin Johnson, had the K Records
logo tattooed on his arm, so the legend goes. Beat Happening has been
described at the least pretentious band ever. Their stripped-bare
approach to songwriting relied at once on sugary tunes and tuneless
monotony, with lyrics that ranged from bittersweet {'Cause no one in the
whole world could ever understand...) to sappy (We're in love—let's
kiss) to just weird (I had sex on Christmas. I had sex three times
today...}. You either get Beat Happening or you don't. Either way, Calvin
Johnson became something of a legend.
Beat Happening released their last album in 1992, but haven't actually broken up. "It's hard to tell," Calvin says about the possibility of a
new Beat Happening project. There is a long pause. "No idea." Another
pause. This seems to be the pattern for a conversation with Calvin
Johnson. "I'm amenable." But he doesn't know how his bandmates
Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford feel. "It's really difficult to know." He
stops, possibly to consider what he is about to say, perhaps not. "That's
always been the case, though. From the very beginning, I never really
knew what the hell was going on." He has
made everyone in the room laugh, and looks
proud for having done so. "People were
always like 'So Beat Happening broke up?'
I'm like 'We did?' I didn't know that 'cause
no one ever told me." More laughter.
The Beat Happening back catalogue is
being reissued on K, and when I ask Calvin
about this, he nods his head and mumbles
"oh yeah" as if this is the first time he's
heard about it. I ask about the timing of this
"Why now?"
"Why not?"
This is not a helpful answer. I'm left with
nothing intelligent to say.
"I don't know."
"Ah, exactly."
This dialogue is snappy, as if we'd been
rehearsing, the comedy duo we've just
become. But Calvin, at least, appears to
think something profound has been uttered.
He proceeds to explain that the licensing
agreement K had with Seattle-label Sub Pop
ended, so K now had the chance to release
the Beat Happening records itself.
These records show the
side of Calvin Johnson that threatens to
burst out when he offers me some of his
candy. Or maybe I'd like a piece of fruit, if I'm
hungry? It's organic. He just had a pear. At
first, you think he's joking, like you're
being had. But you're not. He just really
wants you to have a piece of fruit if
you're hungry.
These records, the songs.
We were looking at your rabbits, we
were feeding them some cabbage, you
were telling me that you had a black and
white cat...We were wearing our pajamas, we were eating some bananas...
He's not joking. Do you get it?
We were walking along the street
and I fell down and you said to me, you
said "Calvin, you're a guy with incredible blue eyes, but I've got to live my
own life,"...
They didn't get it in Japan. "I don't
think people really knew who we were
or what we were doing there. It was
mostly just puzzlement," Calvin says
of the Beat Happening's 1983 trip.
"It's, uh, it just seemed like something that no one was doing." He
clears his throat noisily. He admits
that puzzlement is still a reaction
that he often receives.
But any Beat Happening wistful-
continued on page four ary 28, 2000 • page friday—the ubyssey magazine ■
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Commerce undergrad and graduate societies for information about the recent surge
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Please contact the department at 822-8130
or 822-8540.
invites you to an evening of readings and
discussion on "Claiming Your Cultural
Identity". Writers this evening will include
Marilyn Dumont, Lydia Kwa, Rita Wong
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Vancouver Rape Relief is an
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They offer training sessions
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• on the 24-hour rape crisis
• in the Transition House for
Women and their Children
for more info call 872-8212
roots lit mag
Call for submissions. Roots
is published by UBC's
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Submission guidelines available upon request.
for more info call 822-2301
or e-mail npbracfle@
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Need some practical experience working with kids? Male
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Meet one-to-one with a child
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ext 225
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Speakers: i\nto Sangaji,
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and journalist Mick Lowe
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Tues Feb 1, 12:30 Sub 205
ETVEEM 9:30AM & 12:30PM
Canucks vs San Jose • Friday, Jan. 28th
)ks vs Chicago • Sunday, Jan. 30th
Janucks vs St. Louis • Thursday, Feb. 3rd
pzzlies vs Milwaukee ♦ Monday, Jan. 31st
asked you:
What   is  your  favourite
corporate   logo  and
I'd have to say: I like the Volvo
logo. Sort of simplistic, and I'm
quite partial to Volvo so...
—Ben Henthorne
Probably Virgin, why? Colourful,
bright, memorable...red.
—Roy Baker
Graduate Studies
, it's a
r...what's inside today
He's blue. He's
yellow. He's at all
of the women's
hockey games-
meet Adam Wasik.
Pacific Theatre's latest pro-
, "Master Harolf...ani
the boys features an
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Start packing
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A green tax may
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Nike, because I'm into sports and I
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UBC student
Probably McDonald's, because the
golden arches are very symbolic all
over the world. Big M, golden,
brings lots of joy.
—Petra Sutton
Arts 3
AMS put aside
student interests
In regard to your article of January 25
("Students voice opt out complaints"), I would like to offer some
perspectives on the AMS health
insurance plan that many students
are forced to take part in.
Firstly, I am appalled that our AMS
representatives placed the interests
of a private firm like Studentcare.net
ahead of the welfare of the students.
This company presented a proposal
for a poor insurance plan with no
scrutiny, investigation, or more than
one other tender from other firms,
and the AMS rubber-stamped their
proposal for a mandatory insurance
plan. In fact, a motion to delay the
proposal so that other plans could be
compared was defeated (AMS meeting of August 4,1999).
Secondly, despite the fact that the
plan is "mandatory" for students
without existing plans, nowhere did
this word appear in the text of the referendum question. Perhaps the following question would not have
received the astonishing (4926 of
approximately 33,000 students supported "the imlementation of a
health and dental plan, jointly managed by the AMS and GSS" in a referendum held in October 1999.
2081 students voted against the proposal.) 15 per cent support by UBC
students: "Do you support forcing
students without insurance into a
dental—health plan they may or may
not want at a cost of $168?"
Thirdly, given the AMS's firm
stand on support of anti-discrimination campaigns, it is interesting that
they themselves are promoting discrimination against students who are
not privileged enough to already have
an insurance plan. People having a
plan have a right to opt out while
those without are charged $168.
Should we give voting rights on such
referenda issues to those not affected by mandatory policy?
From a pure, common sense
point of view the adoption of this
plan is a waste of student
resources. I think the point was
well made by plan administrator
Ms. Kristen Foster on "how do we
benefit the most students?" I suggest that we won't benefit students
by wasting their money and time on
health surveys, staffing of opt-out
offices, paying salaries to insurance company middlemen/women,
forcing students to wait in long
queues and forcing them to go
hunting for paperwork proving of
their insurance.
I hope that our newly elected AMS
representatives will show some leadership by carefully examining the real
costs and inequalities of this plan
keeping the students' best interests
in mind.
MBA1 luary 28, 2000* page friday—the ubyssey magazine ■
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STRIKE A POSE: Johnson and bandma
Leo   IIUI
Dub Narcotic Sound System. Holland gidney photo
continued from page one
ness disappears when he explains
where he finds his lyrical inspiration.
"Ah. Let's see. From the newspaper, I guess," he deadpans. "The
Internet, places like that. A lot of e-
mail." He pauses. "How 'bout
I confess that I don't write
songs, and he pauses again and
asks me where I get ideas for interviews. We discuss this and decide
that sleeping in and riding the bus is
a good way to write songs and to
prepare questions.
Since Beat Happening, Calvin
has played in Dub Narcotic. He's
done solo work. He's run K. He 'discovered' Beck. He has produced a
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
album. He's played in the Halo
Benders, a collaboration with Doug
Martsch of Boise's Built to Spill.
Calvin says that it's slow going, but
that a new record might be out next
year. He's quick to point out,
though, that the new songs aren't
any good, and that I shouldn't bother buying the album when it comes
He seems almost bothered that
anyone is interested in his bands,
or in him, and keeps shifting the
conversation to other topics. Like
books. He's reading a Faulkner
novel. Drummer Heather Dunn's
reading The Diary of Anais Nin,
Volume 2.
"I'm reading Platinum magazine," says Chris Sutton, Dub
Narcotic's bass player.
"Nice," says Calvin.
"It's all about hip-hop and the
dirty style."
Calvin      explains
how great a time he had in Seattle
during last November's protests of
the World Trade Organisation, how
he played a protest show and otherwise "made some noise." Dub
Narcotic's appearance at Rock for
Choice also shows his, and the
band's, political leanings. During
the set that night, as Chris and
Heather keep playing, Calvin stops
to deliver a speech about the importance of women's right to choice.
He sounds confident and passionate, then explains how he didn't
actually make up the pro-choice slogan he recited to the crowd. He saw
it on a T-shirt. He's not being funny
this time, he's just explaining
The politics of independence are
central to K Records, which has put
out records by a range of bands
such as the Make-Up, Marine
Research, and Black Anger, as well
as Calvin's own projects. "We keep
our prices lower than the average
record label...[but] I made a decision a couple years ago that it was
a priority to me that the bands get
paid, compensated for their efforts,
and the band is the entity that gets
short-changed when the price is
really low. The pressing plant's
gonna get paid, the print shop's
gonna get paid, you know, the distributor's gonna get paid, so where
does the money come from—from
the band. So I want the price to be
at least high enough that band gets
paid money for the work they do."
Although bands he has worked
with, such as Modest Mouse and
Built to Spill, have signed contracts
with major labels, Calvin doesn't
begrudge them this. "They do what
they have to do," he says. At the
same time, he has no such plans
for himself, or for K. We're still
there, I don't know, that's all I can
say...just keep doing it...somehow
it's happening."
And Dub Narcotic still insists on
playing all-ages shows. Calvin asks
why there are so few under-19
shows in Vancouver, and explains
that in Olympia, "we've stockpiled
enough all-ages venues that there
could be several disasters before it
becomes a crisis."
Chris jumps in and points out
that there are always basements to
play in as well. Calvin agrees.
"Basically most shows have so few
people at them anyway you might as
well be playing in a house."
The music scene in Olympia is
strong. Heather explains how
there's a real supportive atmosphere among the local musicians.
"It gets very cold down in
Olympia...there's not a lot of stuff
to do," is Chris' alternative answer.
Calvin pipes up with his own two
cents. "Chris and I both grew up
pretty much in Olympia. But Heather
moved there like a year ago, and I
think there's a combination of
that—people who grew up that stay
there and do stuff, and then people
that move there 'cause there's
things that are going on there."
But despite this, Calvin sees a
lack of enthusiasm for live music.
"I don't think watching bands is
something that's enjoyable to most
people. Seems to be phasing out of
our culture  as  something that's
"Like even last night we played
at this supposed party but it was
just...it just seems like people are
just waiting for the band to end so
they can have a good time...it
seems pretty common."
At the Rock for Choice show, a
lot of people are having a good time
listening to the bands. Most of
them, anyway—Dub Narcotic sends
a good chunk of the crowd to the
lobby for beer, or back to their seats
for a break from dancing.
On stage, Calvin wears his
Gretsch Electromatic high, tucking
the guitar tight under his arm, peering out into the room as he plays.
Every so often, he turns around to
kick his amp so that it reverberates,
distorting the sound. Chris dances
to his own basslines and Heather
sticks her tongue out with effort as
she hits the drums. Not many people get it. Puzzlement again. Up on
the stage, Dub Narcotic is just
doing what it does. And they're having fun.
As   the   interview
winds up, it becomes clear that
Calvin was only partly joking when
he said he had all the time in the
world. As the band poses for photos, Calvin still looks bored, and my
friend, who is taking the pictures,
asks what the everyday Calvin
Johnson expression looks like.
"That's what I got right now," he
answers, his face not changing in
the slightest.
He wasn't particularly bored, I
don't think. And he didn't mean to
be rude when he wandered off. And
he wasn't being facetious when he
said that he'd rather eat the
mashed potatoes that someone
brought him cold.
Do you get it? Do you understand Calvin Johnson?
A couple of hours after the interview, Calvin appears in the lobby of
the Cultch, looking around for something to do before Dub Narcotic
takes the stage. He spots us, and
comes over. The conversation isn't
forced, it's just slow, with lots of
pauses. We discuss the evening's
show. "I'm having a great time,"
says Calvin, his face impassive,
before lighting upon his next distraction. "Hey—they have tea," he
points out, getting excited again.
"Well, I'm going to refresh myself.
I'll see you later." And he wanders
off again, his dirty blond hair sticking straight out from his head.** ■ page friday—the ubyssey magazine •friday, Januarys
Hockey's biggest fanatic
by Naomi Kim
Between periods in a rigorous UBC hockey game, Adam
Wasik sips a well-deserved drink. But the drink isn't
water—it's beer; he's not a player, either—it's a
women's hockey game; and above all, Adam Wasik is
not your average fan.
He stands among the handful of fans spotting the
blue and yellow seats in the Thunderbird Sports Centre
at almost every Friday and Saturday UBC women's hockey game. Wasik blends in more with the seats than with
the other bundled-up spectators who huddle under the
heaters wearing their toques and mittens.
Wasik is painted from head to toe with blue and yellow body paint, with "UBC scrawled across his naked
chest. He wears only jean shorts that are painted blue
and yellow, socks, and shoes. In
one hand, he holds a long blue
horn, and in his mouth, he
holds a lasting holler of support.
"I  like  hockey,"  he  states
Wasik is a forestry student, and though
he's only in his first year at UBC, he's regularly supported UBC athletics by watching
the   UBC  men's  and  women's   hockey
games—which is more than many other
UBC students can say. The men's games
draw small crowds, and the women's games
draw an even smaller throng. Wasik sits and
watches the men's games politely and inconspicuously, like the rest of the crowd. But in the
women's games, he gets all decked out.
"Not nearly enough [fans]," he expains. "I
think that's why I started coming and getting
dressed up. Just because there was barely any-
one in the stands."
It's a noble initiative, and it takes about ten to fifteen
minutes before the game—but his hard work from the
stands is much-appreciated by the players on the ice.
"It's awesome having some support...He's hilarious,
we love him," says friend and UBC hockey forward
Jeanine Saville. "When you score a goal and the whole
crowd goes wild, it just makes it that much bigger."
But the goals have been few and far between for the
women Birds. They've scored eight times in ten games,
:;;iand they didn't win  until  last
weekend's sweep of the 0-10
University    of    Lethbridge
Pronghorns,   bringing UBC's
record to 2-8  in the Canada
Wasik was there to witness UBC
rookie forward Caroline Hu score the Birds'
fifth goal of the season last Friday, a goal which
also won their first game this year. Along with him
night were clusters of other yelling fans with signs
at filled one side of the rink. And the next day, the
rowd was thin again, UBC won again, and Wasik
was there again, cheering away.
But it makes no difference to him if the
team wins or loses. He's seen them lose plenty of times, but he's also seen a few victories.
Of course, he was happy that UBC won, but his sup-
|port isn't based on the team's record.
"Just trying to boost a little bit of spirit, but it's
||||fun too," Wasik admits.
His commitment to the team does come with
one drawback; but even that hasn't stopped
"The bad part is having to run down [to the
|Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre] without a
boat on," says Wasik. "And that's about it."»>
UBC trdvelled up the road to play Trinity Western
University on the weekend. Thc Birds were greeted by a
8349 loss to thc last-place Spartans. Courtney Kolla
was the Birds' leading scorer with 15 points. On
Saturday. UBC came back with an 81-76 victory. Kolla
and Zaheed Bakare each scored 19 points for UBC.
Trie team (9-5) returns to War Memorial Gym this
weekend to play the University of Victoria Vikes (9-7) at
The women's basketball team visited Trinity Western
and stole the show by notching two wins for the weekend. Friday. UBC's Jessica Mills had 32 points and six
rebounds on the Birds' way to winning 7961. Saturday,
the Birds improved their record to 9-5 after completing
the weekend with a 87-40 victory. Mills led the Birds
wrth 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The Birds (9-5) will face the number one-ranked
University of victoria Vikes (14-2) on January 28 and 29
at War Memorial Gym at 6:15pm.
Tne men's hockey Birds extended their winless steak
last Friday, losing 6-1 to the Brandon Bobcats with Tyler
Kuntz putting up UBC's only goal. Saturday was closer,
but the Birds ended up on the losing side of the 54
game. Glendon Cominetti (twice), Corey LaFreniere, and
Rob Petrie scored for the Birds.
UBC (3-14-3) will try to snap its l&game winless
streak when they host the Lethbndge Pronghorns (7-11-
2) this weekend. The games will take place at the
Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre on January 28 and 29
at 7:30pm.
UBC will host the Thunderbird Open at Minoru Park,
Richmond, on January 29 and 30. The events run from
11:30am to 2:00pm, every ten minutes and include
shot put weight toss, DM relay, 60m hurdles, and
300m, 600m, 1000m, and 1500m races>
(DM® ©©dtoQO
IN CONCERT feburary 8, at the QE theatre
win one of five copies of
CD "Euphoria Morning"
Be one of the first to the UBYSSEY BUSINESS
OFFICE (Room 245) to correctly tell us what group
Chris Cornell was formerly the lead singer of.
feedback @ ubyssey.bc.ca
January 28 - 30
UBC Film Society
Schedule 7:00 Bringing Out The Dead
Xil Shows $3.00
Film Hotline: 822-3697 a'.'Jtl
www.ams.ubc.ca/clubs/social/filmsoc zf »j\3
February 2 & 3
Annie Hall
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Jason Lang, 1982-1999
Rev. Dale Lang
Rev. Dale Lang, Father of Jason, will share his personal struggle of his
son's murder and the alienation of youth in our culture. Following the
events of Columbine and Taber, Rev. Lang shares his insights into his
current situation and tells of his hope and spiritual strength to forgive
Sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ at UBC
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The South Slope Family YMCA is a Health, Fitness and Recreation Center
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members and expect that number to increase in the year 2000.
We are actively seeking an individual to become our Team Leader for our
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South Slope Family YMCA
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m T **mJr
'■ 7|:: of:: im ■ ■ mi ■
stop, just for a second, andl
wearing today, or how many you''
k around. See the billboards and 1
rate logos. Now think about what these brands mear
If you don't think these are particular!^
Logo: taking aim at the brand bullies, rn^^^^TT
Klein was in Vancouver on Monday
tion Check Your Head, talking to a :
all powerful corporate culturej
Klein's book chrc
focus on products the
ings. As Klein pointed^	
uct, buy product, be pretty—is ageTold, a newh
attempting to create,
According to Klein,
where consumers <
only can you see I
food, listen to I
Disney worlc
away fro
orate boardrooms throughout the Western wort
at the Pacific Theatre
until Feb. 12
by Jeremy Beaulne
"Master Harold"...and the boys is not an easy play to
watch. Athol Fugard's powerful meditation on friendship
and racism has the sort of searing intensity that can only
be achieved in live theatre. Set in Port Elizabeth, South
Africa, circa 1950, the play presents a moment of crisis
in the relationship between two black men and the white,
teenage son of their longtime employer. Sam Semela
(Denis Simpson) and Willie Malopo (Tom Pickett) have
been friends with young Hally (Jeremy Tow) for as long as
he can remember. They have always been there for him—
first as the staff at his parents' boarding house, and then
as waiters at his mother's tea room. However, as the play
progresses, we see that the close bond forged over the
years is about to be strained to the breaking point.
The play begins with Hally receiving word that his disabled father is going to be coming home after an extended stay in the hospital. This news fills Hally with anger—
anger at his father for being an alcoholic, and anger at
himself for not wanting his father to come home. Feeling
like he is trapped in an utterly hopeless situation, Hally
lashes out at the only people who have ever truly supported him—Sam and Willie. The result is an explosive,
emotionally charged confrontation between Hally and
Sam, in which Fugard explores the psychology of racism
in all of its complexity.
The performances in the Pacific Theatre's new production of "Master Harold"...and the boys are uniformly
news fills
anger at
his father
for being
an alcoholic, and
anger at
for not
his father
to come
strong. As the cynical
and scared Hally, Tow
manages to strike a
convincing balance
between cruelty and vulnerability. Simpson as
Willie creates a character who is both comical
and complex. But perhaps the most demanding role in "Master
Harold"...and the boys
is that of Sam, whose
vision of a world in
which people are not
judged by the colour of
their skin provides the
play with its ideological
centre. Pickett expertly
fulfills the demands of
this challenging role—
his performance as
Sam mixes restraint
with a passion and optimism that is genuinely
moving. The production's director, Morris
Ertman, carefully paces
the action, ensuring
that we experience the
humour in Fugard's play
as well as the dramatic
The other aspects of
this production live up
to the standard set by
the performers and the
director. "Master
Harold"...and the boys
features beautiful lighting, attractive costumes, and an elegant
set. The only thing that
took away from my
enjoyment of the play
was the theatre itself—
the seats are stacked
so steeply that if you
are sitting in one of the
back rows you might not
be able to see everything that is happening
on stage. However, this
is a minor quibble with
an otherwise thoroughly
engaging, thoroughly
enjoyable evening of
the ap
egos (!
the op
is doir
ill hee
to the
to rejy
self ai
i native
ever le
pany (
in the
set in
Lies) i
to del
not or
ate a
habits -page friday—the ubyssey magazine*friday, januar
by Teya Greenberg
Hhow many brand name products
public spaces dominated by corpo-
ds mean. Think about the messages they convey.
Mes, Naomi Klein's new book, No
n^j^rWaTi§eryour mind.
mdraiser for the youth-led coali-
iwd about a newly emerging and
tthat has sprung up in response.
te marketing strategies from a
:ion of brand images and mean-
ityle—see pretty girl using prod-
a newly emerging strategy sees corporations
eed in creating a "brand world"
age and live a branded life. Not
ey clothing and toys, eat Disney
ney ship to a Disney island, visit
n, a small community five miles
;e Disney" that is echoing in cor-
irn world. No longer are corporations satisfied
with simply producing commodities, the aim now is to produce
branded lifestyles.
As Klein points out, the catch is that these lifestyles are produced not only at the expense of the consumer (according to
Klein, markups of up to 400 per cent are not unusual in sporting goods), but also at the expense of those directly involved in
production. She teils the all too common tale of travelling to
South East Asia and South America only to find truly oppressive
conditions in corporate sweatshops.
Klein chronicles a well-organised backlash that has sprung
up in response to these issues. She pointed out the importance
of recognising anti-brand activism as part of a much larger political movement fighting to end corporate control in all areas of
Klein's talk finished with audience members forcing her to
deal with the hypocrisies of writing a clearly anti-corporate book
that is being distributed by a very large corporate publishing
house and being sold in very large corporate bookstores.
Answering these questions, Klein admitted that while wide
distribution necessitated these kinds of actions, she had stuck
to her values.
"I talked about my publishing company in my book, she said,
"and believe it or not, I talked about the dangers of Chapters at
a reading in Chapters. "♦
now playing
by Greg Ursic
Creative  genius   is  a  fickle
creature.   It  is   rare   (some
might say impossible) to find
artists working in concert who don't experience
the aptly termed "creative differences." Indeed
most collaborations, whether the result of clashing
egos (Simon and Garfunkle), divergent visions (the
Beatles), or plain old hatred (Guns 'N Roses) eventually self-destruct. Therein lies the dilemma for
the operatic duo of Gilbert and Sullivan.
After nearly  a  decade  of uninterrupted
commercial successes their careers have
reached a crossroads: their latest effort
is doing poorly in the box office due to
a combination of
reviews,   and   a
vicious        heat
wave.     Sullivan
(Allan   Corduner)
exhausted and in
ill health, repairs
to  the  continent
to rejuvenate himself and upon his
return informs Gilbert (Jim Broadbent) that h
has grown tired of the repetitive and unimaginative nature of their operas. Sullivan has
decided to devote his remaining time, however long, to serious music. j
After stewing about the revelation for M
several hours, Gilbert agrees to accom- Jj
pany his wife to a Japanese exposition
in the hope that he will find some
peace.   Instead  he  experiences  an
epiphany: he will write a new opera j
set in Japan. The question is can he
convince Sullivan to score it?
Director Mike Leigh (Secrets and ■
Lies) is legendary for his attention J
to detail. He requires his actors -"
not only learn their lines, but ere- m
ate a history for the character:
their favourite foods, hygiene
habits,      and       literary      choices.
Consequently, he elicits unique performances from his cast. This film is
no exception: Broadbent's stoic, sen-
MV sible, and dignified Gilbert is simulta-
W™  neously  witty  and   clueless,   while
Martin Savage's performance as the
pompous,   manic,   substance-
abusing      diva       George
a    Grossmith is eerily famil-
SlfoV    iar (shades of Robert
Downey Jr.). Leigh
also   goes   to
great efforts
to create
both     a
and authentic
sual     experience:   from   the
sets,  to  the  backdrops to the costumes,
he does an excellent job
of recreating the Victorian
era.    Unfortunately   Leigh's
microscopic view  is  also  his
enjoyed several aspects of this
film, but there's just too much of it: with a
runtime of 140-plus minutes, Leigh spends
so much time dwelling on the minutiae of
the characters and setting that he forgets
about the substance. Little if anything happens in the first hour and a half of the film
(one of the reviewers sitting behind me fell
asleep) and by the time the film finally hit its
stride I was checking my watch to see when
it would be over.
If you are a Gilbert and Sullivan fan, you
may enjoy this film. But mark my words:
wear comfortable clothes and don't go for
the big Coke unless you have a titanic bladder.*
' MOW'   < MATS? '*
VV '.ft
Caught Out There
Album covers should come with warning labels that read: the following
songs may unleash latent acts of
road rage. I learned this all too well
when I popped in Kelis' album of the
single "Caught out there" on my congested route home through SW
Marine Drive.
Cashing in on the craze for female
artists, as revolutionised by Alanis
Morissette, Kelis is not only the perfect idol for young black American
women, but for young women across the continent. Her title track is an angry
outburst against the two-timing, lying, cheating, misogynous nature of the
species some of us have come to know and love—the average male. With
looks and musical style similar to Lauryn Hill, Kelis'debut single, from the
forthcoming album Kaleidoscope, is a blend of mainstream R&B and black
feminist protest. The bass and synthesizer effects (similar to missile sounds
in old Nintendo games of the 1980s) add innovative dimensions to her
already-strong presence.
Whether you are a black woman or not, Kelis begins her piece on common
ground: "This song is for all the woman out there that have been lied to by
their men—and I know you have been lied to, over and over again. This is for
y'all! Yo!"
Kelis sings with convincing rage in a voice that is soulful and effective in
moving her audience to new heights of awareness about the relationships
between women and men. The recurring theme that is apparent in the chorus, however, is filled with violent hostility and ear-deafening screams.
Sometimes there is more shouting than singing, as Kelis overdoes the lines:
"I hate you so much right now!" By the end of the song, Kelis has belted out
seventeen of these horrendous statements. But these are only minor glitches in an altogether entertaining debut by a talented young musician.
—Natasha Adda Chin
Walking On
[Real World]
Sitar and tabla meet electric guitar and
keyboards—East meets West. Walking
On is the result of bringing various
artists together for a live touring project. The album turned into a tribute
when Ananda Shankar died in March
last year. He plays sitar on the album
and is a pioneer for popularising sitar in
the West during the 1960s. Walking On,
like other albums on the Real World label, is loaded with experiment. It is
entirely instrumental and sounds like one long jam session. The variety of
musicians brought into the project is evident—traditionalists and modernists
like (Sam) Saiffullah Zaman who has also worked with Massive Attack and
Bjork. Highlights of the album include intermittent tabla solos and the sitar
on title track "Walking On." Traditional Indian music has been incorporated
beautifully into the electronic sounds of today.
—Andrea Winkler
Breakfast In New Orleans, Dinner
In Timbuktu
[True North]
Can anybody remember a time when
there was no Bruce Cockburn? This
guy has been around the Canadian
music scene since we've had a scene,
harking all the way back to those
Yorkville coffee houses of yore which
gave us such reknowned figures as
Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell.
Cockburn was the last of the Toronto
folkies to make it big, but he's also the only one who is still around, haunting the modern Canadian music scene, the rest having long since either
retired or retreated to gentler climes.
Jt took a long time for Cockburn's music to catch on—almost as long as
it took for Cockburn to begin creating the kind of music that could catch on.
For years, Cockburn wallowed in the sort of self-pitying ballad that could only
be described as the kind of self-indulgent excess of an urban junkie. Like a
lot of folkies, he's the kinda guy who needs a cause to galvanise his musical
talents into something coherent and memorable. Luckily for Cockburn, and
the rest of us, our solipsistic species is rapidly plunging into self-inflicted
oblivion through environmental degradation, and we have therefore provided
Cockburn ample grist for his creative mill. Musically, he just keeps getting
better and better as the years roll by, and our headlong plunge into annihilation becomes ever steeper.
Breakfast is Cockburn at his creative best. It oscillates between moody
introspection and lively reflection, not being quite "folk" and not really being
pure pop, with vaguely jazz-like elements a la Traffic tossed in. There are even
songs reminiscent of Indio, but it's basically Cockburn doing what Cockburn
does best—singing songs of pure poetry.
—Andy Barham Ijanuary 28, 2000 • page friday—the ubyssey magazine ■
in m -HONOUR u
[ft All MOOT.
m 241 ji
Get the career you've always wanted!
• Great pay
• Opportunity to advance to management level
• 100% of grads employed within six months of graduation
(1998 Graduate Placement Survey)
Respiratory Therapy is a three-year diploma program.
The third year is hands-on in a clinical setting in acute and community care. Upon
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The role of a Respiratory Therapist is diverse, and can range from participating on a
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SAIT has a very low attrition rate in this program—approximately 15%—which means
instructors work hard to help students succeed. SAIT also has a high success rate on the
national exam. In 1999, SAIT ranked third out of 17 schools in performance on the
Canadian Board for Respiratory Care's credentialling exam.
Deadline for application is February 29, 2000. Program starts September, 2000.
For more information, contact the Health & Public Safety Respiratory Therapy Team
Leader at (403) 284-7122.
To register, call (403) 284-7248 or toll-free 1-877-284-SAIT.
Building Careers
Building Business     -"
1301-16TH AVENUE N.W.
Check your e-mail and fill out
UBC's Transportation Survey!
The second campus-wide
Transportation Survey is on its way to
your e-mail address.
.         Surveys are being e-mailed to more than
s^g? v 34,000 UBC interchange accounts. To ensure
x* <$> AfP   that only one survey per person is submitted,
^n^J^        y°u wi" neecl y°ur University ID number
$^J>* *<? ji*'      (student or employee number) to complete the
^#* #           survey.
Hard-copies are available from the UBC
Student Environment Centre in SUB room 208
                                      between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm or at Campus
I UBC            ^
Program Centre
Planning & Development reception at 2210
a                   West Mall between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.
827-TREK                         e-mail: trek@ubc.ca
Improving Your Transportation Choices
Bank, student loan deal
"corporate welfare"
by Daliah Merzaban
The federal government's proposal
to increase the premiums paid to
Canada's billion-dollar banks for
administering Canada's student
loan program is being attacked by
both the Canadian Federation of
Students (CFS) and the BC government.
Under the proposal, Ottawa is
offering the banks which administer student loans a 6.95 per cent
risk premium—up from the current
premium of 5 per cent—for each
student loan they distribute.
The deal would collectively give
three  big  student  lenders—the
Canadian     Imperial     Bank     of
Commerce (CIBC), Royal Bank, and
the Bank of Nova
Scotia—approximately $100 million      in      back
payments     from
Ottawa.      When
contacted for this
story,   CIBC  officials referred all
comment to the
federal    Ministry
of Human
Along with
future loans, this
increase would
apply to loans
that were issued
during the current
contract period
but that haven't
reached repayment status by
the time the contract expires on July 31, 2000.
Repayment begins once a student
has graduated.
Rob Fleming, BC national executive representative for the CFS,
called the proposed deal "corporate welfare at its worst." He doesn't believe the banks should be
compensated for loans they began
to administer during the contract
"We think that if they're going
to be handing over increasingly
large sums of money to private
sector banks rather than deal with
fixing the Canada Student Loan
program and the crisis of student
debt then they should really look at
bringing the program back in-
house," said Fleming, referring to
the situation prior to 1995, when
the government was in charge of
distributing and collecting student
In 1995, the student loan program was privatised, and the
banks began to administer the $1
billion Canada Student Loan
Program. At the time, the federal
government negotiated a 'risk-
sharing agreement' with the banks
so that Ottawa paid an up-front five
per cent premium on every student
loan—worth roughly $50 million
per year—to compensate banks
for high student default rates.
The government is still in
charge of determining criteria for
student loans and regulating interest rates charged by banks.
But now the banks are demanding a higher premium due to unexpectedly high student default rates
on the repayment of loans. Katalin
Deczky, director of Canada Student
Loan      program      at      Human
"[The student loan
program] is student
financial assistance, it's
not about creating
another market niche
for banks. Those goals
are incompatible as we
see it."
-Tara Wilson
communication officer for the
BC Ministry of Advanced
the      Ministry
Resources Development Canada,
said that while banks projected a
20 per cent default rate on student
loan repayment for the duration of
the five-year contract, the rate has
been a substantially higher 29.7
per cent.
Deczky asserts that Ottawa is
not trying to recompensate banks
for lost money, but there is just
miscommunication about when the
risk premium begins to apply on
According to Deczky, it is only
when the student's study period
ends—and repayment begins—
that the loan can be classified as a
"The philosophy for the risk premium is that it's happening with
the repayment by
the student. Until
then there's no
risk. We always
pay the risk premium at the time
when the repayment started,"
said Deczky. Only
loans that will go
into repayment
after August 1,
2000 will be
affected by the
proposed contract.
But the proposed terms of
the agreement
have the BC government up in
arms. Tara
Wilson, communication officer for
of Advanced
Education, said that if the current
proposal goes through, BC would
be forced to negotiate a similar
deal with banks—at a cost of
around $11 million to BC taxpayers. BC's student loan contract
ajso expires in July.
Although she said Advanced
Education Minister Andrew Petter
doesn't have a problem with negotiating an increase in the risk premiums paid to banks for future
loans, Wilson asserts that loans
administered before the contract
expires should be subject to the
previous premium level, no matter
when the loan is repaid.
"[Petter] really feels that what
we're doing is we're giving banks
$11 million to compensate them
for the bad business deal that they
may have made back in 1995,"
said Wilson, adding that the money
could instead go towards increasing capital projects in post-secondary education, expanding the
grant program, or compensating
universities for the tuition freeze.
"There's a lot better ways to
spend this $11 million," she said.
As well, Fleming said the agreement also gives banks too high of
a stake in the planning of post-secondary education. He doesn't
believe the government can
accommodate the wishes of the
banks while maintaining student
loan distribution as a social program—a conflict he said the CFS
predicted in 1995.
"[The student loan program] is
student financial assistance, it's
not about creating another market
niche for banks. Those goals are
incompatible as we see it." ♦ ■ page friday—the ubyssey magazine*friday, January 2£
Elections appeals reportedly quashed
by Alex Dimson
Controversy surrounding this year's Alma Mater Society (AMS)
elections continued this week as the AMS appeals committee
reportedly annulled the appeals of two candidates from opposing slates yesterday night.
Maryann Adamec, Students for Students president-elect
and Jon Chandler, defeated Action Now candidate for vice-president external, filed complaints with AMS Ombudsperson
Lindsay Mitchell regarding the decisions made by the AMS elections committee during last week's elections.
Their concerns centered around the conduct of two
Students for Students candidates—Erfan Kazemi and Mark
Fraser—during the voting period last week.
Kazemi was elected vice-president academic and Fraser
was elected vice-president administration.
But all appeals were rejected last night, according to Sima
Zerehi, Chandler's representative before the AMS appeals
committee. Zerehi said that a written testimony by the elections committee nullified the complaints.
In a copy of the letter submitted to the appeals, committee
and obtained by the Ubyssey, the elections committee—headed by Sukhwinder Sangha—revokes all punishments it placed
on Kazemi and Fraser during voting week on the grounds that
"new information was made available in the appeal process."
The letter does not specify what new information was involved.
In light of this letter, Zerehi says Mitchell decided that the
appeals filed by Adamec and Chandler are no longer applicable.
Neither Mitchell nor Adamec could be reached by press time
to confirm the results of the appeals committee.
Sangha was not willing to give details of the "new information" obtained by his committee.
But the elections committee will uphold its decision to
increase Kazemi and Fraser's election expenses.
The elections committee decided to assess Kazemi and
Fraser $100 towards their allocated campaign costs for
allegedly using their positions as co-presidents of the Place
Vanier Residence Association (PVRA) to further the Students
for Students campaign during voting period. Each candidate is
allowed $200 in election expenses.
The PVRA, along with the residence councils of Gage, Totem
Park, and Fairview, distributed leaflets which Action Now claims
contained inaccurate information about the Residential
Tenancy Act (RTA).
In his two appeals, Chandler asserted that Fraser and
Kazemi were in direct violation of election procedure.
According to Chandler "there is no question that they should
be kicked out at this point."
In his first appeal, Chandler stated that the disciplinary
measures taken against Kazemi and Fraser were too lenient.
The two candidates were required to cease all campaigning
last Thursday, the second-last day of voting, and were directed
to take down their posters before noon the same day.
Some posters remained up after the expiry of the allotted
time, however, so in the second appeal, Chandler argued that
disciplinary actions against Kazemi and Fraser were not adequately enforced by the elections committee.
Adamec, however, asserted that the deadline was unfair.
She said the two candidates were only informed at 9:30am
that they had until noon to take down all of their campaign
posters. Her appeal contended that the original penalty
imposed by the elections committee was too harsh.
These appeals were rendered irrelevant last night in a decision that Zerehi referred to as "sloppy, irregular, and irresponsible."
But according to Chandler, Mitchell said he will still be examining the issue of third-party campaigning and will submit a
report to council indicating that the issue should be addressed.
Chandler further indicated that he will be taking his appeal
to Student Court. The student-led court was revived
Wednesday when AMS councillors voted in favour of making
the final judgeship appointments to the body. Student Court
can overrule the Ombudsperson's decision.
Election results will not be official until after Sangha submits his final election report to AMS Council February 9.<*
alternative medicine
by Nicola Jones
Some people still think alternative medicine is hokey, said Ashley Riskin, a fourth-year
Biochemistry student at UBC and president of UBC's Alternative and Integrative
Medical Society at its first annual conference last Saturday.
But many alternative therapies, which include everything from spiritual healing to
massage to herbal medicines, have recently gained a huge amount of support—from
both scientists and users.
Defining alternative medicine is difficult, said Barbara Findlay. nurse and
researcher at the Tzu Chi Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Based on ancient practices and relying on ways to help the body follow its natural,
spontaneous healing processes, she explained, alternative medicine generally
attempts to increase the quality of life of individual patients, rather than seek a cure
for a specific disease.
According to Findlay, not all alternative therapies aire inherently good.
"There are no sliver bullets," said Findlay. noting that every health system has its
strengths and weaknesses. Findlay believes that it's best to expand the number oil
health options available to thc public instead of relying on a single method, such as
Western medicine,
"If you only hmm a hammer, everything looks like a nail," she said.
According to a World Health Organisation study, between 60 and 80 per cent of
Hie planet's population does not use Western medicine as its primary source of
health care. In Canada, the number of people who used at least one, herbal remedy
peryear doubled between 1996 and 1997, from 15 to 32 per cent. And as of 1998,
65 per cent of Canadian medical schools offered courses in alternative medicine.
Conference speaker Lionel Wilson, president of Maverick Marketing, predicts that in
two or three years, the number will be almost 100 per cent.
One particular1 form of alternative therapy—herbal medicines—seems to be everywhere these days.
"Even the Pope's doing it," said Allison McCutcheon, president of the Canadian
Herb Society and a research associate at UBC, as she showed a slide of llohn Paul 11
downing a potion known for its anti-anxiety effects.
Herbal medicines, she explained, are different from pharmaceutical drugs
because they contain multiple active ingredients, which are usually beyond our ability
to isolate or explain, tn fact, the term "active ingredient" has come to mean the entire
plant rather than any one part, since most attempts to extract drugs from these herbs
have resulted in reduced effectiveness, worsened side-effects, or both.
In general, most herbal medicines are quite safe, McCutcheon said. But she noted
that some herbal medicines are ruined from faulty preparation—manufacturers either
use the wrong planter include impurities like pesticides or dirt.
And there is little control on the sate of herbal medicines. Bottles stay on the
shelves as long as they do no noticeable ham, even if they have misleading information on their labels. Makers of echinacea, for example, often emphasise a high
echinacaside content. But that component doesnt actually have any immunostimu-
iant properties—it is merely used as a marker to try to ensure constancy in the herhSa
In the end, that number is no guarantee of ihe medicine's ability to stop an oncoming cold.
Those rules may soon change, however, with a new federal regulatory agency, the
Office of Natural Health Products, scheduled to open next month. 1 have my doubts,"
said McCutcheon about the timing of the opening. "But it's coming."
Aocofding to a Maclean's poll, roughly 75 per cent of Canadians support extending health coverage for herbal medicines and alternative therapies. Already In BC,
naturopathy, massage therapy, and chiropractic are covered by provincial health care
(M$P)torupt» 12 visits peryear (not including a $10visit charge). Traditional Chinese
medicine and acupuncture are now in the process of beaming regulated and
licensed—a first step towards possible coverage under MSP.*
by Miriam Torchinsky
If you've never been able to get
it together and bring your own
mug for that morning shot of
caffeine, now may be the time.
The Sustainahility Advisory
Committee (SAC)—a UBC-
organised task group on waste
reduction—is working on a
campus-wide campaign aimed
at reducing the amount of
waste produced on campus.
As a prelude to the campaign, which will begin in
September, customers were
charged an extra 10 cent
"green tax" on Styrofoam cups
at all Alma Mater Society food
outlets in the Student Union
Building this week. By including
the existing 10 cent discount
customers already receive for
bringing reusable containers,
those who brought their own
mugs saved 20 cents on every
The extra money will go
towards funding the waste
reduction project, which will
likely include a permanent
green tax on beverages come
Director of UBC Food
Services Andrew Parr said he
is very concerned with the
amount of food waste and disposable packaging generated
on campus, and he said he is
eager to work with the sustainahility office to solve this problem.
Sean Pander, Sustainahility Office Liaison, agrees with Parr.
"[We] are working to support sustainahility initiatives. It is up to everyone to make changes. [The
committee] is just here to help make those changes happen," said Pander.
Bronwen Geddes, communications coordinator for UBC Waste Management, added that the initiative
gives consumers a "financial incentive to bring their own reusable[s]."
Student Environment Centre (SEC) representatives conducted a survey this week of Blue Chip
patrons. They asked coffee and tea drinkers whether they would bring their own mug if they had to pay
the extra 10 cent tax all the time.
Nancy Toogood, AMS Food and Beverage manager, said that response has been "overwhelmingly
"Even [those] who can't bring their own mug all the time agree that it's fair [to impose a tax on
Green tax awareness events will continue next week at Totem Park residences, where students will
be given discounts if they bring their own containers for take-out food. The AMS Is selling reusable mugs
this week for two dollars, and will be selling Tupperware food containers in Totem Park Residence next
TWO CREAMS, TWO SUGARS: Students purchasing coffee or tea this
week at AMS food outlets were charged 10 cents extra for using
Styrofoam cups. This "green tax" is intended to encourage students to
bring reusable containers and will go towards funding an initiative
aimed at decreasing waste on campus, tara westover photo ry 28, 2000 • page friday—the ubyssey magazine ■
Come on guys, break it up already
Every time you think that you've seen the ultimate in colossal corporate mergers, another bigger, better one comes
along. Daimler-Chrysler. Disney and ABC. MCl-Sprint. And
most recently, AOL and Time-Warner (which then gobbled up
EMI). Whew. It's a race to become the biggest thing in the
history of big things, and it is dizzying. Who's next?
Well, there's another spin to this story. Recently, two
companies actually split. Yep. "Communications giant BCE
Inc. will spin off most of its multibillion-dollar subsidy, Nortel
Networks, to BCE shareholders..." (the Vancouver Sun,
January 27).
What!?! Seriously? BCE, which is really big, essentially
gave away another really big company to its stockholders. So
we thought, hey: this is a trend worth continuing. With that
in mind, here's a list of breakups the Ubyssey would like to
Break up Disney
It would be cool if all the different theme parks were on different sides, and had to compete for customers. Price wars,
ride sales, and industrial sabotage on the rollercoasters
would all—well, almost all—benefit the consumer.
Break Sony into pieces
Sony owns many content providers (Columbia Pictures, Epic
Music, Ricky Martin) as well as being a huge maker of content-delivery technology (Walkmans, TVs, etc). Well, you
could break Sony into two parts: one division could produce
things that make you laugh and make you cry; and another
division could make the things that you can smash with a
Split up the federal Liberal government
They're a powerhouse! Look to the future, and who else in
this country will actually form a government? Nobody! So to
keep things fair, we should break them in half. Added bonus:
Paul Martin gets to wrestle Jean Chretien for the right to lead
the country.
Break up Wayne Gretzky
Everywhere you turn, the Great One is doing a Great job selling Great amounts of crap. Well, his stranglehold on the
Canadian celebrity spokesperson market must be broken.
How to break up Wayne Gretzky? With a retired NHL thug,
that's how. While you're at it, Michael Jordan is due for some
downsizing, too.
Break up Batman and Robin
If we have to see Chris O'Donnell with those damned ceramic nipples on the Robin suit one more time...as films go, the
last few Batman movies have been the cinematic equivalent
of armpit farting. Expensive, loud, and colorful armpit farting. Break it up, guys.
Split up Gage Towers
THAT would be capital-C Cool to watch.
Time out: there's one merger we'd like to see: merge the
Underground and the 432 just on the off chance that they
could produce a funny newspaper again. Time in.
Break up Bill Gates
There are two sides to Big Bill: Benevolent Bill, whose charitable foundation is the second-largest in the world; and Bad-
Ass Bill, who would kill a company just to watch it die. Well,
you could split the two of them up: but we're pretty sure ol'
Bad-Ass Bill would either kill the other Bill, or buy him, or
Split up the AMS
The Alma Mater Society is already ahead of you: they recently split up the Vice-President position into academic and university (elected) and student services (not elected). That's an
example of how not to do it, but what the hell. The only problem would be how to split up your AMS. Services and government? Right-wing and left-wing? Incompetent and only
slightly incompetent? Useless and non-useless? No, no, no.
Those are all one-sided breakups. (It is also possible that
they've already occurred.)
Split UBC Parking and Security from the
Just kidding. We think.«>
Bruce Arthur
Todd Silver
Cynthia Lee
Naomi Kim
Tom Peacock          Tara Westover
CUUURE               NEWS
Duncan M. McHugh Nicholas Bradley
Jaime Tong            Daliah Merzaban
cup Nyranne Martin
web Flora Graham
research DaiiielSflvennaVQraneWcalfy
letters  Lisa Denton
The Ubyssey is the official student
newspaper of the University of British
Columbia. It is published every
Tuesday and Friday by The Ubyssey
Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation, 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.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of
Canadian University Press (CUP) and
firmly adheres to CUP'S guiding principles.
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.
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.
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.
Room 241K, Student Union
6138 Student Union Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301
fax: (604) 822-9279
email: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Fernie Fereira
Jennifer Riley
Shalene Takara
BOSINESS OFFICE      contributions
Jn the beginning there was only Alex Dimson. But soon Todd
Silver and Holland Gldney came plummeting in from above, followed rapidly by the spawning of Daliah Merzaban Tara
Westover and Bruce Arthur. Shortly afterwards the sudden
apperance of Graeme Worthy prompted the arrival of Michelle
Mossop. Flora Graham, and Tristan Winch all in a row. After a
brief abatement all watched in amazement as Miriam
Torchinsky. Naomi Kim and Nicola Jones rose onto the face of
the earth. In tandem Nicholas Bradley and Greg Ursic landed
email: ubySSey_adS@hotonail.COm onlV to tum an^ w^tc^ '"n awe as Jeremy Beaulne and Teya
Greenberg came in with a flash of light. In one mighty burst
Andrea Winkler, Jaime Tong, Andy Barham and Natasha Adda
Chin were flung to the ground. Then as all began to grow quiet
Lawrence Cheu was hurled to the earth.
Room 245, Student Union
advertising: (604) 822-1654
business office: (604) 822-6681
fax: (604) 822-1658
cm. uwyajvjjn
PAGE FRIDAY » ■ page friday—the ubyssey magazine*friday, januar
Editorial quick to blame particular slates
 by Jo McFetridge
I am very disappointed with the
Ubyssey of late, for its uncharacteristic acerbic lack of objectivity. In
particular, I am dismayed at the
rash of anti-Residence Advisor (RA)
articles, most notably, the Jan. 18
The primary role of an RA is that
of a community leader, who protects
the interests of the community as a
whole. RAs are hired for their objectivity, experience, fairness, and good
judgement. RAs, in order to carry out
their obligation to community interest, are interested in making sure
residents are informed about issues
that will affect them, such as the
Residential Tenancy Act (RTA).
Many RA's believe that the RTA
is a direct contradiction of the
uniqueness of residence life, and
as community leaders, would be
negligent if they did not point this
out. Recent rumours, most likely,
but not certainly, started by some
political candidates, are grossly lopsided in their portrayal of the RTA's
effects on residence life; residents
were told they "had no rights" but
were not specifically told what rights
(i.e. third party arbitration) they had
none of. This is untrue: residents, if
unsatisfied with  internal  appeal
processes, are encouraged to consult with the UBC Equity office, or
the VP, Students. Certainly what
was never mentioned was the possibility of simply amending the current arrangement to allow third part
arbitration, thus, avoiding the entire
RTA brouhaha. In addition, residents were not informed of any of
the potentially adverse effects of
the RTA, such as the 30 day notice
requirement prior to eviction (thus,
giving the resident a month's time,
The recent efforts of advisors to
post information on the adverse
effects of the RTA and residence life
simply cannot be called campaigning! RA's have no political agenda!
Their motivation is only the concern
for residents and the well being of
the community. Many people are
quick to assume (and accuse) that
RAs are biased only because their
jobs would be terminated under the
RTA. However, this would not be the
case, said Action Now candidates at
the RTA by politicians who are
pleased with the RTA? Why do these
politicians find the opinions of those
very residents whom their policy will
most affect irrelevant?
Your editorial is quick to imply a
political agenda on the part of the
RAs, yet fails to mention the obvious; political agenda of the Action
Now and Students For Students
candidates. Is this a simple oversight, or personal anger towards
***s 9H ws   wa lata    -¥|miinMBpiiri'F'   h   ^re
or more, if he/she appeals, to continue the disruptive behaviour), or
the extreme restrictions that would
be put on advisors (if there were
any!) if they had to respond to emergencies; for example, a resident,
unconscious, drowning in their own
vomit, would have to remain in
his/her room until medics arrived,
whereas our current system allows
RA's to sign out keys and to perform first aid if necessary.
the residence forum on Monday,
January 17. So that cannot be their
motivation. How then could they
have some private agenda?
The editorial also failed to
emphasise the fact that it was the
residents' associations, the TPRA
and PVRA, who most actively championed the anti-RTA cause. Should
this not indicate that it is the residents themselves, who were never
consulted about their opinions on
Yet again, the Ubyssey (and
other people) have targeted residence advisors as an easy shot
because of their controversial role
(and unpopular role) of rule
enforcers, and again makes me
think that the Ubyssey has some
personal bitterness towards RAs. It
is quick to assume the evil intentions of RAs (despite their lack of
relevant evil agenda) and yet do not
even consider that their intentions
are altruistic and their motivation
only concern for residents.
In closing, I would like to point
out that many think RAs are not
needed as are rules in residence.
As a past resident on the floor that
put human crap in the microwave
and nuked it to explosion, I would
disagree, and hope that others will
disagree too. Most residents are
responsible and capable of looking
after themselves but it is the five
percent who are the perpetual complainants who are always dissatisfied with rules, and those who
enforce them.
I am left wondering if despite the
disclaimer of objectivity [Jan. 18 editorial], perhaps the Ubyssey is guilty
of campaigning? Perhaps you are
abusing your position as a community leader and bringer of news to
our student body, to further someone's political agenda? You write
such an eloquent agenda to diffuse
anyone's suspicion on those who
have the same innocent motivation
as yourself, but who are unable to
write little convenient disclaimers.
Does the accusation sting? The
hypocrisy of this situation has not
gone unnoticed. ♦
—Jo McFetridge is a student
and a Totem Park resident
I Almost as
the ubyssey j-, January 28, 1999*page friday—the ubyssey magazine-
Strike deadline is
fast approaching
The deadline for a settlement between BC's
seven Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE) university support staff locals and the
provincial government is fast approaching.
Last week, a special mediator was appointed to help the seven locals resolve provincial
issues concurrently. CUPE has set the deadline
of January 30 for resolution.
Connie Credico, a CUPE national representative, said negotiations will continue until
Sunday, but if issues aren't resolved by then,
strike action is possible early next week.
"If there isn't a settlement, we could be
looking at strike action on [January] 31st," said
Credico. All seven locals have strong strike
mandates from their members. Credico wouldn't elaborate on the progress of negotitations
as there is a media ban on discussing the
However, Lisa Castle, UBC's director of
Human Resources, indicated in a letter to UBC
administration yesterday that negotiations
aren't going well and there is a "significant possibility" that CUPE will be on strike next week.
CUPE is demanding a consistent accord of
wages and value-added benefits for all university locals.
The seven locals, including two UBC support staff locals, have been in contract negotiations with their respective universities since
early last year.
The AMS attacks new
tuition proposal
At the Alma Mater Society (AMS) council
meeting Wednesday night, councillors
expressed concerns about the university's
proposed tuition policy, which will regulate
future changes in tuition.
The proposal, which is currently undergoing public consultation, has received "incredibly negative feedback," according to Maryann
Adamec, AMS vice-president.
She said the tuition policy is an "imperfect
document" and worries that administrators of
the policy are not making a serious effort to
account for negative criticisms.
The most contentious component of the
policy is the principle that tuition levels for
each program should be set according to the
cost of the program per student. Currently, all
courses cost the same amount.
The committee would like the policy to be
approved with the budget in March, but some
AMS councillors believe this is too rushed.
Jesse Guscott, a UBC Board of Governors
representative to council, warned the AMS
against being passive and waiting until it is
asked for input.
"I would reaffirm my assertion that we
have to go after [the administration] on this,"
said Guscott.
RBC CEO denied
McGill doctorate
MONTREAL (CUP)—The Senate at McGill
University has decided not to give Royal Bank
Chair and CEO John Cleghom an honorary
doctorate degree.
The decision was made during a confidential Senate session last week, and was later
leaked to the McGill Daily, McGill's main student newspaper.
Cleghorn has been a long-time benefactor
of the Montreal school, but his name sparked
opposition when it was first raised at the
Senate meeting.
Opponents of the move questioned Royal
Bank's policy of layoffs and its stake in the
student debt crisis despite high profits. They
condemned the degree as an implicit reward
for such practices.
While the final Senate vote was overwhelmingly in favour of granting a degree to
Cleghorn, the degree was blocked by a McGill
statute that requires only seven senators to
oppose the decision.
This is not the first time an honorary
degree has set off protests at a Canadian university. The University of Victoria bowed to
pressure and denied Bill Gates an honorary
degree last year.**
—with files from the McGill Daily
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