UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Nov 29, 2002

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 UBC professor Dr William H. New, retiring this
year, reflects on four decades at the leading
edge of Canada's literature.
, by Aman Sharma
We've been driving through
an African desert for hours now, coughing up
dust and rubbing our eyes. Water is beyond
essential at this point, as insanity seems to be
closer than the next drink. Soon we're in the
heat of an Indian village, relishing the precious ice cubes in a highball glass of cheap
The heat changes, becomes thicker, and
more pervasive on our Haitian veranda.
Everything seems like it is melting—hair,
clothes and even your skin's boundary is
blurred. Are you really made of flesh, or are
you only water? And the water of the Pacific
stretches as far as the eye can see, a warm
bath for the tropical fish swimming below us,
while the sun cures our skin. If this trip
sounds far removed from Canada, you couldn't be more wrong.
Dr William H. New is a University Killam
Professor (a prestigious title given to the university's most acclaimed academics) of
English here at UBC. We're sitting in his office,
inside the filing cabinet of knowledge that is
Buchanan Tower. It seems that his interior
decorator is a literary enthusiast, because the
cramped space features wall-to-wall, floor-to-
ceiling books. Books are everywhere, piled,
stacked, shelved, marked and organised. If
you were a book, this is the place you'd want to
be on a Friday night
New himself looks at ease among this party
of literature. He's wearing glasses, and his
face is like the cover of your favourite novel-
familiar, warm and well-travelled. He's been a
part of UBC for many years now, initially arriving as an undergraduate and returning to
teach after completing his PhD abroad.
Without subtracting his time teaching in
other countries such as India, China and
Australia, New has been a professor at UBC for
3 7 years. In that time, he's written about literature in more ways than I can begin to imagine, and received almost every accolade possible in the process. Literature in Canada has
changed immensely in the time he's been
writing about it—and don't think that that's a
coincidence. He became a member of the
Royal Society of Canada in 1986, served on the
three-person jury for this year's Giller Prize
and is the editor of the recently released
Encyclopedia of Literature in, Canada, an epic
1000-page tome hailed as an essential for students of Canada's literature.
So, how did one man help influence
our view of literature so much? First of all, you
can't underestimate the distance Canadian literature has travelled in the past half century.
In fact, when New arrived at UBC, the idea of
Canadian Literature didn't exist as a course of
study—actually, it was a bad joke: Tou're
going to teach a course in Canadian
Literature? What are you going to teach after
the first class?'
New fought through the cynicism and set
about recognising Commonwealth literatures
as a worthwhile course of study, instead of just
as a trope of nationalism. UBC faculiy and students began to study Commonwealth and
Canadian literatures, with a willingness to
consider whatever was out there, thanks to
One of the best examples of this pervasive
open-mindedness is UBC's jewel of journals:
Canadian Literature, the periodical New
helped create and of which he was the editor
for 17 years. Choose an issue at random, and
you're almost guaranteed to have your notion
of the word 'Canadian' expanded. Previous to
New's editorship of the journal, the purpose of
Canadian Literature was very different For a
lot of people, Canadian literature had more in
common with Johnny Canuck or Uncle Sam
than with Goethe or Shakespeare.
"There have been periods before, in the
1920s for example, where there was a lot of
boosterism, where people [were] saying
'Canadian literature is absolutely great' and
declaring that we were a people who had come
of age because of the excellent writers that
were here. Now you still hear that noise from
time to time, but I think we've moved away
from trying to coral literature into serving a
particular nationalist function," says New.
Today we see this mindset changing everywhere, from the UBC Bookstore to The Book
Grotto in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. The
widespread consumption of authors like
Rohinton Mistry, Michael Ondaatje and
Shauna Singh Baldwin reflect our lessening
Arts space opens today:
Cars Lit Special!
BC writers to watch and read. Pages 4-5.
iS3    SPORTS:
After years of Artsies' hard work. Page 3.
The best and the rest
What your varsity teams have been up to
this fall. Page 8.
I USE IT FOR WEIGHTL1FT1NG: Dr New works out with the 1000 page
Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, which he edited. Michelle furbacher photo
reliance on the stereotypical imperatives of
Canada, and more of a concentration on what
the writer communicates.
The prestigious 2002 Man Booker Prize
had three Canadians on its distinguished
shortlist Yann Martel, who won this year's
Booker for his novel The Life of Pi, is a
Canadian born in Spain, living in Montreal,
whose prize-winning novel is written in
English about the thoughts of an Indian boy.
Such a salmagundi of nations and places
would probably have been rejected from the
title 'Canadian' in 1950.
"You don't have to put certain things into
literature in order for it to be characteristic or
typical or representative of the nation-state in.
which it appears, or the value system in which
it appears," he says. "In more concrete terms,
Canadian poems don't need to have snow and
husky dogs in them in order to be Canadian
"I'd sooner talk about literature in Canada,
rather than Canadian literature," he says. "I'd
sooner talk about literature in the United
States rather than American literature, literature in Mexico rather than Mexican literature.
As long as we can use the adjective as descriptive it's fine; once it's become prescriptive
then it becomes an imposition on the writer. I
don't think criticism can impose these things
on writers."
Even if the content and author of a work are
conventionally domestic, the way in which it is
presented can present a significant, non-conventional way of considering literature. The
works ofone of Canada's most brilliant writers,
Alice Munro come to mind. The emphasis that
Munro places on what we consider to be mundane and everyday runs parallel to New's style
of teaching—those who have had him as a
teacher will recognise his push to consider
everything available in a frame of thought
"I came to know others, who were working
in [postcolonial studies] in various other parts
of the world. That's produced a wonderful
sense of international camaraderie, exchange
of ideas, contact, and learning—with a capital
L," New states. One of the things that we all
discovered was that the 'other' was not exotic;
the 'other' was ordinary. To get past that
See "New" on page 4.
\(iii:-r.«.' Si hsuc 21
Buying time since 1913 «21t-
by !va Cheung
f       -   /
i -
*»   ■ J
The day after American Thanksgiving
has traditionally been the busiest
shopping day. of the year in the
biggest shopping nation ofthe world.
For many people, it marks the unofficial start ofthe Christmas spending
But to' those who would refuse to
accept the pressure toward material
gluttony, this day marks a different
celebration: Buy Nothing Day, a 24-
hour period of creative resistance
against the rampant consumerism
that some people feel plagues our
Consumers are encouraged to
declare a moratorium on spending
on Buy Nothing Day, one ofthe annual awareness campaigns initiated by
the Vancouver-based Adbusters
Media Foundation, which also established TV Turn-Off Week and pub-
fishes the bi-monthly Adbusters
To Kalle Lasn, founder of
Adbusters, the North American habit
of over-consumption isn't just a
problem; it's nothing short of an
addiction, and Buy Nothing Day is an
important first step in discovering
just how powerful the addiction can
be. "It's a day when you make a httle
personal pact with yourself that
you're not going to buy anything
whatsoever, and it's kind of a bit of a
psychological experiment to find out
how it feels." says Lasn "For a lot of
people, it's quite a profound little
psychojourney. They discover that,
it's a lot more difficult than they first *
imagined, and they learn something
about the power of this impulse to
buy, that maybe for the whole of
their lives up to that point, they've
always just satisfied whenever it
comes along."
For some, Lasn says, the withdrawal brought on by the 24-hour
fast is too intense to handle. "Many
people give up halfway through the
day because they just can't hack it.
They can't just go cold-turkey on consumption."
For those who manage to make it
through Buy Nothing Day successfully, however, the experience can be
cathartic and rejuvenating, says
Lasn. "Many other people get
through the day and feel wonderful,
like they've learned something about
themselves, and then they go ahead
and actually start thinking about having a different kind of a Christmas
this year, and some people even start
changing their lifestyles."
Buy Nothing Day was spawned
out of a desire to reclaim culture
from the corporations and concentrated mass media that left the public with filtered information and
manipulated images. "We felt that
our culture was somehow being
taken away from us, that back in the
old days, we used to sing songs and
tell stories and generate our culture
from the bottom up, and suddenly,
we were more and more living in a
culture where it was being force-fed
to us," explains Lasn "We felt that we
needed to start a movement that we
called 'culture-jamming,' a movement to take back our culture from
the people who had hi-jacked it."
After some brainstorming. Buy
Nothing Day was conceived, and
Adbusters launched the campaign
through their magazine in 1991.
"Those three words had a sort of a
magic ring about them right from
the start," says Lasn. Over the past
11 years. Buy Nothing Day has
evolved from a local grassroots
movement in the Pacific Northwest
to a global phenomenon celebrated
in 60 countries around the world,
from Argentina to Latvia to Taiwan.
Most recently. Buy Nothing Day
Dave Alexander's Top 10 ways to
observe Buy Nothing Day
10) Get drunk on Jut home 'nade moonshine you'i e bfP'i sj\ m« for a
'special occasion.
9) Go to MrDcnald's -ind order ?n e\;ra-lar,je bag of ^irules.
S) Hold 3 f onlet-l fp>r j our hii^it-s lo -ee who '-.in make Lhe be<>t huinc-
■mde blii.gbhr.g out of ihj-gs found 111 Lhe fl ii-aL
7) MeuciLouwy plan ojt a bilrhm' sh'jpp ".g 'up for 'he lext day, ,iki
Buy I'wte lis Mm h D iy.
li) Wailk up lo ihe >-aIPs. tornttr < fa department sloje \\i*h in arrnloj'l
of miT' h iiidiM1, 3 ell Ft>} < hi* and run away lau^h ig
j) Du 'Jp j'j'.'r p)ld Dii-c Straits dlbams «n'l l.alen lo "Monty For
N* >ihitia* ovr .-ind over . j>ul:i '"nil Mark Kn-ipller ro'Ties "o }uu in .i
v^iou wiLh 1 -so'iiLon to r.-12'rar.t 1 tiiif.rmeri-'m
1)T .\e fpft J.'3 L.nJ kill .Ti'i iMtyjor neighbour's rat
J) Spi 11J t'.i? _iiy jl fiin ll.iit'in'* >>h wait !iL"U'r r>md that's Buy
J) 'Vij i t!.' ir ipiri 1 .w h un p< ; Is poikt-ts puli'-d '>A j-.i^-t '.-Xe an • iMc
rw.,1' hobo
1) IV.il 'he M in'ijmly <-.uy to dea'h with a t.n? iron £
i     ,.ysi
has seen increasing support from
some spiritual groups; for instance,
the Buy Nothing Christmas site
(www.buynothingchristmas.org) was
initiated by a Mennonite group advocating abandoning the annual tradition of purchasing Christmas gifts.
Adbusters has encountered its
share of resistance to Buy Nothing
Day, however, especially from major
television networks who have
refused to allow the group to advertise the event "Up to this day, CBC
Newsworld, ABC, NBC, CBS networks
in New York, they have systematically and year after year refused to sell
us any airtime whatsoever."
CNN has been notably more
receptive: a few years ago, the network began selling airtime for a Buy
Nothing Day spot, the Adbusters'
now-famous 'Burping Pig' ad. This
year, Adbusters raised over $ 18,000
USD in donations from Buy Nothing
Day supporters to air the ad during
Lou Dobbs' Moneyline, a popular
CNN business program. "It's the
biggest TV jam we've been able to
pull off, you know, to sort of go right
into a business show and air our Buy
Nothing Day message there and give
those businessmen a bit of a
moment of truth," Lasn quips.
Although Buy Nothing Day is
nominally a 24-hour event, its philosophy is meant to be carried
through the holidays and the rest of
the year. Lasn emphasises that the
most significant part of celebrating
Buy Nothing day is not the economic impact, but it's the debate and
movement towards change that the
campaign generates. "It gets you
thinking about how over-consumption is the mother of all our environmental problems; it gets you thinking about advertising and what
impact it has on you to five in a culture that forces 3000 marketing
messages into your brain every 24
hours, and for many people, it's an
opening into a lifestyle that's a little
bit more confrontational, a httle bit
more counter-consumer-culture. For
some people. Buy Nothing Day is the
beginning of a whole period in their
fives when they become activists."
"Buy Nothing Day is one very
important part of a whole movement to change the status quo,"
stresses Lasn. "And I would like students, who are really the people who
are creating the future; I hope that
they not only buy nothing on Buy
Nothing Day...but I hope that they
look at this new activism that's running around the planet and become
part of that" ¥
lliililllffiiiil _
COMPUTERS & all electronic
equipments. Free pick-up & delivery.
Free estimate. Alan 604-879-0290
Hire a resume writer today,
www.sabrinamehra .com/resumes
Friday, November 29,2002
Specialty Dental Clinic is accepting
patients requiring dental treatment for
wisdom teeth extractions. Minor surgery
at a reduced fee; intravenous sedation
available; dental implant patients. To
schedule an appointment, please contact
The Forestry
Undergraduate Society
will be selling trees
outside the Safeway at
Oth and Sasamat.
Monday December 9th
to Friday December 20th.
Weekdays from 4pm to 7pm and
Weekends from 10am to 6pm.
ra uumcmar
COVER $100 obo. Other small
furniture also available. 604-736-2532.
TO LrVE? Bright Spacious, & Clean.
1BR in 2BR bsmt suite to share in
Oakridge area. Dec 1 or Jan 1. $485
includes Utilities, Cable, Laundry, HS
Internet. 604-299-7220.
EARN $25,000. For details, visit
F/T TESL Certificate Program or Sat.
P/T Program. $885. Thousands of jobs.
Ph: 604-609-0411.
SWING DANCE! Every Sat. at St.
James Community Hall on 10th Ave. 4
blocks West of McDonald. Beginner
lesson @ 8, Student $4 only! 822-0124.
To place
an Ad
visit SUB
Room 23
Radio Berlin at the Pic Pub (620 West Pender) on Nov. 29
According to the ad they have CHEAP drinks—all the more reason to go
see this excellent Vancouver band. Call the Pic at 682-3221 for more
Banff Mountain Film Festival on till the 30th at the Ridge.
No, it's not in Banff. Pretend you're an outdoor sy type and go check out
these real, extreme mountain films. The festival has been around for
26 years so it must be good. And if you need something to do other
than study on Sunday there is a showing at the Centennial Theatre on
the North Shore.
Looking for Leonard at Tinseltown, opens Nov. 29.
Love, intrigue, betrayal, murder—all the necessities of a great film.
This dark, dry Canadian comedy won a bunch of awards at film festivals throughout the globe—we also recommend it if that counts.
"I Hate Hamlet" at Presentation House Theatre (333 Chesterfield
Ave.) until Dec. 7
This may appeal to those of you saying the same thing about your
English class. It's a comedy about a ghost that appears to offer guidance
to a lightweight TV actor trying to master the role of Hamlet OK.it
might not help you with the exam. Tickets start at $11. Call 990-3474
for info. ♦
This prof could save your life
E-coli research
results in UBC's
most prestigious
By Anna King
Dr Brett Finlay's research on 'hamburger disease,' the illness caused
by e-coli contamination, has garnered him the university's most
prestigious academic honours.
The UBC professor is working on
a vaccine that would prevent
tragedies like the one at Walkerton,
Ontario that killed seven people two
years ago.
The lithe 43-year-old, who Dr
Indira Samarasekera, vice-president, research, called "one of the
top researchers in Canada and the
world," was named the Peter Wall
Distinguished Professor earlier this
The professorship was created
to foster innovative and interdisciplinary research through a gift from
Vancouver businessman Peter Wall,
and provides salary support for a
five-year period with the possibility
of renewal. This is the third such
professorship awarded.
"Professor Finlay is an extraordinarily talented scientist with a very
creative outlook/ Samarasekera
said. "He is a great example of what
a scientist should be."
Dr Finlay's idea—which came to
him while running in the
Endowment Lands—is to vaccinate
the cows that lie at the root of e-coli
contamination instead of the
humans who contract the disease
through tainted water or meat. It's
this idea that he hopes will reduce
the uncommon but highly dangerous outbreaks of hemolytic uremic
syndrome, or 'hamburger disease.'
"This is huge," said Finlay about
receiving the award. "The Peter
Wall institute is a really special
place at UBC."
It's additionally special, he
added, because the last individual
to hold the professorship was the
late acclaimed biochemist Dr
Michael Smith, a mentor to Dr
Finlay. In fact, one ofthe few things
in Dr Finlay's new office in the
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced
Studies is a photograph of the smiling Smith.
Annick Gautier, a PhD student in
Dr Finlay's lab, said she doesn't
know anyone more deserving ofthe
award. "He's incredibly dedicated
and a great person," Gautier said.
She also cited, as an example of his
generosity, his practice of recommending other lab members to
present research on his behalf at
conferences around the world,
something not all professors do.
In addition to running a
research lab and overseeing 25
graduate and post-doctoral students, Dr Finlay teaches an introductory class in microbiology to
medical students.
Education is something Dr Finlay
feels strongly about "I think public
education is very important We're
paid by the taxpayers to basically
play, and should you be working on
something applied I think it's your
duty to get it out there," he said.
In that vein, in 1999 Dr Finlay
presented the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute Holiday Lectures,
which were broadcast five on the
internet to 15,000 US and Canadian
high schools.
"I love talking to high school students—or undergrads—and opening
up a whole new world for them," he
said. "The good thing about what I
work on is that it's easy to tell people about it People get bacterial diseases, it's a concern, whether it's
sexually transmitted diseases, or
tuberculosis or skin infections-
even pimples on your face are due
to bacterial infections."
Dr Finlay considers himself a
profoundly inquisitive person, but
says his inspiration lately has been
coming from a new place. "All my
life I've been researching how these
things work and what's now starting to become really fun is applying
it for the benefit of socity," he says.
"I know, it sounds cheesy."
Dr Finlay is the co-founder of a
Vancouver-based pharmaceutical
company and also manages to be a
musician, white-water kayaker, runner, and father of two. ♦
Confusion surrounds Pit audio equipment
by John McCrank Normally, bands that want to play at the Pit have to
NEWS STAFF submit a demo to the AMS Events Office, which is then
reviewed by Suds and his staff. Once the bands are chosen, the AMS Events Office picks up the fees for the
sound technician and there is no charge to the band.
However, if somebody wants to book the Pit for a night
and run their own show, the event organiser, not the
AMS, is responsible for the fees.
Behshad Darvish, executive coordinator of student
services, was the ombudsman dealing with the the conflict—which he said was basically a matter of miscom-
"She had approached {Suds] based on booking a
venue, which is sort of different than booking a band,"
said Darvish, "so the purpose ofthe meeting [that didn't
happen] was to resolve that initial communication that
had happened, because she was clearly pretty frustrated
by it."
"Bands can submit demos to me, and we do run an
indie night called 'Small Bands Small Venue.' It's a
series we've started and those are bands that we choose,
that we pay—like the office pays for the sound guy for a
night and we bring in our equipment and the whole
night is run by us and we pay those bands to play."
This term, there have been two 'Small Bands Small
Venue' shows, with three bands per bill, falling on
Tuesday nights.
Another option for young bands is to play at the
Gallery Lounge, where there is an in-house sound system that does not require a technician to run, so there
are no extra costs.
Darvish is planing on meeting with Owen, Food and
Beverages Manager Nancy Toogood, and the'manager
of the Pit to finally resolve the issue sometime in the
near future. ♦
A recent attempt by a,worker at the Place Vanier
Residence to book four Vanier bands at the Pit Pub has
generated a lot of confusion about who exactly gets to
play the venue and for how much.
"We wanted to play a Vanier show," said Kate Owen,
who works at Place Vanier front desk, "We had four
bands at Vanier who wanted to do a show together and
bring a lot of the Vanier-Totem Residence out..[but]
they told us we would have to pay $200 for a sound
man and $100 to use the sound equipment."
Finding these costs to be restrictive, Owen, who co-
owns a recording studio with her husband, suggested
to Justin Suds at the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Events
Office that she bring in her own sound equipment and
do the sound herself in order to bring down the costs,
but was told that she would still have to pay the $200
for the sound man, because the system at the Pit is
"delicate and fragile."
"Everywhere else in Vancouver, you can play a club
and often you won't be paid, but they never ask you to
pay—and I'd like to see that happen—bands can play the
Pit without going into debt," said Owen, who took the
matter to an AMS ombudsman. But due to the large
number of people involved, many of whom had conflicting schedules, the matter still has not been resolved.
According to Suds, campus indie bands can and do
play the Pit, free of charge, and the problem with the
Vanier show was the result of a misunderstanding based
on how Owen made the request for the booking.
"It was approached to me as an event," said Suds,
"The only charge was for the hard cost—for the sound
tech—that we would have to pay. _s..v
International    Village
Buy   Nothing    Day   Sale!
Can't do without your
mall fix on Buy
Nothing Day'
Then come to
International Village
(88 West Pender)'
l Why?
Because, vou can't
huv anything here
Yes! All our stores
are closed1 Entire
floors are shut down
and boarded up'
I  But the mall is still
open, providing climate-controlled,
mood-lit, muzak playing uniformity1
Exclusive gene patents
undermining public care
by Lisa Johnson
Canadians want and deserve public health
care, reports the Romanow Commission.
Maybe so, say health policy researchers, but
privately held exclusive gene patents are
undermining Canadians' public access to
tests and treatment.
Tim Caulfield, research director at the
University of Alberta's Health Law Institute
(HLI) advocates an end to exclusive gene
patents. Exclusive patents—which comprise
the majority of the gene patents in Canada
and the United States—allow the holder to
veto testing or researching the patented
gene, even by public facilities.
"Patent monopoly is not a right that companies have," said Caulfield, speaking recently at the Centre for Health Services and Policy
Research (CHSPR) conference held on
November 8 near UBC. He and the HLI think
Canada should consider the mandatory
licensing of gene patents, forcing patent
holders to "rent" the use of genes to other
researchers at a fee.
The current debate on exclusive licensing
in Canada is partly generated by the patent
claims of Myriad Genetics, a US-based biotech
company, to exclusive rights for sequencing
and mutation testing on the genes for hereditary breast cancer. These tests for the genes
(called BRCA 1 and 2), can detect the risk that
a woman with a family history of breast or
ovarian cancer has of developing the disease.
Breast cancer genetic testing has been
publicly available in Canada since 1996, but
was stopped in British Columbia injury 2001
when Myriad ordered provincial health
authorities across Canada to stop BRCA testing or face charges of patent infringement.
While the BC Ministry of Health complied
with Myriad's order to avoid legal action,
Ontario and Alberta continue to provide
BRCA testing.
"We don't consider ourselves to be in violation of any valid claim," said Phil Jackson, a
director with the Ontario Ministry of Health.
"Ontario said it 'will continue to articulate its
interests,' meaning a green light for our laboratories to continue [BRCA testing]."
Monsanto and gene
By Tejas Ewing
I' |
Recent developments in the exercising of gene
patents on genetically modified crops and
their propagation have opened up a variety of
issues regarding the merits and ethics of gene
It all started with Monsanto and their weed
killer, Roundup. Monsanto then genetically
engineered a canola seed that produces plants
impervious to Roundup. That means that a
farmer can spray Roundup herbicide over an
entire field, kill all the weeds, but not hurt the
canola crops, as long as they come from
Monsanto's special seed. This new form of
canola has been patented, and Monsanto aims
to make its money by selling the seeds to farmers every year. Farmers traditionally plant
their fields using seeds saved from their previous year's crop, but with Monsanto's product they must sign a contract to buy fresh
seeds every year, and allow Monsanto to
inspect their fields for patent infringement
Ontario, which objects to the breadth and
exclusivity of Myriad's patent claims, has not
yet been sued. "We're waiting for the shoe to
drop," Jackson said at the conference. In
Canadian patent law, the only way to change
a patent once it has been awarded is to instigate and win a lawsuit r
"Maybe Ontario would win,
said Caulfield, "but that doesn't
change anything except one
patent claim by one company." Currently, more than
2 50,000 genes are patented in the United States,
with some 1500 of those
associated with diseases.
The opposition to limiting
gene patent claims comes,
surprisingly, from biotechnology
companies, which have invested heavily in gene discovery and want financial
returns from patents on their findings.
Caulfield says, however, that private
companies are not the only ones pushing for greater commercialisation of
health products and genetic information. Publicly funded research labs,
such as universities, are among the
chief gene patent holders in Canada.
For instance, UBC owns 645 active
patents, 148 of which relate to genetic
sequences.     According     to     UBC's
University Industry Liaison Office, the
university gets approximately $8.5 million  annually in royalties  from  their
The Canadian Institute of Health
Research, a major government funding
agency, says that it funds projects to "encoui
age and facilitate commercialisation o
health research and promote economi
"On one hand we have provincial govern
ments opposing patent claims," said
Caulfield. "On the other we have the feds promoting them. We need to see harmonisation
on all levels of Canadian policy to move this
Bryn Williams-Jones, a Cambridge
University post-doc in genetic bioethics,
agreed. "[The government has] to get away
from a focus on biotech as the 'golden child'
of the Tcnowledge-based' economy, and look
at the downsides of commercialisation" said
Williams-Jones, who studied the
Myriad/BRCA problem during his doctorate
at UBC.
Monsanto says it is just protecting its
investment According to Monsanto's regional
director in Western Canada, Randy
Christenson (via Monsanto's website), the
company has to be tough. However, this
'toughness' is threatening farmers' livelihoods. Monsanto has accused dozens of farmers of growing its special seed without paying
for it and in 1999, it won a $19,000 court
decision against Percy Schmeiser, of Bruno,
Saskatchewan, because it found its modified
crop in Schmeiser's fields. However,
Schmeiser is fighting back. He has said in an
interview with CBC Newsworld in November
2001 that he's never used Monsanto's seed.
He saves the seeds from his own crops, and
then replants them in the spring.
He and other farmers, including some in
the United States, say they cannot be held
liable for Monsanto's crop being in their
fields, because DNA shifting is a natural
process. Seed gets blown from field to field in
the wind and cannot be easily controlled.
Agriculture Canada, in a report presented to
the CBC, supports this argument, stating that
the seeds or pollen from fields, trucks or farm
equipment can cause DNA mixing. Without
advanced testing, there is no way to tell
Monsanto's crop from any other type of
Jackson expects that a Canadian Supreme
Court decision on the patenting of a cancer-
prone mouse expected next month will open
the federal debate on gene patent law. "We
don't know what they will decide, but it could
cause broad changes to this legislation, or
make moves on the Patent Act"
Health Canada representative Hasan
Hutchison hinted at the conference that new
federal legislation might indeed be coming,
saying only that Health Canada was in
"intense negotiation" with Industry Canada
on gene patent issues. €
canola, and farmers are being caught in the
middle, being held liable for theft pf which
they claim to have no knowledge.
In the future, the problem of DNA mixing
could come to affect Canada's exports as well.
Recently, genetically modified canola that was
approved by Canadian authorities was found
contaminated with genetic material from
another canola seed that is not approved for
export. This seriously threatens Canada's $1.8
billion canola export market, up to half of
which are genetically modified crops.
However, since DNA shifting and mixing is
difficult to control, these crops could continue
to be contaminated by unapproved varieties.
If this happens, other countries may not want
to import Canada's product
These are only some examples of the possible complications of DNA patenting (that
groups such as the Canadian Centre for Policy
Alternatives feel is not adequately regulated)
existing in an industry that is governed by
unpredictable natural processes, leaving
farmers such as Percy Schmeiser wondering
how hard and fast rules such as those that
apply to patents, trade regulations and ownership, can be imposed upon the entire complex
process of farming. £
Giving capitalism
tlie hiccups
by Jackie Mart
Unlike many student travelers, beer and pretzels
and the Hofbrauhaus didn't top my agenda when I
arrived in Germany this
October. With a year in
Berlin on exchange from
UBC, I wanted to seize the
opportunities offered by what I
consider one of the world's most
"political" cities.
I wanted to get involved in local
activism, but wasn't sure how. So I
went to an anti-war protest held
soon after I arrived to demonstrate, but also to 'shop' for groups
I might want to get involved with.
Of the reams of flyers I received
that day, two made lasting impressions.
The first flyer advertised the
European Social Forum (ESF), a
four-day conference with the slogan "Another Europe is Possible:
against'neo-liberalism, racism and
Planned for November 6-9 in
Florence, Italy, the ESF was to be
the Euro version of the World
Social Forum held in Porto Alegre,
Brazil last year. Individuals were
converging from across the continent for workshops, seminars,
networking, planning and a massive anti-war demonstration. It
sounded like something I couldn't
pass up.
So I boarded one of the many
busses that Berlin activists had
organised and headed to the
Tuscan hills to see what I could
learn from the 60,000 conference
participants. With people from
Greece, England, Scotland,
Poland, France, and Germany, I
discussed what Europeans call
"the movement" (known more
descriptively elsewhere as the
anti-corporate, anti-globalisation,
pro-democracy movement).
Momentum built throughout
the conference for the peace
demonstration on Saturday,
November 9. Given the fear generated by the media that the event
would become   another  Genoa
(where a G8 protester was shot
and killed by the Italian police in
2001), organisers expected
200,000 to 300,000 people to
Refusing to be intimidated, around one million people came to
march for peace in
Florence that day.
A million people.
None of us had ever
experienced anything
like that. When I
marched with one million people, representing thousands of diverse
interests but united to assert
democracy and say no to war, I
was forever changed. What I
brought back from Florence was
the solid knowledge that we as
people—whether students, workers, unemployed, parents, young,
old—if we unite in our diversity,
we really can affect change.
The second flyer was a Buy
Nothing Day (BND) postcard, which
I was both surprised and stoked to
find so far from Adbusters'
Vancouver headquarters.
Like the ESF, Buy Nothing Day
is an opportunity to unite under a
common goal: ih thecase of BND,
fighting over-consumption. One
day won't topple capitalism, but it
can give it the hiccups.
If we want to five in a world
where democracy is more than
making a checkmark and then
holding our breath, then we can
learn from the active and personal
participation that BND encourages. As a banner at the ESF peace
demonstration proclaimed,
"Regime Change Begins at Home."
Exercising our rights not to consume for a day is just one of a
diversity of tactics needed to transition from a world of hunger and
"military intervention" into a
world of sustainability, peace, and
global cooperation.
On the streets of Florence I got
a glimpse of a world of possibilities. For me, this world begins
with investing my time on
exchange into my university's
Stop the War Coalition, but for you
it may mean anything.
It doesn't matter whether you
are in Florence, . Berlin, or
Vancouver; collectively, we are
capable of anything. Another
world IS possible... $
Buy Nothing Day in its
many worldwide incarnations
by Chris Shepherd
— ' *<
While Buy Nothing Day (BND) started in
-Vancouver, it quickly spread around the
world and is celebrated in a variety of creative and entertaining ways. Each year
since its inception in 1991, people have
sought new and innovative ways to get
across the message of avoiding consumerism.
Japan: 'Zenta Claus' has been making
an appearance in Japan ever since the
first Japanese BND in 1999. Dressed in
the traditional red outfit, BND activists
meditated while 'elves' passed out flyers.
The message: "The revolution starts right
where you're sitting.' The first and only
'Zenta Claus' has been joined by dozens
more practitioners every year.
France: For the 1999 Journee Sans
Achat, one group advocating BND created an 'uncommercial' that depicted a
claymation man sitting on a globe eating
and growing until his weight shattered
the globe and leift the man sprawled on
the ground. A voice-over gave the message that hope for a change in consciousness lies in the day to day actions of
The 'ad' did not run in France however, because the various television networks did not agree to airing it News
media got wind of the 'ad' and it quickly
made an international story which was
picked up by various news agencies such
as Reuters.
United States of America: The country
that inspired BND is also one of the most
prolific countries celebrating BND. Across
the country, culture jammers spread the
anti-consumerist message in a plethora of
different media.
In San Francisco, a crowd raised 12-
foot flags bearing the words "Free," "Live,"
"Steal," and "Play," and hosted a BND
party in the streets. At the same time a
group against the Gap clothing chain ran
a clothesline through the streets and hung
clothing painted with anti-consumerist
Boulder, Colorado saw a BND street
party and the host—a local food co-op
operator—chain himself to the town's
newest chain outlet
Chapel Hill, North Carolina saw the set
up of a swap meet and teach-in, where
participants learned how to make candles
and share favourite recipes.
Canada: In Montreal, a truck informing the people of BND was driven through
downtown Montreal while a woman was
seen going in and out of various stores;
only the bags she carries have the sides
cut out revealing her purchases: nothing!
Over the evening in Victoria, a group of
BND activists chalked slogans on the city
sidewalks, focusing their attack on the
grand opening of Eaton's which was happening that day.
Britain: Britain is big on swap meets
and similar events. London was host to
Superswaps where cash and credit cards
were not accepted and items were traded
based on their emotional value and sentiment. ¥
Laura Blue's Top 10
Buy Ming Day links
10)    The    Greenpeace    Guide    to
Environmentally Friendly Sex:
Tke name says it all doesn't it?
9) Adbusters
Visit Adbustersj the Vancouver-
based magazine that created Buy
Nothing Day,
8) Buy Nothing Day Stickers
Download stickers and get pasting.
7} Worst Christmas Gifts
http: // www. un w ind. com/j oke s-fua-
Ten terrible Chrislmas-gift ideas.
6} The Ultimate Poseur's Sport Utility
http://poseur.4x4 .org/
Laugh at people who drive SUVs, the
vehicles on the cutting edge ofthe over-
consumption craze. Check out, in particular, the bumper stickers,
5) World Buy Nothing Day Index
http://www. ecoplan.org/ibnd/ib_index.
Background of Buy Nothing Day,
plus perspectives and forums devoted
to your favourite non-holiday.
4) Resistlca: Steal Something Day
these people are lit tie more militant
than most about not buying things...
3) Sierra Club's Energy Saving Tips
http://www.sierr aclub.org/energy/con-
TipsJ checklists, and resources to
help cutyour energy consumption. Save
cash and the emironment
2} Buy Nothing Day Greeting Cards
Spread the Buy-Nothing spirit
Hallmark-style, minus the $4.50 price
i) UBC Campus Sustainability Office
See what you can do to make UBC a
more sustainable campus, and read
about the good work already underway, $ PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, November 29, 2002
Arts space
e masses
Meekison Arts
Student Space
opens today
by Kathleen Deering
It's been in the works for years, but
Arts students will finally see the ribbon cut at their brand-new, 6000
square foot social space. The
Meekison Arts Student Space (MASS)
opens today.
Located in Buchanan D block on
the bottom floor, the social space is
the culmination of years of hard work
and negotiations by members of the
Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS).
Although there was already a space
for Arts students to sit relax and grab
a coffee in A200, as well as an office
for AUS work in A207, AUS reps felt
they need more space.
"If you think about it in A207
we're producing a newspaper, we're
running a council of upwards to 30
people and we're also running Arts
County Fair," Nafeesa Karim, AUS VP
Internal said, "out of an office with
three computers on the best of days.
It's a very public office. So to run our
services better, we thought we needed more space."
The idea for MASS began in
January 2000. Arts Academic
Advising wanted to expand in the
Arts 200 lounge, which concerned
Arts students because they felt the
room was already too small to provide for the 10,000 Arts students
at UBC.
The AUS held a successful referendum to raise Arts student fees by
$5 for ten years, for a total of
$50,000 each year to go toward the
new social space. They obtained
$250,000 from the university's
Social Space committee. $40,000
was given by TREK to build a bathroom with shower facilities for bikers
coming to UBC.
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NICE SPACE! Aioksandra Bzozowski, Kristen Read and Nafeesa Karim are excited about the arrival of
their "baby": the new Meekison Arts Student Space. The space opens today, michael schwandt photo
Aleksandra Brzozowski AUS president in 2000/01 and in her fifth year
at UBC was involved in the project
since the beginning. She said they
were also lucky to have a generous
$400,000 donationby UBC Arts alumnus Jim Meekison, an entrepeneur
Student members involved in the
design ofthe building spent days haggling over small details with the university design panel. The Buchanan
building is a piece of modern architecture, dating from the modernist
period beginning in the 1940s.
Alma Mater Society designer
Michael Kingsmill acted as liason
between the University design panel
and the AUS design committee. "The
interest was to fit with the building
and carry on the modernist tradition," said Kingsmill.
"Right down to the tile on the bar,
it had to be within the whole genre,"
Karim said. "Right down to the furniture. It's a very retro feel."
In the centre of the new space is
an enclosed cluster of offices—space
for Arts students to hold meetings in
The Underground, the AUS publication, will also be produced in this
space. Arts events, such as Arts
County Fair, will be organised in this
There is a long hallway on one
side ofthe office space, with benches
and plants. The hallway is laid out in
a similar manner to the hallways in
the upstairs ofthe SUB.
The most visually entertaining
room is the lounge, on the other side
of the offices, with 10 ft floor-to-ceil
ing length glass windows, opening
the room to a Northern view of the
mountains. The space can hold a
maximum of 500 people.
Arts Dean Nancy Gallini
expressed her gratitude toward the
AUS for their hard work and
Meekison for his donation "At last,
the Arts students have a place they
can call their home," she said via
Overall, those most involved in
the project are pleased with the finished product
"How happy can you be?"
exclaimed Brzozowski "Somehow I
think fate stepped in for some things
and hard work on a lot of others, and
all of those obstacles were overcome
and...we have a space, a httle over
two years after we had the referendum...and that's pretty impressive."
"Anyone is welcome to use this
space," said Karim. "We built it for
Arts students, obviously, but all members ofthe university community are
definitely going to benefit from it"
Brzozowski said she belives the
AUS's success will motivate other
undergraduate societies to look into
getting their own social space. In fact,
Kingsmill said he was on his way to
present to the Science
Undergraduate Society about their
future social space, which is slated to
be built near Hebb Theatre.
The MASS opening ceremony
begins at 1:30 today, and there is a
free open house from 2-5pm. The
opening beer garden, held in the
lounge room, will begin at 7pm. ♦
Geers-face differential tuition
by Chris Shepherd
Engineering students at UBC could face differential tuition next year if the current
tuition proposal is passed by the Board of
Governors (BoG).
The current proposal would increase
engineering tuition from $88.70 per credit
to $124.30 per credit, a 40 per cent
increase from lastyear—10 per cent above
the base increase facing Arts and Science
Dean of Applied Science Michael
Isaacson said the increases are heeded for a
number of reasons. He cited UBC's low
budgei-per-student compared to peer universities, engineering being an expensive
program and that engineering xis in high
demand and leads to higher paying jobs as
reasons for increasing the tuition.
Isaacson also noted the university
already decided to allow differential tuition
when it allowed Commerce and
Pharmaceutical Sciences to increase their
tuition by around $ 1000.
"So for better or worse, that is now the
environment in which the university is functioning," he said.
Engineering Undergraduate Student
(EUS) President Cameron Reeves was concerned that the consultation process is taking place during exams. He was also concerned that engineers will be hit harder by
any increase because they have a higher
course load (between 37 and 45 credits).
"It's at the eleventh hour that we're getting this consultation," said Reeves of the
timing of the consultation. "This is our last
week'going into our exams and this is the
first time we really had time to act about
If differential tuition is implemented,
engineering students taking an elective-
such as an English course—would pay more
than a students in Arts in the same course.
At the engineering consultation—which
had around 185 engineering students in
attendance—the issue of time and consultation was raised, something that has been
echoed at consultations with other student
Some of the main concerns raised by students was about the need for the increase,
the timing of the increase, and where the
money would be going. Of particular concern was that the money go to the engineering department and not another faculty.
Most other undergraduate departments
will have tuition increased by 30 per cent
next year. Brian Sullivan, vice president,
students, said from the extra ten per cent
engineers would pay, 90 per cent will go
back into their department while the other
ten will go to the university's general operating fund.
Dr Bruce Dunwoody, associate dean of
engineering, agrees with student concerns
about the timing. He would like to see a formalised annual consultative process
between the university and students.
"I think that would help us avert this all
in a rush, right before Christmas exams type
of scenario that we've got on at the
moment," he said.
When asked if there was a chance that
tuition would not raise 10 per cent above
base increase, Isaacson was tentative in his
"I guess so. There are a number of stakeholders here," he cautioned. "There's the
students themselves, there's the...dean representing faculty, there's the President's
Office, there's the Board of Governors. And
this process will unfold over the weeks
The final tuition proposal is set to go to
the BoG at their January 2 7. meeting. The
Alma Mater Society and Graduate Student
Society are both asking that the university
push that date back to the next BoG meeting
in March to allow for more consultation. ♦
A strike vote for Christmas
Unhappy with the way negotiations are going with the university
over their contract, TAs are taking
a strike vote. Lasting from
Wednesday until Monday, the vote
will influence whether or not TAs
take strike action in December.
"We  cannot guarantee that
there will be no strike action in      	
December," said Alex Grant^TA
Union  president,   adding  TAs
would like to meet with administration as soon as possible to resolve the issue.
On Monday TAs had a well-attended meeting
to determine the amount of support they had for
taking a strike vote. The result was an overwhelming yes, as the almost 400 TAs in attendance voted in favour of taking a strike vote.
TAs are asking for a six per cent raise each
year for the next three years. Because their
tuition increased this year but their pay did not
increase TAs effectively had a 16 per cent pay
cut Negotiations have been ongoing since
Number games
The Alma Mater Society (AMS) has recently
learned that the university will recieve $5 million in additional funding from the federal government in the form of Indirect Costs of
Research (ICR) funding.
This contradicts a statement in the documents given to students at tuition consultations
that one of the reasons cited for next year's
tuition increase is that "there is no indication
from the federal government of Indirect Cost of
Research funding for 2002/03."
ICR funding is used to offset expenses (such
as administration and other research support)
incurred by universities that recieve awards for
research It is described as getting 20 cents to
support every dollar awarded for research
The AMS believes that the university
learned of the additional federal funding after
creating the tuition proposal and
t therefore the proposal should be
less than the 30 per cent current-
' ly put forward.
, The university, however, says
, that it knew ofthe increase in fed-
, eral ICF funding before creating
, the tuition proposal and that it
. should remain the same.
\      "The belief that (federal ICF]
would go from 20 to 25 [cents]
has been part of our assumption
,   right along," said Vice President,
Students Brian Sullivan.
More to come on this issue in the Ubyssey in
Sensitive 2002 guys
Male students at UBC working to end violence
against women held a successful third annual
White Ribbon Pancake Breakfast upstairs in the
SUB party room Thursday mornipg.
Men from all over campus and all ages participated in the event, which is student-driven
"It's important for men to realise that there
is a problem with the dynamic of violence
against women," said Adam Davies, a student
who was involved with the event
Jon Hanvelt, another participant, said many
men who helped out had experienced abuse of
women by men through someone they knew.
"You come to a realisation that feeling bad isn't
enough anymore, and there is an avenue to
make a difference," he said, "and we all went
looking for whatever that avenue was and ended '
up together in the White Ribbon campaign."
Over $3600 was raised-almost $1800 was
made at the breakfast, an amount that was
matched by the university. The total amount
raised was not available by presstime because
money from a donation booth set up at Green
College was not yet counted.
Proceeds will go to the sexual assault centre
on campus, which is affiliated with the
Vancouver-based organisation Women Against
Violence Against Women. ♦ I^ipj^p^
today, November 29,2002
Judy Mclnnes Jr makes a clucking sound
Ni t So M>pu> d w& Nsrrjw
■,V,*  **~.
_^_ „ I
Kissed just
Billeh Nickerson
[Arsenal Pulp Press]
by Hywel Tuscano
This book consists of 48 one or two-page
first-person essays/anecdotes that are
targeted at a gay audience—I believe,
however, that it can make anyone sexual
with a sense of humour laugh out loud.
But I will not ignore this book's gayness
as I was quite happy to read about the
sexual quirks and all-too-true worries of
another gay Vancouverite.
I read through most of this book by
mistake. I picked it up thinking I'd take
a cursory glance at it and didn't stop
reading—I actually started from the last
story and ended up reading through
most of it backwards.
Within the span of four pages Billeh
Nickerson's observations can range
from touching to vulgar. Most of his stories revolve around sexuality and the
entailed discovery, desire, oddities and
even etiquette involved. He touches
upon dildo hygiene, cum towels,
Commercial Drive, fruit masturbation,
working at UBC's bookstore, gender
roles, cocks in cocktails, dimming, up
someone's nose, cruising, suburban
Vancouver, leather, self-sucking, strippers, blowjobs, "drinking and dialing,"
orgasm faces, speedos and much more.
Are you still reading? Good.
An interesting story takes place during Gay Day at Playland in East
Vancouver: he yells to people in the regular line that they can get a $3 discount
if they enter through the Pride lineup-
no one switches lines. Other notables
include a reflection on identity in "Gay
Bag" where Nickerson adamantly
declares "I'm waking up straight tomorrow," and the title piece "Let Me Kiss It
Better' discussing his view of kissing.
The book shines during these quieter
parts that evoke smiles between the
bouts of giggles.
Billeh Nickerson's personal anecdotes, reflections and wry deductions
are the kind that make you smile stupidly on the bus or shove the book
under someone else's nose insisting
that they read four lines here and there.
His writings are local, gay, sexual, intellectual and hilarious—fun to flip
through and even more fun to read. ♦
by Anna King
It takes awhile before you realise it—that
Jr' is not an addendum often seen after
female names: Now that you think about
it, you've never heard of a woman called
Jr in your entire life. Squint at the snapping clamshell on the cover of her book
Snatch, then flip to the back and see a
pursed-lipped babe with a faux leopard
skin coat staring you down, looking like
she'd eat you alive and crunch right
through the bones. Read a few pages and
discover Snatch is the most nonchalantly
absurd, hilariously creepy collection of
poems you've ever encountered. Now
contemplate your upcoming interview
with this woman—who wrote the only
known published poem about Surrey,
BC—and begin to be afraid.
This was me when I went to hear Judy
Maclnnes Jr (JJ^J) read at the Vancouver
International Writers Festival. But funny
thing, turns out JMJ is warm and chatty,
as well as a badass, and is the kind of gal
who pays for your tea before you realise
she's done it
I know it's safe to ask the most pressing question Why did she dedicate her
book to Anne Murray?
"It's a sort of a family tradition," she
blushes. "My uncle dedicated the first
math textbook he wrote to Anne Murray.
He got his photo in the paper and got to
•    -
, *
'* "
" ~*\
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M&ajk -vi
meet her. I guess I hoped that would
happen to me."
JMJ is still waiting for that special day,
but in the meantime has been gathering
a wave of recognition for her 2000 Anvil
Press publication by the few folks who
read poetry in Canada. Her book, though,
is nothing like the poems you read in
CanLit class. JJ^J writes httle narrative
nuggets that just as easily could be called
stories, titled "Children Who Look Like
Ice Cream," and, "I Love Doing My Wife,"
or that begin with lines like, "When I fall
deep in love, I make a clucking sound."
"I don't write lyrical poetry...or the
beautiful Canadian poems that many of
my friends and colleagues do," JMJ tells
me. This is true. JMJ writes about girls
who pull fistfulls of hair out of their head,
taxidermists who stalk your mother's
dog, precocious preteens named
Rolanda Lynn Dinwoodie, and lust in the
meat section at Woodward's. They are
snapshots of suburban heE, what she
calls "Super Socco stories," but with no
trace of the cliche that can drag down
some tales of disaffected youth.
"Super Socco was the official drink of
the Vancouver Whitecaps when I was
growing up. All my friends were really
into soccer. The Whitecaps even came to
my school once," JMJ explains. "My
grandparents were storytellers, and they
were always what I called 'Super Socco
stories'—annecdotes, that when you finish them, they fall flat, there's no punch
line, but there's a resonance of something, maybe a tiny epiphany."
JMJ's brand of writing doesn't have a
lot of precedents in Canada. You could
say it's an offspring of the plainspoken
voice of Al Purdy and the dry humour of
P.K. Page, but JMJ is simply weirder than
Canadian poetry tends to be. "I don't
want to have the terrible limitation of
people who five only of what might make
sense...! want an invented truth," wrote
Clarice Lispector, the Brazilian writer
JMJ quotes in the Writers Festival program. Absurdity is something JMJ relishes, and says she's never been interested
in writing in a more traditional voice.
"There's a writer at the University of
Iowa who talks about how poetry can be
divided into an AM station and an FM
0 0 d
station, so there's stuff for all of us. I
think I'm like an AM 730."
JMJ says she came to poetry from a
childhood of trying to make her parents
laugh. She honed her writing voice in
undergraduate courses at UVic and the
Masters in Creative Writing program at
UBC, and then started working in the
film industry in Vancouver, where she
still fives with her husband. Snatch is the
product of eight years of work, and the
poems range from the intentional
naivete of a young girl to an older, more
measured voice. Throughout there's a
sugared grunginess that gives way to
something solid, a portrait of a woman
who, when walking through a consignment store, muses, "we are reminded of
our big grandmothers, a time when people owned standing ashtrays, and how
love can still be found in objects."
There is an underlying uneasiness in
the book, caused, JMJ says, by the experience of growing up in Surrey at a time
when the fear of child abduction was rampant "I saw the families of my friends try
to deal with their kids disappearing from
the streets—it really affected me," she
says."Hence the real impetus for the
book's title. She also acknowledges anoth-
~ er source of desperation to some of the
poems. "I wanted to be really well liked as
a Md, but there's always a few friends
who will speak to you and a few where,
you know, it doesn't work out"
JMJ says her writing isn't as concerned with childhood fears anymore,
but the strangeness of childhood still
m *
seems to be playing a large role in her
work. "I'm working on a novel called
'Donna Parker Campfire Slut' It's based
on a real fictional character, like Nancy
Drew, from the 50's. Donna Parker is the
poor man's version of Nancy Drew—she
gets really bad cases like her friend's
hamster goes missing and Donna can't
find it anyways. I appropriated this character and put her in the year 2002 as a
campfire girl at summer camp."
So why the "Jr?" I finally ask, and JWLJ
laughs. "My mom's name is Judy. Some
of my friends used to email my mom by
accident That was a problem."
JMJ is wiped from a night of drinking
and the stress of a reading but she still
thinks to ask me for my address so she
can mail me a copy of the spoken word
CD that unofficially accompanies her
book, and thanks me profusely for the
interview. Damn nicest badass I've ever
If Anne Murray is reading this, Judy
Maclnnes Jr would love to meet you.
Drop her a line at her the Seven Sisters
website, www.sevensisterswriting-
group.com. ♦
Larissa Lai swims
in a broad sea
by Heather Neale
Larissa Lai's SaltFish Girlis not just another story.
The recent book's profound ideas on time, space
and memory incorporate over ten years of social,
cultural and political thought.
After finishing her undergraduate degree at
UBC in the early nineties, Lai took some time to
drift. Guided by a hand of fate, she stumbled across
a vibrant underground Vancouver arts community
that was dying for exposure. Female artists of
colour were having a hard time getting recognised
for their work and Lai played a strong role in initi
ating deserved exposure for them. One of the first
events she helped coordinate was Writing Through
Race, a conference for writers of colour and First
Nations writers.
Working at Grunt Gallery, she got involved in
projects addressing systemic racism from mainstream institutions. Identity-based art was an exciting response to this mass prejudice, and Lai
helped get minority artists their own exhibits, and
their writings published. She was impressed by the
cultural and political questions these artists were
asking, questions about oppression and its place in
a post-colonial society. Being Chinese-Canadian
herself, she had her own share of anger. "It's much
more complicated than having been spat at in the
schoolyard though," she said. "It's a question of
how we come to know ourselves through history."
The project, one of the first of its kind in
Vancouver featuring Asian art, turned sour quickly.
Controversy rose, invoking a kind of reverse
racism that later became virulent and Lai was
troubled by that She was dissatisfied with the pas
sive responses ofthe past
"You know, sometimes the interventions you
make cannot be sustained for internal and external
reasons," she said. "But I was really fortunate to
have been a part ofthe effort" This movement was
one that shaped Lai's thinking and contributed
later to her two works of fiction, When Fox is a
Thousand, and SaltFish Girl, released this fall.
The ten years Lai took between her undergrad
and her masters in creative writing at the
University of East Anglia in England were spent
reviewing art for magazines. After several years of
that, however, she began to wonder about her own
capabilities. "As much as I liked reviewing others'
works, I thought I might have the capacity to do
something of my own."
She definitely did. Her new book Salt Fish Girl,
a futuristic exploration of memory and smell in
relation to history, is exquisite. "I was conscious of
language and its inability to touch history. It, like a
scent, slips away. You catch it only in brief
SaltFish Girlis a sci-fi fantasy set in a futuristic
western world run by corporations. Dynamics of
power and intuition, magic realism and Chinese
mythology mix together to create a surreal and
beautiful meditation on belonging. It's a work to be
proud of.
Currently in her first year of a PhD at the
University of Calgary, Lai hopes to pursue a career
in teaching. "The other part of finding a job is trying to grow up and settle down," she said, laughing.
Lai had been afraid of teaching in the past due to
the power that goes along with being a professor. "I
think of power as bolstering up all kinds of oppressions," she said. "It works institutionally. There is
no escape from your own complicity."
But at this stage, finding it increasingly difficult
to be poor, she is trying to reconcile her politicised
background with the desire for some middle class
comforts. "Given that you can't escape [the hegemony of capitalist power] I'm trying to decide
where I am best suited." There's no doubt she will
be suited wherever she chooses to go. ♦
Tammy Armstroni
tells it like it is
by Heather Neale
Tammy Armstrong sits in the Epicurean cafe sipping coffee between ash blonde braids, a smile
beaming across her face. She has a quiet, humble
presence not to be confused with bashfulness, and
a Bob Marley t-shirt claiming 'One Love.' It's
The twenty-eight-year-old New Brunswick-born
poet has everything to smile about She completed
a BA and MFA at the University of British
Columbia, and since then went on to publish her
first novel Translations: Aistreann, and her first
poetry collection Bogman's Music. One would
think that was enough to be proud of. To boot, she
is the youngest person and only narrative poet
ever to have been nominated for the Governor
General's Award, an incredible honour for_any
writer. "It was really shocking," she said. "I didn't
even know they had sent in [my stuff] to be nomi
nated. So when I got the message to please call the
Canada Council for the Arts, I thought it had to do
with my grant application."
Armstrong moved out to BC ten years ago from
her hometown of St. Stephen, New Brunswick,
where she had been attending St Thomas
University until she decided to transfer. "I wasn't
that happy with the English department out
there." Now she gets up in the wee hours of
Vancouver mornings, coffee in hand, to jot down
ideas and mold them into poetry. And she enjoys
stripping...paint in her spare time. "It's a good
place to do some thinking," she laughs. The
abstract nature of poetics requires some counterbalance contact with the tangible world.
Armstrong's poetry is brutally honest. It
explores relationships, landscapes and family discord, never yielding to sensitive areas, but always
honouring them. "Father, you killed the meat hens
/ one warm day in March, / moving up through the
garden / with an axe and a chopping block, / spoke
to no one but your tin of beer." When asked about
the precarious nature of printing family secrets,
she smiled. "I actually asked permission from each
of my family members to include poems about
them," she said. "They all read the poems and said
yes. There is a degree of flattery in being written
about, regardless ofthe topic."
Armstrong is currently almost done her second novel and is halfway through another collection of poetry. She works as an ESL teacher
downtown at Berlitz and is getting closer to making writing her full time gig. "I take six months
off at a time at this point, to do the writing part,
and then I go back to work while editing." She is
interested in pursuing her PhD in the future, but
in something different like science. "I love animals," she laughed. This probably has something
to do with the six months she spent living in the
forest, writing and fervently chopping wood.
Was she scared to send out her words to the
publics and critics at first? No. "Poems, to me,
are like children," she said. "You send them off to
school and you know they are going to get bullied. But it doesn't mean that you don't love them
just as much, or that they won't succeed in the
end." Armstrong's Bogman's Music is a collection worth owning, just as she is a person worth
knowing. It's the kind of book you pick up and
read over and over, meditating on its meanings,
appropriating its beauty and spreading it
around. Her poems speak the truth: "I swore I'd
saddle the horse, pack the books, / head West to
bring back to Grandfather / nothing better
than my own stories of place / where
cravings belong." ♦
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A beautiful
saga continues
by Nick Bantock
[Raincoast Books]
by Cait McKinney
Vancouver's own Nick Bantock has done it again
with his book Alexandria, the newest installment in the Morning Star Trilogy. The book is a
beautiful blend of Bantock's haunting artwork
and intense prose in which he revisits his
beloved characters, Griffin and Sabine.
' Alexandria is the follow up to The Gryphon,
and the second of a trilogy. It features the correspondence of Matthew and Isabella, lovers living at opposite ends of the world. The story follows them both through adventure. Matthew, an
archaeologist working in Egypt, uncovers a particularly exciting relic. Meanwhile Isabella, a
student in Paris, is haunted by Frolatti, the mysterious enemy that Bantock fans will remember
from the Griffin & Sabine trilogy.
In addition to Matthew and Isabella's correspondence, the two receive letters of advice and
warning from Griffin and Sabine. Mathew and
Isabella seem to have an intense psychological
connection with their mentors. In one letter,
Matthew informs Isabella that Sabine has
become a part of him, heightening his powers of
The final letters illustrate that, despite
Matthew and Isabella's geographical distance,
their fives are closely entwined. Isabella's
escape from a mysterious fire could be linked to
Matthew's discovery and Frollati's plot Bantock
creates an interwoven, complicated story that
leaves the reader begging for closure.
The story adopts an appealing personal
nature because it is constructed as a series of letters. It leaves the reader feeling privileged to be
allowed inside the personal lives of the characters. The letters are written with an incredible
honesty that absorbs the reader into the story.
Bantock is famous for Ms use of letters in his
books. Originally a book cover designer, he got
the idea to construct narrative around mail correspondence when the man next to him at the
post office received a particularly ornate letter.
Since then, he's been creating beautiful works
that combine his uniquely rich visual art with
the intimate words of correspondence.
Despite the beauty of Bantock's words, the
greatest thing about Alexandria is not the writing. It is the book's visual appeal that is most
incredible. Bantock does all of the production
work for his books, including the design and
plates, by himself. The result is a book that is
just as focused on the visual as the text The letters are ornate and vibrant, and give off an air of
carefully constructed antiquity. Alexandria's
visual beauty draws the reader into Matthew
and Isabella's world.
Alexandria is a great book that is part of an
even better series. Expect the final installment
in this trilogy. The Morning Star, in 2003. ♦
: « ■    > *
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4   I
"New" from page 1.
notion, that'simply because it was unfamiliar it was exotic—it was somebody
else's ordinary—you had to translate that
expectation into your observations of reality and your exchange of ideas with other
Some might beg the question,
does the writer inform the critic, or does
the critic suggest ideas tp the writer? New
is quick to point out that he deals with
what writers produce, suggesting,
"Criticism tries to work with the sensibilities that are performed on the page."
However, there is a longstanding belief
that good writers are also good readers.
And through his teaching and contributions to criticism. New has been helping
develop a nation of readers.
Many of those readers are at UBC right
now, and some of them are teaching us.
Kevin McNeilly is an active and influential
member of ainother generation of
Qanadian critics, as well as a professor of
English at UBC.
"He was quite important for me, when
I came here ten years ago," McNeilly says
of New. "He was a mentor and a friend."
The young professor's voice conveys a
deep respect for New and his work. "It's
difficult to generalise, but Bill's vision of
the Canadian isn't necessarily singular,
and he seems to understand the Canadian
as a terrain, in which various things
intersect, connect, or disperse. I think in
many ways. Bill's tone is polyvalent He
looks for clusters of ideas, groups of people doing writing—certain kinds of
themes that move in multiple directions
at once."
McNeilly acknowledges a pressure
from the East that any British Columbian
is aware of
"Bill has established, maintained or
furthered a West Coast perspective. I
think it's important to note that Canadian
literature can be very Ontario-centric, and
Bill's presence has created a counter to
that dominance, providing quite a different perspective," says McNeilly ofthe popular researcher and instructor. 'Also,
because of his position in a university,
he's been involved in the creation and
promulgation ofthe teaching of Canadian
literature. I would say his contribution to
the criticism of Canadian literature and
Canadian culture is pretty intense."
In recent years, Bill New has
started writing poetry, contributing to the
art he has analysed for so long. He has
released four books of poetry and two children's books, all within the last ten years,
with a fifth book of poetry due for release
in the very near future.
"He's a genuine poet, and he has an
ear for language. He's put a lot of time
into learning the craft of writing. My
impression of his poetry is that it's musically formal," says McNeilly, referring to
the strong command of rhythm and form
that distinguishes New's poetry.
McNeilly's idea of musical formality is
very useful when reading New's poetry. A
layman's concept of classical music pro
duces a sweet tension between the mathematics ofthe written score and the liberation of the performance, a juxtaposition
that seems to run through New's work.
The poet himself seems to find resonance
in linking his poetry to music.
"Most of the time, I'm hearing the
phrasing in my head as it's going along. I
know what it sounds like -without it having
to be spoken. I suppose in some sense, this
is what composers do—they can hear an
entire orchestral score without ever playing a note. I can't do that," New says with
a laugh. "But I do know a couple of people
who can, and they will talk about where
the clarinet appears, and they will hear it
all at once. I can only hear the mass of it,
and looking at the score, I can play some of
it, but I can't hear it in advance."
Speaking of his 1996 collection of
poetry Science Lessons, New talks about
his use of form. "Part of what I was trying
to talk about was the appeal and limitations of form at the same time...what is it
that appeals in ritual, in form, in constraint, in rules, those sorts of questions,
what is it that appeals to the human
minds, and why do I find them unsatisfactory? Why do I try to look through
It only takes a moment with New's poetry to realise how he is playful testing the
limits of form, stretching the boundaries of
tradition and redefining the borders of custom. From there, it's only a short episte-
mological hop to realise how much art and
criticism influence each other.
As I'm writing this article, a
mental image of the sagging shelf that
inadequately attempts to hold his published works primes me for an anxiety
attack. What the hell am I doing? How do
you write about a man who has helped
shape the way you read since you were
born? One deep breath, and I realise it's
like trying to write "a folk song for Bob
Dylan, or take a photograph of Karsh—the
exercise can only be inadequate. And for
those people who know him, or were
lucky enough to be taught by him, they
will recognise that writing about New
should be a challenging experience, and
one that is never complete.
At the end of this school year. New will
be moving to a new set of challenges
through retirement He's been part of
UBC for so long, and so pervasively, it's
almost like he's part ofthe landscape, and
he will be missed. He has seen our landscape change, both literally and through
literature, and the professor's eyes begin
to glitter as he accesses a memory of our
city's landscape.
"I grew up in Vancouver," he says. "It
was a different city at the time...I used to
walk through bush to get to elementary
school. There were very large parts ofthe
city that were undeveloped. I could have
walked along the roadways; there were
lots of roadways. I found it easier to walk
diagonally, off the paths, in what seems
an awfully long time ago."
There are a lot of us that are grateful
that he took the route he did. ♦
—with files from Duncan M. McHugh .tf'sJ8S%
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the boycott question:
by Anna King
I'm going to start out with a wishy-
washy statement and build up to a
tremendous gale of an argument.
Here goes: boycotts can sometimes
be not so good, for a bunch of different reasons.
I'm talking about the Nike, the
Disney, the Phillip-Morris-type boycotts; companies that underpay
workers or promote unhealthy
lifestyles, but the same reasoning can be used all the way up to international economic sanctions. The gist ofthe argument is that boycotts
can harm the very people they are meant to support, can sooth pur
affronted consciences into inaction, and are ultimately ineffective.
For starters, boycotts by themselves don't tell a company what
action to take, and can scare a CEO into pulling out of a developing
nation altogether. Yeehaw, you say? Perhaps, but there might not exist
a single other employer in that village, and the few dollars workers
were making stiching 'All-American' onto baseballs sure beat zilch.
Starting up'sustainable local industries as an alternative to sweatshops takes an immense amount of resources and support, and may
not be a realistic option, at least not within these workers' lifetimes.
For this reason, some Haitian workers in Disney T-shirt factories have
asked Western consumers not to boycott their Mickey hoodies. Better,
they say, pester these companies into paying them a decent wage, providing livable housing, and sending their kids to school.
It's also hard to determine the effectiveness of boycotts. Most
large boycott campaigns run in conjuction with massive media and
advocacy campaigns, which can tear big chunks out of corporations
on their own. Did apartheid fall because no one was buying South
African wine, or did it have more to do with being kicked out of the
UN, humiliated by world leaders and denounced by the international media?
The Nike boycott has done httle to influence the company's revenue—there are enough of us who still buy the swoosh to keep Nike
sitting pretty. Plus, boycotting Nike in favour of, say, Reebok, is
inane. The truth is that almost all sports shoes are made in sweatshops in Indonesia or the Philippines, as are most shoes in general.
Unless you can get guarantees that your penny loafers are manufactured and assembled by folks paid a decent wage, you're deluding
yourself if you think the brand name means much.
Amnesty International doesn't support boycotts because, said
spokesperson John Tackaberry from Toronto, "they're not effective."
"We don't target individual companies or countries," said
Tackaberry, "because that becomes an excuse for a pecking order. We
prefer to address human rights violations wherever they occur."
On the sanctions front, boycotts against countries can cripple
nations in the wrong way. Witness the miserable collapse of Iraq's
standard of living despite the country's still-flourishing dictatorship.
Cuba, Myanmar, these are places where boycotts have done nothing
but make civilians suffer.
We should all be worried about human rights abuses, environmental degradation and nasty dictators, but boycotts, on their own,
aren't enough. €
Of worthwhile?
by Michael Schwandt
The term hoycott' was coined in 1980.
An English ; landowner (Captain
Charles Boycott) refused to lower rents
on the land hh controlled in Ireland.
To pressure him to stop evicting residents, his community refused to do
business with him Shopkeepers and
other local businesses all withdrew
from financial relationships with
Captain Boycott. Their efforts drove
him out of Irelftnd, and the consumer boycott movement had a name.
Like Captain Boycott with the Irish, large and seemingly faceless corporations are not in the business of chatting with you or me about
ethics—they're in the business of trading their goods and services for
our money, as much of it as possible. By being selective in where we put
this money, boycotts allow consumers to gain some control of the producers that in many ways seem to control us.
Years ago. Burger King provided an excellent example of just how
effective boycotts can be. Under heavy consumer pressure, the fast-food
chain opted to stop purchasing beef from cattle raised on clearcut rainforest areas. In another case, well-known boycotts of canned tuna have
exerted pressure on the fishing industries to employ methods that do
not kill dolphins. And according to Natalie Southworth, spokesperson
for Greenpeace Canada, boycotts of BC old-growth wood have been
"incredibly effective," prompting Ikea and Home Depot to lobby both
industry and goverment for more sustainable logging policies.
Critically-acclaimed Canadian experimental rock band Godspeed
You Black Emperor recently caused a bit of a stir with the liner notes
accompanying their newest album (Yanqui UXO). The band writes
"although [we are] guilty of profiting from hateful chain store sales, we
encourage you to avoid giving money to predatory retailers and superstores."
Efrim Menuck, guitarist in the band, expands on this call for a broad
boycott, which he hopes would encourage people to instead make their
purchases from locally-owned retailers. "It's a way to try to pointpeople
in the direction of keeping money in their own communities," he
explains. "It should be clear by now that these superstores are kind of a
blight on our landscape, physically and economically...it's not enriching
the places where we five at all."
From the 'con' side ofthe boycott debate, we often hear the usual suspect argument that it's simply impossible to boycott every company that
has a dubious ethical record, not to mention avoiding all of these companies' subsidiaries and business partners, and (therefore?!) we shouldn't attempt boycotts at all. This is nonsense. Yes, it is very difficult to
channel every dollar we spend into businesses with completely ethical
practices, but this is all the more reason to try where we can.
One person insisting on 'fair trade' coffee five years ago might have
brought httle more than an impatient sneer at the SUB's Blue Chip
Cookies. Thousands of people's consumer decisions, though, applied
overyears, can change the way a company does business: 20 per cent of
coffee sold on campus is now certified fairly traded. Campus food outlets have slowly been forced to stock more fairly traded beans, and consequently less that came here as the result of unfair trade. Boycotts, on
large scales or small, can and do work. £
Streeters: What would be the hardest thing for you not to buy on Buy Nothing Day?   ~H™pW *
' Trobably food
I'd kind of get
hungry. I think "
J*^^**?*A * '   'Beer   That's  about it-I
*T 1   1  couldn't get by without it
on a Friday. That wouldbe
Grant Wedel
Physics. Graduate studies
Michelle Furbacher
Probably if I ran out of
'"■J^a^gf tampons or something... It
j"' would be  ridiculous  for
someone to ask you not to—
you know, those necessary
things, like toilet paper."
Noelle Smith
Arts 1
buy nothing day supplement    tms issue of _,
Ubysseyhas no ads for
coordinators: y°m Buy No1hi*§ Day
!va Cheung J?
Lisa Johnson
Dave AlexanderXLaura BlueXTejas EwingXjackie
HoffartXAnna KingXDamien McCoombsXDuncan
M McHughXMichael SchwandtXchris
ShepherdXHywel TuscanoXLV Vander von
AxanderXGraeme Worthy
Duncan HI McHugh's lop
10 ways to celebrate Buy
Nothing Day on campus
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'our'-oif ¥ IHiOMSSif
Friday, November 29, 2002
Michael Schwandt
Kathleen Deering
Chris Shepherd
Michael Schwandt
Sarah Conchie
Duncan M. McHugh
Anna King
Nic Fensom
Hywel Tuscano
Jesse Marchand
Parminder Nizher
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 aN students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. Tbey are the
expressed opinion ofthe staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
British Columbia.
The Ubyssay'\s a founding member of Canadian University Press .
(CUP) and 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 75Q
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
H is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish art 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 24, Student Union Building.
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, EC V6T 121
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
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Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
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e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.bc.ca
Fernie Pereira
Karen Leung
Shalene Takara
There is a News-Theatre-Festival where John McCrank. Chris
Shepherd and Kathleen Deering would like to go, but they cannot make up their minds. Tlie performances? 'Crosswords'
acted by Hywel Tuscano, Iva Cheung and Michael Schwandt
lhe well-known Tejas Ewing, Duncan McHugh and Anna King
in 'What's up?" Thea Jesse Marchand, Megan Thomas,
Graeme Worthy, Paz Andrada and Smokey LaRue in "The
Feature Story of a Volunteer' and Nic Fensom and Michelle
Furbacher in 'One Coffee to Finish Tliis Article". And the great
production 'News, News' performed ly Laura Blue, Lisa
Johnson. Natalia Chaikiha and Rob Nagai Mhmh,... too many
options, so winch one should be the best? Certainly. LV.
Vander von Axander wiB have the answer.
Canada Past SaJaa Agi^aaPnant Numbar 0732141
This really
(verb) me
It's November, that harsh time of midterms and
term papers. Every student needs a break from
the self-torture of cramming and plagiarising,
and so too, do the good folks at the Ubyssey.
Everyone needs to relax and the best way to do
that is a game. Eveiyone loves games.
So we dredged up the past—all the way back
to 1989 when they had the wonderful idea of
writing a Mad-Lib instead of an editorial.
Normally, we would use this space to rant about
some topic, whether it affected our campus or
some other place that we hold dear. Normally,
we would espouse some lofty goal or slam something we don't find so hot
But today all we give you is the platonic form
ofthe editorial, a perfect rant against something
non-specific, all ready for you to fill in.
The rules of the game are simple. Ask a
friend for each ofthe things in. the parentheses,
circle the subject that agrees with the term
grammatically in gender or number, and read it
aloud. Forgive us for the number of s
(noun) we use at the end. After all we're only
_s (noun).
 (name of person or group)
done     it     again.      His/her/its
 (adjective) disregard for the basic
tenets of  (noun) has made us sq
 (adjective)   that   we   can   barely
 (verb) at night. It's not enough that
world would be better off if he/she/they would
simply (rude verb)  all the way to
 (funny-sounding distant locale).
We realise our (noun or verb) may
make  enemies  of certain  (plural
noun). We accept that our
beyond  all limits  of	
 (same group or person) has been
around for so long, but that they/he/she had to
add    insult   to    injury    and    start   using
(something      people      use)      to
 (something people do) simply boggles
the mind.
There was a time when 	
group or person) was far less	
tive),  and we could happily 	
him/her/them. But after last week's removal of
 (adjective) (noun), we wonder how (he/she/they) can live with
The utter lack of common (noun),
of reasonable ^_ (noun) or of unaffected
 (noun) is beneath contempt. The
 (noun) is
 (noun)  and
 (noun).  But the crushing onus of
 (noun) weighs heavily on our shoulders. We are after all, the only fighters against
the injustice  of  (noun).  So when
 (same   person   or   group)   comes
. ing (verb) on your door asking for
 (nouns)   let   the   door   slam   in
his/her/their face. This is a call to all UBC
 _s (noun). Come join our protest! Make
your way to (specific locale)  at
 (time  and date) drop your pants
 (verb)  and  show the world what
 s (noun) do to s (noun)!
If we come together for the right reasons,
we, all of us, can actually make a
 (noun). ♦
-»»-. '.rfiir.
You got it wrong,
I used to think that the stereotype
that elite athletes could speak only
in cliches and sports metaphors
was unfair. Then Greg Sandstrom,
a fifth-year UBC student and varsity basketball player, wrote a letter
("Don't talk school spirit,
Ubyssey' [Nov.22])to the
If I've read him correctly, Mr
Sandstrom makes at least two
points in his article. First, and most
clearly, he equates varsity athletics
with campus-wide healthy
lifestyles, and he portrays the
Ubyssey editorial as an attack on
physical fitness, '...by slamming
Athletics and Recreation...you
dump on everyone who wants to
get in shape..."
I think Mr. Sandstrom is misguided Most UBC students who are
physically fit don't get in shape by
participating in varsity athletics,
and they are not inspired by our
teams to stay in shape. I think that
the Ubyssey editorialist could have
gone further to draw a distinction
between    the    'Athletics'    and
'Recreation' parts of the budget, but
there is simply no correlation
between healthy lifestyles and elite
athletics, and in fact, money spent
on programs that are accessible to
everyone, like intramural sports,
are much more effective at encouraging fitness.
Second, Mr. Sandstrom insinuates that the Ubyssey staff is lazy
and unproductive, "...sitting
around a table with donuts and coffee camplaining..." To this he asks,
"What makes you [the Ubyssey
staff] so sure that your own efforts
pass the public's performance
test?" That's easy. Students can opt
out of the Ubyssey he and get their
money back.
If the provincial government
was throwing money at UBC, this
wouldn't be an issue—but it isn't
And just as I think it's perfectly
valid to ask if it's acceptable to
spend provincial money on the
Olympic bid when hospitals are
closing down, I think it's important
to question why university money is
being spent paying for varsity uniforms and travel expenses when
our tuition Is steeply increasing.
—Gary Magee
!     l" Law 3
.«*:■■-■?'*■..■■-■-..■-a     '-*%T'-4 '■
Safewalk will suffer without
the univeristy's help
I am writing this letter on behalf of
the AMS Safewalk program in reference to an article published in
your November 13 issue, "Safewalk
I would first like to thank the
Ubyssey for their continued support around issues relating to campus safety. Including articles about
Safewalk and other safety
resources in the newspaper helps
us to promote our services to UBC
students and community members
and to promote personal safety on
our campus.
While the article covered many
of the important aspects of the
recent proposal sent to the university from the Alma Mater Society
(AMS), I would like to clear up one
section referring to the current
and future state of the Safewalk
program. Near the end of the article, the author has quoted me as
saying that if we are not supported, that the program will not really suffer. The article then goes on
to quote me saying the opposite—
."*.\* as::-k.*■ »«*---.'■.V-«/.->■ ■ :.l
7 -■. .   .'*.■' .■-.. .   . ... -   I
that with the expansion of the
campus, we will not be able to
accommodate the demand. The
latter is in fact the true statement
and I want to make sure that this
is understood—without a partnership with the university, Safewalk
will suffer. Currently, Safewalk is
reaching a maximum of 74 services per night, an increase from 49
at the same time in the 2001-
In addition, to date we have provided service to approximately 700
more students this year than at
this point last year. Our staff are
continuously providing services
with all of our shifts filled, the
same number of shifts that we
operated with last year. And, there
are still clients who have to wait
and be referred to other services,
many of whom decide to go on
their own to avoid the wait From
the program I've described, it is
evident that the students cannot
bare the sole responsibility anymore.
Again, thank you to the Ubyssey
for including the article. We'll keep
you posted!
—Liz King
AMS Safewalk Coordinator PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, November 29, 2002
by John McCrank
Celebrations commemorating the
50th anniversary of the Frederic
Wood Theatre are currently underway at UBC. One ofthe many participants in the events is Dr Jerry
Wasserman, actor, professor of
English literature and long-time
Freddie Wood supporter.
"What we are celebrating specifi-
v:r-a&*J rj&p. A
institutions on the West Coast The
club lasted right up into the 1960s,
and it has actually been revived in
the last few years (the student organisation in the theatre department is
called the Players Club).
The Players Club toured the
province, first under Frederic Wood,
and then under Dorothy Somerset,
who joined him in 1921 and in the
1930s set up the UBC summer
school of theatre, performing a great
■us-- ''--V,4 *^* * , -**
cally," said Wasserman, "is the fiftieth anniversary ofthe opening ofthe
first Frederic Wood Theatre, which
is not the Freddie Wood Theatre we
have now, which wasn't built until
the 60s, but the first Freddie Wood
Theatre, which opened on
December the 6th, 1952." However,
the celebrations are meant to look
back further than the past fifty years,
taking into account the long, rich
history of theatre at UBC.
"[I]t was called the Frederic Wood
Theatre to commemorate Frederic
Wood who was the guru of theatre at
UBC. He was an English professor at
the very beginnings of when UBC
was founded in 1915. He established the Players Club, a theatre
club that was also the very first club
on campus. This was at a time there
was no professional theatre in
Canada . at . all, much less in
Vancouver. So, the UBC Players Club
became one of the central theatrical
number of shows for the general
public over three decades. The club
was established during the era ofthe
little theatre movement,' which
spread across North America,
inspired by the small art theatres in
Europe, such as the Abbey theatre in
Dublin and the Moscow Arts
"It was an attempt at the democ-
ratisation of theatre," said
Wasserman, "but it was also an
attempt to do serious stuff with theatre, and not just Broadway frivolity."
The Freddie Wood Theatre came
into existence in the early 50s.
Somerset had lobbied hard for a permanent theatre at UBC, which would
be named after her mentor and the
founder of it all, Frederic Wood.
Somerset's efforts reached Norman
MacKenzie, who was the president
of UBC and had just been one of the
five commissioners on the Massey
Commission, which in 1951 deliv
ered the Massey Commission
Report, leading to the founding of
the Canada Council.
"It was a nationalistic era," said
Wasserman. "There was a lot of
momentum for helping to strengthen and establish institutions to create and to generate distinctively
Canadian culture as opposed to
American culture. So her timing was
right, and she got a lot of people in
the community who had acted
under Freddie Wood to sponsor it."
Once started, the Freddie Wood
was the professional theatre in
Vancouver, coming before the
Playhouse came along (in 1963),-
and before the Arts Club in the late
60s. The Freddie Wood was a main-
stay of Vancouver theatre, hiring
professional actors and backing
them up with theatre students.
The 50th anniversary celebrations include a huge series of
events—forums, seminars, presentations, lectures, displays and
more—held at UBC's Robson
Square campus. The culmination
will be an all-day gala at the Freddie
Wood that will climax with a gala
performance featuring many of the
Freddie Wood theatre's distinguished alumni. People like Joy
Coghill, who recently received the
Governor General's Award for distinguished service—whom
Wasserman refers to as one of the
"founding mothers" of theatre at
UBC—will perform, along with
Nicola Cavendish and Philip Keatly,
the original producer of the
Beachcombers and currently producer of Cold Squad. Keatly was
actually in the cast of the very first
show that was done at the Freddie
Wood Theatre, which was a stage
reading of Earle Birney's verse play
"The Damnation of Vancouver,"
performed on December 6, 1952.
Everyone involved is volunteering
their efforts for the gala, and proceeds will go to scholarship funds
in the theater department.
Dr   Wasserman  recently per
formed in "The Falstaff Project",
which opened the 50th anniversary
celebrations. As well, he gave a
presentation with Norman Young
on the history of theatre in
Vancouver from 1886 to the begin
ning of the Players; Club, a time
when theatre in Vancouver was
thriving (Vancouver had ten theatres at the turn of the century,
when there was only ten thousand
people). And on December 5, he is
moderating a panel on theatre criticism titled 'Was it Good For You?,'
which will involve Colin Thomas—a
graduate of the theatre department
who is theatre critic for the Georgia
Straight— and Richard Ouzounian,
theatre critic for the Toronto Star
and CBC in Toronto. ♦
the fixture-to-be, under construction.
The roots of change
at Video in Studios
Nov. 21 ■
by Ian Duncan
Mainstream media is a whore. Watching the news these days,
one cannot help but raise an eyebrow as mistress media
flaulits her tempting goods that have been nipped and tucked
by those conglomerates that rule our lives and filter our information. One cannot help but produce a dewy tear when she is
seen selling herself to advertising and ratings; thriving on an
audience's addiction to sensationalism, the drug for the dullness and horrors of truth. One desires to scream for justice
■ when she seduces through television, magazines, newspapers
and radio waves, silencing the call for change and reform,
dulling minds and reducing humankind into docile, apathetic
lumps of flesh.
Posing an alternative to the monopoly this dark corporate
strumpet has over her viewer's brains are events like Radical
Rhizome, held at Video In Studios on Main Street This monthly symposium of independent media producers, directors and
those who swim against the current of the mainstream (or
those who don't—everyone is welcome) is the third in a series
of presentations and discussions of independent media
sources in the Vancouver area, as well as national and international sources.
Radical Rhizome challenges mass media by not only finding
alternatives to what is being presented, but also to how it is
being presented. With the way technology is today, it seems
there is nothing stopping the common (or uncommon) man (or
woman) from delivering a source of media that is as complex
as the issues of our lives. An integral part of the underground
media presented at Radical Rhizome is that it is active and
involved, and calls upon its audience to be as well. It challenges the structure of mass media and fuels a sense of
activism instead of offering only a domesticating release every
night at the same time, same channel.
Each event in the series has and will continue to focus on a
variety of issues surrounding social justice. The most recent
one focused on the Woodwards squat and the need for social
housing and social programs in Vancouver. Among the presenters were The Downtown Eastside Medium Collective and
Indymedia, both presenting radical documentaries revealing
the Woodwards situation and the nature of the Vancouver
Police Department The organisation Friends of the
Woodwards Squat passed around copies of their weekly 'zine
entitled W.O.O.D.S.Q.U.A.T., which takes a neutral and
informed standpoint about the issues surrounding the
Woodwards building.
The most impressive forum of media was put on by independent artists Julie Gendron and Marianne Bos who are currently running an up-to-date web documentary surrounding
the personalities of those squatting at Woodwards this veiy
minute (the website is www.inter-mission.org/woodwards).
The discussion also included squatters and protesters who
finally got a place for their voices to be heard regarding rights
and justice (they arrived on the free bus fare that Radical
Rhizome offered those ofthe Woodwards squat). Not only did
the symposium attempt to educate its audience on what the
mainstream media leaves out, but it also invited discussion of
what stories still need to be told, and to whom, and how.
Independent media lives in the shadow of what has become
today's media, and should be sought out in order to construct
a more informed, or (at the very least) well-rounded opinion on
the issues that affect the community. It is one thing to know,
but something completely different to be involved, as those
aforementioned independent media groups are. Look for part
four of the Radical Rhizome series in December—see
www.videoinstudios.com for more information. ♦
v 8 mmim
>ifX.iSe.kMli»* JJl*¥-i-_ft-..--fc4 ^»5l Fridav. November 29. 2002
Friday, November 29,2002
How UBC's varsity
teams fared this
by Sarah Conchie, Jesse
Marchand, John McCrank,'
Parminder Nizher, and
Rob Nagai
Okay, so if you haven't had time to
read anything about varsity sports
this year, don't despair. The trivia-
loving sports department got together and came up with a short, painless summary of fall athletic activity,
not just because we wanted to win
the longest-byline-ever contest, but
because we know how much you
Simply the best
Women's soccer (12-1-1)
Scoring two goals in the last ten
minutes against the Trinity Western
Spartans in the season opener, the
UBC women's soccer team became
the comeback queens. The Birds'
agressive style crushed weaker
" teams, often in the first half with
monumental scores like 8-0. While
their offence was tough, it was the
impenetrable defence and specifically, rookie keeper Hannah
Shoichet who really saved the season, recording 12 shut-outs. The
Canada West final was rather controversial, as rookie defender Jacqui
Ferraby jumped on top of a Calgary
ball destined to go in, but UBC took
the match in overtime and nabbed a
berth in the national tournament in
Edmonton, November 7-10. They
proceeded to win the title, and a
sizeable trophy, for the third time in
UBC soccer history, beating out the
defending national champions, the
Alberta Pandas, in an all-out grudge
match on the frozen turf.
Women's field hockey (10-0-2)
After an undefeated run in the
Canada West division, the women's
field hockey team swept all competitors on home turf at the Canada
West Tournament. But it all came
down to one chilly October week in
Halifax. And although the Birds
burned through the preliminaries,
the final matchup with upstart
islanders, the UVic Vikes, turned silver instead of gold for last year's
national champions. UBC lost 3-0 to
the Vikes hi the final game.
Women's volleyball (9-1)
Starting the season at the top of
the national Coaches' poll (yes, that's
what rankings boil down to) proved
to be more than great expectations
for the women's volleyball crew.
They've settled into the number-one
spot nicely, headlined by second-
year blocker Danielle Van Huizen,
who averages 1.25 blocks per set   ,
What can we say about the aqua
'Birds?     They're      unstoppable.
GOLD RUSH:The women's field hockey team was one of three
UBC teams to go all the way to nationals, kris wsezynski/ubyssey
They've entered the season on the
ultimate high—five national championships—and the way they're going,
February's 'Mix for Six' in Victoria
should be another Bird sweep.
Knock on wood.
Men's rugby (9-0)
Dropping from the premier division to the first division of the BC
Rubgy Union may have been the
best and worst move for this year's
crop of grass warriors, as they have
so far outscored opponents 478-36.
Real competition, however, has yet
to challenge one of UBC's biggest
varsity club teams'.
On the cusp
Men's basketball (3-3)
When the U of A Golden Bears
came to town, the T-Birds split
games with the number-two ranked
team in the nation. The following
weekend, UBC walked all over
Trinity Western in a series that even
had Thunderbird fans pitying the
visitors. Both nights, the crowds left
early, feeling comfortable that the
30 point leads were enough to
secure victoiy. The UVic Vikes, who
slammed the door on UBC playoff
hopes last year, will be hosting the
last UBC games ofthe year this coming weekend.
Women's basketball (5-1)
Sheila Townsend, the Bird's
third-year sharp-shooter and new
point guard, just posted a career-
high 30 points in an equally astonishing win over the giant SFU Clan,
who has dominated the league since
last season. Relentless defence and
an improved inside game make the
women's basketball team serious
contenders for the national title.
They are currently ranked fourth in
the country.
There's always next
(Wen's Soccer (7-4-1)
After an entertaining season, the
men suffered a crushing defeat at
the hands of the UVic Vikes in the
Canada West final, quashing hopes
of another run to the nationals.
Injuries plagued the Birds this year,
although individual standouts made
UBC history. Aaron Richer became ,
the fifth defensive player in CIS history to win Player of the Year honours, taking home the Joe Johnson
Memorial Trophy. Steve Frazao
kicked his way to the top before suffering an ankle injury, tying with
-/ •
1 •
**     ■      *    *
■M'     (
7-    i.
1              *
[ v-i*v*-'
VALIANT EFFORT: Men's basketball holds the middle
ground, kris mezynski/usyssey
UPEI's Pat O'Connell for a 12 goal
The men's cross-country team
will be wrapping up their competition for the term on November 30 at
the Canadian Open Cross Countiy
Championships. The Birds had their
best performance of the year at
NAIA Western    -     Regional
Championships where they placed
second, qualifying for the NAIA
National Championships. Only 29
teams out of over 190 across North
America qualified to go to the
nationals, where Thunderbird
Warren Hatch, the team's most consistent performer this season, led
the group to a 16th place team finish. The team is full of potential and
only one member will be graduating
this year, creating great hopes that
next season will be a stellar one.
The women's team has been
struggling this year, and although
they finished fifth at Regionals, they
failed to qualify for Nationals.
Men's volleyball (4-16)
With a coach who's seen 2 5 years
of yolleyball players, this years team
is somewhat below par, last in the
Mountain division of the Canada
West with a meagre eight conference
points. Talent abounds—but pulling
it all together into a cohesive unit
has proved difficult for the 18-strong
squad, who play through until the
beginning of February.
Men's !ce Hockey (2-12-0)
They may not be first in anything
on the ice, but the men's hockey
team are likely the first (and hopefully last) ice hockey team to bare-all
for The Point
Jock straps aside, nothing much
has changed for the blade Birds as
they head down the stretch into
another desperate battle for the final
playoff spot in the league. Slovakian
goalie Robert File is keeping up his
end of the bargain, however. This
past weekend. File scooped 83 ofthe
92 shots fired by the Alberta Golden
Bears. But with 47 goals scored
against the Birds in 14 games. File
runs the risk of burning out faster
than UBC playoff hopes.
Women's Ice Hockey (1-9)
New funding for a full road-game
schedule didn't help the women to
any more wins this year. Goaltender
Lucie Fortin returned to the net after
a year of bench time, but even with a
.883 save average, Fortin hasn't
been able to rescue the squad from
another rough season. The Birds
still have to face the undefeated
Alberta Pandas tonight at the Winter
Sports Centre before they can unlace
their skates and take a much-needed
Football (3-5)
Some say it was a transition year
for the UBC men's football team, who
went on a five-game losing streak
before waking up and winning
against the 1-6 Alberta Golden Bears.
Rookie quarterback Blake Smelser
led the last-minute charge, and
rounded out the season with three
wins for the home team.
The Shrum BowL the annual contest between UBC and rivals SFU,'
actually counted for points this year,
so the 22-12 loss to the Clan was even
harder for the Birds to swallow.
Brand-new coach Lou
Deslauriers came on board after the
recruiting deadline, so he had the
unenviable task of sorting the
menangerie of players into a cohesive and successful unit The bright
side? Graduating defensive powerhouse Javier Glatt, UBC's latest CFL
hopeful, was still smiling after a broken leg ended his season in game
six. He hobbled all the way to the CIS
All-Canadian roster for the third
time in his career, after tackling 54
runaway opponents to top the 2002
CIS record books.
Women's Rugby (1-8)
The women's rugby team—despite
not winning a game during their CIS
season—had a few brilliant moments
at the Canada West tournament in
Edmonton. They defeated UVic 13-5
for the bronze medal, and remain one
of the busiest teams in the varsity
arena, playing year round. ♦
'■■;;:::.:::.: :.. l.,l,.J
It's a conspiracy
The Ubyssey sports department has
been contacted not once, but five
times by UBC's cheerleaders and
friends of said cheerleaders in the
space of 48 hours. It seems that the
two-year old squad placed an astonishing sixth out of eighteen pom-pom
shaking, totally pumped university
squads at the Canadian National
Cheerleading Competition in
Mississauga, Ontario, November 23.
According to Dan, who eagerly sent us
an unsolicited article about the recent
triumph, modern cheerleaders perform stunts similiar to what Cirque du
Soleil does, "minus the plumage."
Cheers, and thanks for the photos.
Top Tens
Three UBC teams made the national
cut before lhe encroaching holidays.
The men's basketball team is hanging on to a tenth-place ranking in the
CIS after losing a weekend series to
the Clan. The women's basketball
team, fresh off their fabulous win
atop Burnaby Mountain over number-two ranked SFU, checks in at
number four.
The women's volleyball team sits
comfortably at number-one, where
they've been hanging out since the
beginning of the season.
Home for the holidays
While most varsity league play grinds
to halt and lovable mascots Thunder
and Lightening finally get washed,
our usual heroes are also stowing
their athletic gear. Volleyball's powerful right side hitter, Kathryn Peck, is
going to Las Vegas. Fourth-year
power player Robyn English, on the
men's side of the court, will hit a
birdie rather than a volleyball, squaring off against his dad. And the
women's basketball team, opting not
to venture all the way to Cuba again
this Christmas, will be sticking
around and shooting some hoops.
Which the Ubyssey sports desk will
not be counting, compiling, or weighing the signifigance o£ Enjoy the
quiet—we certainly will. ♦


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