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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Jan 28, 2005

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Friday, January 28,2005
FUNDRAISER on Wed, Feb 9 in the
SUB Partyroom from 7-11:30am. $4
gets you 2 pancakes, fruit, juice & tea or
coffee. All proceeds go to the Red Cross
Tsunami Relief. Support Circle K
pancake day.
oiunieer upporiumiies
VOLUNTEERS to work with kids,
youth and adults on reading, writing,
math and more. Great exp for PDP!
frontiercollege02@yahoo.ca   604-713-
5848 www.vcn.bcca/-'frontier/
short stories, creative non-fiction, poetry,
photography... Deadline: Feb 25/05
Contact Talynm@shaw.ca,
help out with advertising/promotions.
Earn commission on sales; Great
volunteer opportunity. Send resume and
cover letter to Rachel Boguski, Editor, at
independendy published literary and arr
magazine seeics submissions of poetry,
drama, fiction, creative non-fiction under
5 pages and black and white visual art
8.5 X 5.5 submissions@bleachmag.com
You can see arcliieved issues of Bleach at
www.bleachmag.com or purchase a copy
at Zulu Records, Lingo Magazines, and
People s Co-op books
xira cumcumr
Resource Group for gay, lesbian, bisexual,
transgendered students and allies. Visit our
website for events and info!
xtra-curricuiar, com.
evenings, 3 levels. $3.50 per class in
advance or $5 drop in.
www.geocities.com/drsofsalsa email:
drsofsalsa@yahoo. com
& Tuesdays, 2 levels, professional
teachers. $4 per class in advance.
www.geocities.com/drsofsalsa email:
Meet at the flagpole above the rose
garden, by the Chan Centre. For more
info contact Christina:
struik@interchange.ubc.ca or 604-438-
Wednesday, February 9th 4:30pm rm
207 SUB, UBC. Contact SYC at (604)-
687-0353 TLLT@LOOK.CA PO Vox
2717 Main P.O. Vancouver, BC V6B
LESSONS. BMUS. (UBC), Master of
Music (C.U.New York); On campus
discount. Instrument rental available.
Mike Dowler (778)893-2154
SPROUTS, a student run, not for profit
cooperative grocery store. Find snacks,
fresh produce, ready-made- meals, baked
foods and more on rhe lower level of the
UB. Open 11-6 Monday to Friday.
UBC's only student run, computer
support solution! With over 15 years of
combined technical experience, we offer
immediate, efficient and professional
support for both MAC's and PC's at dirt-
cheap rates! Give us a call and help feed a
few starving students. Email:
helpdesk.vancouver.gmail.com Phone:
(604) 315-2800.
SALE. Valid through February 2nd. Face
value/OBO. Contact Javier at
jherrera@shaw.ca or 604 970-7684 at
cauemic services
essays or theses. Editor888@hotmail.com
PROFESSIONAL. We provide a no-
charge demonstration in advance.
checkedit@cogeco.ca (905) 335-3192
PASSING THE LPI? Term Paper marks
dragging down your grades? Get help
from DlANNE call (604) 662-8775
1260 Hornby Street V6Z 1W2 604-683-
2463. We also repair old books.
MASSACHUSETTS Positions available
for talented, energetic and fun loving
students as counselors in all team sports
including Roller Hockey and Lacrosse,
all individual sports such as Tennis &
Golf, Waterfront and Pool activities and
specialty activities including arc, dance,
theatre, gymnastics, newspaper, rocketry
& radio. GREAT SALARIES, room
board and travel. June 17th-August 12th.
Enjoy a great summer that promises ro
be unforgettable. For more information
and to apply: MAH-KEE-NAC
www.campmkn.com (Boys): 1-800-753-
9118 DANBEE www.danbee.com
(Girls): 1-800-392-3752 Interviews will
be on campus Friday, February 25th-
10am to 4:00pm in Student Union
Building - Rooms 214 & 216.
RADIO. Listen to Local Kids Make
Good on CiTR 101.9fin Alternate
Thursdays 5-6.
To place an Ad or Classified,
call 822-1654 or visit
SUB l\oom 23 (Basement).
;h] Vxxai] 'Fn'fhu•■onft]a'ini;irv: 2.J, t
'■■iiot.Nt'H'l- B<ip-W'i>. ftN-('H^I'\is■}->«.■ rli
\\'ij' r (.'■: l nil . sa ire. B.ii i \v(' a fp ■ sofr
H^&4wii s;<']M|<4w  ttol.ft.    ■"'•/: -'.'—,; .. ,-■■
.''railed Nolan:'Ni.c-u',1 •■
(on Campus, beside Bank of Montreal)
■t    6ft P. :y      H      I;   M    A   G   i    N    G       :C    E-   N   T    R    E
1950 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
www. copi esp 11 u £. ca
Large Selection of
for your enjoyment!
Reservations 604-221-9355
Digital Colour Prints
81/2x 11.28lb
each side
• Very Fast • Brilliant Colour • Prints on Heavy Card stock
Ask About Volume Pricing
- ■ please cut ou t coupon •   valid to Febru a ry 28, 2005  ; ■
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IVlon to Fri 8arri-9prn  -  Satto Sun  1pamr-6pm
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Take your degree fo a
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After just two semesters, you'll be able to apply your
knowledge, skills and management tools to any human
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Humber can prepare you for professional designation/
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for further information. Apply for all Business School programs at
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Seating is » imitftrfi        iMHBm
The Business School
February is Pea nut!; :;
Butter' mohtNrTh;is!- /
excit i n g i n; f a et, that';
you should be writing
for; news sectioh.: ;
;Gome to our meetings
on Tuesday, 1pm m;^;
Room 24;:^.&.'yy\':C-y-:;:
by Hilary Onas
Indigenous and international students are one step closer to being
represented on AMS Council—with
voting seats. Council voted last
Wednesday to send several questions to referendum, including
whether or not to amend AMS
bylaws to add a voting seat for
both indigenous and international
AMS President Amina Rai was
ecstatic to see both motions pass and
go to referendum.
'[The additional seats are] something that would benefit the
Council-benefit the University
and...benefit those student groups/
Rai said.
There has been a growing trend at
Canadian universities, most recently
the University of Manitoba, to add
voting seats for indigenous and international students on student unions.
This is not a want It's a need,*
asserted Rai.
Neither indigenous nor international students have ever possessed a
voting seat on Council, although in
1990 indigenous students did have a
non-voting seat before low attendance by the indigenous representative led Council to remove the seat
Currently, all AMS Council seats are
based on constituencies, representing various faculties.
The issue sparked passionate
debate amongst councillors. While
the majority of Council shared Rai's
opinion on the additional seats, and
passed the motion through to referendum, there were those who had
'[The motion is] about changing our structure and elevating
these two groups [indigenous and
international students] above the
rest,* said Engineering councillor
Ian McKechnie, who questioned
whether the only groups in 'essential need* were indigenous and
international students.
Arts councillor Joel McLaughlin
acknowledged the special issues
faced by both student groups, but
maintained that the 'proper forum
to run through is through
Others were concerned with self-
identification being the means by
which the AMS would designate
indigenous students. There was
some trepidation with the lack of control on such a system.
*I think that university students
are able to act based on the honour
system, to consciously decide if it is
appropriate for them to vote on a student rep for indigenous students or
not* said Rai in response to these
Dustin Johnson, a spokesperson
from UBC's Indigenous Students
Society, addressed Council after the
motions were passed. Johnson commended the Council on passing the
motion and attributed misinformation and ignorance to those who
did not understand the motion's
Nabeela Khan, president of the
International Students' Association,
was also present Wednesday.
*I know that there are a lot of representatives from different faculties,
but they will bring forth areas of concern to those respective faculties.
There's no sort of representation on
the council for international students,* said Khan just prior to the
motion passing.
The prospect of a larger council
was not a concern.
"We're not adding levels of
bureaucracy—it's added seats to
council,* said Arts councillor Quinn
Omori, who also discussed the idea
that other groups would now expect
representation at the AMS level.
'I think more voices on council
[are] a good thing...to a point,* Omori
said. There is that whole 'slippery
slope argument' that I don't realty
think is valid.
'People are going to vote
if they're interested,* said Omori
of the upcoming referendum.
'Regardless...I think it's great to
take questions direct to constituents—direct democracy.*
Students can vote 'yes* or 'no* to
all the referendum questions from
Januaiy 31 to February 7 by going to
www.ams.ubc.ca/elections. To create
additional seats on Council, ten per
cent of the student population
must vote in support of the bylaw
changes. ♦
Film draws criticism from Africa Awareness
by Dan McRoberts
A film screened in the SUB this week
has drawn a concerned response
from organisers of Africa Awareness
The UBC Film Society presented
The Birth of a Nation, a film that
depicts African Americans in a racist
manner, on Wednesday and
Thursday evening at the Norm
Africa Awareness Week, a celebration of African culture and an attempt
to push UBC towards a greater incorporation of African issues in its curriculum, began Monday and runs
through Sunday.
*We are trying to erase the negative stereotype of African people,*
said Veronica Fynn, one of the organisers of Africa Awareness Week. 'It is
not the time to be showing this kind
of a movie.* v^.  5,
The UBC Film Soc^y ivj^lod -to-
screen the film because it is a landmark achievement in the history of
cinema. Made in 1915, The Birth ofa
Nation is considered to be the first
feature-length film ever made.
The fact that the screenings coincided with Africa Awareness Week
was completely unintentional,
according to Lauren Emberson, classics president for the UBC Film
'I'm really sorry that it's the same
week,* said Emberson, who booked
the screenings in November. *I wish
I would have known because I could
have avoided it*
Attendees at both screenings were
provided with a leaflet that outlines
the racial stereotyping in the film.
However, Fynn feels that the film
should only be shown to Film Studies
classes if the intent is to educate.
This film is not meant to be
shown to anyone,* she said. 'It
should be shown in the classroom,
where students have learned more
about the context and not in the
Norm Theatre."
Thirty people attended the
Wednesday screening and 60 were in
the Norm on Thursday evening, said
;K:-3Ve were showing it on classics
fdp^i>(itt hasn't being contexts
alised as a mainstream film," she
said, defending the choice to show
the film in public.
*I see the UBC atmosphere as a
place where there is the context of
criticism,* she said. ♦
Friday, January £8,2005
Students to decide future of U-Pass
Referendum to approve fare increase and summer pass running next week
by Dan McRoberts
The future of the Universal
Transit Pass (U-Pass) is in students' hands now.
A campus-wide referendum
running from January 31 to
February 7 has been approved by
AMS Council. Students are asked
to approve the continuation of
the U-Pass with a two dollar per
month price increase. If less than
ten per cent of the student body
casts a ballot in favour of the continuation, the U-Pass program
will expire at the end of April. The
program will also be scrapped if
there are more no votes than
yes votes.
"The whole U-Pass program is
at stake," said AMS VP External
Holly Foxcroft. To have it fail for
lack of quorum would be
In addition to the continuation question, students will be
asked if they support the formation of a summer U-Pass that
would run from May through
August This pass would cost $20
per month for the upcoming year
and then jump to $22 for future
summer sessions. If approved,
the new summer pass will
become mandatory for students
enrolled in the summer session
for more than five weeks.
For both summer and winter
session passes the $22 per
month price will be frozen until
2008. After that time, any further
price increases will again be subject to approval by referendum.
AMS Council approved a yes
campaign for this year's U-Pass
referendum last Wednesday. As a
result of this choice, the society
and its employees can actively
campaign in support of the
The AMS' External Commission is preparing a coordinated
effort that will focus on leafleting,
posters and lollipops, according
to Foxcroft. UBC's TREK program
will provide funding for the campaign materials.
At this point, nobody has
stepped forward to organise a
"no* campaign, according to
Foxcroft In order to receive funding, any group wishing to
mobilise against the U-Pass must
gather 500 signatures.
Even with the fare increase,
the U-Pass is a good deal, according to Geoff Atkins, associate vice
president of Land and Building
Services for UBC.
"When you look at what the
average student has got out of it,
it's a bargain," he said.
The university will be employing students to promote the U-
Pass and reinforce the benefits of
the program, Atkins said. This
group will be maintained so that
UBC will be prepared for the next
time a fare increase is proposed.
Translink will also campaign
in favour of continuing the
"We'll do what were able to do
under the university's referendum process," said Bill Lambert,
program manger of project planning for Translink. "We'll lay out
the facts—we've done market
research and had good feedback
from students."
The fare increase will lead to
increased service, Lambert said.
"We think our increase is very
fair and Translink will be putting
in a lot of new services into the
Translink has committed to
increasing service hours substantially to and from UBC for the
next three years. An additional
7,000 service hours will be
offered in 2005, with that figure
rising to 24,000 by 2007.
A forum on the referendum
has been scheduled for Tuesday
at noon in the SUB Conversation
UBC Biophysics student wins Rhodes Scholarship
Provincial winner awarded $100,000 to study two years at Oxford
by Mai Bui
It's off to Oxford University for
UBC biophysics major Michael
Rivers-Bowerman, who was
recently named BC's Rhodes
Scholarship winner.
"I'm very excited,* said
Rivers-Bowerman. "This was
not something I had expected
to work out. It's a good opportunity for me to further my education. Oxford is an incredible
The scholarship, worth
approximately $100,000, will
see the medical physics student
tackle philosophy, politics, and
economics at Oxford this fall.
"I know little to nothing
about politics,* explained
Rivers-Bowerman, 'so that's
what intrigued me.
'My education has been
pretty focused on Sciences. I
haven't had an opportunity to
study Arts at any depth. I'm
very interested in studying how
political systems work, how
economic policy influences various decisions.*
The scholarship is awarded
based on both academic performance and extra-curricular
'Michael's academic record
is very strong, [but] he's also
got some of the broadest interests we've seen of anyone in
the [biophysics] program," said
Dr Carl Michal, an assistant
biophysics professor.
Rivers-Bowerman has played
the euphonium in the UBC
Wind Ensemble for four years,
plays basketball in men's
leagues and coaches basketball
at Killarney, his former high
"I've always enjoyed school,
but I've never made it my life.
There are a lot of other things
that are important in life, like
making time for family and
friends, and being involved in
the community," said Rivers-
Bowerman. "If all you do is go
HEAD TRIP: Rivers-Bowerman will be at Oxford soon, thanks to his brain, nic fensom photo
to school and come back home,
you have no connection with
people around you. I find that's
not a very fulfilling existence.
"To be able to walk down the
street and always be bumping
into people I know to various
capacities, I enjoy that"
The UBC student's involvement with projects has earned
him the admiration of those
around him.
"One thing that's impressed
me the most is the tutoring program he set up at his old high
school," added Michal.
Rivers-Bowerman and a
group of Killarney alumni help
students prepare for provincial
exams, "but the goal was to
teach them how to study effectively so that they could be successful at post-secondary level,"
explained Michal.
The tutors are not paid;
instead, the money raised goes to
scholarships for the students.
Rivers-Bowerman has volunteered at the Vancouver
General Hospital and at the
Canadian Cancer Society's
Camp Goodtimes, a camp for
kids with a history of cancer.
He also spent three co-op terms
with the BC Cancer Agency.
"It was the first time I was
able to see where my schooling
was leading. The researchers I
worked with are amazing people, very inspiring, and it was
great to meet them and be
involved in their work."
Meeting the other candidates for the only Rhodes
Scholarship awarded in British
Columbia was "pretty intimidating," said Rivers-Bowerman.
"[But] they're very, very nice
people," he added. 'We had
some great discussions."
The short-listed candidates
include "a couple of Olympic
athletes and an SFU student
who has been involved in
municipal politics since he was
"To be honest, after meeting
[the other candidates], I wasn't
too concerned with whether I
would win. There are many
qualified people out there;
being one of the top five was
good enough for me."
The would-be doctor, who is
interested in treating cancer
with radiation technology,
plans to return to UBC to study
"I was born and raised in
Vancouver; my family, friends
and girlfriend are here. It's the
logical place to be." ♦
Controversial economist
challenges focus on
global warming
by James Weldon
Out of all the problems facing the planet today,
climate change should be the last on our agenda, according to Bjorn Lomborg, a statistician
from the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
Lomborg made the statement at a talk promoting his book Global Crises, Global Solutions at
the Liu Institute on Monday.
Lomborg's assertion is based on the results
of a conference he helped to organise in
Denmark in May of last year. The conference,
called the Copenhagen Consensus, brought
together thirty economists to decide how best to
solve the world's problems. This group drew up
a list of the world's ten most pressing issues,
from malnutrition to warfare, and ranked them
in terms of which would be most cost-effective
to treat
Climate change wound up at the bottom.
"If you invest a dollar in climate, you get less
than a dollar back," said Lomborg.
Regardless of the approach to climate
change—whether through the Kyoto Protocol or
through carbon taxes—the investment would be
extremely unwise, compared to other international projects.
"It is really hard to compare these issues but
that's the crux of what we have to do," said
The limited funds available for aid cannot
solve everything, he said, so the world must
decide where to put extra money so that it will
do the most good per dollar.
One place to look is AIDS prevention,
Lomborg's top pick, which would have a rate of
return of about twenty to one on the dollar.
Preventing AIDS, he said, would stimulate the
economies of affected countries in a way that
preventing global warming never could.
"You get more economic growth," he said.
"You get countries on track to helping
Lomborg admits that some may object to the
methods he used in determining his ranking.
One issue, he said might be that there were no
scientists or experts in anything other than economics invited to the conference. He justifies
their exclusion by saying that experts have
no way of ranking their own areas of focus
against others.
"You can't even put them together and say
'work it out' They don't have a methodology for
that," he said.
Many of these excluded experts have been
highly critical of Lomborg. While the
Copenhagen Consensus was taking place last
year, a group of scientists and nongovernmental
organisations met in a parallel conference in
the same country. This alternative meeting,
called Global Conscience, issued an official
statement attacking the Copenhagen
Consensus' conclusions.
'The future of the globe cannot be determined solely on the basis of economic calculations," the statement read. It went on to note
that it is "widely accepted that environmental
problems and poverty are closely related and
that these problems must be solved together."
Dr Stewart Cohen, an adjunct professor at
UBC's Institute for Resources and
Environmental Sustainability, is likewise critical of Lomborg's approach. Dr Cohen said that
the whole idea of drawing up a prioritised list is
"I don't believe there is value in creating a
pecking order," he said. "It doesn't tell us how to
plan. All it does is get us into some kind of morbid popularity contest"
Lomborg, like other skeptics, is failing to
take a holistic view of global issues, Cohen said.
To address certain problems without taking into
account others, such as climate change, may
just make things worse. Not only must the world
study curbing global wanning, he said, but
more research is needed into its possible effects
so that other problems can be addressed with
these effects in mind.
Lomborg anticipated such criticism in his
talk, but remained unapologetic.
"A lot of people will scream and kick," he
said. "But it should not be a question of listening
to those who scream the loudest" ♦ 4
Friday, January 28, 2005
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Since 19J5
Screenings @ Norm Theatre in SUB
Admission: $3 and Membership: $20
Film Society Hotline: (604) 822-3697
Friday, Jan 28, 7:00:
Zoolander Bzzr Garden
Saturday, Jan 29 - Sunday, Jan 30:
7:00 - What the Bleep do We Know
9:30 -1 Heart Huckabees
Department of Housing and Conferences
1002 -1874 East Malf Brock Hall
Phone: 604-822-2811   e-mail: information@housing.ubc.ca
For the first time, currently enrolled students not living in residence are able
to participate in the Lottery for University Residences for the Fall 2005.
A limited number of spaces are available for non-residents.
Those eligible are invited fo visit our mbstie: www.housfag.ubc.ca
for detailed information or stop by our main office in Brock Hall.
A Two Year Degree
for University Graduates
Department of Computer Science
Bachelor of Computer Science
(integrated Computer Science)
Asexuality. After having recently heard of this extremely interesting concept for the first time myself, I thought I would see
if the general public had any more of an idea than I did. "Do
you know what asexuality is?" I asked random strangers on
the corner of Granville and Robson one night, while the snow
fell silently through the sky and clung to our hair. Blank faces
stared back at me. ' Ummmmmmm, ahhhh, huh.?"
Although many simply had no idea, I did get some creative
answers. "Someone who masturbates, loves themselves" an
old pudgy man responded proudly. "Temporary disillusionment" a young woman told me, arching her eyebrow, looking
clever. "Yup—when you are neither male nor female, or when
you exhibit signs of both," Adriana, a 28 year old student
responded. My personal favourite was from a fellow Ubyssey
writer: "Go talk to someone who's been married for 20 years."
AVEN: Hie Asexual Visibility
and Education Network
To clear up the confusion, I called up David Jay, the founder of
the AVEN website (www.asexuahty.org) otherwise known as
the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.
Jay, a 22 year-old graduate of sociology and physics, currently living in St Louis, founded the website in 2001 and
added the online forums in 2002. According to Jay, an asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction or
someone who doesn't pursue partner sexuality. He's careful to
point out that this has nothing to do with abstinence or celibacy; it isn't a conscious choice. "It's not that we have a problem
with sex or think it's bad or dirty, there's just no interest" he
tells me.
But clarifying the actual definition of asexuality is difficult
because as one can see from the forums on his website, those
who identify as asexual do so for different reasons, and lead
very different lifestyles. Some asexuals experimented with
sexual relations before they discovered they were asexual or
were involved in a relationship with a sexual person, while
some asexuals have never had any sexual experience.
For Jay, sexual interest was just never there. He tells me
nostalgically of the early school days, when his friends first
started talking about crushes, liking girls, wanting to date
them. Jay just didn't get it: "But what are you getting at?
And what'8 the difference between like, and like like?" he
laughs. It wasn't an issue at first, people just assumed he
was a late bloomer or introverted. He came from a very
accepting school that spoke about sexuality early on. By
grade nine, students had come out as gay and bisexual and
were accepted. "But there wasn't a discussion of as asexuality as an identity," he recalls.
When he finally heard this obscure word in passing during a conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual diversity, he
knew he wanted to start the website. "My goal was really to
create some kind of community," he tells me enthusiastically. Soon after, he started getting emails asking him all
sorts of questions." People just really wanted to talk about
it." Soon after, he added the online forum.
The Official Non-libidoism
Another website promoting asexuality, The Official Non-
Libiodism Society (www.theofficialasexualsociety.com) was
founded by Geraldine Levi in 2000. Levi's definition of an
asexual is "someone who is born without sexual feelings." This
website doesn't have an online forum like AVEN, but promotes asexuality and informs readers with advice based on
Levi's life experiences as well as with posted life stories of
other asexuals. But Levi isn't an average lady: the 24 year-old
comedian, writer, actress, singer and painter from Arnhem,
Holland has been performing a one-woman comic musical
since she was 16.
"In those shows I often turn the subject to sexualities, trying to make people understand things via the power of
laughter and music," she tells me. More recently, having
become frustrated with the lack of information of asexuality
beyond that of plants—I wasn't green last time I looked into
the mirror!—she decided to write a book, Strangers in a
Strange Land, that will be published in the spring of next
year. She is also apparently working to develop a sitcom featuring an asexual, a bisexual man, a lesbian and a gay man
expanding her promotion for understanding. Will and Grace
fans, brace yourselves!
ove wi
Asexuals want to let it be known that they are not hermits, sexually repressed, frigid people. Some asexuals want relationships, but only non-sexual relationships. And in a world
obsessed with sex since the sexual revolution of the 60's this
can be quite challenging. 'All I wanted from love was to be
with someone. A hug, a kiss, a dance, sharing moments
together," Levi writes. Although an obviously fun, charismatic
woman, she's had difficulties with relationships. Her first
high school boyfriend of three years dumped her because of
her unwillingness to have sex.
After this she had a relationship with a gay man. "He really loved me and I deeply loved him, a perfect relationship
without sex," she recalls. But he eventually found a man and
left her too. Her last relationship with a woman she had met
one night at a gay bar after having performed one of her stand-
up comedy shows, failed for different reasons: the girl's mother did not approve.
As for Jay, he isn't in love right now, although he would like
to be and says he is in a lot of relationships at the moment
although relationship definitions are huge questions around
asexuality. Although Jay is more attracted to women, he points
out some people may identify as straight-sexual or ga^exual
meaning they are non-sexually attracted to members of their
sex as opposed to members of the opposite sex or vice-versa.
The bottom line is a romantic relationship can take place without sexual endeavors. He says he has made out with someone
before, but has never gone farther because "it just doesn't
make sense to [him]." As for arousal, everything works down
there, but it's never really directed at anyone, he just sees this
as a mechanical annoyance.
The double agent
Through AVEN, I found Keith Walker, 32, from Texas. Walker
been on both sides of the sexual fence. As it turns out, this
articulate, witty man has quite the resume: he worked in
school cafeterias through college, got a degree in journalism,
became a journalist got bored, became a stock broker, got
stressed out, and then decided he really liked being a lunch
lady. He found the AVEN website about two years ago, and
only realised he was asexual around this time last year. In the
meantime, he struggled with the dating game as a non-sexual
person for at least 20 years. He admits that pulling out the "It's
not you it's me line" most ofhis life caused some problems.
"If I had a dollar for eveiy argument I'd gotten into...but it's
true, when someone says that it sounds like they're cheating!"
he says and stumbles into laughter. He'd resorted to using
religion as an excuse. "But having no interest one way or
another that is something people just don't understand, they
just tell me I'm not doing it right" He stops and sighs.
Here's the kicker: Walker was married for six years, and
although he loved her, it didn't work out as sex or lack thereof
became an issue. She along with many people Walker knows
believe he is gay. But sex seems very clinical to Keith, and even
porn just doesn't do anything for him. He currently lives with
another man he met at a local bar one night who coindden-
tally is a member of AVEN as well. "I've never felt so comfortable with anyone else," he tells me. But skepticism is a major
issue all asexuals have to deal with on a regular basis. Walker,
who tells me his friends think he's just plain nuts, tells me, 1
don't mind if you have serious doubts, just don't try to change
me to your conception of what I need to be."
Sex once a day keeps the
doctors away
When I asked the asexuals I spoke with if they felt any discrimination because they were asexual, they all basically said
the same thing: It all boils down to disbelief and skepticism.
I wanted to see for mysel£ so I told random people downtown around Granville and Robson the AVEN definition of
asexuality. The responses varied from shock—Is that possible?' and "With their OWn free Will?"— to migirndftrgfenriditig —
"Oh, like nuns" to "Well they're just shy." And then there was
the token That must be a chemical imbalance."
I asked Jay what causes asexuality. "Well, the causes of
asexuality are just as mysterious as the causes of heterosexu-
ality of homosexuality," he argues.
What I wanted an academic perspective, and when I contacted the World Association for Sexology (WAS), Pierre
Assalian M.D., President of the  17th World Congress of
Sexuality to be held this summer in Montreal, told me asexuality is part of sexual dysfunctions and referred me to a number of sex therapists in Vancouver. I attempted to contact Dr.
Rosemary Basson,  a consultant for sexual medicine at
Vancouver General Hospital and she is also a professor of psychiatry at UBC, to clarify this matter of disorders and asexuality. When it comes to sexual disorders, she is careful to point
out that the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental
Disorders is mostly genitally focused as it is difficult to pinpoint any other factors with which to rate sexual desire, and is
also a less accurate judge of female versus male experiences.
But she goes on to say that "when additionally, erotic stimuli
fail to trigger desire, AND during sexual activity potentially
useful stimuli fail to trigger arousal and desire, AND there is
distress, then disorder may be considered."
lation is asexual. A recent poll conducted on the internet by
CNN asking "How would you categorize yourself?" found that
6 per cent claimed to be asexual with 16 per cent bisexual or
homosexual, and 78 per cent heterosexual out of a total of^
108,893 votes. What is clear, is that there hasn't been nearf«j|
enough studies done on asexuality creating a limited, questionable amount of information that leads to confusion and
misunderstanding in the general population.
Orientation of
Although WAS told me there wasn't an official expert on asexuality, Dr. Anthony F. Bogaert comes close. He has done one
intensive study on asexuality based on a question asked in a
1994 survey of Sexuality in Britain. In his study Asexuality:
prevalence and associated factors in a national probability
sample, Bogaert begins by explaining the difference between
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) or sexual aversion
disorder with asexuality: "In both sexual aversion disorder
and HSDD, there usually is or was a sexual orientation toward
partners of either or both genders, but there is either an aversion for genital contact with these partners (e.g., extreme anxiety when a sexual encounter presents itself) or a low sexual
desire for these partners." He notes, however, that asexuals
seem to be sexually unattracted to either sex, and thus do not
fit in with these disorders. As for the causes, although he
explores a variety of options, there isn't enough data to prove
it is anything in particular. He thus classifies it as another orientation along with homosexuality and heterosexuality. And
with this in mind, one of the main questions he focuses on in
his study is the prevalence of asexuality.
The survey asked approximately 18,600 people in Britain
questions relating to sexuality. Ihe results were impressive. A
total of 195 people responded 'I have never felt sexually
attracted to anyone." This constitutes approximately 1.05 per
cent of the respondents. But he also concludes that those willing to participate in sexual surveys have a tendency to be
more sexually experienced and active than those who do not
and thus with a refusal rate of 30 per cent it is highly likely
that the actual asexual population may have been underrepre-
sented in the survey.
As a result it is still unclear what percentage of the pqpu-
But the lack of proper science and numbers isn't the only reason people are confused or ignorant about asexuality. There is
even debate within the online asexual community about what
constitutes asexual. Many different terms like semi-sexual and
non-libidoism are being thrown around, while others still are
using the term "amoeba" as an ironic comment to reclaim
their asexuality. While there doesn't seem to be a strict definition—perhaps because sexual experience, at least in this case,
doesn't seem to be a proper measure of sexual orientation-
others aren't even sure if it is in fact an orientation.
After having long, drawn-out conversations with a few asexuals about their sex lives, or lack thereof, close relationships
and tough times, I asked how they would like to change or
improve regarding society's perspective on asexuality. Walker
replied with an honest plea: "I would like it to be acknowledged that not having sex is perfectly okay." Jay realises that
first we need to establish a dialogue so that the tough questions can be asked, even if there aren't answers right away.
The amount of research done on the subject of asexuality to
date is pitiful, forcing young asexuals, growing up in a world of
hormones and constantly advertised hot sweaty bodies the likes
of Britney Spears, to question their identity, sanity and sometimes, force themselves to commit to non-consenting acts. Dr.
Basson said it clearly: if there is distress, there may be a disorder. In an era of diversity and acceptance, where gay men and
women in most of Canada can proclaim their devout love to
each other under the oath of marriage, it should be acknowledged thai there is a community of people that don't think about
sex; don't want sex, and never intend to have sex.
"Some of us have never had sex; others may have dabbled,
still others might have put in years of community service, yet
we all still identify as asexual* This comment written by Walker
under the screen name KAW143 responds to a thread on the
AVEN site that asks "Is Asexuality Really an Orientation?" Out of
a total of 54 votes, only 70 per cent think it is, while 20 per cent
are undecided, and nine per cent respond in the negative. Some
suggest it is a disorientation; while others think since it isn't a
sexual orientation, it should have a category of its own. Jay's
answer was simpler and more direct
"Asyone who uses the term asexual to describe themselves," he told me, "and find is useful to do so is
Friday, January 28,2005
Jesse Marchand
Sarah Bourdon
Dan McRoberts
Ania Mafi
Eric Szeto
Alex Leslie
Nic Fensom
Michelle Mayne
Carrie Robinson
Paul Evans
The Ubyssey \s Ok official student newspaper of the University of
British Columbia It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation,
and all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubysseystett.They are the
expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP'S guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubysseyis 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 ail submissions. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done by phone.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750
words and are run according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members.
Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles
unless the latter is time sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run
until the identity of the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey
reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clarity
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will
not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The UPS shall not be
responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do not
lessen the value or the impact of the ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
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tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
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Fernie Pereira
Dave Gaertner
Shalene Takara
TYevor Gilks was on top of Claudia Li who was on top of Jon
Woodward. A Claudia sandwich! proclaimed Alex Leslie.
Colleen Tang was horrified and wanted nothing to do with it,
but Megan Smyth was extremely tantalised. Carrie Robinson
wants in too, pointed out Sara Norman, although Jesse
Marchand claimed that Sarah Bourdon had already shot-
gunned. Michelle Mayne was brought in to mediate, but Dan
McRoberts overruled her and proclaimed Eric Flesh Missile
Szeto to be the new grand champion of the universe. His first
prize was getting Ania Mafi to be his queen for life. But Nic
Fensom said something and then something else happened
involving Candies Vallentin and Ritu Kumar in some wqy. Terry
Boake and Sarah Scouten did stuff too. Oh. and by the way, these
people: Mai Bui. Hilary Onas. James Weldon and Paul Evans.
Joel Libin
Michelle Mayne
Canada Pm*
Safe* Agramnant Numbw 0O40S7M23
under fire
For many students, Sunday is the
last day of freedom before returning for another week of classes and
assignments. But for the people of
Iraq, this Sunday will mark what
George W. Bush believes to be a
great step toward freedom—the
first 'democratic* election in Iraq
since the US occupation of the
country. Januaiy 30 signifies a culmination of the successes the US
President feels have come about
over the last two years. But many
people, including the Ubyssey, are
questioning how this election will
represent democracy. As the day
fast approaches, the entire process
appears less and less democratic.
Many Iraqi authorities have
warned not to go forward with the
elections. They feel rushed into
choosing a leader for their country.
And why shouldn't they? Their
nation is in a state of civil war. The
Iraqi people have more important
things on their minds than deciding who to vote for in this election.
The authorities cite fears of
increased violence with an election,
but the Americans are dead set on
going forward. After all, the sooner
the country has a leader, the sooner
the US can pass the mess they've
made on to the Iraqis and get out of
the country.
Other factors are standing in the
way of a truly democratic election.
Fear pervades a country that has
recently seen war, terrorism,
poverty and destruction.
The Los Angeles Times reported
that local people are stocking up on
supplies, wary of the 'widespread
bloodshed' that they are worried
will occur with 'insurgents vowing
to disrupt the balloting and kill voters.' It seems likely that many voters will stay home rather than leave
their homes to cast their ballot.
There is also the fact that many
of the candidates names are not
even known to voters, making it difficult for people to make any sort of
decision beforehand. The public
has little knowledge of the political
parties and electoral candidates. A
report from Reuters claimed that
'Iraqis don't have any idea of who
they are going to vote for and have
little information on what each
party is offering.* Security concerns have limited the amount of
publicity for candidates. The possibility of educating voters on their
choices has been further hindered
by the fact that people who have
been caught distributing leaflets
have been threatened with
The organisation and management of this election has not been
particularly strong judging from
the information that is available.
While 6,000 polling stations will be
set up, this can in no way accommodate the 14 million people that
will be voting in Iraq. In addition,
some areas that have been labelled
'too dangerous* will not even have
polling stations. This shows that the
government is not willing to provide the opportunity to vote to the
people of these areas. In Falluja, for
instance, officials have not been
able to do an effective census,
meaning that the voter's list will be
based on the UN Oil for Food program registry, last updated in
However, on other fronts there
has been a great deal of organisation. To prepare for the oncoming
enslaught of violence, both the
Iraqi and American militaries have
heavily armed themselves. Iraqi
emergency services await the heavy
damage that may potentially occur.
Medical staff will be increased
twofold to prepare for the incoming
casualites. The American drive for
an election is not only poorly
planned and hasty, it is irresponsible and shows very little consideration for the well being of the country. This event could trigger the
largest casualties yet, but it seems
this is a risk the Americans are willing to take.
This is isn't the first time in
recent memoiy the American government has pushed for a 'democratic election' in the face of tenuous circumstances. When the citizens of Afghanistan had their first
election last October, it was hailed
as illegitimate by many of the candidates. And this wasn't unwarranted. Many people were accused of
voting more than once, and areas
of Afghanistan were either completely neglected or conveniently
forgotten. The Americans heralded
the victory of Hamid Karzai as a
'marvelous thing' (yes, those were
Bush's very words) for the country
and for themselves but the legiti
macy of the results still remains in
question. The international scrutineers that complained of voting
irregularities in Afghanistan won't
be able to repeat their efforts in
Iraq. Monitors will be based in
neighbouring Jordan on polling
It remains to be seen if the Iraqi
election will result in chaos or not
But it is safe to assume that this will
not put an end to the violence and
bring an era of democratic peace to
the country. And with a new government, the US will have an
excuse to back out and leave the
new Iraqi leadership to its own
devices. An Iraqi government will
face deep divisions between the
Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds and in
the absence of international generosity, will be without the
resources to rebuild the country.
George W. Bush has a strange sense
of what constitutes freedom if he
will knowingly leave the Iraqis in
such a compromising and dangerous situation. *>
AMS needs to communicate
by Lucas Teodoro da Silva
Thank you for the wonderful editorial exposing the incompetence of
the elections officer in charge of
the AMS elections ('AMS Elections
Debacle,* Tuesday Jan. 25).
Unfortunately, the inability within
the AMS to run a decent election
campaign doesn't seem to have
Today, in my morning class, a
colleague of mine stood up in front
of the class to inform us that next
week the AMS would be running a
referendum on the U-Pass. The
room gasped...no one seemed to
have any knowledge of such a referendum.
If not passed, the referendum
will effectively kill the U-Pass program—a program that the AMS VP
External and the University's U-
Trek program spent over eight
years working to implement.
It's not surprising...The AMS
has done little to spread word of
the referendum, which needs
4,000 positive votes to pass. Aside
from one poorly-designed ad that
ran in last week's Ubyssey, I have
'• lA5 <* * hi >
*V* p)
t   i
not seen a single advertisement,
poster or banner declaring that
there is a referendum coming up
next week.
It is also alarming that when
students visit the AMS webpage,
there is not a single mention of the
referendum on the front page of
the site, nor is it listed in the calendar of upcoming events at the
bottom of the page. (I do notice,
however, that they have the
Valentine's Gift Fair, which we are
all awaiting with sweating palms
and pockets full of cash to spend,
is prominently displayed in pink).
The U-Pass referendum page
is instead hidden on an
ugly and difficult-to-find page.
Furthermore, the page is, as of this
date, riddled with programming
errors (how do I pronounce
'??????????????'?). See it for
yourself: http://www.ams.ubc.ca/
content.cfm?ID* 104.
Every year, the AMS talks about
how to decrease student apathy. A
good start would be letting students know in advance what is
going on. I bet the AMS will send a
mass e-mail announcing the referendum the night before voting
ends, with their organisation. The
e-mail, undoubtedly, will be lost
among the Viagra ads that Utter
junk mail boxes everywhere.
I urge all UBC students to
inform themselves about the
upcoming referendum. If passed,
it would renew the U-Pass, while
increasing its price by $2 per
month. The referendum could
mean the difference between a
$22 per month bus pass and a $70
per month bus pass for many students. Translink has agreed to
freeze the new price until 2008.
Meanwhile, I suppose I will be
informing my classmates by word
of mouth, since the AMS doesn't
seem to be interested in doing
their job.
—Lucas Teodoro da Silva
has a B.A. in History from UBC
and is an Education Student PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, January 28,2005
Students beaten in York university protest
by Maryam Behmard
TORONTO (CUP) - Two students were badly
beaten by police after they refused to leave an
anti-imperialist demonstration in York
University's Vari Hall, where protest is forbidden.
Police beat PhD student Gregory Bird with a
baton, while political science student Nicholas
Birtig was taken to hospital due to beatings he
allegedly received by police in a holding room
in the Ross Building after the January 20 rally.
When student protesters refused to leave
Vari Hall, police circled a group of demonstrators and a riot transpired. Students were tackled to the ground by several police officers and
security personnel before being taken to a room
in the Ross Building.
Konstantine Kilibarda, an academic
researcher from Cambridge University, was
arrested and detained in the room with four
other students and said he witnessed the
alleged beating of Birtig by the police.
They started hitting him repeatedly and
when he lifted his head, it was just covered in
blood. The group were all pretty roughed up,'
said Kilibarda, adding: 'In detention, I was tackled from behind by an officer and brought to
the ground. I didn't resist—I just went limp.'
Five people—Bird, Birtig, Kilibarda, Alissa
Watt and Erin Gray—were arrested and taken to
Toronto police's 31st division after participating in the rally, which was held in protest of the
inauguration of United States President George
W. Bush and the university's corporate ties.
Constable Isabelle Cotton, spokesperson for
the police division, said a struggle in Vari Hall
between one student and police led to the student allegedly attempting to reach for an officer's handgun.
They will be processed and charged for
trespassing, assault and obstruction—those are
the charges we are looking at,' said Cotton,
adding: "When you try to steal an officer's gun.
it's pretty major.'
Toronto police also allege two officers were
punched in the face and one officer had a hot
beverage thrown in his face. But Cotton confirmed no officers received bruises or injuries.
The Grassroots Anti-imperialist Network
organised the demonstration.
The administration called police after members of the anti-imperialist group and local
3903 of the Canadian Union of Public
Employees began using megaphones in Vari
Hall and allegedly disrupting classes.
The administration released a notice
Januaiy 21, stating the protesters became violent, endangering the safety of students and disrupting classes. ,
Students are prohibited from holding
demonstrations in Vari Hall because of its proximity to classrooms and protesters were provided the option of going to the Burton
Auditorium in the fine arts building.
Nancy White, university spokesperson, said
York security asked the protesters to leave
numerous times and to refrain from using a
megaphone, after receiving complaints from
faculty members who were teaching in Vari
Hall classrooms.
'It's very unfortunate that these individuals
became involved in a violent altercation with
the police,* said White. "Ihe university will do
what it can to accommodate students who wish
to engage in peaceful protests. We are always
open to dialogue.*
Gary Brewer, York's vice-president of
finance and administration, said the school has
never restricted free speech, but those who
want to carry out demonstrations must do so in
designated areas that will not disrupt classes.
The university is not against free speech.
We do have principles of disallowing the disruption of classes,' said Brewer. "We have people here that are willing and able, wanting to
show people how to express themselves without
disrupting classes. We have classes going on in
this space.'
Another demonstration was held Januaiy
21, criticising the administration for calling
the police to come and intervene at the previous day's protest.
Nick Lary, professor of humanities and
vice-president of the York University Faculty
Association, maintained Vari Hall should be
a space in which students can voice their
'Students are citizens and have civil fiber-
ties. They are our future teachers, leaders
and defenders,' Lary told the crowd. 'We call
on president Marsden to make Vari Hall a
public space dedicated to free speech.'
Video footage, taped by one of the protesters, showing the use of batons on students as
well as physical intervention by the police
and York security, was screened in Vari Hall
to over 1,000 students. But it was unclear as
to whether or not a student attempted to grab
an officer's gun.
Student Moiz Syed is one of many stu
dents who viewed the video.
'I don't believe that a student was going
for the gun. But the police were also here for
our safety,' said Syed.
Jared Saltz, an anthropology student, was
at the January 20 protest and said both
police and students aggravated the situation, and police were not concerned with
who should be arrested but rather with
clearing the area.
'We know that cops can be defensive,
they will panic in certain situations, and we
know that as students, and they might act in
violence,' said Saltz, suggesting perhaps
protesters should have exercised caution.
The president of York's student union,
Omari Mason, has called for the dismissal
of all criminal charges against the five students, the establishment of an external
inquiry in the police's intervention, and disciplinary action against security personnel
and administrators in charge of security.♦
Landslide causes grief in the North Vancouver community
by Jonathan Woodward
VANCOUVER (CUP) - Record rainfall in
British Columbia combined with the sudden
melt of a large snow pack has wreaked
havoc on B.C. roads, closed one college and
has resulted in the evacuation of more than
100 homes for fear of mudslide danger.
And early January 19 morning, the rain
collapsed a ridge in North Vancouver, sending a giant wave of mud that flattened the
house of former Capiiano College computer
science professor Eliza Kuttner.
Her husband, Langara College teacher
Michael Kuttner, was pulled alive from the
100-metre-long mess of debris by neighbours shortly after the 3:15 am mudslide,
and then was taken in critical condition to
Lions Gate Hospital.
Over 200 search and rescue workers
combed the slide's path, but Eliza's body was
not found until about 2 pm, more than 50
metres from where the house originally stood.
Her death is a shock to students and
teachers at Capiiano College, said Ben West,
chair of Capilano's student union.
'It was so unexpected,' he said. 'It was
so out of the blue. I don't know what to think
about it.'
West, who knew Eliza through their work
on school committees, said she worked hard
for her students.
'We're pretty upset about it,' he said. The
school's been closed, and people are happy to
have some time off, but maybe we're, in shock.
'The worst thing is her [14-year-old]
daughter Anita, who is in California, and
coming home to no home and a dad in the
The heavy rainfall—over 200 millimetres
in the past week in much of the Lower
Mainland—melted a snow pack and tripled
the volume of water that local drains had to
absorb, said UBC plant operations
spokesperson John Metras.
That rainfall overloaded a North
Vancouver water main, forcing Capiiano
College to close hours after the mudslide.
Classes were cancelled, staff was sent home,
and as of Jan. 22 the school is still closed.
Students and staff had planned a benefit concert for victims of the tsunami in southern Asia
on the night of Jan. 21, but it was postponed.
'It will probably become a benefit concert for Anita,' said West.
At UBC, the school's bus loop was closed
when heavy snow and a frozen ground disrupted the pavement.
When the rainfall washed much of a foundational layer away, the rest of the loop's surface
collapsed, said UBC Properties Trust spokesperson Dan Bock.
Thousands of students trekked through
the mud as buses unloaded at the side of the
road, while emergency crews poured a temporary surface over the bus loop.
'The weather wreaked havoc on the
asphalt,' said Bock. 'It was basically impassable; the buses were bottoming out on it.
'With the rain and the snow, it was really a one-two punch.**
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now playing
by Terry Boake
Clint Eastwood has sure stepped
up in the last two years. After the
success of last year's Mystic
River, garnering six Academy
Award nominations, many
thought he had reached the height
of his career. What no one knew,
nor could have expected, was the
powerhouse waiting to be
unleashed one year later with
Eastwood's next amazing role in
Million Dollar Baby— probably the
best film of 2004.
At first I had a hard time deciding just how good the film was,
but as the days drifted by, I found
myself reliving its most emotionally stirring moments. It has
stuck with me in a way no other
film has this year.
The most important thing to
address is that Million Dollar
Baby is not a formulaic boxing
movie like Rocky. Instead, we are
welcomed into a deeply emotional film with fantastic character
dynamics and relationships. Clint
Eastwood plays Frankie, a boxing
trainer and gym owner who is tortured by past misfortune. Hilary
Swank is glorious as Maggie
Fitzgerald, a 31 year-old waitress
caught in a dream that slowly dis
appears with every passing year.
Morgan Freeman's Eddie 'Scrap
Iron' Dupris is one of Frankie's
ex-boxers, but now best friend
and helping hand.
The first third of the movie is
as generic as the film gets, as
Maggie has to overcome Frankie's
stubborn resistance to training
girls. His first response to her is,
'Girly, tough ain't enough.' But as
the film progresses and her talent
starts to shine, Frankie joins her
ambitious journey to become the
world's best female boxer.
The film's success depends
mostly on Frankie and Maggie's
relationship which I am pleased
to say packs a bigger punch than
any of the exciting boxing scenes.
Frankie has lost touch with his
daughter, and after countless letters    get    returned    to    him
unopened, his heart slowly shatters. He finds a new daughter in
Maggie, who finds a father in
Frankie,  since her father died
when she was a child. Their connection is more beautiful than
Hilary Swank gives the most
impressive female performance
of the year. If it wasn't for her
recent Oscar victory in Boys Don't
Cry, I'd say she was a shoo-in to
win it this year. Eastwood is his
usual rugged self, but he opens up
for Swank, delivering the deepest
performance of his career.
Morgan Freeman is, well, Morgan
Freeman, which isn't a bad thing.
He is probably one of the most
overlooked actors of our time
due to his subtle acting approach.
He also has an outstanding
narrating voice, which is put to
good use in Million Dollar Baby,
having the same effective power-
fulness it had in The Shawshank
No matter what you expect
from Million Dollar Baby,  the
experience will probably be different.   It's   not   typical,   predictable, or even Hollywood in
approach.   It  can be  uplifting
enough at times to make you
smile,     and     heart-shattering
enought at others to make you
want to cringe. With characters
and plot aside, we're left with
such   a   fantastic   theme   that
regardless of your like or dislike
for the film, you can't help but
feel inspired. Freeman says, in
one  of his magnificent voice-
overs: 'There is magic of fighting
battles beyond endurance,  it's
the magic of risking everything
for the dream that nobody sees
but you.* A powerful message, an
equally powerful movie and one
not to be missed. ♦
Village of infectious laughs
I'm not entirely sure what makes Yiddish humour so infectious, but this play was brimming with it This humour is
every bit as proverbial as it is ridiculous and between guffaws, the audience is left just barely able to utter, 'Did he just
say that?'
"Village of Idiots' was written by Canadian playwright
John Lazarus in 1985 and has made audiences laugh from
here to Venice, Italy ever since. Inspired by Yiddish folktales,
the play is (just as it sounds) about a village of idiots, in the
time of the pogroms on Jewish people, by the Csar's Army.
But in true Jewish fashion, the charming villagers find the
light in any black crevice.
The characters are rich and colourful. Each adds their
unique dash of flavour to an already delightful story, as well
as their signature, skewed logic. Hats off to director Aaron
Caleb, and his cast of third and fourth Year theatre students.
"Village of Idiots' features a kind of humour of which I'm sure
we all wish to see more of.
—by Sarah Stouten
by Cart Honori
[Vintage Canada]
by Rrtu Kumar
Imagine a town with no roadways,
no fast food joints, no 60-hour work
weeks, where people live a life of
leisure. Slow food, slow cities, even
slow sex. If you're thinking this
sounds like 1984 meets The
Step ford Wives, you'll know exactly
what I thought when I first started
reading Carl Honore's In Praise of
Slow. And although, initially I
found myself bemused with the
idea of a Slow Revolution, by the
time I had finished the introduction
I was a convert
In Praise of Slow is a book that
rejects the notions borne out of the
Industrial Revolution where efficiency and acceleration reign supreme.
The Industrial Revolution heralded
times where a sudden surge of technology allowed everything to be
done faster. Necessary and practical in many situations, we have
gone a few steps too far in our
attempt to do it all—this is where
the Slow Revolution comes in.
Members of the Slow Revolution
argue that we have lost much of
the meaning and value of a high
quality life as we attempt to
squeeze more quantity into our
lives. Movement forces such as
the Society for the Deceleration of
Time and the World Napping
Organisation push a simple agenda: slow down.
The Slow Movement, however,
is not about being lazy. It is about
knowing when to be fast and
knowing when to stop, relax, and
turn that cell phone off. It is
about striking a healthy balance
between two lifestyles. Achieving
'the tiempo gusto—the right
Rather than a usual self-help
book, however, there are no set
steps and rules to a Slow Lifestyle.
It is like nirvana; it is an act of
realisation more than an act of
The Slow Lifestyle also takes
on a multi-dimensional meaning.
Living Slow can mean eating
home-cooked meals with friends
and family to one person, while it
can mean working part-time and
moving to the country-side to
another. The key to the Slow
Revolution is knowing how fast,
or slow, you can go.
Carl Honore writes the book
simply, examining the pros and
cons of life in the slow lane. He
earns a degree of sincerity as he
takes readers on a journey of questioning the feasibility of the Slow
Movement In Praise ofSlowis surprisingly refreshing in that it does
not blindly accept that which the
Slow Movement presents. Rather,
Honore has studied and taken part
in the movement's offerings, and
has then transcribed his experiences for readers to accept or reject
as they please.
This international bestseller
serves as nothing less than a manifesto—a gospel even—of a modern day Utopian lifestyle. In our
globalised, high-paced, bottom-
line world, Honore's In Praise of
Slow is a blissful reprieve from
the anxious neuroses of our
everyday fives. ♦
Friday, January 88, 2005
30,000 +
at the Charles H. Scott Gallery
(Emily Carr Institute)
until Jan 30
by Rrtu Kumar
It's a chilly Saturday afternoon when
I enter the Charles H. Scott Gallery at
the Emily Carr Institute on Granville
Island. The small, bright gallery is
next to empty and resonates the
usual museum-like quiet and stillness offered by most art galleries.
The gallery has been taken over by
30, 000+, an exhibit featuring seven
artists and their creations.
30, 000+ features talent and creativity expressed mostly through
ceramic, clay, and some metal.
Needless to say, with a total of just
over 20 pieces in the gallery, the
exhibit is small but nevertheless
Specifically, the pieces by artists
Judy Chartrand and Paul Mathieu
stand out in my mind. Chartrand
crafted three pieces for the show; all
three are shelves lined with everyday commercial products. Everyday
products, which, upon closer inspection, stand as a statement of the
treatment of natives. Want some
'consistently lumpy' Residential
School porridge? Why not try a can
of Campbell's Metis soup in
Antelope or even Indian Agent?
Through her art Chartrand tries to
convey a message.
Paul Mathieu seemed the most
ambitious of the group, with seven
of the total 23 pieces. He remained
strong for the most part only failing
in his banal piece 'Digital
Manipulation' in which he rather
ordinarily depicted a stream of
urine flowing from a close-up of a
penis. Mathieu makes up for the
failure in the rest of his work by
incorporating socio-political messages in his 'Salt and Pepper
Shakers/ and by juxtaposing the
classical Roman with the ancient
Chinese in "Flower Vase.'
The remaining five artists showcase work ranging from the pointless (Chuang) to the mind-boggling
(Sormin) to the delicious
(Sammarco). Julie York played
with the contents of the kitchen-
funnels, eggs, butter, cupcakes-
while retaining a modern style by
working only with white. Ying-
Yueh Chuang's three ceramic
'Plant Creations" lacked statement
or voice and were highly unmemo-
rable in their style.
I would have liked to see more
by artist Jeremy Hatch, as the one
piece he did have on display,
'Still," featured a life-size swing
set, white and frozen in time,
allowing the viewer to fill in the
blanks with personal memories
and expectations.
Moving on from Hatch, both my
companion and I wondered what
could be going on in the mind of
Linda Sormin. It cannot be argued,
though, that her sculptures, "Ubi,"
'Qui,' and "Fuus* are not eye-catching. In fact, I had a hard time looking away, simply because I didn't
even know what I was looking at
30, 000+ is largely held up by
the work of Paul Mathieu, while
Chartrand and Sammarco maintain a high calibre in their pieces as
well. The range of the artwork overall is somewhat small, but it is
worth visiting the exhibition, even
if just to view the Princess Di and
Dodi salt and pepper shakers. ♦


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