UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Summer Ubyssey Aug 15, 1991

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»UlVl±VJJtl..K, V V
Toxic soil,
games and
Founded in 1918
Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, August 15,1991
Vol 10, No 7
Racial tension stops bus
"Next time, you call BC Transit
and order a separate bus for these
—Bus driver to a Canadian guide
for Japanese students
by Chung Wong
A #41 bus ground to a halt at
Oakridge Mall and was put out-of-
service after a bus driver, frustrated with a Japanese touring
group, could not kick out a protesting passenger.
Geetika Verma, a ten-year
employee at University Hospital,
voiced her opposition to the driver
of bus 3187 after he refused to pick
up elderly patients she knew at the
campus hospital bus stop, despite
having standing room.
After a Japanese tour group
with at least two Canadian guides
boarded the bus with Verma at
1:30pm on Friday from the UBC
bus loop, the driver closed the door
on three remaining persons stand
ing at theloop, tellingthem, "You'll
have to take the next bus, I have no
The tour group sat in most of
the seats and stood sporadically in
the front half the bus' standing
Seconds later, the driver
changed his mind, reopened the
door and said, "Push them (the
Japanese students) back."
After leaving the loop, he refused to pick up passengers at every stop except at Granville Street,
telling some by-standers, "Look, I
have no room."
Persons waiting at some stops
pointed to the empty standing
space at the back half of the bus
but the driver did not instruct the
tour guide sitting in an adjacent
courtesy seat to move his group
When the tour group disem-
... continued on page 4
People of colour
have easier time
in Hawaii
Last March, Ubyssey reporter
Brenda Wong discovered that most
of Vancouver's major media outlets—The Sun, The Province,
BCTV, UTV and CBC-TV—had
very few and sometimes no people
of colour on staff meeting community representation. The future of
these outlets may follow the footsteps of Hawaii, a state that has
often indicated future trends concerning people of colour in the
West because of its pressing ethnic
by Christina Cha-U Chen
HONOLULU—Unlike most
states or provinces in the Western
hemisphere, Caucasians make up
only a minority of Hawaii's population. The absence of Caucasian
dominance has removed many obstacles which have traditionally
prevented people of colour from
attaining prominent positions in
"If s foolish and disadvantageous to have an all-white staff
here, because whites make up only
32% ofthe population," said news
director Walter Zimmermann of
KITV, an affiliate of ABC News.
Ethnic minorities, particularly
Asians or mixed Native Hawaiians, constitute a large portion of
KITVs staff, though pure-blood
Hawaiians are still absent.
At the Star Bulletin, one of
Hawaii's two local newspapers, 11
out ofthe 24 editors are people of
colour, and so are 16 of its 35 writers, according to managing editor
David Shapiro. He said there are
47 people of colour in total out of its
staff of 90.
Most North American newspapers and news broadcasters have
grown aware ofthe importance of
people-of-colour representation to
an ethnically diverse audience and
have been pushed to hire more
ethnic minorities.
In the US, the American Publishers Association is aiming at
the year 2000 for journalists from
ethnic minority groups to proportionately represent their population.
At the University of Hawaii,
about 60 per cent of the school's
journalism students are people of
colour. Most students come from
an Asian-American background
and are excelling, according to John
Luter, the department's head.
However, their cultural background has still been an encumbrance to them in the cut-throat
world of journalism.
"In their (Asian) culture, they
are brought up by parents to be
very polite and respectful of authorities," said Luter. "They tend
not to challenge them as good journalists should."
The journalism department
chair said Asian-Americans have
had to work harder to acquire traditional journalism skills, such as
initiating conversation and questioning with assertion, skepticism
and even rudeness when necessary.
Though some editors may
worry about the language skills of
people of colour and refrain from
hiring them, Luter said, in Hawaii, many people of colour are not
recent immigrants andhave grown
up speaking English.
"Many handle English better
than Caucasians," he said.
... continued on page 5
Sitting for her principles, University Hospital employee Geetika Verma       chung wong photo
refused to move from her bus seat for more than half an hour after being
ordered to do so by transit officials and taunted by other passengers.
Protester punished
by Carla Maftechuk
A protester at an anti-war
demonstration earlier this year
received a sentence of 30 days in
jail for obstruction of a peace
Three others escaped with
minimal fines and community
service hours.
After spending seven days
in prison, Squeig Conejo was released on $1000 bail and the condition that she remain at her
current address.
The protest, held on January
26, during the Gulf war, began as
a quiet march through downtown.
Conejo was part of about 200 people
who were frustrated with the way
events were proceeding. "It was
nothing like what we felt was
needed," Conejo said.
The demonstrators broke
away from the rest of the crowd
and were following a different route
when they noticed arecruiting sign
on the side of a transit bus. Conejo
proceeded to tear the sign off with
Anti-war activists failed to reach this monument
at War Memorial Gym because of arrest.	
help from others.
"We just committed a very
direct act in response to the war.
It was a unified, spontaneous response. I was thrilled with this."
The group continued their
separate protest at the downtown
armouries before moving in the
direction ofthe War Memorial at
Cambie and Hastings Streets.
When they were one block away
from it, police appeared in riot
"It was a very intimidating
sight—we were unsure of what
to do," Conejo said. The group
scattered, and between 30 and
40 protesters entered Sinclair
The police also entered the
mall, and announced that the
protesters had three minutes to
disperse orthey wouldbe charged
with mischief. The demonstrators
began chanting to drown them
A police officer took hold of
one ofthe protesters and Conejo
went over to them. "I slipped my
arm through [the protester's] and
asked What's he under arrest
for?"" she said. "I was loosely
holding his armfor support." She
was joined by others, who also
linked arms to stop the removal
ofthe protester.
"Then I was grabbed from
behind," Conejo said, "they were
incredibly brutal. I was more
brutalized than I've ever been
After her arrest, Conejo was
held for three hours and then
released with a "promise to appear" at a later date.
At her trial, three police officers testified that she had been
hysterical and portrayed her as
being out of control.
"The state produced a military expert to inform the court of
the cost of the damage done,"
said Conejo.
... continued on page 5 Classifieds
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August 15,1991 NEWS
Soil dumping threatens popular beach
by Sharon Undores
Concord Pacific wants to
dump Expo Site soils at the Point
Grey Dumpsite, over a one-year
period. The proposed application
for an ocean dumping permit appeared as a Notice of Intent on
July 3, and it is subject to a 90 day
inquiry period.
The Wreck Beach Preservation Society (WBPS) and the
Fraser River Coalition (FRC) oppose Concord Pacific's dumping
plans at the Point Grey Dumpsite
or anywhere in the vicinity ofthe
Point Grey or English Bay
WBPS is concerned that the
dumping threatens the potential
safety of Wreck users (99,000 plus
used Trail 6 in July 1990), the
English Bay beaches, Fraser River
Estuary and Fraser's salmon run.
Experts from Soilcon Laboratories Ltd. reported on July 15
that "the bulk stockpiles tested to
date fall into the 'slight
exceedence' category for PAITs
(poly-nuclear aeromatic hydrocarbons). It is recommended that
this material not be accepted until this issue is resolved through
discussion with all parties.''
Judy Williams, chairperson
for WBPS, is concerned that sufficient testing is not being done
and that those responsible are lying through omission. WBPS is
waiting for hard evidence that the
soil is not contaminated.
Kevin Pendriegh, spokesperson for Canadian Waste Management, said that there has been
extensive testing of the Parcel 8
Expo site soils.
"They have spent about
$30,000 testingthe site, compared
to $5,000-8,000 normally used for
such a volume.
"Extensive testing was done
because of an indication of contamination in the soil above Par
cel 8 and due to the history of
industrial use above the land in
the past.
"The bottom line concerning
the soil that has been tested is not
that bad."
Pendriegh said, "The soils do
warrant extra testing, but the
testing asked for is going overboard.
"The Expo site soils are a hot
political issue and people have
blown it all out of proportion."
Test results for ocean dumping the soil are expected next week,
Pendriegh said.
Mitch Sokalski, area superintendent for the Greater
Vancouver Regional District, said
a lot of environmental groups are
concerned about the impact the
dumping may have on the foreshore area.
"It is good that we have watch
groups to keep senior government
agencies responsible."
Sokalski said that if the soils
comply with the federal and provincial laws then the application
will go through.
Director of Environmental
Health, Nick Losito, said, "Normally we do not second-guess federal and provincial review, but I
think we will look into WBPS's
"There will probably be soil
experts on site at the time and if
anything looks suspicious we will
look into it."
Williams said, "I have faith
that the government officials will
respond to public concerns in a
favourable way."
In a letter to the head of Ocean
Dumping Control for Environment Canada, Duane Brothers,
WPBS said, "Looking at the history of not only Parcel 8, but also
of the upsite locations and particularly of the nightmare contamination of Parcel 9, we worry
that adequate checks and controls
are not in place."
WBPS is also concerned that
following Parcel 8, "Concord Pacific will next try to dump the
Parcel 9 deadly 'stew* of contaminants."
Brothers was not available
for comment.
Concord Pacific's 1991 Alternative Disposal Options Assessment said, their "primary reason
for ocean dumping this native soil
is cost...hauling and disposal costs
wouldbe relatively high given that
it would require at least 9,000
truck loads to move this amount
of soil."
Williams said, "It's a dangerous precedent to set, you can't put
a price tag on human health."
The WBPS has 3,000 signatures now on their petition. It can
be signed at the entrance to Trail
BC team soars in aeronautics competition
International spies watch stunt plane at Abbotsford air show,
Theatre activist passes away at 91
by Chung Wong
The woman who founded
Vancouver's most progressive theatre passed away on
Sunday after celebratingher
91st birthday on campus in
Dorothy Somerset, born
June 9, 1900, founded
Frederic Wood Theatre in
1963. On June 8, she celebrated her birthday during
the campus production
Cowardy Custard in Dorothy
Somerset Studio, a 50-seat
studio located within the400-
seat theatre.
"It (The Frederic Wood
Theatre) became an important theatrefor the city," said
theatre department head
John Brockington. "It was
always used as a teaching
tool as well as a public theatre."
Before the new theatre,
acting students had used an
army hut across from the
current Ponderosa cafeteria.
The hut was destroyed recently by a fire.
In the mid-thirties, Ms.
Somerset taught UBC's first
two theatre courses, acting
and theatre history, through
the English department. She
founded UBC's theatre department in 1958.
"She simply remained a
strong supporter ofthe arts,"
said Brockington who replaced Ms. Somerset as theatre department headin 1965.
"She turned so many people
on to theatre."
"It was due to her work
and pressure that the theatre
department got created."
Since her retirement,
upon which she received an
honourary degree, she had
done a lot of work with Native
"Right to the end of her
life she was a complete deputy
to theatre," Brockington said.
"She was so enthused."
Dorothy Somerset (1900-1991).
by Raul Peschiera
UBC engineers tied for a
bronze medal in an international airshow contest held at
Jericho Beach Park West on
August 4.
Airshow Canada hosted
Seeking Wings That Work, in
which university teams competed to build a replica of John
Stringfellov/s monoplane design and test-fly the model.
Stringfellow's monoplane is
significant because he attempted to fly a model in 1848,
almost half a century before
the Wright brothers.
UBC, BCIT and UVic made
up a composite team that competed againstnine other teams.
The French team was awarded
the gold medal, the Australian
team the silver and UBC tied
with the British team for the
Carrie Bogisch, mechanical
engineering graduate and team
spokesperson, said, "The original 1848 model never carried a
person and he tried to fly it on
a wire. We had to add elevators,
ailerons and rudders. That's
everything with hinges."
The competition was divided
into three parts: writing a report, flying the model, and a
completing a half-hour oral
"Our flying was the strongest part; we had a really good
flying model. At the beginning
we'd delegated UVic and UBC
to do the report and presentation and BCIT would do the
model. But in the end we all
helped in everything."
"The Imperial College of
London is well known for their
aeronautical studies and BC
and Canada are just growing in
aerospace. We're very happy
with how we finished," said
On Friday, the teams all
went to the Abbotsford Airshow
to see how far aviation technology has gone since Stringfellow
tested his unpiloted model and
to celebrate the end ofthe competition.
August 15,1991
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9 am - 5 pm on all Buy Back dates
The Alma Mater Society
Ombudsoffice is
currently seeking
Caseworkers for the Winter Session
The function of the Ombudsoffice is to represent the student complaints
within the U.B.C, and the AMS administration.
The Ombudsoffice Caseworker is required to establish regular office
hours to investigate and resolve student complaints.
If you are an enthusiastic individual who is seeking to broaden your
experience, and, as well, are interested in helping your fellow students,
then the Ombudsoffice needs your assistance.
For an application form, or further information, contact the A.M.S.
Ombudsoffice at the Student Union Building 100A - 822-4846, or write
to P.O. Box 60, c/o A.M.S. Business Office, S.U.B. Room 266,
6138 S.U.B. Blvd. Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1
Tension on bus
... from page 1
barked at a stop before Oakridge
Mall, the driver told the guide,
"Next time, you call BC Transit to
order a separate bus for these
When the guide said, "You had
plenty of room at the back," the
driver called him a "butt-head."
At the Oakridge Mall stop,
Verma, 42, approached the driver
to complain about his behaviour
and desertion of previous stops.
"I know what if s like to wait
and you had plenty of room, you
probably haven't driven a #10 bus
before," she said. "There were elderly people I knew back there."
The driver then warned
Verma that he would kick her off
the bus if she did not keep quiet,
stating, "I don't have to take this."
When Verma refused and restated her opposition to his
behaviour from her seat, the driver
deserted the bus and said, "This
bus ain't going nowhere until you
Another driver soon entered
the bus and told Verma she would
have to leave for using "profane
language" against transit regulations. He referred to the words
"pissed off."
Verma refused to budge.
Passengers then began taunting her with shouts such as "shut-
up!" and "why don't you f—off!"
While others said, "Don't cause
any trouble" and "You're not doing
any good."
Verma responded, "People
don't want to help anyone today
because you can get hurt doing
that—well, that's going to change
right now, I'm not moving, I have a
right to sit here."
Eventually a transit official
boarded the bus and said, "You'll
have to leave because you're holding up this bus and it's got to move."
Verma refused and other passengers began yelling hostile remarks at her until they got off for
another bus. Verma stayed on
board alone with a reporter and
the transit official.
Another transit official
boarded the bus and suggested she
leave and complain to BC Transit
while the other offered her a ride
home. Verma refused them both.
"Why?" she said. "I have aright
to sit here."
One official then rushed off to
call the police.
When Verma recounted her
story to the other, including the
words "pissed off," the official left
the bus stating, "I was not raised to
listen to that kind of language."
Both officials returned a
minute later with one saying, "This
bus is out-of-service, you'll have to
go, otherwise you'll be headed in
the other direction."
When Verma decided to leave
the bus, police arrived and were
motioned onto the bus by the transit officials for a private meeting.
The bus had been at a stand
still for more than half an hour.
The police later told Verma
that the driver had not broken any
law and that Verma should send a
complaint to BC Transit and the
BC Human Rights Commission.
According to BC Transit
spokesperson Scott MacFarlane,
both Verma and the tour guide
have submitted official complaints
to BC Transit, in writing, and a
transit supervisor has submitted
an incident report to the company.
But MacFarlane said he could not
comment on the incident until a
BC Transit investigation had been
completed. Atpress time, he saidit
would take a couple more days.
"There's always two sides to a
story," he said. "We're going to talk
to the supervisors (from the scene)
and the driver and try and come-
up with an accurate story."
According to MacFarlane, the
amount of standing room available on the bus is up to the "practical discretion" of the driver.
Editorial page 10
... more non-heinous triumphs
moral grounds, and Chung "Flying Fingers Tonight" Wong kindly offered to type them onto a disk.
Sharon "My Sha-rona" Lindores first-edited them cutting Effie's left leg and Mike altogether.
Karen Young invited Mike to the late-as-usual production meeting, where Emie Sheltzer explained the
intricacies of story placement and Rebecca "Rebocky" Bishop demanded photo front.
Rick Hiebert ordered pizza without oysters and Quinn Harris heartily complained until Chris Batchelor
reminded him of just what it is that oysters eat.
From between the letters "O" and "A", Effie watched as Nikola Marin happily danced around in circles and
Elai3ne Griffith found a black fineliner to draw the edit and her unimaginable rituals. Aquawoman and Fausto
cooked up a storm while Effie waited for the birth of cute blind "better wash that afterwards" kittens.
Raul Peschiera second-edited, or rather pirouetted, and in an extended moment of sheer disorientation, cut
Effie from the story completely and put Mike back in, Despite Matthew "The Other" Martin complaints about
journalistic ethics and a mild case of diverticulitis.
M. Maenling found Effie, startled yet surprisingly unhurt, in the recycling bin, dusted her off and handed
her to Sara Patton who waxed her and pasted her onto the bottom of page 8.
Charles Nho hunted around in unclean comers looking for quarter-back or baseball gloves and franka Cordua
von-Specht barricaded herself in the mac-room to finish off that pesky typesetting.
Helen Willoughby-Price whipped the Arts layout into shape, and the drum pounded double time, while Paul
"What's that, the Sun?" Dayson agonized over headlines and byline and whether a cat was a proper after dinner
treat or something else.
Greg davis wandered aimlessly (again), trying to look busy, and waved at Mike, by this time pasted onto page
3. Kevin Elaschuck turned up the jazz, distracting masthead-writer Cheryl Niamath even further. Lucho von
isschot called an impromptu meeting about emergency middle-of-the-night food while Michael Booth debated
Mark Nielson about the merits of disposable versus chocolate.
Hao Li zipped over to Graphics across the hall with an armload of photos to PMT. No body got any sleep,
and the time machine remained, untouched and unnoticed.
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August 15,1991 Escaping the rain and catching flight.
Stiff sentence
... from page 1
The court would not accept
the idea of bringing in environmental experts to present the cost
ofthe war to the environment.
On August 2, Conejo was sentenced and sent to the Burnaby
Correctional Centre for Women. "I
wasthinkingthatrdgetafine and
community service hours," she
said. "I don't perceive myself to be
guilty. The state is guilty for not
being able to deal with dissent."
Conejo's lawyer Kelly Connell
said the sentence was unreasonable. She will appeal the verdict
and the sentencing on October 9.
"The charge [of obstructing a
police officer] covers a very wide
variation in circumstances. The
sentence is out of what I would
consider a normal range."
Although her charge was the
obstruction of a peace officer, her
other acts of destruction were
brought up. They did not see me
as an individual, [but] a terrorist,"
Conejo said.
The judge said the message to
the public must be that Conejo's
behaviour is not acceptable.
Her experience will not deter
her from protesting.
Tm not going to stop what Fm
doing, and [the police] are not going to stop what they're doing.
"We all live under one regime:
patriarchy. Equality will not be
accomplished under this system.
My message to pacifists is that
there will not be any peace until
there is justice. I will be peaceful
when there is equality."
... front page 1
At Oahu's KITV, Zimm-
ermann said news reporters are
hired based on their experience
and disposition. The station prefers a "curious, ambitious, and
competitive personality,"
Zimmermann said.
Women's scene in Hawaii
better than mainland
Women have also been less
deterred from journalism in Hawaii.
In most North American
newspapers, women form only 40
per cent of their staff, an imbalance often attributed.to the traditional concept of journalism as a
male-oriented career. But in Hawaii, the prevailing disproportionate ratio of female and male editorial staff is disappearing more
quickly than other parts of North
Out of KITVs 25 reporters, 14
are women. But this encouraging
figure has been offset by ratios in
other traditionally male-dominated positions. The ten camera
technicians at KITV are all male.
"Females would make fine
camera technicians, but there just
aren't any applicants," said
Zimmermann. In total, the station
has 14 women and 21 men on the
news staff.
Though traditional discriminations are beginning to disappear,
few women are being promoted to j
administrative positions.
John Luter says many editors I
prefer to hire men because they]
can be sent anywhere.
At the Star Bulletin, there is I
only one female executive editor—
a figure common to many newspapers in the West.
To help you to make the best tennis racquet selection, why not try
the Community Sports Demo Programme. A $5.00 charge for
each demo will be applied totally towards your purchase.
Free can of
tennis balls
with the purchase
ofthe weekly
Test Your Best!
Classes Forming Now.
For more information call:
Community Sports
3355 West  Broadway     !
with the papm
Drop by SUB 241K
SELF-SERVES... 5* and 10«
available early morning to latanight
(MAY 1- AUGUST 30)
Monday - Thursday ..8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday, Sunday
& Statutory Holidays Cloaed
Ph: 822-4388    Fax 822-6093
Houra subject to change without notice.  J
& Jumbo Muffin
 only $2.25 (anytime)
Friday Night
East Indian Dinner
 only $6.95
open for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Monday-Saturday 9 am -10 pm
Sunday 9 am- 4 pm
3763 West 10th Ave. • Licensed
Alternative Night
Funk. Night
Pit Night
Dancing 6 Nights a Week
Closed Sundays
- 6138 S.U.B. Boulevard U.B.C.   ,
I (Sub Lower Concourse) I
August 15,1991
    "'Ml  I  H'TIH"-*--"-""-
■    TA "  *
Evident shadows
by Raul Peschiera
THERE is a spectre in old
photographs. A spectre
which shows only the shadow of
a life, of a time long gone. But
today, in the age of television
and instant cameras, it seems to
have dissolved away.
Shadowy Evidence
Presentation House Gallery
until September 1
Presentation House Gallery
in North Vancouver recalls this
spectre with Shadowy Evidence,
a collection of turn-of-the-
century photographs of First
Nations people.
The exhibition focuses on
photographer Edward S. Curtis
and his contemporaries. Along
with the photographs, Curtis'
1941 film In The Land ofthe War
Canoes is on video display.
The photographers are
grouped into four main categories: Shadowy Evidence, Indians
as a Cultural Commodity, "Real"
Indians and Vanishing as a
Government Policy.
The showing is by no means
representative of a time or
culture; no exhibition can be.
What it does accomplish is the
preservation of some moments of
a culture suppressed and
Some photographs are
historically important, including
the rare study of Makah whaling, but most are of people and
small moments their lives.
These moments have the
most power. They show a people
living with forced cultural
isolation and suppression. They
also show a people living from
day to day, celebrating or
commissioning family portraits.
Probably the most moving
work displayed is done by
Native photographers Smokey
Lysle and George Johnston.
Johnston was a professional
trapper and boat builder as well
as an amateur photographer.
His family and friends were
the subjects, and his exceptionally beautiful pieces include
Frank Johnston in his boat,
Aurora, taking Nettie's grave
fence across the Yukon River;
Children and mock funeral; and
Queen Victoria's birthday and
Teslin Sports Day.
Lysle, an amateur photographer as well, is an Upper Skagit
member and his work centres on
documenting his personal family
These are the works which
make you stare and imagine the
sounds and the motions before
the shutter snapped closed,
capturing a person and a life in a
Curtis' film is also a testaT
ment to Native life. It follows a
tale of two rival tribes, but the
most impressive scenes are those
ofthe Native dances.
The costumes and masks are
striking, even with the deteriorated black-and-white film.
Shadowy Evidence is a
glimpse into the past when
government suppression was just
beginning and Native culture
was allowed to flourish.
Then was a time of treaties
before they were broken, before
promises were dishonoured. In
these photos, the spectre haunts
us with more than sadness.
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George Johnston's Children and mock funeral
Turning to stone
by Effie Pow
ONE ofthe artists in the exhibit, at the UBC
Fine Arts Gallery, said she has no pretensions
about the limitation of dialogue that takes place in
an art gallery.
"We know we operate in this space called 'art',"
said Jin-me Yoon, who collaborated on a site-specific
work for the show.
UBC Fine Arts Gallery
until September 14
One visitor to the gallery, however, wrote in the
comments book, "Pretty esoteric stuff."
Heroic/Romance is a group showing of seven
artists and one writer. The participants are women
influenced by feminist criticism and practice
according to Scott Watson, the UBC gallery curator.
The works in photography, painting, video and
installation examine representations ofthe female
body and heroism as the title ofthe exhibit suggests.
The project, Flesh Made Stone, by Jin-me Yoon
and Kathryn Walter questions the monumental
representation of universal democracy. The Goddess
of Democracy located in front ofthe SUB is a point
of departure for the pair.
Yoon and Walter point out how political
symbolism is mutated. Look for a modest marker
beside the statue inscribed with the word "flesh" in
Chinese and English on the hill close to the statue.
They contrast a photograph ofthe Goddess of
Democracy with a photograph of a real estate
development which uses the Statue of Liberty as an
image of downtown development.
The forum ofthe "modernist cube" called the art
gallery continues in its various forms, inside and
outside ofthe space itself.
games at Funeral
by Helen
VERY black
   .comedy,   the
poster says. Witty, satirical, and for the anti-
religious at heart, it is.
This play will turn your
gasps into laughs, ifyou can
still gasp before laughing.
Funeral Games
Studio J (152 W. Hastings)
9pm Thursday-Sunday
through August
a project by
Kathryn Walter & Jin-me Yoon
A  •   UBC Fine Arts Gallery
Artists' marker placed in
grass across from Goddess of
SUB plaza
Manhattan West Development
Corner of Fir and Broadway
If my mind had been scooped out by
the lie of religion, I may have gasped
with horror, but I could only laugh and
revel in the blatant satire and fun-
poking of fanatics.
Joe Orton wrote Funeral Games in
the late 60s, and its shock value then
was likely more potent than itis now.
Orton can translate horror into
humour, and commendably so, but
we are used to it now, and the humour
is no longer rich in horror. It is not
the fault of the playwright, nor of
the actors or the director Douglas
Gardiner. It is simply our ability to
become  hardened  to  repeated
But the play is still timely. Religious fanaticism is re-emerging
with new strength, and it is good
to be reminded that we are all
human beings capable of falling
victim to the temptation of "sins."
Religion is full of hypoc-
1      risy, and I don't know that anyone can live up toits standards.
However, attempting to
1      murder my wife, then pretending to succeed in order to get a
,      book published and receive
I      expensive gifts from admir-
1      ing women, isn't something
I      I'd likely be doing.
K A priest I am not, and
™      as priest Caulfield in Fu-
1      neral Games says, if his wife
#6 (adultery), then he can
break commandment #7
The    characters    in
Orton's play are not good
Christians. In fact, the
religion in Orton's play
is bogus.
Religion  can
provide   excuses  for
many things.  Priests
don't have to feel guilty
if they don't want to,
do they? Caulfield has
a God-given dutv to
punish   his
wife  for  her
Tessa Caullield's
sin  is  spending
time with McCorq-
quedale.  She's  his
There   are   some
wonderfully   satirical
scenes and passages in thi s
production that, I suppose,
the astutely religious would
findoutrageous and upsetting.
I loved every bit of nasty tasteless parody.
The only spouse who is successfully murdered in the play is
McCorquedale's wife, whose mutilated body has been lying in the cellar
for lord knows how long.
McCorquedale is the wild and perverted but sickly priest (defrocked,
mindyou) playedby Ken Hooker, who
does a marvelously believable job.
The entire cast give their characters an enormous amount of energy, and the tiny room is filled with
their excitement. By the end of the
short play, the stage area is topsyturvy and the cast sweaty and
It is a very enjoyable production. Updated to present times, set
in Britain, and packed full of witty
remarks and taste! ess jokes. Very
good bad taste, I must say. The
accents are difficult to keep up at
times, but add to the silliness of
it all.'
Some ofthe humour comes
from the typically British attitudes ofthe characters regarding respect for the police and
the recently deceased. It isn't
all religious parody.
The theatre company is
Flagrante Delicto, which is
the new name for the So it
Goes...Theatre  Company.     j
Their mandate i s to present     1
plays that are new, unusual,      1
provocative, lesbian/gay or     I
non-commercial. ■
Orton's plays typically
deal with themes such as
"brutality, jackboots, rape,
perversion, necrophilia,      '
all soils of kinkiness be-      ,
hind the sofa and inside     j
the wardrobes of drab     I
suburban homes," wrote     I
Hilary Spurling in the     fl
British publication The
Orton  was  murdered in the late 1960s
by  his  homosexual
lover  who  was  extremely jealous of his
extraordinary talent.
A little necrophilia for McCorquedale? (far right)
August 15,1991
August 15,1991
THE SUMMER UBYSSEY/7 Crossing jazz on the bass line
by Kevin Elaschuk
ENERGETIC and motivated
are words that best describe
jazz bassist and promoter Chris
Nelson, aged 38, began
playing rock and roll and classical guitar in his teens. At that
time jazz made little impression
on him. "It was just another form
of alternative music.*
with Vancouver musician
Chris Nelson
Nelson began playing the
acoustic bass during his fifth
year at UBC, where he was
studying biochemistry, English
and French. Looking for a
change, Nelson left UBC and
almost immediately found
employment as a bassist.
Nelson lists Charles Mingus
and Dave Holland as his major
influences oh the jazz bass. He
studied with Holland, who is
considered to be one ofthe
premiere bassists in jazz, at the
Banff School of Fine Arts over
several summer and winter
sessions. "Many ofthe musicians
who studied there (Banff) are
now prominent in international
jazz circles."
He took a few classical
lessons and at the urging of
fellow bassist Tom Haslett, took
a job with the Vancouver Ballet
Orchestra. (Nelson has been a
member ofthe orchestra for six
years.) As a result of his classical
training, Nelson often uses the
classical bowed style when
improvising in jazz.
Unlike most jazz players who
are completely focussed on
playing and musical content,
Nelson is also a skilled promoter
ofthe music and is aware ofthe
importance of visual image to the
general public.
Some successful events that
Nelson promoted were concerts
by Dave Holland, Hugh Fraser
and vocalist Sheila Jordan.
Nelson also performed with
Jordan's trio.
Nelson met the trombonist-
pianist Fraser at Vancouver
Community College where he
studied for a short period.
Fraser's quintet, with Nelson on
bass, won the 1987 Alcan Jazz
Competition which led to the
recording of their Juno award-
winning album Looking Up. The
group has also toured Europe
four times.
In 1989, Nelson received a
Canada Council grant to study
music in New York. There he
discovered that musicians in
large centres have to be motivated as well as talented to
survive in such competitive
He brought back a little of
New York with plans for a new
jazz room in Vancouver in
January 1990. Working with
restauranteurs Kevin Mooney
and Chris Chatten of Cafe
Django, Nelson became musical
coordinator and house bassist
there. "I wanted to bring energy
in from elsewhere, to feature
local players as well as creative
players from out of town. There's
a tendency for local players to
get good and then get lazy. The
out-of-town input would help
motivate local musicians."
Nelson said his job at Cafe
Django was a hands-on experience. He was responsible for
stage design, lighting, sound
systems, booking musicians,
firing off press releases, designing ads and posters, as well as
playing the bass.
But after 14 months as a
musician-promoter, Nelson has
decided to leave Cafe Django in
order to spend more time on his
"It was an inconceivable
amount of work but I feel that
now the room has its own energy
and can continue on without
me," Nelson said. "The musicians
are treated well at Django and
they often exceed themselves
He plans to take piano
lessons from Vancouver pianist
Miles Black and expects to
occasionally perform at Cafe
Django as a session musician.
Nelson is enthused about a
recently recorded Hugh Fraser
sextet album, featuring American trumpeter Walter White,
soon to be released.
Nelson can be heard as a
composer and string orchestra
arranger on vocalist Almeta
Speaks' album Almeta Speaks
Again and will play at Cafe
Django until the end of September.
Bass player Chris Nelson
Tragic tale of street youth told in Donut City
by Greg Davis
ONCE dereliction sets in, it's
hard to shake. The truth of
this statement was conveyed
very effectively by Impulse
Theatre Company's production of
Donut City.
Donut City is a poignant
musical drama depicting the
plights of teenage runaways,
street youth, drug abusers and
prostitutes; the urban refugees
that hang out on the seedier side
of town. It's a side of town most
of us would rather forget.
Donut City
The New Space Theatre
Entering the theatre, I was
confronted by a yellow police
ribbon with the words "Keep
Out" on it, symbolizing the
barrier society places between
those still in the system and
those who have fallen through
the cracks.
Inside the theatre was a
replica ofthe darker ends of
Hastings, Granville or Mount
Pleasant—a stark contrast to the
quiet Kerrisdale neighbourhood
outside. There were no seats; the
audience was part ofthe set,
with no place to distance themselves from the action.
Dim light cast itself across
closed store windows and back
alleys where hookers slowly
walked and roving street people
sauntered. The set design and
lighting, like the presentation of
the play itself, expressed a harsh
realism undercut with a disturbing surrealistic tones.
No sooner had I ventured in
when a young girl asked me for
spare change. I was taken off
guard, knowing it was all a play,
but startled just the same.
She reminded me of all those
kids on Granville, many of them
teenage girls, panhandling. I
often wonder, are they runaways? Suburban punks doing it
for a lark? What is their story?
I often want to buy them a
coffee or sandwich and find out
how they got there, but who
would they think I was? Some
John trying to proposition them?
A religious freak looking for new
recruits amongst wayward souls?
Ultimately, I shy away from such
encounters, but upon entering
Donut City, I felt I had come face
to face with them.
The play focuses on the
character of Juli, a 15-year-old
waif, remarkably played by Alice
Orley-Smith. Abused by her
mother's boyfriend, she runs
away to Vancouver and eventually succumbs to crack and
prostitution. She is befriended by
Chooch (David Cathcart), a curly
haired Ozzy Ozbourne fan who
also has to hustle his body to
The action swirls all around
the audience. Rich yuppies cruise
by, looking for a $50 blow job.
The old wheelchair derelict,
brilliantly played by George
Caetano, chats with Khristine
Aberin, who portrays the
prostitute Charlene.
The scenes were hauntingly
familiar, "yet with a disturbing
intimacy, and Robert Garfat's
direction kept the strong teenage
cast moving smoothly and
efficiently. The songs bridged the
action sequences, creating the
impression of a desperate and
debauched carnival. No punches
were held with regards to the
lyrics, containing loads of
pertinent profanity and social
As spectators, we became
enveloped in the lives and
delusions ofthe characters. The
whole experience was very
strong medicine. I left the
theatre with feelings of frustration, as if I was half awakened
from some terrible dream. The
anguish revealed through the
performances touched me, yet
solutions to the problems eluded
Donut City has finished its
run in Vancouver, but the play
still goes on, out there on streets
not far from you. This is the
world we, as a society, have
created; this is the world we give
to our youth.
August 15,1991 I   llll Illl '• *• Ill
'^6* li	
Queers, queens and.
by Nikola M. Marin
'ELEBRITIES. Any night.
V_y Amidst a crowd of white
male fashion-police types with
precision haircuts and cigarettes-
held-just-so, I pose, dip, spin and
flex. It is an effort to ignore the
glances, glares and sidelong
looks that say, "Girlfriend, that
went out last year with
Madonna's hit."
Paris is Burning
Starlight Cinema
until August
white-and-rich" theme was laid
on far too thickly, and without
much analysis or deconstruction
of this emulation of affluent
white culture. Pepper LaBeija,
mother ofthe House of LaBeija,
speaks to the issue obliquely
when he says, "I've been
a man and Fve
been a man
If Paris is
Burning does
anything, I hope it
will bring the gay
Black and Hispanic
roots of Vogueing,
jacking and House out
ofthe closet.
Named for one ofthe
most prestigious events of
Harlem drag ball scene,
Paris is Burning is a feature
documentary which serves as
an engaging, albeit anthropological, look at one sub-culture's
sub-culture. Here we are
introduced to various aspects of
ball-walking. The House, a group
of ball walkers, is a sort of gay
street gang which doubles as a
surrogate family.
In an Olympic-style (and yet
not!) competition, members of
Houses with names like House of
Chanel, House of Ninja, House of
Saint Laurent, compete in
categories such as Butch Queen,
Executive Realness, Banjy
Realness, Town and Country,
School Boy/Girl Realness, Face
and Luscious Body. In the
category Banjy Realness competitors are judged for their
ability to pass for their straight
Willi Ninja, mother ofthe
House of Ninja, calls this mix of
pantomime, posing and runway
walking, "a way of battling
without fighting." The legendary
Dorian Corey, a veteran on the
drag scene, is seduced by the
adulation and applause the balls
offer. "If everyone went to balls
and did less drugs," he says, "it
would be a fun type of world."
For other legends and upcoming
legends, the balls are a mimicry
of affluent culture, an opportunity to get closer to dreams of
being white, rich, young, a
model, a superstar.
I felt the "we-all-wanna-be-
Fve never
been a
ball-goer calls \
the Black \
experience in \
America, "the *
greatest example
of behaviour
modification" and adds, if you
"captured the great white way—
you is a marvel!"
The voyeurism of director
Jennie Livingstone—a white,
middle-class Yale graduate—
does not go far beyond the ball
itself to examine the day-to-day
realities ofthe poor, Black, gay
subjects ofthe film. It was
disappointing to find David
"finger-in-every-exotic-pie" Byrne
first in line for special thanks,
while groups like Gay Men of
African Descent and Black Men
with White Men Together were
only thanked much later.
For a Black queer, watching
Paris is Burning was a heartening and affirming experience—
for its spectacle, wit, talent, but
most of all for the privilege of
seeing so many Black queers
together, supporting each other
and having a ball.
Ultimately, not far beyond
this vicarious, celluloid-induced
sense of belonging, is the irony
that white culture is not only
appropriating another Black art
form, but watering down and
appropriating an exquisite
mimicry of itself.
By Raul Peschiera
When the Wonder Stuff first
appeared, no one really knew
whether they were a product of
or a reaction to the pre-fabri-
cated gloss that is most music
Wonder Stuff
Never Loved Elvis
One of their first songs,
Astley in the Noose, slammed
Rick Astley, England's high-
grossing short-lived song-bird,
using their cynicism and oblique
satirical wit. A couple of albums
later, their aims higher, they
state they Never Loved Elvis.
It was bound to happen.
Once the group got a taste ofthe
big-time, selling out venues and
accumulating adoring teenagers,
they cleaned themselves up,
adhered to fashion and played to
the formula; in short, they've
joined the pop song parade.
So now it's 60s revival and
pop singles. With the arrival of
Never Loved Elvis, the band's
satire and humour is as dead as
Elvis himself.
Though the lyrics are at .
times reminiscent of how hard-
biting they used to be, the music
is so generic you often don't
know or care what you are
listening to.
Dull and formulaic it is; but
it will probably help your flowers
is dead,
La Soul
De La Soul Is Dead is De La
Soul's second album. That's right.
For all those other groups
churning out their songs and
riding the crest of their third or
fourth album, De La Soul will
wipe them all out.
De La Soul
De La Soul is Dead
The band's first album,
Three Feet High And Rising,
which emphasized peace, flower
power and game-shows, was such
a success that many feared their
second release would wilt in
comparison. Well, the daises are
dead, but De Las keeps on going.
De La Soul Is Dead begins
with a skit in which a boy finds
the new De La Soul album in the
garbage. The album is full of
depth, music and humour, and
themes range from Bitties In The
BK, where one of the De Las, is
mistaken for Tracy Chapman, in
a Burger King, to Millie Pulled A
Gun On Santa, a song dealing
with child abuse.
De La Soul thrives because
unlike many other rap groups
who sample funk legends like
James Brown, they choose to take
from such favourites as Serge
Gainsbourg, Chicago and Wayne
Fontana and the Mindbenders.
Their rap is innovative, and
the depth of their music layering
attests to their mastery of
sampling. There is no other band
like them. Even dead they can't
be beat.
Interacting with a manican in Donut City. See story (left)
August 15,1991
Racial reflection
In 1955, Rosa Parks sparked a civil
rights movement by refusing to move from
her bus seat. A simple action for a gross
Blacks were not allowed to sit at the
front half of the bus if a white person needed
a seat. It was against the transit regulations.
On August 9, in Vancouver, Geetika
Verma refused to move from her seat on a
#41 bus (3187), despite being showered with
hostile curses from a passenger directly in
front of her. Transit officials had ordered
Verma off the bus, but she refused.
Why did she have to leave the bus? No
one seemed to say specifically.
But one transit employee did say she
should leave because she used the words
"pissed off which, according to this employee, was "profane" and against transit
regulations. The F-word had been said by
another passenger—who happened to be
white—but there was no penalty.
All Verma had done was complain
about the bus driver's treatment toward a
Japanese tour group and his desertion of
elderly people back at the university hospital stop.
Japanese students had stood sporadically at the front half of the bus, but the
driver refused to pick up more passengers—
telling mostly white bystanders, "Look, I
have no room" while pointing at the Japanese students.
The driver did not ask the group's
translator who was sitting less than five feet
away from him in a courtesy seat, and clearly
English-speaking, to move the group back.
He later insulted this tour guide calling him a "butt-head" after suggesting the
Japanese tour group take a separate bus in
the future.
With the presence of a reporter, B.C.
Transit officials refrained from pressing
charges against Verma despite calling the
police before the reporter identified himself.
Verma's protest will probably not
spark a civil rights movement in Canada—
let's face it, those days died in the era of
Reaganomics—but her action rekindles a
lost concern for the human race. And should
be remembered.
the Ubyssey
August 15,1991
The Summer Ubyssey is published Thursdays by the
Alma Mater Society ofthe University of British Columbia.
Editorial opinions are those ofthe staff and not necessarily those of the university administration, or of the
sponsor. The Summer Ubyssey is published with the
proud support of the Alumni Association. The editorial
office is Room 241K of the Student Union Building.
Editorial Department, phone 822-2301; advertising,
822-3977; FAX 822-6093
Effie & Mike's Excellent Adventure
In the middle of Tuesday morning, Effie "Chet, oh
my!" Pow and Mike "Bugle Boy" Coury plunged into
the midst of the Ubyssey office in their most excellent
time machine, unnoticed in the clutter.
Carla Maftechuk immediately assigned Christina
Chen to their story, promising another front page, but
she couldn't commit (with no exotic dateline to tempt
Don Mah dropped by to snap a few flawless
photos, elbowing Pauly "Pablo" Gordon out of the was
and knocking Sam "I-am" Green into the darkroom
where she quickly perfected her printing techniques.
Martin "Hairy Cherubim" Chester wrote Effie and
Mike into an Artspiece which Yggy King objected on
... please head off into the wild blue yonder of page 4
Paul Dayson  • Sharon Undores • Raul Paachiara
Effla Paw • Carla Maftechuk
The Ubyssey welcomes letters on any Issue. Letters must be typed and are not to exceed 300 words in length. Content
which Is Judged to be libelous, homophobic, sexist, racist or factually Incorrect will not be published. Please be concise.
Letters may be edited for brevity, but It Is standard Ubyssey policy not to edit letters for spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Please bring them, with Identification, to SUB 241k. Letters must include name, faculty, and signature.
Counselling carpet pulled from WSO
A 70-year-old office in
Brock Hall, the Office for
Women Students, is being
dismantled by Director
Marsha Trew, apparently by
a decision ofthe president's
office. Counselling for
women in that office is finished.
In place of the service
function in the Women Students' Office (WSO), Trew
has instituted short-term,
high profile "advocacy" programs in some of the faculties. These are being given
top marks within the senior
administration as well as
within the university community relations office.
A glossy pastel-blue
Tall Preview" brochure of
the Womens Students' Office
promotes "women friendly
engineering"—a joint project
ofthe WSO and the Faculty
of Applied Science.
The Pall Preview ofthe
WSO also invites students
to drop-in to "a woman's
place" at Brock 203 to talk
and to drink coffee. Artists
may bring their work for
show in a newly-decorated
office, the brochure says.
Women students must
not bring their problems or
their concerns to Brock 203.
Again the brochure extols
the friendliness as a key to
the atmosphere of this office.
There is no counselling offered.
The public relations effect ofthe WSO Fall Preview
is excellent. The president's
office has a friendly window,
the community relations office can swell with pride.
And all this friendship
for women is being extended
in a year which witnessed
male "hate" letters to women
of Place Vanier Residences;
EUS "hate" articles to
women, natives and gays in
a nEUSlettre; UBC head
psychiatrist Tyhurst's hate
atrocities to women patients.
Somehow, the fluffy
brochure of the WSO with
its 1950*3 language and its
REAL women decorum, begins to look offensive. Worse
than offensive, the glossy
invitation to a "woman
friendly engineering" is a
covert invitation to men to
have fun. The phrasing is
sexist and demeaning to
women students, and once
again reveals the underlying misogyny on campus.
Because of Marsha
Trew's decision to cut the
counselling function in the
WSO, a decision she insists
is dictated bythe president's
office—women students
have no safe place to take
reports of harassment or
The final, terrible piece
of misogyny is that a woman
has been co-opted by men to
destroy a viable Women
Students' Office. She has
shown no conscience at all in
her actions.
Nancy Horsman
WSO counsellor
shelter needs
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter
has volunteer training sessions starting every month.
Any women who are interested in volunteering on the
crisis line, in the transition
house, in fundraising
events, or in any other part
of the women's organizing
centre are invited to call us
for a training interview.
We also have volunteer positions available for
receptionists with the opportunity to learn Word
If you are interested
and would like further information please phone us
at 872-8212.
Louise Thauvette
The fear of
being Asian
by Chung Wong
White people do not have a fear
of being Asian. It is perhaps the most
fundamental reason why very little—
if anything at all—is done in Canada
about racism against Asians.
Social concern, or justice (if you
can say it exists), is motivated by
Whites in power fear disabilities.
They fear poverty. They fear being a
single parent. They fear the destruction of the environment. They fear
the appearance of bigotry. They fear
violent outbursts—like say an Oka
crisis. They fear old age. They fear
unemployment. They fear sickness.
They fear domestic tension.
Every social service, every human right, can be attributed to fear.
But being Asian is one thing
they do not fear—it can never happen
to them. And one thing that has not
happened is social justice for Asians.
Modern Asian slaves
In Vancouver, when you observe lower-echelon positions of
Canadian society, you can be sure
you'll find many Asians there—
usually permanently.
by Chung Wong
Without the availability of a
societal niche, Asians have had to
take anything they can get—and
will often serve to please to keep
McDonald's: we do it all for
Subservient Asians are in
demand. And at UBC, they can be
found in abundance at almost
every outlet. It's a circumstance
that will probably never cease in
this century.
Most whites would never allow this to happen to them. But
with Asians, autonomy means
risking getting fired—or in lighter
terms, not getting rehired.
There is no room for the autonomous Asian. Canadian society has not allowed for it and the
emphasis on obedience in the
Asian home has not helped either.
Most Asians will never escape
the slave mentality.
Already, subservience has
translated into silence in the
classroom, silence in the workforce and silence in abusive relationships.
White to Asian: Employer to
employee. Teacher-student. Boyfriend-Girlfriend. Colleague to
colleague. Friend to friend.
With restricted mobility in
society, particularly in the working force, Asians have but little
choice than to take the servant's
path, and to support and praise
the white people above them.
What can we say about ourselves?
With every job, there is fear
of losing it.
August 15,1991 ,^.v/v..v,..
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Aliens Invade main library pond.
Hostage scandal:
same old story
by Paul Dayson
The front pages of major dailies are presently full of articles on
the plans for an exchange of hostages in the Middle East. These
articles, however, have obscured
news regarding another hostage
situation over 10 years old.
Charges that the Reagan-
Bush campaign of 1980 negotiated
a deal with the Iranian government, exchanging arms for a delay
in the release ofthe embassy hostages to gain an advantage in the
US presidential elections, are
presently being investigated by a
committee ofthe US congress and
one ofthe US senate.
These charges should come as
no surprise. The record of the
Reagan-Bush administration, once
in office, is one littered with hypocrisy, illegality, moral corruption and contempt for democratic
The Iran-Contra scandal of
1986, among other scandals and
incidents of illegality, illustrated
the lengths to which the Reagan-
Bush administration was willing
to go to pursue its agenda. The
National Security Council (NSC),
and its members, violated the US
constitution, lied to the US congress, defied the Bolan Amendment regarding the export of aid to
the Contras, broke US narcotics
laws and international law, and
absolved itself of any democratic
principles in its 'defence of democracy.' The NSC in effect became a
'secret government.'
Nor did illegal aid to the
Contras cease after the Iran-
Contra hearings. In the month following the Iran-Contra hearings,
while all the guilt for the crimes
committed was being worked off
by Oliver North in community
hours and being buried with the
late CIA director William Casey,
supply flights to the Contras
doubled and by January 1988 had
tripled. This despite the outcry that
surrounded the Iran-Contra scandal.
When the Reagan-Bush administration pursued its agenda
with such disregard of democratic
process while in office, why should
we be surprised with the contempt,
and manipulation, that the deal
between their election campaign
and the Iranian government illustrates.
Nor should we be surprised
with the contempt shown by the
use of embassy employees as pawns
in the Reagan-Bush campaign's bid
for presidential office.
The Reagan-Bush administration has frequently made innocents the victims of its policy
gambits. The CIA have been involved in mining Nicaragua's
harbours and in car bombing in
Beruit, the NSC and CIA have
imported drugs into the US,
funded, supplied and trained the
Contras who attacked schools and
health centres, and the administration has thrown its support to
Pol Pot's murderous Khmer Rouge
in Cambodia and death squad dictatorships in Latin America. This
just to start the list.
What should come as a surprise, and what we should be
questioning, is the failure to examine these charges over the last
decade. The facts have been there
all the time—as they were in the
Iran-Contra scandal and all the
other crimes.
Here the blame must be laid
soli dly at the feet ofthe mainstream
pressfor theirfailure toinvestdgate
the story—ignoringit over the past
Think for yourself, Rita
"I think we need a bit of
education in BC so we can
have a better understanding.
Sometimes, reality is different than perception. And the
perception among some ofthe
people in my province, I
believe, is less than accurate
and less than fair.*
— Premier Rita Johnston on
BC's understanding of
by Cheryl Niamath
Premier Rita Johnston's
perception of the people of
British Columbia is vastly
different than reality. She has
embarrassed the entire prov
ince by telling Quebec premier
Robert Bourassa that we are
uninformed and need to be educated about Quebec.
She is trying to downplay
her own ignorance by lowering
the perceived intelligence ofthe
people of BC. Instead of speaking for millions of people she
doesn't know, premier Johnston
should admit the gaps in her
own knowledge and leave it at
As Canada's first and only
female premier, Johnston should
be setting an example for the
women of this province. She
should at least give the appearance that she knows what she's
It is truly distressing to
see her stooping to such unfortunately traditional feminine
ploys as "playing" dumb in order to get things the easy way.
In this case, she's getting
good publicity across Canada
by improving relations with
Too bad she has to do it at
the expense of Canada's respect
for her and our province.
How can the rest of the
country respect a province
whose premier tries to pass off
her ignorance as the ignorance
of the population of the province she leads?
Asian writers: little chance at UBC
Asians on campus have common elements to their writing that
have lost them academic respect.
In the past few years, I have tutored and edited several writers of
Asian decent who would not be
considered by whites for help. In
doing so, I have noticed a gross
incompatibility between Asian
writing styles and Western literary critique.
by Chung Wong
Words have less meaning to
To write a successful essay or
article, Asians must abandon their
Asian styles in order to gain recognition or, in the case of university, good grades.
The Western canvas must
have as many details as possible—
it must be filled. It must have
depth and perspective. And style—
it must have a particular Western
The ability to describe with a
different stroke of words, the ability to use metaphors, the ability to
have a powerful, often macho,
meter in your writing, and the
ability to do it fast—these are all
common elements to the white
person's writing style in North
And there is almost always
no human connection to the words
aside from egoism over the
writing's virtuosity. Most strokes
are for the reckless reader.
In Asian tradition, words have
more weight.
The Asian canvas is simple
and uses a lot of white space to be
considerate of the chosen word.
The Asian writer's stroke is particular and delicate. The empty
space around the word provides a
meditative Zen-like experience in
honour ofthe word.
In the English language, there
is almost no equivalent to Chinese
calligraphy. And no equivalent
respect for a word's meaning.
When Asian writers write with
words such as "spirit" or use simple
sentence structures some white
editors or graders will cringe at
the sight of them.
Often, an Asian's writing is
considered simple, trivial and
without depth—and it is with this
consideration that many Asian
writers on campus are criticized
and graded.
The July 25,1991 edition of The Ubyssey contained the arts review "Tuning in to Columbo's legs." The book the
film was based on was incorrectly cited as My Aunt Julia. The correct title ofthe book is Julia and the Scriptwriter.
August 15, 1991
UBC helps foreign
students in need
by Rick Hiebert
I    HE China Project, a programme successful in
assisting Chinese students adjustment to life
in Canada, is being restructured to assist other foreign students.
The privately-funded First
Steps Society, which will be
launched this fall, aims to help
students adjust to Canadian culture and overcome difficulties relating to language and culture,
according to Vancouver architect
Cindy Chan-Piper, who heads the
volunteer project.
Private-funding will be a necessity as the $300,000 federal
grant to The China Project has
been depleted.
Chan-Piper estimates the society, currently awaiting tax-deductible society status, will need
at least $50,000 in donations.
First Steps will target Spanish
speaking and Third World graduate student communities as well
as the Chinese students still
needing help, if funding permits.
"Because the first project was so
successful it seemed a shame to let
it die," Chan-Piper said. "The students benefit, but so do we because
we get to use their skills in Canadian society instead ofhaving them
be wasted in menial labour. Their
contribution back is enormous. If
we don't do things like this, there
will be only ourselves to blame."
Following the Tiananmen
"It doesn't do these
students any good to
have a PhD in
chemistry and be
forced to deliver
pizza if they cannot
find work"
Square massacre of 1989, the Chinese government withdrew support for graduate students abroad,
causing great financial hardship.
Chinese students were then forced
to apply for refugee status.
Chinese students in Canada
were forced to take any job they
could get because the government
of China had cut financial aid to
students staying overseas.
"The original intent for those
students was that they meant to
go back to China after a temporary
time here. That changed. They
were confronted with having to
make a new life here very quickly.
There was some panic," Frank
Haiyan Wang, a councillor at
UBC's International House, said.
People with PhDs were waiting
on tables or washing dishesbecause
they could not find work in their
professional field—not due to lack
of ability, but due to being unable
to cope with the stress of their
situation or the differences in culture between Canada and China.
The China Project sought to address these student problems
through counselling, advice and
educational seminars on how to
find work and adjust to Canadian
"A very important part of the
project was and will be group
counselling. A lot of the students
lost their self confidence because
of problems with English," Wang
"They had no idea how to find a
job in a Western culture. They were
used to graduating and being assigned a job by the government, so
searching for a job as we understand it was a foreign concept to
them," he said.
"It doesn't do these students any
good to have a PhD in chemistry
and be forced to deliver pizza if
they cannot find work," said Gary
Ladd, UBC doctoral student in
counselling psychology and one of
the counsellors for the China
Project. "There are great adjustments that have to be made to
adjust to Canadian culture, so
programmes like this are valuable."
Of the 400 students that were
helped, about 250 found work and
just over 100 found work in their
professional field.
Chinese students stranded in
Canada as a result of Tiananmen
Square are eager to help with the
new project and assist international students who are struggling
to adapt to life in Canada.
"We particularly want to help
young professionals who are coming into Canada from the Third
World or non-English cultures,
help them adjust to Canada and
enable them to help build our
country," Wang said.
"The 400 students from China
that were helped, the grads ofthe
first project, are really the driving
force behind this new project," she
said. "These people have the desire
to become first class Canadian citizens—they want to make a contribution."
"A lot of the students say the
program has made a difference in
their lives. It made a difference
between two generations of adjustment and a good life in Canada
now. Many of them are wanting to
give others the chance that this
I Hot
I Flash
Help preserve the endowment lands while having a good time.
The Wreck Beach Preservation Society is holding abenefitto raise funds
to protect and preserve the University Endowment Lands. The Benefit
is Saturday August 17, at the York Theatre (639 Commercial, between
Venables and Hastings), starting at 8 P.M..
Listen to the Mobile Hot Wax people, win a door prize, contribute
to helping preserve the UEL. Tickets are $10 each, 2 for $16. To get
tickets, pick them up on Wreck Beach or reserve your tickets over the
phone by calling Joe at 291-2956.
Mom and child awaiting ... 1
Hangin' out at the Anthropology Museum.
August 15,1991


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