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The Ubyssey Mar 28, 2003

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Array uMl
T^Ct   *«&«** S8llal
this mm
SPORTS:
Block Party   •
Atjiletes, awards and more. Page 2.
NEWS:
Suuuushi!
Coming to a SUB near you this fall Page 5.
EDITORIAL:
In bed with whom?
Media coverage of war in Iraq shocks,
appalls. Page 10.
Kief Koala's new book/CD
Plus concert reviews and interviews to
the nth. Pages 9,11-12.
FEEDBACK@UBYSSEY.BCM
WWW.UBYSSEY.BC.CA Un: y/
' r.
07/1   '>
r--t
*J1     Va/lX I   *>J
the ubyss@f magazine
Efig&snedK
CLASSIFIEDS
SUMMER SPORTS CAMP
POSITIONS AVAILABLE - western
Massachusetts. One ofthe finest sports
programs anywhere! Baseball, basketball,
tennis, sailing, hockey, soccer, football,
weight training, lacrosse, swimming,
waterski and many other activities.
Salary, room, board and complete travel.
USYvork visa processed. Dates 6/21-
8/18, It's not tod late to join the fun! For
more info email stafF@campwinadu.com
or complete application in staff area of
www.campwinadu.com.
EARN TESL CERT. 4 WKS $930. Sat
& online avail. Get paid to teach English
& see the world. 604-609-0411.
www.canadaenglishcenter.com.
ervices
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NEED STORAGE??
Share a container with a friend or
two! You don't need to rent a truck
etc. Gall AAAAAH-SO-EASY
mobile mini-storage 604-940-9699.
GOING ON SABBATICAL?
Professional couple will house-sit/pet-sit.
Long-term avail. Excellent references.
Amanda: 604-733-6905.
HOUSE SITTER: MATURE,
EXCELLENT REF. Seeks one year term.
May 2003,.. Skilled with cats, dogs,
birds, teens, fish, plants, gardens, ponds.
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lfllHll[*MRiTnR.I
OFFICE SPACE TO SHARE. Quiet
location da. Broadway. Perfect for
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washer/dryer/fridge, kitchen.
Bright/clean. 3360 W. 29th. 604-267-
3666. $950 + utilities. Anytime,
SWEDISH GRADUATE
STUDENT(F) and partner(m) need
furnished apartment for July and August
while she interns at the Vancouver Art
gallery. Phone: 604-591-2562
SINGLE PERSON WILL DO
VOLUNTEER WORK in exchange for
short-term accommodation. 732-0529.
To place
an Ad
or
Classified,
call
822-1654
or visit
Rpom23
(Basement).
www. ubyssey.bc.ca
js, ail qood
gj   THE UN1VERSH Y OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
You Are Invited to:
A Public Open House
on
Theological Lots 14-20
Residential Development
TIME Monday April 7,2003 from 5:30pm - 8:00pm
LOCATION: lona Building Rotunda at 6000 lona Drive
This Open House will provide
an opportunity for the public
to review the schematic
■design for a development
application for Theological
Lots 14-20. The proposal
includes 49 units in one
apartment building and 6
duplexes in three buildings
fronting onto Chancellor..
Boulevard to be located west
of lona Drive on the south
side of Chancellor Boulevard
Subject to Development
Permit Board approval,
construction is anticipated to
begin in July/ August 2003
with completion in October/
November 2004.
***•*,
'oo*
**tl
ifczn-
_WBz.
1    PROPOSE
-   '  '   ifHOW_n
Vmowti ■,
VST
CaPANCCUQJt
81tPtglPlg     J
-, This event is wheelchair accessible Please contact Karly ,
| Henney at (604) 822-6930 for information on the location of the
•! meeting or if you need assistive listening devices, captioning.or
:J information on alternate media.;
FREE PARKING will be available south of the Vancouver School of
Theology site off fona Drive.        :, 7
For questions or further information contact:
Tom Miller, Intracorp Chancellor Development Ltd., (604) 801-7039
Jim Carruthers, UBC Campus & Community Planning, (604) 822-0469
And the sweater goes to....
y
They rolled out the blue and gold
carpet at the Hyatt on Burrard last
night for the annual Athletics Hall of
Fame and awards dinner. And
although the choices on the menu
weren't all that inspiring, (chicken
or chicken) the Ubysseywas there to
hear some choice comments from
the winners and Tamers.'
Dubbed the general manager by
the Ubyssey in a past article, Scott
Locke served as the men's basketball team manager for three years,
and was thrilled to receive the
Arthur W. Delamont Service award.
He waxed nostalgic, saying that he'd
seen the team grow from the ground
up. "I came in, and have seen this
team go from the outhouse to the
penthouse—I'm just so glad to have
been a part of the change.'
Kristine Jack, who scored the
game-winning goal for the women's
championship soccer team and the
Marilyn Pomfret Trophy for the
female athlete of the year. Jack
wiped away tears of joy as she told
the Ubyssey that her final year on
the field has been 'the best ever.'
Basketball's Kyle Russell and
football's Javier Glatt shared the
award and the stage for the Bobby
Gaul Memorial Trophy, presented to
the male athlete of the year. Russell
adds the hardware to his earlier
honour as CIS player of the year,
while Glatt is widely favoured to be
drafted into the CFL this year.
'I was stunned when they called
my name,' said the three-time All-
Canadian, who notched a nation-
leading 64 tackles this year. 'I didn't
even think I had a chance, being in
the same group as all these amazing
athletes.'
His co-winner, Kyle Russell, was
euphoric. 'I'm donel I'm out of
herel It's overl' exclaimed the graduating guard. He added that the
acceptance speech was the most
nerve-wracking part of the evening.
*I was just like, oh shit, I have to talk
now—I hope I don't screw up. I've
had a couple of drinks, so I didn't
want to make a fool of myself,'
Numbers from the Block;
Attendance at the Hyatt 900
All-time   National   championship
titles won by UBC teams: 55
UBC executives with sweaters:  2
(Martha Piper, and Brian Sullivan)
Times MC Bob Hindmarch had to
corral the crowd so presenters could
actually be heard: 8
Standing ovations: 9
Football players named Deslauriers
on     the     1982     Vanier    Cup
Championship  team and  at the
banquet 3
Rowing
If you happen to be hanging
over the Number 2 Road bridge in
Richmond this Sunday and you
see some speedy sculls whiz by,
cheer. At 1 lam, the men's varsity
eight will be competing for the
first ever Brown Cup in Vancouver
waters. In the history of the
eleven-year race between UBC and
UVic, UBC has never won. The
women will likewise hope for
friendly waters .as they race the
3km course on the Fraser River at
10:50am. ♦
EVENTS
UBYSSEY
\VC
i \
'(-TiO
E-mail events to
production@ubyssey.bc.ca
or fax us at 822-9279
POETIKS
Pinoy Poetiks — Every Word is a Weapon for Freedom, March 28th , Glenn's Coffee Bar, 6482 Main
Street. Free.
Filipino youth tell it like it is in a night of open mic hip-hop and spoken word poetry.
NEW YEAR
Afghan New Year Celebrations, March 30, 4-9pm, Bonsor Community Centre, 6550 Bonsor Ave.,
Burnaby. $10 adults, $5 youth, 9 & under free.
Music, fashion, crafts and great eats help ring in the New Year at this event Hosted by Canadian Women
for Women in Afghanistan.
DRAMA
The Dumb Waiter, March 28-29,8pm,The William Celebrate World theatre Day, March 28, 7:30pm,
Davis Centre For Actor's Study, 1102 Hornby. Playwrights     Theatre     Centre,     201-1398
$10.7 Cartwright. Free.
A dramedy by theatrical deity Harold Pinter, con- Readings from four of Canada's heavyweight play-
cerning the ramblings of two hit men. The play that wrights,' including Kevin Kerr, Govenor General's
Quentin Tarantino doesn't want you to see. Award recipient ♦
Gome to the
Annual General
*y
g
Friday, March 28, 2003 in the Council
Chambers, SUB Room 206. Followed by
the All Candidates Forum for our
editorial elections. PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, March 28,2003
Jll?uiiis^liiiail|il?
Unstriking Starbucks
The only unionised Starbucks outlets in
the world—all in Vancouver—has been
trying to get the attention of Starbucks's
head office; the coffee giant isn't listening
by Heather Pauls
FEATURES STAFF v
Sitting on a chipped wooden park bench in downtown
Vancouver, notepad and pen in hand, I scan the urban scene of
wet sidewalks and glass buildings, acutely aware of my sense
of rejection; Starbucks doesn't want to talk to me.
Is it my childish voice, my bad fashion sense or my lack of
proper manners over the phone that causes this multinational
gourmet coffee juggernaut to ignore me? True, I've never
owned an SUV, I don't have a golden retriever that I play fetch
with at the park and I don't even jog along Kits Beach. Maybe
Starbucks found out that I rarely go to Mountain Equipment
Co-op—I'm not wearing any fleece—and that is why they are
being so evasive.
For whatever reason, Starbucks is refusing to talk to me,
and I'm beginning to sympathise with the frustration that their
unionised employees must face. Looking into the Starbucks
union-CAW (Canadian Auto Workers Union) local 3000-and
their 'unstrike' has left me feeling like the mediating child
between two arguing parents, trying in vain to be a neutral,
curious figure ready and willing to understand both sides of
the issue.
Some information is readily available. Of the 5886
Starbucks locations world-wide—aside from a few single outlets
on university campuses which require unionised staff—the ten
CAW locations in Vancouver are the only unionised Starbucks
locations in the world. Starbucks and the CAW are presently in
negotiations over wages, benefits and schedule management,
resulting in an unstrike that has been active since May 2002.
According to CAW, it's a struggle for dignity and respect
CAW's history spans further back than its involvement
with Starbucks. When the United Automobile Workers (UAW),
a union encompassing both American and Canadian sectors,
announced that the autoworkers wanted economic concessions, disagreements emerged between the Canadian sector
and the American leadership. Unlike American employees,
-Canadian autoworkers felt that efficiency wasn't an issue,
rather that corporate mismanagement was the key to the auto
industry's economic downturn. Bob White, the first president
of CAW, initiated a splitting away from the international
union to form a separate union on a national level. In 1985,
CAW was born.      -
Besides being a union for autoworkers, CAW also has
membership in numerous other sectors, such as White Spot,
Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hotel Vancouver, and ground crews
for airlines. In 1996, Starbucks joined the fold under the initiation of UBC political science student Steve Emery, who was
employed at the Hornby Street Starbucks location across
from the courthouse. Working for minimum wage at a multinational corporation was frustrating for Emery, who
approached CAW to draft union legislation. His efforts resulted in the unionisation of 12 Starbucks, two which of have
since decertified.
Instead of launching a full-on strike, 120 unionised
Starbucks employees started job action, the unstrike, in which
they are actively dismissing the dress code to pressure
Starbucks into renegotiating union legislation or—alternately—
adhere to the original agreements constituted when CAW local
3000 was set up. Instead of the signature Starbucks T-shirt
with black pants or a skirt, employees are coming to work in
jeans, hoodies and, in some cases, feather boas. Now, nearly
ten months after the unstrike began, employees of unionised
Starbucks locations are seeing Uttle change.
"We haven't met in negotiations for over eight months,"
explained Jef Keighley, a spokesperson for CAW, complaining
of the slow and arduous process of mediation.
In a March 24, 2003 media statement, Starbucks emphasised that "although several months have passed, Starbucks
remains committed to bargaining in good faith with the
Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW).' Employees at Starbucks
are less inclined to comment on their struggle dealing with
CAW and Starbucks's bargaining.
"We can't actually talk to the media," explained one barista,
whose voice turned cold upon discovering that I was a
reporter. The hoops one must jump through in order to get a
live body who will discuss Starbucks policies are numerous.
One suggestion was to contact Christian Codrington, Starbucks
director of partner relations for Western Canada, who I was
told was in charge of answering media questions.
'I'm supposed to forward you to our media people,"
Codrington said, after answering a number of questions concerning how Starbucks is dealing with the unstrike. He recont
I'LL HAVE A GRANDE SOY MOCHA CARAMEL MACCHIATTO: And a collective bargaining agreement, please.
MICHELLE MAYNE PHOTO
mended Gwen Haugen of Grey Advertising.
"I'm sort of a non-quotable source for the company. What I
do is try to get you all the information that you need and I find
you the right spokesperson," Haugen said, lifting my spirits
that some substantial leads were heading my way.
Unfortunately, her interpretation of "information" that I
"need" consisted of a short media statement, which led me
back to nursing my self-esteem. Starbucks had rejected me
again.
Most of the employees I talked to begaiiYworlidng, at Y
Starbucks long after_theunstrik§ came info effect"t|snmony fo ■
their fast employee changeover. There hardly seems to be anyone who works there permanently and, for somg reason, they
all appear to be in their mid-20s. *
Keighley discussed some of the reasons for thus trend of
young employees working such a short time-span at Starbucks,
and why there is such a large turnover.
"Every place has got to look exactly the same. If you don't
smile the right way, if you don't say the right thing to each and
every customer coming through the door, you're hot following
the Starbucks way. It doesn't take long before the image of
Starbucks begins to wear pretty thin on most; employees,"
Keighley said. "There's a very high turnover. That illustrates
the truth of it more than Starbucks would care to admit If it
was genuinely the wonderful place to be that Starbucks presents themselves, you wouldn't have that kind of turnover."
Despite being on the job only a few months, most employees are well aware that they are not to speak with reporters of
any kind, most employees, that is, except for a girl who calls
herself Melissa Anonymous. Sporting jeans, a' long-sleeved
blue turtleneck underneath a green T-shirt covered in slogans
for social justice, Melissa was not afraid to give me her opinion
on the unstrike.
"The unstrike doesn't necessarily affect me per se. All it
means for me is that I'm paying into something I'm not seeing
any results from," Melissa said, referring to her union dues.
"How is wearing what I want and looking like I want giving me
dignity and respect? I would feel just as much dignity and
respect if I had a mandatory dress code." She used to work at a
non-unionised store and has recently transferred to a
Starbucks protected under CAW, and feels that the differences
between the two stores are not that great
In speaking with baristas at many of the unionised locations, the general consensus from both Melissa and other
Starbucks workers is that dismissing the dress code has Uttle
effect on them as employees and on their customers. They
especially discredit the effect the unstrike has on Starbucks's
upper management, who union workers beUeve are not doing
their best effort to ensure healthy relations between the company and its workers.
The main bone of contention between the representatives
and unionised workers under CAW and upper management at
Starbucks is the conduct surrounding wages and scheduling.
Many feel that this aspect of organisation can be done more
fairly and efficiently. Union members have issues with the way
that workers are scheduled.
• "If you're listed as an extraordinary employee—chosen by
the manager—that gets inputted into the computer and the
computer will use that information. We have to have extraordinary employees, so extraordinary employees will get more
hours than people who are average employees. If you're aver
age, the computer will objectively give you less hours based on
the subjective assessment fed into it by your first-line management people," Keighley explained.
After unstriking for three and a half months, all Starbucks
employees, regardless of being unionised or not, received a
$0.40 wage increase over two years. This bonus, however, was
not attributed to the efforts of £he CAW, but to a market study
conducted by Starbucks. The wage increase is in addition to the
way that wages are formulated. Like scheduling, wage amount
_|a dependent oriAvhethe'r or not the employee has bf en dubbed
an average or extraordinary worker. '
'[The managers] give a rating, and then that rating will
result in anywhere from no increase [in wages] at all, up to a
2.5 per cent increase every six months," Keighley said. This situation presents similar problems to those concerning shifts.
"They don't want to keep Usting you as exemplary because
it starts to have a compounding effect on your wages," Keighley
added, suggesting that it is difficult to achieve a continual wage
increase. However, he admits, "You actually get more through
the merit system than you do through bargaining collective
agreements."
Despite this merit system, the average wage of a Starbucks
worker is anywhere from $8.50 to $12 an hour, an average
wage for those working at a chain store in the food services sector without tips.
Starbucks's March 24 media statement claimed that
"Starbucks is an industry leader, offering a substantial wage
and benefits package to [employees], including those working
part-time." Indeed, amongst Starbucks's benefits include
wages above the minimum, a health plan that includes dental,
vision and prescription drug benefits, life insurance, disabflity
coverage and stock options.
The stock options that Starbucks offers are called Bean
Stock, a benefit only available to Starbucks employees that have
been with the company for longer than a year. After this year^
it takes about another year before the stocks' value appreciates
and can be cashed in. The average returns are approximately
an additional $0.50 an hour, an additional income that
Keighley beheves isn't of notable significance.
"There's no dot-com millionaires in the hourly rated people
of Starbucks because of Bean Stock," Keighley remarked. "It's
designed to pacify people and create this image of the caring
employer, but when you actually examine the details, what it
actually deUvers is relatively a small amount for a relatively
small group of employees.'
"Any increase in wages is great, but Bean Stock doesn't really do much. It makes the company look good," MeUssa said,
while sprinkling chocolate on a frothy mug of mocha and whipping cream.
In dealing with the CAW and Starbucks, frustration, apathy
and hope are all present Fortunately, there have been issues
that CAW and Starbucks have negotiated to find a mutually satisfying compromise.
"Last year, we won a fairly major arbitration that basically
said that seniority was in fact a key factor in how people should
be scheduled so that the most senior workers had an inherent
right to expect more hours of work per day and per week,"
Keighley says.
Through peaceful protest and discussion, concession was
found and, hopefully, such will be the case with the current
unstrike. ♦>"      *   7 the ubfss«y magazine
YO STAFF! TIME TO VOTE!
We need you to, it s your civic duty. And we miss you.
SUB room 206 - 11:30am. Then vote.
"and the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend"
The Golden Girlc
PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, March 28,2003
Streeters:
How balanced has the media coverage of the war ih Iraq been so far?
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"It's been pretty good. I've watched
CNN and they've shown both the
scenes from the White House and
what you see on Aljazeera. I've been
pretty impressed. There's obviously
a lot of things that have been covered up, but considering the atrocities of war, it's been pretty good."
—Stephen Laroy
Applied Science 3
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"There's never any good opposition
coverage in mainstream media.
They just get a token response to
the anti-war and sort of address
the opinions of the opposition
offhandedly."
—Emmet Moseley
Artsl
"On Iraq? What do you mean by balanced? If you're watching CNN, it's
not. I think it's mostly North
American coverage."
—SukhiAtti
Science 2
"I think it's been pretty biased. I
think an organisation like CNN [is]
very one-sided and totally pro-
America."
—Tracy Halmos
Arts 3
"I think the media coverage in Iraq
right now is really, really lopsided,
because we're here, and Iraq's, like,
way over there, and we're getting
what the Americans want us to hear,
and what the Canadians want us to
hear...it's a totally different thing
than what people over there are seeing and feeling."
—Dustin Thorkelson
Education 2
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IN THEATRES EVERYWHERE MARCH 28
by Megan Thomas
NEWSSTAFF
Former BC Premier and UBC
alumnus Ujjal Dosanjh spoke on
the topic of equality Wednesday
afternoon in the Curtis Law
Building's Moot Courtroom. About
25 students gave up their lunch
hour to hear the talk.
The event was organised by the
UBC Equity Office to celebrate the
International day for the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination.
- Dosanjh began by relating the
current situation of war in Iraq with
racial tensjon around the world. He
stressed, however, that he was not
there to talk about the war but about
equity and human rights in BC.
Dosanjh has been active in
human rights issues since coming to
Vancouver in 1968 and feels mat
minimum standards of human
rights have yet to be fully established here. "It doesn't seem to me
.that we have a consensus on minimum standards about human rights
machinery," he said.
He cited concerns that as the pendulum of leadership in BC swings,
the progress of human rights legislation suffers. He was also concerned that those being* affected by
. racism are not being heard. "Those
who feel the impact of those changes
are still voiceless in our society, still
don't have the kind of tools that you
need to rise up and say we won't
accept this anymore."
But Dosanjh feels this society has
come a long way. "I think British
Columbia is one ofthe best places to
be. Look what it did to me, it made
me the premier.of British Columbia
and I am brown," said Dosanjh.
He stressed that society cannot
rest on past progress and must be
vigilant in the future.
*We need to wake up in terms of
our own role in advancing the
struggle against discrimination in
general and against racism in particular," he said.
Dosanjh emphasised the international nature of racism. "Racism is
not a provincial phenomenon, it is
not a national phenomenon, it is an
international phenomenon. It is in
fact found almost in all societies in
one form or another," he said.
After speaking, Dosanjh took
' time to answer questions from students. When asked whether multiculturalism could be problematic,
he responded that the term must not
be used to imply that society has
achieved equality.
.. "You have to make sure that you
don't allow any concept or words
you use to hide the reality. The reality is that there are inequalities in
this society," he said.
When questioned about political
correctness, Dosanjh said that we
must be careful not to let our concerns hinder dealing with important
issues. "If you are so cautious that
you are worried about being labelled
politically incorrect all the time, that
hinders real debate," he said.
Lori Charvat, an equity advisor
and the organiser of the event,
said Dosanjh was chosen as a
speaker because he has been an
activist for human rights in BC.
"He has taken huge risks on
behalf of minorities," she said.
Students attending the forum
were satisfied with the event.
Fourth-year political science student Gogi Bhullar said that it is
important to make the public more
aware of racism because "race is
becoming an increasingly important global'issue."
Robyn Trask, a second-year Law
student, felt the talk was beneficial
but would have liked' to hear more
about things such as how tuition
increases could have a greater
impact on minorities. ♦ PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, March 28,2003
lilt iibYssey magazine
23 5
Sushi comes to SUB
by Kathleen Deering
NEWS EDITOR
Watch for a sushi bar in the downstairs of the
newly renovated SUB in September.
Construction of this food outlet, which will be
owned by the Alma Mater Society (AMS), was
approved unanimously at a student council
meeting Wednesday night
Brian Duong, AMS vice-president, finance,
admitted that any business venture can be
considered a risk; however, because of the
intensive planning and market research that
has gone into the project, he feels a sushi bar
will be successful.
"The market survey was critical because it
gave us an opportunity to get an idea that
sushi was a popular menu item," he said.
299 students were surveyed about what
food they would prefer to come to the SUB and
in what price range. "If it were available, 17.7
per cent of respondents said they would
choose sushi," said Duong. "That's over pizza."
The contract tendering and design development is already in progress, said Duong.
Completion of the project is slated for the
beginning of August, to allow sushi chefs to be
trained to handle the high-volume demand
expected in September.
AMS Designer Michael Kingsmill said the
location of the 600 square foot sushi bar, at
the southwest corner of the current games
arcade, will be excellent for business.
"Phenomenal location—just absolutely made
in heaven," he said. "It's at a high traffic route
of two crossroads. This location is like being
on Georgia and Granville Streets."
Allowing the enterprise to be owned by an
outside business was a consideration, said
Duong. Conservative five-year projections,
however, showed that the business would generate more money for the AMS if it were
owned by the society, as opposed to being an
independent outlet
One of the biggest advantages of owning
the business for the AMS is having control
over quality. "Basically, if we rented it out to a
leasee and they did a poor job, it reflects poorly on the AMS because students don't make
that, association [that it is not an AMS busi-
nessj," he said. "It makes us look bad. But if
they do too well,, they start cannibalising our
own businesses."
Several council members expressed concerns," comparing the future sushi bar to
Bernoulli's Bagels, the most recently opened
AMS food outlet, which went over budget when
being made.
Duong said Bernoulli's Bagels ran into
unforeseen construction costs that the sushi
bar will avoid because it will be part of the larger SUB basement construction. As well, market
surveys were not done to see if students
desired bagels, as was done with the sushi bar.
HE WORKS WITH MODELS EVERYDAY: AMS Designer Michael Kingsmill with the
model for the sushi bar, which will go into the SUB basement, chris shepherd photo
While no food outlets on campus sell exclusively Japanese food, some businesses at UBC
already sell sushi. But Zaher Rajan, one of the
operators for the Delly—a privately owned
business in the downstairs of the SUB—said
his store does not sell enough sushi for its flow
of customers to be disturbed by competition,
from a sushi bar.
Second-year Japanese exchange student
Saori Taka said she would visit the sushi bar
frequently. "I like raw fish. I often eat sushi
and here I mostly go to One More Sushi," she
said. 'So yeah, it's good to open a sushi bar
downstairs."
"I don't eat too much sushi right now, but I
probably would if it was in the SUB. I spend a
lot of time here/ said Winston Lockwood, a
first-year Science student "I kind of wish they
were opening a Thai place instead though."
Duong said there may be a contest to determine the name of the sushi bar and offered
"Honour Roll' as a suggestion. ♦
AMS to pay higher fees to CASA
UBC's student society votes for
increased membership dues
by Chris Shepherd
NEWS EDITOR
Alma Mater Society (AMS) councillors voted Wednesday to
support an increase in the fees it pays to the Canadian
Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), a national student
association that lobbies the federal government on
post-secondary education matters.
At a national meeting in March, CASA proposed to increase
fees to support new initiatives the organisation wants to
begin. Representatives from the 20 member student societies
returned to their constituencies to vote on supporting an
increase.
"Without the fee increase, [CASA's] budget would be bare
bones," said AMS President Oana Chirila. "What's the point of
having an organisation if you're tying your own hands and
you're not going to be able to [achieve CASA's goals} without
having a bit more money to do them?"
CASA Government Relations Officer Rob South said the
money will be used to do more things like increasing awareness about CASA among students and the general public.
'One of the things we're looking at doing next year is having the national' director conduct more workshops and
polling...students at all of our various member institutions,"
South said.
This will allow for a more accurate idea of what students
want, he added.
Chris Fennell, a representative from the Graduate Student
Society, opposed the fee increase, believing that the money
could be better spent within the AMS to lobby at the provincial
level.
"[CASA is] an effective lobby organisation at the federal
level with its current standing," Fennell said. "Where we are
completely ineffective is at the provincial level."
CASA hosts meetings with Members of Parliament in
Ottawa to get its message across.
The AMS currently pays $26,163 a year in CASA fees. The
change in fees would see the AMS pay $29,964. This money
comes from the AMS's External, University and Advocacy
Lobbying fund which is replenished each year with student
fees.
The fund is used to pay CASA fees, along with supporting
various other lobbying projects. It was used to promote awareness of Vancouver's municipal election and to support striking teaching assistants (TAs) when the AMS made $15,000
available to the TA Union.
While the AMS will pay more fees, two member societies—
the University of Alberta Student Union and the Grant
MacEwan College Student Association—left CASA last winter
because they were dissatisfied with the way CASA was
being run.
The two associations contributed around $36,000 in fees
to CASA.
Several councillors asked whether this loss of membership
fees contributed to this year's fee increase.   ; .7"
"Of course losing two *6rganisafion9...EurFbur budgetf it 2
reduced the amount of resources available to us," South"* said%
He added that CASA was planning to increase fees before
the two Edmonton student associations left the organisation.
South was not concerned about other student groups leav- -
ing CASA. There is a yearly challenge to prove the value of
CASA to the membership, South said.
Because of these recent membership withdrawals, Kate
Woznow, an Arts representative, said she thought instead of
raising fees, the AMS should evaluate its own level of satisfaction with CASA.
"If CASA is in the financial situation that we're being told
they're in, I think that that is something we should be reflecting on before we go ahead and give money that we're being
told is going to target certain initiatives...that I'm not confident in supporting," Woznow said.
, Some councillors expressed interest in wanting to see what
CASA will do with the increased funding before considering its
own membership with the national group.
"We're definitely looking to see...where that money [from
the increase] is going to go and how we're going to get what we
want out of it," Chirila said. " 7' 7       * --"
She did not rule out that the AMS will be evaluating its relationship with CASA in the future.
At the same council meeting, the AMS voted to oppose a
change to CASA membership rules that would allow full member associations to become associate members rather than
leaving the organisation completely. This would decrease a
member's fees by 75 per cent and take away their vote while
leaving them the right to speak at CASA meetings.
"It gives [member organisations] the option to send the
message that they want things to change but to send that message without having to Jettison themselves from the organisation," explained South.
Chirila said the motion did not seem like an effective way
to deal with unhappy member organisations and that is why
the AMS chose to oppose it. ♦
Frum: fear and humanitarianism drive Bush
by Kevin Groves
NEWS WRITER
Fear is the main reason US President
George W. Bush has started a war in
Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, former
Bush Administration Speechwriter
David Frum told a packed UBC auditorium Monday.
And it's not a fear of Iraq, said Frum,
who is famous for penning the phrase
"Axis of Evil."
"It is the fear that Iraq or Iran could
acquire [nuclear] weapons and pass
them on to terrorists that is the overriding goal to convince people in the
[Bush] administration that they have to
do something," said Frum, who now has
a regular column in the National Post
There is also a humanitarian reason
for using military force to remove the
Iraqi leader, he said.
Once regime change is complete,
there will be no reason to continue the
economic sanctions instituted after the
1991 Gulf War, which have since killed
thousands of Iraqis each year for the
last 12 years, he said.
"Much of the harm done by the sanctions would not be done if Iraq had a
regime that would make food or medi
cine its priority rather than bombs or
poison, but the fact is Iraq does have a
regime that will use its money to buy
bombs and poisons," he said. "So the
sanctions do then impinge on the population...and this suffering has caused a
tremendous political problem for the
US and the Arab world."
Frum also critiqued other possible
reasons for the war that have been
raised in recent months.
He started with the belief that war is
being waged to secure oil interests,
which he said is an "irrational" idea.
"No president is going to go to war,
risk their re-election, and risk casualties
simply to get a few billion dollars in oil
contracts when we're talking about an
economy that measures things in the
trillions," he said.
Nor is the war being waged to protect Israel, because if it was, the US
would have fought for the Jewish state
in 1948 when it was really in trouble,
said Frum.
"I suppose you could say in one
sense that it is a war for Israel, since
Israel is a nuclear power while Iraq
wants to be nuclear," said Frum. "Many
in the US worry what it would mean to
introduce a nuclear-armed Iraq under
this reckless and aggressive dictator,
into a region where there is already one
nuclear-armed state."
Frum then talked about the future,
suggesting that the. US. might soon be
embroiled in a conflict with North
Korea, which he said would not be started by the US.
"When someone wants to fight with
you, you can't avoid it," said Frum. "The
North Koreans are acting in a very
provocative manner that is hard to
explain in any other way other than they
are looking for some kind of military
conflict."
And throughout the current war in
Iraq, or a possible war in North Korea,
Canada is going to have to do more than
give speeches at the United Nations to
have its voice heard seriously on the
international stage, said Frum.
"I think Canadians want to be
activists in the world and they want
their views to be heard, but being heard
has a price, a willingness tp commit, to
be involved, and to be active," he said.
'A year and a half from now when the
Middle East is reconstructed,
Canadians will want to be heard and it
will bother them that the Australians
are being heard while Canada is not." ♦ 6
fill Tl IDC
the ubyssey .magazine"
A<3E FRIDAYi
tday, Mar<li28,20031
the ubyssey* magazine.
CULTURF'
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GIVEAWAY
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Worki
1     •
worki
by Tejas Ewing
FEATURES STAFF
M*
fr^___W^ ma8ine walking through the rainfor-
'      JSf    est of Clayquot sound, near Tofino,.
MB    and realising that the giant red
'' SB ■  Cedars and towering sitka spruces
Mfflfflf    around you could soon be stumps,"
This is a scene described by Ken
Wu, executive director-of die Western , Canada
Wilderness Committee's (WCWC) Victoria chapter.
"In fact, consider that eventually [those trees],
could be guaranteed to logging corporations. The
same is true for the vast, unprotected forests still
- on public land. The proposed Working Forest
Initiative (WFI) makes this highly possible." Groups
such as WCWC have been at the forefront of
expressing discontent over the environmental
impacts of this new initiative. According to Wu,
"the Working Forest is the most sweeping anti-environmental legislation in BC's history." .
The WFI is a new "plan that, if passed, will drastically change the landscape of BC.Whether this is
a good or a bad thing depends on who you talk to.
First Nations groups, environmental organisations,
small communities and loggers' organisations
have expressed their distinct displeasure with the
plan. In contrast, industiy groups and forestry corporations support it The provincial government
has walked a difficult line, simultaneously
•;: expounding tlie benefits gf the initiative as a whole
while trying to downplay how much it will actually
change things. According to Wu, the government
has been successful in keeping a low profile.
"The Ubyssey might be the only newspaper in
Vancouver devoting any significant coverage to
this issue. In the mainstream media, the coverage
has been a joke," he said. As a result, Wu pointed
out, not enough people seem to know or care about
the proposal. With the deadline for public commentary approaching on April 30, this is a dangerous situation.
Spearheaded by Stan Hagen's office at the
- Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management,
the WFI follows through with, the Liberal Party's
campaign promise to "establish a working forest
land-base that will provide greater stability for the
families and communities that depend on the
•* forestry industry," According to Hagen,
"Revitalising our number-one industry starts with
creating certainty on. the land base, increasing
access to timber and ensuring jobs in rural BC*
Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case.
As Ken James of the Youbou Timberless Society (a
group of forestry workers) put it, "[The WFI] does
address that changes need to be made in BC's
forestry industry, and that is good...but it's actually an attack on the communities and workers it
claims to protect. , '
"It is interesting that a proposal created mainly
for economic reasons is gaining little support from
the individual workers and small communities it
claims to protect," James noted.
As far as James is concerned, the only groups
fully in support of the WFI are large corporations.
James pointed out that the Liberals' ideas for the
forestry industry could not be justified as positive
for workers. '
"They are eliminating appurtenancy clauses
which ensure that a certain amount of wood processing must occur in the area it is logged. They
- are eliminating existing penalties for closing mills,
money which goes to the laid-off workers. They are
allowing companies to bring in workers from outside of the province. They are increasing compensation to forestry companies for lost land. How
does this benefit us, the workers?"
In fact, James suggested the WFI would tie up
land and prevent access by community groups. A
figure of two per cent of BC's loggable land has
been suggested as land tenure that will be redis-
r>>
■ '£:-iVj77 ■ "'St-.-'- '■   >*'■«■&*«
• tributed to community groups such as his, which
have a vision for a community forest that is both
ecologically and economically viable.
, "We can go in, log an area and still leave a forest
standing. But we won't be able to, because two per
cent is a laughable amount Four years ago they
accepted applications for community forestry initiatives.' It woyjd have taken 5Q per cent of what is
now allocated to timber corporations to accommodate these groups. So what is two per cent going
to do?"
James said that according to the BC Coalition
for Sustainable Forest Solutions (BCSFS)—of which
tha Timberless Society is a member, in addition to
two pulp and paper unions—the initiative only
really helps the large forestry corporations that
don't really need it For example, in the year that
the Timberwest Corporation shut down Youbou's
. mill, the company's annual report cited a net profit of $44 million. It is this situation that environmental groups have jumped on, a situation where
the WFI is weakened by its suspect economic
objectives. As James pointed out why should anyone make environmental concessions for a proposal that is not economically beneficial to.them?
This is only the beginning of the criticisms
aimed at the WFI. The most fundamental aspect of
the plan is to create a new legal designation for all
the remaining unprotected Crown forest lands in
BC. This 'Working Forest' designation would represent 48 per cent pf the province, roughly 45 million
hectares of land. Currently, only 23 million
hectares of land are included in the Timber
Harvesting Land Base, the net land area of commercial interest to the forestry industry. When the
Hew designation is established, all existing provincial forest designations on unprotected Crown land
will be rescinded.
"The Working Forest
is the most sweeping anti-environmental legislation in
BC's history."
-KenWu,
Executive Director ofthe WCWC
Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of
BC Indian Chiefs, is shocked that the Liberal government would consider redesignating such a large
. area of land when treaty negotiations are still
incomplete. Perhaps the most contentious part of
the WFI is how it will affect First Nations
land claims.
Phillip explained to me that the initiative was
'an affront and outrage to our Aboriginal rights,
and a violation of our land title interests."
According to Philip, "every stick, stump and tree
within the so-called Working Forest proposal is
fully subject to First Natioris' iinextinguished
Aboriginal title interests." He added, "The provincial government has a legal duty to consult with
First Nations people over an initiative which affects
our land. We expect resource revenue sharing,:
compensation for past affronts and co-manage
ment of existing resources, A growing number of
landmark legal decisions support that fact*
Neither consultations nor negotiations took
place, and as a result, the First Nations Summit
Organisation—whose mandate is to negotiate
treaties—has tabled a proposition to extend the
commentary period until next fall.
"Until 'April 30, we will take all political and'
legal action available to affect this proposal," said
Phillip. "We cannot accept this, because we have a
proprietary interest in the land itself. This proposal tries to exclude the land from us, by designating
it as a third-party interest [for logging companies].'
Third-party interests are exempt from treaty negotiations, so it is a way of further excluding land and
profit sharing from First Nations groups. This is
an infringement of ou> tribal homelands.*
Warren Mitchell, director of* the Resource
Planning Branch at the Ministry of Sustainable
Resource Management, insisted that the WFI
would not halt the treaty process. However, in his'
opinion, 'clearly there is an implication that it will
" make the treaty process harder.*
Nonetheless, Graham Currie, director of coin-
■ munications at the ministry, felt that benefits
.  might justify such difficulty.
"[The WFI] provides certainty on the land base,
arid helps to provide values to that land.* Currie
added, "It expressly accommodates other uses of,
the land besides forestry, such as ranching,, mining, agriculture and tourism. It will allow people tq
know that the land is available for a variety of different jobs and different industries." '
To critics, such as Phillip, the land certainty
provided to industry "further alienates that land
from First Nations groups.'
Many environmental groups feel that the new
designation also excludes the land from future
protection.
"It clearly reduces the land base available for
parks," said Gwen Barlee, a forestry campaigner
for the Vancouver office of the WCWC. However,
many government officials, including Currie, dis-.
pute this claim, citing this as an example of the
'misinformation' being propagated by environmental groups.
"The Working Forest doesn't affect BC's parks,"
said Currie.    -
- Still, Wu and Barlee both pointed out that by
designating the remaining forestlarids of BC as
Working Forest, it makes it more difficult to create
new parks in- the future. As Wu explained, "That's
a clear example of the governihent's sophistry.
Sure, it doesn't technically affect existing" parks,
but it does prevent future parks from being
created.* ' *■';
Similarly, Wu added, 'there, are many other
types of protected areas besides'parks." Stating
that the WFI does not affect parks may seem technically true, but opening up all remaining forest-
lands to a Working Forest designation could, for
example, seriously affect the creation of
Watershed Reserves or Old growth Mangement
Zones. Wu pointed out that, with increased compensation to corporations for lost land area, any
decision to protect forests becomes mare difficult
'and-contentious. The'government has set asida
over $200 million to deal withforestry industry
concerns, according to the CBC.
To Mitchell, this is a promised, and necessary,
part of the plan.
"We. already have a lot of protected areas. Now,
it's time to maintain a forest industry. The expectation is to maintaining and increasing the economic viability of the forests.* Mitchell suggested
a lot of the criticism had to do with 'what people
think the Working Forest Paper says. The Working
Forest is a focal point for all forestry issues that
people are concerned with, so people are readjng
too much into the government's agenda.'
However, he did admit that the government had
different priorities than environnjental groups.
"It's all based on different viewpoints,* he said.
One particularly contentious environmental
issue in the WFI is a 'no net loss" provision. This
would guarantee logging companies that, anytime
a commercially valuable forest is protected, an
equal amount of protected forest must be opened
. up, or compensation must be paid. Wu asked "Why
do logging cornpanies need more certainty over
public lands? They already have compensation
privileges under this year's Parks Compensation
Act They already pay stumpage fees below the true
* market value of the wood. They have already
opened up Strathcona, Hamber and Tweedsmuir
parks to logging. What more do they need?'
^ Phillip issued a final warning on behalf of First
Nations," Even if other avenues of protest fail,
we will fight this from mountain peak to
mountain peak.'
Mitchell was quick to point out that the no net
loss proposal was not specifically included in the
working paper. He explained that it was a
Ministry of Forests proposal that was tied tp the
WFI. He said that if many letters are received supporting the idea, it could easily be included,,
whereas if public sentiment were against it, the
government would have to reconsider. As
Mitchell made clear, 'everyone should comment'
There were many more environmental considerations that Wu brought up, from reduced
wildlife protection to the possibility of increased
privatisation of Crown Lands. However,, the proposed amendments to the Land Act were particularly problematic. "These changes would empower
the provincial executive (Gordon Campbell and bis
cabinet) to quickly establish the Working Forest
under the Land Act without having to disclose,
debate and pass a Bill through the Legislative
Assembly." ■'■;.■-■
For Barlee, it is alarming how quickly the WFI
could get implemented, with httle public input or
analysis. "With Canada's responsibilities under
the North American Free Trade Agreement,, it
becomes extremely difficult to reverse a policy
■ dealing with a cross-border industry like forestry.'-
"We need a new land-use strategy, based on the
principles of conservation biology and mass public
input," said Wu. "One where we can re-distribute
corporate logging tenures to small communities,
where they can log better, log less and add value to
what they log. This would free up forests for protection while maintaining forestry jobs. And it can
be achieved." .
As Wu pointed out, many public wilderness
campaigns have worked. "In March 2001, the NDP
tried to implement a very similar agenda [to the
WFI]. Over 1000 comments flooded in, and .more
than 99 per cent of them were negative. The NDP
listened to the people and dropped the whole
thing. Now they are against it* Wu believes that
'mass public education and mobilisation works. It
has saved parts of Clayquot Sound, the entire
Carmanah Valley, Boise Valley and Stein Valley,
and literally hundreds of other endangered
valleys.'
Students on campus have taken that message to
heart Rebecca Best and Marina Winterbottpm
both made the decision to try and inform students
about the WFI. Best, the coordinator of a sustainability pledge program at the UBC Sustainability
Office, remembers having a meeting where
Winterbottom suggested mobilising students via
the project's e-mail list, as well as through that of
the Student Environment Centre.
"We saw the need for more collective action,
where people could work together to make change.
This seemed like an issue'where a lot of people
could get involved, and there was a very urgent
need for people to be aware and make their feelings known." Best hopes that "people will take the
initiative and post their comments on the government's website." ♦ n
Shouldyou choose to do so, here are some websites that may help:
The government's WFI page, including the comments section
www.gov.bc.ca/rmd/workingtorest/index.htm
- The WCWC's page about the issue
www. workingfores t org
Youbou Timberless Society
www. sa vebcjobs. com
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs
www.ubcic.bc.ca/weIcome.htm
* The BCSFS   " *
www.torestsolutions. ca 1
8
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Blood clinic controversy
Questions about sexual
orientation draw fire
from activists at SFU
donor clinic
by Sarom Bahk
THE PEAK
BURNABY, BC (CUP)-A screening
process that prohibits sexually
active gay men from donating blood
in Canada continues to generate
controversy.
SFU held its second blood donor
clinic ofthe year earlier this month.
Potential blood donors were asked
to fill out a record of donation questionnaire which asks male donors if
they have 'had sex with a man, even
one time since 1977.' Female
donors were asked if they have had
sex 'with a man who had sex — even
one time since 19 7 7 — with another
man.* Individuals responding posi-
. tively to these questions are permanently deferred from giving blood.
Derek Mellon, media relations
manager for' Canadian Blood
Services (CBS), said that this deferral criteria is based on "scientific
and medical evidence' showing
'the incidence of HIV is higher in
males who have had sex with other
males than it is in individuals having exclusively heterosexual sex.'
'Our number one priority is protecting the blood supply in Canada,"
Mellon said.
"The right of the recipient to
have the safest blood supply possible is more important thai the willingness or'perceived right of airy
dojlor to give blood. It's a bit of a
blanket coverage and we understand that there may be some people whose blood would be perfectly
. safe," Mellon added.
Mellon said that although each
unit of donated blood is tested for
pathogens, there is a brief 'window
period' after the onset of a viral
infection during which early signs
of a virus cannot be detected.
Blood collection is carried out by
CBS in every province except
Quebec, but its regulator, Health-
Canada, formulates the agency's
policies. "These are standards that
are not just with Canadian Blood
Services; most of them are universal for a large number of blood
operators in the world,' said
Mellon.
Rick Barnes, communications
coordinator for AIDS Vancouver,
called the deferral criteria
"absolutely ludicrous."
"They should be focusing on the
risk activity versus trying to put people out of the stream who happen to
have sex with men," Barnes said.
Barnes said his organisation
provides services and advocacy for
people living with HIV and AIDS as
well as prevention programming
for "people who are vulnerable
to HIV.'
'Health Canada is precluding a
whole segment of society, using a
discriminatory practice that isn't
effective," Barnes said. "There are a
number of people in this society
who may practise similar sexual
activities and do not identify themselves as gay. They're robbing the
system of some very community-
minded people who want to contribute by providing blood.'
■''Mellon^claims,1 howevef,  that'
CBS is not discriminating against a
particular lifestyle. "[The policy} is
purely based on high-risk activities,' Mellon said.
Health Canada's donor-selection
policy also defers individuals who
have accepted money or drugs for
sex, had sex with anyone who has
tested positive for HIV, taken illegal
drugs with a needle, or had'sex in
the last 12 months with anyone who
has used cocaine.
Amelia Pitt-Brooke, an English
student at SFU and a volunteer at
the queer collective Out on Campus,
called the two questions 'dumb and
discriminatory."
'Just because you are a male that
has had sex with a male doesn't necessarily mean you're automatically
going to have AIDS," Pitt-Brooke
said. 'Many straight people have
AIDS. Lesbians get AIDS. It's not
something that is dependent on sexual orientation."
Pitt-Brooke maintained that
questions should be based on sexual activity in general, rather than
the type of sexual activity.
'I went through the questionnaire today myself and the questions jumped right out at me,' Pitt-
Brooke said. 'I don't think they
should be there. I don't think they
are relevant. I think they hurt
people.'
Barnes believes that the government is failing to recognise the
social realities of HIV and AIDS.
'It's time that Health Canada
started practising what they're
preaching with respect to the social
determinants of health and focus
on risky activity, rather than high-
risk groups,' said Barnes. ♦
'   —iw'tfjfifes-from StephetiiHuf
The Peak
University teachers criticise
federal Innovation Strategy
Funding denounced as too business-friendly
by Lindsay Harding
THE MUSE
ST JOHN'S, NFLD (CUP)-The first birthday ofthe federal government's Innovation Strategy has been marked
by harsh criticisms from the Canadian Association of
University Teachers (CAUT).
In February 2002, the federal government released
two white papers proposing targets to help keep Canada
competitive in a global, knowledge-based economy.
Authored by policy makers within Human Resources
Development Canada (HRDC), the paper "Knowledge
Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians" focuses on
improving the skills and education of Canada's workforce; "Achieving Excellence: Investing in People,
Knowledge and Opportunity," produced by Industry
Canada, focuses on innovation and research.
According to David Robinson, executive director of
CAUT, the federal Innovation Strategy limits support of
academic research according to its commercial value.
'Our main concern with all of this.. .would be that the
way that innovation is defined" by the federal government is by the most narrow terms possible,' he said.
"They define innovation strictly as the process of taking
new'products to,the marketplace. What we argue is that
research and innovation is a much broader concept
than that."
However, HRDC Senior Policy Director Robert
Sauder, and Marie Tobin, executive director of Industry
Canada's innovation policy, said CAUTs criticisms miss
the intended goals behind the department's policy.
"The whole theme of 'Knowledge Matters,' really, is
access to education, not the process of bringing products and services to market," said Sauders. 'If you look
at the milestones and the overall goals, it's things like
increasing the numbers of people who are participating
in post-secondary education. We're hoping to focus on
how to get a very adaptable, learning-oriented workforce...rather than getting simply highly-qualified
people."
"The definition that is adopted by 'Achieving
Excellence'...focuses both on making knowledge useful,
[and] turning it into new products or processes—[but] it
doesn't need to be a product, per se, to be innovation,'
said Tobin.
"When you look at the government of Canada's
investment for university research...the balance is definitely tilted towards pure research...for research in the
pursuit of knowledge," she said. 'You wouldn't
say...[that] there is a tilt toward commercialisation.'
Robinson said the federal government is only interested in funding research that will provide "quick and
dirty commercial outcomes." He said research projects
in the social science disciplines, as well as social
research in. tlje pure sciences, are being ignored by the
federal government's programs for research funding.
"The question is, who's, going to do that kind of
research if it's no longer being funded properly? Then
we're going to lose that kind of work as well," he said.
Sauder acknowledged the disparities in the way
funds are allotted. However, he said the issue is more
complex than saying the federal government has been
disregarding funding for social disciplines.
"I think 'ignored' is far too strong a word, [although]
there definitely has been [an] imbalance in the past
between these two groups of disciplines," he said. 'I
think it's hard to make sweeping judgments...there are
differences among disciplines that have to be considered before you make general statements,'
According to Sauder, the federal government has
been taking steps to further fund research in social disciplines. He says the last federal budget was actually
biased in favour of social sciences and humanities, not
against them. ♦ the ubyssey magazine
Friday, March 28,2003
Dominatrix pop star scratches back
c III Tl IRF
9
MIZKITTY, SINGING TEENAGE DOMINATRIX
at the Purple Onion
Apr. 2
by Jesse Marchand
CULTURE STAFF
When a woman has a name like Kitty and plays
the lead in a show titled -"Miz Kitty,-Singing
Teenage Dominatrix,' you might expect to meet a
fame-crazy sex kitten If you add knowledge that
the actress was also a stripper, you set yourself up
for pretty high expectations. However, Miz Kitty-
creator Kitty. Purdue is not quite the robotic
blonde temptress you see in the press photos.
Purdue comes in for the interview dressed as
an average student She's not wearing make-up
and her hair is brown, not blonde. I feel strangely
overdressed in my jean skirt and high heel boots.
She is a third-year women's studies and theatre student here at UBC. As if a double major was
not enough, Purdue is the associate producer of
UBCs Brave New Playwrights Festival from April
10-13, which combines plays written by the creative writing department with the students of the
theatre department
As a fundraiser for the festival, Purdue is putting on a one-time only benefit performance of
her musical "Mizz Kitty, Singing Teenage
Dominatrix* which played for four days at the
Grandview Legion Auditorium last year.
Not only did Purdue write the piece but she
also directs, produces and stars in it And she is
still working on it Since its run lastyear, Purdue
has made some additions to the plot
The plot centres around Kitty Smythe, a sexy
singer who sleeps with a record producer to get a
contract That contract turns out to be for a genetic experiment that makes her into the ultimate
robotic pop-star. With'her new implanted style
she takes over the company and begins to turn
the exploitable tactics used on her onto others.
"When she goes through the computer program she gets implanted with the whole female
pop star things, but as well the male pop star stuff,
so she- also has elements- of [male] aggressivity
[sic]," says Purdue, comparing her masculine
style to that of Eminem or Limp Bizkit "She's a
completely sexualised, artificial woman but she's
singing about sexualising other men and objectifying men and violating them."
Examples of this are in her her song titles. One
such work is called "Big Dicks 2003" which is a
duet with a gay rapper character named Trashy T.
The lyrics "You've got one, would you like to meet
me," express some of the pent-up sexuality and
aggressiveness to which Purdue refers.
The lewd sexuality of the songs stems from
Purdue's own feelings pf today's music industry.
"My idea about sex, in the media is kind of weird,"
she tells me. "It's a lot of people's contention that
there's too much sex but I would argue that
female sexuality is heavily censored because we
never actually see representations of female
desire. It's always females as sexual objects."
Her views are strongly expressed in her work.
Kitty often appears to be an exaggerated Britney
Spears, but for Purdue that's only part of the picture. "I hate pointing out Oh it's Britney Spears,'
because I don't think it's just Britney Spears,"
Purdue tells me, leaning forward. "Everyone is
Britney Spears now, it's so pervasive...now even
the black singers are Britney Spears. Women of
other cultures are making themselves into
Britney Spears, Shakira is Britney Spears, Leann
Rimes, the country girl, is Britney Spears.
Everyone is Britney Spears."
; But Purdue wants it to be clear that she isnot
trying to belittle pop-stars. She tells me that she
thinks pop stars like Spears actually do have talent behind the sexuality. "I'm just criticising the
machine that turns out that art"
The machine she refers to is the mainstream
North American media and how it presents
human beings. She tells me that she gets a lot of
her inspiration from film critic Laura Malvy. I
haven't read Malvy, so Purdue explains it to me.
"The image ofthe woman on screen exists as
a signifier of the phallus of the male power,"
Purdue says, parphrasing Malyy's ideas. "She's
kind of a nothing, she doesn't "really have a history, she doesn't really have a personality, she doesn't really have story of her own, she just exists as
an image to point towards a man's power...she
exists because she has no penis, she exists as the
possibility that man can be castrated, so to take
away that threat she is fetishised and becomes the
indicator ofthe man's sexuality."
This idea was crucial for the aggressiveness of
the Kitty Smythe character, who takes men and
grinds them into the ground. "I wanted to take
that image of benign female sexuality and re-give
it the castration," says Purdue.
'Miz Kitty, Singing Teenage Domintrax" is
playing one day only at the Purple Onion on
Wednsday April 2nd. It starts at 8:30pm and
runs again at 11:30pm. The cost is $10 for
those dressed normally. Purdue tells me that
the cost i3 only $ 7 "if you dress in fantasy, fetish
or fucked-up." ♦
Dream musical team explodes into spring
SPRING DREAM
at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater
Vancouver
Mar. 22
by Heather Neale
CULTURE WRITER
What turned out to be a sensational artistic
extravaganza Saturday night at the Jewish
Community Centre on 41st started out with
two men and a dream. "Spring Dreams," as the
show was rather appropriately titled, found its
start in a musical friendship and professional
partnership betvye'en 'King of Latin'Funk' ■'
Gustavo Ferman and professional flutist, vocalist and latin percussionist Carlos Joe Costa. For
them, its realisation was huge.
"It's been such an amazing experience
working with all of these phenomenal artists,'
said Costa of his co-performers. While he did
not include himself in the praise, I'll be quick
to jump in: the man's got game.
Costa is a freelance artist based in
Vancouver who has played with big names
over the years like Carlos Santana, Bob
Marley's crew the Wailers, and many such others. Ferman is also an experienced performer,
which showed in his stunningly good dancing
and vocal percussion abilities. He is also the
person responsible for The Corazon Dancers,
the high energy dance troupe that played a
large role in the show; Saturday, ripping out
some hip-hop, jazz and latin rhythm blends of
choreography with smiles and sass to boot.
The evening blended music, dance and
poetry, followed by a massive audience Line-
dancing session (that proved highly entertaining, as four hundred bodies moved in four
hundred different directions, some that at
times did not even seem, possible). There
were even beverages and tapas in the wings to
prepare us for the salsa explosion to follow.
All of those audience members whose feet
were tapping during the performance now
had their fifteen minutes (which in actuality
was three hours or so) of fame on the dance
floor ripping it up to the rhythms of musicians Paul and Katherine Choisil, Gail
Bonner, Glen Pourie, Deeana, Costa himself
and New York artists Gary Foote and Rolo
Preza. There is no doubt this dream was not
asleep, and there will most certainly be more
to come from that ensemble. ♦
SECRET US WAR PLANS!
IF YOU KNOW OF ANY, COME IN ANI* WHITE
THEM UP FOR THE NEWS DEPARTMENT.
ACTUALLY, JUST COME IN ANYWAYS.
THERE'S A WAR ON, YOU KNOW.
THE UBYSSEY: sur room 2*
1*AITAN1> SWITCH SINCE I01R
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APRIL 18,2003
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THEUBYSSEY
TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2003
VOLUME 84 ISSUE 46
; the: uitsse#nisiiiltii|
PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, March 28,2003
EDITORIAL BOARD
ACTING
COORDINATING EDITOR
Nic Fensom
NEWS EDITORS
Kathleen Deering
Chris Shepherd
CULTURE EDITOR
Michael Schwandt
SPORTS EDITOR
Sarah Conchie
FEATURES/NATIONAL EDITOR
Duncan M. McHugh
COPYEDnOR
Anna King
PHOTO EDITOR
Nic Fensom
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Hywel Tuscano
COORDINATORS
VOLUNTEERS
Jesse Marchand
RESEARCH/LETTERS
Parminder Nizher
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British Columbia It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society
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and all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the
expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of Trie Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
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that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS wiH
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responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do not
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"That was good,* said Megan Thomas is between puffs of her
Jesse Marchand (tm) cigarette. "I've had better," said Kevin
Groves. "Like Sara Young. She had lhe moves. No, wait I loved
what I found under the kilt of Jeff Mackenzie...* Megan said,
"Welt that Hywell Tuscano had the hands..." "And Chris
Shepherd had the fingers...* 'But John Moon had the ass."
'When Tejas Ewing had a Jonathan Woodward, it was incredible.' 'But that Aman Sharma. the Michael Schwant was with
him." "And John Hua was Duncan M. McHughJ" There waa a
pause. *You...and John Hua?" Megan asked. 'You too? Man,
that guy's bent over more than Heather Neale,* said Kevin. A
voice hailed from under the bed: "John Hua was the Anna King
of Kathleen Deeringinft* cried Bryan Zanderberg. "You too?*
Megan and Kevin said in chorus. 'Yes,' said Bryan.'And it was
fantastic!* The memories made all three of them feel like
Sarah Conchie on a hot streak, and they fell into each others'
arms (and orifices} while Heather Pauls and Alyssa Burtt
filmed take two.
V
Canadian
University
Press
Canada Post Solas Agroapppant Number 0732141
Hey, hey,
CNN, the
Pentagon
is not your
friend!
A war is taking place, and we all want to know
what is going on. Like it or not, most of us turn
to television in the hopes of learning the most
current developments in this terrible situation.
This war is far from the first US-led conflict to
be waged with television coverage, but it is certainly the most media-sawy militaiy campaign
the world has ever seen, live and in colour.
Technological advances have ensured that
live shots of missiles flying through buildings
are brought to us in the highest possible resolution. We never have to wait more than the
time between commercial breaks, it seems, to
see an up-to-the-minute satellite photograph of
just where the US soldiers are off to next. And,
what's more, reporters have actually been
'embedded' with the military force: hundreds
of journalists, from all over the world are living
and moving around Iraq with various troops,
sending us live reports all the while. Fantastic,
right? Wrong.
The entire notion of embedding contravenes even the most basic of journalistic sensibilities. The media embeds are fed, housed and
protected by the military units on which they^
are supposed to be objectively reporting. They '
frequently refer to themselves and the troops
with the words "we" and -"us." CNN reporter
Walter Rogers has perhaps best exemplified
the extent to which these reporters have been
blinkered: "We'll simply kill them. We'll find
the enemy and grab him by the nose." What's-
more, alt media reports have to be pre-
approved by military unit commanders. These
factors seem problematic if we're to expect any
sort of balance in the coverage they beam to us
live. Embedding has nothing to do with freedom of the press, and everything to do with
improving US public relations during a unilat-
eraly initiated war that most of the world is
firmly against...
While Bush administration talking heads
Lmm.msms&s&i wast jgsa& gFfy
isas-   1      1    iw«i/\%#
Canada from the inside, Canada from the outside
and prominent news anchors (groups between
which there is an increasingly unclear distinction) promote the embedding process as one
that will increase military transparency, it has
likely led to reduced coverage of the civilian
impact of war. The city of Basra, for example,
was without running water or electricity for
days before CNN reported on the situation,
While American networks were broadcasting
image after contrived image of children being
handed candy by US Marines this week, UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan was telling anyone who would listen that millions of innocents
were on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
What's more, most Western media do not
demonstrate balance in covering the activities
of other news outlets. When Iraq state TV and
Arab network Al Jazeera broadcasted interviews with American prisoners of war, there
was a tremendous outcry from the major US
media. CNN refused to air the interviews,
claiming that their content was "highly disturbing," and making ham-fisted references to
the Geneva Convention. Eyery other network,
of course, followed suit Talk show host Lany,
King went so far as to assemble a diverse* fanel*
of US war veterans to agree with each other
that the broadcast proved just how immoral
Iraqis can really be. Interestingly enough, the
same networks have long been carrying
images of suspected terrorists, not charged
with any crime, hands and feet bound, heads
covered in bags, forced to kneel in tiny cages.
What's more, the US has employed interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation and
extreme temperatures with such suspects.
Don't expect to hear from Larry King, but two
prisoners who died in the US's Guantanamo
Bay prison camp were found to have been
killed by blunt trauma: beating. It is only
because the US has refused to recognise these
captives as prisoners of,war that it has been
able to flout the International Convention
Against Torture so openly. It's important to
keep this in mind when CNN et al tell us how
'immoral' the Iraqi side's tactics are.
In spite of the embedding of hundreds of
journalists, and their broadcasts of thousands
of hours of obtuse cheerleading and sensational imagery, it is very difficult to find much
practical reporting on television. For days, no
television network was able was able to decide
whether or not the city of Umm Qasr had been
taken by coalition forces, whether or not a civilian uprising was taking place in Basra. We certainly haven't been told with any certainty the
number of civilian casualties resulting from
any of the bombs we've seen dropped, or how
many people could die from malnutrition as a
result of the conflict. (Thanks to embedding,
however, we get to find exactly how militaiy
food tastes.)
American political and military leaders,
with cameras trained on them, have been patting each other on the back over 'precision
bombing,' with reporters lined up to spread
the word about the liberation'' of Iraq's people. Meanwhile, the dearth of reporting on the
civilian impact of the conflict has been
appalling. Networks eager to present this military action as a humanitarian intervention
have, with few exceptions, ignored its humanitarian impact.
The first casualty of any war is the truth,
more than a few commentators have observed
in recent days. It seems that with the truth out
of the fight, the public simply isn't going to be
told about the other casualties. News of
humanitarian issues should transcend cartoon maps and diagrams of war machines; the
potential' millions of innocent lives lost as a
result of the war in Iraq, a sickening tally of
'collateral damage,' should be of paramount
importance to all media. ♦
by Lorene Gaydon-Curtjlle
Canada, for Europeans, is 'the
countiy pf wilderness, empty space
and nature. It exports and entertains this image, not only for economic reasons (attracting tourists),
but also to guarantee its uniqueness as a countiy - ->'
amongst other's.
France has its past
and its food, Brazil
its festive atmosphere and Japan
its cameras. Canada has its bears
and its mountains. That explains
why Canadians are so popular
abroad: this country of nature can't
be populated by anybody but
tough, reliable, unaffected and
friendly geople. -
Until recently, foreigners didn't
see the United States while thinking about Canada. Both were considered separately, as two different
and independent states with their
own characteristics. The narrow
relation linking the two neigh-
Perspective
©pinion J
:->PV»-S-. «*< ^^ ■/# ^ ..' €'".,
hours (economically, politically
and culturally) is not even suspected. However, the current interna1
tional events created a connection
between the two states. Europeans
are now realising that the stereotype they have about Canada is
actually the very opposite of all the
images they have
in mind about the
United - States
(modernity arid
ambition, that progressively moved
toward pollution and arrogance).
As a result, Canada is now considered as the following example, the
model; the countiy is so close to
the US by its size and its geographical position but so radically different by its spirit.
This contrast is getting sharper
and sharper: the more Europeans
dislike Americans, the more they like
Canadians. Ottawa's actual stand
concerning Iraq is not even taken
into account in this judgement
This image of Canada abroad is
paradoxical when we consider
how. Canadians see themselves
'from the inside.' Many are just
uninterested in what it means to
be Canadian; manifestations of
patriotism are very rare here compared to what we find in Europe or
in the US. Those'who are interested describe their nationality negatively, in relation to the US. They
don't put forward features of
'Canadianess/ but rather emphasise what distinguishes Canadians
from Americans (Canadians are
not pretentious and they do care
about the environment).
In other words, Canada is so
close, so narrowly related to its
neighbour (they share the same culture, the same values, the same way
of life), that Canadians can't really
find any positive elements or values
to define a Canadian identity per se.
Then, being Canadian is not being
Canadian, but- being 'not totally
American,," This is not enough to
create an attachment for a countiy.
Canada is not a 'gathering concept'
People mostly don't 'feel' Canadian.
It is very surprising to see this
contrast between the way
Canadians are seen abroad and the
way they see themselves. The
Canadian nation (in the European
meaning of the term) exists only
from abroad. Canada didn't have
enough wars. Its history is too
clean, not bloody enough; it misses
'hereditary enemies,' massacres
and hatreds. It also misses power,
to be arrogant. With all of that,
Canadians would feel like
'Canadians,' not 'Americans with
some slight differences.' And then?
They have a very high living standard, they quietly enjoy their life in
their country, and they know they
are recognised as a unique nation
abroad. What would they want
more? They are living proof that
nationalism is neither unavoidable
nor necessary to a population's
prosperity. ♦
—Lorene Gaydon-Curtille is a
third-year Arts exchange student Friday, March 28,2003
the ubyssey niagaiine
VwULI UKt
It
Aussie
pot rock
THE VINES
with AM Radio
at the Commodore Ballroom
Mar. 18
7 by John Moon
CULTURE WRITER
"Who are the Vines?" my friend asks.
This is my friend who has been living
under quite ah impressively big stone for
the last several months. I explain to him
that the Vines—along with the White
Stripes, the Strokes and the Hives—are
the newly anointed, messiahs of rock,
those who, with their strippedrto-basics
simplicity, will save us from the frill of
new rock. But in the invasion of the
Plural Nouns, the Vines stand out as the
guys who make being a stoner cool again.
My friend shakes his head, unconvinced
and slightly disapproving.
Of course, the comparison between the
Vines and the other bands I've mentioned
leaves them all open to the attack that what
they're doing is done to death. Many early
reviewers call the Aussie Vines formulaic
and pop and fake and, yes, boring. Full stop.
Before the gloves come off on the "b" word,
let me add some comment on the Vines-
concert on Tuesday to the fray.
My one complaint about the show was
that it was early; the doors opened at 7pm
and the opening act began at 7:30pm. AM
Radio, an LA band, jammed out some
catchy tunes to start us off. The crowd was
still.. Jhin,, in t, tha, gizeable:. Commodore
Ballroom, but that's okay—we all know the
plight of the opener. Eveiyone clapped
politely as AM Radio exited. They were
alright nothing too exciting, but enjoyable.
As the Vines' lead singer Craig
Nicholls staggered onto the stage, I
noticed behind me that the crowd had
swelled, mostly with punk and pothead
university kids. A trio of tall, skinny,
cologne-drenched droogs shoved their
way up front/ grimacing with violence.
Then it began: the lights, the smoke, the
drums, the guitars.
Excited, moshing bodies clashed as the
Vines opened explosively for the eager audience. Soon, these bodies accumulated near.
the stage, concentric semicircles of sweat
reaching outwards. The Vines' more
famous singles from their album Highly
Evolved, "outtathaway" and "Get Free," are
radio-catchy and polished-violent, but they
only staccatoed most of their more mellow
but still-angiy stoner songs. Nicholls looked
even more stoned than in his videos, and
the audience ate it up. Puffs of the good
smoke went up, and the whole room reeked
of it in no time at all. The bodies still
clashed during the slower songs, the crowd
swaying in waves orchestrated by a few
shovers.
And here, you're going to tell me it was
fake and boring? The Vines commodify
and polish their image to radio perfection, and Nicholls's 'breaking the guitar
as he finished the show' bit was overwrought and unimaginative, but you can't
tell me the violence and the enjoyment
were fake. You can't tell me that someone
didn't really bleed on me during the concert; I found the bloodstain on my shirt.
The anger was real and the excitement
was real—shouldn't that be enough?
Maybe you feel betrayed that the
Vines are posited as the back-to-basics
authentic saviours of rock, but seerd to
be a record company-polished commodity fooling you into consumption. Can't
the Vines be both? Saving you from the
rut of pop-rock and making crazy cash at
the same time? Certainly, their show
made a believer out of me. ♦
Koala spins a komic
BOOK LAUNCH: NUFONIA MUST FALL, and SOUNDTRACK
at HR McMillan Auditorium
by Kid Koala
[ECW Press and Ninja Tune J
Mar. 23
by John Hua
CULTURE STAFF -
What does one do after making a name for himself as a professional
scratch DJ, opening for powerhouse acts such as the Beastie Boys arid
Radiohead? Obviously, the next step is to pencil and ink a 339-page
graphic novel and self-proclaim it as the greatest love story of all time.
Another to fall victim to this predictable route of post-success cross-
industry experimentation is Kid Koala, a.k.a. Eric San. Promoting his
first full graphic novel Nutonia Must Fall, Kid Koala takes the book
launch to a whole new level, giving me enough material to write the
most multi-faceted review of my career.
The main focus of this review is the book, a simple but heartwarming love stoiy about an out-of-work robot and his love interest a suc-
cessfiil human workaholic. The art is rough and cold, but its simplicity
presents' a sense of the familiar, which overcomes the cold sketches
with a feeling of warmth and comfort From cover to cover, every
sketch, every outline and every shadow follows through with Kid Koala's
low-key but precise scratch style. The absence of written dialogue forces
the reader to delve fully into the specifics of each frame, examining all
the small details that Kid Koala purposely placed throughout the book.
Accompanying Nutonia Must Fall is a soundtrack, cut and produced
by Kid Koala himself. Under his record label, Ninja Tune, Kid Koala
offers a 10-track CD, with each track specifically connected to various
scenes in the book. This fresh and innovative addition to the book not
only gives fans another chance to experience Kid Koala's cutting, but
also gives Nutonia Must Fall a voice. The inusical accompaniment follows the stoiyline to a sharp tee. For example, Kid Koala cuts together
various ice skating and crowd sounds with a steady melancholy electric
keyboard sequence to create the perfect ice-rink atmosphere.
With the graphic novel and accompanying CD on shelves, a book
tour is inevitable. Turning away from the red-carpet treatment. Kid
Koala remains consistent with his originality, creating a book launch
that his fans can really appreciate.
The setting of the launch, the HR McMillan Auditorium at, the
f.
Vancouver Planetarium, was relaxed and intimate. Opening act DJ
Jester set an atmosphere of love by mixing break beats with classic
movie love tracks of the eighties, fully promoting a lounge feel to the
night, minus the beverages. After a decent set, Kid Koala and scratch
partner DJ P-Love took over the reins of the ones-and-twos. The atmosphere was completely chill. Kid Koala brought forth a vibe of sincerity
and humility, opening himself to a crowd that, for one night he regarded as his friends and family. Equipped with an electric piano, four
turntables, a slide-projector, a staring contest, a bingo game and a
gramophone. Kid Koala showcased everything from his book and
soundtrack to work from his new projects. Throughout the night, the
audience was continually impressed with Kid Koala's amazing DJing
skills, sincere and humble artwork and unforgettable personality.
The entire night was unbelievable, allowing those in attendance to
leave with a sense of gratification for a night extremely well-spent. Kid
Koala's live show, the book and the CD are all more than worth checking out. Eric San escapes the scathing path of cross-industry experimentation by staying true to what he knows: being a professional
scratch DJ by the name of Kid Koala, whose success results solely from
his hard work, honourable drive and undeniable talent. ♦
Tanyas be good show
THE BE GOOD TANYAS
with the Waifs and Serena Ryder
at the Commodore Ballroom
Mar. 21
by Erin Hope-Goldsmith
CULTURE WRITER
In the early days of their stardom two years
ago, Vancouver's homegrown Be Good Tanyas
were on stage at the Folk Music Festival. Part
way through their first song, the sound system
had a Uttle seizure, and they had to stop and
wait for the problem to be fixed. During the
slightly nervous pause, a woman from the audience started yelling encouragement at them.
One of the band members said, laughing,
"That's my mom."
Well, there were no heckling parents at their
last concert, but the mellow, warm and excep-
GOOD. REAL GOOD. Local favourites play new and old blends of folk and rock for
the home crowd, alyssa burtt photo
tionally beautiful crowd who filled the
Commodore made up for it There was some
heckling, especially when Samantha Parton
made a comment about wishing she could have
brought her bed onto the stage, which was
whimsically decorated with vintage fiirniture.
The Tanyas began with the mysterious-sounding song "Horses," from their new album
Chinatown. They entertained with some of
their older songs such as their first single "The
Littlest Birds," to which the audience happily
sang along, as well as lots of newer material,
including one great song which they had never
performed live before.
The three girls, Parton, Trish. Klein and
Frazey Ford, all played guitar as well as a few
quirkier stringed instruments like mandolin,
banjo, and ukulele. Frazey, who does a lot of
the lead vocals, has a gorgeous, haunting
voice, and the three sing the most perfect harmonies. Their, distinctive, dark, bluegrassy
sound has evolved into something even darker
and more exotic with that rainy Vancouver
mood. The new songs are about cheery stuff:
drug addiction, dead dogs and dying. But the
concert was far from depressing, and ended
with a rollicking version of "Keep it Light
Enough to Travel' that got eveiyone at the
front dancing.
Before the main act, Serena Ryder started
off the concert, alone with her guitar and
incredibly sultry voice. Then the Waifs
arrived. They played a few tributes to their
friends the Be Good Tanyas, but their band,
led by the Aussie sisters Vikki and Donna
Simpson, is hot stuff in its own right The new
album Up All Night has been topping the
charts back in Australia. The Waifs' style, is
very eclectic; their older work is, if you can
classify it, a sort of folk-country-rock, and
their newer stuff is more abrasive sounding,
but still with that country twang. They were a
lot of fun, and _ their song 'Crazy Train*
inspired some crazy dancing. And Vikki plays
a mean harmonica. ♦ 1^ WJ^PM"^ Friday, Marth 28,2003
Documenting the revolution
FIX: THE STORY OF AN ADDICTED CITY
at the Royal Bank Theatre (Chan Centre)
Apr. 3
by Anna King
CULTURE STAFF
Nettie Wild is lying in bed in a sw^nk hotel room in
Victoria with a fabulous view of Victoria Harbour, she
tells me. over the phone. She says she's exhausted,
but "in the right kind of way," after days of screening
her documentary film. Fix: the Story of an Addicted
City, and hosting dozens of public forums to packed
houses. It's crazy, she says* munching on breakfast,
lo be treated like a star after- making a film about the
Vancouver drug scene.     7    .
Lots' of things are crazy about the story of Fix.
Take, for example, the fact that Wild meant td shoot a
four-month piece about the opening of the city's first
safe-injection site, but found herself in the midst of a dramatic
social"revolution that swept Her up for two years and, arguably,
had a major impact on the outcome of the Vancouver civic eleo
tioo last fall. Or the fact that ex-mayor Phillip Owen, who Wild
had originally thought she would interview briefly, just to get
his side of the story, ended.up being one of the major characters in the film and its biggest supporter, donating the
$140,000 raised from his farewell gala to the promotion of
the film.
The morning I talked to her. Wild was savouring a moment
to breathe before she began the day's four screenings and associated- discussion forums. She was amazed, though,' by the
overwhelmingly enthusiastic: reception of the film in Victoria,
the second stop in her cross-Canada tour, "The media has been
over the lop, we're getting spectacular houses/and last night
we had one of the best discussions ever, with the mayor and
the chief of police. There was a front-line nurse in the. audience, who has been suffering from cutbacks and was completely burnt out, and she just flipped right in front of everybody. She was just basically yelling at everybody, saying
'You've gotta stop goddamn talking arid_ actually start implex
menti'ng this stuff,' and that she was just tired of seeing everyone she works with die. She was an example of what happens
when you have goodpeoplf ori the front lines and you cut them
WILD
back and cut them back uijtil they go crazy"
The surprisingly huge response from Victoria [Fix out-
grossed eveiy other film at the Cineplex Odeon most of the
nights it ran) is the perfect example of what Wild aims to do
with her films. As a filmmaker fascinated by, as she puts it,
"people trying to get control over their lives," she deliberately
puts herself in places of social upheaval, but tries to take a
hands-off approach to the situation while filming.
"While making the film, my creative energies go into
storytelling," she says. "What's great is once the story's
locked down, I can put my creative energies to the
other thing I love doing," that is, creating a deeper
level of dialogue about social issues than can generally be found in the TV 'news magazine' shows.
Wild is definitely an activist, there's no doubt about
that. The three other featurelength documentaries
she's made have chronicled the Philippine revolution
; [A Rustling of Leaves, 1989), a standoff in northern BC
between the Gitsan First Nations, white landowners
and CN Railways [Blockade, 1993), and the Zapatista uprising
in Mexico {A Place Called Chiapas, 1999). While she says she
aims to present an objective portrait of the situation she's filming, she acknowledges her sympathies generally lie with the
ordinary, less privileged folk. At one point, she says, 50 per
cent of the foreigners at the Zapatista peace camp—there to
show support for the peasant-based revolution—were people
who had been, inspired by watching A Place Called Chiapas.
Wild has always been political, she tells me, and has always
been fascinated by how others deal with social struggles. The'
daughter of a mother 'slightly to the right of Attila the Hun*
and a journalist father whose long-standing relationship with
Mahatma Gandhi had a lasting influence on her, Wild took off
after college td Africa for two years.."I was sending my journals
to my dad, and then I started getting checks in the mail," she
says. "Turns out he was editing my letters and seridirig them to
The Province and' other papers." So began Wild's career in
journalism (or what one friend" calls 'Nettie CIA operations,'
which at one point consisted ofrnakirig radio documentaries
about the Philippine guerrilla'war for CBC from the front lines."
She also worked professionally as an actor in Canada
and abroad.   •     ' .7
Wild credits her father with giving her a nose for good stories, and for the intuition to know when something big is about
to happen. But making documentary films isn't the most financially prudent career choice, and,' although Wild acknowledges
that "there are more opportunities for documentary filmmakers in Canada than in almost, any other country," she says it's
getting harder, not easier, to do the work'she loves. "The funding structure is set up to meet the needs of television broadcasters, who think an hour has 43 minutes in it,* she say9. "I
.think TV is going from bad to worse. Reality TV is now being
referred to by broadcasters as 'documentary,' and it's so godawful, but it's really cheap to produce. The TV industry has just
received a huge cutback and 60- to 70 documentaries haye
been cancelled. It's kind of weird—in any other field when
you've been doing it for 20 years it gets easier, and you're not
worried about when you're going to work next."
At least, for the immediate future, Wild knows what's next,
tour with Fir liie mad, and then start working on the second
part of her project—writing and directing a feature drama
about drugs in Vancouver. Exhausted? Nab.
' Fix screens at the" Chan Thursday, April 3 at 7:30pm. A discussion with former Mayor Philip Owen arid Ann Livingston,
founder  of Vancouver   Area  Network  of  Drug  Users,
. will follow. ♦
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University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plan
Tell us what you think
In keeping with UBC's evolving University Town, a draft neighbourhood plan fs being developed for the
University Boulevard local area. "   ■     ,
A campus and community consultation process is being conducted to gather feedback on the draft pfan
prior to its finalization and presentation to the UBC Board of Governors in May, 2003. You can participate
in this consultation1 in a number of ways:
1. Internet: You can learn more about the. draft University Boulevard Neighbourhqod plan by reading the
..Discussion Guide at www.universitytown.ubc.ca and give your opinion via the online feedback form.
2. Small Group Meetings (February 10- March 31) \       V .      "
Your group carr request a presentation by contacting the University Town inquiry lihe at 604.822.6400
or e-mail' info.universitytown@ubc.ca .'      . -•-'•■- -■•*•      ,
3., Campus and Community Public Meeting .
Tuesday, April 1,7 pm.
Room 214- Student Union Building "7
How Campus? & Community Feedback Will Be Used
Feedback gathered through this consultation via the web, fax, campus publications, open houses,
small-group meeting** and public meetings wil| be recorded and summarized in a Consultation
Summary Report, which will be presented with a Technical report and revised neighbourhood plan
to the UBC Board of Governors. The Consultation Summary Report will afsa be posted on the web. ,
For further informatiotf contact:
Linda Moore
Tel: 604.322.6400
Fax: 604.822.8102
E-mail: infa.universitytown@ubc.ca
Web: www.universitytown.ubc.ca
*w ;.;■;;■■ ■
'university town

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