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The Ubyssey Mar 24, 2000

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Array lapping the competition since 1918
THE UBYSSEY MAGAZINE Friday, March 24, 2000 volume 81 issue 45
Notes   from
Under     .
ground
T T   4 'THT
^ Trpr, BY JEFFREY MAClNTYRE
I /\iSi i i>/the wall duly noted. A primal grievance, if ever
there was one. My first impulse, understandably, was anthropological—
someone has to preserve this stuff. For my money, the complaint put
neighbouring axioms and epithets, not to mention the drawings of a
bearded lady, to shame. Then I remembered where I was, I got up to raise
my own pants, and I left the stall.
Posterity won't be any kinder to that anonymous wit than the janitors,
and no foreseeable edict ("Down with pants"?) appears to be forthcoming. But this is a university, where ideas are nurtured; furthermore, this
is UBC, where Latinate maxims officially take a back seat to the motto
"Think About It!" I never would have guessed that the seat of learning
comes with a flush valve, but for someone who mistakes the school
motto for "Think On It," this toilet seat
serves as legitimate forum enough. Were
their sheer abundance a defining feature,
the legible missives which appear daily on
any given campus stall's walls would
augur something more—practically an
endowed chair. And I think they do.
Luckily, posterity doesn't write itself:
as Disraeli once said, the youth do. With
that thought in mind I recently took to over
a dozen of the public washrooms—
men's, women's, and those for the disabled—which dot the UBC campus,
acquainting myself with the latrine literati.
Or the student vox pop, as it were.
Amid a great deal of joy, hate, pain, and
bragging rights about the rites of youth,
graffitists exercise an elan and, sometimes, an impassioned conviction rarely
heard in class discussions, qualities rare
enough in the air of lounge and cafeteria
banter.
"You certainly see the full range of
intellectual ability and creativity," explains
Associate Professor of Psychology Delroy
Paulhus.
"There are these thoughts and feelings people are wanting to get out," says
another professor, who prefers to remain
anonymous, adds, As attentive as the
graffitists are to the thematic mainstays
of vital functions and sex—it's a veritable
lab of Freudian drives at play—they also
seem to register equal pleasure and inspiration from trumping the remarks of others and showboating their own. "It's like
tunnel vision," the unnamed professor opines. "Some of us have this
script, this schema," he explains, of what one should say when writing
graffiti in a bathroom stall.
How else to account for the incendiary wit that's so commonplace?
One artist's miniature rendering of an erection, professed to be his
own—or so I inferred from SUCK MY ROCK HARD COCK—is coyly
rebuked by another's addendum, DRAWN TO SCALE. It is ever thus in the
call-and-response medium of bathroom graffiti.
Indeed, the medium is the message. The only hard and fast rule of all
this scrawl is the that no one ever gets the last word. According to Ernest
Abel and Barbara Buckley, authors of The Handwriting on the Wall, a book-
length study on this same subject, graffiti is "a form of communication
that is both personal and free of the everyday social restraints that nor-
(or, what our
restrooms are
saying about
us)
From stall to shining stall, on a daily basis, some of UBC's greatest
unknown auteurs get their pants off and their swerve on, and they let us all
in on it. Whether their work withstands the test of time, only custodial tenacity or the scribe's deep etching will tell. But who are they, really?
THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL: The bearded lady (above) is one of the secrets of the bathroom
stalls (below). Jeffrey macintyre photo (above) tara westover photo (below)
:f*
mally prevent people from giving uninhibited reign to their thoughts." The book is full of humourous anecdotes about the surprisingly long history of graffiti, such as scholars' ironic dependence on the etchings on
Pompeii's walls to study and appreciate ancient civilisation. They quote one linguist who asserts that "one
of the earliest uses to which the art of writing was put, along with alphabetic exercises and marks of ownership, was sexual insult and obscenity."
Graffiti is a by-product of civilisation—as Abel and Buckley demonstrate; it's as old as the first flowerings of literacy. There's an element in which the bathroom substitutes as the modern day confessional;
even then, the intent is to be heard by a wide number of one's peers. Still, while one can give vent to any
underground musing without exception, this doesn't mean that it goes condoned or uncriticised. As in a
democracy, the graffitist never necessarily gets away with a comment, however asinine; dissenting and critical voices are never far away. Neither is a YEAH, WELL... FUCK YOU, notes Paulhus. "They usually all end
up that way. The ultimate devastation of a critic, according to this rather low level of creative and intellectual development."
continued on page 4 lafifcelh 24, 2000* page friday—the ubyssey magazine •
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1 800 2 REVIEW
£U0B stro6tors
we
asked you:
t
What   do  you think  of
the BC Supreme Court
lifting  the  smoking
ban  in bars  and  pubs?
That sucks! It was such a positive
step...It was so like, modern, such
a good decision. Progressive, that's
the word.
—Kelly "liar, liar" Doody and Katie
"pants on fire" Brambley, who lied
about their real names. But we
found out anyway. Arts 3
I don't think it was a good idea to
change it back. I liked it the way it
was, especially [in] family restaurants. I just don't think kids should
be under that second-hand smoke.
—Dave Beleznay
Sciences 1
Well, I'm a smoker so I don't much like
[the ban]. Well, I think that it's good for a
lot of businesses like bars and stuff where
they get a lot of clientele that are smokers... but I see why—you know it's a
health hazard. It's a horrible habit but I
think [ending the ban]'s good.
—Kirsten Remple
Geology 3
+
I'm a non-smoker so I guess I don't like
it...I don't think they should be allowed
to smoke in public space.
—Mick Khera
Engineering 2
or...what's inside today
Heidi Dunkley
excelled at a sport
she never even
knew existed
Swede
revives Long
John Silver.
But the old
BOY     IS     STILL
MISSING    that   leg
DUNCAN M. MCHUGH  PHOTO
onze
Les enfants de la residence
Pare Toteme sont en colere
avec les prix dans leur magasin.
Excellent, les enfants!
letters:
The Ubyssey is
"pissy, well-off"
Your paper is ridiculous. Students
from your university (UBC, right?)
spent months of their lives putting
up a production of God's Favourite by
Neil Simon at the Norman Rothstein
Theatre with no other reward for their
extracurricular dedication than
applause. Instead of honouring this
hard work with any sort of coverage
or review, I pop open the Ubyssey to
find the Raelian sect (!) and some
snide, pissy editorial conceived, no
doubt, by pissy, well-off university
students.
This is not the first time your
"paper" has neglected to acknowledge the efforts put forth by the students of this university. In November,
I begged the culture editor to send a
reviewer to a play written, directed,
performed and paid for by UBC students (the university of your namesake, right?) because we desperately needed coverage for our upcoming
Fringe tour. Despite the deliverance
of a press package to your office
weeks earlier, despite the months of
time and effort put forth at our
expense, and despite the show selling out its final performance, guess
how much attention your paper paid
to our efforts? Right. Nothing.
How about adding one more item
to your list: your own lack of support
of the students of this universlly. Mo
wonder it is hard for the campus
body to show any signs of life with
such a weak publication serving as
its backbone.
Jason Rothery
Creative Writing 3 arch 24, 2000 • page friday—the ubyssey magazine
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since 1918
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A rough kind of community standards gets applied.
"These are always tied in to the cultural norms," Paulhus
finds. It's not just the way gendered (GUYS SUCK ASS),
social (unrepeatable sorority and fraternity jokes) and academic divisions (BURN BUCHANAN, offers one stall in
Angus) intensify. The grandiloquent are told SOMEBODY'S
BEEN WATCHING THE MATRIX! In men's room walls, the
racist and homophobic get their anxiety played back onto
them by respondents who claim to be lusty, offended, and
violently seething—in the adjoining stall. Intentional misinterpretation and acidic sarcasm abound. One woman's
call for a NON-HATE CORNER, PLEASE is met first with I
WUV U, and then the inevitable rejoinder, FUCK YOU! The
generally-annoyed mark their disdain with extreme prejudice. One memorable exchange comes to mind:
LIFE IS BEUTIFUL!!!!
LEARN TO FUCKING SPELL, IDIOT.
The bold lysexual brag finds doubting ears and those
who are demure about talk of sex are accused of being
gay, or otherwise unsatisfied and repressed. Or, in one
discussion among women of lesbian interests, a lone
dissenter is ridiculed as backward, puritanical, and oblivious to the obvious coolness of lesbians. Elsewhere, correspondents conversing in an Arabic-looking foreign language, evoke the obviously discomfited reaction in
English that YOU FORGOT TO DOT YOUR "I." Even penmanship becomes an index for manhood in one conversation, the latter impugning the former for his bubble-
shaped letters YOUR [sic] WRITING LIKE A GIRL !!!
These comments are not unequivocally attention-worthy: some mask obvious hang-ups involving intolerance, bigotry, and chauvinism. It's a microcosm for our
own freedom of expression, played to its most extreme
extents. And as defaced, distorted, or simply half-
erased sentiments attest, some people are compelled
by their own social conscience to curb the unaccept-
able. But, no differently than in everyday life, those
with rhetorical and expressive talents seem to hold
greater sway, keeping the less articulate critics silent.
That's probably why this version of social Darwinism is
so funny: it's inconsequential in a basic sense, and,
because of the scholastic context, the stakes of proving one's faculties to another are heightened to hilarious effect.
"It certainly raises the issue of sex differences,"
Paulhus contends of the difference between men's
and women's graffiti. Paulhus has done research study
on the subject in the past, and his findings were not all
that surprising. "It's almost a stereotype of the evolutionary agendas of men and women," he observes wryly.
Women's comments evince interest in group-consensus on abortion, sexual climax, drugs, relations, and
respectability. In Hennings, there's one terribly pronounced interest—a complete chart with statistics and
blanks to fill—among girls: WHO REALLY LIKES COUNTRY MUSIC, ANYWAY? That's not to say men don't conduct their own surveys; they just happen to be more predominantly concerned with graphic evaluations, such as
qualitative and quantitative accounts of their defecatory
labours. The charts themselves are marvels to behold in
their detail. See if you can beat the elapsed time
record—it's the least competitive field.
There is, of course, great interest among men about
other matters of Great Social Moment, chief among the
germane being SEXUAL POSITIONS YOU'D LIKE HER TO
DO (ILLUSTRATED), and BABES YOU WANNA DO (IN
ORDER OF PREFERENCE). Still, for every woman wondering WHY AM IA PEDOPHILE MAGNET?! there's a number
asking WHERE CAN I FIND A DEDICATED STAMP COLLECTOR? playing on a tired oral sex joke. Others, who
continued from page 1
profess sexual loneliness, are advertised choice Internet
chat rooms in return.
Does custodial services have a composite sketch we
can work from? (I called and was politely, if firmly,
informed that every effort is made to clean the stalls on
a daily basis.) These people, after all, are petty offenders of the law. This contrary to much toilet talk of INTELLIGENT SCRIPTURES, ALTERNATIVE MEDIA, and the ever
elusive INTELLLIGENT BATHROOM DISCOURSE, all
bedecking various men's walls in the SUB. Perhaps
crime lab technology can anticipate how a signature
offender's style will evolve or change overtime, and we'll
at last prove what many have long suspected—that
these people are fewer in number than we're led to
expect, essentially communing with themselves in an
endless Mardi Gras of the mind. Or, in the immortal sentiment of a Hennings men's room, ALL HAIL BARRY!
"It Is an alternative forum," agrees Paulhus. And the
graffitists recognize that with their own panache, as MASTURBATION MESSIAH and THE BATHROOM POET do verbal doubles off one another. RESPOND, YOU MAY GET
PUBLISHED! another facetiously suggests—of course, all
this banter derives enthusiasm from its own sort of
instant publication. Their inspired verve, if not their clarity, speaks volumes: THE INTERNET IS THE BATHROOM
STALL OF THE WORLD! reports a men's stall in
Buchanan. As Paulhus says, "I think expression [alone]
is inherently rewarding." Even the non-graffitist audience
stands to benefit at least minimally from this exposure to
the more subterranean facets of human nature, via campus restroom folklore. "It could be a form of acculturation," Paulhus concludes. Or, though rarely, good cheer
Li'     *        .        ,"™*%%i~H»?»«"—"^ !!W*,:■'',
an Angus basement
;„?^ir«    "  i     '  '    * ***
and  sociability:  MERRY XMAS!
restroom belatedly notes.
WHAT IS WITH ALL THIS WRITING? a Macmillan washroom rightly asks. The real concept underlying campus
bathroom graffiti is a genuine enthusiasm for communication. And play. This is still one of few respites for the
weary student from the rigours of class discussion, lecture questions, and lab work—this is ihe unofficial lingua
franca of the campus mentality. It's where anxieties
about political correctness and academic achievement
are kept in strict abeyance.
Yet semesters do march on, social codes dictate
behaviour, and sometimes, UBC students go to the bathroom and air their thoughts. It may be the proverbial message in a bottle, but it usually doesn't last; those
favourite bon mots just may disappear tomorrow, wiped
clean away. At least we'll always have Pompeii.
And pants will continue to really bite. If turnabout is
fair play, it's safe to say that here it's the rule. It's human
nature, and the graffiterati wear it well. CRISIS CENTRE
872-3311 (24 HOURS), a supportive female tells no one
in particular in Buchanan. Etched in bold sweeps directly below it, a fitting reply: CALL ***.****_ FOR SOME
HOT LOVIN'. Life is BEUTIFUL indeed.*
o you're an art
Here's a mrscellany of thoughts,
questions, statistics, and observations for you, scribe on the sly:
* We already know what you've
come there to do.
* Penmanship counts: Women prefer cursive, guys the classy elegance of BLOCK PRINT.
* Pen. pencil, marker...or the dreaded smear?
+ Following in the grand tradition of
the asinine abled who park their
cars in handicapped spots, wheelchair bathrooms (which are co-ed)
are overrun by the hit-and-miss
overtures of desperate singles anxious to hook up.
* Ladies, give up. The campus
bathroom will never be a standard-
bearer for sanitation.
* Men, you too. You will not find the
sex acts you envision realised hero,
or anywhere else, which excludes
the province of your fertile imagination.
* Urban myth: contrary to much discussion, there are no lusty homosexuals waiting to canoodle with
you in the men's room. No, not
even In the neighbouring stall.
* There must be better places to
advertise your dot-com start-up.
* Girls, lesbian chic is out. Guys,
lipstick lesbianism was never in.
* Re: Surveys and charts soliciting
frank depictions of excretion. What
intellectual thirst is being gratified
here? Do we get co-author rights
when you publish this study?
+ Watch your spelling in Buchanan.
* Watch your back In the Koerner
basement.
* Watch nothing in the Music building—the stall walls are black.
Ingenious.
* Moral outrage department: plagiarism runs rampant.
* For the last time, boys, wo know
your thoughts on race relations.
And breasts.
* Let me guess: six credits this
semester?
* Yes, you are indeed very clever.* ■ page friday—the ubyssey magazine •friday, marchi
Personal best
Dunkley's UBC-
record throw will
other UBC
athlete will
Heidi Dunkley was thrown into a new sport last year. And almost right away, she was thrown
versify weight-throwing career has run its full course. It's not that she didn't succeed-in fact,
her best throw and earned a top-5 finish at the CIAUs. It's just that time has run out on her.
by Naomi Kim
"Oh, by the way, you're going to do weight toss now."
This is what Heidi Dunkley's coaches told her at her first meet last year. And she was surprised. After all, as she remembers with a laugh, she had "never picked the thing up before in
my life."
So she picked it up and she threw it, the first-ever female athlete to compete in the event for
UBC. But almost right away, everything came unwound.
The sport of weight-throwing is unfamiliar to most people, and is also relatively new to local
competition. The weight is a big ball in a bag with a handle on top. The weight is 20 pounds for
women, 35 for men. Despite her initial ignorance, after a year of coaching and training, Dunkley,
the UBC record-holder in the event, is able to describe the indoor sport with ease.
"Techniquewise, you spin the ball, rotate [usually three times], and just release," she says.
The sport was introduced to BC high schools about three years ago. Last year was the first
time that the weight throw appeared at the CIAUs, but it was just an exhibition sport—no points
were awarded towards the team total. Then this year, it was included as an official event.
Dunkley had never intended to compete in track and field for UBC. After two years at college,
she travelled from Prince George to study exercise science in UBC's School of Human Kinetics.
But when Dunkley picked up the weight for UBC, it wasn't the first time she had been involved in
competitive athletics.
In high school, she had competed in the 100m and
200m sprints, long jump, and triple jump before moving on
to shot-put in grade 12, after injuries forced her to stop running.
But in one of her university classes, she spotted some-
StcUld ill UlG DOOks    one wearing a UBC track and field team T-shirt. She struck
up a brief conversation with sprinter Erin Martin, and at
llPPai 1 «?P n O the last minute decided to try out for the team in the shot-
put. The weight toss wasn't even in her mind at the time.
It couldn't have been—as she says, she "didn't even
know it existed."
She contacted Bryce Singbeil—a weight thrower and a
coach—who said that a tryout wouldn't be necessary, since
Dunkley's shot put was already at near-standard distance.
h *3 \/£-*  t h £*   The weighttoss—°r weight throw/—was still as foreign to her
I It* V Ks   t! I%s   then as n js t0 most pe0p|e now_ But since team points are
awarded in university track and field, most athletes are
encouraged to compete in multiple events.
• Once Dunkley began competing as a rookie in the weight
OjIcinCe   tO COm- toss' she took up the w^Stt throw as well, joining Singbeil,
a former national team member, as last year's Thunderbird
weight throw team.
She may have seemed a natural for the event, but there
were problems from the beginning.
In her first year, Dunkley experienced difficulties with
throwing technique in both events. After having always
thrown her own way, and then having been introduced to
Singbeil's suggestions, she was caught between the two techniques.
"It was just ugly, to put it mildly," she says.
During the summer after her first year at UBC, she coached young kids and teenagers, coming back in the fall to train with coach Richard Collier, whom UBC track and field head coach
Carmyn James had asked to work with Dunkley.
By learning proper technique, Dunkley was soon able to throw further and further, and kept
getting better and better.
"I [had a personal best] basically every week," she says.
Her throws consistently improved. She started the year at a distance of 11m and improved
from 12m at one meet, to 12.15m at the next, to 13m at the next. Nice work, but, almost predictably, there would be a nagging injury to slow her down.
Dunkley had been suffering from a back injury, but tried not to draw attention to it. Her coaches, however, noted her perseverance.
"She's a real trooper and she was determined to throw the weight this year," says Collier, who
added that Dunkley worked around the injury.
Though her back still hurt, Dunkley competed in the Canada West championships. She didn't
finish well in the weight toss, but her surprising second-place shot put throw of 12m meant that
she qualified to compete in both events at the CIAUs.
"The last throw was a miracle," she says.
She followed the Canada West performance with a good week of practice, and felt confident,
felt that the only thing standing in her way at the CIAUs was her back injury.
After finishing in tenth place in the shot put, she prepared for the weight throw competition.
But her wamnup throws were not looking particularly good.
,     "You could see how she was sort of wincing because it hurt so much," James recalls.
This was hardly the way Dunkley could have wanted the meet to go. And then she fouled out
on her first throw. It wasn't an auspicious beginning to the competition.
But as Collier says of Dunkley, "nothing rattles her." And the second throw was different.
James explains that the way she threw, it was as if she had been in no pain at all. And she threw
14.41m.
"She just overcame it and put together the best throw of her life and she had a couple other
ones that were close to it, but the second one, that second throw was just amazing," James
remembers.
"[Collier] felt that had it not been for her injury, she could have even thrown over 15m," she
continues. "But I think the fact that she threw as far as she did under the circumstances just
shows how focused she was and determined and the fact that she was able to put it all together, to me, that's the sign of a true athlete—to be able to do it when the conditions aren't ideal."
But Dunkley is the last to admit that hers was a great performance.
off track. In two short years, her uni-
during that brief tjme, she doubled
same
lance to compete in Dunkley s
event.
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NOT WHAT SHE EXPECTED: Heidi Dunkley, shown above with a shot, quickly found
success competing as a Thunderbird in the shot put and the weight throw.
TARA WESTOVER PHOTO
"I still haven't totally figured out the technique," says Dunkley modestly. "Still not
right there. It's hard to learn, but once you learn it, it becomes natural and but I
haven't quite got to that natural stage yet."
Despite her personal-best throw of 14.41m, Dunkley admits to a flaw that the average spectator would not notice.
"The week before, I was nailing the technique perfectly [in practice] and it felt so
good and throwing it so far and.. .for whatever reason, I choked. I was only doing one
turn and throwing 14. So if I could get the three turns in, it would have definitely gone
farther."
But the people watching weren't concerned about Dunkley's single rotation. James
was the only UBC person in attendance when Dunkley threw a distance of 14.41m in
the weight throw at the CIAUs, but the sounds from the fieldhouse drowned out
James' cheers.
Competitors and coaches alike were watching and it wasn't that Dunkley won the
event—she finished in fourth place—it was that they knew Dunkley, and knew what
she had just done.
"They were all familiar with everybody's performances," says James. "They knew
that...it was a huge personal best and that's what everyone was rooting for. They
knew what everybody's bests were, and they really appreciated a big performance like
that."
It was a good throw. Everyone knew that, but no one could have told that from looking at Dunkley.
"Even when she threw a [personal best] of over a metre at the CIAU championships from like tenth spot to fourth spot, there was just this smirk that came on
her face," says James. "But everyone else was doing cartwheels and she was very
modest about it."
Only after the competition did her face light up, says James. "I guess maybe she
didn't want to celebrate too soon."
"If I had more time with her," says Collier, "I think we could have won everything...
She's a very strong, and a very strong-minded athlete."
But Collier won't get more time to work with his protege at UBC, and Dunkley won't
get another chance to fit in all three rotations before she lets the weight fly.
The recent cuts to the track and field program mean that UBC will not compete in
either the shot-put or the weight throw in the future. Dunkley's UBC-record throw will
stand in the books, because no other UBC athlete will have a chance to compete in
Dunkley's event.
Dunkley will be graduating with a Human Kinetics degree anyway, so she's not
directly affected by the cuts—but she's not sure what's next. She says she is done
with the weight throw, but she may be continuing in athletics.
"Now that I've got all the [weight throw] technique and stuff down I'm kind of planning on doing [the hammer throw] over the summer," says Dunkley.
The hammer is an outdoor version of the weight throw. And Dunkley has never tried
it before.
"Kind of." "Planning." She's not sure.
She smirks. Maybe she is sure—the least she can do is give it a try.* -h
rch 24, 2000 • page friday—the ubyssey magazine ■
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PAVEL BURE: THE RIDDLE OF THE RUSSIAN ROCKET
by Kerry Banks
[Greystone]
by Sara Newham
A must-have for anyone who calls themselves a Pavel Bure fan, Kerry
Banks' new book attempts to solve the so-called mystery surrounding
Vancouver's former hockey superstar. Banks provides an in-depth but non-
controversial look at a player who still baffles most members of the media.
As a sports columnist with the Georgia Straight, Kerry Banks is able to
use his own experiences and those of his colleagues to give us an inside
look into what it was like reporting on Pavel Bure. The many references to
Province columnist Tony Gallagher and other Vancouver notables lend the
book a lot of local colour.
Banks provides some interesting early anecdotes, courtesy of the
Russian Rocket's father, Vladimir Bure. These shed light on the kind of
childhood the hockey star had, as well as the expectations put upon him
by the elder Bure. There are also anecdotes describing the Soviet system,
including everything from the treatment of Soviet
athletes to the purchase of big ticket items in
the late '80s. Banks also describes how Bure
and his fellow compatriots left the Soviet Union
to become NHL stars. The anecdotes themselves are well worth reading.
However, this book lacks a personal touch
because it is an unauthorised biography. Had
Banks obtained permission for a one-on-one
interview with the enigmatic star, he might have
been able to uncover more about Bure than he
did. As it is, much of the book is a recap of
Bure's eight-plus seasons with the Vancouver
Canucks, including period-by-period descriptions
of important games—and goals—in Bure's
career with the Canucks.
For those people who have followed the
Canucks this past decade, much of this book will
be old news, with some interesting tidbits
thrown in every so often. The description of the
Canucks' fairy-tale run to the 1994 Stanley Cup
Rnals is either a trip down memory lane or a sad
reminder of how the Canucks fell so far so fast.
Banks shows how the Canucks' mishandling of
Bure's contract situation, among other issues,
ultimately led to the Rocket's trade to Florida.
Banks also unearths some interesting connections between Bure, other Russian NHL stars,
and the Russian mafia, but as with the rest of
the book, most of his- sources come from third
parties, and not the subject himself.
Despite its shortcomings, this book is recommended for anyone who considers him- or
herself a fan of Pavel Bure—or, for that matter,
for any hockey fan. The pictures that are included in the book complement Banks' portrayal of
the man Vancouverites love to hate. If I were to
offer any advice to Banks, Ft would be to market
this book in Florida where "Pavelmania" has
takenoff once again. It will give Floridians insight
into Bure's early NHL career. It also might help
the Florida Panthers learn what not to do with
their superstar, a lesson the Canucks never
understood.^ ~r
enter the c(Jlher
vanclty's hip-hop soldiers have been battling It out Wednesday nights at sonar
■ page friday—the ubyssey magazine*friday, marci
BATTLE ROYALE
at Sonar
March 17, 22, 29
by Jannine Lasaleta
Enter the kingdom where jesterly
subjects duke it out wild style for
their time to shine, where the public
arena is the cipher and
where all are vulnerable
to lyrical exposure. This
month, Sonar's Battle
Royale features showdowns of the three elements of hip-hop—b-boy-
ing was last week, MCing
last night and DJing is
next Wednesday.
Sonar's small, stuffy
upstairs room—high
above the masses of
chicken heads shaking
their vivrant thing for an audience of
testosterone-filled hard rocks—is
housing the three-week competition.
I'm not a hip-hop purist, but I
love the culture that has built up
around the aforementioned three
elements plus graffiti. It's hard for
most to appreciate them now, since
they're overshadowed with commercial "ha" and "like whoa" hoopla.
Promoter G-Man hopes these
events will help bring more hip-hop
to Vancouver's urban scene. Each
week's winner receives $200 plus
some nice gear.
On March 17, the poppers
popped and the breakers breaked
on the hardwood—busting power
moves, freezes, up-rocking and
headspins to old school joints courtesy of Mr. Rumble. Observing the
cipher made me wish that I hadn't
given up breakdancing at the age of
five. The 20-plus competitors, hail-
The lyrical assassins aimed precise and witty (not to mention
insulting) lyrics at their counterparts, causing audience uproars
of# "Did you hear what he just
said?"
ing from Vancouver, Seattle and
even Edmonton, danced hard all
night—their only refreshment an
occasional swig on a water bottle
and the breeze provided by their
windmilling legs. At the end of four
rounds, b-boy Haasam was the last
man standing.
But after Wednesday night, I'd
have to say that MC battles are my
favorite element to watch.
Vancouver's finest MCs took to the
makeshift stage with J-Swing providing the dope beats. There is something commendable about being able
to freestyle. At its worst, the MCs
had no flow, and cursed just to fill up
time. At its best, the lyrical assassins aimed precise and witty (not to
mention insulting) lyrics at their counterparts, causing audience uproars
of, "Did you hear what he just said?"
If   you   didn't   already   know,
Vancouver has got some ill MCs! The
final  rounds  were
so quality that the
judges      couldn't
make     up    their
minds—they   kept
having to ask the
crowd. There were
about six different
MCs    who    could
have easily walked
away with  it,   but
eventually it came
down   to   a   final
match up between
the underground and angry stylings
of Sirnario  and the  new school
smooth of big ol' Birdapres. At the
end of a vicious showdown, Sirnario
came out on top.
The last battle takes place on
March 29 between the DJs. They will
mix, juggle beats, drum, and scratch
to determine who reigns supreme.
Scheduled to showcase their skills
are Scatterbrain and Asterix of the
Mutant Fish. Competitors include
Needle Knievel, G-Nuis, Hedspin,
and Sets. It's good stuff kids, so
check it out.»>
NOT THE WWF: An unidentified breakdancer wrestles with himself during last week's b-boy contest in Sonar's upstairs lounge. Local breaker
Haasam walked away with the $200 cash prize, tom peacock photo
DRAFT: Disaster Management Policy
RESPONSIBLE
Vice President Administration & Finance
POLICY
The University aims to reduce the negative
impact on the University community, property,
and environment resulting from emergencies
and disasters, and to expeditiously and
efficiently restore academic programs and
University operations.
PROCEDURE SUMMARY
The University is to develop and maintain a
Disaster Management Program based upon the
principles of preparedness, response,
mitigation, and recovery.
Preparedness
Preparedness activities shall consist of
• developing and maintaining a University
Disaster Plan,
• developing and maintaining an Emergency
Operations Centre,
• training and educating the University
community, and
• testing and exercising the University
Disaster Plan.
Response
Response will address issues of
• warning and evacuation,
• emergency medical and social services,
• search and rescue,
• building or facility damage assessment,
and
• security and protection of property.
Mitigation
Mitigation activities shall consist of
• conducting a hazard and risk assessment,
• prioritizing mitigation activities, and
• developing and implementing mitigation
strategies.
Recovery
Recovery shall consist of planning for
• restoration of teaching and research
activities,
• resumption of services, and
• repair or reconstruction of facilities.
DETAILED PROCEDURES
In the absence of the President of the
University, the line of succession for
declaration of a university disaster and
authority during a university disaster is the Vice
President Academic & Provost, Vice President
Administration and Finance, Vice President
Research, Vice President Students, and Vice
President External Affairs.
The key response activities, in the event of an
emergency or disaster, rest with service units.
These activities are detailed in the University
Disaster Plan.
In the event of a disaster affecting the
University, individuals should report to their
immediate supervisor as soon as reasonably
possible and await further instructions.
An Emergency Planning Steering Committee,
reporting to the Vice President Administration
and Finance, will develop and recommend
policies, plans, and guidelines for preparedness,
response, mitigation, and recovery measures at
the University. These measures will include
preparation, approval, and evaluation of a
University Disaster Plan, and recommendations
on current and future needs for emergency and
disaster preparedness. The Steering Committee
will be composed of representatives from the
University community appointed by the Vice
President Administration and Finance.
The University will develop, operate, and
maintain an Emergency Operations Centre in
accordance with requirements specified in the
University Disaster Plan.
Service units are responsible for developing
and testing emergency plans as prescribed by
the University Disaster Plan. These units are
also responsible for participating in campus-
wide emergency preparedness, response, and
recovery activities.
The Department of Health, Safety &
Environment will be responsible for providing
training and education for the University
community and for providing assistance to
administrative heads of unit in developing unit
emergency plans. Health, Safety &
Environment is also responsible for
coordinating campus-wide activities to exercise
and test emergency and disaster response.
Administrative Heads of Unit are responsible
for developing and testing emergency plans that
are applicable to the activities and operations of
the unit. These plans, which must be tested at
least annually, must include specific evacuation
procedures and fire safety information as per
the BC Fire Code.
The Provincial Emergency Program
recommends that all individuals be prepared for
emergencies at all locations, including in the
workplace and at home. This includes preparing
to meet individual needs for a period of up to
72 hours. The University encourages all
personnel to undertake emergency preparedness
measures, and supports this through the
delivery of emergency preparedness workshops
coordinated by the Department of Health,
Safety & Environment.
Emergency and disaster preparedness issues
that may have budgetary implications will be
forwarded to the Vice President responsible for
the unit for approval of action, timing, and
funding.
Reports on the status of disaster management
will be brought, through the senior officers of
the University, to the Board of Governors at its
regular meetings. Emergencies of significant
impact will be brought to the attention of the
Chair of the Board of Governors by the
President or his/her designate, immediately.
The University will maintain relations and
share information with the Provincial
Emergency Program, neighbouring
municipalities, and first response agencies to
ensure compatible emergency response plans.
Definitions
Disaster means a calamity that
a) is caused by accident, fire, explosion
or technical failure or by the forces
of nature, and
b) has resulted in serious harm to the
health, safety or welfare of people, or
in widespread damage to property.*
Emergency means a present or imminent event
that
a) is caused by accident, fire, explosion
or technical failure or by the forces
of nature, and
b) requires prompt coordination of
action or special regulation of
persons or property to protect health,
safety or welfare of people or to limit
damage to property.*
Emergency Operations Centre means a central,
location for the key campus decision-makers,
emergency planners, and services to direct,
control, coordinate, and support emergency
operations effectively.
First Response Agencies include the Vancouver
Fire and Rescue Services, BC Ambulance, and
Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Mitigation means those sustained measures and
activities aimed at reducing or eliminating
hazards associated with disasters, or lessening
the impact of the event.
Preparedness means those measures undertaken
in advance to ensure that individuals and
agencies will be ready to react, such as
emergency plans, mutual aid agreements,
resource inventories, training, exercises, and
emergency communications systems.
Response means those measures undertaken
immediately after an emergency or disaster has
occurred and for a limited period of time
thereafter, primarily to save human life, treat
the injured, and prevent further injury and other
forms of loss. They include response plan
activation, opening, and staffing of emergency
operations centres, mobilization of resources,
issuance of warnings and directions, provision
of aid, and declaration of states of emergency.
Recovery means those measures undertaken to
restore normal conditions. The time frame for
recovery begins as soon as a reduction in
critical response activities permits the reallocation of resources to longer-term recovery
activities. Recovery measures can extend over
years, and could include physical restoration
and reconstruction, financial assistance
programs, counseling, temporary housing or
relocation assistance, health and safety
programs, and economic impact studies.
Service Units means those units charged with
conducting or delivering services to the
University including, but not limited to,
Campus Security, ITServices, Financial
Services, Food Services, Health, Safety &
Environment, Housing and Conferences,
Human Resources, Land and Building Services,
Public Affairs, Purchasing, Treasury, and
Utilities.
* Excerpt from theB.C Emergency. Pmgrvm
ActfJJovember 25, I?$3.        --■■' ■■" i DO • page friday—the ubyssey magazine ■
and a Dottle of rum
LONG JOHN SILVER
by Bjorn Larsson
translated by Tom Geddes
[Harvlll Press]
by Jaime Tong
Long John Silver, the one-legged pirate from Robert
Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, was one bad-ass
gentleman of fortune.  Nicknamed  Barbeque by
shipmates, Silver was a brusque man who liked to
be in control of every situation. A quick thinker and
a fast talker, Silver always thought that being able
to spin a good yarn was vital for survival in the 18th
century. If he had existed, and was around today, he
would probably be pleased with Swedish author Bjorn
Larsson's yarn about him—Long John Silver.
Described as "a brilliant swashbuckling sequel"
by the Sunday Telegraph, Larsson's novel is a
complex and richly detailed account of Long
John Silver's life told from the first person
point of view. As mentioned in the subtitle, the
novel is "the true and eventful history of my life of
liberty and adventure as a gentleman of fortune
and enemy to mankind."
"The idea, I had it for a long time because in
Treasure Island, it's almost an invitation to fill in the
gaps," says Larsson. "The fact is, I didn't dare to do it,
and I didn't think I could pull it off; it was an adventurous project."
Larsson is in town for UBC's annual European writers
series, but he doesn't consider himself a Swedish writer—
because of his lack of geographical roots, he prefers
the term "vagabond writer" instead. Funding for his
visit comes from various offices, such as UBC's
Dean of Arts, the Speaker's Fund and different
embassies.
Larsson began writing Long John Silver immediately after he completed his novel The Celtic
Ring. Writing that novel was a liberating
experience because he discovered that
he  could  invent  characters.  Shortly
after handing in the manuscript, Long
John Silver materialised.
"I was in Stockholm and I walked
into a cafe and I just wrote the first
three chapters of Long John Silver like
that," he says, snapping his fingers.  "I
explained how he lost his leg and so from that
moment, I was living on the boat, so I wrote
most of it on the boat. I don't really understand
why it happened right then; it just came."
Larsson himself has had quite an eventful life.
His father drowned when he was seven and his family ended up moving around Sweden a lot. When he
turned 19, he refused to do his mandatory military
service, which resulted in three prison sentences
of six months total. He refers to this period as "a
rewarding and important experience."
His next stop was France where he lived for
seven years, writing and studying French. Fast forward
to Copenhagen and a wife who also loves sailing. They
If you ever wondered what happened to Long
John Silver after
Treasure Island,
you aren't alone.
Swedish writer
Bjorn Larsson
pondered the same
thing-and he
wound up writing
a sequel to the
classic novel
bought a 31-foot sailboat and lived on it for six years. This change of environment turned out to be conducive to writing novels—he completed The
Celtic Ring and wrote most of Long John Silver. Now he leads a land-
based life as head of the department of Romance Studies at the
University of Lund in Sweden.
I spoke to Larsson briefly before his lunchtime reading. We talked
about how he came up with the idea of telling Long John Silver's story.
There are so many characters in fiction—what is it about that one-legged
pirate?
"My book is an answer to that question, in a certain sense: why does
he deserve this sort of fascination with people? He's one of the big legends in literature like Robinson Crusoe, the Three Musketeers and Don
Quixote—he's of that order, but he's very evil at the same time."
Larsson also mentions the ambiguous relationship the reader and Jim
Hawkins, another character in Treasure Island, have with Silver.
"The problem was trying to understand that. And my understanding of
him was to make him into an extremely free human being. Freedom is
seductive and scary at the same time. So that's my answer to it."
On one level, Larsson's book is a well-crafted tale about pirates, sailing and the search for treasure. (Though some critics have described
Larsson's efforts as just "upgrading Treasure Island with sex and violence.") The opening, in which Larsson explains how Silver lost his leg
and attained his nickname, is unforgettable. Larsson kidnaps the reader right from the beginning of his novel. He is strong at setting the scene
and developing characters. Although I wasn't able to read all 400 pages
in one sitting, it was easy to get back into the story each time I picked
up the book.
While the novel is amazing
acters to life, it is also a mee
reality. In an act of literary
Dafoe is even a character. Th
Silver could have lived? Larsson
could've. Three years of research v
that it would be historically accurate.
"Afterward," however, to point outthimi
were too outrageous to believe.
Yet after further developing Silver <
out for number one, in the end he is
alone in Madagascar, writing his mi
as strong-willed as ever.
"It's actually also a novel about writii
in the end is that he realises that the st
this  Silver,  which  was  himself,   he
away....So you could probably reread 1
you'It read another story: the story of 1
writing his own novel."
Whether one reads the novel as one
writing, or as the lifelong adventures of I
still an adventure worth taking.*
ThelU
•iKvun
Editorial Elections
voting times:
MONDAY
11:30-12:30
3:30-5:30
more times to be announced
^—^    THURSDAY !
11:30-1:30
WEDNESDAY
12:00-2:00
eligible voters:
Lisa Denton
Duncan McHugh
Graeme Worthy
Alex Dimson
Bruce Arthur
Flora Graham
Tom Peacock
Todd Silver
Jaime Tong
Michelle Mossop
Regina Yung
Daniel Silverman
Para Westover
Jenn Neilson
Nicholas Bradley
Alicia Miller
Daliah Merzaban
Joni Low
Cynfhia Lee
Naomi Kim
Laura Blue
Miriam Torchinsky
Nyranne Martin
Tristan Winch
Melanie Streich
Sara Newham ■ page friday—the ubyssey magazine*friday, marci
lazing in how it brings char-
a meditation on fiction and
iterary meta-fiction, Daniel
ter. The book asks whether
arsson likes to think that he
;arch went into the novel so
:urate. Larsson includes an
rt things he discovered that
silver as a pirate who looks
d he is just a frail old man,
his memoirs, though he is
it writing and what happens
the story is just told about
, he can't just throw it
read the whole novel and
iry of the adventure of him
as one man's adventure in
es of Long John Silver, it is
s less than stellar. Modes
MODES OF EMERGENCE
at the Design Arts Gallery
basement of Main Library
until Mar. 31
The Design Arts Gallery has be en an excellent way for
UBC Fine Arts students to sho\ /case their artwork this
year. Fortunately for the studer ts of UBC, the gallery has
been host to numerous outstanding exhibitions, and
Modes of Emergences upholds) this standard.
Though some of the exhibit
of Emergences is a very stronfe collection, with contribu
tions coming from 21 third-year Fine Art students. And
while there isn't a cohesive the Tie per se, exhibit organisers Melissa Matthew and Isabe I Lange have attempted to
group the pieces according tq tone, using the gallery's
three rooms to the fullest.
The exhibit is almost all pointings, with a handful of
scultures filling empty spaces, 'hese pieces are the weakest of the exhibit. Sebastien jvlicoli's "Sculpture
makes good use of duct tape,
while Cameron Folk's photo
from-a-bell montage, "Brainwashed," is just weird.
Thankfully, there were lots >f other, much less
confusing pieces to study. Vic <y Chan's colourful
five-part "Read 'Me' B< yond the Surfaces
used the alphabet an i different styles to
entertain the eye. V^i <inia Kwan's "Dame
Agatha: You Make G >od Mysteries" was
both intricate and cl( ver. On the serious
side was Sara Price's intense self-portrait. Using a broac range of colours,
Price   has   concoojted   an   arresting
palette.
Other highlights
Lam's "Directions,"
spective, and Meliusa Matthew's collage,  "Guardian Argel," which  did  a
good job  represer
llhc a l*.
^^ KJ CI  by Dune
s
The  Design  Arts
Gallery  has  been
host     to  numerous
outstanding exhibitions
and  Modes  of
Emergences
upholds   this
standard
ts
in M. McHugh
but that's about it,
and knife-dangling-
include Gwanessa
for its use of per-
ting the  maternal
ether around a chil 1. Well actually, I'm
kind of stretching npw, but it does look
really cool.
That's really what this exhibit is
about. Some pain ings are insightful,
some are beautifi I, a couple are just
kind of irritating, r. ut the point is, this
is a collection o: emerging artists.
These students < re still trying to figure out their role 5 as artists, so naturally this collec tion will be hit and
miss. My recom nendation is to pay
a visit and witndss the work of your
colleagues. Modes of Emergences
runs Monday to Friday, 11-4, and
it's free. You have no excuse.**
mii^ss
SELF PORTRAIT: a work by Carmen Ip at the Design Arts Gallery, tara westover photo Isiy, march 24, 2000• page friday—the ubyssey magazine-
www.ubyssey.bc.ca
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WCB charges UBC
with mishandling
asbestos clean-up
DON'T BREATHE: When asbestos is breathed in, it can cause health problems, even lung cancer. But Housing says that it disposes of asbestos properly, and that residents have nothing to worry about, tara westover photo
by Alex Dimson
The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) has charged that UBC Housing
mishandled an asbestos clean-up at Place Vanier residence, potentially compromising the safety of residents.
Last week, the WCB issued an order alleging that UBC Housing has not
been "maintaining the premises in a manner that ensures the health and
safety of persons."
The order claims that Housing employees considered several "improper"
solutions, including the use of a vacuum cleaner, to clean up a piece of wall,
which contained asbestos, that had chipped off in Place Vanier's Robson
House.
A UBC assistant housekeeper was first told to clean up the piece, then
later a groundskeeper, and eventually the proper UBC contractor was called.
The contractor disposed of the piece, and the exposed area was sealed.
UBC's Associate Director of Housing Mark Crosbie does not dispute the
WCB's description of events, but says that the wall-piece was properly disposed of.
"There was some confusion about which procedure to use, but in the end
the correct decision was made—it's actually not an incident—it's a near
miss," he said. Crosbie maintains that residents were not exposed to any
amount of asbestos.
"The air was tested and there was no problem with it whatsoever," he
said.
The use of asbestos, a form of insulation, as a construction material was
banned in the 1970s because of health risks. Although not hazardous when
locked behind solid material, if asbestos is released into the air and inhaled
in sufficient quantities, it may cause health problems including lung cancer.
It remains, however, in many buildings on campus.
And the potential health risks still have some residents concerned about
the manner in which the Vanier matter was handled.
"It was so weird, all these guys in contamination suits came up to fix it
and meanwhile we had spent the last few days just walking around normally, breathing it all in," said resident Otto Schulte.
Ben Ruttlege, whose room was next to the hole, says that the workers
sealed his room off—with him still inside. He was trapped in his room for
about an hour.
"I opened the door and my room had yellow tape all around it saying 'do
not enter,'" he said,
Rob Macgowan, a second-year Vanier resident whose room is also near
the site, questions Housing's ability to deal with health and safety concerns
properly.
But Luis Ghgniere, an associate director with the Canadian Asbestos
Institute at McGill University in Montreal, says that the dangers associated
with asbestos are frequently overemphasised.
"People are so afraid of [asbestos]. If an air sampling is done soon after
any incident and it finds no fibres in the air, then there was no exposure,"
he explained.
"Given the small area in question it is unlikely that a dangerous level of
asbestos fibres could be released into the air," he said about the incident
in Vanier.
Housing's apparent confusion about the proper clean-up procedure has
led the WCB to order UBC to improve its asbestos training program. Although
the WCB did not assess Housing a financial penalty, they have given Housing
until April 16 to devise a worker improvement strategy.
Crosbie says that while the improvement measures have yet to be fully
determined, Housing will obey the mandate.
"What we'll do is do some asbestos training with our student advisors,"
he said. ■*■
"{While] all of the employees involved in this incident have had asbestos
training, we just have to make sure they get it more frequently—[and] we'll
put it in a new protocol regarding closing'down or taping off an [exposed]
area."^ ■ page friday—the ubyssey magazine*friday, march 24,1
Totem Park residents fight high prices
by Joni Low
Totem   Park  residents  are  boycotting the  residence's  convenience  store,
Magda's, in protest of rising prices.
On Monday, members of the Totem Park Residence Association (TPRA) set up
tables directly in front of the entrance to Magda's and sold candy, instant noodles, and other favorite late-night snacks in the Totem Park commonsblock.
The boycott, which ends today, is intended to draw attention to several issues
related to the store, which is owned and operated by UBC Food Services.
"They've got the monopoly, because a lot of people [can't] shop anywhere
else. We're just trying to be the voice over the course of this week, take their
business for the week, and then take our demands to UBC Food Services,"
said Sean Orchuk, the TPRA executive member responsible for organising the
boycott, which has made a considerable impact on sales this week.
Director of UBC Food Services Andrew Parr said that UBC Food Services
made only 40 per cent of its normal $1500 revenue on Monday. He said that he
will meet with members of the TPRA next week.
"We're pretty proactive, once the concerns are raised, to meet with the appropriate parties and hear what those concerns are and make those changes, or
have a chance to present the reasons behind our decisions," he said.
Most of the prices at Magda's are higher than, for example, a nearby 7-
Eleven store, ranging from ten to 50 cents more for chips, Slurpees, and
candy.
The TPRA is also circulating a petition to call for more of the store's profit
to go towards funding the TPRA. Currently, $900 per year is devoted to the
organisation. Over 550 students—about half of the Totem population—have
signed the petition.
Lindsay Billingsley, a first-year Totem resident, agrees that the prices are
unreasonable, and supports the boycott in full.
"It's pretty hard to walk into Magda's and see what kind of prices we have
to pay compared to that of Mac's or 7-Eleven...They're still making money and
they're still open. I don't understand why we don't get the same treatment."
Although Parr asserts that the prices are in line with competitors' market-
type pricing, he admits that more research is necessary to address the students' concerns.
Parr argues against comparing convenience store pricing to bulk store pricing.
"Those are unfair comparisons...When you go to 7-Eleven you pay a lot
more for a loaf of bread than you would if you go to Costco," he said.
Students also believe that the store should be operating at cost, similar to the student
meal plan, since Magda's accepts student meal cards as payment.
Orchuk believes that any profits Magda's earns should benefit Totem Park directly rather
than being funnelled into Food Services as a whole.
BOYCOTT: Fed
up with high candy prices, Totem Park residents sell candy bars for 50 cents, tara westover photo
The TPRA is also pushing for student employment in the facility, and extended weekend
hours.
Parr, however, clarified that Magda's is a profit-oriented establishment, not part of the at-
cost arrangement for students.
The manager responsible for setting prices could not be reached for comment.** ;h 24, 2000 • page friday—the ubyssey magazine •
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Students protest sweatshops
by Nicola Luksic
The Varsity
TORONTO (CUP)—Eight anti-sweatshop student
activists are still occupying the president's office at the
University of Toronto (U of T), and promise to stay until
their demands are met.
Last week, members of Students Against
Sweatshops (SAS) moved into the office of outgoing
President Robert Prichard, hoping to pressure the university into adopting a code of conduct that would
ensure that no merchandise bearing the U of T insignia
is made under sweatshop conditions.
While the lights are kept on at all times, three police
officers are on constant guard and play music almost
non-stop—heavy metal and thrash music during the day,
and pop bands, like the Backstreet Boys, during the
night.
"Despite the music playing all night, we're doing
alright," said SAS volunteer Sonia Singh. "The earplugs work pretty well."
Police deny that they are using the music as a pressure tactic.
"The music's just for us so we don't get bored,"
said Sergeant Darren Joyce.
Joyce, who has been on campus for 11 years, noted
that it is unusual for a sit-in to carry on over a week,
and is prepared to last as long as the students.
"This is standard stuff. It's a long haul, both for the
kids and for us," he said. "We need to make sure
everything runs smoothly."
The protesters are well supplied with food and drink
by supporters on the ground.
"I can't believe they've lasted this long," said
Rachel Rosen, a York University student, as she
watched her bucket-full of supplies, including snacks,
tampons, and board games, disappear through the second-storey window.
"Necessities and a few treats to keep them entertained," explained Rosen.
For over a year, SAS has been working on a code
that would require companies to provide full disclosure on the conditions under which their products are
manufactured.
The U of T administration says that they will put a
policy before the university's Governing Council in May,
but the protesters insist that it should be considered at
an earlier April meeting, arguing that the university has
been stalling.
"They've given us no reason to trust that they'll stick
to their word," said Singh, pointing out that on three
occasions deadlines were overlooked.
But the university president is adamant that SAS'
actions are futile.
"I'm taking the same stance as before," said
Prichard. "The university will not negotiate with them."
Other Canadian universities are waiting to use the
proposed code as a framework for their own.
Meanwhile, supporters across North America have
been following the occupation on the SAS website and
sending messages of encouragement.
"We want them to know they have kindred spirits
across the border," said David Snyder of Johns Hopkins
University (JHU) in Baltimore, Maryland. "People across
the country are being inspired by them."
Snyder and a team of students recently completed
a 17-day occupation of the lobby in their university's
main administrative building.
The occupiers pushed for JHU to adopt a fair "living-
wage" policy for all university employees and also
called attention to adopting a code of conduct for their
university merchandise.**
Atlantic universities freeze
tuition
CHARLOTTETOWN (CUP)—Students
at the University of Prince Edward
Island (UPEI) and the Memorial
University of Newfoundland will not
face any tuition increases for the
next academic year.
Thc freeze is the first step in a
three-year plan to restore investment in higher education, says
UPEI President Wade MacLauchlan.
The province recently announced
its plans to extend student debt
relief, and to establish $600 bursaries for third- and fourth-year UPEI
students.
After many years of decreased
funding, and an average rise in
tuition of 7.7 per cent annually
over the last 22 years, the UPEI
Student Union also applauds the
funding decisions.
The average undergraduate
arts student at the university pays
$3480 a year in tuition.
After freezing tuition levels dur
ing 1999-2000, the Newfoundland
government announced
Wednesday that it would also
extend its policy until the 2001-
2002 school year.
According to figures from the
Canadian Federation of Students,
undergraduate arts students at
Memorial pay $3300 in tuition.
—with fHes from the Cadre
'Labonte
posed 11-year deal, estimated to
be worth $10 million,
Alan Charade, McGill's lead
negotiator, said that the results
need to be taken with a grain of
salt. "A smalt minority even showed
interest in voting on this matter," he
McGill to decide
tocontinue
with Coke deal
MONTREAL (CUP)—Although McGill
University students rejected a proposal to make CocaCola the exclusive beverage supplier on campus
two weeks ago. it remains to be
seen if administrators will respect
the vote.
The university is not bound by
the referendum results, and some
university officials said that they
aren't in any rush to scrap the pro-
Approximately 5000 students
voted in the referendum, a 31 per
cent turnout.
Coke is facing problems at other
Quebec schools. Members of the
Student and Teachers Union at
Montreal's Dawson College are considering legal options to have
details of the deal released to the
public.
A confidentiality clause in the
Dawson deal currently prohibits
the administration from releasing
any contract information to the
public.
Meanwhile, CocaCola and UBC
will head to court April 4 to decide
on a Freedom of Information request
launched by the Ubyssey to release
details about the university's ten-
year exclusivity deal signed in
1995.*
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W -page friday—the ubyssey magazine •friday, march 24,!
AMS elections are over—forever!
The Alma Mater Society (AMS) elections have finally ended—for good
this time. The Prima Facie Committee
of the AMS Student Court has made
two recent rulings which end the
investigation of complaints that were
filed about alleged violations of electoral procedures.-
The complaints were in part concerned with the claim that UBC
Housing and its affiliated organisations had had some influence in the
election, in which issues affecting
campus   residences   were   highly
important. But the Committee ruled
that Student Court has no jurisdiction
over UBC or individual residence
councils.
The Committee also ruled that
there was insufficient evidence to
support the claim that members of
the AMS Elections or the Elections
Appeals Comittees violated any rules
or procedures—or that successful
candidates Erfan Kazemi and Mark
Fraser had campaigned unfairly.
There are no further complaints
filed about the elections.
The Pit was smokin'—for a night
TTiere was a familiar haze in the Pit
on Wednesday night—and it wasn't
just testoterone and cheap perfume.
After the BC Supreme Court tossed
out the Workers' Compensation
Board regulations
that prohibited smoking in restaurants and
bars, smoking was
permitted in the
SUB's basement bar.
A judge ruled that the ban, which
came into effect on January 1, was
implemented without sufficient consultation, and is therefore void.
Individual municipalities must now
address the issue themselves.
News
briefs	
On Wednesday night, smokers
were allowed to light up atthe Pit, but
not at the Gallery, where management decided that the bar would
remain non-smoking.
It seems likely, however, that in the near
future, both SUB bars
will remain smoke-free.
The smoking ban
has had only a minimal
impact on business at the Pit and
the Gallery, according to AMS
General Manager Bernie Peets, who
noted that it is unclear how business would be affected if other bars
do permit smoking.
We're sending AMS execs to Cuba!
A trip to Cuba might be a perfect pre-
exam stress-reliever—and AMS
President Maryann Adamec and Vice-
President External Graham Senft will
be making the trip on behalf of UBC
students.
Adamec,  Senft,  and  Graduate
Student Society representative
Suresh Pillai will be attending a conference of the OCLAE, an international student organisation, held in
Havana, April 1-4.
The AMS has provided $5000 to
fund the trip.*
1*1
Department of Foreign Affairs        Ministers des Affaires etrangeres
and International Trade et du Commerce international
The New Canadian Reference Guide
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Canada
DRAFT: Policy #6, Environmental Protection Compliance
Approved: January 1994
Reviewed by the Board of Governors
November 1995
RESPONSIBLE VICE PRESIDENT
Vice President Academic & Provost
Vice President Administration & Finance
Vice President Research
Vice President Students
Purpose
• to provide a formal statement of commitment in
response to global and local concerns regarding
environmental protection;
• to provide a framework for establishing procedures that will ensure consistent response to
environmental issues, and demonstrate responsibility and due diligence on the part of the
University,
• to develop auditing and monitoring procedures
which are effective for a university setting;
• to ensure compliance with all applicable environmental regulations at all sites of University
activity;
• to provide for the development of programs to
prevent pollution;
• to provide communication and education about
environmental issues;
• to provide a platform for sustainable development efforts at UBC.
Policy
UBC will act responsibly and demonstrate
accountable management of the property and
affairs of UBC in protecting the environment. All
individuals in the University community share the
responsibility for protecting the environment.
Administrative heads of unit are responsible for
ensuring compliance with legislation and UBC
procedures both on and off campus.
Procedure Summary
The University will continue to develop and maintain an environmental management system consistent with the purpose of this policy and with the
goal of continual improvement.
Procedures and reporting structures for matters of
compliance with environmental legislation are
necessary to demonstrate due diligence of UBC,
its Board of Governors, senior officers, students,
and members of faculty and staff, by addressing
responsibly activities which have potential for
exposure to lawsuits and prosecution.
"Where a corporation commits an
offense under this Act, any officer,
director or agent of the corporation
who directed, authorized, assented to
or acquiesced in or participated in
the commission of the offense is a
party to and guilty of the offense, and
is liable to punishment provided for
the offense, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted. " ... Section 122 of the
Canadian Environmental Protection
Act
Procedures, guidelines and programs addressing
specific environmental issues will be developed
and updated as required, as part of the University
environmental management system, to accomplish
the objective of compliance with environmental
legislation, with the full participation of the
University community. These will include evaluation guidelines and monitoring procedures, effective measures of progress, reporting mechanisms,
educational programs, and contingency plans for
accidents that affect the environment.
The Manager, Environmental Programs, reporting
through the Director, Health , Safety and
Environment and the Vice President
Administration and Finance, will be responsible
for focusing efforts on the most serious problems,
promoting development of the environmental management system and coordinating activities
through administrative heads of unit. These
efforts include environmental audits, central monitoring, recording and reporting progress (and
instances of non-compliance) on environmental
protection issues, providing training to the campus
community and serving as the central information
source about current and anticipated legislation
applicable to UBC as well as providing linkages
for sustainable development efforts.
Detailed Procedures
The Manager Environmental Programs, in conjunction with the Environmental Programs
Advisory Committee, will develop and maintain a
process for identifying the University's significant
environmental impacts and for developing objectives and targets to manage and reduce these
impacts where feasible.
Environmental audits will be performed of all
areas and activities under the control of the
University. Audits will include evaluation of
waste, emissions, hazardous materials, emergency
response procedures and the adequacy of training
of students, faculty and staff. Such audits will
measure the extent of compliance with federal,
provincial and local legislation and identify potential environmental risks.
An action plan will be developed by the administrative head of unit for bringing all identified deficiencies into compliance with legislation, in con
sultation with the Manager, Environmental
Programs, and will be forwarded to the Vice
President responsible for the unit for approval of
actions, timing, and funding.
Monitoring systems and procedures for handling
and reporting accidents/
incidents will be established for all activities and
areas of concern. Administrative heads of unit are
responsible for ensuring that the monitoring is carried out in accordance with established systems
and for reporting on the monitoring to both the
unit's vice president and the Manager,
Environmental Programs. Deficiencies detected
through monitoring or other means will be corrected as soon as possible.
Environmental Programs will develop programs
designed to prevent pollution and will encourage
and support such activities within the University
community.
When the impact or experimental design of activities to be conducted at off campus locations has
unknown or potentially harmful environmental
consequences, the member of faculty or staff
responsible will apply in advance for a certificate
of environmental protection from the
Environmental Programs Advisory Committee to
review and authorize such activities. Research
protocols, consistent with practices approved by
the screening committee for individual experiments, may be authorized by the screening cr i-
mittee for experiments which are to be repe'   ;d.
These steps are necessary because of the v   versi-
ty's potential liability for problems arisin , from
off-campus activities.
Administrative heads of unit are responsible for
ensuring communication about the goal of compliance with environmental legislation and appropriate training of all persons working or studying
within their units in relevant environmental issues
and procedures for recognizing, dealing with and
reporting accidents that affect the environment.
Supervisors and principal investigators are responsible for ensuring University procedures are followed and for instructing personnel under their
supervision regarding applicable policies, programs and procedures. Individuals working in
environmentally sensitive areas or with potentially
hazardous materials must be given appropriate
supervision, instruction and training prior to
undertaking work.
Reports of all audits, plans for correcting deficiencies, reports on satisfying monitoring requirements, accident-handling procedures and any
minor accidents/incidents will be brought, through
the senior officers of the University, to the Board
of Governors at its regular meetings. Any acci
dents/incidents of significant environmental
impact will be brought to the attention of the Chair
of the Board of Governors by the President or
his/her designate immediately.
When potentially harmful conditions arise or are
discovered, the administrative head of unit is
responsible for notifying individuals who might be
affected and keeping them aware of efforts to correct the situation.
The Manager, Environmental Programs ensures
that consultations with the campus and surrounding communities about the state of compliance and
progress toward it take place. The Manager,
Environmental Programs will publish annually a
report which includes information on the audits
conducted, the compliance issues dealt with and
outstanding, training and communication activities, and responses to accidents affecting the environment
See also the Policy and Procedures on Sustainable
Development (#5).
Definitions
Administrative head of unit means a Director of a
service unit, a Head of an academic department, a
Director of a centre, institute or school, a Principal
of a college, a Dean, an Associate Vice President,
the Registrar, the University Librarian, a Vice
President or the President.
Due diligence means the care a reasonable person
would take, having regard to all the circumstances
and information about which that person knew or
ought to have known.
Environment means the biophysical conditions
under which people or things live or are developed.
Environmental audit means a systematic, objective method of identifying and verifying that laws,
regulations, procedures and University guidelines
for environmental, health, occupational hygiene,
safety and emergency preparedness standards are
being followed. The examination involves analysis, testing and confirmation of procedures and
practices.
Supervisor means a person, not necessarily an
administrative head of unit, who has been delegated supervisory responsibility for others working or
studying at UBC.
University community means all persons associated with The University of British Columbia,
including students, members of faculty and staff,
visitors, contractors, suppliers, tenants, and users
of facilities.     .      ,      • ;h 24, 2000 • page friday—the ubyssey magazine •
THE NHRVe OF THEMf\
H CLAIMING THAT .,
"SECOND-HAMD SMOKE'
IS BAD FOR YOU *
A good idea gone up in smoke
We're moving our editorial offices to Victoria. It rains less
there, and they've decided to uphold a regional no-smoking
bylaw, despite the BC Supreme Court's decision to overturn
the Worker's Compensation Board's (WCB) province-wide
smoking ban. Granted, it was a little heavy-handed in implementing the ban, but we liked life under its protective wing.
We liked going home after a few beers without having to leave
our clothes on the doorstep. For now, the Pit and the Gallery
are remaining smoke-free at least. But for how long?
The chief complaint against the ban was that the WCB
acted without adequately consulting the hospitality industry
and the public. It could, however, be argued that the primary
mandate of the organisation is to recognise workplace risks
and eliminate them regardless of how the public feels about
it. We're sure that eliminating child labour pissed off both
some parents and the garment-making industry. And since,
as Perry Kendall—the Provincial Health Officer for BC—says,
"second-hand tobacco smoke is the most significant, easily
modifiable environmental risk facing British Columbians," it
seems obvious why the WCB would move as quickly as possible to remove this hazard. And after proper public hearings
are held, unless hurricane-force ventilation is perfected and
harnessed, the smoking ban should be reinstated.
Look, this is not an attack on smokers. Smokers can
smoke their lungs out outside, or in their own apartments, or
their cars, or wherever other people don't have to breathe the
smoke. Bars are synonymous with cigarettes, and it will take
time to break that link. But people will still go out.
Businesses can adjust by having a patio or covered area for
smokers to puff away. And eventually, it will be accepted, just
as no-smoking restaurants were.
Smoking enjoys a place in our realm of social acceptance
that it doesn't come close to deserving. Only through tough-
love measures like the WCB ban will the social model ever
change for the better—will smokers be forced out into the
fresh air.
The smoking ban negatively affected a lot of businesses,
but it boosted some businesses' revenues as well. And how
long would the uproar have lasted, anyway? Basically, these
regulations were given all of 84 days to work. After a few
months, even smokers in Pemberton would come to realise
that it's not such a big deal to wander out onto the stoop to
have a butt. As one reporter now working for the Province
wrote, "when the Toronto Star announced its new smoke-free
newsroom, one editor, said he'd rather quit his job than quit
smoking. He did neither. We adapted."
As well, it seems paradoxical that the WCB's ruling has
now been overturned by what amounts to a handful of business owners acting out of blatant self-interest and without
concern for public safety or the safety of their workers. What
about the rest of the people affected by this? If they put this
thing to a public referendum, the bylaw would likely stay—one
poll put public support at over 70 per cent.
Smoking's time is up. Let's just hope that at least the Pit
and the Gallery have the good sense to sustain smoking
bans. The Pit has actually shown increases in its revenues
since the ban was put into effect, and a recent in-house survey revealed that 85 per cent of patrons wanted it to remain
non-smoking. And at the Gallery, you can finally see the art
on the walls.,It may not always be a good thing, but it's something.
There's usually enough to worry about after getting home
from the Pit on Thursday morning without having to deal with
smoke contamination. Going outside to smoke isn't going to
hurt anybody. As for letting people smoke inside, ventilation
or not, it's a killer.*'
PAGE FRIDAY
COORDINATING
1 Bruce Arthur
{DESIGN
! Todd Silver
FEATURES
Tom Peacock
NATIONAL/COPY
Cynthia Lee
SPORTS
Naomi Kim
PHOTOS
Tara Westover
CULTURE NEWS
Duncan M. McHugh Nicholas Bradley
Jaime Tong Daliah Merzaban
COORDINATORS
Clip Nyranne Martin
web Flora Graham
research DanMSttvermaiy'&aeme Worthy
letters   Lisa Denton
The Ubyssey is the official student
newspaper of the University of British
Columbia. It is published every
Tuesday and Friday by The Ubyssey
Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation, and all
students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by
the Ubyssey staff. They are the
expressed opinion of the staff, and do
not necessarily reflect the views of The
Ubyssey Publications Society or the
University of British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of
Canadian University Press (CUP) and
firmly adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The
Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey
Publications Society. Stories, opinions,
photographs and artwork contained
herein cannot be reproduced without
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Letters to the editor must be under
300 words. Please include your phone
number, student number and signature (not for publication) as well as
your year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial
office of The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done by phone.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over
300 words but under 750 words and
are run according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by
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given to letters and perspectives over
freestyles unless the latter is time sensitive.
Opinion pieces will not be run until the
identity of the writer has been verified.
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or classified advertising that if the
Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the
ad occurs the liability of the UPS will not
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V
Ress
Nyranne Martin wrote about Duncan McHugh with long poetic lines
that resembled Cynthia Lee's dark and haunting prose. Somehow,
the sordid details of JoAnn Chiu's fellingout with Jaime Tong were
rodder for a Daiiah Merzabarvesque tale. But Lisa Denton felt that
this exploited Daniel Silverman, Nick Bradley and Tristan Winch, who
never really got the chance to tell their sides of the story. This was
all straightened out though, when Bruce Arthur reminded everyone
about Tom Peacock's made-for-TV movie starring Laura Blue and
Graeme Worthy in the rales of Todd Silver and Regina Yung, respectively. Tara Westover wasn't satisfied, however, with Naomi Kim's
adaption for the screen of the classic tale, and feit that Alex Dimson
could have given It more depth—a more Joni Low-feel, if you know
what I mean. Rora Graham ranted on and on about how Andy
Barham's voice was completely lost when Jatmine Lasaleta read her
poems on Calum McCormell's variety show. Sara Newham used this
as fodder for a term paper, Jeff Maclnlyre wrote a poem, and
Jessica-Ann Dozois, well, that's a story lor next time.
PAGE FRIDAY » j NORMAN LIOTA
j A Strange Voice
[Unscene]
j Not since Indio has a CD emerged
\ from the burbling underneath of
| popular culture that has stirred my
| soul as Norman Liota's A Strange
| Voice has. It is at once musical and
I lyrical, mystical and modern, with
| uneasy undertones of heavy metal
| riffling just below the surface—but
\ not like any heavy metal I've heard
j before. This is metal without the
j muscle, a kind of cerebral, moddy
| metal that is at once perfect and
I sublime.
|      Liota's music does borrow from
heavy metal. Just enough of the
hard edge to underpin the introspective nature of his mythic 20th-
century urban ramblings with a big
enough bite to let the listener know
he  means   business.   Like   any
decent and, above all, melodic popular music, it's best listened to with
the headphones on and the stereo
cranked full-fucking-bore.  Let the
music blast into your skull,  and
take you  into the strange,  neo-
romantic inner landscape that is
Norman Liota. If you're a struggling
poet, you're probably more than
halfway there anyway. Betcha can't
just play it once!«>
—Andy Barham
CHRIS CORNELL
Euphoria Morning
[Universal]
As a fan of the now-defunct band
Soundgarden, I have long awaited
the comeback of the one-time
grunge god Chris Cornell. The decision of the band to split at the end
of their era was a classy one and I
therefore assumed Cornell's return
would be similarly classy. It is, but it
sucks.
Euphoria Morningwas supposed
to be his break out of grunge's
grasp and into the more produced,
peppier sound of the late nineties!
He didn't make it. We hear the
same   depressing,   black   lyrics
Cornell used for Soundgarden and
the same depressing guitar, except,
instead of being raw and moving, it
feels dampened and dying. It's not
1993   anymore,   and   depressed i
strung-outon-heroin musicians don't \
have the same appeal. This record j
could be really good, as Cornell's \
singing voice is beautiful and he \
\ explores his abilities much more
\ profoundly than he ever did on a
\ Soundgarden    album.    However,
\ there's  nothing for his voice to
j stand on because of the lack of a
j good guitarist—the absence of Kim
| Thayil is most profoundly felt here.
\ Regardless of how well Cornell can
j sing and even write music, he just
\ isn't that great of a guitarist and
I without the collaboration of another
j musician who is stronger in this
| area than he is, the music is empty.
| Here the music lacks the raw edge
j it needs to grab the listener when
I its   content   is   so   depressing.
| Cornell has tried the same formula
j he used in Soundgarden, numerous
| annoyingly dreary songs that all
j sound the same, but without the
| rock. I hate to latch on to his past
j so much, but in order for Cornell to
survive  he's  going to  have  to
explore his musical abilities a little
more profoundly than he's done
here. Give this one to your little
brother.**
—Jessica-Ann Dozois
LIMBLIFTER
Bellaclava
[Limblifter/Universal]
Have you ever been addicted to
something? I have, and I can add
Bellaclava to that ever-expanding
list. Packed with seductive and hypnotic tunes, this album covers a
vast range of music genres.
When I first got this album I was
a wee bit worried, thinking it was
another Third Eye Blind/Everclear
clone. The album proved itself worthy and came through with a fantastic mix of organic and synthetic
sounds. The band possesses an
amazing intensity in tunes such as
"Shoot   But   Don't   Miss,"   and
"Polaroid." The first single, "Ariel
vs.   Lotus,"   is  already receiving
major air time on radio stations
and it is not even the best track on !
the album! i
Limblifter does an excellent job j
j of combining disparate   musical
I parts to create extremely compli-
| cated  yet  exceptionally  smooth
| songs. The entire album flows, with
| each song rolling into the next. The
| band  manages to  combine  ele-
j ments  of rock,  pop,  electronica
I and even good ol' knee slappin'
I country   and   western   to   their
| songs. The lyrics are inventive and
j revitalising,   something that the
I music industry has been lacking as
\ of late.
A great deal of time was put into
\ this  album,   meticulous  planning
\ and execution into the songs, even
; the cover photography is fresh and
original. Bellaclava breathes new
life into Limblifter, providing excellent composition  and  infectious
tunes,  creating a superb album
overall.**
—Calum MacConnell
*   *   BAR & GRIM
'  »     K  I T S  I  L A N
2202 CORNWALL AVE
727-7777
Half Price
fa flit lit!
-page friday-the ubyssey magazine.friday, march ftifflU
PRISJVL^
turns 40
PRISM
international's
40th Anniversary
Celebration
at the Purple
n Onion
! Mar. 27
Hauj Prig
flppenzofi!
piim/Mm
BY DUNCAN M. MCHUGH ^^^ ^-w
WSnn!"6  'ikun,0f ^ Auden'  Gabrie™ia*Ma^uez "anT
Tennessee Williams on its list of contributors, western Canada's
PRISM ZtTrn        T maga2ine haS had qUite a run- And now UBC's
downtown 'S      Gbrating itS 40r™ersary with a reading
Can»lMn W 'J™ iP 1959' at the same time as the more academic
sssjrxi mandate was to pubNsh a "prism" °f contem-
it, nnN6 7id-19f°uS' PRISM had become PRiSM international, expanding
its publication of short fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and drama to
include translation and a more international scope of authors The ma^
zme wanted to break out of the "narrow confines of Canadian Iterator^
former advisory editor George McWhirter explained "<erature.
narSnfhr,reredit0r J6remiah Aheme' "What differentiates [PRISM international] between most other Canadian literary magazines is its focus on
international content and works in translation "
Xert^eT^P^M™ magaZi"eS *y t0 d° " per cent Canadian «>n-
*"'?! PRISM encourages outside, international writers, works in
whion       '     .aT' dting the previous issue's Austra'ian supplement
which was co-edited by an Australian editor Moment,
With between 300 and 600 submissions coming in from around the
«? Tl' PR'SM intemati0nal iS a "labour °f '°ve" for ts"
completely vo unteer editorial board and legion of volunteer proofreaders
For current executive editor Laisha Rosnau, publishing a literary quar
eo* wlT °ffering re8derS the ChaTOe f°r 6XP0SUre to unde^S-
"Anyone who has an interest or a love in contemporary literature will
find poetry and short fiction that they can't find in booksto es be aus"
these are writers who haven't had books published yet or they can't find
in^her literary venues, like more mainstream marines and newsp*
AheBme.PmSM intemational rare|y Sets the attention it deserves, says
^Z\TfTTT that [PR'SM] gets so little attenti°n from UBC students. Most students [outside of the creative writing department] have
absolutely no idea that it exists. And surprisingly, few VancouvStes in Ihe
literary industry know it exists." .^uvernes in tne
Although this is unlikely to change soon, you can show your support this
Monday at 7:30pm, when the more knowledgeable among VancouveS
literati celebrate PRISMs 40th anniversary. Vancouver s
Wayde Compton, Anne Fleming, Billie Livingston and Billeh Nickerson
are scheduled for readings, with Clive Goodison Rick Maddocks and next
year s executive editor Belinda Bruce set to perform music
th,t Sh0Uld be a very entertaining evening, according to Aherne "People
that are reading on Monday are awesome. These are the few peooleTn the
city that I will actually miss a basketball game to go [see T
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Laisha Rosnau,
executive editor of
PRISM international, will be one
many "partying
down" on Monday.
TARA WESTOVER
PHOTO
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Voice Recording
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA COMPUTER SHOP IN THE BOOK STORE THE UBYSSEY LITERARY SUPPLEMENT MARCH 24, 2000
new writing
sierra birkett
ian cummins
chris fraser
angela light
abby wener
penny o. whitcomber rant
our judges
thank:
Joan Skogan was born on the West Coast
and received an MFA from UBC. She has
written features for CBC Radio, Saturday
Night, Boarder Crossings, and the Georgia
Straight. Moving Water, (Beach Holme
Publishing) her first novel, was published in
a 1998. Her short stories and prose poems have
-OI^|^been published in Grain, Prairie Fire, West
wls^Ix^oasf Review and other magazines. She also
fictidH
s non-fiction and books for children.
Bill Holden has been
working at the Province
for over 20 years, filling
various posts including
city, news and Sunday
editor. He is currently the
news editor in charge of
photos and graphics. He
once worked at the
Langara College student
|\Jf>aper, then known as the
mougn  isltne   _
David Watmougl.     m
author of ten books of fic-^l-^t^
tion (five novels, five shortUv/l I
story collections) and writes
the monthly column
"Bookshelf" for Vancouver's
XtraWest. His most recent
novel is Hunting with Diana
(Arsenal Pulp Press).
|r>Va van ■
non-fiction
poetry
Tom Waymati was editor-in-chief
of the Ubyssey in 1965-66. Since
then he has written more than a
dozen collections of poems, most
recently The Colours of the Forest,
published in 1999 by Harbour. He is
currently teaching writing at
Kwantlen University College and
Douglas College.
Kate Braid is the prize-winning
author of three poetry books and
two books of creative non-fiction,
the most recent of which is Emily
Carr: Rebel Artist (to be published this April). She teaches
poetry and creative non-fiction in
the Creative Wrting Department
at Malaspina University CollegeO|'^P|f\
in Nanaimo, and has a MFA in^" IWli
CeaveW,n9H^ff-fiction
our sponsors
k*0
UBC BOOKSTORE
RAINGOAST
BOOKS
o
NEW   STAR   BOOKS
ARSENAL
PRESS
THE   UBYSSEY   PUBLICATIONS   SOCIETY
and all the writers who submitted their work editor's note:
This is Rant.These are the voices
of the people sitting next to you in
class, or walking past you anonymously on another rainy day.
These are the voices of your
friends and the voices of the people you see everyday and will
never speak to. This is writing
made current, made tangible.
This is newsprint. There are
thousands of copies of this out
there, thousands of copies to be
read and passed on, or thrown
away, or saved in a shoebox under
someone's bed.
Too often, the voices of the
writers among us are muted, kept
quiet in the confined, tightly-knit
world of small journals and late-
night readings. Rant is trying to
make these voices heard, to deliver them to you, to have them there
in your class, underfoot, on your
bus ride home.
These voices should permeate,
should resound.
This is what you're holding. So
read this thing. Letting these
voices sound means that we
shape, not just absorb, our culture. We hear enough from the
authors of the past in our classes.
Rant is an opportunity to hear
something from each other, the
writers of today.
What we're trying to do is put
young local writing in front of you,
to force you to confront it. We're
not saying that we know what's
good for you. But once you taste
it, you might like it.
So chew on this, swallow it
whole, cough it up. We hope that
this writing interests you, stimulates you, entertains you, incenses you, maybe even inspires you
to read more and to write more.
This is literature dropped off at
your door, in your class, thrust in
your hand by a friend. Literature
you can drink down with a beer
after class, literature that will
protect you from the rain.
We're doing this because we
like writing. We wanted to make
something that looks good, that
tastes good, so that you'll try it.
After culling all the anonymous
entries, and raking the best
through our judges—all top local
writers—we have something
worth reading. Some of the winners you'll recognise from last
year, some are brand new. All
prove that there is something
good in young writers at UBC.
So take a big bite. Wash it
down. Enjoy it. Or hate it. We don't
really care. Just read it*
non-fiction essay
black stone ticking by
Chris Fraser
sacred blood by
Angela Light
8
10
poetry
the inmate by
Penny O. Whitcomber
4
now in this city I look for
- you in crowds by
At>by Wener
4
epic fiction
the adoption by
Penny O. Whitcomber
6
snap non-fiction
an evening in Toronto by
Ian Cummins
12
snap fiction
messiness? by
Sierra Birkett
5
rant
coordinator: flora graham
design: todd silver
nicholas bradley
flora graham
graphics: tara westover
proofing: tristan winch rant
W I   N N E R
"Vfo :/o ■-; J
The
POETRY
■
o
now in this city, I look
for you in crowds
byAbby Wener
DLa Now in this city, I look for you in crowds
&      the wilderness of your curls, and a sky yawning indigo
■^   above you
■     You wear a dress, white cotton
slip in and out of a smile
in a letter you send written on brown paper
you tell me about temple ruins
the voices of monks, mountains, the hill tribes of Chiang Mai
I see you in a market, crowded with profiles and colour
now you are a listener, wordless
cotton dress clinging to your burnt flesh
your heart feels like bone
pounding steady
thud in chest, the centre
You select brightly coloured silks
hold the fabrics between your fingers
until the colour falls from your hands
to sweet, unfamiliar earth
I am daughter to a mother and father.
I am sister to a sister.
I am sister to a brother and another brother.
Twice a daughter, thrice a sister:
Five times trapped.
Their blood and bones have turned to bricks.
Their skin forms a chain-link fence.
Their eyes are spotlights,
accusing my plaintive furtive movements:
treason! heresy! death!
My fate within the family is execution.
My value will lie in my absence.
My babies won't play with their babies,
because I am on death row:
the time is almost up.
For my last meal, I have chosen to fast.
For the grave, I wish a quick scattering.
Forgive my messy birth, my life,
but upon my clean, silent death:
inject me good-bye.
The blood is shared between us.
The eyes, the bones, the death, also.
The fast is a feast, and I vomit
as they claw my fence and bricks:
oh how they wish to escape me. rant'
R
in blue hospital pants, the kind that cinch at the waist and gape at the
crotch, I bolted through the parking lot. The winter came into me; it
whistled through my bones as though they were tunnels. The snow
piled on my skin and saturated the fleece on my slippers. I am certain that
|fie nurses had a chuckle as I circled the perimeter of the lot until my joints
stiffened to a slow and useless jog. I was going to Mexico; I was going to
fiance; I was going to Hollywood—I was going back up to my third floor
room, gathered like a tiny heap of 18 years into the nurse's arms.There, she
sealed me quietly into the chafing, yellow sheets of my bed. A bed which
had become my own island of sorts. Above it hung a tiny television installed
for seven dollars a day, upon it lay the shabby quilt my grandmother had
i|wn.
J My failed escape marked
WO Weeks there. I had been delivered to the
spital the morning.after I fell down my bedroom stairs. Tripping on my
slippers that were too big at the toe, I endured a slow and painful tumble.
l|ch limb harassed by the shiny gray wood, leaving me at the bottom to curl
to an embryo. Begging for my return to the womb, I lay my head on my
other's belly until morning. My eyes stuck shut with tearlessness, as I cal-
lated how I might give up this useless entity of tendons and blood so as
exist without nuisance of it My skin was like gossamer, revealing every
one and muscle beneath the surface. I was small and compact, no nonsense. So much simpler than the warm, messy flesh of my mother, that
shook and sweated as she choked her frustration.
How absurd the idea, that this wretched bed was to serve as my
redeemer. It represented the centre of inactivity, part of a strategic plan to
find wellness.The doctor prescribed a healthy lifestyle. In orderto validate
my efforts they would haul me out of bed every morning at 6:00am to check
my vitals; consequently, I had to rise at 5:30 in order to drink two litres of
water and conceal small rocks in my palms. The scale, my silent accomplice, would read two pounds heavier; my mom, my dad, and the doctor
would cheer quietly as I sat looking pleased with myself, deception breeding in me. People would come and feel sorry for me; I would smile and tell
them exactly what they wanted to hear. My progress delighted them so
much that they would rustle around in their purses and pockets and pull out
enormous bags of greasy peanuts and licorice all-sorts. Accepting graciously, I would place them on the windowsill for later chemical analysis. I
spent hours sorting through my reams of documentation on calories and fat
grams. After much evaluation I ascertained that it was feasible to allot one
hundred calories to seven peanuts and two candies (or seven candies and
two peanuts) that could be eaten at exactly 2:00pm. This was of course
assuming that I could evade eating half of my nutrigrain bar at 1:30 snack
time.
s§iness
erra  Bt rkett
i
Wish
*>
rw    -
JP
Wj
The cure lasted several months. My expertise on daytime television
was unmatchable; my screenplay on the livelihood of the junkie next to
me was in the works; I had graduated from skim milk to one per cent
milk. One day, as I was carefully combing my depleting hair, the doctor
waltzed in, grinning stupidly. He announced that I was better and that I
was free to go home. I recall the light in the room twirling and dancing
upon the lenses of his glasses, shining into my eyes, as every fear held
was brimmed in them. In a perverse way, the hospital had become a
vacation; an oasis away from the complexities of people and obligations. Leaving the hospital meant relinquishing responsibility for my life.
Four years of my Life are
etched in my family.s memory aS pOUnuS. It is easier to understand pain
when it is tangible. My recollection has no linear history, it is a collection of the joys and griefs wrapped in the anesthesia of malnourishment.
I returned home from Europe 40 pounds lighter. It became common
belief that Denmark had made me sick, as though it were a disease to be
cured, by what? A good dose of Canada? Maybe throw in a dash of the
United States and vo/7a—better. It did stimulate a need to find some
source of control.The enormity of people and things, so new to me, overwhelmed. I had to hollow out my body so that it would become a vessel,
craftily engineered, lean, hard and simple. Like a machine that would be
able to process the necessary experience without distraction of food or
flesh. Much to my dismay it became apparent soon enough that bones
cannot breathe; that absolute control is impossible and totally debilitating.
I wear the same slippers I did all those years. I wear them much difH
ferently now, like a bittersweet reminder of the strengths I have found
Someone once told me that you must give over yourself to a highe
power, an external source of guidance. I do not believe this. You assum
the experience; you breathe in and you let it out, careful not to forge
which paths you have chosen. It is often suggested that you get ove
things; however, it is my experience that you get through things. It is
continuous process, one that changes voltage and direction like th
wind. Perhaps some of us need to feel death's icy breath on our nee
look immortality in the eye before letting reality take its coi/rse. I am
descendant of anorexia. I embrace these recollections with the certain
ty of my growing strength. I still cut my bagel into exactly four thin slice
and spread one-half teaspoon of peanut butter on them. It is differe
now though, I am laughing, crying, and reveling in the messiness c
being human.*
ill
,,.ip
ists?^^
rvi
91
D
3
3
4 rant
epic fiction (winner)
*
o
f course you have memories
of life before Cornelius.
A few are quite vivid, others are
dim. You recall most from a thin,
* foggy perspective that makes you
uncertain whether you remember
them correctly.There were four children originally, four related by
blood; you were the youngest of them. Your rowdy brothers shared the room with the bunk beds in the basement.
Your sister and you taped barricades between the twin
beds in your room upstairs, feuding over which of you
was allowed to look out the window. You spent your summer days playing, sometimes in the bedroom with your
Barbies and sometimes with your brothers in the recreation room downstairs. You were only six—you didn't
know that Rec was short for recreation so you referred
to it as the Wreck Room, assuming Mum called it that
because it was always such a mess. It was where you
and your siblings played, fought, sought solace from
each other, ganged up on each other, and consoled the
dog after Dad gave her spankings.
Aside from your family, you had very few friends.
Most of the little girls in the neighbourhood were nasty.
They did mean things like pushing you off the swings
and laughing at you. You offered them cookies one time,
but they took them and ran away, leaving you with an
empty package. Lisa Panagafko was the only girl you
liked to play with; she was great at playing Barbies and
speaking pretend-French. Her mum had a Bruce
Springsteen tape called 'Born in the USA'.
There were often more children than you and your
siblings because Mum and Dad were Foster Parents.
They were always giving children a place to
stay. Usually the Foster Kids came from bad
places like Native Reserves and Dysfunctional
Families. They needed love, care, food and
clothing. If ever Mum and Dad loved one
enough, they could Adopt.
You mostly looked forward to each new
child, as you would a new toy.There were a few
that you hated, but you never said it because
you'd get spanked. They were considered
guests, temporary roommates, orphans—they
had to feel welcomed, like they really were a
part of the family. Still, if your eldest brother
fought with one of the Foster Boys, everyone
knew Mum would believe her own kids' story.
After all, there were four of her real kids and
only one Foster Kid.
Sometimes you and your siblings did get into
trouble as a group (like the time when saying
"Ah, shut uppa you face!" was funny until it got
out of hand). Blood offspring or not, Mum lined
everyone up against the wall by the bathroom
and gave out spankings by turn. You were
always the last one to get it, regardless of age
or height, and ended up hearing everyone else's
crying before your own.This waiting convinced
you of two things: it made your spanking the
worst one of all; and your siblings were standing by the door listening to your crying, as you
had already done to them.
You remember the day of the Adoption
clearly. It was a sunny afternoon. After
church? No, you were probably dressed
in church clothes because your parents were
going to Adopt a kid. The word Adoption was
scary;  it was not as frivolous-sounding as Jf
Foster. §§
Mum and Dad went inside a gloomy green
building. You pictured the inside of it with long If
hallways full of glass display cases. In each §§§
case there was a child all dressed up in his or
her best clothing, trying to look as nice as possible. Your parents were the Adoptive Parents;
their job was to choose the best kid. You hoped
they would pick a girl—a cute one. Not too cute.
You thought of wanting a baby, but decided
against someone taking your place in the
household. No, a girl would be fine. A girl your
age and not too cute. And you desperately
wanted someone who could play Barbies like J||
Lisa Panagafko down the street. Ill
You sat with your sister and brothers in the |||
large green Van waiting to see the new kid. It
was uncertain anticipation: you awaited something, a surprise—but the goodness or the
dreaded badness of it remained nervously
unknown.
"I'm going to ask her if she wants to play
You hoped they uould pick a girl—a cute
thought of uantlng a baby, but decided <
your place In the household. No, a girl
your age and not too cute, find you clespi
uho could play Garbles like Lisa Panagal
Barbies with me," you announced
cheerfully. It was a hot summer
day and the Van smelled just the
way it did when your family went
to the beach after church on
Sunday afternoons.
"It's a boy, stupid," said your favorite brother Charles.
"Is not," you scoffed. "How would you know?"
"It is so a boy," argued your sister with her sullen look.
"Is not," you protested.They all looked pretty sure of themselves. You felt stupid. You didn't
want it to be a boy. All boys, even Charles, were stupid.
Charles was sitting in the seat behind yours. Your eldest brother sat in the back of the Van,
as always. Your sister was seated beside you.
"Ah, shut uppa you face," you snapped. It was the worst phrase you knew.
"I'm telling," said Charles.
Your sister pinched you, and
you sat fighting very frustrated
tears.
Much to your disappointment,
your siblings were right. Mum and
Dad, the proud new Adoptive
Parents, brought a boy out of the
green building. All Foster Kids
seemed to be boys. Your parents
never picked a girl, and never anyone your age. You felt ornery.
He was a Native Indian boy, of course.
"His name," they said, "is Cornelius."
"Ugly name," you thought. "Ugly sounding and hard to say."
You didn't look at him until the Adoptive Parents were settled in their seats up front, concentrating on the road and other grown-up things and thankfully not you. Your face was still
burning with resentment and heat. Your pinched arm was stinging.
Mum swivelled around and smiled into your eyes, patting your knee. You felt a bit better.
Then you stared. You turned around and self-consciously eyed him over, this Cornelius. Your
siblings giggled. You felt dumb. He sat grinning
a crooked-toothed grin, his fingers fumbling in
his lap. He looked out the window. When his
eyes returned and you were still gawking, he
raised and wiggled his eyebrows. Your siblings
giggled. You turned in your seat, facing the
front, and caught the kind eyes of Mum in the
mirror. Glowering, you chewed on your dilemma.
Already, you didn't like your new brother. You
hated the idea of him and the look of him. You
did not appreciate the fact that he got to sit by
Charles. Why couldn't you sit by Charles, and
Cornelius by your sister? Better yet, why couldn't your eldest brother sit up front with your sister, and you with Charles, and Cornelius way in
the back all by himself? You'd have preferred it
that way. In fact, you'd have chosen to take him
back to the green building so you could pick
someone better.
Mum and Dad escorted their five children
(four by blood) to the Wreck Room when the
Van was parked in the driveway. The boys
began a game of cops and robbers. Your sister
left right away. You knew she wouldn't want to
play Barbies with you, so you stayed in the
basement as a robber, with Charles, as usual,
on your side. Because you didn't want to abandon him you remained there for the afternoon,
all the while wishing your parents had picked a
girl instead of a boy, wishing you were playing
Barbies with her rather than playing cops and
robbers with stupid boys, wishing Cornelius
wasn't such an ugly sounding name.
did, or you d
should marry
as he stompe
Cornelius,
Barbies. You
closet, gave
ordered him 1
He dressei
"That look
He gigglec
M
um was missing some Jell-0 the next
day.
"I could have sworn I had two packages in
the pantry," you heard her mumble as she rifled
through the contents of the kitchen cupboard.
"I'm bored," you told her. You didn't care
about her missing Jell-O.
"Why don't you play with the boys?" she
suggested absentmindedly.
"I want to play Barbies," you moaned.
"Why don't you introduce them to Corny?
I'm sure he'd like that."
Glowering, you asked Cornelius if he would
like to play, and of course he answered yes.
You really wanted to play with Charles, but
he was out tadpole fishing. Charles was the
only one besides you and Lisa Panagafko who
could move the dolls as deftly and plot their
courses and actions as schemingly. When you
played with Charles he always brought his Gl
Joes so they could be* husbands for your
Barbies.
But Charles didn't enjoy playing and you
knew it. He always got sick of it faster than you
you of a siren
"Put some
The situal
gressed. You
line, give Cor
dress the dol
had no sense
burp on comr
ing himself.
By thetimt
pole-fishing,
because Con
"Will you
asked Charle
"Nah, I dot
he seems to I
"He can't
about Barbie:
"Who care
For the r
you she
dog or
with Mum m
only ally. Lisa
your sister's f
read a book o
to play; and C
playing with I
tion to you.
"Mum," yc
dough and fly
"We're all
take time, bul
brother now, I
"I hate bo
"You should r
You may he
You had aske
arrival to tak
replied, "I'm f
"Corny-scr
"Corny-scr
dared, venturi
were going t<
hours every i
kitchen.
"Get lost, s
You stomp
had taken you
"They won
"Who care
are jerks, any\
"Don't ca
Mum. In your
rough-housini
"Oh."
You went d
"I want to r
Your eldes tltfn
By. Penny (J.
Wnitcomeer
you disagreed with him about which Gl Joe
marry which Barbie, and you were left alone
:omped from the room in a huff,
elius, on the other hand, knew nothing about
.You sat with him on the floor in front of the
gave him your least favorite Barbie, and
him to play.
ressed her in an outfit that looked stupid,
t looks stupid," you told him.
iggled. It was a whiny sound that reminded
jte one. Not too cute. You
id against someone taking
.rl uould be fine, fi girl
usperately uanted someone
agafko doun the street.
siren.
something else on her," you insisted,
situation worsened as the afternoon pro-
. You were forced to set up the entire story-
e Cornelius directions about everything, and
te dolls and brush their hair the right way. He
sense of humour, unlike Charles, who could
command and make you laugh just by laugh-
self.
e time Charles returned from home from tad-
hing, you were sick of playing Barbies all
! Cornelius made it so difficult,
you play Barbies with me tomorrow?" you
harles.
, I don't like 'em. Get Corny to play with you,
is to like it."
:an't even play. He doesn't know anything
arbies."
> cares? Barbies are stupid, anyway."
the next week, although it was summer and
u should have been playing outside with the
ig or your guinea pig, you remained inside
im making jam and cookies. She was your
, Lisa Panagafko had gone away on holidays;
:er's favourite thing to do on sunny days was
ook on her bed, making it impossible for you
ind Charles was too busy in the Wreck Room
with his new toy—Cornelius—to pay atten-
ou.
i," you ventured one day in the midst of
id flying flour, "do you love Cornelius?"
e all learning to love Corny," she said. "It'll
e, but he's part of our family now. He's your
low, like the other boys. You'll get used to it."
e boys," you declared, leaving the kitchen.
)uld have picked a girl."
lay have hated them but you missed Charles,
asked him several times since Cornelius's
o take you tadpole-fishing, but he always
'I'm playing with Corny."
y-schmorny," was your recurring answer,
y-schmorny," you grumbled as loud as you
snturing downstairs to the Wreck Room. You
ing to find out what they did for all those
rery day while you were with Mum in the
ost, stupid," they said.
tomped upstairs and found that your sister
n your place in the kitchen.
won't let me play with them."
cares?" your sister sneered. "Boys
, anyway."
t call your brothers jerks," said
your direction: "Honey, they're just
using down there."
ent downstairs. A
tto rough-house," you said.
)ldest brother sighed and ordered
you to be on Cornelius's team.
"But I want to be on Charles's team."
"Ah, shut uppa you face."
"I'm telling."
"Shh."
Lights out.
"What are we playing?"
"Shh! Cops and robbers."
Shuffling.
"What am I?"
"Shh! A robber, stupid."
It seemed more like hide-and-go-seek. You sat in a
small, clenched ball behind the couch,
smelling dust and furniture fibres.
Sunlight filtered in between the blinds on
the tiny window. Your eyes began to adjust
to the darkness, but you scrunched them
up so they wouldn't ruin the surprise. You
heard Cornelius giggling.
Catching a whiff of his scent you decided it was far from appealing; all Natives
smelled like urine, alcohol, and the colour
brown. They did not smell white and
Christian like your family. They did not
really belong in the basements of families
like yours.
"You stink, Cornelius," you whispered
in the dark.
His breath came at you forcefully and
you mustered up all the dislike in your I It—
'tie white Christian body. "Pee-ew," you
said. -% , '
Then  with  a flurry  of arms  and  a fi-i^l V
cacophony, your brothers captured
Cornelius. They let you get away, and you
knew it. They wouldn't hurt you, and you
didn't care what they did to stinky
Cornelius.
When they threw him on the couch, his
head banged the wall and his gusty tortured wail erupted. Charles held him down
while your eldest brother manoeuvred
himself so he was sitting on Cornelius's
face. You watched with corrupt fascination
as your brother began to flatulate in his
captive's mouth.
"Ack! I can taste it," Cornelius was
screaming. You and Charles giggled helplessly, disgusted and immensely satisfied
atthe same time.
"Stop, that's gross," you said weakly,
secretly wondering what Cornelius was
tasting.
"He probably likes it," your eldest sibling laughed, still muffling the screams
with foul air. Your sister pounded down the
stairs with an air of sulky impatience.
"Mum sent me to tell you guys to keep
it down."
"Look, he's farting in Corny's mouth!"
"...ack! It tastes sick..."
"Stop it, you're gross..."
Everyone laughed and watched with
sickened delight as Corny's smothered
warbling continued. You cackled at the way
his hollers sounded, how desperate and
sireny they were, how funny it all was.
"What's going on down there?" Mum
called from upstairs.
Silence.
"Just playing," yelled Charles.
"Then stop that ridiculous screaming.'The
door closed.
Your brothers let Cornelius up. He was
sniveling and whimpering, but he wasn't crying.
"He should be crying," you thought. You'd
never seen anything so horrific and amusing
in all your life.
rant
She swatted you on the backside with a chuckle, countering,
"Maybe you ate it."
"I'm going to the Wreck Room to play with the boys," you
announced.
She gave you a surprised look. "You like the boys now?"
"No, I just don't have anything else to do," you replied, and started
down the stairs.
"While you're down there tell your brothers to stop that ridiculous
hollering."
That night, your family went out for dinner at a nice restaurant.
"Could you bring an extra chair for my son?" Mum asked the waiter,
who stared at the four blood-related children and at Cornelius, then
brought a chair.
"Wasn't it nice when we were a six-person family?" you said when
everyone was seated.
Mum took you to the restaurant washroom and spanked you.
D
•F^*
*
ays passed. Lisa Panagafko returned from her vacation. Your
sister read a hundred books. Mum lost some more food. You collected tadpoles, played Barbies, and spend some of your afternoons in the Wreck Room with the boys.
"What do you do down there all the time?" Mum asked you one day.
She was basting a honey-glazed ham.
"We just play."
"What do you play?There's an
awful lot of screeching."
 J You thought for a moment.
"We play with Corny."
"Do you like him better now?"
"Yeah, he's fun. But he's the
one who does all the screaming.
He's kind of wimpy."
Your sister came to the basement that day and watched you
and your brothers handcuff
Cornelius to the clothesline in
the furnace room
"What are you guys doing?"
she asked.
"Handcuffing him, stupid,"
Charles replied. He poked Corny
in the ribs. Corny recoiled and
whined like a puppy.
"Why don't you tickle him,"
suggested your eldest brother to
your sister.
"No!" yelled Cornelius, but his
protest was cut off by your big
brother's hand, which covered
his mouth and nose entirely.
"Do you want us to tell on
you?"
Your sister tickled Cornelius a
bit. Then you tickled him. He
jumped and screamed and
danced around, but his hands
were too high in the air to help
him. Everyone began tickling him
all over his body, making him
wriggle like a marionette until his
energy was spent.
"Look, he likes it, he's laughing."
Your brothers tickled him
some more. He almost cried then,
and when they stopped torturing
him he hung there like a big rag
doll, whimpering. An unbidden
image of Christ popped into your
head, but it was Cornelius, and
you thought it was too funny to
bear.
"He looks like an Indian
Jesus," you spouted, with
squeaky giggles. Charles tickled
him again, but somewhat indifferently, and Corny didn't move.
He just said, "Mum."
Your eldest brother covered
his mouth again. "She's not your
mother. You're brown and she's
white, hadn't you noticed?"
Cornelius cried. You felt a surge of something powerful and bad
inside yourself; it was a bubble of laughter, which escaped and dissipated in the dank basement air. It was the first time he had shown real
tears since the Adoption.
llPp-fltiU
M
urn was missing half of the honey-glazed ham the next day.
M
um was missing some applesauce the
next day.
"Something smells fishy," she muttered as she rifled
through the kitchen cupboards. "I just bought a can of it
next week...I'll check with your father."
"Maybe you ate it," you suggested
Cornelius was nowhere to be found. There was a note on his bed,
and Mum read it to everyone: "I hate this family, I don't want to live
here."
You thought, "what a crybaby."
Everyone was sent to play in the Wreck Room while Dad went to
look for Cornelius. It was cool down there, and quiet.You and your siblings sat on the dusty couch, bored without the new brother to play
with.* 8
rant
BLACK STONE
Six  LueejoS
TICKING
I n
narlhern
jrelana
by Chris Fraser
This is where  it all began:
Belfast, and the long walk from
the bus  station to the youth
hostel*  Past charity shops and
darkened pubs,  stumbling teenage
girls and old men with swirly
marble eyes*   Security cameras
watching from above,  political
murals and virtual Pepsi ads
fighting for the  sky*  As the
tired-looking woman scanned the
computer screen for my
reservation, a police car and an
ambulance  squealed down the road
behind her*
"Mmm," she said, tapping a pen
on her tooth,  "sounds  like a
doozy.
"I
It's really not that bad here," Brendan said on the car ride from the bus
station. He was in charge of volunteers for small-town Dungannon's
only Catholic-Protestant day camp, and I was one of them. It's not? I
thought, as reality finally hit, rocketed, confused, around my brain, I'd just
arrived in a small town with a dubious reputation in a war-torn country on the
verge of a peace agreement that could change its face forever or send it tumbling backwards. On top of that it was July, when tensions are at their highest and reporters have the most work.
"Most people don't even follow the troubles," he said, passing me a hand-
drawn map. "It's all in where you go.To the east, that's where the Catholics
mainly live, and the west is the Prod area. You'll be able to tell easily enough."
He was right The west of town was a carnival of British red, white and
blue. Union Jacks hung from every lamppost, coloured triangles strung from
house to house, curbs painted in the familiar three colours. It was marching
season in Northern Ireland, when Protestant groups feel their identity the
strongest.The main issue at hand wasn't paint or flags though, but parades,
many through Catholic neighborhoods, where riots and home-made bombs
tend to erupt. Brendan got agitated and stepped on the gas. He lived elsewhere.
In the east, things were different. The houses were shabbier, with
"Orangemen Out" and "IRA" sprayed onto most flat surfaces.The tattered
flags were green, white and orange. They hung low in the poles and I asked
why the half-mast. "Oh," Brendan smiled not without embarrassment. "We
couldn't get the ladder high enough."
It was a long first day and we were in the pub, loosening ourselves up the
only way the Irish know how. Tom atthe bar knew us already and threw us
a yellow toothy grin. "Will yas have another one garls?" he called across
the room, and I'm told to put away my damn wallet and drink up.
Two pints later the door thumped open with a burst of
night air and 14 hurley players, singing. "They've won
again!" someone called, and a huge silver cup was produced. The boys settled everywhere with pints for everyone, roars or laughter and horror stories of their sore
muscles and joints.
"I know what you mean; my ankles are absolutely
shot," I said, and everybody stopped suddenly, mid sentence, mid-thought, mid-beer, and looked at me, eyes
wide.
"Urn, I mean they're sore," I rephrased, uncomfortable.
I had a lotto learn.
ii
i y dad got shot," Keiligh said in the art room. It
| was bright out and the sun was high in the
sky. I was sweeping up pink and yellow eager
to leave for lunch.
"He got what?"
"Shot. In the knees. Mom thinks my neighbor did it so
we're not 'sposed to talk to Katie, but know what? We've
got the same birthday only I'm seven and she's six."
"How is he?" I asked, looking at her closely.
"Who?"
"Your dad."
"He's OK. He's in the hospital so I'm staying with
Gramma. She has shingles so her skin comes off." I
looked out the window, soaking in this smile, this sky, this
ambivalence.
"I'm gonna go," Keiligh said out of the blue and ran to
the door, his ponytails bobbing golden in the sun.
There were two reactions I got in Northern Ireland
when I admitted to being interested. The first was
apathy. "Aah, it's all very complicated," they'd say,
the ones who didn't mess with politics themselves, who'd
hide in their daily routines, didn't read headlines or history books.They didn't want me getting funny ideas, making
hasty conclusions, thinking anything they might not think.
The other reaction was similar but opposite.This came
from the people who knew politics, knew blood, knew
what it is to have their neighbourhood ringed with armed
police once every July, or the critical last second between
the engine revving and the bang. They knew it was too
easy for me, that I'd walk away in a few weeks, that I could
read about it in books.They didn't want me to probe deeper than glossy tour-guide photographs, to pry open the
steely ribs of their land, see the red hate that's festering.
They would give me a careful, sizing look, shake their
head slowly. "Aah, it's all very complicated."
T
here are paintings, it is said, that when examined
yield other paintings underneath, intricate realities
brushed over, lost. So it is with the Irish.
The tour books will slosh it out for you in all the finest jargon;
a leprechauny people, hospitable and simple,
blushed with clean wind and warm beer, a lilt of fiddle, a
thousand shades of green.
But scratched, there's another picture here,
There's a ticking, a fear,
an army of men dressed in shades of grief and loneliness,
a bomb tucked under an engine,
a drawer full of memories that won't dissolve rain
in wide green fields.
mi m m veil, it's luck that you're here in time for the
Ml parades," my Aunt Helen said, dishing out
W W more pasta salad in her sunny conservato- rant
9
e_sj|a y
ry. I stopped chewing and looked at her. "They're just
lovely if you get a good day."
Aunt Helen and Uncle Jim moved to Northern
Ireland from England 12 years ago and I had never
met them until this afternoon. "You can listen to us,"
Uncle Karl said when he picked me up in Dungannon
to drive to his country home. "We aren't biased. We're
foreigners, see, we're English." I see.
There is nothing about the home to show that I
have stepped into another reality, but that's the only
way to explain it. Suddenly the last weeks add up;
working for Catholics in a day camp that draws nearly all Catholics, living in a Catholic housing estate.
Even our pub must be Catholic, maybe our radio stations, our news.
"Some years have been just spectacular," she
continued. "Every section has its own banner, and
they walk from the church down the road to a big field
where they have barbecues and speeches. Good fortune indeed. We'd take you ourselves, but we'll be out
of town. You will be going, won't you?" Her smile was
genuine, well-intentioned eyes on me. A pair of curtains in my head snapped open and it took me a while
to adjust to the light.
"Maybe."
In marching season everything is more.Tensions
are more dangerous, parents are more careful,
streets are more colourful. There is more suppressed, more swallowed, more at stake. Luckily, I
have found translators.
Uncle Karl explains it clear as a summer morning.
The Orangemen are a 200-year-old organisation of
respectable, patriotic men named after William of
Orange, the kind who brought Protestantism to
Ireland. Since 1795, every year they have held a
parade from their church to a field.They wear bowler
hats, sashes and white gloves, enjoy a little music,
have a little picnic, socialise. At some point, small
Catholic communities grew up near a few of the
roads and in the past few years they have claimed to
feel threatened by the parades. They use them as a
flash point for media attention, and have now gotten
the police on their side, blocking a perfectly harmless
and respectable tradition. In order for any peace to go
through, there has to be respect on both sides, and
for both traditions.
Brendan explains it clear as a church-bell chime.
The Orange Order is one of the last vestiges of
Protestant supremacy.They are trying desperately to
hold on to the past, a time when the controlled the
country more than they do now. They stubbornly
parade trough Catholic neighborhoods flaunting their
economic and religious dominance. In order for any
peace to be found, these outdated, offensive, and
threatening rituals have got to be called off.
These realities live side-by-side, never overlap,
only make sense in ignorance.
The children aren't allowed to draw flags in the
art room. I've become a bit of a dictator by
default; it's all they'll listen to. "Just rip them
up," Brendan told me on my first day, and I swallowed
hard. When I saw Jay filling the bottom of his sheet
with bright green paint I snatched it up in a flash, a
familiar motion.
"That was grass," Declan looked up timidly, eyebrows quivering. "For my mom."
In the garbage can the paper sat crumpled, bright
chlorophyll paint dripping like tears.
When British Protestant colonisers arrived in
Derry, they planned to change the name to
Londonderry, plant some Scots, and quietly
take over.Two hundred years later, both communities
are only now wrestling with an unsteady peace, and
sensitive travelers have a lot to learn about when and
when not to use the 'London' prefix.
We went there on a weekend getaway, but anything we may have been looking to
get away from was staring at our faces. Murals blazed like open eyes; King Billy winning the battle over and over, heroes with homemade bombs, martyrs.
Tourists worry more than the locals do, though.The hostel was nearly empty and
it was a beautiful weekend in mid-July. "We are in a warzone her after all," Steve, the
affable proprietor said with a burst of laughter. We smiled and gritted our teeth.
For a country with no real borders, (London)Derry is full of them.The town walls,
which used to keep Catholics out, are intact as ever, though the geography of the
groups has changed. On one side, the wall looks out over the Catholic Bogside, with
surveillance cameras watching ambivalently. The other side is the Protestant area,
all red and blue flags and curbstones. When my mother visited this town 30 years
ago, she passed this area and said excitedly to her hosts, "Oh! Is there a party going
on there?" "Yes," they sighed, "of sorts."
kizzling Sunshine Greets Annual Events!" the newspaper reads in splashy
.letters. There are two picture, one of a dazzling jazz band at the annual
"music festival of the town east of us, and one of an Orangeman, posed in
uniform with his children at the parades to our west. Right away I know the bias of
this paper.
This smoke shop is practical; they line up the Unionist Newspapers on one side
of the store, and the Republican ones on the other. Within onroom you can read the
two separate realities, lined up neat as soldiers.
While one rack displays residents of Catholic housing estates worried about the
safety of their children during marching season, the other has schedules of events
for the big day. While one cheers for the Catholic hurley team and reads about renovations to the Irish Language school, the other gets news of the Protestant lacrosse
teams and raises money for getaways to London for the Boys' and Girls' Club.
I was told a long time ago in earnest that Catholics dig peat with their left foot,
and Protestants with their right. I laughed when I heard it, but I don't anymore.
It's not that they're angry.
It's not that they want to want
to shout, hair pull cringe red it's not
that there is blood on their minds, on their hands,
lists to hit, names as fresh as funeral flowers not
that the bomb they found outside the Irish language school this morning went off,
or that it ever will,
but it will tick,
a hard black stone nestled in their gut,
tick
a little louder.
P
olitics is everything.
I had a teacher once who said "Politics is just who," but it's not, it's who likes what
likes when and where. It's what's your dad's name and what side of town are you
from, it's a parade, a flag, the stark difference between blue and orange, this side of
the smoke shop or that one.
Politics is not just politicians in Parliament but their children and wives, it's the
janitor outside and the cross he carries in his pocket, the bullet with his name on it.
Politics is do you dig with your right foot or your left, do you sit or stand for communion, what radio station do you tune to and in what kind of car.
Politics is not just you but your aunts and uncles too, it's who your greatest grandparents are, what they did for whom and on which side of the Irish Sea. It's their
blood surging through your veins as alive and raucous as the boat trip from England
that they may or may not have taken.
You can't get away from in here, it connects you to everyone you meet, leaves long
strings of liaison, sticky, sticky.* 10
rant
byANgela LIGht
I have a silver chain necklace with a topaz stone surrounded by swirls of silver—it's my most beautiful possession. It can be held tightly in the centre of my
palm, or it can sit poised above my heart radiating its presence. The sight of it
inspires me, just like autumn colours on fall trees: vibrant yellow, fire-red,
auburn, and brown. The topaz stone is my representation of birth: my birth, my
rite of passage, and the birth of life in all of its cycles. Every time I see it I am
reminded. Every time I wear it, its presence fills me, giving me strength. It found
me through my father, making it even more powerful and more beautiful to me.
It happened during the summer of 1984. I was ten years old then. It was the
weekend my mother had left for a bike trip to Salt Spring Island with some
friends of hers. My grandparents were living in the downstairs of our house at
that time, making it very convenient for them to look after me and my two brothers while my father was working.
We were all seated one evening at our kitchen table, having a family dinner,
my grandmother had made one of my favourites, shepherd's pie with green peas.
Halfway through dinner I felt something stir inside of me, a movement of some
kind from underneath, then a rush, like a short blast of water. I knew instantly
what had happened. I slowly placed my knife and fork down, pushed my chair
back and walked as fast as I could to the bathroom. I could feel the nerves in my
stomach swirling, sending waves of tingles throughout my body. I did not want to
run because that would have drawn attention to me, so I became a speedwalker,
speeding down the hallway. When I arrived, I locked the door behind me; I could
not, this time, take any chances with my little brother, Paul, and his tricks. This
was serious.
My sensing was right—it had arrived. I was a little shocked but not frightened;
I actually felt somewhat prepared.The school nurse had just spoken to the girls
in my class about this and my mom had also made me a detailed diagram
explaining the whole physical dynamics of the process. Very matter-of-factly, yet
with excited anticipation, she also gave me instruction of what to wear and how
to wear it. Yes, I was in awe. I guess I had never really believed that this actually
happens, but here was living proof: my very own blood. I still could not quite
grasp the significance of this moment, but a part of me knew that I had changed
somehow and would never be the same.
Once I organised myself, I went back out to the kitchen to tell my grandmother about what had just occurred. It felt natural to speak to my grandmother first.
After all, I would have told my mother before my father. Up to that point, my
father and I had never spoken about this part of myself. My little feet quickened
as I got closer and closer to the kitchen door. Upon entering, I saw my grandmother by the sink, beginning to clean up, everyone else had finished and had
gone. My plate with its half-eaten dinner was the only thing left on the table. My
grandmother turned around and was about to speak to me when I motioned her
to come closer.The words nearly jumped out of my mouth, but I held in my excited nervousness and drew her into privacy. We were alone in the kitchen, but I still
whispered in her ear my secret—it seemed to triple the value of the information
that I was giving. I burst out, "Grandma, I just got my period!" However, her reply
was not one that I had expected. At first she did not believe me, so I had to show
her that it was true. Once satisfied that I was telling the truth she began shaking
her head from side to side and frowning. I can still see her hands on her hips with
big clumps of tissue sticking out of the cuffs of her sleeves. Her feet were spread
a shoulder-width apart and her back was slightly rounded over me. My grandmother could not believe it had begun with me so early. She said that it was "terrible, unfair, something must be wrong, what a shame!"
"Shame?" What was so shameful, I wondered? I had not felt that it was
shameful. Was I missing something? Was this a punishment of some kind?What
was so bad? What did I do wrong that would warrant such a reaction from my
grandmother? Without a hope of having my questions answered I was told that it
was best if I went straight to bed. Feeling confused and alone, I went and cried
myself to sleep.
Throughout the rest of the weekend, I isolated myself as much as I could. I
was now so embarrassed and ashamed of myself that I couldn't face my family,
let alone any male members, or my friends who had come by to see if I wanted to
play.
/"A II of this changed one evening, a few days later. My father came home from
work with a little box in his hand. He gave it to me and told me that starting menstruation was a time of transition, something sacred to be celebrated, not
mourned. Inside the little box was the most lovely stone I had ever seen. My
father told me that it was my birthstone. My whole being was filled with bewilderment: first by the necklace and then by my father; he had never spoken to me
in this way before. I closed the box lid, though, and did not open it again until
many years later. I did this not out of shame or embarrassment but because what
that necklace represented carried a power far greater then what I could comprehend at ten years of age. I also somehow knew that the time would come, on its
own, for me to wear it with full understanding.
And it did. I understand now, that this beautiful necklace not only was a celebration of myself and my body, but also a representation of change. It represented a physical change in myself, like the metamorphosis of a butterfly, and a
change in attitude. My mother's first experience of menstruation was terrifying:
she had not been told beforehand about menstruation or about the changes that
would happen in her body. The only thing that was passed down to my mother
from her mother was the fear, shame, disgust and the taboos associated with
menstruation.Taboos like: menstruating women will contaminate both men and
babies if touched, water will be contaminated if menstruating women swim or
bathe in it, and that menstruation is a curse that will bring bad things to all those
around a menstruating woman.The word "menstruation," if spoken out loud was
accompanied by disdain as if it were a profanity. Unfortunately, my grandmother
grew up with this view making her reaction towards me not as strange as it
(CONTINUED NEXT PAGE)
m§M&. rant
11
RUNNER-UP
ESSAY
seemed to a ten-year-old granddaughter.
These taboos no longer hold any value in
our society, yet they are the only stories we
have from our collective past about this
time of change in a woman's life and her
body. These stories have slowly vanished,
but the shame, disgust and fear behind them
have not. These emotions have also transformed themselves into apathy and annoyance towards menstruation—towards our
bodies. ^^.o
My mother lived with these taboos but
never once believed in them. The only way she
felt that her experience could be renounced was
to make sure that they would never be passed on to
her daughter. So, in my family they stopped at me. But even today in
our society it is still viewed as a negative monthly occurrence among
women.
M,
lenstruation in itself is just an ordinary and natural body function
that occurs in the same rhythmic motion as our heart with its every beat that
pumps blood throughout our body and as our breath that gives us life with every inhale
and exhale. For me, the point of interest that lies behind menstruation is that it is what
makes us feminine. By respecting this rhythm instead of hating it, by learning how to
understand its significance, other than just as a body function that gets in the way each
month, we can learn to relate to and understand the significance of our female bodies
and ultimately of ourselves as women. We have made headway, in that health professionals promote menstruation as a healthy, normal occurrence; however, the emotions
that may accompany our monthly cycles are seen as a dysfunction, something that
needs to be cured. Our society openly acknowledges all kinds of blood, but we don't
accept the most natural blood flow. We want to hide its presence when it happens, we
capture it to be discarded, we are embarrassed and ashamed by it and we whisper its
name as if it were a dirty word. We try hard not to own a large part of what makes us feminine: our menstruation—our blood.
As a consequence, tampon companies have a very easy time selling their products.
Their advertising coaxes women and even helps them stay locked into these negative
attitudes about their menstruation. We have bought into the idea that menstrual blood
is unsanitary and the "sanitary" products will proved the
bleached, pure white, clean solution that will help keep us
normal.These products offer convenience and enable us
to continue with activities, but promote a woman who
never stops, a woman who does not have time to reflect
on the wisdom inside of herself that is reflected through
her menstrual cycle. She has become disconnected with
her deep inner knowing and her female power. One of the
sad consequences of this disconnection is that we have
bought into the mentality that we are not acceptable as
we are. We are unable to relate to and understand the
power and significance of ourselves, our bodies and other
women. In our much-needed desire to gain equality, a
space for ourselves, and to receive the same rights as
men we have ignored our femininity and in the process
have lost our identity as women. I do not mean to suggest
that women should not be masculine in terms of their
character or behaviour. Nor do I mean to say that women
should not be in positions of power or authority. It is quite
the opposite, we need women in these positions, but as
women not as men. The words masculine and feminine
portray stereotypical images which I do not want to reinforce. But, by placing all authority and importance onto the role that men play in our society, we have undermined the
dynamic presence that women offer within all avenues of our society.
Losing my identity is something that I can speak of through my own experience. For
most of my life I had been searching to fill an empty place within myself. I believed that
admiration, acceptance and popularity from the world around me
would be the only way to gain a sense of worth. If only I were per-
„,,,„. v.     feet in every way then there would be no reason that anyone could not love me. If I were nice enough, friendly enough, smart enough, pretty enough and if I
had a perfect body along with it all, no one
could reject me. There was only one problem,
though, that I could not comprehend at the time:
I rejected myself. How could I expect everyone
around me to fully acceptthe truth of who I was if I did
not know what my truth was or what she looked like?
Instead of finding my own power from within myself, I
expected friends, family and society to provide it for me. I
became tied to every thought and judgement of me. If it was not
favourable then it was my fault: I was not enough of something—
everything.
Reflecting back on this I have tried to reach into the archives of my
past to find out where exactly all this changed for me.There were many
different events that posed as alarm bells for me and my life. One experience that I do remember happened when I was sixteen. During one of my ballet classes I caught a true reflection of myself in the mirror; what I saw
horrified me. I was pale white with ribs and bones that looked as
though they were forcing their way through my skin. As I saw
myself, the dark facade that was the ruler of my whole
being and who ruled my obsession for control over
my own perfection was momentarily lifted. At that
moment, my voice of truth: the woman who was held
captive deep within myself was able to get through. She
demanded to be let out and she screamed "This is not all right-
this is not who you are!" I had finally heard her voice, but lifting the
facade that was so thick and dark around me took a whole network of life
experiences that webbed me together with many different people, both women
and men, in many different places. Within every new meeting, these people offered to
me their experiences and the wisdom gained from them as gifts and clues that have
helped me along my journey to uncover myself.This journey has become my life and my
life has become this journey. It has taken me to many exhilarating destinations within
myself. With every fear and challenge I face, it is as if I have reached the summit of a
mountain. Every time I reach the top, another part of myself is uncovered. But there is
always the desire to go further and summit another peak—face a new challenge. And so,
I descend down the mountain to start another climb.This destination can be hard, fearful and often very dark. But with every step forward I uncover another piece of my truth
and the woman within me emerges stronger and stronger.
i^topping the destructive ways that I had responded and related to my body and
myself as a woman have been imperative in the journey to free myself. Change came
slowly by looking at my attitude, the way I thought and therefore acted towards myself
and the world around me. I began questioning everything and determining whether it
was supportive of where I wanted to be in my life.These sorts of changes might not happen overnight, but becoming consciously aware that things are not the way they should
or could be is half the battle. Awakening to our inner cries for freedom-hearing, momentarily, the truth of who we are-can often be enough to begin uncovering ourselves.Taking
the time to listen is a challenge in a society where just letting yourself 'be' is considered
unproductive and accompanied by feelings of guilt for taking the time. It's ironic because
allowing ourselves to take the time to just 'be' is one of the most productive things we
could ever do for ourselves. I no longer separate my body from my mind and spirit.To me
they are intricate parts of each other that make up the truth of who I am. I have
come to understand that if my mind and spirit are not healthy then that sickness
will manifest itself in my body. I have been a witness to this in my own life and in
the lives of so many women. By honouring and respecting my body I have found
the power to fully accept myself just as lam. I have learned to love myself from the
inside out instead of the outside in.The timeless expression that "as is inner, so
is outer" has become one of the simple truths that I base my life upon.
Without being consciously aware of it, my father helped me to begin my journey. He set a solid base for which I have come full circle to, this time with full
acceptance and understanding. The necklace that my father gave to me in celebration of my first menstruation signified for me a new involvement of men
towards women. Men have, for so long, been left out of this part of a woman's life.
It has been understood that men have no place in this change or in understanding
the significance of being a woman. We too have fostered this by keeping the truth
about ourselves and about being a woman under wraps. This silence is understandable since we have been living in fear and judgement of ourselves and our
bodies for so long. We need to win our power and honour ourselves for who we are.
Our own femininity is powerful and'strong, but we need to see it as such first. If
we can do this, we will stop giving away our power and instead we will work from
it. Then and only then will our society understand the truth and significance
behind being a woman and honour us for who we are.* msL.
fc«$poosi|fei
siM;:^^^'
z*zi&38mtm
mm
mmmm
BY IAN CUMMINS
•«Pi
re New Years'
evening. Exotic
ized-Upqn
agreed to
artmenf... which' overlooks
Toronto's HarbourfronC We'ga&e^l^ that evening around eight
o'clock. We were six young tw%fttyso)nethihgs, ail of us undergraduates at Canadian universities^ and alt of us highly opinion?
ated individuals. We were all dressed in formalwear: crisp shirts,
conservative ties, outrageous prom dresses.
We sat on stools around an elliptical bar facing the Jstistehert
We started the evening with appetizers«esc>^pi^^^dl£hilin
samosas, cheeseli^Dtese^^^ffiSSd
one hand, and in thither we dutch*
vodka martinis garnisnsd with olives'and
orange rinds. We ate and drank voraciously. We heatedly discussed thejasj
few weeks—the rumours, the hype. A
was clearly decided that the whole evi
was characterised best as anticlimactic
As soon as this conversation was
exhausted, we moved onto the second
SPurs&wsSoup du Onions Monegasque.
Small white onions were served whole in
a thick broth of olive oil, white wine vinegar, and dry vermouth, and seasonec
with saffron and the poignancy ofbay
religion was no ionger hereditary. Thanks to the effects b1
■'"' ".ion we eJ3|||||||joose a religion to practice as easily as
chd"s>-^$^^^^ we wore. We felt few of the effe
nationSralrcWluagreed that Canada was a nice country in
to five, but flags and anthems and veterans andt^ mount
police ultimately meant nothing to us.The moment wiS^it ail-
ated within our own country we were free to move to anej|h.
My friend's mother, the matriarch of the evening, signed
.response to our conversation. Religion, nationalism, irfeali
exhatistmgl We brought our wine glasses to the bar, and prepan
for the third course. In small bowls, we were served a moist,
tasty stir-fry in which sauteed beef was mixed with roasted red
peppers, carrots, mushrooms, red onions, broccoli, and crackling snow peas. Chopped garlic greeted every mouthful for a
sharp taste.
Suddenly it was 11:30.
.ted and exhilarat-
decided to watch
^reworks   by   the
s edge.
Crowds of pefot^w«rii _ <%%
fstjiapng thro«aff
3i^h tne^
found, a stretch of pavement by the water's edge.
We sat in a line, our feet
igltng loosely above the black
Mil
leaves. The onions were soft—layers    Canadians stretched along the concrete border, creating a buzz
v*m?^M
seemed to melt away in our mouths.The^
$Owp was warm, rich, and compJeiWfrtejii,
.wonderfully
•atistied but overwhelr
! lounge. A
In dtsoassetL si
^somethings, we were
this night wertp
jry would certainly b«
inticlimax would-be ours. Climactic times qm
^©lence and moments of great prejudice
bigotry. Wari are €ftmactic. Genocides are climactic. Racial"
sions are dimactic^So'then who wants climactic times?
And what would define our lives in this great anticlimax?
Tolerance. We were the colour-blind generation, our prejudices
had been dulled by the diverse environments in which we were
raised. Even better, we demanded diverse personal relationships. We had been taught about the differences which exist
among us, and consequently we demanded relationships with
people representative of these differences. Homogeneity was
out. In this great anticlimax, heterogeneity was all the rage,.
And above all else, tl
our individualism. Our geneTi
tion was no longer bound by ihe
traditions of its predecessors.
We lived in a post-traditionalist
age. We demanded that traditions explain thems||ves to us^
We felt free to'ac8ll|e to cu%r'
toms that agreed w&our principles, and to wiilfllfy discard
all others. We understood that
of hushed whispers. Toronto's Harbourfront, normally so gray
and dull, wa$ alive with excitement. And we kept our eyes on the
ree targe ships, packed full of dynamite, which
center of the harbour.
, we opened several bot-
cigarettes. All the while
crowds, the ghost-
us. Amidst
rew emotional and
Lang Syne." Later that
son exjfgainf^toome that the Irish respond to
excit«|iTn^^^TO*!song and celebration. But the
Canadiatvi^^c^iiiy reserved people, remained
stolidly silent. And so/'wewafted feebly between sips of cheap
champagne with our feet dangling over the dark, dirty water of
the Toronto Harbour.
And then it began.Thin Streams of tight shot up from the three
floating barges and exploded loudly, forming\gire8t shapes and
designs in the night sky. Simultaneously, the CI
come alive, as bright orange bursts of light were
its thick midsection. A collective gasp arose. And in the ensuing
moments of colourful energy and design we sat completely transfixed. Fears of terroiist bombings were forgotten-. Principles were
momentarily shelved. We watched thousands ol defers worth of
powder and engineering sweat shoot into the sky and evaporate
into the aiiCAra^fepite all'ol our best efforts, we experienced a
smati but powerfully climactic mortte^fc*^    .,, .  v-,™W
iiia

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