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The Summer Ubyssey Aug 9, 1996

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 news
UBC called on transport crunch
theatre
Summerstock reviews
books
Coupland's back... with polaroids
summer
Imagesetting since 1982
volume 13 issue 2
Thursday, August 8. 1996
T0T
Student activists and superconnectors
Students from UBC, SFU and
Langara embark on a tour of
Guatemala this week; their
mission is to find common
links between the struggles
ofthe North and South.
by Federico Barahona
KATHIE LEE WAS IN FOR A SURPRISE, AND NOT A VERY
pleasant one at that. If there's a need for the world to
connect, as some student activists claim, then she
ended up connecting really fast. Picture the irony:
Kathie    Lee    Gifford,    middle
America's favourite cheese queen,
and self-proclaimed "child advocate," having to apologise publicly
for the Honduran sweatshop where
her line of clothing was produced.
And the disbelief of a whole nation
as it found out that Kathie's line—
available exclusively at K-Mart with
proceeds  going to  charity,  she
said—was actually being produced
by twelve year old girls holed up in
a dungeon in Central America. The
shock of Kathie's teary voice, claiming that she "didn't know," rings
on...
Kathie wasn't alone, though.
There's also that group of grade
five students in Surrey who almost
died of shock when they found out
the shoes endorsed by their idol,
Michael   Jordan,   were   actually
manufactured   by  young  Asian
women, earning $2.20 a day. Accouhng lo ilu-n
teacher, the students turned their clothes inside
out to see where they were made. In a lc-tlei published in The Vancouver Sun, one student wmie to
Michael Jordan: "I'd like to see you take a week-
long trip to Indonesia, go to the factory uheie
they're making all the stuff you get the mor.e\ toi.
go look around, write back and tell me wh.n \<>u
saw..."
The people at BC CASA, an organisation tli.it
coordinates tours to Guatemala every sunmie
want Canadian students to do just that. The\ u.iiu
Canadian students to connect, tune in, pay .uiei
tion to what's going on around the world.
"North Americans act in such isolation," says
Tara Scurr, a BC CASA spokesperson, "and don't
think about how their actions have effects in other
places. People don't think about where their
clothes come from, what a maquila (sweatshop) is
really like, or what kinds of people work in a
maquila."
Elsa Roque, a UBC anthropology student and a
member of BC CASA, agrees.
"We are not raised and we are not taught to have a
sense of responsibility for what is happening around
the us," she says, adding that her decision to go on the
latest tour comes from a need to educate herself.
"I can say that the feelings are there and a sense of
responsibility is there, but the education needs to be
there."
IN THE SUMMER OF 1989, AFTER RECEIVING DEATH
threats, members of the student executive at San
Carlos University in Guatemala City phoned their
counterparts at Simon Fraser University, asking them
to send a student delegation to Guatemala as
observers. Before the SFU student society could
organise a delegation, however, fourteen students—
out of sixteen on the executive—disappeared. To this
day, only six bodies have been recovered.
A few months later, the BC Central American
Student Alliance—BC CASA—was formed. Since then,
BC CASA has organised a student delegation to travel
to Guatemala every summer.
"The purpose ofthe group," says Scurr, "is to go to
m
TOP: A MAN in Guatemala City looks for food in a dumpster.
BOTTOM: GOVERNMENT SWAT teams repel a protest march in Guatemala City.
Jean-Marie Simon Photo
Guatemala every year and show support; show solidarity, the fact that there are people in North America
looking out for them."
Part of BC CASA's mandate, as Scurr points out, is
public education, and that involves organising slide
shows and lectures at university and college campus
es across the lower mainland between tours, in an
effort to help Canadian students connect with the
Guatemalan reality.
Scurr also adds that students in Canada and
Guatemala have, by virtue of being students, a lot of
things in common.
"We're trying to find the connections that we have;
we're trying to draw connections between what's happening here and what's happening down there," she
says.
Students being connectors—superconnectors at
that.
THIS YEAR'S TOUR, STARTING THIS WEEK, IS A BREAK-
through of sorts.
1996 marks the first time in the history of BC CASA
that its delegation is made up entirely
of women students—Tara Scurr from
Langara, Elsa Roque and Lorraine
Mam from UBC, Tyrion Miskell and
Mignon Alphonso from SFU.
It also marks the first time that a
Canadian student delegation will visit
refugee camps in southern Mexico.
"Part of the reason we're going to
Chiapas," says Scurr, "is because
we're focusing on the repatriation
process of the refugees," adding that
as a part of the peace process being
negotiated in Guatemala, refugees
are laced with the option of returning
home or staying in Mexico. Not an
easy choice to make, she points out,
given that many of them have been
living in Mexico for over ten years;
leaving represents, for
many, uncertainty.
In spite of the peace
process, Amnesty International's 1996 Report
notes that there were over
150 illegal executions and
scores of missing persons
reported in Guatemala the
previous year. The victims
were, in most cases, Native
leaders, street children,
trade unionists, and former refugees.
Going home, then,
becomes a leap; a leap into
a big black hole made up
of accords, treaties and
promises of nothing concrete.
FOR ELSA ROQUE,
whose family immigrated from El Salvador fifteen years ago, the trip
itself represents a leap
into another big, black hole—a leap into understanding the present.
"It has to do with wanting to find the pieces of a
missing puzzle," she says. "Learning to connect, to go
back and regain a sense of myself through traveling to
Guatemala." THE UBYSSEY
classifieds
AUGUST 8, 1996
Accomodations Available
Room for rent $425 to
clean, quiet female student.
Share 2 bedroom condo in
Kits. Marty 730-2778.
Furnished basement light
housekeeping room for 1
student - 2 Ig. windows -
private entrance - bathroom
- frig. - 15 minutes from
UBC - very quiet. $400 utilities incl. Avail. August 1st.
733-2395.
Are you moving to
Edmonton? Retired couple
visiting Vancouver would
like to swap homes with
you for 6 months or so. If
interested, call 921-7887.
Accomodations Available
Travel Associates required.
No experience necessary.
Great travel benefits! Call
482-8989 for interview.
Flexible hours.
The Ubyssey
Business Office
Advertising
Business
Fax
822-1654
822-6681
822-9279
Advertising Info
For a copy of our current rate
card or for information about
advertising in The Summer
Ubyssey or our fall Ubyssey,
please contact our Advertising
department at 822-1654.
Classified Ads
$5.25 for 15 words,
$0.80 for each additional 5 words.
Payment in required in advance
on classified advertising.
We accept both Visa
and Mastercard.
Next Deadline:
Tuesday, August 13th.
Our Mistake
The article entitled "Smokeless
cigarette ignites ethics debate"
appearing in the August 1 issue
of The Ubyssey should have
attributed 25 years of tobacco-
funded research to Dr. James
Hogg, not his partner Dr.
Stephan Vaneeden.
Our apologies.
iJhink of uourseif for a cnanqe.
s
ave a rainforest
Or start to compost. Or stop using pesticides. After all, whenever f you do anything
- big or small - to help restore and conserve our wild spaces and species, vou
also help yourself. We count on these living resources for everything from
medical advancement to industrial growth. In other words, what we do for them,
we do tor ourselves. And our children. Reach us at www.vvwfcanada.org or
I-oOO-26-pANDA and we'll tell you a few more selfish ways you can help. Vktir future is our future.
WWF
What We Did on Our Summer
Vacation - Part II
Highlights from the Summer of 96
Strengthening the Union - SUDS 96
From July 3rd to 7th, the AMS hosted 30 executives from student unions across the country at our
symposium entided "Strengthening the Union." They
came from as far away as New Brunswick to discuss
such hot topics as equity and corporate sponsorship.
They shared their experiences and successes in realms
such as lobbying and student services. Joan Grant-
Cummings of the National Action Committee on the
Status of Women flew in from Ottawa to give a rousing and humorous opening address. Delegates spent
two days on the campus and three at the AMS Whistler
Lodge, alternately debating and marvelling at the beauty
of the surrounding mountains. The event combined a
lot of hard work and hard play, and after five days we
all agreed we had learned a few more things to make
our years go smoother and we were a lot more tired
than we had been five days earlier.
The AMS UpDate is published
weekly in The Ubyssey. Should
you have any questions
regarding usage of this space,
please contact Faye Samson,
AMS Communications
inator at 822-1961, drop
by SUB 266h, or email at
comco@ams.ubc.ca.
My thanks goes to Carolyn Granholm and the External Commission for all their hard work on the symposium. If you are interested in working on next years
symposium please contact Allison Dunnet, Coordinator of External Affairs at 822-2050 or email at
external@ams .ubc. ca.
Virtual AMS
The AMS is also renovating their web site to have a
new look and contain more information about services, businesses and current student issues. Soon, you
will be able to peruse Joblink, Volunteer Services and
RentsLine listings, read the latest press release by the
AMS and look up current events and activities - at
your convenience. The AMS welcomes your input -
check out our current site at www.ams.ubc.ca and email
your comments and suggestions to
webmaster@ams.ubc.ca.
How to Go Off at a Tangent
Tangent is the newest magazine to hit UBC. Published by the AMS, it will focus on campus news and
lifestyles as well as current student issues and interests.
Tangent is looking for writers, photographers, artists,
etc. — and heck, we'll even pay you for your contributions. Please contact Fran Champagne at 822-9084 or
email her at mageditor@ams.ubc.ca for more information.
For more information about these and other
current issues, please contact David Borins,
AMS President at 822-3972 or email at
president@ams.ubc.ca
Because the longest
distance between two
points is never a
>M-
Because
i emniuuai
force is more fun
than gravity...
Because life's
;oo short to ask
for directions..
The Aim.a Mates
^K'H-iv is going to
throw you a curve ball.
Introducing Tangent ,
UBC's student magazine.
\ We're looking for
\ writers, artists, designers
I        and photographers.
I Get in touch with
| us at M^2 *H>H4 or
/ drop by SI TB v |.;*B
Isn't it about time for
something different?
Brought to you by
the Alma Mater Society
UBC Student Union THE UBYSSEY
AUGUST 8, 1996
AMS
buries
"baby"
by Ncql RoweU
The AMS executive recently killed AMS
Programs director Ham Jingle's four year
old "baby." Subsonic Thursdays, due to
financial cutbacks and what she calls a
"forced change in philosophy."
Last year Subsonic Thursdays ran
nearly $ 11 000 over its $ 19,000 AMS subsidy. Tagle's proposed 1996-97 budget of
$31,000 set the executive committee
thinking.
"It was quite a large subsidy going to
that one event," said AMS Director of
Finance Hyan Davies.
So they axed it.
Though the blade fell while Tagle was
away on vacation, "we did go talk immediately afterward." Davies said.
It was an "unceremonious ending,"
said Tagle, who started Subsonic
Thursdays in 1992 to showcase new
acts, particularly UBC talent. The
Paperboys, Cub, Pluto and Moist all
enjoyed early exposure at Subsonic
Thursdays.
But the show will go on. Students will
pay nearly twice the previous Subsonic
cover to see higher-profile bands on a
new Pit stage. The AMS wants the Pit
competing with the Town Pump for former Commodore patrons on Thursday
nights.
Task Force slams BC Transit
Report recommends lower bus fares, more costly parking at UBC
by Ian Gunn
Students could see lower transit
fares and higher parking fees at
UBC if the recommendations of a
citizens' task force are implemented.
A five month study by the
Vancouver Task Force on
Transportation Access to UBC
and the University Endowment
Lands (UEL) recommended a
drastic overhaul of transit service
to campus and limits on vehicle
access.
The report, which was presented to Vancouver city council
at the end of May, made more
than 50 recommendations on
ways transport to and from ubc
and the UEL could be improved.
It is not clear, however, what
impact the report will have.
The task force's strongest
recommendations called for an
immediate redesign of Transit's
service to UBC.
"Many of these recommendations are not a surprise," said BC
Transit's Director of Strategic-
Planning, Glen Leicester. "We
certainly believe there is room for
growth in the UBC market, but it
is not something we can do
alone. We will need help from
ubc and the city."
Student leaders also had
doubts about the effectiveness ol
the Task Force's report.
"I just wonder who this report
was aimed at," said Alison
Dunnett, AMS Coordinator ol
External Affairs.
Dunnett, who is also a student
representative on UBC's transport
planning subcommittee, told The
Ubyssey, "There are lots of good
recommendations in there but
you have to send these ideas to
the right people.
"But I'm glad that something is
out there. It seems that student
executives like me have been discussing bus passes and more
"We certainly believe there is room for
growth in the UBC market, but it is not
something we can do alone."
BC Transit
director of strategic planning
Glen Leicester
Stressing the need for
increased bus frequency, the
report also called for longer
operating hours, more express
buses and an improved local
feeder bus service along Arbutus,
MacDonald and Dunbar streets.
BC Transit said although the
suggestions are admirable, they
cannot be implemented overnight.
transit and better bike paths for
years and years."
Much of the impetus behind
the Task Force came from local
community concents about traffic volume around UBC.
Claiming that some 65,000
vehicles travel to and from campus on a typical day, the report
recommends a 30 percent reduction in vehicle traffic in the next
STUDENTS WAIT at the bus loop outside SUB on Wednesday afternoon. You might find Waldo
here, but vou won't find a bus? joe clark photo
four years—a goal, it said, similar
to one recently achieved at the
University of Washington.
To reach that target, according
to the task force, cheaper transit
passes should be offered to all
students, and subsidised in part
by increased campus parking
fees.
The report also suggested
adjusting class schedules to
match student travel times with
peak transit service. This would
likely mean more classes beginning earlier, something the university itself recommended in its
1992 Main Campus Plan.
Bike commuters to UBC got
a boost from the Task Force's
calls to upgrade all existing
bicycle routes to campus,
particularly along University
Boulevard, which—according to
one UBC study—carries roughly
50 percent of the campus's bike
traffic.
Meanwhile, transit passengers
may get limited relief. Transit has
plans to expand service to UBC,
beginning with a new express
bus from Lougheed, along
Broadway to UBC. "There are
some discussions about increasing beyond that, but we simply
are not in that position this year,"
Leicester said.
Part ofthe problem, he said, is
the six-month provincial freeze on
capital projects that has put the
brakes on several transit projects.
"In the end," he noted, "transit
is heavily subsidised, and with
governments in a fiscal crunch
the question simply becomes
'where will the dollars come
from?'"
Leicester said funding is the
major hurdle blocking a special
bus pass system for UBC students; while BC Transit would
like to give students cheaper bus
fares, the company needs more
buses to meet the increased traffic passes will create.
Dunnett, who is currently
working on a student pass program with BC Transit, agreed.
"I'm hopeful, but the question is
'who is going to fund it' and no
one is jumping forward to do
that."
"But," she added, "1 think we'll
find the money from somewhere
because this is worth doing."
The citizens' task force included representatives from the local
community and heard from UBC,
BC Transit, the GVRD, the Ministry
of Transportation and Highways
and the city of Vancouver. There
were no UBC student representatives.
Student Environment Centre rejects Coke money
by Steven B. A. Emery
Promoting clean air is a dirty business.
At least that is what members of the  Student
Environment  Centre   (SEC)   discovered  when  they
received a university grant intended to promote
their annual Clean Air Day activities.
According to the SEC's Information
Coordinator Trina Hamilton, the resource group
withdrew its $5000 application from a universi-
ty-AMS projects fund when they thought they
would have to advertise Coke's logo on Clean Air
Day promotional material.
"We felt that by having to advertise [Coke], we were
selling out," said Hamilton. "The money should be given
to students without stipulations put on it."
The fund, which is a result of the university's exclusive
cold beverage agreement with Coca-Cola, is supposed
to be available to campus organizations with worthy
projects.
University's Marketing Coordinator for External Affairs,
Arlene Chan, who is responsible for liasing with fund
applicants, told The Ubyssey she "never said that it was a
requirement [to advertise Coca Cola on any of SEC's packages or banners].
"We felt this was the University's
way of spreading their own
propaganda."
SEC information Coordinator
Trina Hamilton
"With the amount of money they were asking for, I
thought it would have been nice if Coca Cola would have
been recognised," she said.
Hamilton, however, said Chan gave the distinct
impression that although corporate advertising was not
part ofthe cold beverage agreement, the university wanted the logo to be included.
"We felt this was the university's way of spreading
their own propaganda because they knew there was some
student opposition to the deal and they wanted the students to see what the money was going to," Hamilton
said.
This latest corporate advertising conflict began when
the SEC took over Clean Air Day; the original application
for funding was made by Michael Howell of campus planning and development.
Chan conceded the SEC was not obliged to print the
Coke logo as part of its acknowledgements. When asked
by The Ubyssey whether writing Coca-Cola in block letters
was acceptable, Chan's response was yes.
Hamilton told The Ubyssey that the SEC might be willing to acknowledge Coca Cola for the funding support, so
long as the logo did not have to be advertised.
Chan, however, was under the impression the SEC
would not acknowledge Coca Cola in any way, although
she said this would not affected the status SEC's application. THE UBYSSEY
AUGUST 8, 1996
AUGUST 8, 1996
THE UBYSSEY
Plastic identities and shattered closets at UBC's Summerstock
fay James Rowley
The Plastic project
Aug 11 4:00pm
Aug 13-14 8;00pm
"My mother isn't really dead; she's
just very, very mysterious." Gems
like this one from Tony (Jonathan
Sutton) are all the more precious
because someone actually said
them.
The Plastic Project, an "evolving"
work conceived and performed by
the Summerstock Company, is
based on the lives ofthe Baekelands,
the descendants of the inventor of
the first common form of plastic.
Their story is stranger than fiction,
and the company has made their
interpretation stranger still. The
inevitably clumsy plotline of a true
story is overcome by the actors'
dehghtful lunacy, which continually
surprises us with the new ways they
find to tell their story.
The thread that binds the story is
plastic: the show opens with the
company stepping gingerly through
a minefield of those shopping bags
we're always forgetting to reuse; they
become a constant presence
throughout. But what director Neil
Cadger intended to say when he
chose this material is unclear. If the
fate ofthe family is meant to be a lesson from the Old Testament God
about the perils of plastic, no strong
opinions are offered here.
The show, however, doesn't suffer
greatly from this lack of thematic
spine. It is fascinating, confident and
unhurried — to the credit of the
(mostiy) student cast. There are long
moments of genius, such as
Catriona Leger's lip-synched impression of Jefferson Airplane's
'White Rabbit.' Aside from giving a
clue as to Cadger's age (I had to pick
my big brother's brain about It) the
song is hauntingly appropriate and
still echoes in my ears. Plastic is the
high point of the festival so far —
don't throw it away!
INTERBASTATION
Aug 13-14 2:00pm
Interbastation, written and performed by MFA student Colleen
Subasic, is more than a vocabulary
lesson. It is a complex and ambitious
play about a young woman's struggle
to reconcile all the aspects of her
identity.
Subasic's character Elizabeth
explores the metaphors of
Frankenstein's monster and a
human quilt and seems unable to
decide which one describes her
more accurately. Along the way she
encounters various characters from
her past and present who influence
her emotional journey.
Subasic's performance is energetic, risky and completely committed, but it needs refinement and
(dare I say it) direction. She changes
character abruptiy in a way reminiscent of pantomime but lacking that
art's precision. Because of her
incredible drive to make it work, we
feel for her when it doesn't. The
script is often brilliant in its associations but tends to leave its most
interesting developments suddenly
unfulfilled.
The intimate thrust stage created
at the Freddy Wood Theatre is ideal
for this kind of exploratory work.
Run by the UBC Creative Writing and
Theatre Departments, the MFA play-
writing program still lets it fall to the
students to ensure the quality of
their own training. Subasic is obviously willing to take that responsibility.
Hopefully,    Summerstock   will
expand to encourage more work
from students like her. For all its
imperfections, Interbastation is a
courageous and entertaining piece
and leaves its audience with a wonderful final image.
Phaedra's Closet
Created by Linda Quibell and UBC
alumni Peter Eliot Weiss and Peter
Wilds, Phaedra's Closet offers an
opportunity to take part in the development of a new play by a professional company. The relaxed,
rehearsal atmosphere is one of the
things that makes this reading interesting, and takes pressure off of performer and audience alike. To be
able to work on a project gradually
over many months, submitting it to
an audience periodically, is many a
thespian's dream and Phaedra's
Closet is evidence of such a process's
advantages.
The play is based on Racine's
Phedre and so has all your favourite
Greeks (Phaedra, Hippolyta,
Theseus) mixed up in it as well as the
modern deities Barbie and Ken, who
get some of the biggest laughs. While
the characters are ancient, the language and setting are modern,
which creates some great comedic
opportunities. Particularly effective
are the fantasies of Phaedra and her
servant which blur into reality until
— snap! — someone decides they
don't like that scenario any more. In
this way, other characters and events
can be explored and the hearts ofthe
central characters are revealed.
Watch for a full production in the
next year or two.
SHATTERED TONGUE
Aug 14 3:30pm
There are two tongues conflicting
here: both belong to the Greek poet
Sappho but one is alive on stage and
one is in the work she left behind.
Shattered Tongue seeks to compare
the way that Sappho's poetic voice
stifled her own passion and the censorship her work has encountered
since her death. It fails. These
metaphoric tongues mingle not half
so well as those of ubc grad Cheryl
McNamara (Sappho) and Tonja
Livingstone (the Girl) when they
start making out but, unfortunately,
both kisses are insincere.
Technically impressive but emotionally empty, this show condescends to teach its audience of the
misunderstood poet so maligned by
literary critics through the ages.
However, the company presupposes
our resistance to Sappho's work, for
getting that most of us are unfamiliar
with it and are not part of the literary
patriarchy that's oppressing it.
There is a defensive quality to the
work which may hinder the performers from expressing any sincere
emotion—we are being dared to find
something offensive here and, as a
result, no real risks are taken.
Another problem is the unnecessary
slide show of scholarly quotations
which seriously impairs the story's
progress by forcing us to shift from
right to left brain and back exhaust-
ingly.
Shattered Tongues' saving grace is
in the body of Livingstone, who
obviously loves to move. Her dance
will ease your mind in its struggle to
hear Sappho's softly spoken lines,
decipher the written lines above her,
and resist the temptation to judge a
long-dead poet by her representa-
Sappho (Cheryl McNamara)
and the Girl (Tonja Livingstone)
speak in SHATTERED TONGUES.
Gay themed films hit the screens
Cat explores bodily fears;
Stonewall tumbles down
by Peter T. Chattaway
Cat Swallows Parakeet and
SPEAKS!
Aug 10 9:30pm
at the Pacific Cinematheque
Empowerment can come from the most
unlikely places. Like, say, supermarket
tabloids.
At least, that's what Scheherazade (Tara
Frederick) reluctantly discovers during her
surreal stay in a haunted hospital (our very
own Riverview asylum) in Cat Swallows
Parakeet and Speaks!, the first feature from
Vancouver filmmaker Ileana Pietrobruno.
(It's screening this weekend as part ofthe Out
on Screen festival; after this, it's off to Toronto
for their International Film Festival.)
Scheherazade is a model coping with an
ulcer after the death and burial of an anorexic colleague. (Their manager actually tries to
pick up new recruits at the funeral.) She soon
gets hit on by Dr. Storey (Alex Ferguson), a
suspicious character whose patients have a
way of dying once he loses interest in them
and -■— oh, the wordplay! — their stories. Like
her Arabian namesake, Scheherazade must
tell stories to stay alive ... but where will she
find some worth telling?
Enter Kore (Rebecca Godin), a whiney,
bulimic ballerina who follows the supermarket tabloids religiously, even though she'd
probably never darken the automatic door of
a supermarket if her life depended on it. If
Scheherazade ties her down, Kore will escape
her fruit-basket nightmares and be free to
contact the spirits of those women whose
unlikely exploits fill the pages of the Globe
and the Weekly World News.
Pietrobruno stacks this lowbrow deck with
allusions to classic fairy tales and shuffles the
cards thoroughly. As dirt is to matter, tabloid
articles are just stories in the wrong place. But
are they really any worse than the output of
the brothers Grimm? Who's to say these stories don't have a legitimate place if, trashy
and exploitative though they may be, they
can spark a woman's appreciation for all that
is unusual, strange and even unnerving
about her sex? (In one of the film's more
bizarre moments, Scheherazade and Kore
recoil at the sight of a flood of menstrual
blood; then they go for a swim.)
As you might guess, Cat Swallows Parakeet
is a visually intense work; it alternates
between a smooth black-and-white "real"
world and a colourful world of dreams, spir
its and roughed-up footage in which anything is possible. Thanks to John
Houtman's shadowy lensing and the
sparse, yet expressionistic, art design by
Athena Wong and Bo Myers, the hospital
becomes a brooding backdrop to the growing erotic tension that pulls Scheherazade
and Kore together even as they confront
that most intimate of fears: the fear of one's
own body, and the fear of being truly alive,
with all the messy bodily fluids and emotional ecstasy that that includes.
Stonewall
opens Aug 9 at 5th Avenue cinemas
"There's as many stories about Stonewall as
there are gay queens in New York, and that's
a shitload of stories." So says drag queen
LaMiranda (Guillermo Diaz) at the beginning of Stonewall, ostensibly an account of
the 1969 riot that midwifed the modern gay
rights movement. So why did Nigel Finch
ignore all those other accounts and make
one up?
It's not like he was starved for material.
Stonewall is supposedly based on Martin
Duberman's book of the same name, but
The Scarlet Letter had more in common
with its source material. This wouldn't be a
problem if the story were of a reasonably
high calibre, but Finch, who died last year
of AIDS, has opted for an earnestly trite,
formulaic approach that feels absolutely
false. "*"
Then there's the problem of perspective:
whose story is this, anyway? LaMiranda says
it's hers, but most of the film goes to Matty
Dean (Frederick Weller), a midwest country
hick who hops a bus to New York for a taste of
big city homosexuality, and there's a distracting love affair between black diva Bostonia
(Duane Boutte) and "Skinny Vinnie" (Bruce
MacVittie), Stonewall's fictitious proprietor
— his name is an uninspired homage to "Fat
Tony" Lauria, one ofthe bar's historical owners.
Looking for a place to crash, Matty moves
in with the cross-dressing Puerto Rican
LaMiranda, but his affections are pulled in a
different direction when he meets Ethan
(Brendan Corbalis), a Greg Brady lookalike
whose irrepressible thousand-watt smile lets
you know he's gay, gay, gay in every sense of
the word. Problem is, he and his mild-mannered activist friends also want to be straight,
straight, straight enough to win credibility in
the heterosexual media. That means hair-
Straight man's nightmare is something to laugh at
by James Rowley
Kore (Rebecca Godin) and Scheherazade (Tara Frederick) take time out from their
busy schedule as hospital patients in CAT SWALLOWS PARAKEET AND SPEAKS!
cuts, suits, and ties for all, and a pox on
Matty's folk music!
Gee, will Matty go for the straight-laced
establishment guy, or the marginalized nonconformist? The answer should be obvious to
everyone except, it seems, Matty, who puts
up with Ethan's kowtowing longer than any
radical should. The sheer lack of chemistry
between these two gives their affair an almost
surreal quality — particularly when Ethan
takes country mouse Matty to a resort filled
with queer beach bums who cringe like city
mice under the catlike gaze of vigilant het
police—but their acting is not bad enough to
be aU thatenjoyable.
For a film about activism, Stonewall plays
it remarkably safe, and in a quaintly anachronistic way. According to Duberman, drag
queens — a safe, popular commodity in film
these days — were generally unwelcome at
the Stonewall Inn, but Finch would have you
think the place was full of them. Duberman
acknowledged the role that lesbians and even
churches played in the gay rights movement,
but Finch gives only a small voice to the
women in his script and none at all to the
church, though he shows the inside of a
cathedral just long enough to associate it
with guilt and death.
And let's not forget the issue of race, since
Matty brings it up all the time. In this film,
people of colour are passive and effeminate,
but the whites are butch: no one bats an eye
at Bostonia or LaMiranda, but when Matty
puts himself in a dress, the scene is played for
laughs.
Matty spends much of his time ranting
about the Constitution — a document that
has, at various times, prohibited the sale of
liquor and protected the rights of southern
slave-owners — as if the mere invoking of its
name would give him freedom. A similar
contempt for history lies at the heart of
Stonewall: Finch waves the Stonewall flag
because it gives his film a halo of historical
significance, but in disregarding the past,
Finch ultimately robs his film of any relevance to the present day.
poor Super Man
at the Arts Club New Revue Stage until Aug 31
In Poor Super Man, Brad Fraser wastes no time in getting
his audience to bullet speed. The production both
promises and threatens coarse language, simulated sex
and nudity but, far from being gratuitous, these elements are simply evidence of Fraser's refusal to let us
feign ignorance. Who wants to be babied, anyway? Are
gay sex, drugs or transexuality really new concepts to
anyone? Didn't think so.
The presentation is seamless and credit is due to
Marsha Sibthorpe's lighting, Douglas Macaulay's sounds
and Craig Fulker's "projection design" but most of all to
stage manager Mary Kavanagh who runs a tight ship.
Emma a breath of fresh air
by Janet Winters
The timing of the "captions" projected on the back wall,
often in the split second between a question ("Do you
love me?" — caption: "LIE") and the answer ("Yes"), is a
wonder. They become the "thought bubbles" of the
"comic book" we are reading as well as watching. The
cast pulls off universally strong performances with
understated but deep commitment, letting the audience
feel die emotions their characters are unwilling to let go.
Fraser's ability to find humour in serious issues —
adultery, AIDS, death, homophobia and sexual identity
— without belittling them is a real gift to his audience. In
this age of plague we are all discovering the inadequacy
of our mechanisms for dealing with death. Certainly the
gay community, having been forced to handle more than
its share, has experience to offer the rest of us who are
even now just getting started.
Reactions to the play will vary. One of mine was an
encounter with that most
intense form of homophobia: the fear of my
own desires. This nightmare — or is it a fantasy?
— lurking in the back of
my head that I may someday feel compelled to have sex
with a man is the basis of Poor Super Man. Matt (Peter
Wilds), a married restaurant owner, falls in lust with
David (the magnetic Rod Wilson), a reknowned artist
who has taken a job as a waiter to rekindle his creativity.
Matt insists he is "straight" but, by the end of the first act
he and David are having sex and I am in self-evaluation
mode: "Does this turn me on? Why am I so anxious to
know?"
Sldlfully toying with my homophobic yearning to categorize Matt, Fraser refuses to provide an answer to the
question, "Gay, Straight or Bi?" This interrogation of categories is introduced earlier by Shannon (played beautifully by Allan McKenzie), a female soul trapped in a
man's body who is nearly finished the medical process of
returning to her true self. Is she a man or a woman? And
what is Matt? My conclusion? Shannon: cool. Matt: jerk.
After all, how we treat other people is more important
than who we sleep with.
This is a hard hitting, sharp and intelligent show. The
characters speak for themselves and the truth precipitates in the mind of the audience, as do the laughs — did
I mention it's hilarious?
EMMA
opens Aug 9 at the Caprice
and the Park theatres
In a summer where film makers are trying everything from natural disasters to
alien take-overs to attract the wallets of
movie goers hungry for special effects,
Douglas McGrath's Emma is a breath of
fresh air.
Based on the classic Jane Austen
novel, Emma is beautifully set in the
19th century. The title character —
played skillfully by Gwyneth Paltrow,
accent and all — is so busy meddling in
her friends' personal lives, she denies
her own desire for love.
But as the plot unfolds, Emma's
underlying feelings emerge. The romantic tension builds successfully thanks to
strong writing, directing and casting.
Like Emma Woodhouse herself, the
audience can't help but care for the
film's colourful characters, particularly
Emma's best friend Harriet Smith (Toni
Collette of Muriel's Wedding), who experiences one heartbreak after another
because of Emma's vain but well-intentioned efforts. [Trainspotting's Ewan
McGregor plays Mr. Churchill, another
of Emma's friends.)
Mr. Knightley (Jeremy Northam),
Emma's handsome brother-in-law and
confidant, frowns upon her interference, but the deep intimacy between
them produces a growing on-screen
chemistry. McGrath, perhaps best
known for co-writing Bullets over
Broadway, turns a good love story into a
Gwyneth Paltrow stars as a not-so-
clueless Emma.
magnificent one through his careful use
ofthe camera. During a dance scene, for
instance, Emma and Knightley seem to
be in their own world as the camera
glides back and forth.
Emma, indeed, is worth its entire two
hours. Its witty dialogue, entertaining
story line, and absolute charm keep
things going at a steady pace. Feel-good
films in general, and Jane Austen movies
in particular, are often criticized for their
predictability, but such concerns don't
matter here. Rather than insult your
intelligence, Emma will amuse and
delight you. THE UBYSSEY
og/fed
AUGUST 8, 1996
Students must take lead in campus transport issues
UBC's transport infrastructure is a mess, and there is lit
tie sign of relief, and even less sign that anyone on campus really cares.
This spring's "Task Force on Transport Access to
UBC" left no question that UBC is in desperate need of
an immediate transport overhaul, and generously
shared the blame for the current state between the university, the city and the province. All three, it says,
should now be responsible to work together to fix
things, which is true. The one group the report misses,
though, is the one that remarkably shows very little
interest in changing: UBC students.
A BC Ministry of Transport traffic study in the fall of
1994 found there to be roughly 65,000 vehicles heading
to and from UBC each weekday. A similar study this
January found that between 80 and 90 percent-
depending on the time of day—of those vehicles had
but a single occupant. A majority of those cars are driven by students; UBC's supposedly intelligent and
enlightened population is still dogmatically devoted to
>>i:i.nur1
ubyssey
August 1,1996
volume 13 issue 1
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press.
Summer Ubyssey is published Thursdays by The Ubyssey Publications
Society at the University of British Columbia. Editorial opinions
expressed are those of the newspaper and not necessarily those of
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Coordinating Editor: Scott Hayward
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niftlit
NewsEditors: Ian Gunn and Sarah O'Donnell
Culture Editor: Peter T. Chattaway
Sports Editor: Wolf Depner
National / Features Editor: Federico Barahona
Production Coordinator: Joe Clark
Photo Coordinator: Richard Lam
its cars.
To be fair, alternatives to driving cars to campus are
limited and the incentives to sit alone in a warm car
with only the witty and erudite Larry and Willy for company are strong; the task force report makes that abundantly clear. Bike paths leading to the campus core are
in poor repair and bus service is inconvenient and comparatively expensive.
But it is where the calls for change are coming from
that is most troubling.
The task force report comes from the concerns of
local citizens who grew tired of the noise, safety and
pollution headaches that our tens of thousands of cars
create for them daily. The suits at city hall took the lead
and created a task force. The province is now involved
as the arbitrating body in a jurisdiction dispute between
UBC and the GVRD over a developmentplan for campus that could add 13,000 more commuters to the mix
through residential housing development.
And even UBC's administration—which is regularly,
and justly, lambasted by the above mentioned for
bureaucratic intransigence—has a transport planning
subcommittee which is at least thinking about ways of
improving transport to and from campus. The subcommittee has a couple of student members who report
that there is a general sense on the committee the university would genuinely like to do something to
improve transport. Sadly, we understand, there simply
isn't the money just now...
And where are UBC's bright idealistic students?
This March when UBC dug up yet another B-Lot, student reaction was swift and negative. So, interestingly,
was the reaction from student council executives, who
told the campus media at the time they were disappointed that UBC was removing B-lot spaces without
offering new ones elsewhere. Scant mention was made
of better bus or bike access. Former Coordinator of
External Affairs and current AMS President David
Borins eloquently argued the case of students who genuinely need to drive to campus and expressed concern
that in its development zeal UBC was short-changing
the car. It was a view that seemed to reflect the student
mood and garnered little attention.
So just try—as the Transport Task Force has now
done—suggesting significantly higher student parking
fees. It is unlikely to be popular.
This despite the fact that it is currently cheaper to
leave your car in B-Lot for a few hours than to pay the
$3.00 to catch the bus to school and back. Perhaps transit is too expensive, but is it not also possible that parking is too cheap?
There are unquestionably student who need to drive
to campus, but the suggestion that the vast majority
need to use their cars for the gruelling journey from
Vancouver's west side is farcical at best. If they are
determined to drive, let them pay for through the nose
for what is clearly a privilege of the first order, and in the
process fund quicker, more efficient, safer and more
environmentally-friendly public transit for the rest of
us. Parking subsidies could easily be given to car-pools
and those who genuinely have to drive.
Universities can and should be examples of progressive thinking for the community as a whole. UBC could
do much to repair a public image tarnished by negative
reports with an aggressive approach to transport management. Instead it rolls along—to all outward appearances—in neutral, pushed by local community groups
and the GVRD.
If anything is going to change in the near future students are going to have to start demanding action and
demanding it loudly. They will also have to set an example
and make some sacrifices to convenience and comfort.
Perhaps the solo encounters with Larry and Willy
should be the first to go.
letters ———— • ■—	
Your name could be here: send us letters
Dear readers,
We here at The Ubyssey are fairly
easy to please. We want to see the
same things you do in our newspaper: interesting stories, cool graphics
and thought-provoking opinion
pieces. At this moment, however,
what we really want more than anything else is a vibrant, interactive letters section.
The letters section of any newspaper, including our own, is a forum
where people who don't have time to
write full-fledged articles can express
their opinions on current events, stories we've done, inform other readers
about what their organization is
doing, or take issue with a letter from
the previous issue. Tell us what we're
doing right, or wrong—just tell us. In
fact, most newspapers will acknowledge that the letters section is the
most well-read section of the paper.
A letter in The Ubyssey could make
you famous, (as long as its under 300
words).
It's important students use their
campus paper to communicate with
each other; after all, you hear enough
from us in the rest of the paper and
The Ubyssey does belong to you.
So when the mood strikes you,
bring your letter to room 241K in the
north-west corner of the SUB or
send us a fax. Remember to bring
your student ID so we know who you
really are.
In eager anticipation,
Sarah O'Donnell
news editor.
LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. "Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and are run according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is time sensitive. Opinion
pieces will not be run unless the identity of the writer has been verified. 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. THE UBYSSEY
AUGUST 8, 1996
Giving Douglas Coupland the
credit and criticism he deserves
by Charlie Cho
POLAROIDS FROM THE DEAD
a book by Douglas Coupland
[HarperCollins]
Polaroids from the Dead is like a collection
of remastered B-sides, reprinted short stories and magazine articles from '91 to '94.
The two major portions focus on the
followers of the Grateful Dead and
Brentwood, the community that was
once home to Nicole Brown and Marilyn
Monroe. In this nuclear age Coupland, a
product of mass multimedia fallout,
isn't running for shelter—he's driving
toward ground zero with notebook in
hand.
When all the pop culture references and
all the generation hype have faded into
obscurity, Coupland should be remembered for his search for some post-religion
"soul," despite his almost existential cynicism about religion, politics, marriage,
love, community, class—just about everything life "used to be" based on.
POP ARTIST
Coupland's concise prose and simple
character sketches give some critics the
impression he writes for semi-literates
(I've been there. I've done that). But in
"James Rosenquist's F-lll (F-One
Eleven)," and in several other works, he
exhibits his highbrow art school know-
how.
As in Life After God, Coupland regresses
to his childhood without religion. This
time it is to explore the contemporary significance of Pop artists such as
Rosenquist, Andy Warhol and Jasper
Johns. If we see Coupland as a Pop author,
we are incidentally given a reason for his
detached writing style.
"I think all the Pop artists loved the subjects they painted. Detachment, what
there was of it, was a put-on."
WATCHING THE DEAD
The opening third section, which gives
the book its title, is also its most forgettable. This account of Deadheads in concert gives the impression that the party's
already over.
MTV kids treat Grateful Dead concerts
as if they were '60s hippy theme parks.
DOUGLAS COUPLAND struts his highbrow art school
Stuff. ROBERT KARPA PHOTO
Hippy purists scowl at the MTV kids.
Deadhead moms stay in the parking lot
with the kids, while dad goes off to trip the
light fantastic. Yuppies leave their cell
phones at home and dance barefoot in the
mud. Yes, there are stories to be told.
But, unlike microserfs, you don't really
learn what brings someone to a Dead concert; you don't really experience what it's
like  to  be  captivated  by  the  music.
Coupland sounds like an outsider. He's like
Daniel:
"This is Daniel's first Grateful Dead
concert. Having seen the freaky skeleton
video on MTV, Daniel is curious about
the Dead, but not curious to the point of
drugging..."
As a result, you see what happens but
you don't see why.
LIVING DEAD
"Brentwood Notebook," the final quarter
of the book, documents
the former community
of Nicole Brown on the
32nd anniversary of
Marilyn Monroe's death.
While Coupland dishes
out celebrity news trivia
along with the civic history, it's not really about
specific famous people.
It's about "denarra-
tion," one of Coupland's
most acute observations
about western society.
"Suddenly, around ten
years ago, with the deluge
of electronic and information media into our
lives, these stencils with
which we trace our lives
began to vanish, almost
overnight, particularly on
the West Coast. It became
possible to be alive yet
have no religion, no family connections,
no ideology, no sense of class location, no
politics and no sense of history.
Denarrated."
Being denarrated is what we mean
when we say that someone "doesn't have a
life." Since Generation X, Coupland has
emphasised that "our lives need to be stories"—it's the "one factor that sets us apart
from all other animals."
EULOGY FOR THE DEAD
Found among the snapshots is a
posthumous letter to Kurt Cobain. Why?
How you ask that question reveals how
you feel about Cobain. I was surprised
that Coupland cared so much about him
too.
Douglas Coupland and Kurt Cobain
stand far apart on the pop culture continuum. During Nirvana's immense popularity, nary a word about grunge was mentioned in Coupland's books. Without a
word about why Cobain was significant to
him, Coupland writes:
"I had never asked you to make me care
about you, but it happened—against the
hype, against the odds—and now you are
in my imagination forever."
You too, Doug. You too.
POSTCARDS FROM DOUGLAS
Coupland is a considerate boy, always
taking the time to write home and tell us
how he's doing. Sometimes he tells us
interesting things about where he's been:
free market consumerism has failed to
make East Berlin interesting; Palo Alto is a
middle-class Utopia; Los Alamos is a
nuclear tourist attraction.
But, then again, it doesn't really matter
where Coupland is or what era he's writing
about.
"Time continues on: Instead of buying
Chairman Mao outfits, we shop at the Gap.
Same thing. Everybody travels everywhere. 'Place' is a joke."
What about the mass media environment that follows him around? He looks
through his Pop art glasses and reflects the
trends without necessarily absorbing
them.
"I am choosing to live my life in a permanent power failure. I look at the screens
and glossy pages and I don't let them
become memories."
Good luck.
Female idol puts on
a jagged little show
Th-th-that's not all, folks!
hftHmtktmmt*
JHI31 atGM
Alanis Morrisette is a mesmerizing beauty. She bounced around Hke a bumbling
Idiot; she jotted her hands up and down like she was havmgconvt^ons and she
still came off as an honest and beautiful person. Whoever possesses the brains
behind this singing ijeauty is a marvel If the Ottawa im^
hie, Canada is the proud %wn^ of a finite prodigy.
the technical side of the show was only average. It wa^ a medium budget event
wiroeveiy cent tasted towards an easify
ing to the standard lighting, set, and the old if-it-ain't-brofee-don't-fix-it routine. In
other words, the show lacked originality.
Morrisette's band was interesting. Of course they were all good looidngmale rock
Judging from the audience, Morrisette's appeal seems, to be strongest with young
females. Alanis is the perfect female idol: a determined, self-sufficient young
woman that seems capable of standing op to anyone, giving young women inspiration. She represents a self-image that is very hard for a woman in our patriarchal
society to identify with: an individual, mate not required, Besides, she's not built
like a waif, so her fans dont have to turn anorexic to fit me rock stains image.
the remainder of the Alanis fans were one of two groups: a} those who le^fiti-
matety enjoy Morrisette's music and b) those who caught on to u^ fact that she
to cash In on a couple of the supposedly vulneraWe young hussies (the'b'group
Other than being too rehearsed ar^ a tad cheesy, tlw show was weHworA
coiiJuSummtogkupwimaclhnacttednim
everybody left smflteg. Even the *b* group, who predirtably left the show with two
hands in their pockets and no reason to^veaWghfive.
by Peter T. Chattaway
THE BUGS BUNNY
ANIMATION FESTIVAL
Aug 9-18 at the Ridge
Theatre
The newest Bugs Bunny
Animation Festival is the
fifth big-screen repackaging of Warner Brothers'
best and zestiest to hit
Vancouver in as many
years. We've heard the
Vancouver Symphony ~
Orchestra accompany
Bugs Bunny on Broadway, we've unearthed
the racism of The Best
of Looney Tunes Un- '
censored, we've spent '
an evening at the A-
Orpheum with Chuck
Jones, and we all trooped
to the Ridge for the last
Bugs Bunny festival two
years ago.
So, to paraphrase a certain carrot-chomping rabbit, what's new, doc?
Haven't we seen it all
already?
Well, yes and no. Rather
than give us the same old
bullfights, opera spoofs,
and hysterical spats over
which hunting season it is,
this latest fiesta focuses on
the more obscure cartoons
to come out of the Termite
Terrace. But while this is, in
some ways, the show's
main strength, it is also its
main weakness. These
aren't bad cartoons, but
<Q>
«" f\
they're also not particularly
great.
But, with that proviso in
mind, on with the show!
Things get off to a lovely
start when Bugs, Daffy and
Elmer take the piss out of
Jack & his not-so-friendly
giant in "Beanstalk Bunny."
Sylvester does battle with
Speedy Gonzales, Hippity
Hopper (a.k.a. the boxing
kangaroo) and — in "Birds
Anonymous," an acrid
satire of addiction as relevant to the age of Train-
spottingas it was in 1957 —
his own craving for bird-
flesh.
And in "Heaven Scent,"
the funniest of the bunch,
Pepe LePew calls after his
feline object of desire,
"All you need is a little
occupational therapy ...
like making love!"
The set isn't arranged in
any particular order: not
chronologically, not according to the director (the
personal styles of Jones,
Friz Freleng, and Robert
McKimson, who get five
entries apiece, don't mix all
that well) and not, apparently, according to what
will best sustain the laughter. (The show closes inexplicably with two sub-par
shorts starring the Tasma-
nian Devil.)
Still, while this isn't the
"event" that previous galas
have been, it's a welcome
continuation of what
could, and should, be an
ongoing series. 8
THE UBYSSEY
AUGUST 8, 1996
Pird Droppings
On paces
UBC Hockey centre Doug Ast leads the
Vancouver Voodoos with 45 goals scored
and has five games left to break the 50-goal
plateau.
Finished:
Former UBC student Carey Nelson placed
35th in the Olympic Men's Marathon in a
time of 2:1939.
Knotted:
UBC Hockey winger Brad Edgington got
married on July 27 to Anja Bergler. The
couple who have known each for two
years spent their honeymoon in Seattle.
Solid:
Former Football Bird Grayson Shillingford
made a successful debut in the NFL for
the Seattle Seahawks, who defeated the
Atlanta Falcons in exhibition action last
Sunday, 19-17.
Useless Olympic factoid*:
Wildflowers planted at Olympic venues:
1.5 million square ft.
Watermelon sliced up per day. 662
Hot Dogs consumed per day: 12 million
Number of Portapoties: 1800
Pounds of Cheese used per day: 70,000
Number of parking cones used to direct
traffic: 20,000
Tons of trash: 10,000
Number of 12 oz. cans of soft drinks consumed per day: 2 million
UBC women power up gyms
 by Wolf Depner
BirdCOOP staffers Tracy Fast, Deanna
Leach and Marci Kirby are not your average weightroom attendants: they are part
of a trend seeing a rising number of
women employed in the lucrative and
wide-spanning health and fitness industry.
BirdCOOP Manager and UBC Varsity
Strength Coach Joey Dolcetti estimates
that ten years ago over 60 percent of those
working in the industry were male.
The male/female ratio has now reached
an equilibrium throughout the industry
and Dolcetti believes it will favor females
in the near future.
While the BirdCOOP staff is gender-balanced, membership is far from it—with 70
percent being male according to Dolcetti.
And being around Schwarzenegger look-
alikes with quad-sized attitudes can be a
source of intimidation.
"'Gym monkeys' have tried to intimidate
me, but once you lay down the law,
you will get the respect."
BirdCOOP staffer
'"Gym monkeys' have tried to intimidate me," says Kirby, "but once you lay
down the law, you will get the respect."
And Kirby, Leach and Fast are not afraid
to crack down when necessary.
"They all have strong opinions and per
sonalities," says UBC Intramurals
Assistant Director Sonya Lumholst-Smith
who oversees the BirdCOOP
But their backgrounds, interests and
goals are quite different from each other.
Kirby's goal was to
make   the   Olympic
swim team, but she
"just seemed to get
MARCI KIRBY stuck."  As  she  prepared for a career after
swimming, she quickly found out that her
athletic interests reached beyond the pool.
The Physical Education grad hopes to
enter UBC's very competitive Physiotherapy program. But if things don't work out,
she sees her future in health and fitness.
"I just want to keep my options open,"
she says.
Fourth-year Human Kinetics student
Deanna Leach, on the other hand, has
immersed herself in athletic training from
early on in her university career and considers her job at the BirdCOOP as a good
background for Sports Medicine.
"I'm basically interested in everything
that requires physical exertion," she
states.
Tracy Fast, meanwhile, has been working in a gym environment for the last six
years, and is ready to hit the big time down
south as a strength/conditioning coach for
professional sports team.
"I want to earn American bucks," she
adds confidently.
Sports Opinion: an Olympic-sized gripe
by Wolf Depner
The Olympic games are finally
over.
And there is no doubt that
Atlanta's reputation around the
globe has been damaged beyond
repair.
But a shoddy transportation
system, incompetent organizers,
slack security, clueless volunteers, the US Dream Team and
tacky commercialism were not
the only reasons that Atlanta's
Olympic dream turned into a
public-relations nightmare.
Instead, one can squarely
point the finger at the way
Atlanta treated foreign visitors,
non-US athletes, and its very
own citizens.
There is a big difference
between cheering for one's country and being a complete idiot.
That should have been
explained more thoroughly to US
audiences as foreign visitors had
to endure their fair share of
insults and ethnic jokes.
Meanwhile, non-US athletes
were rarely acknowledged;
indeed, American audiences
were openly hostile towards foreign athletes when competing
against US athletes.
Such behaviour is another
facet of the North American pro
sports scene which thrives on
trash-talk and tolerates thugs
like Albert Belle and Claude
Lemieux. It is unexcusable, nonetheless.
The Olympics are not an
excuse to indulge in foul-
mouthed and petty nationalism;
they are an opportunity to appreciate lesser known sports and
athletes and to embrace humanity in all of its diverse and wonderful forms.
That message, however, got
lost in a commercial monoculture sustained by McDonalds,
Coke, IBM, and VISA.
But the saddest story to have
come out of Atlanta was the way
the city dealt with its homeless.
In an effort to make the down
town area presentable for the
Games, several thousand homeless people were relocated to outlying districts.
What makes this story so
unsettling are the historic parallels to the 1936 Olympic Games
held in Berlin.
Prior to those games, all anti-
semitic signage was removed by
the Nazis in a futile effort to create the impression of a tolerant
regime. History speaks for itself.
That comparison should not
be blown out of proportion, but it
should not be ignored either.
It has been said that the
Olympic games are a snapshot of
the times past and present. And if
that statement holds any truth,
Atlanta has painted a grim picture.
mi in
) AMERICA
J3ABY!!
There's always next season...
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