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UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Aug 22, 1996

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Their role under Iran's
Islamic government
Preview of the '96 T-Bird
football season
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from
The Orpheum balcony
Advancing the media since 1982
Prof resigns as book ignites religious debate
 by Peter T. Chattaway
The resignation of a UBC professor widely criticised by the Sikh community has
again raised the issue of academic freedom on campus.
Dr. Harjot Oberoi resigned last month
from his position as the chair of UBCs
Sikh studies program—just before taking
a scheduled one year sabbatical. The
move comes after he weathered two years
of protest over his history book The
Construction of Religions Boundaries
In the book, Oberoi claimed there was
a "religiousdiversity" within Sikhism, and
Sikhism drew the Muslim and Hindu traditions for some of its rituals and beliefs.
These claims attracted sharp criticism
from Sikhs around the world who
charged that Oberoi was trying to undermine the unity and uniqueness of the
Sikh faith.
"It was the equivalent of heresy in
Christianity," said treasurer of UBCs Sikh
Students Association Jaspreet Singh of
the book. "It goes right to the heart of
Anne Lowthian, public relations manager for the Ottawa-based World Sikh
Organization, agreed there was no room
for disagreement within Sikhism on these
issues. "[Professors] can say there are sects
of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and
all the rest. That does not deny that all of
those exist. However, in Sikhism that is
strictly forbidden. That is not a part of
the religion," she said.
see religious debate on page 2
Provincial cuts threaten safety
by Ian Gunn
Student safety at UBC is the latest victim
of Victoria's budget-freezing zeal.
The NDP government recently instituted a six-month freeze on all campus
capital projects under #1 million. UBC
called the move a "deep cut" and warned
it will put the brakes on its much-heralded Safer Campus improvements.
The university claimed the government reduced this year's anticipated budget of #15.1 million for minor capital projects to #7 million. #500,000 of the frozen
money was ear-marked for campus safety initiatives.
"These programs are all now up in the
air," UBC's Personal Security Coordinator
Meg Gaily told The Ubyssey. "It is really
unclear at this point where this leaves
the Safer Campus minor projects."
By freezing the funding the university
said, the NDP endangered several programs including #650,000 for improved
disabled access, a #300,000 program to
improve campus lighting and a #25,000
expansion of the brand new blue-light
security telephone system that is still
being installed around campus. The free
standing telephones offer a one-button
connection to both campus security and
According to Gaily, six of the blue-
light telephones will be in place and
working by September 1 despite the
freeze. "The six phones and various lighting projects were in last year's budget and
aren't affected," she said. "But [those
improvements] that have been projected
but not yet started—we just don't know
their status."
Some student leaders worry safety is
simply being used in UBC's continuing
battle with Victoria over funding. "It is
certainly a good issue for the university
to be pressuring the government with
because [campus safety] is so politically
sensitive," said long-time Board of
Governors student representative
Michael Hughes.
Pointing to the President's
Discretionary Fund which was recently
used to cover unexpected expenses,
Hughes said "[UBC's administration]
found more than two million dollars
when a building went over-budget. They
certainly could do something similar
But UBC's Public Affairs Manager
Paula Martin doubts that safety money
will be found elsewhere. "There is probably little chance that the money could be
found," she said. "We are so far into the
budgetary process that I don't think
many people will be willing to give up
funds they have already had allocated to
Asked what the university would do if
partial funding did become available,
Martin said the univeristy would then
have to prioritise. "This cut affects four
areas including cyclical maintenance,
minor capital and the safety and access
funds. We'd have to see then."
But AMS Co-ordinator of External
Affairs Alison Dunnet has less trouble
deciding where any re-instated funding
should go. "The most important...is the
money for the safety phones and the
lighting upgrades," she wrote this week in
a letter to Education Minister Moe
Sihota. "This is the money we are most
worried about losing."
"It's a simple question of priorities,"
Dunnet told The Ubyssey. "I'd much
rather see blue-lights than another crane
on campus."
EMERGENCY PHONES planned for campus
have been limited to six as a result of budget cuts. Students are asked to have their
emergencies near existing phones.
by Scott Hayward
If a simple procedure can go awry, it
will—that's Murphy3s Law at the
Graduate Student Society.
Political Science graduate student
David Murphy was reinstated on the GSS
council by a close margin last Thursday
night He had been removed at the July
meeting because a letter he wrote for
publication in UBC Reports and the GSS
newsletter The Graduate revealed details
of a closed session of council.
During the July debate on his removal,
one councillor questioned whether
enough members were present to hold a
vote.   GSS   President   Kevin   Dwyer
council reseats embattled member
misidentified quorum as 21, when it was
actually 24, and Murphy was subsequently voted out of office.
"I apologise to David Murphy and to
council," Dwyer said. He then suggested
council revisit Murphys unseating under
unfinished business because procedure
had not been followed in July.
But Murphy objected. "Not only is it a
diversion away from council business, 1
stand unseated; I accept that, but it
amounts to harassment doing it twice,"
he said. "I don't want to re-fight this battle. I fought and I lost, I don't want to
have to do it again."
GSS Director of Student Affairs
Michael Hughes noted that political sci
ence students had reappointed Murphy,
so council should let the unseating stand.
When the motion to reseat Murphy
was moved, several councillors objected to
appointing someone who had been
removed a month before.
"We must remember that the councillor was unseated for being uncooperative
and for working against the best interest
of the society," Green College rep Mike
Adl said. "Theres no reason why that
should change."
Physics rep Steve Leffler disagreed.
"In a democracy, if someone who is
unseated or removed but retains the
support of their constituents enough to
be re-elected by those constituents, I
think we owe it to the department to
respect their wishes," he said. "To do
otherwise would be profoundly disrespectful."
Murphy was pleased with his reappointment, but still sees lingering issues
between the political science department
and the rest of council.
"There is still going to be some tension
between political science reps and some
members of council and the executive,"
he said.
"Theres still a dispute between the
bulk of the members in political science
who have taken part in the reform
process and some members of council
who feel that little has changed." 2   THE UBYSSEY, AUGUST 22, 1996
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Religious debate simmers
with Oberois methods in proving his opinions," she added. "It doesn't appear that his
methods meet the standards of western
Dr. Kenneth Bryant, head of UBC's Asian
Studies department, flatly denied that
Oberoi was a sub-par professor. "Oberoi has
impeccable credentials in Sikh studies from
universities in Punjab and Delhi and
Australia," he said, "we're not going to allow
one group of people to define what 'Sikh' is."
However, Singh claimed that the issue was
broader than any one small group. "If it was
just a small group in the Sikh community
that were saying this, I would have reservations about saying anything. I would say this
man has academic freedom, and let him do
whatever he wants. But because the vast
majority — it's like 85 percent of the community — is dead set against what hes saying, then I see a problem. Why offend all
these people?"
The chair in Sikh studies is
now vacant, but Bryant said
Oberoi would have gone on
Dr. Kenneth Bryant leave uthis year w'th or wi?"
• ■     j  ■■•««. •-%     »     * .  ■       -*    i.      out the protests because the
Head, UBC Dept Of Asian Studies £42,000 generated  annually
by the chairls trust fund was
not enough to pay for his salary. Oberoils two
Punjabi courses have been moved to the
night school program, where they will be
taught by one of Oberors former teaching
Bryant said the Asian Studies department
has not yet decided what to do with Oberoifc
former position. Ironically, his absence may
allow for an even greater diversity in religious perspectives. "What may be done is to
bring in — starting not this year but the next
year — visiting professors in Sikh studies for,
say, a term at a time. And we could bring in
Continued from page 1
Normally in such cases, UBC can wave the
flag of "academic freedom" for its professors
and dismiss the criticism. But this situation
is complicated by the fact that the chair
Oberoi occupied was made possible through
an endowment fund raised by the Sikh community itself.
The endowment fund was established in
1985 when the now-defunct Federation of
Sikh Societies (FSS) raised #350,000 to support a chair in Punjabi Language Literature
and Sikh Studies that would foster "a better
understanding of Canada's pluralistic and
multicultural nature and of Sikhs and
Sikhism in Canada." A matching grant from
the federal government's multiculturalism
program raised the fund to #700,000.
The contract between the university and
the FSS which established the chair gave the
"We're not going to allow one group
of people to define what 'Sikh' is."
university "full autonomy" over the staff and
course selection. But a collection of Sikh
organizations from across the country represented by Vancouver lawyer Iqbal Sara have
accused Oberoi of "misrepresenting" the Sikh
community and thereby breaching the contract.
Lowthian agreed Oberoiis claims were
unsound. "In terms of the traditions, it's quite
a Western concept that Sikhism is a combination of Islam and Hinduism, which is a
gross misrepresentation of the religion."
"I think the biggest problem has been
HARJOT OBEROl'S book made controversial
claims about the history of Sikhism and
protests from the Sikh community have led to
his resignation, rick hiebert photo
quite a range of them over the years with
different points of view."
He added, "There is no way in the world
that we are going to be bound or even feel
greatly pressured by a view like that of
Sarals, which is that there is only one way of
being a Sikh. It would be like a Protestant
group saying that the only Christians are
Baptists [so] anybody teaching the Methodist
faith is out of luck."
Lowthian said the Sikh community would
welcome "a wide, varied look at all the
issues" but, she asked, "[Will] it [be] done in
consultation with the Sikh community who
instituted this particular chair to begin
"Itb a question of who's controlling the
speakers who come in. Is it fully transparent
and is there a lot of representation there to
decide whos going to be leading the way? It
can't be just one person making the decisions
for an entire cultural community."
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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER   13 ,1996. AUGUST 22, 1996
Women cry freedom
While women initially supported
the Islamic revolution in Iran,
many now feel let down
by the movement
by Tayana Marshall
The McGill Daily
a law ordering the hijab in all public places, for all
women, Muslim or not.
The hijab regulations raised concerns among
Iranian women. They had donned their veils at the
demonstrations against the Shah to make a statement—nobody could stop them from wearing the veil
if they wanted—but the Islamic regime reversed their
statement and made it impossible for women to
choose not to practice the hijab.
public square in Tehran last year, doused
herself with gasoline and set herself aflame.
The last words of Dr. Homa Darabi, an Iranian
university professor and activist, were:
"Death to dictatorship! Long live freedom!"
Then she burned to death.
Zaria, a member of L'Association des
femmes Iraniennes de Montreal, believes
Darabi's intention was to raise awareness of
the situation of women in Iran.
Darabi had tried repeatedlyto leave the
country to see her children but was not
allowed because her husband would not
sign a consent form. "In Iran, women are
not allowed to leave unless their husbands
give them persmission," Zaria explains,
adding that if a woman does not have a
husband, it is her father who gives permiss-
"It's always the man who is in power."
bringing down the monarchy of the Shah.
Soon afterwards, the Ayatollah Khomeini,
who had led the movement from exile,
returned to establish the Islamic Republic of
Inspired by hopes for democracy, economic prosperity for all classes, gender equality
and a leadership that would not allow
Iranian culture to be swallowed up by
Western values, many Iranian women joined
the 1978-1979 rebellion against the rule of
the Shah.
Women came together to protest such
sexist attitudes as those expressed by the
Shah in 1973: "A woman is important in a
man's life only if she is beautiful and charming... You are equal to a man in the eyes of the
law. But excuse me for saying so, you are not equal [to
a man] in your capabilities."
But while the rebellion was successful and the
Shah was deposed, some argue it has failed Iranian
women had been a central part of revolutionary
activities. They used their influence to rally support
for Khomeini through women's groups, charity work
and propaganda in Iranian women's journals such as
Inspired by hopes for democracy,
and gender equality, many
Iranian women joined the
1978-1979 rebellion
against the rule
of the Shah
The government justified its policy with statements such as the one made by the cleric Muteza
Mutahhari: "The disgraceful lack of the
hijab in Iran before the revolution ... is a
product of the corrupt Western capitalist
societies. It is one of the results of the worship of money and the pursuance of sexual fulfilment that is prevalent among
Western capitalists."
However, many women saw the
enforcement of hijab as a means to suppress and denigrate their status. After
attempts to repeal the law failed, many
began to flee the country.
•      •      •
tion, corrupting the earth, and "warring against God."
New education policies prevented women from
enrolling in engineering, agriculture and finance, as
these were deemed male professions. They were still
encouraged to enter medicine.
Daycare centres closed, women were denied the
right of divorce and custodial rights to their children
if they were already divorced. The age of consent for
marriage was  lowered   from   15  to  13  years old.
Contraception and abortion were banned.
At the time these policies were being implemented, the constitution of the Islamic
Republic enshrined women's right to vote, saying both men and women were equal before
the law. It was stipulated, however, that this
equality only went so far as the Shar'ia (Islamic
law) allowed.
This meant many restrictions still applied.
One example, says Zaria, is the inability of
women to divorce. Another is the lack of
weight given to a woman's testimony in a court
of law. Whereas a man's testimony is accepted,
"it takes two female witnesses to give the same
credibility," according to Zaria.
are gradually improving.
Under the leadership of President Hashemi
Rafsanjani, who came to power after the death
of the Ayatollah Khomeini in May 1989, moderate reforms have been made.
More opportunities for women's education
are available and special programs for part-
time employment of women with younger children have been created. There are also many
reports the modest dress regulations have been
But Zaria says the situation has not
improved at all, claiming the government has
"tortured, imprisoned and executed" many
women who have tried to rebel.
"The civil code and the divorce and custody
laws must be changed," she says, adding one of
the main problems in Iran is the restrictive
nature of Islamic law as it is used by the
"The real change will occur for women
when they can say, 'I can do what I want. I can
dress how I want. I can read what I want. I can
work where I want. Study what 1 want. Leave
when I want. Divorce when I want and have custody
of my children."'
The Ayatollah recognised the participation of
these women and made efforts to praise them.
He is quoted as saying, "In our revolutionary movement, women have... earned more credit than men, for
it was the women who not only displayed courage
themselves, but also reared men of courage... If
nations were deprived of courageous women to rear
true men, they would decline and collapse."
By 1981, two years after the fall of the Shah,
Iranian women were facing a new set of realities. The
first one of these was the compulsory hijab—Islamic
modest dress—in the work-place. This was followed by
feared that Khomeini's intent was
making a womans life revolve around
the rearing of "true men." Others suggested he was only getting started.
The new policy concerning women
continued to be implemented in a
series of laws between 1981 and 1983.
Segregation of the sexes stretched to
public pools, buses and, finally, to educational institutions. Women's voices
were banned from the radio; female
singers and actresses were no longer seen
on television. Women were purged from
high-level government positions. They
were also banned from participating in
the judiciary.
More and more, women were denigrated and accused of corrupted morality and
lack of chastity, beginning with the
December 1979 execution of Farrokhru
Parsa, the female minister of education.
Parsa was accused of promoting prostitu-
^ for your used
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TEL 604/ 822 2665 UBC-BOOK • FAX 604/ 822 8592 4    AUGUST 22, 1996
o-line MEETS D-LINE-UBC Thunderbirds football team started training camp last Saturday in preparation for the upcoming season, scorr hayward photo
Solid defence marks '96 football camp
 by Wolf Depner
The 1995 T-Bird football team
played far better than their 3-5
record would seem to indicate.
But the 1995 season is history
and second year head coach
Casey Smith is not one to dwell
on the past. Nor does he sugar-
coat the present. "We have some
big holes to fill this year."
With ten starters from last
year's team gone, Smith has
brought in thirty-one new players, hoping that they can fill the
gaps and elevate UBC in the very
competitive Canada West conference.
Adrian Rainbow is gone and
back-up Jason Day has finally
been given the chance to start
the season when the Birds face
the Saskatchewan Huskies on
August 31.
The fifth-year veteran could
run Birds offence with his eyes
closed. He has a strong arm and
plenty of experience.
Day started eight games in
1993 and won five. That year he
passed  for   1896  yards,  eleven
QUARTERBACK Jason Day unloads a pass during warm-up on the practice field at Thunderbird stadium, scott hayward photo
touchdowns, and eleven interceptions with a sixty percent
pass completion rate.
Rookies Dan DeLong and
Shawn Olson, meanwhile, are
battling it out for the back-up
spot. Smith will wait until the
season starts pick Days alternate.
Playing for the Surrey Rams
of the BC Junior Football League,
Olson passed for 32 touchdowns
and 2,375 yards last season.
DeLong, who also played in
the BCJFL this last year, doesn't
have the same impressive passing statistics, but is a threat to
Both are physically and mentally mature enough to step up
in the event that Day gets hurt.
Losing the explosive Grayson
Shillingford (who made it to the
final cut with the Seattle
Seahawks) and the reliable
Andrew English (who led the
Canada West in scoring last season with 106 points) hurts. Big
But the receiver corps is not
thin by any means. Veterans
Simon Beckow, Brian Emanuel
and Ryan Rochan are still
around and will contribute.
Expect Beckow and Emanuel,
who has fully recovered from a
serious knee injury, to start at
the outside spots.
Coach Smith has also brought
in rookie wide-receiver Brad
Coutts who caught 101 balls for
1663 yards and twenty-three
touchdowns in three seasons
with the Abbottsford Air Force.
Expect Rochon to start at
tight end while Matt Germaine,
Ashford Baker, and Tony Lucas
will compete for the other inside
receiver spot
Running Backs
Coach Smith has hinted that
the Birds' offence will become
more run-oriented following the
departure of Shillingford and
And that means a heavier
workload for fourth-year half
back Mark Nohra who led the
Birds in carries (66), yards-per-
carry (6.8), and rushing yards
(447) in 1995.
Fullback Brad Driscoll returns
to UBC after a two-year
absence, and will replace the
departed Brad Yamaoka to complete the starting backfield.
Offensive Line
This is the biggest area of
concern according to Smith.
Three out of five starters are
back, but big Bryan Bourne is
not. He has started in the right
tackle slot the last three years.
That may spell trouble for
left-handed quarterback Jason
Day whose blind spot is on the
right side.
Also absent will be starting
centre Slavko Bucifal.
Veterans David Pol and
Andrew Plant are taking snaps
with the first-string unit, but the
starting line has not been settled.
Defensive Line
Last years unit only collected
four quarterback sacks.
With Dave McLaughlin back
following a two-year hiatus, that
number should go up.
McLaughlin sacked opposing
quarterbacks thirteen times in
his last two seasons at UBC. It
could have been more had he
not broken his leg in 1993.
Ben Hutchinson, a 6'4", 275 lb
NCAA Div II transfer student,
should also make an impact on
opposing quarterbacks.
This years group should be a
hard-hitting bunch and is
anchored by Corey Bymoen, who
led the Birds in sacks in 1995
with five.
Alex Charles, Stuart Doyle
and Casey Souter who led the
Canada West in tackles with 52
last season will also play big
defensive roles.
Ravaged by injury in 1995,
UBCs secondary should be improved this season as four
of five starters are back.
Watch for Ryan McWhinney
and Strachan Hartley to have
good seasons.
And Chris Hoople, a Surrey
Rams product, is a definite blue-
chip prospect who could contribute right away in the defensive backfield.
Special teams
Punter Nathan Ngieng had an
outstanding season in 1995,
ranking second in the conference with a 36.4 net average.
In contrast, the place-kickers
struggled, converting only thirteen of 23 field-goal attempts.
And to upgrade the kicking
game, Smith recruited the much
sought-after Jamie Boreham out
of Vancouver College.
The return game will miss
speedster Grayson Shillingford.
But Simon Beckow proved in
1995 that he can get the job
done. He averaged a Canada
West leading 21.5 yards in kick-
off returns.
Like the Birds, the Calgary
Dinosaurs will have to fill some
big holes following the departure
of inside receiver Don Blair—
recently cut by the NFL's
Chicago Bears—and quarterback
Jason Assen.
But the defending Vanier Cup
Champions are still the team to
beat in the Canada West according to head coach Smith.
The Saskatchewan Huskies
only lost three starters from last
year, and were very active in offseason recruitment. Expect
them to challange Calgary.
The Manitoba Bisons, meanwhile, promised to play a more
open style with the hope to
make the play-offs. How realistic
that goal is remains to be seen.
Lastly, the Alberta Golden
Bears had big troubles on both
sides of the ball in 1995, a trend
most observers expect to continue in 1996.
Sports shorts
Bird Droppings
UBC Forward John Dumont has been
nominated to Canadab Under-22 National
Basketall team. The team is currently in
Puerto Rico, playing in a qualifying tour
nament for next yearfc world championship to be held in Australia. UVic forward Erie Hinrichsen has also been
named to the squad.
Opportunity Knocks
UBG Hockey star Doug Ast may translate his summer job with the Vancouver
\fajdoo of Roller Hockey International
(RHI) into a full-time National Hockey
League career. Ast, who tied a RHI record
by scoring 50 goals this season, was invited to attend the Vancouver Canucks'
training camp later this fall. He holds the
T-Bird single season point record with 52.
He also left his mark in the Voodoos
playoff run, scoring a pair in thier 5-2 win
over the Oakland Skates Monday night
The victory knotted the series at one
game apiece Canon
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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan smokes at the Orpheum
Aug 19 at the Orpheum
by J. Clark
As the house lights went up on a cheering crowd it didn't much matter that
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan wasn't going to
play an encore. His show was one of those
spine tingling musical performances that
leaves your mind dancing for hours.
You don't have to speak Urdu or know
anything about Pakistani music (I don't)
to enjoy the full,
singer. But before any premature musical
climax could be reached, there was an
intermission, and then the event began.
I was quite happy to use the fifteen
minut to reflect on what I had heard, but
while smoking on the balcony I struck up
a conversation with "Indy 500" (that's how
he introduced himself) and his friends
Assaf and Emmi. They marvelled at my
enthusiasm for the music I could not
understand, and we all marvelled at the
music itself. "Indy" was dressed casually
rich        Quwwali
songs    that    Ali
Khan sings. In fact
the   performance
was all the more
powerful given the
complete  lack  of
expectations with     njnj^njnjnjnjnninnnni
which   I   entered
the concert. It was so easy: I just sat, stood
and danced, letting layers of harmony on
melody on rhythm roll right over me.
Monday night's show was an event as
much as it was a concert. The audience,
made up largely of Indo-Canadians, was so
ready to have a good time that even the
bouncers were taken aback.
For the first half, the audience was relatively subdued. The music built in intensity as Ali Khan called and his vocal
ensemble answered. Tension built up slowly as the audience got more involved,
clapping and calling out to the Pakistani
Smoking pot with Pakistani businessmen
is one thing, but doing it on the
Orpheum balcony is quite another.
But who was I to say no?
but his friends wore suits and when Emmi
produced a joint from his inside pocket I
must admit I was surprised. Smoking pot
with Pakstani businessmen is one thing,
but doing it on the Orpheum balcony is
quite another. But who was I to say no?
Needless to say the second half was
even better than the first, as Ali Khan
took the show to a whole new level. The
music intensified, as did the enjoyment of
the crowd. Punctuating long crescendos
with frantic hand gestures, Ali Khan
brought the audience to its feet.
The Orpheum staff had obviously not
expected a wild night from what was
mainly an older crowd, but as people started dancing in the aisles the bouncers began
to look nervous. When one middle aged
man ran onto the stage waving money and
dropping it at Ali Khan's feet they were so
confused it took them a minute to react,
but when they did they were met with
boos from the rest of the audience.
When Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was
helped offstage and the house lights came
up the noise was deafening. The entire
hall was on its feet calling
for an encore. The
Orpheum turned up the
radio to indicate he was
not coming back, but the
audience persisted, refusing to leave. At a time
when most bands have
MmBBaBBBI their encores rehearsed
and ready to go, it took a
ten-minute standing ovation to bring Ali
Khan back.
For the first time that evening he
spoke to the audience. After what I
assume to be a humble thank you, he
launched into one final hypnotic piece.
The music pulsed and the crowd danced
one last time. I even saw "Indy 500" being
carried off stage by the bouncers after
throwing his money at Ali Khan. Maybe
the encore did matter after all.
So I left the Orpheum happy, and a little hungry. The concert had been great
and the event had been even better.
at the  Queen   Elizabeth
Theatre until Aug 18
 by Janet Winters
If you happen to be a bit
late for The Who's Tommy,
don't worry about it. And if
you find the first act a disappointment, don't leave after
the intermission: the show
does get better. Keep in
mind, too, the reason behind
Tommy's "deaf, dumb, and
blind" state.
Tommy spans the years
from World War II to the
mid-1960s. As a little boy,
Tommy is traumatised after
spotting his mother with her
extramarital lover, and those
around him are left perplexed by his sudden desensi-
tisation. Unresponsive to
anything around him, he is
subjected to one medical
exam after another. When
placed in front of the mirror,
he is faced with his adult
version struggling to be
released. (This repeated
scene foreshadows what is to
He is also exposed to his
cousin's cruel jokes as well
as a world of sin courtesy
of his pedophiliac Uncle
Ernie. Tommy's father
even introduces him to a
prostitute/gypsy to cure
his condition. (With 'Acid
Queen,' Natalie Dawn Oliver
soulfully delivers one of the
show's finest performances.)
Tommy's life takes its crucial turn when his cousin
Kevin (Jeffrey Kuhn) hauls
him along to a local teen
hangout. Little Tommy is left
at the soda shop's pinball
machine and, to everyone's
amazement, masters the
game. Hence the song 'Pinball
Enter a grown up Tommy
played by Tim Howar.
Though his voice may not be
as powerful as Roger
Daltrey's, Howar has a certain sweetness that evokes
his audience's sympathy.
Along with the increased volume and flow of the rock
opera, his dominating presence makes the second act
more electrifying than the
first — typical of many modern musicals.
While Pete Townshend's
lyrics seem to drag on at
times just to fill the music,
Tommy's underlying themes
and  metaphors,  rooted  in
1960s pop culture, are portrayed more impressively.
Tommy's sudden fame —
replete with screaming girls,
media frenzy, and ridiculous
Tommy paraphernalia surrounding the over night sensation — parallels the British
rock bands of the psychedelic generation, Of course, a
celebrity story is not complete without a fall in
stature. (Remember John
Lennon's reference to the
Beatles being more popular
than Jesus Christ?) Perhaps
this rise and fall theme
reflects on The Who personally.
After a career spent
smashing one expensive
instrument after another,
Tommy rescued the Who
from financial oblivion and
paved the way for their
many sold-out stadium concerts. The Who's life story is
written all over Tommy,
making it a worthwhile
event for big production
musical lovers and hard-core
British rock fans alike.
Sublime Combustion
Combustible Edison - Schizophonic [SubPop]
If Henry Mancini ever rose from his grave to conduct
a lounge act performing Bill Frisell arrangements of
Cole Porter, the result wouldn't sound too different from
the piano-cello-guitar-reverh-whatnot strains of
Combustible Edison. As descriptions go, "eclectic" doesn't exactly cut to the heart of the band, but it does
curve around them in some sort of orbital warp.
The band's influences appear to be from all over the
map: I swear 'The Checkered Flag' is some sort of twice-
removed cousin of 'Begin the Beguine'. 'Mudhead'
sounds like it was originally written to be the theme
song for some cheesy early-70s TV show. 'Les Yeux Sans Visage' mixes a waltzy carnival tune with mid-'60s proto-surf guitar pickings before wrapping it all in one wriggly
Wurlitzer. 'One Eyed Monkey' even tosses in some requisite primate noises—ever so quietly, ever so mysteriously—while a piano plods over the same five keys again and again
with the sort of detachment German scientists might have brought to Berlin cabarets
in the 1930s.
Miss Lily Banquette's lightsome vocals bubble to the surface of this musical stew
with the same mirthful spirit she brought to Four Rooms (Combustible Edison's score
was one of the few things to survive that disaster), though she only appears on about
half of the tracks, and on only a few of those ('Bluebeard' is one highlight) does she sing
actual lyrics. Still, even her la-la-la's are more daring and creative than half the songs
clogging the airwaves.
Combustible Edison will be performing at the Starfish Room on September 3.
— Peter T. Chattaway
Sublime - Sublime [MCA]
Reggae may be one of the most overrated forms ol
music, but when it's done just right, or at least with
some originality, it can be uplifting and sometimes
alluring. The problem with the majority of reggae is
quite simple: it tends to sound the same. Three or four
songs may be played in a row before one realizes the
change. Most of the latter half of Sublime's self-titled
album falls into this trap.   .
The first seven songs combine a silly mix of profane
lyrics and upbeat melodies. An unfocused fusion of
dance, rock, and reggae, Sublime could be classified as
hard core funk. Though not as talented as the Red Hot
Chili Peppers, the lead singer has the knack of rolling
his G's well (think the Peppers' 'Give It Away'). 'Pawn Shop' sounds like a feeble attempt
to imitate late-'60s group Santana, but the lead guitarist has nothing on Carlos.
The only exception to the albumi? droning last half is its last cut 'Doin' Time,' which
has the feel of Beck's 'Where It's At' with a reggae twist. Sublime would have been better off sticking to this formula for the entire CD which—at nearly an hours length-
could have easily had 20 to 25 minutes chopped off.
— Janet Winters
Clegg dances down racial and musical boundries
at UBC Village (2nd floor above UBC Pizza)
We only use the best machines in the business - XEROX and KODAK
johnny Clegg
Aug 11 at the Rage
by Jamie Woods
Long before the echoes of Peter Gabriel's
Realworld performers or the mesmerising
incantations of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan hit
these shores, Johnny Clegg was being tear-
gassed and jailed by the apartheid regime in
South Africa. His crime? Crossing the racial
divide of Johannesberg, and gigging with a
janitor in the shantytowns.
Twenty years later, Clegg has crossed borders both political and personal. And on the
last stop of a North American tour he arrived
in Vancouver, where he put on a tireless display Sunday night at the Rage.
As an aspiring young musician, Clegg was
challenged to participate in the Zulu street
musicians one-on-one competitions. One day
a young farmer, having heard of this swaggering suburban upstart, came into town specially to dare Clegg to a guitar "duel." So
began a long and successful collaboration
between Clegg and Sipho Mchunu. As Juluka,
the pair ran into constant problems for the
brazen way their collaboration (as the first
musical group to bridge the racial divide in
South Africa) challenged the legitimacy of
apartheid. After thirteen years, Mchunu
decided he'd had enough, and retired to a
quiet and peaceful life back on the farm.
Ten years later, having caught the nostalgia of the nauseating tidal wave of reunions
that has plunged through the musical world,
Juluka is back.
But unlike many bands whose sparks were
doused long ago, Juluka has kept the fire
burning, if more as a steady glow than as a
blaze. Unlike others who seem content to
channel their anger at societal injustice into
pathetic and confused self-loathing, Juluka
pour out their frustration into highly charged
dance tunes, fusing elements of Zulu, pop, reggae, and Celtic jigs. But they aren't as righteously political as groups such as Spirit of the
West. Although Juluka's lyrics can be as
despairing about the political situation as
"I'm living in a time of
war, and I'm dying to get
through to you," Clegg
opted for a more
humourous and subjective introduction to
"Transition," the song of a
young man, who, "like the
rest of us at sixteen, seeks
adventure, food, and lots
of sex."
Playing with urgency
and confidence, the band
powered through the first
set forcefully, as if seizing
on the breakthrough
achieved by democracy,
and attempting to drive
home the necessary idea
of building a more progressive future for South
As devoted as the band
clearly is to raising consciousness, however, one
feels that their best concerts would be before a
crowd, in the shantytowns. back in
Johannesberg. As tight
and entertaining as the
show was, it lacked passion at times, as if the
group were simply enjoying having to go through
the motions. Most of the
crowd, who were predominantly 30+ and well-
healed, were too frigid to
loosen up on the dance
floor, which must infuriate a band with roots
in such a lively dance tradition. Furthermore
some jerk, in a horrifying display of ignorance, drunkenly cheered when Clegg
announced that a close friend of his had
recently been assassinated. Perhaps as a
result, Clegg rarely looked into the crowd.
The tone changed when Sipho Mchunu
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sipho mchunu and johnny CLEGG break down post-apartheid racial boundries by teaming up to form the energetic
new band Juluku.
joined the group onstage for the second set.
There was still enough vibrance and spontaneity to keep interest high, as he and Clegg
explored musical themes from their past
through guitar duets and duels, hashing out
old favourites such as Jarusalema and Two
Humans On The Run. And a reunion concert,
like dessert after a good meal, would be
incomplete without  a healthy portion of
cheese. Clegg made sure it wasn't forgotten.
The crooning, the reaching of the hand out to
the adoring front row, the Julio Iglesias jacket, even strong overtones of rock opera, it was
all there. But what can you expect from a guy
who showboats as a businessman and a professor?
Only one question remains—why do people
stick around for autographs?
Welcome Back
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B 8     AUGUST 22, 1996
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Clockwork suffers from poor craftsmanship
by John Bolton
HOBBLING: Ariadna Gil almost saves Celestial Clockwork.
opens Aug 23 at the 5th Avenue cinema
Celestial Clockwork follows Ana (Ariadna Gil) as she
flees her wedding in Venezuela to a new life in an
overcrowded Paris apartment in the hopes of launching a career in opera. There she takes singing lessons
from a kooky old heterosexual Russian (Michel
Debrane), seeks advice from a kooky homosexual
waiter/astrologist (Frederic Longbois), flirts with a
kooky bisexual psychoanalyst (Evelyne Didi), and
dodges the authorities while trying to land a role in
kooky Italian director Italo Medici's (Lluis Holmar)
production of Puccini's Cinderella.
The imagery is as bogged down as the plot (and
just as kooky!). Writer-director Fina Torres has
resolved to imbue her self-consciously arty work with
every "unconventional" cinematic trick in the book.
The Almodovarish fluorescent colour schemes round
out the films' visual and narrative excesses. Yet Torres,
in celebrating everything, has made a film about
nothing at all. If there's one thing I've gathered over
my career as a filmgoer, it's that the more determinedly kooky a movie is, the more boring the end
result will be.
Gil's luminous screen presence and manifest talents
ground Celestial Clockwork, and her performance is
a welcome crutch with which one might hobble
through the film. But her professionalism only calls
attention to the superficiality of whole picture, and
none of the supporting characters are nearly as
sharply acted or drawn. This is just as well, as
Celestial Clockwork ends up as a study in contrasts—
garishness vs. beauty, artistic integrity in the face of
compromise, European techno alongside Schubert lei-
der—almost by default. Yet these contrasts aren't
explored, merely shoved alongside each other on
screen, the resultant friction being enough to drive
one out of the theatre.
■ Perhaps I'm shirking my responsibilities, but there's
not much to write about or reflect upon in this space
as Torres' work is typical of a whole new breed of
filmmakers including, recently, Todd Solenz (Welcome
to the Dollhouse) and Danny Boyle (Trainspotting).
There's a certain abandon to these films that can be
exhilirating and inspiring, but they demonstrate a
complete lack of discipline with regard to form and
content and any gauge of the overall, lasting effect.
I suppose this is inevitable with the collapse of the
craft system; for better or for worse, nowadays every
goon with a handycam gets their own movie set.
Celestial Clockwork is nothing more than a glorified
student-made rock video, yet its pretensions to serious art make it almost unwatchable. Blame it on the
growing self-consciousness of the new auteurs and
their determination to be different (and, yes, kooky).
Call it post-post-modernist cinema. Call it whatever
you want. I'll call it a mess.
A lot of people are going to love Celestial
Clockwork simply because it's an independent, foreign "art" film playing at a local "art" theatre. Go
ahead and revoke my critic's license, but if craftsmanship, attention to detail, and formal consistency
are still a filmmaker's ideals, I'll take Hollywood "crap"
like Independance Day over Celestial Clockwork any
The end is noir
by Peter T. Chattaway
at the Pacific Cinematheque
until Aug 31
Like a slow-burning fuse ready to
explode, the Pacific Cinematheque's film
noir series is finally moving out of the
shadows and onto the screen. And
although it is not officially connected to
the Cinematheque's program, a pair of
Vancouver authors have cobbled together some of the genre's best images and
soundbites and released an enticing
book that makes a nifty noir souvenir.
The retrospective began three weeks
ago, but an Italian film series and the
Out on Screen festival have so far kept
the bulk of these films at bay. However,
beginning tonight with the Humphrey
Bogart flick Dead Reckoning and the
necrophilic Laura, it'll be noir for
breakfast, noir for tea, and noir for dinner 'til the end of the month.
This is the fourth series of this sort to
play the Cinematheque in a little over
two years. The first, in the spring of '94,
was such a hit they slapped together an
instant sequel, and it's been a seasonal
fixture ever since. "It's a challenge to
program the Cinematheque in the summer," says executive director -Jim
Sinclair. "Noir is really interesting, but it
also has a fun element that lent itself
nicely to summer programming."
Much of that fun comes from the dialogue, a strange but carefree mix. of
crusty cynicism and overworked
metaphors. "It was always stylized," says
Sinclair, "but there's also an element
that seems campy now that wouldn't
have seemed campy in the '40s."
Not all the humour was unintentional. Noir films often skirted the edge of
Hollywood's restrictive Hays Code, and
writers peppered their scripts with double entendres so obvious you have to
wonder how they got past the censors.
One particular gem in The Big Sleep
features some nudge-nudge-wink-wink
chitchat about racehorses — all "covering ground" and "stretching" — between
Bogart and Lauren Bacall. (That film,
together with Sweet Smell of Success,
comes to the Cinematheque this Friday
and Saturday.)
Saeko Usukawa, a Vancouver writer
and co-author of the slick noir compendium Hard-Boiled: Great Lines from
Classic Noir Films (Raincoast), savs
that humorous element has kept noir
alive. "I like these lines because they arc
quick-witted, and I think people arc-
coming back to that. Action films are
all very well for their special effects,
but then you want dialogue, you want
something witty, you want something
profound, you want something that
sounds profound but is actually pretty stupid!
"Some of the fake philosophizing
in  these films is pretty hilarious,
[but] a lot of film noir has quite serious undertones. The effect can be
funny, but it's kind of a nervous
This tension between different moods
is a large part of noir's success, says fellow Hard-Boiled compiler and UBC
Creative Writing instructor Peggy
Thompson. "We were working with a
quote from Umberto Eco" — Eco's
medieval thriller The Name of the Rose
became a 1986 film that was not without its own noirish elements — "where
he said, in order for a work of art to
become truly cult, it must be the kind
of piece you can break apart. And with
these movies, you can really do that. You
can take them apart and look at them
in a whole range of ways."
The genre certainly incorporates no
small number of influences. Mark Harris,
one of The Georgia Straight's film crit-
. ics and a doctoral candidate at UBC (his
thesis covers American, French, and
Italian crime fiction and film), cites the
influence of German directors who
passed through France while fleeing the
Nazis. ("It was traditional to stop in
Paris and make one film," he says.)
German expressionism met French
poetic realism met American "tough-
guy" fiction and — with a dash of Italian
neo-realism and post-war pessimism to
Hard-Boiled is a stylish
collection of noir quotes and images.
keep things interesting in the late '40s —
noir was born.
With the waning interest in black &
white films, noir more or less died following the release of Orson Welles'
Touch of Evil in 1958. (That film joins
Pushover at the 'theque this Sunday
and Monday.) A decade or more passed
before filmmakers were ready to revive
the genre.
"They needed to develop a new colour
palette that would actually be able to
reflect a noirish feeling," says Harris.
"The first film that maybe came close to
that was John Boorman's Point Blankin
1967, and then in 1974 Roman Polanski's
Chinatown definitely evolved the
palette further. The palette was complete by 1976, when Taxi Driver came
out and Martin Scorsese used these very
hard flourescent neon reds and blues to
recapture some of the atmospheric
tones that used to be rendered exclusively in black & white."
Thompson notes that noir has also
inspired some of the bigger hits of more
recent years. "Noir is back. It's transformed and it's different, but films like
Pulp Fiction and The Usual Suspects
are neo-noir. It's in the spirit of our
Noir can also be an inspiration in
other, perhaps less expected, ways, at
least according to Usukawa, who cites a
favorite line from Detour. "Life's like a
ballgame. You've got to take a swing at
whatever comes along before you wake
up and find it's the ninth inning."
"It's my favorite quote," she says,
"because you just have to go for it sometimes. A lot of people say, I could have
done the book, but hey, you have to do
the work, you have to watch the films
and find those images. There are a lot of
dinner party ideas that are great, and if
the next morning two people just wake
up and say, 'Let's do it,' that's all you
have to do!" AUGUST 22, 1996
Mr. X returns to Radiant
by Charlie Cho
Mister X
written by Deborah Marks,
pencilled by Gene Gonzales, inked
by David Rowe [Caliber Comics]
Welcome to Radiant City, the planned
future city of dreams. Mister X designed
it using the principles of psychetecture—
his theory that architecture can alter a
personls mood or neurosis.
It was supposed to improve people, to
make them happy. But something went
wrong. The city is slowly killing its population. Mr. X is trying to figure out how to
repair it.
"So much to do, so
little time," says the
bald man with the
round sunglasses. Mr.
X doesn't sleep, he
with urban environments. But who is he,
and what does he do
with his extra time?
Mercedes, his closest companion, is as
much in the dark as
we are. She knows him as Santos, but he's
scheduled to make a public appearance as
Robert Kurtzwinkle, avant-garde novelist.
"So many sick minds...So much dough!!"
muses Dr. Mendoza, the wealthy dial-a-
shrink as he looks down from his office
This is the hypocrisy the comic
explores. On the surface, Radiant City is
an amusement park—complete with flying cars and robots—for the wealthy and
the fashionable. Meanwhile, people lie
ignored in the alleys and stairwells of the
poorer districts, possibly drunk or dead.
Graffiti, garbage, and bloodstains mar
decrepit, cheaply-built buildings.
The interplay of loosely connected
characters and interesting cameos resembles a Robert Altman film. Harmony s
— g — friend Vivienne, who some-
■f ■ f^# times feels like shes fading
^* B • W from existence, turns to
psychic advisor Maman
Vendredi for help. Kiki and Chartres, a fan
of Kurtzwinkles new book, dish out a disturbing drug to clubbers like Patty, who
disappears through a mirror. The kaleidoscope of characters provides a diverse
cross-section of a high-tech metropolis.
Marks, Gonzales and Rowe have revitalised the compelling world created by
Dean Motter and Paul Rivoche over ten
years ago. Billed as "the most original
comic of the decade," Mister X was published sporadically by Ontario-based
Vortex Comics between 1984 and 1990.
While alumni artists such as the
Hernandez brothers (Love and Rockets)
and Seth (Palookaville) have come and
gone, Deborah Marks has lettered every
issue of Mister X since December '85. As
she weaves together several story threads,
a meaningful pattern emerges.
Optimistically, I look forward to seeing
how everything fits together into a meaningful story. Mister X deals with identity,
conformity, addiction, class and jaded
reactions to death, destruction and
What  may  frustrate some
readers is the lack of dramatic
conflict. Whoever he is, Mr. X
is generally a thin, tie-wearing gentleman. While I am
glad he's not a superhero on
steroids or a gun-toting soldier of fortune,
frankly, he doesn't seem to do much. He
makes notes and measurements and formulates theories. He occasionally gets
chased around, but I would not hold my
breath for Mr. X to resort t fisticuffs. This
is a refreshing aspect to what is primarily a psychological drama.
Gene Gonzales and David Rowe combine cinematic realism with a creative
approach to layout. Conventions are broken in such a way that the very arrangement of panels, word bubbles and empty
space becomes a significant part of the
story. Itfc difficult to describe how it
works, but Gonzales is as conscious of his
art as Mr. X is of his architecture.
Writing about comics is difficult for
two reasons. Reviews about comics tend to
focus on plot or artistic realism, not innovations in the narrative. Secondly, I can't
make references to other comics. They're
not as popular as film or TV, nor accepted
in the literary canon While many comic
books are as deserving of recognition as
other forms of literature, most libraries
only shelve collections of newspaper strips.
Mister X is an intelligent,
well-crafted comic worthy of thoughtful
attention. Issue two
is still on the
stands, so catch
the next train
to Radiant
Through the looking glass shapely
by E. Yeung
Shape and Figure in Glass
at the Canadian Craft Museum until Sep 2
When we think of glass, we usually think of windows and
wine bottles, test tubes, flasks and children's marbles.
The pieces currently on display at the Canadian Craft
Museum are different because they serve artistic rather
than functional purposes, and each of the four local
artists represented here has a distinct style.
Many of Louise Duthies pieces are earthy and reminiscent of sketches you might discover on the yellowing
pages of an artistls coil-bound notepad (one is even subtitled Notes/rom a Sketchbook). In a covered part of the
gallery, shielded from sunlight, is a series of four large,
charcoal-like  nude  studies  painted  on   parchment-
coloured glass. More nude figures, this time much smaller, can be found in Deadlines, where they are confined
to small cells and further compressed by the black space
within the frames, with only black wires leading away
like paths, stems, or balloon strings. The incandescent
lighting of these and Duthies other works gives warmth
and intimacy to otherwise two-dimensional panes.
Brian Baxter, by contrast, makes extensive use of cool,
blue, frosty glass. Much of his work also depicts nude figures, but unlike Duthiefc sensuality, Baxterls pieces
exude sexuality, as evident in Untitled where sandblasted glass fills in the shadows of a male lower torso
and legs. The sexual theme appears again, with different
meaning, in Basher/Bashed, made up of a drawing of a
thin, red-eyed man; a spiked and spiny, burnt and broken baseball bat; and the words "hate fear ignorance"
written repeatedly in the background.
Lutz Haufschild also incorporates figurative elements
into some of his works, and Hostage Cross-Silent Terror
might even have some ideas in common with
Basher/Bashed. A man in pain is depicted within a cross,
but the rest of the panel is sprinkled with large, colourful, crayon-like hearts, Xis and Ok The Three Wise Men
of the Colour Empire are represented by rectangles of
colour, iridescence, and texture.
Markian Olynyk has created both large and small
items. Earth Series, three large panels of glass covered
in quasi-landscape-like images, is representative of the
first. Grotto is much smaller, and its form is
more inviting than its name would suggest, even with
the serpentine figure coiled around one side of the
Shape and figure in glass definitely warrants a trip
to the Canadian Craft Museum. It is unlikely that you
will walk away without first pondering the stories suggested by the "shapes and figures" found in the exhibit.
You will also likely develop a new appreciation for the
versatility and aesthetic beauty of glass.
I 1  WW '
CIS IsJf ^mm 29t ySSf
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We are located at
5796 University Boulevard,
in the UBC Village, 224-4301. 10 AUGUST 22, 1996
summer 1
August 22, 1996  ■ volume  13 bsue 4
Editorial Board
Coordinating Editor: Scott Hayward
News : Ian Gunn and Sarah O'Donnell
Culture : Peter T. Chattaway
Sports: Wolf Depner
National/Features: Federico Barahona
Photo : Richard Lam
Production: Joe Clark
The Ubyssey is a founding member of
Canadian University Press. The Summer
Ubyssey is published Thursdays by The
Ubyssey Publications Society at the
University of British Columbia. Editorial
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university administration or the Alma
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Scott Hayward didn't know what hit
him. Was it the smack or was it Jamie
Woods' fist? "Gimme me back my bath
duckie, you filthy bastardf' Struggling
off the Guinness-soiled floor, Clark
replied: "I don't have your bloody duckie, that Wolf Depner character has it."
Bursting out of the door, Clark ran into
his room and rang up John Bolton: "Hey,
Johnny, how are ya, you smaghead ?
Hey, do you do want to beat the crap
out of Wolf?" "Absolutely," replied
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Janet Winters, who were standing on
the corner smoking up with a trio of
well-dressed starngers. They waved to
Sarah O'Donnell, who was on her way to
a Def Leppard concert with James
Rowley. "I wanna rock and roll all night,
and party everydayf sang Ben Koh. "Oh,
man, you are my God," said Ian Gunn,
looking up at Ben with awe. "Oh yeah?
Well, listen to this," said Isabelle Cote,
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Houston thing. This caused the lenses in
Federico Barahona^ glasses to break,
and he fell face-first into the gazpacho
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have won #10,000 on America's
Funniest Home Videos." Rick Hiebert
said, "It would probably make a better
Loonie Toons cartoon." Lori Lam walked
around doing her Pepe LePew imitation:
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in zis sad skunks lahf." Charlie Cho, who
had been watching this spectacle sitting
silently in the corner, jumped up and
began doing calisthenics, all the while
singing the old Olivia Newton-John
classic, "Leti Get Physical."
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Academic freedom at issue as Sikh studies chair resigns
No one likes to get involved too
deeply in someone else's fight,
but when an internal dispute spills
over into the public sphere, we can't
help but respond.
Such is the case with UBC Sikh
studies chair Dr. Oberoi's resignation.
While some may prefer to write off
the protests surrounding his book as
an internal dispute within Sikhism,
the fact that he has abandoned the
chair of UBC's Sikh studies program,
leaving the Asian Studies department scratching its head over how
best to serve the interests of its
students, does have far-reaching
implications beyond the Sikh community. In many ways, it goes right
to the heart of some of the most
pressing issues facing this campus.
The university administration has
been strangely quiet about this
whole affair despite the fact the university's Policy and Procedure
Handbook, as recently published in
UBC Reports, states that "behaviour
which obstructs free and full discussion, not only of ideas which are safe
and accepted, but of those which
may be unpopular or even abhorrent, vitally threatens the integrity
of the University's forum. Such
behaviour cannot be tolerated." It's
ironic, really. There was much sound
and fury last year over "academic
freedom" when the PoliSci department's old boys' club was charged
with creating a racist and sexist climate. "Academic freedom" was used
to defend the status quo, but it goes
right out the window when a professor needs that freedom to challenge
a status quo of a different kind.
This issue also emphasizes the
dangers of outside—including corporate—sponsorship. According to the
contract signed by the university
and the Federation of Sikh Societies,
which raised the money for the Sikh
studies trust fund in the first place,
the university is supposed to have
"full autonomy" over course selection, the hiring of professors, and the
disbursement of the trust fund.
However, as we have seen, such contractual precautions are not much
help when aggrieved sponsors decide
to apply some pressure.
There is a way around this problem—two ways, in fact—but neither
seems likely to occur. The university
could decide to forego the trust fund
altogether and just hire a professor,
no strings attached, with a specialty
in Sikh studies, just as it keeps specialists in its Religious Studies
department without being foresworn
to any particular faith. Of course,
that would require money, and in an
age of widespread cuts, it's doubtful
the university would make a priority of this.
An alternative might be for the
Sikh community to build a theological college of its own that would be
autonomous but still retain an affiliation with the university, with seats
on the Senate and full AMS member
ship privileges for its students. Such
an arrangement exists right now for
Regent College and the Vancouver
School of Theology and there's no
reason to assume that such institutions must be Christian in nature.
This is also unlikely because the
local Sikh community is just not
that big. Which means, if it is to
receive any sort of profile in
Canadian culture, it must rely on
uneasy partnerships with organizations such as UBC that are committed to looking at the totality of
Sikhism, and not just one view of it,
even if it is the majority view. (The
World Sikh Organization may claim
that there is no diversity within
Sikhism, but the fact that they can
take issue with a Sikh professor such
as Oberoi suggests otherwise.)
The one group most people seem
to have forgotten in this whole affair
are the students who sign up for the
Punjabi and history courses in the
first place. It would be foolish to
assume that all of Oberoi's students
were Sikhs themselves. In fact, the
chair in Sikh studies was created to
promote multicultural "understanding"—a goal that is only possible
when people from different cultures
meet together in a spirit of openness
and tolerance.
We would like to understand the
current debate better ourselves. But
it's difficult, if not impossible, to
understand something properly
when voices are being silenced.
AMS Prez responds
to UBC Prez
As a general practice, I have
refrained from responding to
items which appear in The
Ubyssey. However, I feel compelled to comment on Dr. David
Strangway's letter in the summer issue.
1. Contrary to the President^
letter, the university did try to
increase tuition fees counter to
the provincial freeze on tuition.
I'm flattered that we've been
given all the credit for saving
students over #3,000,000 collectively. In truth, however, the
Ministry of Education thwarted
the increase, because they
agreed that it violated the
freeze on tuition.
2. Since the President has
raised the issue, I will take this
opportunity to clarify councils
decisions pursuant to the Coke
funds. Contrary to the President's letter, the current fiscal
crunch that the AMS finds itself
in has not simply been caused
by overspending in previous
years. There have been many
changes to the AMS budget over
the last year that have created
the need for hard choices to be
made by the budget committee,
not the least of which is the
new IPF (Innovative Projects
Fund) through which the AMS
funds new projects every year.
These changes placed the AMS
council in an awkward position.
Either slash existing services
and leave the Coke money to
initiate new programs or use
some of the Coke money, on a
one time basis, to ensure that
existing services are protected
and that some new programs
can be funded. Council chose
the latter. By no means has the
Coke money been used to 'compensate for errors in budgeting'.
On the contrary, it has been
used to: ensure the effectiveness
of our services are not compromised; to create a dynamic new
student magazine; and to create
the new AMS website to more
effectively serve and inform
students. Students should be
aware that there is over
#175,000 available for innovative new projects this year.
3. Consultations on the official community plan process
and UBC's land use plan have
been underway for several
years, and although the AMS
has had many opportunities for
input, we have focused our
attention on just one concern:
will the plan directly serve the
needs of students?
The Board of Governors
have had ample opportunity
to respond to this concern. Yet
they have offered no guarantee whatsoever that the
#1,000,000,000 endowment,
that will be created from developing about 30% of UBC's land
endowment for market housing, will be used to directly
serve the needs of students.
Until such a guarantee is
offered, the AMS will continue
to withhold support for the
The real issue here, which
ought to be the administration's main concern, is the
problem of funding for the
University. This is a real
problem, one which affects the
quality of education students
receive here. On this issue, the
AMS sympathizes with Dr.
Strangway and the administration. In the Third Great Trek,
the AMS, the faculty, and the
administration worked together to lobby the government for
improved funding for UBC. We
would like to revive the spirit of
that Trek in order to ensure
that UBC receives sufficient
funding to provide a high quality education to its students. To
this end, I would like to welcome and encourage a more
cooperative relationship between the administration and
the AMS in the future.
David Borins
AMS President
See letters on page 11 AUGUST 15, 1996
Continued from page 10
Olympic similarities
While generally not agreeing
with any of Rodney C.
Remington's critical letter that
bemoaned last issue's article by
Sports Editor Wolf Depner on
American Olympic TV coverage,
one comment in particular
seemed to catch my notice.
Noting a civic-backed program
to drive homeless people from
the city center in-the months
preceding the Games, Depner
drew a potential comparison
here to Berlin in 1936, when like
attempts were made to 'sanitize'
the landscape and image of the
host city before an international
audience. Though state-institutionalized anti-Semitism is
nonetheless not an order of the
(extreme) poverty of some
American inner-cities, still the
Sports Editoris comments can
be seen as well-founded and
instructive, for ultimately it is
his intent to focus the reader^
attention on the important fact
that the image of reality the
public is given access to, can
often be skillfully manipulated.
Though I understand that
comparisons with the Third
Reich and the Holocaust have
recently come in vogue for some
to use as a cheap ploy to provide
quick sensationalism or emphasis: as perhaps linguistically
used by Jerry Seinfeld, "soup
Nazi," or in California, both
"salad Nazi" and "surf Nazi"—still
I think the comparison between
1996 and 1936 does not demean
the terrible experiences under-
went by the Jews and other
minorities at this time, and is
certainly not "down-right insulting to the Jewish community" as
Remington alleges. If one were
to explicitly call the Atlanta
Olympic committee an adjunct
arm of the National Socialist
German Worker's Party on this
basis, the letter's criticism would
probably be quite valid.
Nonetheless this sort of sordid
hyperbole is not what Depner
engages in, as I and those of last
week's readers, who had somewhat carefully read the text,
would easily have been able to
To repeat one final time then,
while the events of the Holocaust and what happened in
1933-1945 in Germany represent
a horrible tragedy in the history
of the world, they are not items
to be held up as holy relics,
impossible to be touched, considered, or mentioned. Keeping in
mind a certain amount of tact
and restraint, intelligent reference can and should be used in
connection with this time
period, and to his credit, Wolf
Depner's article lives up to these
lofty requirements.
Benjamin Ellison
Germanic Studies, Masters
Koerner's staff are
not under suspicion
Recent events in the Graduate
Student Centre have attracted a
great deal of attention and
speculation. Unfortunately, given
that discussions with the Society's former Food and Beverage
Manager, Dale Read, are ongoing,
Council- and the Executive
Committee have been unable to
release detailed information per
taining to Council's decision to
end Mr. Read's employment on
June 25,1996. While the specific
reasons for the dismissal of Dale
Read have not been disclosed,
much speculation has occurred.
Among the rumors currently
circulating on campus are some
that cast suspicion upon the
staff of Koerner's, the Society's
Pub. Pub staff have expressed,
and rightly so, their anxiety,
frustration and anger regarding
these rumors. In order to allay
staff concerns, as well as check
damaging and irresponsible
rumors, the Executive Committee states unequivocally that no
staff member employed in its
Food and Beverage operations is-
under suspicion of any wrongdoing whatsoever.
The Executive Committee
requests that all parties work
together to avoid such harmful
speculation in the future.
Kevin Dwyer
GSS President
Those who teach
can't learn
I am a mental health therapist
with Greater Vancouver Mental
Health who has been studying
with the Department of
Counselling Psychology for three
years. I hold a BA in psychology
from the University of Alberta,
and though I am employed as a
"Master's equivalency," I recognized the limitations of such
a position years ago and
researched graduate options
across the country. I have been
professionally employed supervising UBC's Department of
Counselling Psychology graduate students in their practicum
placements at my office. Also in
my professional capacity, I have
Living on campus-an incestuous life
by Jamie Woods
An   incestuous  life   threatens
students living on campus.
Consider it. Most of the
students living in UBCfc student
digs are from upper or middle-
class backgrounds. They have
conformed to the demands of a
rigidly-defined and dull high
school curriculum, are seeking
careers requiring brains (not
brawn) and thus a place in
society's upper strata. They are
of North American, Asian, or
buffered by the monetary
wealth of the West Side. Beyond,
high school dropouts drywall a
Vancouver Special on the
Eastside, aging Italians chat
demonstratively over espresso
on Commercial Drive, an
exhausted mother separates her
squabbling children in the Wal-
Mart toy section, an Ethiopian
immigrant shares a joke with
his Vietnamese co-workers in
the back of a Granville Island
Out here on Point Grey, we
European background, and are
between 18 and 25 years old. We
generally have similar interests
and aspirations, and will one day
have similar opportunities.
In other words, we aren't
living in a real community.
An expanse of second-growth
forest lies between us and the
real world, and even then we're
rarely see such people, much less
have to relate to them.
And even if we want to venture that far, a tiresome 45
minute bus journey separates us
from the downtown core. If we
have the willpower to go that
much further into the
Downtown Eastside, will we have
the social skills  necessary  to
begin to relate to those down
and out—anaesthetised as we've
been by a steady diet of the
golden liquid which pours forth
at bzzr gardens?
And the very nature of committing ourselves to studying
within the parameters of a limited discipline prevents us from
daring to venture much beyond
the campus. After all, those best
rewarded by the academic system are those who devote the
most time to understanding it.
Thus we produce psychologists who understand Freud better than the people who visit
them for help. And who can
blame those psychologists; they
have lived far removed from distressed areas and situations
throughout the course of their
studies, and been shaped by
analysing the symptoms of
hangover, pre-exam neurosis,
and the dysfunctional teaching
skills of their professors.
The more students cloister
themselves on campus, the more
incestuous they will become. If
the criticism that professors are
unable to function in the outside
world is valid, can the same not
be said of students? Indeed, as
those in training to be the social
leaders of the next century,
should we not be taking the
time to immerse ourselves in the
society we intend to lead?
presented lectures on suicide,
bereavement and trauma in the
Department's classrooms, and
offered clinical consultations to
their teaching staff, students
and graduates. I have offered
these lectures in other departments both on and off campus.
Three years ago, I consulted
with the Department's academic
advisors Dr. Larry Cochran, Dr.
Judith Daniluk and Dr. Bill
Borgen about pursuing graduate
studies. I was advised that I was
the type of candidate the
Department of Counselling
Psychology wished to attract
due to my extensive work history, and was encouraged to take
classes in order to bring up my
mediocre GPA from years ago.
Upon completing the Diploma in
Guidance Studies program this
year with a first-class standing, I
was flatly rejected from the MA
program. I have pursued the
matter through the appropriate
channels but have recently
decided that the personal cost of
this process has been too much
to my health, my career and my
relationships. I am abandoning
the process. This letter is not an
I am writing to make you
aware of a disturbing irony with
respect to my case. You may
already be familiar with the
manner in which the Department of Counselling Psychology
conducts its advising and admissions. Of course, they may admit
and reject graduate applicants as
they please. I've grown weary of
the Department's inconsistencies
and wash my hands of the whole
process. However, I would like to
publicly acknowledge one central point that I have tirelessly
made, and that has never been
addressed by any appeals
administrator. I wish to prevail
upon your common sense. Even
if all the claims and contentions
I have made are the ill-founded
prattle of a rejected and wounded ego, please consider this one
point Is there not something
desperately wrong with an
admissions system that rejects
from its graduate program, one
of its own graduate supervisors?
On one level, how can graduate
students be sent to a supervisor
who is not up to the programs
standards even as a student? On
the other level, how can the
Department say that I am good
enough to supervise their students, but not good enough to be
admitted as a student? I find
this hypocrisy gravely disconcerting and patently unfair. If
the University continues to
evade this issue, so be it.
However, it would be an interesting topic for public discussion.
I am overwhelmingly frustrated, tired, and disillusioned.
Thank you for considering this
matter; 1 remain available to
meet with you, the public media,
or anyone else to discuss this
further. Again let me be clear,
this is not an appeal. I have no
desire to pursue an appeal further as I have lost all respect for
the Department and its faculty.
I do not want to learn from
them how to treat people the
way they have treated me. My
only wish at this point is to
reduce the chances of this type
of injustice from happening
again. It is common knowledge
that I have not been the only
one thus treated, but just
because it recurs does not make
it right.
Rowland Johnson
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