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UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Nov 26, 2002

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Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Volume 84 Issue 23
Big heads on the wall since 1918
C's outdoor Dool flushed?
Commercial development considered
on University Boulevard
by Megan Thomas
A proposal to move Empire Pool—
UBC's outdoor pool—has recently
drawn opposition from campus
users, including the Alma Mater
Society (AMS).
In an almost TmaT.imr.ns vote at
last Wednesday's council meeting,
the AMS chose not to support the
proposed development.
The new development is to be
built along University Boulevard
between Wesbrook and East Mall,
and is derived from UBC's Official
Community Plan (OCP) that was
adopted in 1997. Plans for the
University Boulevard Neighborhood
(UBN) began in 2001 and were
drafted by a committee of university
community members.
Associate Director of Community
and Land Use Planning Judith
McLeod said the plan calls for a
commercially-oriented centre at the
entrance to ihe university.
"It essentially recommended a
pedestrian-oriented, cyclist-friendly,
more urban, 24-hour, mixed-use
kind of entrance and a downtown to
UBC," said Mcleod of the OCP.
Fred Pritchard, campus planning director, said he hopes to have
finalised plans for the UBN to present to the Board of Governors (BoG)
for approval by Maixh of next year.
If the plans are approved by both
the BoG and the Greater Vancouver
Regional District, then construction
could begin.
If the plans are adopted, the outdoor pool site would become home
to an 18-storey residential building
and surrounding commercial space,
and the pool could be relocated to
Maclnnes Field, behind the SUB.
Oana Chirila, AMS vice-president, administration, said the AMS
is worried that the university has
not committed to funding the extra
cost of rebuilding the pool in a new
location or to relocate it at all.
"Our concern was mainly that
See "Poof 'on page 2.
LEAVE IT WHERE IT IS! Professor Emeritus Alan Lewis is
outdoor pool from being replaced by commercial develop
helping circulate
ment. nic fensom
a petition to save UBC's
rescription: peace
Doctors and med students look at war and public health
• $
When he's not in the lab, he's waging peace.
by Michael Schwandt
On Saturday, a group of UBC medical students hosted a conference to
discuss the impact of war on public
health. The event, entitled 'Today's
Militarism, Tomorrow's Health,'
brought speakers and delegates
from Canada and the United States.
"We wanted to provide a forum
in which we could present to other
health professionals, students and
the broader community," said UBC
medical student Liam Brunham, an
organiser ofthe event
"Physicians, as well as other people involved in health, can advocate
against things like war, and can be
effective in pressing for change in
that area."
The conference, held at UBC's
Woodward Instructional Resource
Centre, was a joint effort of Medical
Students for Global Survival and
Physicians for Global Survival, the
Canadian affiliate ofthe Nobel Prize-
winning organisation International
Physicians for the Prevention of
Nuclear War.
"What we're sharing is our
hearts, minds and perhaps our
actions, to create a healthier world,"
said Dr Allan Connolly, president
elect of Physicians for Global
Survival and master of ceremonies
NEWS: APEC remembered
Looking back five years and
what's happened since. Page 3.
FEATURE: From sneakers to
Vancouver's neo-burlesque
scene, "entertainment—plain
and simple." Pages 6-7.
SPORTS: Barbara Rae comes
The UBC women's basketball
team triumphs over SFU, and
wins the trophy for the first time
in UBC history. Page 9.
CULTURE: Reviews, reviews,
Movies, music, books and more.
Pages 11-12.
FEATURE: Buy Nothing Day
See our special supplement this
Friday for the annual consumer
by John McCrank
The Alma Mater Society (AMS) and the
university are in negotiations over the
allocation of money collected from the
AMS by UBC. The two parties disagree
about how much money should actually
be collected.
The disagreement focuses on which
commercial spaces should be charged
the Innovative Projects Fund (IPF) 'tax'
and which shouldn't.
The fund provides around $65,000
for new initiatives, and is drawn from a
pool of just over $200,000 that the AMS
pays out each year in IPF fees. According
to AMS President Kristen Harvey, the IPF
fees are like a tax on AMS commercial
activities, the majority of which go to the
university, which then transfers the
money to other areas.
"[Approximately $65,000] goes into a
fund that is composed of three student
representatives, three university representatives and myself as chair," said
Harvey, "and that fund is designed to
assist students...in building up a project
on campus that requires funding, so it
could be something that is completely
new and innovative and they just need
some start-up money for it'
"As to the [rest of the] money that is
received under the IPF," said Michelle
Aucoin, executive coordinator for the
vice president, students. "(T]he remainder of the money goes into social space
at   the   university...That   money   is
See"IPF"onpage2. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2002
Specialty Dental Clinic is accepting
patients requiring dental treatment for
wisdom teeth extractions. Minor surgery
at a reduced fee; intravenous sedation
available; dental implant patients. To
schedule an appointment please contact
MAGAZINE. Max 3 poems (max 50
lines each) & 1 short story (max 1500
words) per submission. Your name &
contact info shown ONLY on cover
letter. Send to: English Student Society
(Buch Tower 397, 1873 East Mall) Due:
Dec 9. No email submissions. Info:
The Forestry
Undergraduate Society
will be selling trees
outside the Safeway at
10th and Sasamat
Monday December 9th
to Friday December 20th.
Weekdays from 4pm to 7pm and
Weekends from 10am to 6pm.
EVERY TUESDAY from 12:30-2:30 at
International House <1783 West Mall).
All welcome.
COVER $100 obo. Other small ■
furniture also available. 604-736-2532.
xanemic services
ASSISTANCE. Any subjects A to Z.
Anthropology, Business, Commerce,
Drama, East Asian Studies... Zoology.
Highly qualified graduates will help. Toll
free 1-888-345 8295. Fax 1-416-960"-
0240. Email: customessay@sprint.ca
COMPUTERS & all electronic
equipments. Free pick-up & delivery.
Free estimate. Alan 8O4J79-02&0
Hire a"resume writer today,
www.sabrinamehra .coin/resumes
ALTERATIONS. Laundry, Dry-cleaning
& Dress making available at 105 - 5728
University Blvd. (UBC Village) ph:'228-
9414. Discount coupons accepted. Some
handcrafts & gift items also available for
EARN $25,000. For details, visit
www. eventodaward .com
F/T TESL Certificate Program or Sat.
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TO LIVE? Bright, Spacious, & Clean.
1BR in 2BR bsmt suite to share in
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includes Utilities, Cable, Laundry, HS
Internet. 604-299-7220.
ra uurricuiai
Zeta Beta Tau is looking for men to start
a new chapter. If you are interested in
academic success, a chance to network
and ari opportunity to make friends in a
non-pledging Brotherhood, e-mail:
zbt@zbtnational.org or call 800-431-
at Totem park at 6:15pm: Thursdays at
Place Vanier at 4:30pm Only $20 for 8
classes, or cheap drop-in fee. Info: 221-
ON CAMPUS every Thurs 1:45pm.
Meet at Flagpole by Chan Centre with
1993 but in good shape. Original
blllfflnp broKffl: Call Greg or Jeffi 604-
Looking for a
Got something
announcement to
If you are a student
you can place
classifieds for FREE!
For more information,
visit Room 23 in the SUB
(basement] or call 822-1654.
November      2002
i$ 2$ 3$ 4$ 5$ 6$ '?$ 8$
9$ 10$ 11$ 12$ 13$ 14$
15$ 16$ 1?$ 18$ 19$ 20$
21$ 22$ 23$ 24$ 25$ 26$
Bug Nothing Day!
Uhpsey Supplement
We now have MORE
complimentary lift
and snowboard rental passes
to give away!
Come to the Ubyssey business office in SUB Room 23
(basement) to receive a your complimentary pass!
COLLEGE I ca|| now to be certified in 4 weeks!
Train to become an ESL instructor!
www.creocollege.com 604-608-4250
Edward M.W. Ng, LLB.
Immigration Lawyer*
Student Visas
Skilled Workers
Family Sponsorship
Investors/ Entrepreneurs
PR Card Applications
Reasonable rates
Personal attention
Available after hours & weekends
Phone: (604) 742-0323
Fax: (604)267-3374
Website: http://edng.ca
E-mail: lawyei@edng.ca
* Barrister, Solicitor and member of the
British Columbia Trial Lawyers Association
"Pool" from page 1.
bocauge the vmiversily has not committed this feuding tliat we Would
be without a pool for a couple of
years/ said Chirila.
UBC Professor Emeritus Dr Ivan
Szasz—an organiser of a petition to
save the Empire Pool—is concerned
that the outdoor pool may be eliminated altogether if the development
is approved.
"I have been around the university for a long time. You lose something, you lost it that's it," said
UBC Professor Emeritus Dr Alan
Lewis—who is also involved in the
petition—said even if the pool is relocated to Maclnnes Field recreation
will suffer because the field, which
hosts a variety of sporting activities
at the university, will be lost
'It would reduce the area on
Maclnnes Field available for the
odds and ends of sport that goes on
there, so again it's an ultimate loss
of recreational facilities," said
Chris Neale, UBC aquatic centre
manager, also questions the university's plan to move the outdoor pool.
"The wonderful thing in, teffflS ef
The Empire Pool of course is the
indoor-outdoor concept and the ease
for people to move from the change
rooms to the outdoor pool or into
the indoor pool," explained Neale.
He feels that relocating the pool
to the other side of the building
would take aWay from the complimentary design of the Aquatic
Centre—something that has been
successful for the last 32 years.
Although he admits the pool does
need to be replaced, Neale feels, that
it would be in the best interest of the
Aquatic Centre to rebuild it on the
existing location.
The AMS is also concerned that
the new commercial spape in the
proposed development would
detract from existing businesses in
the SUB, threatening revenue the
AMS depends on.
"[The revenue] is quite important
because it [and student fees] does go
to fund all of our services. [AMS
businesses] also provide a services
to students," said Chirla. ♦
"Health" from page 1.
for the day's proceedings.
Connolly called attention to the
fact that, in terms of mortality, the
costs of war are largely borne by the
general public. "It's not the soldiers
who get killed anymore," he said
"It's almost exclusively the
Dr Evan Kanter, a physician
from the University of Washington
who has twice visited Iraq to document the health effects of war and
economic sanctions on that country,
explained to the audience that
health effects of war continue long
after the conflicts themselves.
Attacks on Iraq targeted infrastructure that provided electricity
and sewage treatment, he said, and
subsequent economic sanctions
against Iraq have prevented the
movement of many needed drugs
and food into the country.
"The Gulf war never ended," he
said. "The regime of economic sanctions has been a devastation to the
public health of Iraq."
Kanter said that war and sanctions have resulted in a cycle of
increased malnutrition and infec
tious disease in Iraq. He pointed out
the increased incidence of tuberculosis and cholera in the Iraqi population, as well as the appearance of
kwashiorkor (a protein deficiency
characterised by abdominal
swelling), which was virtually
unheard of in Iraq before the 1990-
91 Gulf war.
"There's some misconception
that it was a third-world country, but
it was not," he said, noting that child
mortality in Iraq has risen dramatically since 1990, although rates of
death for children there had previously been on a steady decline.
"We're wiping out a whole
Delegates at the conference
included a group of medical students from the University of
Washington. Meeshel Garcia feels
that physicians can and should play
a part in efforts to achieve peace.
"I think our role is to educate
people. There is something that's
universally linking us all, and we
can all understand it," she said.
"You can explain a lot of things
through health, and achieve a lot of
change through the rhetoric of
health, and people will listen." ♦
"IPF" from page 1.
managed by the VP Students and his
decision making is informed by a
social space committee that has
both student and academic representation on it"
Negotiations have been ongoing
for two years now and according to
AMS Vice President Adminsitration
Oana Chirila, the AMS wants to be
charged only on AMS businesses,
and not other businesses that have
separate arrangements with the university.
"[W]e believe that it's basically
double billing," says Chirila,
"because the businesses are paying
[janitorial costs] themselves as well.
If they are already charging the businesses for that, then why are they
charging us for it too?"
An agreement signed between
the two parties in 1996 dictates that
if the "AMS space used for commercial activities change[s] from the
Original Commercial Space, the IPF
payments will be adjusted."
With UBC's student population
growing rapidly, there is an
increased need for both more student space as well as more student
services. The AMS has responded to
this problem by incorporating new
AMS businesses into existing ones,
such as putting Bernoulli's Bagels
into part ofthe space once occupied
by the Gallery—this also gets around
paying more in IPF 'taxes.'
'As long as square footage stays
the same, we don't pay any more
IPF," said Chirila.
The AMS took over Food Services
around three years ago, and before
that, said AMS General Manager
Bernie Peets, 100 per cent ofthe IPF
fees went into the Innovative
Projects Fund.
"[I]t was in exchange for the university turning over a portion of the
central kitchen—over half of the UBC
food services central kitchen in the
basement of the SUB—that we
removed the restriction on 75 per
cent of the IPF money," said Peets,
"so that food services could be compensated, for one, and then the university would have the funds for
other things so that it was left with 2 5
per cent ofthe money for the IPF."
The funds that go into the IPF
have traditionally provided successful applicants with between $3000
and $5000 to get their projects
A few of the past projects that
have received funding from the IPF
include funding to promote Black
Awareness Month, a Graduate
Students Leadership Conference
and creating a Students Rights
Advising Centre. ♦ THEUBYSSEY
APEC remembered
Five years
after the
protest that
rocked UBC
by Chris Shepherd
Monday marked the fifth anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) summit
protests at UBC.
On November 25, 1997, 1500
protesters arrived at UBC to protest
the summit, which was set to discuss trade liberalisation in the participant countries.
Protesters were upset because
they felt several important issues
were not on the agenda for discussion. Primarily, it was human rights
and social and environmental
issues surrounding international
free trade that they wanted discussed. Many people also came to
protest the presence of President
Jiang Zemin of China and then-
President Suharto of Indonesia,
both on the basis of the poor human
rights records in their respective
Other world leaders in attendance included Prime Minister
Jean     Chretien     and     then-US
President Bill Clinton.
The action against protesters did
not wait until the protests began.
Jaggi Singh, one ofthe organisers of
the anti-APEC protests, was arrested
November 24 and was held in
prison until after the protest.
Craig Jones, a third-year Law student at the time, was arrested for
displaying signs on the lawn of a
friend. The signs read "democracy'
and "free speech,' and Jones was
asked to remove the signs. He complied but was then asked to leave the
area. He refused and was arrested.
After being held for 14 hours Jones
was released with no charges laid.
The university had also made an
issue of the space allocated to protesters. In a letter to the RCMP the
university raised concerns with the
fact that there was no designated
area for protesters to gather, something that was agreed upon between
the university and the federal government when UBC was agreed
upon to host the summit
Jones subsequently filed a lawsuit against the RCMP for "wanton,
flagrant, intentional, or alternatively
^reckless disregard for his constitutional and legally protected rights..."
November 25 started out relatively peacefully despite the fact that
the RCMP had removed a Tibetan
flag that was raised on top of the
Graduate Student Centre by the
Graduate Student Society (GSS).
Kevin Dwyer, then-GSS president,
had been told by RCMP the flag
would be allowed to remain on top
flflaKSHr   \_$
KR1SPY KREME! Realising the Americans had brought donuts, student siege the Chan Centre. Richard lam/usyssey file photo
ofthe building.
The RCMP said the flag had been
removed because of a tip that 500
Chinese students would be protesting the flag the next day. Dwyer said
that the flag was taken down to protect the Chinese president from any
embarrasment surrounding the
issue of Tibetan independence.
Protesters staged creative performance art on the last day of the
summit, involving mock murderous
businessmen, cheerleaders and fake
police leading the march around the
campus to the Rose Garden. It was
around noon that day that events
became violent—beginning with a
clash between . police (both
Vancouver Police and RCMP) and
protesters at the Rose Garden Plaza.
There, protesters tore down a police
barricade and were pepper-sprayed
in response.
Protesters then spread out to
form three road blocks in the hopes
of actually being seen by the APEC
delegates. The inability to make
themselves visible was one of the
major frustrations they faced.
At one of the road blocks near
Gate 6 on Northwest Marine Drive
approximately 50 protesters were
warned by RCMP Staff Sergeant
Hugh Stewart—who would later be
nicknamed 'Sergeant Pepper' for
bis actions that day—that he would
use .whatever force necessary to
clear the road. Shortly after issuing
the warning (within seconds by
some accounts) officers moved on
the crowd with pepper-spray.
It was later that day that Chretien
was asked by a UBC student about
the appropriateness of using pepper
spray. Chretien then gave the infamous quote "For me, pepper I put it
on my plate."
Fallout from the protest continued for years. The RCMP launched a
Commission for Public Complaints
(CPC) into the day's events to deal
with complaints issued against the
police forces.
The Prime Minister's Office
(PMO) was implicated in the pepper-
spraying of protesters. In documents uncovered by the CPC, it
appeared that the PMO was concerned about the size ofthe security
perimeter and the potential embarrassment to APEC leaders, Suharto
specifically. Chretien declined an
invitation to testify for the CPC.
"For a Prime Minister to testify
before an inquiry risks interfering
with the duties and responsibilities
of the office, and ultimately would
impede the operation of the
Canadian government," wrote the
lawyer for the federal government
' . When the final report was even-
' tually released it said police behaviour was inappropriate and that an
apology, should be made. RCMP
Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli
acknowledged the report and that
the RCMP had made some errors
that day.. No apology was ever
given. ♦
UBC Aboriginal counseling clinic needs clients
Clinic is set to
provide aboriginal-
focused therapy at
Robson Square
by Megan Thomas
UBC's Robson Square Counseling Clinic,
which focuses on the urban aboriginal community, is currently seeking clients.
The clinic, which opened in September,
currently draws about half of its clientele from
the aboriginal community. Rod McCormick,
an associate professor of Educational and
Counseling Psychology and Special Education
and the supervisor of the clinic, admits it is
taking time to develop an aboriginal client
"It is more word of mouth with aboriginal
people...[they] have to go and say this was a
good experience and then that is how you generate your business," he said.
McCormick believes this is because of a
distrust within aboriginal communities about
seeking therapy. He said in the past aboriginal
groups have not been well-served by the therapy programs and it will take time to change
that opinion. He hopes to expand the aboriginal clientele over time by providing a service
with an aboriginal focus and by making use
of trusted networks within aboriginal
Despite the need for more aboriginal
clients, McCormick said that the clinic fills a
need in the community.
"It is sort of an outreach because the needs
in the aboriginal community are extremely
high for counseling. If we are going to perform
community service then that's one of the obvious areas we need to do it in," said McCormick.
The clinic was developed by the Facully of
Education to serve as practical training for students working towards a masters in counseling psychology.
"It serves the public because we are providing free counseling service and the other
function it serves is training for our masters
and doctoral students,' said McCormick.
Through the help of a counseling team that
is comprised of half aboriginal students, the
clinic is attempting to reach aboriginal communities. McCormick said creating this kind
of team is difficult.
"It has been hard to develop a sort of critical mass of aboriginal students in the counseling [psychology] program," he said.
Having a clinic focusing on the aboriginal
community has made the program more
accessible for aboriginal students and he
hopes this will translate into aboriginal
As part of the clinic's focus the counselors
incorporate aboriginal teachings into the healing process.
Although John Alvarez de Lorenzana, a
grad student at the clinic, does not have an
aboriginal background, he places great
emphasis on the importance of aboriginal
healing techniques.
"It's a very different perspective and way of
approaching mental disorders or problems in
general because it gives importance to the
spiritual aspect," he said.
He feels non-aboriginal clients also benefit
greatly from aboriginal healing because it
allows them to feel comfortable with their own
spiritual experiences.
Grad student Laura Jones echoes
McCormick's views on the importance of
having aboriginal counselors involved in the
"Being First Nations myself and growing
up in a First Nations community., just seeing
all the issues and problems, I think that there
is a huge need,' said Jones. McCormick hopes if the program proves to be
The plans call for the clinic to be open until     successful the department may look to open it
the end of the academic year in April, but    again next year. ♦
HELPING WHERE THEY CAN: Rod McCormick, Linda Hance, John Alvarez de
Lorenzana, Laura Jones and Peter Ciceri of UBC's Robson Square Counseling Clinic.
The 1,800 teaching assistants at UBC want a fair collective agreement.
The employer has other plans.
Teaching assistants are seeking:
A fair wage increase
Teaching assistants at UBC make $2.50 less an hour than SFU and at least $7
less than U of T teaching assistants
A tuition fee rebate
Attending UBC is a condition of employment for teaching assistants. UBC is
refusing to renew its former commitment to rebate 50% of any tuition fee
increase. The fee hikes represent a 16% pay cut over three years for TAs.
Equal treatment
UBC's recent settlement with faculty represents more than the entire payroll
for teaching assistants. If UBC can find the money to provide a fair contract to
faculty, it can find the money for teaching assistants.
Excellence in education
There is a shortage of TAs at UBC. The only way UBC will be able to attract
world-class graduate students and reduce class sizes is by providing a decent
contract for teaching assistants.
UBC, one of the richest universities in Canada, is offering:
© A three-year wage freeze - the employer calls it "three goose eggs"
© A refusal to renew protection against tuition fee increases
© The elimination of payments to our employer paid health coverage
This is why TAs have no option but to take a strike ballot. The TA Union negotiators have done all
they can on their own. The university will not play ball with the negotiators, so they must hear the
voice of each individual TA saying, "Enough. This is not fair".
TAs do not want to take strike action but they also do not want UBC education eroded and our degrees
devalued. Your TAs need your support to help UBC administration see sense and avoid unnecessary
For more information: www.cupe2278.ca
Oh the front line
Strike Vote Information for CUPE Local 2278 members:
All TAs and markers are encouraged to vote.
Where:      Student Union Building main concourse (behind Bluechip cookies).
When:       Wed 27th Nov 1:00- 4:00
Thurs 28th Nov 10:00 - 4:00
Fri 29th Nov 10:00-4:00
Mon 2nd Dec 10:00 - 4:00 & 5:00 - 8:00 in SUB 245 THE UBYSSEY
NATIONAL / Q PINION   Tuesday, November 26,2002    5
Wanted for fraud
after $3007000
shortfall revealed
in audit
by John Thompson
VICTORIA (CUP)-Saanich police
have issued a warrant for the arrest
of Vivek Sharma, the former business manager of the Student Union
Building at the University of
Sharma has been charged with
fraud, theft and causing a person to
use a forged document by the local
police after an internal audit uncovered a $300,000 shortfall in the
"What Vivek presented to the
finance committee bore no relation
to the actual statements," said
Marne Jensen, a former executive of
the UVic Student Society (UVSS).
"We allege that he took money that
was the Society's. We allege he used
fraud in order to do that"
Until police pressed charges, the
UVSS was unable to comment on
their suspicions of criminal wrongdoing. Publicly, they continue to be
tight-lipped for fear of damaging an
anticipated court case. But beneath
the surface, suspicion and anger
have been directed at Sharma for
some time. During the SUB employees' Christmas party lastyear, apifia-
ta was made in Sharma's likeness.
Sharma, 28, began working for
the student union as manager ofthe
campus pub, Felicita's,' in 19.99.
From there he was promoted to the
role of operations manager, responsible for overseeing various businesses inside the SUB, until he
resigned in the late summer of
2001. Sharma told his employers
that a Belgian firm made him an
offer he couldn't pass up, and he
had to leave as soon as he could. He
left in early October.
Weeks later, a routine audit
revealed the shortfall.
The Students' Society alleges
there were major discrepancies
between the financial figures reported by Sharma to the finance committee, and the numbers used by
individual businesses.
v As for the whereabouts of
Sharma, speculations over the past
year have ranged from Europe to the
Canadian Prairies. "He claimed to
have gone to Europe," said Jonas
Gifford, the UVSS's director of
finance. "We have no proof."
"He claimed to have roots in
Halifax, roots in India, roots in
Montreal. What the legitimacy of
those are, I don't know."
So far the UVSS has collected
some insurance money for employee dishonesty, for which they're
insured for up to $50,000. Gifford
wouldn't comment on the amount
collected, because the information is
tied to the criminal investigation.
If Sharma is convicted of criminal charges, the Students' Society
could plausibly file a civil suit
against him. But at this point,
Gifford said, it would be premature
to comment. ♦
TAs are taking a strike vote this week. Do you support TAs in
their possible job action and why?
"Yeah, because they're doing their
job and they deserve to be paid fairly. Nobody does anything for free,
right? I think they absolutely need to
be paid fairly and if that's what it
takes I think they should do it"
Masha E. Sanaei
*      **•
^___ _„ „,—,
"I'd have to say I don't support them.
Just because we had a tuition
increase doesn't necessarily mean
they deserve more money and it
doesn't necessarily mean there's
more money to give them...we've had
a tuition freeze for I don't know how
many years now, we're still under the
national average. I don't think they
should be doing anything that would
affect a student's education."
Blake Steinson
Commerce 3
"Yeah, I support it If you're not getting what you deserve, then I feel
[you] have the right to strike. [The
university should] come to a reasonable conclusion with the TAs—come
to a conclusion on something they
both decide is fair."
lan Frauts
Arts 2
"Yeah, I support them. Just because
it's a right, I guess. I think they
should have a decrease in their
tuition or an increase in their
Johnson Huang
Commerce 3
Carleton TAs set to strike
Strike deadline is
January 15
by Emmett Macfarlane
LONDON, Ont. (CUP)-Teaching assistants at
Carleton University have voted in favour of a strike
after the union broke off negotiations with the university administration in order to hold the vote.
Talks are expected to continue, but both sides
have indicated they are not close to an agreement.
"The membership met last week and, for
numerous reasons, [set] a January 15 strike deadline," said Stewert Ryan, business agent organiser
for the Canadian Union of Public Employees
Local 4600. The union will be in a legal strike
position as of tomorrow, Ryan confirmed.
"At this stage, we're still far apart [on the
issues]," Ryan said, adding the university offered
a wage increase that was below current living
wage expenses.
According to Stephen Green, assistant director
of academic staff relations at Carleton, the main
issues up for negotiation are salary, post-residency fees, tuition increase assistance and class size.
"On these four issues, we haven't come to much
of an agreement on anything," he said.
"The university has not presented its final
positions on any of the items," Green stated. In
the event of a strike, the university would try to
minimise disruption to students, he said. "We
would try to keep operations going," he added,
noting some services may not be available.
Melissa Armstrong, an executive member ofthe
Carleton University Students' Association (CUSA),
said CUSA "will certainly support the TAs in their
[effort] to get a fair deal." Last week, Carleton
University Graduate Students' Association
President Andrea Rounce said the Graduate
Association planned to bring up the issue of a pos1
sible strike at its next council meeting.
Rounce said there was almost a strike two
years ago, which the council supported, adding
she expected it would support action this time.
Ryan said the union was ready to go back to
the table, adding it was prepared to pursue talks
until January.
According to Green, the university is prepared
to talk as well. "We just haven't agreed on a date
yet to get back to the table," he said.
The union's strike vote, held two weeks ago,
was 75 per cent in favour of taking strike action.
The union represents approximately 1200 teaching assistants, 479 of whom voted. The union also
represents sessional instructors who are also currently undergoing contract negotiations. ♦
CASA fires back: not in crisis
by Adam Grachnik
OTTAWA (CUP)-"Are we in a crisis?"
asks the, national director of the
Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations ^CASA). "No. No way.
Not even close."
Liam Arbuckle is reacting to the
decision made by the Students'
Association of Grant MacEwen
College (GMC) to leave CASA, as well
as to the University of Alberta
Students' Union's willingness to soon
follow suit
"We're sad that someone chooses
to have no representation," said
Arbuckle, whose organisation, before
the departure, represented over
300,000* post-secondary students in
23 schools. "They [GMC] now have no
voice at the table."
Arbuckle claims that the two
Edmonton-based schools are focusing on httle things.
"[CASA is] focusing on the big picture. These leaders focus on smaller
minutia issues."
The feud boiling within CASA
comes mainly out of the recent lobby
conference held at the beginning of
November in Ottawa. At the annual
conference, member delegates met
with "big-hitters," Arbuckle said-
including 90 MPs—to lobby them
about issues pertaining to post-secondary education.
Arbuckle called the conference
"fantastic," and in an earlier press
release said, "Paul Martin agreed
with CASA policy opposing possible
inclusion of education in the Free
Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
...Mr Martin also suggested that a
complete overhaul of the [Canada
Student Loan Program] is needed."
However, according to Anand
Sharma, an executive member ofthe
University of Alberta Students'
Union, the conference only acted to
prove that "CASA is weak and has
severe flaws."
"CASA can't outline tangible
results," he added.
"Many of the lobby areas [that
CASA fights for] the Liberal government is already moving on," he said,
pointing towards the Canada Student
Loan Program (CSLP) as an example.
"They're not talking about issues that
are at all contentious...They have
access to politicians, but they're not
challenging them."
Arbuckle dismisses those claims
as "absurd."
"Who do you think lit the fire?" he
retorts. "Any movement [in post-secondary education] that appears in
government shows our effectiveness
of lobbying."
According to Arbuckle, the results
of the conference quell his critics'
claims that CASA is ineffective.
"If we're disorganised and inefficient, why would [MPs] come and listen to us?" he asked. "We're considered big hitters [and] we have gotten
movement over time."
Arbuckle did acknowledge that
CASA might have some flaws, but
said the organisation is willing to
"We are open to change. [But] it
has to go through the right channels.
It can't just be because you say so."
CASA's Atlantic regional director
Tyler McLeod claims that effort was
made to accommodate both
Edmonton schools.
"We made the effort to accommodate the voice of the minority. The
problem is they are not the majority.
The minority shouldn't distract from
agenda to lobby," he said.
Sharma urged CASA to take a
stance on the problem of including
education in free-trade agreements,
which Arbuckle said shows CASA's
willingness to change and evolve.
"We have never said anything
about FTAA and trade. We've never
done that before. We have now drafted policy on FTAA, tuition and deregulation," he explained.
CASA, a national organisation,
until recently didn't have policies on
tuition fees, because they were
deemed to be a provincial matter.
They now have draft policies on a
number of issues.
"To think that a school leaving will
destroy us, it's not going to happen...Every organisation goes
through growth and decline. There
are others interested in joining," he
said, pointing towards Sir Wilfrid
Laurier and Queen's University who
were at the recent conference as
The University of Alberta Students'
Union executive committee voted
unanimously to withdraw from CASA.
In December, they will bring the
motion to their Students' Council. ♦ 6       TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2002
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i   %
A look at Vancouver's inner sex-kitten: burlesque
A cartoon-like vixen, with a sleek black bob
moves table to table with her tray of smokes.
In a red tutu, a crushing black corset,
striped knee-socks and a trademark round
cap, she is the embodiment of Vancouver's
neo-burlesque scene: whimsical, sexy,
bawdy, young and stylish.,
"As the cigarette girl, I get to be part of
the scene without stealing the scene, if you
know what I mean. I don't have to take anything off." Charla smiles mischievously,
pulling at her red sequined bra-straps for
emphasis. With that and a shiny black hair
twirl, she curtsies and moves on (all to the
beat of a 19 50s surf instrumental).
MC Miz Adrian, the host of the evening,
has teased us, told some naughty jokes and
left us laughing—interacting with one another and the stage. On the stage, a dancer
begins to toy with the audience. The art of
the tease is embodied in her every coquettish move as she begins her choreographed
dance with slow and deliberate movements.
Sixty pairs of eyes stare, enraptured, tantalised and, above all, entertained. My foot
taps to the retro honky-tonk beat the band,
called El Dorado, fills the room with.
Scattered throughout the dark hall at
unadorned candlelit tables sit groups of people of all types. A 'first-date' Kitsilano couple
wearing head to toe Banana Republic relaxed with their Coronas, occasionally tearing
their eyes off of one other to watch the stage.
A quiet table of three women in their mid-
50s smile and watch the dance as their faces
bob up and down to the rhythm. Two fashionable men in their 30s watch the show
and occasionally whoop or clap to engage
the dancer. Their cheers are matched by the
boisterous enthusiasm of a stagette party. At
the table to my left a young girl with short
red hair nurses a martini and occasionally
checks her watch.
As I watch the dancer on stage, in her
elaborate corset and stockings, my
favourite jeans feel ridiculously dull, my
white Gravis sneakers are glaringly devoid
of spikey heels and the neckline of my black
T-shirt is much too high. For a second I feel
inspired to put on some red lipstick, a short
skirt and perhaps even shimmy. The sway
ofthe dancer's crinoline skirt is alluring yet
innocent. Yes, I think, I could do that dance.
The women in the stagette cheer and clap
as the music peaks. When the dancer slips
out of her skirt and confidently struts
abound the stage in her g-string and tas-
seled pasties, I correct myself—I couldn't do
that: that takes a lot of 'umph.' "You go girl,*
I applaud in my head. Neo-burlesque can
make a regular girl like me want to invest
in some fishnets—it is just the right mix of
naughty and nice.
As the dancer's shoulders move to the
music and her pasties sparkle, I am aware
that there is a half-naked woman onstage
right now shaking her 'groove thing' and I
am not at all offended. In fact, I'm filled with
a kind of illicit admiration.
by Chantal Eustace
Over the past five years, Vancouver has
become a mecca for the neo-burlesque revival in Canada. It has mor-
phed into a very acceptable and broad-reaching art form in the Vancouver club scene. The
neo-burlesque dished out in Vancouver is
widely acclaimed and occupies a respected
niche in the international world of burlesque.
In fact the Huffgirls Burlesque was the first-
ever Canadian burlesque troop to participate
in Tease-o-rama, a burlesque extravaganza
held in 2001. Cities like San Francisco, New
Orleans, Portland, New York, Los Angeles and
Boston all have active burlesque troupes, but
Vancouver and Brighton, England were the
only two cities outside ofthe US to participate.
As the Tease-o-rama website puts it: "the wild
and wooly moves of Huffgirls Burlesque will
change your opinion of Canada forever.'
Fluffgirls Burlesque and the Empire
Burlesque Follies are Vancouver's two big
burlesque troops. The Empire Burlesque
Follies boast DimitrL Canada's only male burlesque dancer, and have performed on the
second Saturday of each month at'the Russian
Hall in Kitsilano for the past year. The
Fluffgirls, led by Cecelia Bravo, have also held
their performances monthly at the WISE Hall
in East Vancouver for the past two years.
Beyond these two troupes, many independent shows have featured burlesque performers, dancers and singers. In fad, over the
past summer, burlesque shows seemed to be
going on almost every other weekend.
Individual burlesque performers have taken
an entrepreneurial approach and can be
found performing at a variety of events. For
example, the Monkey Jam, held at the WISE
Hall to support a local charity, was hosted by
the comedian and dancer, MC Misty Vine
(pronounced 'divine'), a former Fluffgirl and
Empire Burlesque Follies dancer.
A girl-next-door in a tweed coat and tailored trousers sits outside of Vivo in
Kitsilano sipping a non-fat latte and
absently twirling her ponytail. Like burlesque,
Charla blends innocent charm with a sexy
edge through her mannerism and her personal style—today she looks like a Harvard student but on Saturday she was the cigarette
girl at the Empire Burlesque Follies'
Neverland Burlesque show.
"My first show? Golly, that's a tough one,*
'It was often the
dancers who were most
vulnerable to mat
police censure...it was
kind of institutionalised police intimidation because burlesque
was staging the forbidden. . .Those taboos
don't exist anymore.*
x — DrBeckiRoss
UBC Sociology Professor
Charla smiles and dramatically feigns searching her memory by rolling her eyeballs and
squishing up her nose, ponytail doing summersaults. "I went to my first burlesque show at
the Waldorf about five years ago...there was
nothing like that happening anywhere. It was
like a really great variety show.'
Charla uses the term "golly* a lot and
emphasises eveiything with dramatic gestures. Her smile is a magnet for small children and dogs who routinely stop to say hello.
The varieiy show Charla first saw featured
Cecelia Bravo, known as the founder of
Vancouver neo-burlesque. Charla found
Cecelia and her show inspiring. "I like to get
all 'giddyupgussiedup," laughs Charla. "It
embodied a lot of elements that I really like,
all together. So many interesting people going
to the show and checking it out'
Most importantly, as the cigarette girl
(Note from Charla: "they are chocolate cigars
and cigarettes—smoking can kill you..."), she
can be a sexier version of herself in a safe and
fun way. "Every show someone asks me,
when are you going to get up on stage?' But I.
am too shy. I couldn't do that'
Charla's closet is a wasteland of tutus, creations like her giant cupcake hat corsets and
crinolines—not a costume cemetery, more of
an operating room where she takes from the
old to create the new. The Friday before each
show is a scramble to create a more original
work of art to wear and she liberally dissects
last month's costume if need be. For this
tweed-by-day and tutu-by-night gamine, burlesque is a fun escape from the everyday.
Vancouver burlesque calls itself 'neo'
because it is a revival of what was, in
its time, a far more controversial form
of entertainment UBC Sociology Professor Dr
Becki Ross knows about the steamy side of
Vancouver's past and she is an expert in burlesque and striptease culture between 1945-
According to Ross, the original Vancouver
burlesque scene was the sight of 'enormous
police censorship battles* surrounding the
State Theatre, a burlesque hall on Hastings
Street that was routinely Trusted' because "the
owners were seen to be staging lewd and
obscene public exhibitions.*
"It was often the dancers who were most
vulnerable to that police censure...it was kind
of institutionalised police intimidation
because burlesque was staging the forbidden...Those taboos don't exist anymore,'
explains Ross.
Today, burlesque is hardly risque when
compared with some Hollywood films, music
videos or even some television shows. Charla
summed it up with a giggle and a snort, "it is
a show to take your mom to!*
Today's neo-burlesque revival in
Vancouver attracts a wide audience of men
and women who enjoy the very fact that it is
not lewd by today's standards. "What is fresh
about neo-burlesque is that the dancers are
kind of resuscitating classical burlesque but
with a much more cheeky, self-conscious,
humourous bent" R°ss says with a smile.
Burlesque is sexy and it does feature
women in an objectified manner, but it doesn't offend my feminist sensibilities in the
same manner as professional strippers do.
However, Ross warns against setting up burlesque dancers on a pedestal distinct from
NICE CHAISE: The women of the Fluffgirl Burlesque Society, dress.ed casual for a
quiet night at home.
professional striptease dancers.
"It is destructive, if not dangerous," she
says, "to set up these hierarchies which will
only re-inscribe the 'madonnas/ who would
be the neo-burlesque revivalists, with the
whores' (who are all too familiar with the
whore stigma), those dancers that perform in
the commercial striptease industry.*
The founder of Vancouver neo-burlesque, Cecelia Bravo, is not a 'madonna,' but she is a very nice girl. While
Charla plays the part ofthe saucy vixen once a
month as a cigarette girl in the
Russian Hall, Cecelia is burlesque
incarnate on a daily basis. On our
'blind date' Friday at a Starbucks
on Robson, I tried to guess
Cecelia's identity as I watched the
passersbys. Even amid all the lip
gloss and tight jeans, it was easy to
spot Cecelia. On five-inch black
patent stilettos she navigated
through the coffee-hungry crowd
effortlessly and with the poise of a
movie star in fishnet stockings, a
1940s suit and perfectly curled long black
Bravo saw the lounge scene as an appetiser for a burlesque revival: people sitting
down, sipping cocktails, listening to live
music and dressing up retro chic seemed the
perfect beginning. She spearheaded the neo-
burlesque revival on a whim. She bought an
old record and felt inspired by the subtle
rhythm and the sex appeal ofthe women pictured on the back of the cover. In 1997, the
lounge scene at the Waldorf had kicked off
and sparked international interest ' in
Vancouver. A burlesque show seemed like the
perfect fit
Since the first show at the Waldorf (the
same show that inspired Charla to don her
cigarette hat), Cecelia has organised and
danced in dozens of successful burlesque
events, including one this January at the
Commodore featuring burlesque megastar
Dita Von Teese. Cecelia speaks of Von Teese,
who is currently Playboy's cover model, with
a sort of reverence, because "Von Teese has
really made it* In the eyes of Vancouver's
neo-burlesque fans, Cecelia Bravo is mythic in
her own right
Cecelia responds with authority when I
begin to tell her about Ross' study. "I don't like
when people try to be too academic about burlesque,* she says. "It is al about entertainment—plain and simple." Cecelia, who is 31,
was a lull-time nurse before her current status
as burlesque goddess, initially, Cecelia felt
pressures from her co-workers to conceal her
alter ego. However, over the past five years,
the mainstream media has worked in her
favour through various portrayals of erotic
dancers in film. Perhaps better still, local
Vancouver papers have cast a positive
spin on burlesque. Although Cecelia
could support herself as a burlesque
diva and producer, she continues to
work part-time as a nurse because
absolute financial independence as a
dancer "allows her to maintain artistic integrity and authenticity."
In burlesque-speak, authenticity is
blurry. Cecelia conveyed her annoyance at seeing signs of 'regular ^trip-
clubs* claiming that they were burlesque. In neoiurlesque, performers
are varied and performances can range from
comedy acts to the traditional vaudeville
undress, yet some overriding themes are distinguishable. Although there is no clearly
defined set of rules, these are some common
traits found in burlesque: dancers do not take
eveiything off, there is live musical accompaniment performers have various talents from
dancing to stiltwalking to singing, costumes
and props are ornate and original and the
dancers embody a range in body types and
styles. For dancers like Cecelia, authenticity is
extremely important. She doesn't recommend Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann's 2001
film, for an inside look at burlesque, but she
does admire its entertainment value.
Cecelia Bravo and the Fhifflgirls are heading out on a North American tour this month
to share their groove with other cities and to
see other dancers for inspiration. There is no
question that burlesque has a worldwide following of avid fans and general enthusiasts.
For the rabid fan, US$75 can land you Dita
Von Teese's 'worn' underpants or stockings.
Her website, which sells the items, explains
that, "each of these pieces is worn by Dita as
*I don't like when
people try to be too
academic about
burlesque. It is aH
about entertainment—
plain and simple.*
—Cecelia Bravo
Vancouver neo-burlesque
one of her regular daily undergarments so
supplies are limited. Some wear and tear may
occur. Each piece or set will be sent to you in
a sealed plastic bag with a 4 inch X 5 1/2 inch
personalised photo included.*
While Dita Von Teese's website is
proof that burlesque attracts a
devoted niche audience, ten minutes of Much Music confirms that burlesque
has invaded popular culture on a much broader level. The tongue-in-cheek sexuality celebrated by burlesque dancers is used in all corners of popular culture—especially in music
videos and the styles of so-called 'pop divas.'
Artists like Idl' Pink, Christina Aguilera,
Gwen Stefani and Madonna are examples of
sexually confident women who have
embraced burlesque style. Beyond adopting
elements of burlesque, many of these same
Hollywood stars have gone a step farther and
actually participated in burlesque. Stefani and
Aguilera, as well as Charlize Theron, Carmen
Electra, Britany Murphy and Christina
Appelgate, have all been guest dancers with
the Pussycat Dolls, a burlesque troop in Los
Angeles. These are all wealthy and influential
women who are obviously not dancing for the
It is clear that Burlesque's appeal is far-
reaching and trendy. In fact, in the rock group
No Doubt's latest video, "Underneath it All",
lead singer Stefani begins with a strip tease
that is 100 per cent burlesque in style.
Aguilera's new album, Stripped, seems like
an open celebration of burlesque sexuality
and the tease. Like burlesque, women enjoy
these videos and performances along with
men Ross feels that burlesque *is about trying
to play with those edges of sexual desire and
erotic stimulation and arousal and that's what
keeps people's interest*
JL  JLtnd
you interested in dancing?"
Cecelia adjusts her beret casually
id lifts her eyebrows up expectantly. "With your blonde hair..." '—No,' I
interrupt her and giggle like a 13-year-old,
shaking my head and waving my hand. I must
admit that it is flattering to have the grand
dame of Vancouver neo-burlesque scouting
me and I ponder it all the way home. The
women involved in burlesque are also inadvertently 'neo-feminists' because they push
the boundaries of feminine erotica while
asserting their own sexuality in an unapolo-
getic manner. And they do all of this while
maintaining perfectly coiffed hairstyles and
looking fashionable.
While I am not running off to join any burlesque tours, I am joining Charla for a 'pasty-
making party' to get a jump-start on
Christmas crafts. Tease-o-rama in San
Francisco hosted a pasty-making workshop
and now internet sites have popped up with
simple step-by-step instructions to achieve
instant 'trampy' status. Rhinestones, tassels,
bells, marabou, Smarties and a glue gun in
tow, I will spread a httle burlesque cheer to
the women in my life this season At the
Monkey Jam on Friday, MC Misty Vine pulled
down her elegant dress and showed me her
sparkling silver pasties. "They are just
applique from Dressew—you use double-
sided tape,' she smiled and shimmied
her arms, "the trick is that it is all in
the shoulders.' ♦ 8
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UP AND UNDER: Mike Long, UBC volleyball's veteran libero, scoops a ball in Saturday's five-set battle
with the Calgary Dinos. After dropping three sets to the Dinos Saturday, the Birds are now 2-8.
The men's team split the Calgary
Dinos this weekend on home turf,
winning three out of five sets
Friday, but handing them right back
to the Dinos on Saturday. Coach
Dale Ohman, who has seen worse in
his 2 5 years at UBC, wasn't too concerned about the loss, citing the
luck of the draw as the reason for
the split 'You get into a fifth game
and pretty much flip a coin, and we
won the coin toss last night, and
they won the coin toss tonight,*
Ohman said.
Robyn English, the Birds' 6'3"
power starter, who had seven kills
on Saturday, wasn't as dismissive.
'It was tough weekend, and it's just
really frustrating for us because
we have a lot of talent—we're
having trouble putting some stuff
The Birds play host to the number-crunching Alberta Golden Bears
next weekend. Coach Ohman was
optimistic about UBC's chances
against the top team in the country.
'We're coming off success and
we're playing at home, so if
[Alberta] stumbles, we'll be there to
take it,* Ohman said.
The women's team wrapped up
the weekend early, taking three
straight sets on both nights from the
young SFU Clan. They now sit at 9-1
for the season, and will end 2002
with a series against the~ Alberta
Pandas. According to Kathryn Peck,
UBC's starting right side hitter, the
Birds aim to finish the term still in
the number one spot in the country.
Teammate Christine Bonish, who
dug nine balls out of the Bird's
court on Saturday, was a little more
adamant about the upcoming
series. 'Alberta? We're going to go
out and kick their ass.*
The ass-kicking is set to begin at
6pm for the women and 8pm for
the men next Friday and Saturday
night at the War Memorial Gym.
Placing 16th out of 29 teams, the
men finished up the weekend in
Minnesota as the lone Canadian
university competing in the NAIA
meet The University of Minnesota
placed first
The team returns to home soil
for the Canadian Open Cross-
Country Championships in
Moncton, New Brunswick on
November 30.
The women fell 4-1 and 5-1 to the
visiting Alberta Pandas, while their
male counterparts suffered an 8-1
defeat in Alberta hands. Sigh.
The Clan fans up at Burnaby mountain are known for their cutting
commentaiy, but UBC basketball
forward Ryder McKeown didn't
seem to mind, scoring 17 points for
the Birds Friday night, nine of them
off heavily harassed free-throws. 'I
like hecklers,* McKeown said. "They
give you a Httle added fuel." ♦ THE UBYSSEY
Clan burns Birds
SFU victorious after close games with
UBC men's basketball
by Rob Nagai
"Tonight was one of those nights
that you have nightmares about,"
said returning SFU legend Pasha
Bains after the Clan's narrow 79-74
Friday victory over the UBC
Thunderbirds. "But the good thing
is, we got the win."
It was a long time coming.
Regulation time ended with a
thrilling last-minute dish by Russell
to starting guard Corey Ogilvie, who
snuck the Birds into overtime with a
beautiful hook shot in the last two
minutes. The time extension, however, did little to improve UBC's
defence against the Clan's biggest
board man, fifth-year veteran Shaun
Halverson. Taking passes from
SFU's front man Luke McKerrow,
who sunk the deciding three in overtime for the Clan, Halverson contributed 19 points to the win.
"The beauty of basketball is that
we have another game tommor-
row," said Bains.
But the Birds just got uglier, and
Saturday night's game didn't even
start until the second half. Down by
19 points at the buzzer, UBC was
clearly floundering on the Clan's
home court.
"We didn't come out with any
emotion in the first half. They basically spanked us in the first half,"
Coach Hansen stated. "They may
never forget that first half...that first
half will sting for awhile."
As the second half began, a new
UBC team took to the floor.
Intensity arose from the ashes.
Several times the Birds brought the
lead to within five points, but Pasha
Bains could not be stopped. Bains
dropped 25 points on the board,
even with UBC's defensive giant
Ogilvie guarding him. The Clan
then switched gears, passing the
ball out to guard Jordan Mason who
handily nailed 29 points.
When the dust had settled, UBC's
Brian Host, Ogilvie, Jama Mahlalela,
and Ryder McKeown had all been
fouled out. While most of the foul
calls came from strategy to get possession ofthe call, many calls under
the boards looked disputable. And
the discrepancy between teams was
obvious: Simon Fraser shot 52 free
throws to UBC's 16.
Fifth-year guard Kyle Russell led
UBC with 2 7 points, but early mistakes cost the Birds the game, and
they lost 114-102.
The Thunderbirds head to UVic
next weekend for the last series of
the year, against the Vikes. "I'm
expecting it to be a dogfight," predicted coach Hansen. "[UVic] is
tough in their barn. They lost last
night and so everyone is playing for
playoff spots." ♦
—with files from Sarah Conchie
Breaking the streaks
by Sarah Conchie and
Rob Nagai
The congratulations pouring in for
the UBC women's basketball team
haven't stopped since they stepped
off the court in the SFU
Chancellor's Gym Saturday night,
carrying a historic 69-59 victory on
their shoulders. Not only did the
Birds snap SFU's 41 game winning
streak, but they rewrote a few
records of their own, winning the
annual grudge-match trophy, the
Barbara Rae Cup, for the first time
in UBC history, and ending a 14-
year losing streak to their Burnaby
mountain rivals.
"It's unbelievable,* said head
coach Deb Huband ofthe continued
outpouring of support being
expressed by everyone from UBC
alumni to Basketball BC.
The creaky wooden bleachers in
the Chancellor's Gym were packed
to the rafters with boisterous Clan
fans, but a hearty contingent of UBC
supporters outvoiced them on
Saturday night "At times," marveled Huband, "it felt like we were
the home team."
Seizing control from the opening
tip off UBC shook off the 66-56 loss
from the night before and point
guard Sheila Townsend struck
quickly, burning through the game
to a career-high 30 points. Simon
Fraser eventually caught up with
the Birds and even pulled ahead
several times, but never by more
than a point.
Townsend, although visibly elated, was pragmatic about the win.
"We fixed a few things tonight and
we played harder. We boarded harder and that is what did it for us
UBC, eye-toeye
with the Clan and
leading by a mere
point going into
the second half,
never blinked.
UBC, eye-to-eye with the Clan
and'leading by a mere point going
into the second half, never blinked.
At one point the Birds completely
shut down the Clan offense, going
on a 14-0 point run.
Simon Fraser's top scorers were
penned in by Bird defense, posting
a dismal total of 28 points.
Graduating guard Jessica
Kaczowka, SFU's leading scorer,
and one of the best players in the
nation, paced the Clan with 31
points, but she couldn't hold back
the Birds alone. The Clan clumsily
moved the ball around causing several key turnovers in the second
half, and never came closer than
three points to a tie.
"To say I was very happy would
be an understatement," grinned
Huband after the game. "I'm very
proud of my team and very proud of
how we competed this weekend. We
came back and we competed and
everyone fulfilled their role."
It was a very different conversation than Friday's interview. As her
players filed past on Friday night,
leaving the hype-filled gym, the disappointment in Huband's voice was
"We had a decent start," she
shrugged, "but we didn't have a
very solid inside game. We struggled a bit, we were out-rebounded,
and we didn't have a strong inside
game, and we couldn't put pressure
on the perimeter."
UBC couldn't control Kaczowka
under the boards, and the CIS
2001/02 player of the year put up
33 points for the Clan, striding past
UBC for the win.
However disappointing in the
moment, Friday's letdown may
have been just what UBC needed to
make permanent history. It's that
old law of averages, really. The giant
Clan, sitting atop the league for the
last two years, had to topple sooner
or later. Yes, the Birds were in the
right place at the right time, but the
stellar play and absolute poise they
demonstrated on Saturday night-
while under pressure was no coincidence. They earned it. ♦
feed back (SI ams.ubc.ca • www. ams
Christmas Gift Fair
Get all your Christmas goodies in one place on
November 18-22 & 25 -29, from 9:00am to 5:00pm
in the Student Union Building - Main Concourse
Women's Centre
The Women's Centre, one of the five AMS Resource
Groups, is having a general meeting on
Wednesday, November 27th at 5:00 p.m. in SUB
room 245. Everyone is invited - this is your chance
to get involved in the executive of the Women's
White Ribbon Campaign
Come and join us for a delicious pancake breakfast
to raise funds for WRC, a national non-profit men's
organization committed to ending violence
against women. Our breakfast this year will take
plaice on November 28th in the SUB Party Room,
from 9:00 am to noon. For more information, please
contact Christopher Ste-Croix, at: 604-742-1545 or
whiteribbon ubc@hotmail.com
Clubs Days are the BEST Days
They are back on Jan 8,9 and 10 in the SUB - main
& second floor. See what more than 200 AMS clubs
have to offer & get involved, or create your own
^**JWMfflf.Fffiir'''*~,~"°mHnTiill.1i Hill oawwaijf^miii ||y || mui |||lMn.l»mHMniT.™ii.ffl^
The UBC Student Leadership Conference is coming.
January 10-11,2003
Check out our website at: www.ams.ubc.ca/slc for more info on how you can join - become a better leader and make a
difference on campus. We are looking for motivated students to get involved and learn through a series of workshops and
^mentoring networking sessions. Take the lead-the future is yours to design.
Round Up, November 18-30- Spare change to make change!
What is Round Up?
Round Up is your opportunity to make a difference at UBC! When you make a purchase at the UBC Bookstore or the
AMS Outpost, you will be asked if you want to "round up" your purchase to the nearest dollar. For example, if your
purchase comes to $12.75, it will be rounded up to $13. Your donation will go towards the United Way Campaign as well
as student bursaries through the AMS Special Bursary Fund.
Why Should I Round Up?
UBC United Way Campaign: The United Way ofthe Lower Mainland focuses their efforts on four issues facing our
communities: Strengthening Foundations for Families and Children, Assisting People to Break the Cycle of Poverty,
Supporting People with a Health Condition or Disability and Helping Seniors stay Healthy and Connected. We need you
to help reach the campaign goal of $400,000 this year.
Student Bursaries:
Your Round Up donation will also go towards helping fellow students in need of financial aid. The Alma Mater Society
(AMS), your student society, provides bursaries through the AMS Special Bursary Fund that are administered through the
UBC Awards and Financial Aid Office. A few cents can help cover some of the costs that go along with being a student.
The UBC Debating Society needs your help!
On Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th, we will be hosting the 5th Annual UBC High School Debating
Championships. This is one ofthe most prestigious events in the high school debating circuit and the largest competition
this side of Montreal. We are pleased to have over two hundred high school students attending this year and thus, we
need one hundred and ten judges. Judges are needed from 5pm-9pm on Friday and/or 9am-2pm on Saturday in the
Buchanan building. All judges will be provided with expert training and meals.
This year's prepared topics are: "Be It Resolved That Marriage is an outdated institution", "Be It Resolved That Government
should negotiate with terrorists", and "This House Believes That political assassination is a legitimate tool of foreign policy".
^ Please sign up at: spencerk@interchange.ubc.ca  	
Community Safety Watch
December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
We invite you to an event in the SUB South Alcove from 11 am-1 pm on December 6th. Displays,drumming and giveaways
will be used to raise awareness ofthe prevalence of violence against women in our communities. Let's reflect on the
memory of students and staff murdered at L'ecole Polytechnique in 1989 and others whose lives have been affected by
violence - Everyone is welcome!!
I 10
Michael Schwandt
Kathleen Deering
Chris Shepherd
Michael Schwandt
Sarah Conchie
Duncan M. McHugh
Anna King
Nic Fensom
Hywel Tuscano
Jesse Marchand
Parminder Nizher
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of
British Columbia. H is published ever? Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation,
and all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the
expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
British Columbia
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUFs guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey's the property of The
Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and
artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the
expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey-Publications Society.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your
phone number, student number and signature (not for publication)
as well as your year and facultywith all submissions. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done by phone.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750
words and are run according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by 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
until the identity of the writer has been verified.
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will
not be greater than the price paid for the ad The UPS shall not be
responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do riot
lessen the value or the impact of the ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
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e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.bc.ca
Fernie Pereira
Karen Leung
-    Shalene Takara
The Vbyssey people decide to celebrate American
Thanksgiving. Jesse Marchand. Parm Nicher and
Sarah Conchie will run up to Grouse Montain. Nic
Fensom and Micheal Schwandt will try to take a
photo of them, from the Burrard Bridge. Chris
Shepherd, Hywel Tuscano and Duncan M. Mc Hugh
will sing 'Singing in the rain.* Anna King, Bryan
Zandberg, Heather Pauls and Aman Sharma are
still thinking their thank's action. Ian Duncan,
Simon Mc Nally and Chantall Eustace are working
on a toast speech. Megan Thomas, John Mc Crank
and Dan Silverman will buy the orange juice while
Kathleen Deering and Paz An<3rada will catch the
turkey. Maybe Rob Nagai or Michelle Furbacher will
cook it But luckily Rob Stotesbury-Leeson has
promised to bring a delivery-phone number. Biyan
Zandberg will take the car and bring the hikers
Canada Port 5ahs Agr.ani.at Number 0732141
APEC: an anniversary
Well, it's been five years. Five years of accusations, unanswered questions and tight-lipped
PMO officials.
What has happened in the five years since
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
summit came to UBC? UBC was the first of the
'anti-globalisation' protests. World Bank
protests in Washington, DC, WTO protests in
Seattle, FTAA protests in Quebec City, G8
protests in Genoa, all of them caine after APEC
at UBC. 7.,..^ -.
So what was APEC really like? For those you
who weren't here {and considering that most of
the undergrads that were here iii 1997 should
be gone by now, it's not surprising}, the images
you've probably seen would consist of protestors tearing down a security fence and being
pepper-sprayed. And while those are certainly
the most iconic images of that day in 1997,
there's a lot more to the story of APEC at UBC.
Of course, hints of this other side of APEC
still remain. The circles of paint that lined the
"APEC-free zone* around the Goddess of
Democracy on the SUB's south plaza are faded
but still visible. The $400,000 glass atrium that
was donated to Norman MacKenzie House—the
president's residence—expressly to encase a
luncheon for the APEC leaders is still there,
though no longer serving host to those who are
in danger of being charged with crimes against
The weeks and months leading up to the
arrival of APEC was an exhilarating and terrifying time to be at UBC. APEC Alert, a student
group formed to mobilise against the APEC
summit, and Democracy Village, a campsite
that was set up in the woods next to the SUB,
both served to stoke the fires of dissent before
Jean Chretien, Bill Clinton, Chinese President
Jiang Zemin and former-Indonesian President
General Suharto arrived. In the days before the
" conference, security helicopters began circling
above campus and a 12-foot security fence split
Crescent Road into two.
November 2 5, the day the summit came to
the Museum of Anthropology, hundreds of
police officers descended onto campus, complete with snipers on the roof of the Chan
Centre. And it's easy to stop there, but
November 25 also brought a 1500 person-
strong protest to a UBC campus as politically-
apathetic as the one you attend to today. It
brought awareness to thousands of students. It
brought a creative and intelligent protest, one
that was eclipsed by its sensational climax at the
security fence.
That protest featured a snake march across
campus which called on other students to join
in. It included a play, featuring all ofthe protestors on the steps of Koerner Library. And it
satirised the heavy-handed security presence by
putting fake police officers with newspaper
■ batons between the real police and the protestors'. Later in the day, students shut down the
exits of the university, and—if not for the
extreme tactics of RCMP Staff Sgt Hugh Stewart
and others—activists nearly had the chance to
be seen by those they were protesting.
A precedent was set by this resistance. Sure,
it was only a pocket of resistance in a huge institution like our university, but the students who
marched against APEC had their dissent broadcast around the world. And it is that spirit of dissent that went to play such an important role at
the 1999 World Trade Organisation summit in
Seattle and the Free Trade Agreement of the
Americas summit in Quebec City in 2001.
Hopefully that will be an inspiration to students who, by the looks of it, may have' a lot of
protesting to do if the US really does go to war
on Iraq. With the ideal Iraqi weather conditions
of winter coming up shortly, it looks like there'll
be plenty of opportunities for marches and
protests. Hopefully, UBC students can look to
the APEC protests as a time when the struggle to
be heard paid off and when resistance had a
lasting effect. ♦
Students need to speak
up on tuition increase
If you haven't already heard, the
tuition proposal for the 2003/2004
academic year was released last
week by the university administration. It calls on the Board of
Governors to raise tuition fees by
an additional 30 per cent, or $798,
for most undergraduate students.
The university says they are ready
to consult and yet with less than a
week left until the end ofthe semester and the exam period looming,
who really has the time?
Furthermore, it would appear that
there are some critical pieces of
information missing from the proposal. A couple of these missing
items are an explanation for why
these increases are needed and a
summary of the improvements
made from last year's increases.
This information may still be coming, but with the Board scheduled
to vote on the proposal at the end of
January, time is running out Based
on the administration's past
record, this information will come
too late if it comes at all.
Personally, I don't agree with
the university's decision to
increase fees for the upcoming
year. I think it is too hasty and we
need to wait until we are able to
fully assess the positive and negative aspects of last year's increases.
I also disagree with undergraduate
students bearing the brunt of covering items like the indirect costs of
research, one of the reasons indicated for the increases. If indirect
costs of research have risen, why
not look at using a portion of the
research grants to cover these
costs, rather than paying for them
out of the pockets of students.
But I could be wrong and maybe
many students have benefited from
the tuition increases. The point is
that at the moment we have no way
of knowing one way or another
what students think. This information, however, seems to be critical
as, after all, we are the ones who
will be paying an extra $800 if
these increases come into effect.
And knowing that the university is
not interested in collecting this sort
of information, we need to start
some dialogues and we need to
start them now. So, if you do noth
ing else over the break, consider
sending an email to your associate
deans, your constituency reps, your
AMS reps, the AMS executive or the
administration and tell them what
you think about the tuition increases, if you agree or disagree and if
you have alternative suggestions. If
nothing else, it will make the whole
process more democratic. Now
wouldn't that give Martha Piper,
Brian Sullivan and the Board of
Governors something to think
—Kate Woznow
AMS Arts Representative
Short and sweet
Re: the Greg Sandstrom perspective ('Don't talk school spirit,
Ubyssey, Letter [Nbv.22]).
* "Can you raise the level of your
'game,' day-in and day-out? I challenge you.'
Greg—can you write without
cliches? I dare you.
—Nicholas Bradley
Toronto', Canada THE UBYSSEY
Danish treat
Silence in October
makes it fo Canadian
by Jens Christian Grendahl
[Harcourt Books]
by Bryan Zandberg
Imagine waking up one morning to see your spouse of 18 years
standing in the doorway, wishing you a wordless goodbye.
Then think about what sort of questions you, an art historian,
would ask yourself as you walk about your empty Copenhagen
apartment Did we ever really know each other? What happens
to the httle we did know? How did it all begin in the first place?
Was it chance?
Welcome to the headspace of the nameless narrator in
Danish author Jens Christian Gr0ndahl's Silence in October, a
novel that begins when Astrid, the wife ofthe art historian and
mother of his children, leaves without explanation one fall
morning. She re-traces the same trip that they took to Portugal
together years earlier; her husband is left clues by her
Mastercard statements that show her sleeping in the same
hotels, eating at some of the same restaurants. But just as he
did not try to convince her to stay (he stands silently in the
entryway and watches her go), likewise he doesn't attempt to
arrest her journey by finding her. Rather, through the credit
card statements and his own mental processes in the wake of
her absence he tries to construct a working narrative for his
own story, a way of linking together all the associations and
memories of his life and hers.
What follows is a long interior monologue in which the art
historian relentlessly digs into the past to make sense ofthe present The quilt-like narrative jumps back and forth between recollections of past relationships, of his painful and ponderous childhood, of his extra-marital affair, and above all of the night 18
years past when, as a cab driver, he happened to ferry Astrid and
her young child Simon away from the collapse of her first marriage. While he attempts to carry on with life in the weeks after
the separation, encounters with his daughter, his mother and
friends touch off long recollections of his and Astrid's history.
But the deeper he digs, the more enigmatic both his and
Astrid's identities become. The art historian is at a loss to say
if he has fashioned his life and relationships, or if they have
simply been randomly composed of 'minuscule deviations in
the blind growth of chance.' It gets to be a bit of a painful read
after a while, crowded with tangents and honest searching.
However, his sober, studied tone creates precisely the effect
needed to set up the accumulating circles of self-inquiry. His
compulsion to make precise reflections about the entire course
of his relationship with Asrid mirrors his obsession with the
darkness he has carried inside himself since childhood.
Silence in October, the first of Gr0ndahl's eleven novels to
be translated and released in Canada and the US, will be quite
unlike any other fiction you've read. Psychological and more
internally brooding and philosophical than dramatic, the nar-
t    \ " 3   J<     vv     \
"^eri^he still directing, |ftgmar Bergmin might h
m><fe a'flyemorabie f>lm from.thls." —kirXjjs reviews    x
-- y
Silence in October
A        N   O   V   6
rative beckons the reader into the slipstream of self-inquiry, an
invitation to try to understand how that self relates to the world
outside. And as the nameless narrator of Silence in October
knows, it's a powerful current that doesn't willingly give up its
passengers. ♦
The funk unveiled
Motown band steps out ofthe shadows and into
the spotlight
now playing
by Heather Pauls
Who played on more number-one albums than the Beatles, the
Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley combined? If
you guessed 'nobody* you're dead wrong. In Standing in the
Shadows of Motown, reuniting after over twenty years of
silence. The Funk Brothers—the guys that played background
music for such stars as the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, and
Stevie Wonder—got together for one last show to play their hit
songs brewed in Motown Records' Studio A. With special
guests Joan Osborne, Chaka Khan, and that Fraggle iJocirlooka-
like, Bootsy Collins, the band dusted off their old hits such as
"Heat Wave,' "What Becomes of The Brokenhearted' and
"What's Going On,' which pepper the documentary film's interview and anecdotes from surviving band members and their
So why haven't we all heard of The Funk Brothers if they
wrote all the hits we hum from our Good Morning Vietnam and
Jg      '.   i ip
Now and Then Soundtracks? You know how when you see Tori
Amos or Tom Waits in concert but it's not just them, there's
this band playing behind them, making up the meat of every
song? Chances are you don't know those band names. For the
Motown scene, that band was called The Funk Brothers, except
they actually wrote the songs they played.
Joe Hunter, the band's longtime keyboardist (with the chubbiest pink tongue I've ever seen), had plenty to say about the
evolution of the band, their pranks, stories, and how Stevie
Wonder would just never leave them alone. Moving from band
member to band member, in typical jazzy blue lighting, the
comments were humourous and humble. You'd think that the
Funk Brothers would be bitter about their lack of recognition
for such hits as "My Girl' and "Dancing In The Streets' that any
movie-going idiot ought to know by now, but oh no, they seem
pretty okay with it Who wouldn't feel okay now that they have
a whole documentary film about them setting the record
The film skipped around from past to present as members
moved from laack in the day' stories to the big recent jam session with contemporary recording artists. There has got to be
some Ben Harper fans out there reading this, so let me warn
you, though: the man may have a great sound, but that sound
should stay the hell away from Motown. An orchestra may have
worked for Metallica, and a sitar may have worked for the
Beatles, but Harper just doesn't have the vibe to tackle a Funk
Brothers jam session. Meshell Ndegeocello almost whispering
'Cloud Nine?' Yes. Ben Harper? No.
Although there were heaps of original band members, each
member important, the film seemed to emphasise the contributions of a few. Earl Van Dyke, a great leader, James
Jamerson, the best damn bassist to ever live, drummer Benny
Benjamin, pianist Joe Hunter, and maybe also guitarist Joe
Messina (who I would bet anyone is really Mr Dressup's long
lost twin), seem to take the forefront Director Paul Justman,
obviously a veteran of music video production and music documentaries, still gives nearly every member a moment to
shine. His film will inform you, inspire you to rummage
around for your parents' old record collection, and keep your
toes tappin' all the way to the bus stop. ♦
Staff Meeting Agenda
Wednesday 12 pm
SUB room 24
3) Holiday Party
4) Athletics
5) Eds'reports cards
6) Staff T shirts
7) Coordinating
8) Other business
9) Post Mortem
Write for culture! E-mail culture@ubyssey.bc.ca!
All films $3.00
in [he NORM (SUB (healre)
Film Holline: 822-3697   OR check oul
Fri Nov 29 - Sun Dec 1
9:30 xXx
Wed Dec 4 - Dec Nov 5
7:00 Miracle on 34th Street
9:30 It's a Wonderful Life
The Temptations show scheduled to
take place on November 26 at The
Vogue Theatre has been cancelled.
THE BRAIN: The Next Frontier
Dr. Max S. Cynader
Director, Brain Research Centre
ijfr    I    Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences
*    University of British Columbia
U8C Main Library, Dodson Reading Room, 1956 Main Mall
Presentation 4 pm
'     ySi    " WlN£ & CHEESE RECEPTION 5PM
Celebrate -^ Research      Research AWARENESS WEEK MARCH 8 - 15, 2003
Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating hour as renowned scientist Dr.
Max Cynader explains the development ofthe human brain.
Learn how using or misusing your brain early in life affects developmental
trajectories and why the new tools of imaging and genomics are
transforming our understanding of brain function.
For more information please call 604.822.1947 12
Painter gets dirty
in Vancouver
at the Vancouver Art Gallery
until Jan. 5
by Aman Sharma
When they're writing rock n' roll
songs about you, you must be a
heavyweight. Such is the case with
Tom Thomson. Tragically Hip lyrics
notwithstanding, Tom Thomson is
one of those mythic Canadian figures that you always want to know
more about, and lucky for us on the
Best Coast, a major exhibition of
his work has arrived at the
Vancouver Art Gallery.
The first thing to do before you
1 go to see, this exhibit is to put the
pooh-poohing: and harrumphing
associated with artistic snobbery
aside. The words 'art gallery' can
put the best of us into a prolonged
inferiority complex, but you can
and affective
throw all that 6ut with this exhibit.
Tom Thomson spent a hell of a lot
of time in the bush—fishing, being
dirty,"smelling bad and painting. So
don't let the pristine white walls
and marble floors of the VAG
entrance fool you—Tom Thomson
had a really good relationship with
You can see the dirt explicitly,
with all of the browns that are in
his paintings. But when you take a
closer look, you'll see that almost
everything is dirty; that pretty
light-blue sky turns out to be a
salmagundi of blues, pinks and
oranges, and somehow that pristine white snow becomes very grey
upon close inspection. Yes, there
- are a couple of pieces that make
their point through a clear, gorgeous crimson, but for the most
part, Thomson takes the circuitous
route to inspiration.
Forget the drama of mountain
peaks and soaring eagles, and lose
that brilliant shining sun, because
Thomson is focused on, death.
Before you start dialing me a therapist, you've got to at least recognise
that the majority of Thomson's
trademark landscapes are set in the
autumn and winter, and there must
be some significance to the glut of
brown, red and orange in his work.
Death, decay and suppression are
everywhere: from the gently bent
branches of "Snow II' to the muted
earthy tones of "Burnt Land," everything is in a state of disintegrating
flux. These many deaths, however,
are not of the type that makes you
listen to Pink Floyd and twirl a
razor bladfr in your palm. You have
to throw away the Values that say
death is bad when considering this
exhibit. One of my favourite titles is
"Opulent October," a coalescence of
the paradox of beauty. In
Thomson's work, death is visceral
and generative, and removed from
the value judgments of good and
Those leaves that lie on the
ground rotting, the decaying organic matter, they have a lot of power
in many pieces of this show. When
I was moved by a piece, it wasn't
like a rocket going off, but more of
a tectonic, glacial power steadily
and inevitably grinding me to dust.
I'd be surprised if anyone could
describe any of Thomson's work as
'spectacular,' because so much of
the subject matter is conventionally
unspectacular. Going through these
pieces is like reading an Alice
Munro story—there is nothing out
of the ordinary, but when you're
through it, you're pervasively
changed. Another inadequate anal
ogy kept coming to my mind while
consuming this display: Somehow,
enjoying this earthy work is like
realising the person you are madly
in love with is intensely beautiful,
but somehow not in keeping with
the bullshit scale of attractiveness
that GQ or Maxim magazines would
have you believe. There's a similar
relationship with Thomson's
work—everybody might not find it
moving. Take comfort in tie fact
that the people who don't appreciate it are probably the same people
that can only get inspiration from
the tremolo solos of Britney Spears.
Even if you're going in a pessimist, fight the elitist crowd,
donate what you can, and take in
one of the VAG's free Thursday
nights. We're lucky to have the
works of one of Canada's most
influential artists in town, and you
really should take it in. And if you
pay enough attention, you might
catch the scent of Tom Thomson,
and end up rubbing rotting leaves
on your face to keep the smell
around. ♦
Installation art
challenges campus by
using conventional
objects in
unconventional ways
at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
until Dec. 1
by Simon McNally
Rebecca Belmore's new exhibition at the Belkin
Art Gallery is thought-provoking and richly
evocative. Her common/found object installations share a simplicity that gives rise to varied
and complex interpretations. The viewer can
have a conversation with each of these pieces,
and is encouraged to take an active stance in
engaging with the works.
"The Named and The Unnamed" is a video
installation of a performance piece Belmore
executed on the street In the performance,
Belmore has the names of missing women
scrawled on her arms. She continues yelling
for them, calling for them by name, as if they
might come back from whatever terrible place
they're in. Belmore proceeds to depict herself
nailing her dress to a telephone pole then tearing; herself away, effectively shredding the
dress. This repeated activity suggests the tearing away of her own skin. Linked with the
names ofthe missing women, Belmore might
be seen as representing them, her tearing
dress representing the women's bodies being
torn away from their own lives.
"Blood on the Snow" is installed in the next
room. A large piece of white fabric is laid out on
the floor. A single chair, covered in white fabric,
rests in the center of it The chair back is
stained with blood, a violent disruption of the
pristine, immaculate environment The white
fabric on the floor could resemble a duvet
cover. Coupled with the chair, these objects
evoke a domestic space that is comforting, yet
inflected by the threat or evidence of violence
in the blood. But the title suggests that the white
duvet could be a patch of snow. Evoking the
northern wilderness, Canada's native peoples
become a possible subject of this piece. The violence expands from a particular incident to a
broad cultural context
An important underlying theme to all of this
work is Belmore's identity as a First Nations
person. Belmore's work reflects on what that
means today. Her personal history and the histories of the native peoples inform her experiences and her work.
"The Great Water" is a very strong piece. A
large black tarp is draped over a canoe. The
pitch blackness ofthe swirling, flowing fabric
stands in stark' contrast to the bright white
snow of "Blood." Death is present here. The
overturned canoe suggests an accident, the
cloth suggests that it is draped over a body or
a casket One might even think of the canoe-
accident of Tom Thomson. The sensitively
sculpted fabric is an interesting element of
plasticity. This piece resounds with the implicit depth of the water.
"State of Grace" is a photograph of a First
Nations woman sleeping in luxurious white silk
sheets. The photograph has been sliced up, as if
it went through a paper shredder. I was fascinated by the seeming absence of a child in the
right arm ofthe woman
"Song" is a hopeful piece. A single eagle's
feather suspended from the ceiling blows in the
wind. The eagle's feather is an important symbol for the First Nations peoples. In the gallery
talk, Belmore expressed that she hopes she has
used the symbol with respect Belmore also
interestingly revealed that she hasn't been paying much attention to other artists, nor does
she read art magazines. In this way, she
described herself as "self-centred." This kind of
flippancy has been a strategy in the past By taking this position, Belmore risks being discredited by refusing to be pinned down, but leaves
her art open to interpretation, where its
strength is greater. ♦
in a place called America
New Tori Amos album
explores a nation
Scarlet's Walk
[Epic Records]
by lan Duncan
Scarlet's journey seemingly ends and her experiences are all laid
out in photographs on a coffee table. Her journey searches for the
essence of herself through other people's perceptions of the world.
She searches for a soul that is comprised of many small souls rather
than what is represented by America's leaders to the rest of the
world today.
By the end. Scarlet's Walk becomes not just songs but little stories
that teach, that give perspective, and that explore such enormous and
intangible entities as history, America, and the human soul. ♦
In Tori Amos's latest album. Scarlet's Walk, her first collection of
original material in almost three years, it is hard to separate the
artist, the character Scarlet and the being called America. Scarlet's
Walk recalls some of Tori's earlier works, abandoning the dark electronic landscapes of Choirgirl Hotel and To Venus and Back. This
album gives us a more mature Tori, the Tori who is now a mother and
has had the time to experiment and develop her music.
The structurally simple yet expressively complex sounds on the
new album go back to just voice and piano, with orchestral accompaniment that emphasises Tori's unique voice and style. On this album
her music is gentle yet dynamic, painting a visual landscape of the
souls of America and Scarlet/Tori.
The album weaves the listener into a story about history, oppression, questions and beauty. The album is a map of the journey of
Scarlet, as well as a psychological map of Scarlet herself. Scarlet is a
character that Tori invented and melded with on her own journey
across all fifty states, searching for inspiration for the album and
answers to her questions about the soul "of a country and its people.
The character is one part Tori and one part America, with a very different perspective of the nation's people.
The songs of her journey echo in eveiy snapshot, chorusing individual souls and their composite soul as one being. Subjects include
a gussyed-up prostitute in "Amber Waves" (the first track of the
album) and the oppression of Native Americans represented in
"Wampum Prayer." In the haunting and beautiful "Gold Dust,"


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