UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Jul 4, 1984

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Vol. Ill, No. 1
June 27-July 4,  1984
Vigilantes... on Davie
In Tuesday June 19, the hookers moved.
After years of battling with residents and the law, the
prostitutes abandoned the West End. The reason: a writ
filed by the B.C. attorney general's office threatening to
prosecute individual prostitutes as public nuisances.
The reason the writ was filed: a vigilante group called
Shame the Johns forced the provincial government to
take notice of a problem West Enders had been fighting
for years.
A Davie St. billboard proclaiming "Dear John,
we've got your number" stands as a reminder that if
the hookers return, so will Shame the Johns.
Two weeks ago. I joined the STJ on patrol. This is
the story of that patrol.
It's 5:30 p.m. and there's one 16 year old girl working
the corner of Comox and Jervis. She's wearing sheer
black nylons, a short black mini-dress with icicle-like
fringes and enough makeup for a stage play. A male
friend, possibly her pimp, points out 18 sign-carrying
Shame the Johns making their way towards her. The
girl examines them, considers staying, thinks better of
it and moves to the alley just as the STJ reach her
For half an hour the STJ have been marching,
occupying a street corner, waiting for the prostitutes
to leave and marching on. "This used to be a really
heavy business time," STJ leader Don Odegaard
explains proudly. "Now we come out at this time of
day mainly for p.r. for the neighbours. To let them
know we're still at it."
As they walk, reports come in. "Don, there's some
at Pendrell and Nicola," says one woman and they
head for Pendrell. A blonde woman in her early twenties sees them coming. "They're out." she tells her
friend who swears loudly. The blonde shrugs, "1 guess
this means we're gonna have to move to Davie." They
While the patrol moves friends stop to say, "Hi."
Others wave their support. A hooker photographs
them, then runs away. Someone driving by sees a
placard that says "Do it East of Burrard" and cheers.
It's 5:35 and a large grey car pulls into the alley near
Comox and Jervis. 5:36 and the 16-year-old girl in the
mini-dress is gone.
The Sun reporter Rick Ouston is the man responsible
for Shame the Johns. On March 5, Ouston urged
Vancouver residents to "shame the men who buy our
children" after reporting on the death of 15 year-old
child prostitute Rochelle Gray. On March 8, fifteen
West End residents responded. Now there are 350 STJ
members attempting to get prostitution out of the
West End.
Odegaard says the idea of citizens patrolling the
streets was discussed for years, but people were always
too scared of the possible consequences. "We feared
for our lives... Ouston's article was the catalyst
Ouston explains that his idea of standing on street
corners and staring in car windows was aimed at
stopping child prostitution. To STJ this is a secondary
issue. Still, says Ouston, "It's helped to a point. There's
less work for the kids." Ouston hopes the presence of
STJ will make prostitution less desirable to kids who
are considering it.
As for his feelings on STJ tactics such as writing
down licence numbers and tracing the Johns, Ouston
refuses to comment. "I never suggested that (tracing
the Johns) and as a reporter I can't be commenting
saying, I'm in favour of things or not in favour of
things. But when it comes to child prostitutes and kids
selling themselves on the streets, that I'll mouth off
about. Then I lose my objectivity. We're talking children. We're talking dead children. And I don't think
anybody can be objective about dead kids."
I'm at Odegaard's apartment. The highly publicized
tactic of visiting the homes of "known Johns" has not
been ruled out but is "unlikely", he says, because of the
success the group has had with phone calls. The Johns'
"...initial reaction is surprise and shock. A lot of them
never thought we'd follow through with contacting
them. Once they realize we know who they are and
where they've been contacted then they readily admit
that they have used our neighbourhood for their business."
So far six Johns have been phoned. All have agreed
to take their business elsewhere. No doors have been
knocked on. "We're not out there to ruin anyone's
life," says Odegaard.
Information on pick-ups comes from STJ members
watching from their apartments. A form provided to
See page 2: SHAME „_ •*
June27-July4.  1  984
The Summer Ubyssey
Page 2
Shame the Johns patrolling streets
From page 1
members asks for the date, time,
address, licence number, a description of the car, driver, hooker
and any unusual circumstances.
The phone rings. Odegaard
answers it and I can tell from hisend
of the conversation what's going on.
It's a John, a panicked John. The
John's scared the STJ list has been
made available to the attorney general. He's afraid of the writ. He's
afraid of waking up tomorrow and
finding his name in the paper. Odegaard tries to assure him the list is
confidential, that the A.G. hasn't seen
it and won't see it and that as long as
John, whoever he is, stops doing
business in the West End, he has
nothing to worry about.
As Odegaard is talking I meet STJ
member and former Concerned Residents of the West End leader Gordon
Price. Price, who lives in the same
building, gives me a history of
prostitution in the West End He
explains how the government won't
do anything and how the mayor and
police say they can't.
"In some cases." says Price, "it's
qui'e clear that the community has
to take action in order to got action."
Every time West End residents
played by the rules, he says, they got
"screwed." He stresses that West End
residents have tried 'playing by the
rules' for years. The decision to
shame the Johns he says, "was really
a last resort."
Odegaard returns. I ask if STJ
have had problems with the street
people. They have, but "nothing as
serious yet as we were worried about.
We were worried about some real
heavy   duty   confrontations."
Odegaard says STJ have learned
not to respond to the hookers. " That
was our best weapon. That really
upset the street people."
Then 1 ask him about an editorial
calling the group "vigilantes." He gets
indignant. "Vigilante has these connotations with the word. We take
the Gandhi approach when we're oui
there. We've been spatat and pushed
and egged and our group has been
phenomenally well-disciplined. They
just stand there."
It's the second patrol of
the night and the STJ are
cheerful,   almost   festive.
B.C. attorney general Brian Smith
has just filed his writ, the prostitutes
are running scared and Odegaard has
just announced the first patrol of the
Halifax Shame the Johns was a success. "Thirty members" he tells his
group, "more than our first patrol."
There are cheers as one of them
proclaims. "We're coast to coast."
They remind me of a bridge club.
1 spoil a few moods as 1 try to
gauge reaction to a Province newspaper editorial branding them "vig
ilantes." One of them asks me if I
think they're vigilantes. I explain
what my dictionary says and he becomes outraged. He huffs that if the
Oxford says they're vigilantes, it's
While I'm talking, so is Odegaard.
"There has been some criticism of us
in the papers, and most of what you
read is totally incorrect," he warns
the 27 people, who range in age from
early twenties to mid-sixties. 'There
are people out there trying to discredit us. So let us be extra
cautious. Give the media nothing to
get at us with... and remember, we're
out to deter the customers, not to
harass the prostitutes."
The group splits into three and
they move in sequence,always within
one block of each other. I keep far
enough ahead that I'm there to see
the reactions as they arrive.
On the corner of Comox and Jer-
'I'm not going
to do twenty
dollar lays"
vis, it's not the hooker that reacts but
the resident. Suddenly he stops
pruning his shrubbery and starts
shouting at the hooker. He threatens
to "break her fucking neck" if she
doesn't get off "his" sidewalk. At first
she tries to argue but when a STJ
shouts "Good for you" to the resident, she moves on.
"That's the first time we've seen a
citizen do that." says Odegaard. "You
wouldn't have seen him do that two
months ago. 1 guess because we're
around and he's feeling brave."
According to their declaration,
which all members must sign. " Ihe
purpose of "Shame the Johns" is to
discourage customers from picking
up prostitutes in the residential area
of the West End... We make no moral
judgement about prostitution... The
focus of our action is on the customer, not the prost
-peace and quiet."
This evening it is quiet, only about
a do/en hookers, but STJ are not
impressed. There are lulls every time
a new legal action is taken. "That's
why we're still out here." says Odegaard, "and we will be out here for
another month, two months."
Another STJ member chimes in,
"Whatever it takes."
At the mini-park on Pendrell and Nicola three little
Kaboodles is for kids — big and small.
Stop by and find summer playthings like hula
hoops, bolo bats, sand mills, beach balls, quiet
games for backseat travelling, baby gifts, party
supplies, jelly beans, helium balloons.
224-5311 4462 W. 10th Avenue
Open Friday evenings, too!
girls are talking to two beat
COps. About 15 STJ members look
on, either disgusted or pitying. Soon
the cops leave. The girls don't. This
time it's the Shame the Johns that
surrender. Only two stay behind, a
woman in her fifties and John Harrison. Harrison tells me the girls are
probably twelve, thirteen at the oldest. He knows, he says, because that's
the age he teaches at an elementary
school in Burnaby.
For the first time all night I'm listening to someone who actually
seems concerned about what was
supposedly the catalyst for STJ —
child prostitution.
He starts to talk to a blonde girl.
She tells him she doesn't like Shame
the Johns, she doesn't like CROWE
and she doesn't like being harassed.
The woman asks why they don't
A black girl responds. "I'm not
going to do twenty dollar lays."
The woman asks if there isn't
somewhere else they can work. The
black girl tells her everywhere else is
Then the blonde girl says. "I'm not
a piece of dirt. I don't like being
pushed around."
A drunk stumbles up to us. "You're
obstructing the street."
Harrison tells him we're standing
on the sidewalk.
"You people make it bad here."
the drunk yells. He tries to argue
with Harrison who won't have any
of it. He's too busy talking to the
blonde girl so the drunk turns on me.
He explains that STJ are a nuisance,
that they're ruining things for everybody, that people should be allowed to do what they want.
Throughout this he's gesturing wildly. I keep expecting to get hit. He
sees me'tense and says. "I just talk
with my hands, that's all." Then he
staggers off. not too far. He'll be
back as soon as we leave.
"Somebody at home must love
you," l hear Harrison saving. "That
must be two thousand dollars worth
of braces in your mouth."
The girl corrects him. "Three
Harrison and I trv to find the other
Shame the Johns. The woman decides to go home. We meet Odegaard
and a few others. The group has
disbanded forthe night. I'maskinga
few final questions when a car pulls
up. It stops next to us and the passenger calls out. "Have you seen a
little girl, about fifteen years old. Half
breed Indian?" He continues describing her, says she's probably
working here.
The hooker standing behind  us
tries to determine who he's looking
Odegaard apologizes, none of us
have seen her. "By the way," he asks,
"why are you looking for her?"
As he rolls up the window the passenger replies, "She's my sister."
A few days later at a stop sign at
Broadway and Ontario, a blonde in
her early twenties leaned over to my
passenger window. She was checking
to see if l wanted any company. I
didn't. I wonder if the people on
Broadway will either.
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I loppMto Ctwyron Strton) J u n e 2 .7 - J u I y 4     1  984
The Summer Ubyssey
Page 3
Student loans may arrive in October
The provincial government's delay
in sending student aid applications
to universities means students may
not receive loans until October.
The loan applications arrived at
UBC last week, two weeks later than
last year and two months later than
previous years. Canadian Federation
of Students spokesperson Donna
Morgan said the delay effectively
ends any guarantee aid applications
will be processed before the winter
term begins because they cannot be
processed that quickly.
"That means it will be the latest
year ever. Basically, people will have
to scramble to find money to get by
until October," Morgan said.
Morgan said the Social Credit government is responsible because thev
introduced the new provincial loan
program in their February budget
without working out the details.
Dan Worsley. UBC assistant financial awards director, said he
agreed the form's lateness will slow
the loan application' processing, but
said he did not know by how much.
"We tell people to observe the traditional early deadline of July 1. But
we emphasize it's only a hope. We
will do our very best, but we can't
make guarantees (applications will
be processed by September) this year," Worsley said.
He said students who need applications mailed to them have little
chance of sub mitt ing their forms before the early deadline.
Worsley said in previous years the
awards office processed 3,800 applications by July.
Students increasingly cycle to UBC as a means of dealing with the bus shutdown. No end to the shutdown is
in sight.
Students try coping without buses
Either by hitching, hiking or biking. UBC students who usually bus.
• will have to find ways to cope with
this summer's potentially long bus
Janice Tkachuk said she is using
her thumb to get on campus where
she works in Freddy Wood Theatre's
Summer Stock production. She said
she is late for rehearsals nearly every
day. But tardiness is the least of her
"It's frightening to be hitch-hiking
because many people take advantage
of bus strikes to do awful things.
Hitch-hiking really scares me but I've
got to do it when I can't get a ride."
said Tkachuk. who sometimes gets
rides from her fellow workers. "The
strike is an annoying inconvenience."
she said.
Brett Mcllwain, Science 2. who
takes a night class on campus said he
sometimes pedals his bicycle 15 miles
from his south Burnaby home.
"If it's raining, I usually try to share
a ride with a friend but if it's nice, I
ride my bike. When I do however. I
sometimes feel like shit because it's
such a long ride." Mcllwain said.
The bus strike is only a minor inconvenience so far. Mcllwain said,
adding it could become a major
problem if the strike lasts until September when he starts school full-
"Getting to school in September
will be no hassle because everyone
starts classes at the same time." said
Mcllwain. "But getting home will be
a problem because everyone has different finishing times," he said.
The bus strike ruined job prospects
for mans students, said Simon Se-
shadri. coordinator of Job Link, a
job placement agency sponsored by
the Alma Mater Society.
"The bus strike is dramatically affecting our ability to place students
in jobs." Seshadri said. "We've had
at least two dozen people turn down
jobs because they were dependent on
buses to get to work.
"Moreover, some people can't even
come in to see us for jobs. The
number of people coming in has been
reduced by at least half," Seshadri
UBC Traffic and Security is planning how to cope with the influx ot
cars if the strike lasts into September
when UBC's student population
nearly doubles, said Traffic and Security director. Al Hutchinson.
"During the summer there is no
occupational need to create more
parking space because we have lots
of it." Hutchinson said. "But in September, we might have to make more
parking space available in the demand areas."
Parking would be allowed on previously restricted roadways such as
Westbrook. East Mall and Main
Mall. Hutchinson said. He added
Traffic and Security may make their
enforcement policy more lenient by
issuing fewer parking tickets.
Ihe AMS is planning a car pool
information service, said AMS president Margaret Copping. She could
not say when the service will be
"The problem with car pool signup boards is that we'll only get a list
of passengers with no one will to
drive." Copping said.
Students' summer rag hits UBC
The Ubyssey is back. To keep UBC's community in touch with our quickly changing world, week by week, the
Ubyssey staff has organized the Summer Ubyssey.
Reaction to this announcement was mixed. "The SummerUbysseyis a wonderful thing. I hope," Alma Mater
Society president Margaret Copping said.
Ubyssey news editor Neil Lucente said, "The newspaper is important to U BC because students can use it to line
bird cages, to light fires and to wipe our asses."
The Summer Ubyssey will publish articles on university, community, provincial, national and international nev.o
from a student perspective. It will attempt to bring to the public's attention social issues the professional press ignores
or downplays such as youth unemployment.
It will publish every Wednesday from June 27 to August 8.
The Alma Mater Society, advertising revenue, the Walter Gage fund, the Alumni fund and the federal government's
career access program will fund the paper. The AMS and advertising revenue will cover most of the newspaper's
SI7.000 budget.
The newspaper will employ four student editors and one student advertising salesperson but contributors ar;
required. All UBC students are welcome to contribute to the newspaper. News tips and letters are also welcome.
Rick McCandless, education ministry institutional support services
director, said the delay results from
changes to the student aid program
announced in the February budget.
The Social Credit budget made the
student aid program all-loan by abolishing student grants. The Socreds
released no details on a complementary scholarship program announced
with the budget.
McCandless said he would not
comment on whether the government
is to blame for the student aid program delays, because students may
not suffer from the delay.
"We've been introducing a new
program and the form's wording
changed slightly. We've worked over
the last three months to put the pieces
in place it just took longer than
we thought," McCandless said.
Alma Mater Society president
Margaret Copping said the application's lateness and lack of detail
shows government administrators'
lack of efficiency and organization.
"They're making legislation and
policy faster than they can implement
it." Copping said.
And she said the application's
guide fails to mention the maximum
loan available and the academic requirements for a loan.
A student can receive a total of
$100 per week for every week of a
student's program in the federally
funded Canada Student Loans and a
the new B.C. loan, according to
Applicants for B.C. loans must
achieve a 60 per cent average in their
best 12 units during the previous year
to meet academic requirements.
Guy Couples. Central Credit Union businesses loan officer, said the
provincial government and the B.C.
Central Credit Union reached an
agreement in principle Friday for
credit unions to finance the loans.
The two sides will reach an official
contractual agreement this week.
Couples said.
McCandless said the lack of confirmed financing for the new program
prompted the delay in drafting the
aid applications.
But he said the credit unions are
not reluctant to handle the loans,
adding that some smaller credit unions do not have the necessary lending power.
"It's quite a complex set of arrangements." he said. "The credit unions
have been very good about it and
very accommodating."
Grads may sue
over centre transfer
The Graduate Student Society,
claiming UBC broke 1982 agreements transferring graduate centre
control to them, is threatening to sue
UBC for taking over the centre this
"If they keep pushing that the
agreements aren't valid we'll have to
take it to court." said GSS coordinator Mike Howlett.
Howlett and GSS vice president
John Dafoe said they question university motives in the take over. Da-
foe said a profit motive is possible.
Howlett said, "The university is really
attacking the principle of student
I he university took control of the
centre's banquet and social facilities
and froze the society's finances in
In a May 4 letter to the society
U BC vice president academic Robert
Smith said the 1982 agreement was
invalid. He said the society's growing
deficit and hiring of consultants to
supervise unionized staff violated the
Howlett said the centre's ledgers
for April and May show a $98,000
deficit in a yearly budget of $500,000
but he said the centre was breaking
"We inherited most of the debt.
It's not our fault," he said.
Howlett said the society inherited
a $78,000 debt when they assumed
control of the facility in September,
1982. He said the university is responsible for that debt and the society
is onlv responsible for the remaining
$20,000 debt.
UBC vice-president of student
services Neil Risebrough said the
centre never lost money until the society started running the centre in
May 1982 and that they are responsible for the debt. He said within
months of the society's takeover the
deficit reached $78,000.
Risebrough said the takeover is
justified. "I think the GSS would be
very unwise to get involved in a legal
situation," he said.
"We gave the centre one last go
starting in January," Risebrough
said. He said the GSS agreed to review the centre's finances and union
problems in March and if the situation did not improve one option was
to bring in UBC Food Services.
"Just when we were about to do
that a new society executive decided
they wanted to sit back and about it
a while." Risebrough said.
"They don't want to take the responsibility of previous graduate
student councils. You can't just wash
your hands of the way it was run
before." he said.
Centre cafeteria staff were laid off
with pay in lieu of notice and UBC
Food Services now caters the centre.
UBC president George Pedersen
appointed a four member ad hoc
committee including both student
board of governors members to recommend a future management
structure for the centre and to recommend methods of reducing the
Pedersen specified a July 15 deadline for the report but he is in Germany until July 23.
Risebrough, a committee resource
person, said he hopes both sides can
reach a solution by September, but
he said this will depend on the society.
The committee asked the GSS to
present ideas to them but whether
they do or not the report will go to
Pedersen and "he has the power to
make the decision," Risebrough said.
The GSS agrees the committee has
the right to make recommendations
to Pedersen. Dafoe said but he
added, "Eventually the ad hoc
committee will have to deal with the
elected students of the Graduate
Students Society,"
With society funds frozen, Howlett
said the GSS cannot plan fall services
and programs for grad students. The
society is holding Friday beer
gardens, and the Teaching Assistants'
Union and the Campus Alliance have
donated money to cover society operating costs and a legal defense fund,
Howlett said.
The GSS created a legal defense
fund because two former society
employees Jim Shea and Shane
Goldstein — are threatening to sue
the society. Former society executive
director Jim Shea resigned after his
authority to fire food and beverage
manager Shane Goldstein was challenged by the GSS. Howlett said.
But Risebrough said the new GSS
council fired centre executive director
Jim Shea in mid-April leaving no
one to handle daily affairs. "We
couldn't just sit back and allow
damage to the centre and the university." he said.
Shea denied he resigned and would
not comment further. June 27-July4. 1  984
The Summer Ubyssey
Page 4
Student loans pushed aside by province
Student loan applications are
late for the second year in a row.
Last year they were two weeks
later than previousyears. thisyear
the applications are a month later.
Who cares? Students care. This
is just one more sign of the low
esteem with which the provincial
government holds the student aid
program which is so crucial to
many students.
For two years the program has
been dismantled and altered by
the provincial government until
now it can hardly be recognized
as the program that was in place
three years ago.
In 1983 the Socreds limited
access to the program by demanding students take an 80 per cent
course load, live away from home,
and accept no gifts from their
parents if they wanted to apply.
In 1 983 they limited access to
the. program by cutting back
grants program funding by $5
In 1 984 they ended the grant
program in their February budget •
and created a new loan program,
but they failed to either organize
this new program or obtain
money to fund it.
• When they eventually approached Danks with the new
program the banks refused to
fund it and the government still
has not signed an agreement with
the credit unions, who have finally
agreed in principle to support the
Because the program was not
entirely worked out the government did not send applications to
the university awards offices.
In the long term this means in
September many students will
have to wait a long time to obtain
their loans and may be discouraged from attending school
because the applications cannot
be processed quickly.
In the short term it means many
students at SFU could not go to
school this summer term. SFU's
analytical studies said in a report
released this June that one of the
major reasons SFU's enrollment
dropped this summer term for the
first time since 1979 is that
students who began their courses
May 7 did not receive their loan
applications for that term until
They we re a month and a half in
school before they received the
applications, who knows when
they will get their loans.
Although UBC's financial
awards officers will not give a
date, it is probable many or most
UBC studentswill not receive their
loans before October.
An education official said he is
not sure this will even bother students. Maybe Rick McCandless is
right, maybe students won't mind
attending school without money
for accomodations or food until
October while attending university.
However it is quite doubtful. It
is not doubtful that McCandless
and the government he represents do not think it is a problem.
Once again student aid has been
regarded by the Social Credit
government as a non-issue. It is
nothing new.
Financing problemsat Whistler
Village is a problem for the
government   but   the   fact   that
students could not attend SFU
this summer, will not be able to
attend any university in the future
or will have to live far below the
poverty line at university is not a
problem for the Social Credit
Maybe it should become one.
Intruding agency may spy on you
The bill which will create a civilian security
agency - a spying agency - seems to have slipped
by us all. including most of the media. With
Senate left to approve Bill C-9 this week, almost
certainly the bill will become law.
But you aren't worried. You're an average law-
abiding Canadian citizen. Sure you run a few
traffic lights, smoke a bit of funny stuff, maybe
But you're as far away from a national security
threat as is imaginable. Those secret agents will
be targeting foreign-based "terrorists" — you
know — those people who want to overthrow
our peaceful democracy and stuff like that.
But wait.
Did you go in the Walk for Peace? Some peace
groups gain support from abroad, and more
than 50 per cent of Canadians have the gall to
say they disagree with the government's cruise
missile testing doIicv
What about charity for El Salvador or Nicaragua — ever given anything to Oxfam or the Nicaraguan boat project? You know those leftist
commies are causing a ruckus down there. Some
of them want to come to Canada, too, and if
you're helping them...
Or you belong to an international trade union.
Or your business trades with a Communist
country. Will you be spied on? Maybe not but
you won't know and neither will anyone else
because the government won't tell anybody exactly what will be done, or to whom.
And how many foreign-based "national security threats" are there? If the agency can't find
any, it will make some. Many Canadian-based
groups such as women's and native groups want
to see things changed.
The bill creating this surveillance agency is
not even supported by some liberals — .after
hearing countless protests from wide-ranging
sources, including - gasp - the Progressive
Conservatives, the liberals rammed this legislation thro ugh the House of Commons using their
Given all this. UBC student and activist Kevin
Annett has the best advice.
"The best defense is not to be intimidated and
continue being politically active and public about
Security agents define who is "subversive"
to any democratic body, and where
the security force defines for itself
who is or is not a "subversive".
The Soviet Union? No, Canada.
On June 21, Parliament passed Bill
C-9 and created the Canadian Seen'
Imagine a country .where the mere
suspicion of subversive behaviour
allows a secret police to open peoples'
marl, bug phones, invade premises
and examine medical and legal files,
where this police is riot accountable	
June   27-July   4.    1984
The summer Ubyssey is published Wednesdays throughout the
summer sessions by the Alma Mater Society of the University of British
Columbia, with additional funding from the Walter H. Gage Memorial
Fund, the UBC Alumni Association, and the federal summer career
access programme. Editorial opinions are those of the staff, and not
necessarily those of the university administration, or of the sponsor.
Member of Canadian University Press. The summer Ubyssey's editorial
offiuce is SUB 241K. Editorial department, 228-2301/228-2305.
Advertising 228-3977/228-3978.
Wow! No more late nights at the printers'" yelled Mark Leiren-Young "Great Now we have late
afternoons on a mountaintop." mused Henry Tsang. Eric Eggertson and Neil Lucente leapt up and
outside lo watch the sun set over at Pacific Press, while the three Bleat Street boys-Ian Weniger,
Stephen Wisenthal and Chris Wong-tried to figure out why there were only two women in the
masthead. John Knowles freaked right out at this and promptly drowned tn a mire of line tape and
peanut shells And Robert Beynon glowed over it ail as he continued to type while watching everything
but his own typing Next week a farewell to lotu stand This week, save a postscript for Patti Flather and
Charlie Fidelman. and an extra P.S for Stephanie Smith before the last farewell
ity Intelligence Service (CSIS). iiu
opposition to this secret, powerful
and largely unaccountable spy agency was widespread. Churches, civil
libertarians, business people, unions,
attorneys-general and many ordinary
Canadians spoke out against Bill C-9
and requested more public debate
and reflection on the complex issue
of national security. But for its own
reasons, the federal government ignored these voices.
The result will be not only a grave
erosion of civil rights in Canada, but
a strangling of social dissent by state
intimidation and fear. For example,
any Canadian who is associated with
any "foreign influenced activity"
which the CSIS considers to be detrimental to Canada's interests may
be targeted by the Service. Peace
marches are foreign influenced; so
are churches, labour unions, rotary
clubs, political parties and business
associations, to name a few. Anyone
involved in these activities may now
be legally bugged, surveyed and harassed, not because of any crime but
on the basis of a suspicion alone.
The   government   has   still   not
demonstrated what threat to Canada's security could justify this colossal
attack on individual freedom.
Our democracy is under seige, by
the government itself. This bill must
be repealed. Let Ottawa know vour
opposition to the CSIS. Speak out
for freedom now while you still can.
Kevin Annett
Unclassified S
Biased commercial news not missed
Before the newspaper strike, I read
both the Vancouver Scum and the
Globe and Fail every day. I mean,
I'm the kind of person who spent a
good hour and a half a day on keeping up with world news.
I was terrified by the idea of a
newspaper stoppage. I thought I'd
have withdrawal fits and flail about
Much to my surprise and delight,
I've had no such problems. Once I
adjusted to not reading that many
lies, life became quite pleasant. My
skin lost its sickly colour and some
of the worry lines visibly faded. I
have all this time to read good stuff
instead, or not read at all. In fact,
I've even stopped watching Knowl-
ton Nash ar.d listening to CBC in
the mornings. I broke my clock radio.
I could never again waken to the
sdund of Bill Bennett preaching
repression,oops,I mean restraint.
I strongly recommend this as a
way for people to feel more rested
and have more fun. You won't miss
the news. You may wonder why you
spent so much time on it to begin
P.S. This does not apply to The
Ubyssey of course. No one could
possibly not enjoy your intelligent,
objective and concise paper.
Faith Jones
SFU fine arts J u n e 2 7 - J u I y 4 , 1  9 8 4
The Summer Ubyssey
Page 5
UBC's board-of governors "ignored sound business economics"
when they awarded a $4.86 million
contract to a non-union firm to build
an extension for the.Gage residence,
a union representative said Friday.
Although non-union Wilson Industries Limited submitted a bid
$68,000 lower than the competing
union company, Beta Construction
Limited, the university will end up
paying more to have the non-union
firm build the extension, said Clive
Lytle, Building Trades Council director of communications.
Lytle said the union firm could
finish the project in 45 weeks while
the non-union firm will take 56
weeks. The cost of financing an extra
13 weeks at the current 12 per cent
interest rate will be more than
$100,000,   making  the   union   bid'
$33,000 less than the non-union bid,
he said.
"It's clear the board is toeing the
Socred line because they could not
have made those decisions on logical
financial grounds. Those decisions
were made for philosophical and
political reasorfs," Lytle said.
Lytle said the provincial government is trying to "tie the hands of
public bodies such as UBC" by forcing them to take the lower bid regardless of any options.
The unions are also angered at the
university for removing a clause
which guarantees union wage rates,
Lytle said.
"Removal of that clause fits in with
the provincial government line," he
said. "The board obviously follows
or was forced to follow.that line. The
university is inviting and encouraging
construction at UBC to be non-un-
Spy bill rushed
Local groups opposing the controversial spy bill which passed in
the House of Commons Thursday
said the Liberal government acted
undemocratically in pushing the bill
through, withheld information, and
made no significant changes to the
flawed legislation.
"The bill is a very dangerous piece
of legislation," said MP Svend Robinson (NDP-Burnaby). who led the
opposition against Bill C-9. Robinson said the bill, which creates a civilian security agency, threatens the
civil liberties of Canadians who have
broken no law.
If the Progressive Conservatives
opposed the creation of the Canadian
Security Intelligence Service with
more spirit, the bill would not have
passed, Robinson said.
Don Stewart, Vancouver Coalition against the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service spokesperson,
said the government cut short committee hearings, invoked closure in
the Commons debate, and stifled the
objections of some liberal MPs.
Stewart made a presentation to the
Commons justice committee on the
bill. .
He said he had to yell at the
committee chair to listen to him during his presentation', and that during
another group's presentation the
chair walked out in the middle.
Stewart said the government removed the voting rights of liberal
justice committee member Warren
Allmand because they knew he would
vote to amend the bill. "If that isn't
cynical manipulation, then I don't
know what is."
Stewart said he worries that the
agency, which eradicates foreign-
based national security threats, will
also target domestic dissidents. He
said the bill will give security agents
access to people's mail, medical, legal, and bank records, and will allow
bugging on the basis of suspicions
More than 25 witnesses critized
the bill before the justice committee,
including three groups from B.C.,
Stewart said. More than 60 organizations endorsed the witnesses.
Civil Liberties Association vice
president Alister Browne, whose
group also witnessed said, "The bill
defines threats to the security of
Canada in a very broad way."
Browne, a UBC philosophy professor, said the government failed to
show a need for a security service.
They would not say how many national security threats there are, the
cost of the agency, or what it will do
on a daily basis, he said.
If there is not enough work for the
agency, ."they'll find things to do,"
Browne said.
Browne said if the government insists on a security service, it should
be a branch of the RCMP and not a
separate agency, so interservice rivalries are minimized. He said there
is a danger national security threats
will be magnified to enhance the
agency's importance.
Executive director of the association JohnRussell said the group may
launch a court challenge to the legislation.
UBC student Kevin Annett, unclassified 5, said he belongs to a new
group which will try to educate people about the bill.
"The best defense is not to be intimidated and continue being politically active and public about it," he
said. Annettsaid the agency will not
• be accountable to Parliament so the
public will not know what the agency
is doing.
Schedule switches
university bus route
The Tenth bus will no longer run to Totem Park in the evening but
will end its route at the UBC bus loop in front of SUB, a B.C. Transit
spokesperson said Friday.
B.C. Transit director Larry Ward said according to the proposed
schedule, the Forty-First bus will take the place of the Tenth bus and
will stop at Totem Park in the evening before proceeding to the UBC
bus loop.
"The bus will run every half hour like the Tenth has and it will be
ti med to meet with the Tenth at the U BC bus loop so passengers can
transfer there," Ward said. He said thischange will not harm service to
Totem Park residents.
. Alma Mater Society president Margaret Copping, who opposed
ending Tenth service to Totem Park, said if the Forty-First replaced^
the Tenth's service, she had no complaint.
"The question now is will the change be posted so students will use
the changed system," Copping said. "This is a question of personal
safety, particularly for women." Copping said women are vulnerable
to assault while crossing the campus at night.
Ward-said the change would be advertised in The Sun, reported in
B.C. Transit's rider bulletin and listed in new bus timetables to be
The proposed timetable has not come into effect because bus drivers
claim they were locked out June 15 when the new timetable wets
^scheduled to start.
BC building contract
Bruce Gellatly, UBC vice-president finance and administration, said
a clause guaranteeing union wage
rates is usually not included in contracts.
•Student board representative Dave
Frank said the board was not pressured by the provincial government
into granting the contract to a nonunion company.
"It was a decision based on philosophy and not politics," said Frank.
"The board's philosophy is that bidding is open to everyone. And when
student housing is being built with
student money, I'm always in favour
of the lowest bid," he said.
Frank said UBC is not limiting
itself to non-union construction because the SUB expansion is being
built by a union firm.
Gellatly dismissed the union's argument, saying a non-union firm can
do the job cheaper.
"Their (the building trades unions')
estimate is probably 180 degrees out.
They are assuming that we can fill
the extension to capacity in March
and gain revenue throughout the
summer. But we've never been able
to fill the residences much less an
extension to capacity during summer
conventions," Gellatly said. "If we
were the Holiday Inn and could rent
immediately, then their argument
would work," he said.
Gellatly said it would be cheaper'
to have a longer construction period.
Early completion of the project
means the university must borrow
$6 million to pay the union firm and
must pay interest on this borrowed
money throughout the summer with
the extension unoccupied, Gellatly
"If the extension is built closer to
September we could borrow less and
pay much of the bill with student
residence fees. That means we pay
less interest on the borrowed money,"
he said.
Lytle said the construction unions
are not likely to threaten UBC
with action similar to the three week
standoff  with   the   Kerkhoff  con
struction company last March at
False Creek, but he did not rule out
retailiatory measures.
"We are a collective organization
and because of that, anything can
happen. I'm sure we are not going to
roll over, play dead and let the government walk over us," Lytle said..
Gellatly said dealing with any labour confrontations is the responsibility of the construction company
and not the university.
The university construction contract has left out a bonus and penalty
clause which allows the university to
enforce a financial penalty on-Wilson
if completion of the extension is late.
If a labour dispute unfolds and delays
construction, the university would
not have a financial safety net.
"We could get burned but we've
left out that clause before," Gellatly
said. "The conditional is normally
not offered. When you put a penalty
in the contract, you have to put a
bonus in. We don't want students to
have to pay more," he said.
-John Knowles photo
Break in B.C. labour storms continues at UBC as construction worker employed by non-union Wilson
Industries continues work on new Gage lowrise. University administration denies non-union contract will
eventually cost more than union offer.
AMS Joblink employs 160 students
Since May l' the student job
placement program, Joblink, placed
160 of B.C.'s 74,000 unemployed
youths in work.
Joblink coordinator Ross Pink
said Friday the Alma Mater Society-
sponsored organization placed half
the students in full-time work and
half in part-time work. Joblink also
placed many students in temporary
or day jobs such as lawn mowing,
Pink said.
He said Joblink expects to place
students in jobs throughout the
The average student employed
full-time makes $700 a month, Pink
said. "Most of the students placed in
full-time work will make enough
money to cover their tuition," he said.
The average tuition for a full-time
students will be $ 1300 this year.
Joblink will not solve the youth
unemployment problem but it is alleviating the problem, Pink said.
"We'd like to have one full-time job
at $1000 a month for every student
who applies but we can't do that."
Youth unemployment can only be
resolved if government, business and
labour seriously attempt to solve the
problem, which they are not doing
now, said'Pink.
"If youth unemployment is so serious that an amateur group like the
AMS has to take action, the governments should rethink their programs," said AMS president Margaret Copping.
. Canadian Federation of Students
spokesperson Donna Morgan said
she thought the Joblink program was
good but did not believe it was all the
AMS should do to fight youth unemployment.
"We (students) have to have an
ongoing campaign to make sure the
government recognizes that youth
unemployment is a problem and to
make sure the government deals with
the problem in an acceptable way,"
Morgan said.
Joblink's budget has not been finalized, Pink said, adding he believed
the AMS budget committee now
looking at the budget will approve it
with little change.
The money Joblink requested from
the AMS doubled after the federal
government's summer career access
program withdrew funding support,
claiming Joblink would duplicate
Canada Employment Services, said
The budget committee has not yet
approved Joblink's doubled budget
of $ 11,000 but likely will do so at its
next meeting, Copping said.
The AMS student council earlier
voted to support the program. J_u n e 2 7 - J u I y 4    1_9_
Summer Film Series, SUB Auditorium UBC, Local Hero June 28-30
7:30 & 9:45 p.m.
Hollywood   Theatre  (3123   W.
Broadway, 738-3211 (Revenge of the
Ninja 7:30 p.m.; Daniel 9:15 p.m.
until July 1. Deal of the Century.
7:30; Alfred Hitchcock's North by
Northwest 9:20. July 2-8.
Ridge Theatre (16th and Arbutus,
738-6311) That Sinking Feeling, a
Bill Forsyth comedy, starts Friday
June 29. 7:30, 9:30 p.m. #
Anna Wyman Dance Theatre performs selections from the most popular pieces in its repertoire, July 1. 3
p.m. & 7 p.m.. The Vancouver Museum, 1100 Chestnut St., 736-4431.
Off, Off Granville Island: Theatres-
pace's preposterous summer revue.
Thurs. -Sun. 8:30 p.m. 681-0818.
Comedy of Errors: set to a lively jaz2
beat,   directed   by   Henry   Woolf.
Vancouver Shakespeare Festival in
Vanier Park. Tues. - Sat. 8:00 p.m.
Season Tickets, 734-0194.
The Late Blumer: premier perfor
mance   of   Vancouver   playwright
John Lazarus' fantastical comedy at
the Arts Club Theatre on Seymout
Street. Opens July 2 at 8:30 p.m.
The Summer Ubyssey
Serving UBC   and Wast Point Gray J
for tha last 24 years. |
We put our Sole in your I
FISH & CHIPS        |
English Style Horns Cooked Meal* I
at Reasonable Prices - including ■
Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding     I
Open Monday to Saturday ■
8:00 a.m. to 8 30 p m I
Closed Sundays ft Public Holidays    |
For the early ones,   we start serving ■
breakfast from 8:00 a.m. I
4556 W.  10th Ave.  - 224 1912 j
Wt? accept Cha'gex r
Page 6
Jacqueline Sephton: Rich abstract
watercolours titled Discovering
White until July 21, Procope restaurant. 8363 Tranville St.
Gary Oliver/Robert Karpa: a photographic display featuring commercial
success of fashion, still lie and advertising product work, until July
II. 333 Chesterfield Ave.. North
Van., 988-6844.
80/1/2/3/4 TORONTO: CON
TEN I CONTEXT: a group exhibition of 15 Toronto artists who present
a sense of what it is like to be alive
now. June 29 - July 21, Contemporary Art Gallery, 555 Hamilton St.
Vancouver Folkfest Canada Day
Parade, runs from Gastown up
Granville St.. to Robson Square,
followed by a huge celebration saluting Canada's I 17th year.
Special ethnic dance performances
and ethnic food booths are scheduled
to help celebrate Canada Day, July 1
noon-4 p.m., Burnaby Arts Centre,
Gilpin St. at Canada Way.
Theatresports: improvisational
comedy every Friday night at 10
p.m.. to August 31. Presentation
House in North Van. 986-1351.
(When available)
University of British Columbia
by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Simon Webb
JULY 4-14
by Charles Chilton &
The Theatre Workshop
Directed by Henry Woolf
Adults $5
Stud./srs.   $4
Tuesdays - Two for One
Curtain 8pm
Frederic Wood Theatre
Res. 228-2678
An hilarious comec:
hy Christopher Duran
JULY'    4
.      1895   VENABIES   SI
INFO   ANDRES     2 S 4    '] 5  / 8
Located at the back of the Village
on Campus
Open 'till 11:00 P.M.
every day except Sunday (6:00 P.M.) in the summer.
* no membership or registration fees
* Rent a video recorder ond 2 movies,
Sunday-Thursday, for only $8.00,
Friday and Saturday only $15.00.
4521 UU. 10th Avenue
Parking Rt Rear 228-8255
«jffir» SHOP
— UBC crested T-Shirts, Caps, Sweatshirts, Shorts, Mugs, Spoons.
— Unique  Gift  Items,   Greeting  Cards,
Souvenirs & Postcards.
PLUS Bathing Suits, Candy, Magazines,
Tobacco, Sundry Drug Needs.
Lower Level
Student Union
Building U.B.C.
Mon. to Fri. 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Telephone: 224-1911
Visa and MasterCard
OPEN 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Our Delly offers a
superb variety of
• Coffee • Juices
• Ice Cream
• Hot Snacks
(including Meat and
Vegetable Samosas)
• and Pastries
RATES: AMS Card Holders - 3 lines. 1 day $2.50: additional'
lines. 60c. Commercial — 3 lines, 1 day $4.20; additional lines, 66c. Additional days, $3.80 and 60c.
Classified ads are payable in advance. Deadline is 10:30 a. m. the
day before publication.
Publications Room 266, S.U.B., UBC, Van., B.C. V6T2A5
Charge Phone Orders over $5.00. Call 228-3977.
3737- W. 10th
* Word Processing at
reasonable rates.
Price includes
* Professional Editing
" Proofreading ot all
types of written
material by
Support Services Include:
" Xerox Photocopying
* Printing "Binding
' Translating        'Tutoring
FAST accurate typist available for manuscripts, theses, resumes, essays, etc.
$1.00/page. Refs. avail: 736-1306.
SPECIALISTS: U write we type
theses  resumes  letters
essays, days  evenings
weekends  736-1208 	
reports, thesis work done on
the best. See the SONY Series
35 and decide. Bilingual service.
Fast turnaround. Convenient to
campus. Weekend work by appointment. Call 266-6814
Essays, resumes, letters.
Tapes transcribed
Layout help on resumes
Phone 224-651 8 day or night.
For all those Summer
Anniversaries, or
Barbeques — See our
great Selection of
Cards and invitations
from "Hallmark" and
"Gordon Fraser".
4520 W. 10th Avenue
Across from Safeway
Surf^e POO. 339 W H; k ,t » kj-, St    W«
Faculty Inquiries
Student discounts
software June27-July4.  1  984
The Summer Ubyssey
Page 7
Beat Street exploits street culture
New York, New York
big city of dreams
But everything in New York
ain't always what it seems...
- GrandMaster Flash and
the Furious Five
Beat Street is the latest film dealing
with the breakdance craze. It is also
the latest attempt to exploit every bit
of marketable street culture for the
established movie monopoly.
Beat Street was the original idea
of Harry Belafonte, one of the first
successful black actors in post-war
America. Belafonte observed the recent growth of the hip-hop movement among New York's unemployed youth, a culture which encourages kids to vent their frustration
and anger in non-violent and creative
ways such as graffiti art. breakdanc-
ing and rap music.
Belafonte scoured the streets for
the most appealing visual and aural
talents. He hired the most appropriate musical consultant (producer
Arthur Baker of Tommy Boy Records, New York's foremost rap label) and the best choreographer ( Les-
twenty-fifth anniversary Motown
television show as well as the disco
movie, Saturday Night Fever) to
produce a slick two-hour film for
mass consumption.
Any two hour production has to
have a plot, so Belafonte hired Stan
Lathan. a black pioneer in television
production and direction, to provide
the continuity between scenes featuring breakdancing, rapping ana
subway artists.
Kenny (Guy Davis) is an aspiring
young deejay with enough sound
equipment in his Bronx home to
make his own records. Beat Street is
the story of Kenny's rise to the top as
the grand rapper of the trendiest
clubs in town. His pal Ramon (Jon
Chardiet) is a talented graffiti artist
who dreams of new, unpainted sub-
Beat Street
Directed by Stan Lathan
way cars to beautify. He tells Kenny.
"When you're mixin' sounds, when
I'm bombin' (painting) trains, that's
life." Never mind that Ramon has to
find a job to support his lover and
baby daughter - a job he finds all
tooeasily. Tracy (Rae Dawn Chong).
a college composer looking for ideas
for her school show, ends up being
little more than Kenny's romantic
interest; she producesa performance
involving at least 80 other performers . Later in Kenny's arms, she
reveals that "it was nothing".
The onlv believeable character in
the film is Kenny's little brother Lee,
played by schoolboy Robert Taylor.
Lee hates school and would rather
tag along with Ramon to help bomb
trains or hang out with his dance
crew, the Beat Street Breakers. He
has no romances or big plans, just a
desire to dance and try a few new
thrills without getting in too much
Lathan claims to have taught the
trained actors such as Davis and
Chong how to look unpolished and
the non-acting performers like Taylor
learn how to deliver their lines passably, all in an effort to give a rough,
spontaneous and realistic image to
the film.
But Lathan's attempt to give the
people on Beat Street some depth is
contradictory to the careful production hip-hop exhibits. The club
scenes were stocked full of the regular
Art to the nth
Throngs of people milled behind a
large gallery window at 432 Homer
St. June 16. It was opening night of
F = mc:. a new gallery, and 400 people
showed despite the bus strike. They
were rewarded with spirited
beverages and a wide variety of art
pieces, including a video.
More than forty artists, are displaying their work in the show. "The
partners, Michael Fraser and Blair
Dickson are creating an alternative
gallery from the commercial venues."
said gallery public relations person
Britt Harts. Fraser and Dickson are
old friends, accomplished painters,
experienced art collectors, and "they
have a sense of vision." he added.
"The beauty of such a show is the
intense variety; Blair Dickson, the
man responsible for the selection on
the floor believes in art for art's sake."
But there is room for any type of
art at F = mc:. "You can't take it too
seriously or you'll die a martyr." said
artist Cilen Moselv of the politics,
which influence his work. His sculpture is based on the premise that the
human being is a cra/v animal:
intelligent enough to invent almost
anything but stupid enough to destroy
Moselv transforms this idea into a
three dimensional joke. "The foundation of our society is concrete." he
said, explaining why the figure Ii '-
concrete feet. The head is a very <l i
globe (it's a Reader's Digest «■■■ .,
map), with a good aerial view o' ■
Moselv   is  concerned  with  1     'i
designated    by    function.    On    'h
opposite side of the faucet is a h ivl
holding a prophylactic disdaintu'lv
"It's just a balloon preventing elm.l-
birth a  verv  clean  and   us Ml
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function." he said, "but sex is still a
dirty thing, and an unclean subject."
This is where the soap and water
comes in. "The more we're trying to
improve the world the more we are
ruining it." he asserted. But Mosely's
sculpture wasn't running properly
-it lacked enough soap for the
bubbles to froth through all four
holes and gush over the blue enamel
to the concrete feet.
Mosely's piece, placed front and
centre in the gallery window, pulled
curious passers-by into the already
crowded gallery. Once inside many
other pieces attract attention. There
are paintings, drawings and etchings
by the likes of Bill Featherston,
Martin Honisch. and Kerry Jo Kelly.
The works are crowded all over in
what is termed salon style grouping.
But that does not detract from the
impressive diversity of the individual
Artist Judy Baeter thinks the
gallery is a good idea: "It gives an
artist the ability to be on the outside
of what is in; which means that you
don't have to be part of a set trend or
history to be displayed in this
gallery." she said. Her pen and ink
self-portrait is a very complex work
with parts detailing the skull and
muscle tissue. "If it wasn't complicated it wouldn't be a self-portrait."
she said.
Dickson and Fraser are planning
an all-women's show and a children's
show. These are appropriate directions for a gallery interested in art
and not just its market value.
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crowd, the dance moves were especially worked out and edited to perfection, the performers lip-synched
theiracts, and the graffiti was created
through consulation with one of the
originators of the art, Phase II.
Even when Kenny shows off his
musical gadgets for Tracy, his improvised scratching and noodling is
all synched to the soundtrack, and
Kenny obviously can't keep up with
it. The overproduction is especially
jarring in most of the dialogue between characters when no music is
pulsing or wafting in the background;
the actors seem to be mouthing their
lines to the prefabricated script.
Luckily Lathan wasable to keep this
sort of interaction down to two minutes a chat before moving on to the
next club or subway station.
Hip-hop is a culture which has a
unique style of expression, but it has
a goal in common with many community groups in metropoles everywhere to keep poorghetto kids from
killing themselves and each other by
providing something fun and exciting
to do.
Belafonte could have done hip-hop
a great service with Beat Street by
making a simple documentary of the
street dancers, the rappers and deejays, and the train bombers. And he
could have asked the kids themselves
exactly about their lives. But Bele-
fonte has too much business sense tc
let the poverty-stricken reality get in
the way of a good show.
Beat Street is at best a triv-
iali/ation of the trash and slime in
which people are forced to live in
and it promotes a new set of entertainment commodities to the level
of chic.
At worst, it is a death knell for a
movement that gives hope to thousands of ghetto youths who have nothing to do in the inner city. The
entertainment industry is swindling
the members of the hip-hop movement out of an outlet they had for
expressing themselves without fear
of rejection or ridicule by the
'straight' world.
Yes. the music, dance and art are
spectacular. But Beat Street is a
clever fraud that savs nothing about
hip-hop except "WATCH THIS!"
The kids deserve better than this
sop; save your money for the next
street dancer vou meet.
4754 W. 10th
Then come and
spend a little of it at
Located at the back of the Village
on Campus June27-July'4.1984
The Summer Ubyssey
Page 8
Wait! cIon't Touch tMat
diAl... it's oiNly
You're alone on a Friday night,
perched in front of the idiot box —
scanning the airwaves for late-night
entertainment. You've decided to
avoid Luv-a-fair tonight, but you're
still in the mood for the soothing
timbre of rock and roll.
First stop: the planet Mulligan.
Filling the screen is an odd creature
named Terry David. The creature
who appears to have 100 teeth promises good rockin' and plays Duran
Duran's hot new video. As the creature babbles on about how the video
was filmed in the Pango Pango wilds
and cost an amount that could feed
Botswana's entire population, your
dog lets out a horrific wail — the dog
is suffering from Mulliganitis. Known
as boredom.
After deciding the dog is on to
something, you quickly turn the
channel and find yourself fixated on
two strange creatures. One sports
Euro-disco blonde hair, a stylish
earring and a slightly tense look. The
other taller fellow maintains a nur-
dish grin that makes Woody Allen
look macho. When they're not fiddling with knobs and dials or staring
at monitors in their tiny control
booth, the unusual twosome talk in a
haphazard and rambling fashion.
Do not adjust your set. The strange
transmissions projecting from the
screen can be traced to a location
over the Lion's Gate Bridge in the
hinterlands of North Vancouver.
You are experiencing a video and
audio phenomenon that will take
over your minds — at least for the
next two hours. You are entering the
Soundproof zone.
Shaw Cable's rock video show,
Soundproof, has aired a year and a
half and its success can be attributed
to the program's off-beat hosts: Dave
Toddington and Buzz E. Miller.
Rather than imitating Terry David
Mulligan's slick, glam-rock style or
Wolfman Jack's nauseating energy,
Toddington and Miller are forging
their own unique broadcast style
one that is loose, totally spontaneous
and a hoot to watch.
"It's a video program where anything goes. We think if we enjoy ourselves, the audience will also have
fun." says Miller who, when off-air,
is Martin Stubbs. Shaw Cable's program director. Miller and Todding-
ton, the station's production operator, work 10 to 15 hours a week in
spare time to prepare the program
that airs Fridays at 11 p.m. on Cable
A third member of the Soundproof
crazies is Province rock critic Tom
Harrison who applies his cynical flair
to record reviews and interviews of
local artists. Like a judge at a figure
skating competition, Harrison flashes
his record rating cards before the
camera. On a recent show, he demonstrated "how bad bad can be" by
giving an all-time low of negative
zero to Venom's classic album. At
War With Satan. The heavy metal
hard-core thrash album features a 19
and a half minute title track. "They
didn't know how to end the song so
they just faded it out," says Harrison.
As well as being a showcase ior
videos and a springboard for local
talent who need exposure, Soundproof airs experimental films another
host, CITR jock Bill Mullan, brings
Soundproof is transmitted to your
home screen by a crew of four. This
includes Toddington and Miller who
serve as production operators, a sole
camera operator (Steve, who has no
proven and used over and over to
perpetuate the thriving multi-million
dollar video industry. The Hollywood texture applied to money-
making videos is what Soundproof
tries to avoid.
From  numerous videos sent in
weekly from record companies and
Show full of mistakes
last name) and another worker who
prepares the tapes. Make-up artists,
script-writers and go-fers need not
Music videos remain the show's
focus. Soundproof features well-
produced videos that are more than
just advertising. (The occasional
stinker gets aired.) The videos will
probably never receive heavy rotation the term given to videos that
get repeated cable network exposure.
This exposure generates megabucks
for bands and record companies on
MTV. But Soundproof videos possess an artistic flair and a sincere
attempt at interpretation absent from
top ten singles videos.
As with any potentially profitable
art form, videos are falling victim to
cliched ideas simply rehashed from
previous   models.   The   ideas   are
artists themselves. Toddington and
Miller look for ones that attempt to
enhance a song. They choose different approaches such as live clips that
display the performance's raw energy,
or videos that qualify as cinematographic art works by innovative use
of techniques and the images conveyed.
Videos by artists such as Kate
Bush, The Art of Noise and The
Cramps regularly shown alongside
local performers including D.O.A.
and Art Bergmann. Ihe videos are
usually low-budget affairs, created
with the guidance of young, obscure
filmmakers. And as alternative products trying new methods that attract
no commercial appeal, the videos are
rarely shown on the other video programs shows which are the constant butt of Soundproof jokes.
Toddington says the video craze
could burn out if mainstream video
continues taking its lead from commercial radio. He adds other programs have access to the videos aired
on Soundproof but refuse to consider
them. "I don't believe the other video
programs have the right people involved. They use burnt-out deejays
and producers who are totally out of
touch. They don't know their audience," says Miller.
Miller predicts the increasingly
progressive audiences will tire of the
squeaky clean and safe approach. He
says Soundproof has grass roots
contacts and can take chances to give
people what they want because it airs
on a public access channel. The
channel's mandate is to show what
other networks shy away from. And
on Soundproof, everything is shown
— including blunders.
The show is taped in advance, but
is virtually unedited. Foul-ups including dangling microphones and
fuzzy screens are left in. I'hese mistakes combined with Toddington's
and Miller's ambivalent personalities
(Toddington the straight, serious
character and Miller providing an
insidious running commentary),
would give an MTV executive the
Neil Lucente photo
The show's spontaneous mood
makes it like improvisational theatre
the participants make up what
they say on the spot which means
there is not time to gloss over their
speech to achieve the false perfection
t.v. strives for. "Life is full of mistakes
— why shoudn't t.v. be that way?
We've planned things in advance before but it doesn't work. It's better to
go totally cold." says Toddington.
Just as a jazz soloist can achieve
surprising results playing without the
aid of written music. Soundproofs
attempts at improvisation works.
Actions as ludicrous as saying hello
to grandmother, shooting plastic
darts from off-camera or discussing
Pope-on-a-rope-soap all create the
refreshing comic relief one expects
from late-night t.v.
This slap-stick, winging it approach is gaining popularity. Shaw
Cable's phone lines are inundated
v, ith calls during the show and up to
400 letters are sent in weekly. L.ettcts
come in the form of sneakers, skulls
and underwear. Toddington recalls
one creative fan w ho attached video
requests to the collar of his mother's
dog. Miller adds he and his cohorts
are often recognized in the street by
the growing numbers of Soundproo-
RacIeis juNkyARd comes to LiFe
Is it possible to become a mountain
climber, a pop-star, or a political
leader at a construction site? "Sure it
is," answers the Belgian theatre Radeis
-which does so by combining mime,
song, imagination, and humor, in
The play features three workers
and the story line develops on two
planes. The first relates simply to the
physical activity of the workers. The
second concerns their dreams and
desires which takes them far away
from their labour. One worker imagines himself to be a pop-star singing on top of a stage-like scaffolding
while the other two continue eating
their lunch in the usual way at a
construction site.
Similarity, in another scene, the
same scaffolding transforms into an
alpine peak which two workers climb
with great difficulty.
In Scaffoldings, the construction
site is not just a tiresome working
place, but is filled with surprises,
passions, and conflicts. Tools, the
symbolic representation of surrounding technology, are far from
being under the control of the
workers. They wrestle with a drill
press that starts up unexpectedly on
its own. They try to stop a disobedient concrete mixer from whirring,
or sanding machines from wandering
around on their own.
The workers not only want to
dominate their tools but also each
other. They have great ambitions.
Each imagines himself an expert.
They communicate extensively but
their language is gibberish. One places himself on a foot-stool, a position
of authority, but another goes further
by placing himself higher on the
scaffolding. Fun, fun, fun!
When small-minded, alienated
people exhaust topics such as professional life, classes, or money, what
else can they talk about? Not surprisingly very little. There is, however, something, so we see spiteful
construction workers who finally
beat on each other. Oh, this is really
fun! And the public likes it.
Do not be mislead by the sarcasm.
A real avant-garde theatre -and Radeis is such a theatre - would not
waste its time on such cheap fun. Let
the immature write plays just for the
sake of this. Let those who do not
have much to communicate say "we
are doing nothing serious." However.
Radeis is not that type of company.
The play's tempo changes towards
the end. The workers walk in a row
as in a funeral. One is lame, the second packs a shovel, and the third
carries a flag. Their faces are dignified
and in spirit, they are really the same
people. The lame leg was probably
the result of senseless fighting -
amongst workers - perhaps for a
place on the scaffoldings - rather than
an injury caused by an act of bravery.
The public does not laugh at this.
The artist is, perhaps, somebody
who in an apparently boring reality
sees a drama, and is able to convey it
to the public. Without a doubt, such
an artistic vision is presented by the
avant-garde theatre Radeis in Scaffoldings.


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