Take the British out of British Columbia

Take the British out of British Columbia

Blast from the past: Inspired by this article in today’s Sun we are pleased to reprint this article by Brian ‘Godzilla’ Salmi from July 1999 , originally for the Vancouver Sun.

Wrong. No other word better sums up the state of England today; indeed, I am constantly amazed at how much wrong can be crammed into such a small country.
If asked to give just one example of the English resistance in the face of overwhelming common sense it would be the fact that they still, on the eve of the third millennium, do not understand the simple concept of one faucet that mixes hot and cold water. It is a rare occasion to stumble upon a sink that does not have separate hot and cold water faucets. In order to wash up you are forced to alternate between freezing and scalding your hands. When I point this out to a group of Brits they invariably screw up their faces like the lobotomized beasts from the Island of Dr. Moreau and say, ‘‘We never thought of that.’‘

And when I mockingly ask why they don’t have separate hot and cold water shower heads they start prattling on about everything that is wrong with America. I have often been on the receiving end of anti- American tirades that would make Nikita Khruschev sit up in his grave and bang his shoe in approval. When I interrupt these childish tantrums to point out that I am from Canada and inform them that Canada is not part of the United States, they are baffled because Canadians are not supposed to be so rude — being rude is supposed to be the exclusive domain of the much hated, but always envied, Ugly American.

Now, I have never been a fan of that failing social experiment south of the 49th Parallel known as the good old U. S. of A. but I have spent numerous drunken evenings bonding with Yanks and laughing about what a farcical mess is England.
It’s always easy to spot a North American tourist in London — just look for someone standing on a street corner with a map book in his hands and a perplexed and annoyed look on his face. Their consternation usually stems from the fact that the Brits have also failed to understand the logic of putting street signs on the corners. In a city that is often paralysed because of gridlocked traffic you would think that someone would have figured out that if drivers knew where they were they wouldn’t be driving around in circles all day. Simple concept – - completely lost. When Brits actually do bother to indicate what a street is named they usually hide the sign on the side of a poorly lit building, as if to say, ‘‘We almost get it. Now how can we screw it up?’‘

Let’s face it. World War Two was the last hurrah for a now dead Empire and since 1945, Britain has become the Humpty Dumpty of nations. It’s as if Winston Churchill turned the keys of the world over to Harry Truman at Yalta and said, ‘‘Right, it’s your problem now. We’re off to the pub to get drunk for a couple hundred years.’‘ And they have been staggering around in a stupor ever since.

But a new king has taken up residence at Westminster and he has resolved to mount one more valiant attempt to put Humpty together again. Six months after assuming the de facto throne, Tony Blair made a dramatic speech to the nation imploring them to sober up and get back to work: ‘‘We can never be the biggest, we may never again be the strongest, but we can be, simply the best!’‘ he said emphatically, as millions looked on and laughed uproariously.

King Tony has decided to use the passing of the second millennium as the demarcation point for this evolution to higher English consciousness. State funded millennium projects are popping up all over the country in what amounts to a multi-billion-dollar high school pep rally. The biggest project of all is the Millennium Dome, which is being built in the run-down Docklands area of East London. The dome (which is widely referred to by more self-aware Brits as the Millennium Dumb) will be the world’s biggest. It will not be the home of major sporting events. It will not be used for huge rock concerts. There are rumours that there will be all sorts of ‘‘millennium themed’‘ exhibits permanently housed in it. It will cost close to $3 billion. They are building a multi-million dollar underground connection to it. The connection will not be completed in time for New Year’s Eve 2000. The dome will be dismantled one year after it opens. Nobody is quite sure what the purpose of it is. The whole fiasco makes Montreal’s Big Owe look like sound planning and fiscal management.

The millennium effort follows on the heels of the last attempt at national cosmetic surgery, an embarrassing New Labour campaign labeled ‘‘Cool Britannia.’‘ This was an ill-fated effort at showcasing the U.K.‘s best young artists, musicians, writers and fashion designers. What the New Labour mandarins and their cabal of overpriced, yuppie consultants failed to understand was that nothing stemming from (or even remotely connected to) government can ever truly be cool. In the 18 months I’ve been here the only cool thing I’ve noticed about Britannia is that the prime minister looks exactly like AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.

Space constraints do not allow me to adequately inventory the innumerable inane and banal events and attitudes a first worlder has to endure in this land, but here are a few: paying anywhere from 30 to 50 cents for a pack of matches; families that have been on the dole for five generations; families that have been in the House of Lords for 50 generations; suspension of the laws of supply and demand — high vacancy rates, yet skyrocketing rents (in London I paid more for my 600-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment above a garage than my sister pays for her 3500-square-foot, four-bedroom mansion at the top of the British Properties); women who wear skirts over top of pants; a tradition of cross-dressing comedians (put a man in a dress and get him to read the dictionary and Brits will double over laughing); and lastly, the inability to have a conversation with a Brit for more than 47 seconds without it being turned to football (soccer) which, by the way, is a mind-numbingly dull sport that consists of 22 prima donnas running around pretending they have no arms.

Here in Merrie Old England, the only time Brits are merry is when they’re legless drunk on bland, warm beer or blissed out on Ecstacy. Understandably, both forms of soma are in abundant supply, which may explain why anyone with any entrepreneurial spirit is certifiably frustrated when trying to make a buck. It is a common practice for Brits to take two-hour lunches at the pub where they pound back four or five pints rendering them absolutely useless. Karl Marx must have been one seriously paranoid, brain- dead commie to have seen anything remotely resembling the capitalistic ethos that inspired him to pen Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto when he was Engels’ rentboy-in-residence in London.
Having been marooned on this Gilligan’s Island for 18months now I have come to the conclusion that this is not a nation with which we want to be associated. It’s just not good marketing to be linked to a loser, as the people of Berlin, Ontario understood when they changed their name to Kitchener. Likewise for Leningrad which has gone back to calling itself St. Petersberg and Ho Chi Mihn City, which will soon revert to the name Saigon. If the citizens of inferior geo- political jurisdictions like Vietnam, Russia and Ontario can understand this principle, surely the highly intelligent denizens of Canada’s left coast can understand that it is time to take the British out of British Columbia.

Having recently returned to Vancouver, Brian Godzilla Salmi is organizing Metal du Fromage, a rock show set to tour B.C. and Alberta later this summer.

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Only the Best

Being the narcissistic cockholes that you wish you knew just how much we are, the only year end list we were interested in creating was one that fed our already way overcoked egos. So let us return from our holiday hiatus by highlighting, in no particular order of importance, some of the more interesting events that transpired on this professional website over the past 365 days. There will never be another year like you, 2007. You were a dirty whore.

If any single word could sum-up aught-seven for us, it would be this: Femanism. Spawned by a seemingly innocent film piece outlining Quentin Tarantino’s secret agenda to forward the rights of women and other visible minorities, the popularity of femanism took off, surpassing even our wildest expectations. Sure, we knew the wheel had been re-invented (or at the very least perfected), but the last thing any of us anticipated was the coining of the new “Wuzzzzzaaah.” But that’s exactly what happened! In retrospect, it’s not very hard to see why. Just say it out loud. Femanism. Fe-man-ism. It’s more fun than saying “Snootchie Bootchies” ten times fast! Oh well, Adam may know dick about the movies, but the man can sure invent a word. Yaaaay Femanism!
LINK: Tarantinos New Femanism

We’re really starting to worry about Alan Hindle. No, it wasn’t when he tried to challenge us to a fistfight on the platform of Broadway Station because we asked him if he was going to get a Facebook account, or when he started talking about farming his own skin out to the needy. That was typical Hindle. But when we found out that he was actually a pigeon murderer, well, we saw him in a whole new light.
LINK: Winged Mutilation

We’re still erupting into uncontrollable giggles over the reception you geniuses have given our new columnist, Chloe Stevenson. We can’t stop doing all around hi-fives for coming up with the idea of appointing such a youngster to become our new queen-of-the-night-time-world, yet all anyone can come back with is spittle in the comments section about the use of proper grammar and how “disappointed” they are in us. Which just goes to show, Vancouver’s club/dance/party/live music scene is full of incredibly well read, word-smithing thirtysomethings. We can’t wait to see this important scene immortalized in the pages of some generation-defining novel by one of you future Chuck Klostermans.
LINK:Beat Kids: Death to Dives

Probably the only time we got out of bed before 11am all year was to wake-n-bake in our pajamas and watch Amil get on the CBC to go head to head with some old bat over that slut Oprah Winfrey’s book The Secret. The weirdest thing, though, was seeing Amil on TV looking all official with the moniker “Amil Niazi – Only Magazine” at the bottom of the screen, like we were a “real” publication. Which seemed a bit odd for a bunch of stoners in their underwear. LINK: Oprah’s Real Secret

Poor David Look graciously extended his palette to some of the most sour and secretly coveted eats this side of the Church’s Chicken (Hastings location, natch). The untold story? Since starting the experiment Mr. Look’s caught food poisoning, traveler’s diarrhea, a quirky little case of flesh eating disease on the mouth and got stabbed three times on three separate occasions. On the flip side though, he did get all $60 of his library fees excused after penning a nice little review of his lunch at the Carnegie Public Library. To date, that is literally the most money anybody has ever made by working for Only Magazine.
LINK:The Carnegie Public Library

Sean Condon is an asshole. While almost all of us try as hard as we possibly can to steer this magazine into a steel-enforced brick wall at full speed, he insists on reporting actual news, over and over again. News! Boring, useless news. What the fuck do you expect us to do with that? At least he uses language we can understand like “pee-hole” and “dirty sanchez” and whatnot. Otherwise it would just all be blah blah evictions blah blah Olympics blah blah homeless blah. And honestly, we saw enough of that shit outside the Balmoral on New Year’s to last us a lifetime. The last thing we need to do is waste our time reading about it.
LINK:Evictions at the Dominion

Meg and Jeph. The best thing about having a married couple writing for us is that they can do half the work of one writer, each. While the “interviewing each other” technique was a fresh way to review music, they took a little bit of heat for their review of the latest Ween album. It’s probably our own fault. We forgot to tell them when they started, “You can write anything you want. Anything. Just don’t mess with Ween.” That’s like pulling on the tassel that hangs from a Shriner’s fez hat. You don’t mess with a Shriner’s tassel. When you do, you’re asking for trouble.

Cameron Reed acted a bit too much like a real journalist and actually made a couple of phone calls for his piece on how the major news media like The Province are presenting Facebook as a “legitimate” source of information. Such an intelligent and intrepid examination understandably led to a bit of virtual necking, but he eventually ended up denying their friendship request. However, we did learn that The Province is married, plays (and sucks at) Scrabulous, is a member of the group “1,000,000 Strong for Bruce Allen” and might be attending Steve’s B-Day Party on Thursday.

We actually made calling bullshit on The Province into a bit of a habit during 2007, which, to be fair, is easy. Where we were most successful is when we called shenanigans on their entirely useless six-part-series on youth gangs in tittle old British Columbia. They were so threatened by our journalistic one-upping that they actually published a response defending themselves! That made us feel all David vs. Goliathish for a few weeks, and also initiated our love affair with the StatsCan website. There is no better way to make friends than with statistics.

And finally, for those of you who kept careful score through the entire year, the final, annual tally for Credit Check was an astounding -174. Nice work, God.

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It's ONLY Christmas

To properly celebrate the birth of Jesus, we’re taking a short vacation. Mostly, this break will be used as an opportunity for us all to debauch guiltlessly while simultaneously cleansing our souls of the mess that was 2007. Don’t worry though, the break will be short and largely go unnoticed. Just like Napoleon, but sort of the opposite. Just remember, we can put our arms back on but you can’t, so play safe. See you when we sober up.

Adam: I’ll be getting fatter on eggnog and growing my hair even longer. I also think that turtle necks and blazers are gonna make a serious comeback. Look for me in 2008. I’ll be the fat, long haired guy who looks like I used to own a yacht, but who lost it all in a back alley game of Durak. No deck shoes though. That’s taking the look just a little too far.

Alan: I am flying to Edmonton for a 48 hour family Christmas holiday at a cost only slightly more than a spayed and vaccinated pot-bellied pig. Maybe if you took the pig to a movie and Joe Forte’s for dinner, that’s airfare these days. Over the next two weeks I’m working on finishing illustrating a kids book for adults I’ve written about a balloon-animal artist living in Krümblburgh (Prague/Edinburgh/London/Naples) where everybody hates her except her cat, Laurel. Oh, and I’ll be drinking over the next two weeks, too.

Amil: I’m adopting a Mexican kid. But just for the Holidays, then it has to go back.

Brynna: My parents don’t love me enough to buy me expensive presents this year, and I even have to pay for my own booze and drugs. In light of this total gyp, I’m spending the rest of December alone playing with all my toys from Christmases past that aren’t broken. Yesterday I took pictures of my Tickle-Me-Elmo with my 2.1 megapixel digital camera, and later I’ll see if my X-box 360 is still in commission, since I threw my Nintendo Wii at a wall in my last drunken rage (Saturday). I’ll then lock myself in my room and open and close a musical pop-up card while chasing the dragon. Being an upper-middle class suburbanite is so overrated.

Chloe: I’ll have you all know that I do not celebrate Christmas. More importantly, I celebrate New Years. I will be hosting an event in the Canary Islands, being drenched in Paris Hilton’s canned champagne and covered in diamonds. After which I will return to my stoop as party girl of the century (to be read while listening to Britney Spears’s – Piece of Me).

Chuck: I’m going to have anal sex with Rachel Ray. I love her recipes and her voice makes me angry. For me that spells love.

David: I’ve been gleefully putting the finishing touches on my stalking station in the shrubbery that surrounds the residence of Alana Black. I will be moving there for the holidays. It’s complete with canned goods, a padded seat for my ass, an empty bleach jug that I can piss into, a small canopy for inclement weather, binoculars, a 1.5 litre bottle of gin and a camera to record the most memorable events of HER EVERY MOVE! ALANA. I LUV YOU. MERRY XMAS! XOXOXOX

Logan: Instead of going to the Pyramids like I did last year I’ll stay in and watch Gumby a few more times and listen to rave music. I’ll probably eat some LSD or condiments from my fridge with rice and mustard and put off bathing again. I’ve been drawing maps of places that are real in my head. There’s even a town called Hanson, can you believe that?! They have 2 schools, a dust factory and a double helix highway. The rest is a secret. Christmas is so silly! Hey kids, according to NASA the Sun’s magnetic field has flipped. That means the north pole is now the south pole. Old news I know.

Meg and Jeph: We will be doing the same thing that we do every week. We will spend a full 168 hours listening to four new albums and then writing the best reviews imaginable. But for the period of Christmas no one will publish them for two weeks, so it will all be in vain and at the cost of you, the reader.

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Strike Stench

Nearly a month old, the city strike in Vancouver has managed to make an already incompetent Mayor Sam Sullivan look utterly useless. While municipalities across “Metro Vancouver” have figured out how to make peace with big labour, Sullivan seems bent on refusing to acknowledge the obvious: sign the five-year contract and shut the fuck up.

With all but the “essential services” being shut down by the strike—for some reason pitch ‘n’ putt, outdoor swimming pools and the Stanley Park miniature train were not consider essential—our garbage is now piling up in alleys, attracting flies and making us upchuck every time we throw out another sack of used teabags and condoms.

As both Sullivan and the union try to out Hoffa each other, the result of the strike is that the city is beginning to stink like shit because of something completely trivial and avoidable. But what doesn’t ever get brought up is that there is only one portion of society that is truly suffering from this excess poop. Most of the rich folk in the West side all have private garbage collectors and life is continuing without a hitch of stench. But the po’ folks on the East side are the ones that depend on city workers to pick up their trash and are now the ones swimming in their neighbours’ semen. So why is one half of the city paying for labour bullshit while the other half gets off?

The answer is that Sullivan is fucking the Eastside in its asshole with a broken broomstick in a desperate move to save his pathetic political career by trying to look tough against the commie unions. The Westside is Sullivan’s base. That’s why he worked so hard to squash the Ward referendum (the at-large voting system allows the West side to control the city). With a prolonged strike the city saves millions, which it is already planning to pass onto homeowners by cutting their property taxes (which side of Vancouver owns expensive property?), and our mayor gets to finally look firm on something.

But all the blame doesn’t belong to Sam. The unions have done such a shitty job in trying to communicate their position and have used Sullivan’s incompetence to try and make themselves look like martyrs. So while they get to look “bruised and battered,” their brothers and sisters are out of a job and forced to picket for peanuts. Their stand has far less to do with solidarity than it is trying to sink Sullivan and ensure a Vision/COPE victory in the 2008 municipal election. Thanks guys.

So now that you know the reason, what is the solution? Take your garbage to City Hall and dump it by the Olympic flag or the ridiculous statue of George Vancouver. Take it to Kerrisdale and spew it throughout the street. Take it to the CUPE head offices and leave it outside its main doors. Take it to Yaletown, find Sullivan and shove your shit up his ass, back from where it came.

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It's a Wonderful ATM Fraud

Welcome to Pottersville

At the end of February, five Only contributors experienced bank card fraud. Between the five of us, we belong to four different Canadian banks. Since we usually only deal in cash it took us until just now to notice. But now, we’re sure. We almost always use bank sanctioned ATMs, and we cover our PINs with both hands (we have very rigid tongues). Yet somehow we all became victims within the same 48 hours. And we are not alone. Banks feared they would run out of new debit cards because of so many fraud victims getting replacements. Vancouverites were forced to go without cash for days until their banks could reimburse them.

Most of the Only family were hit hard: from several hundred to several thousand dollars per person. We sold kidneys and livers for that money.

This fraud happened on a massive scale, not just to us. And yet, the local media has not taken note. To date, there has been no mention of it in any local or national publication… And here’s our high-geared, tightly tuned theory why:

The rich are getting desperate. Champagne-flavoured sweat is streaming down tweezed brows, and flawless teeth are ravaging well-manicured nails. They are so frightened they have resorted to robbing the poor. We think.

Following the whispers of a downward spiral of the world’s financial indexes, wealthy folks withdrew their wealth en masse last week sending the banks scrambling to wrangle up enough gold bricks and half-pennies to cover their asses. So what do banks do when they can’t make rent? Well, the same as the rest of us, rob some poor folk. It seems as if the Russian mafia in Montreal was commissioned to commit debit card fraud against certain awesome citizens living in Vancouver. Awesome citizens like us.

The likeliest scenario is that slim robots were slipped into ATMs at select dumps around the city. Debit cards—those quietly insidious modern devils of convenience—belonging to unsuspecting drunks were read and the tasty PIN numbers were lapped up by the little bots. We imagine that these fraudbots are probably pretty cute despite their horrible purpose. Give them a break, they’re just doing their job.

Later, the crooks rolled up in their stretch Humvees (the on-board Jacuzzis bubbling at half volume to save on costly Perrier) and discreetly emptied the few pennies we had saved up to buy penicillin for our sickly children. And new kidneys and livers.
And why haven’t we heard about this rampant crime wave from our various news sources? Because the mainstream media are owned by the same corporations that the jerk rich folks own. It’s just like when Uncle Billy lost the $8000 on Christmas Eve and Mr.Potter found it in the newspaper and didn’t say anything. Now there’s going to be a run on the ‘ol Bailey Building and Loan and poor George will have to use his honeymoon money to keep the bank open.

The Dow Jones, the Standard&Poor’s 500, NASDAQ, Europe’s FTSE, Japan’s Nikkei and Topix and China’s Hang Seng Indexes– in fact, every stock exchange in the world, dipped considerably this week, prompting fears of a worldwide recession. Real estate markets are shivering like wet fruit bats during a cold snap that kills all the fruit. The dawn of mainstream environmentalism is waking folks up to the cost of rampant consumerism, which is further unnerving the captains of industry. Nobody doubts corporatism will reassert itself, but the beady-eyed certainty of pinstriped vultures with spare tires and love handles is wavering at the moment. The future of capitalism is uncertain, and that equals fear. And that equals desperation. And that equals fattening up to provide against a lean time, when billionaires must suffer becoming mere millionaires. And that means spiking ATMs and ripping off our President’s Choice Financial accounts. It just makes me want to get drunk at Martini’s and cry on Zuzu’s petals.

Have you recently experienced debit card fraud? Do you know anybody who has? We are broke now and need to hear about your pain to ease our own. Especially if you got really screwed. Nothing soothes misery more than laughing at somebody more miserable.

Did you happen to perpetrate debit fraud lately? Email us. Tell us. Especially if you have committed such a clever crime in the last few weeks. We won’t snitch. We’ll listen. Late at night. In the dark. Dressed in black. Under cover of hooting owls and chirping frogs only slightly louder than the gentle swish of a thin knife. Fuckers.

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Period Piece

Image © Kelly Nicoll

Clean up your bloody mess

It’s not a big secret that women bleed from the crotch. Half the population does it, and the other half is affected by it—like, you did come out of a vagina, right?

But there’s a culture of concealment and secrecy based on a bleeding lady’s fear of exposure. It prevents constructive discussion, consumer debate, scientific research and even safety monitoring of the big “sanitary protection” industry.

Where does this fear and shame come from? That would be the fuckers that make money (Americans spend around $2.7 billion US per year on menstrual junk) by maximising women’s insecurities. We’re bombarded with advertisements reminding us how gross and unladylike it is to menstruate. To be discovered as a menstruator would mean ultimate humiliation.

“New! From Kotex! Pads with quiet wrappers!” Great, so now the lady in the next stall won’t hear that telltale rustling and know you’re throwing away a pad. That would be embarrassing.
The big money pad ads also remind us to fear “feminine odours” and that “not-so-fresh feeling.” Like taping a plasticky, unbreathable pad to my vajayjay is going to help with that. Hey, Always, thanks for creating an unfresh feeling that we can now remedy with Always brand disposable feminine cleansing cloths. Now we’re sure to “feel confident throughout the day.”

A girl can easily make a pad out of nice soft flannel, fill it with layers of terry and fasten it with a single snap. Montreal-based activist group Blood Sisters—who work against the corporate and cultural constructions of menstruation—have an easy-to-use, printable pad pattern on their website. “Hello” comfort and breathability, “goodbye” chafing and having some dude make you feel crappy about your fecundity to make a quick buck.

It’s seriously not that scary just to rinse a bloody pad in cold water and throw it in the laundry, is it? You’d be surprised at how not-gross menses actually is when it’s not sucked into a bleachy bundle of rayon fibres (aka a tampon) or a sticky plastic pad. It’s just your blood. It’d take the same amount of time to rinse a pad as it would to carefully camouflage it in toilet paper before you toss it (and you won’t have to worry about your boyfriend’s parents’ Boston terrier dragging it out of the trash and tearing it to shreds in their living room).

Or why not try a reusable menstrual cup like the Keeper or the Diva Cup? You can leave it in for 12 hours and use the same one for 10 years. And most women find that after 12 hours, the 30ml cup is only half-full—or half-empty, depending on your outlook.
You can get the Diva Cup at a ton of places, recently including London Drugs. If you buy it from Womyn’s Ware on Commercial Drive, you can try it out and return it if you don’t like it. But we bet you won’t return it. It takes a bit of practice, but you’ll get the hang of it. And you’ll be a lot more comfortable with sticking your fingers up your lady-hole—a life skill we should all master.

We’re not even going to go into the health issues like TSS, vaginal dryness and ulceration, peeling of the mucous membrane, diaper rash and the disruption of the natural micro flora ecosystem that’s essential to a healthy pussy. And we dare not mention the fact that the FDA says not to worry about the low levels of dioxins (this shit has been linked to endometriosis even when it’s not shoved up your cunt) since you’re already exposed to it through environmental pollutants (environmental pollutants from bleaching paper products, perhaps?). Didn’t the US Environmental Protection Agency say something about no level of exposure to dioxins being acceptable for humans?

The average vadge bleeds onto about 15,000 pads/tampons during her menstruating career. That’s like 17 shopping carts full of garbage.

But it’s not what these products are doing to our love tunnels and our earth that should really motivate you to change your blood-catching strategy, it’s what they’re doing to our minds and our society.
Stop paying these jerks to make you feel crappy. Why keep a secret that everyone knows about?

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Heritage Of Hate

Hotel Vancouver, across the street from Hotel Georgia

THIS IS ABOUT THE HOTEL GEORGIA. Built in 1927, it is one of Vancouver’s grand dames, ticking away the decades with its sister across the street, the Hotel Vancouver. The Hotel Georgia has just closed for a few years-worth of redecorating and redevelopment, prompting the press to spend a little time reminiscing and shining up the fact that the Hotel Georgia was the first major hotel to welcome black guests in the late 1950s. Wait… Vancouver hotels were banning blacks?

Today we pride ourselves in being cosmopolitan, horrified yet bemused at what bumpkin Americans were doing down south before the civil rights movement. But your Grandma and Grandpa were just as bad. Probably worse.

Consider the Park Board. Our elected Park Board. They banned Chinese residents of Vancouver from swimming in public pools until 1947, the year Canada deigned to give Chinese-Canadians the vote.

Consider the British Properties. Those posh mansions in North Vancouver were built by the Guinness Family, the Guinness Family of beer-brewing fame. They owned—and still own thousands of acres of North Shore property on which they’ve built slowly creeping mansions up the hill since the ‘30s. Every single one of those original mansions, to this day, has a covenant on their deed: No selling this property to Jews or non-whites. They also built the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

Consider the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying 376 passengers from India to Canada in 1914. Like all Canadians, Indians at that time were British Subjects and theoretically equal under His Majesty. Vancouver had other ideas and used the Vancouver police to prevent entry into the harbour. The passengers held on nearly three months, sitting in English Bay, before the ship was forced to turn back.

Consider the First Nations who, like Chinese-Canadians and Japanese-Canadians, were not permitted the right to vote, to hold public office, to serve on juries, or practice as pharmacists, lawyers, or accountants. White lawyers were barred from representing First Nations persons because, as the theory went, the Indian Affairs office in Ottawa looked after all their interests.

Consider Hogan’s Alley. This was a street in Strathcona that ran from Main and Jackson between Prior and Union. This was Vancouver’s black neighbourhood, home to black-owned shops, homes, bars, and the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel. You don’t see that neighbourhood any longer because the 1960s City Council put the Georgia Street Viaduct right over top of it. The residents were not consulted.

Consider the White Lunch. This famous—but long closed restaurant chain had locations throughout Vancouver. According to Vancouver historian Michael Kluckner, in his book “Remembering Vancouver”, the “white” in restaurant names meant that the kitchen did not hire Chinese cooks. There were other restaurant chains with White in the name.

The Deep South had institutional racism—institutional in the fact that the legislatures of the various states passed laws barring blacks from occupations, from schools, from public transit. People who lived there back then can, decades later, claim that they were against this discrimination but, “what can you do? It’s the law.”

But in Vancouver? We know First Nations, Chinese-Canadians and Japanese-Canadians were discriminated by law. But black people? Banned at restaurants? Barred from staying in Vancouver hotels? When the Hotel Georgia allowed those first black guests, they weren’t violating a law of a racist legislature. This was a voluntary ban, voluntarily enforced at hotels and restaurants. Forty years later, the Hotel Georgia get accolades. So goodbye, you grand dame. We’re better off for the lack of you.

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It’s okay to be gay

Christians who forgot to read the bible

According to the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, all faithful Christians are obliged to tolerate homosexuality and embrace gays as part of their community. It says so, right in the Bible. Clearer than KY jelly.

A few Christians out there may be confused by this.

“Jesus says I should let somebody put their penis in my ass? Or, if I’m a woman, let another woman grind her vaginal juices into my vaginal juices until we’re laughing dizzily and making plans for a vegan breakfast tomorrow at Gorilla Food?”

Ha ha, no, Jesus didn’t say that.

Other Christians, especially those with radio programmes and sagging medicine cabinets, may be inflating with self-righteous wrath reading this, but that’s only because they haven’t actually read the Bible yet.

“Rush Limbaugh says faggots are going to burn in Hell for eternity because they put their wieners in the bums and mouths and ears and crooks of knees and apple pies of other men!”

Ha ha, yes, Rush probably did say something like that. Let’s pretend Rush Limbaugh is a cherub-faced angel on wings of golden painkillers, huffing and puffing his judgments upon human kind. Let’s also imagine him as one of those angels you see in full robes because the idea of him naked is disgusting.

“It says in the Bible,” blusters our imagined archangel Limbaugh, “in Leviticus 18:22, ‘Thou shalt not lie with man as with woman; it is an abomination!’”

Then he shuts up, because there isn’t anything else in the Bible against homosexuality. The word was invented 18 centuries after the crucifixion of Christ. The anti-gay brigade relies entirely on 18:22 to justify their squeamishness.

Leviticus is the portion of the Mosaic Code, from the Jewish Torah (and Old Testament) laying out the purification rules for the priestly class of the ancient, caste-observing Hebrew society. The same book of law also forbids eating owls and lobsters, picking sticks up on the Sabbath day, and wearing clothes made of two kinds of material. The punishment for such transgressions was often death. Check the label of your pants or shirt. Cotton/polyester? Any Lycra in there? Rayon? You get stones for breakfast.

Besides hygiene concerns (because let’s face it, men are pigs and rarely wash their dicks) and besides the possible true reason anal sex was forbidden was because the man being entered was taking a submissive position, like that of a woman (who at the time were considered inferior and unclean), Leviticus is irrelevant to a true Christian. Moses’ Ten Commandments, according to Jesus, are irrelevant to Christians. Every one of the commandments, however, save for that of observing the Sabbath, are repeated in different wording elsewhere in the New Testament, because Moses was a sharp guy with solid dictation skills and they are good rules to live by. In fact, Christians are only governed by the New Testament. Jesus, via his apostles, makes it clear his new deal sweeps aside the old laws.

Romans 7:6 “But now [with this new testament] we are delivered from the [old] law…that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Galatians 3: 24-26 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
Check out 2nd Corinthians 3:6-9, Ephesians 2:14-15, Hebrews 10:16-18.

Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days. [Or who you fuck.]”

There is nothing there about fags. There is only love and acceptance and tolerance for all. Jesus hung out with drunks, lepers, prostitutes, women even, for Jiminy Cricket’s sake! You’d almost think he loved most the people who were the most human. But what about the hoarse shriekings of the Archangel Limbaugh, flapping madly his OxyContin pins, determining our moral obligations as he sees fit?

Galatians 1:8-9 “But though we, or an angel, from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed…. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
O dear, dear Rush. No wonder your cabinet sags.

Only wishes everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and don’t forget to wash the cranberry sauce off your cock or out of your cunt.

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More than ten things that I hate about you

And by you I mean Vancouver

On November 27th, our very own man-in-motion, Mayor Sam Sullivan, unleashed Project Civil City, a 32-page discharge outlining how Vancouver can aggressively combat public disorder. “[E]nhancing the civic response to nuisance[s]” such as “annoyance complaints”–animals, overpriced coffee and people not flushing after they go number 2–are all part of the mayor’s proposal to the council.

We see no reason why his incredibly in-depth four question online survey shouldn’t be able to solve the city’s plights. Now Sullivan is promising that a mere one million dollars will fix all sorts of deep-seated, poverty-related problems by 2010. Although he has proposed a very comprehensive and genocidal solution to getting rid of the poor and cleaning up this shit-horse town, it just wasn’t enough. It felt incomplete. Therefore, a la Nixon, we at Only broke into the NPA head-offices and stole Sullivan’s double-plus-secret list of complaints—the one that didn’t make the official press release. In the spirit of democracy and raping poor people, we are printing all the crap that is really on Sullivan’s mind. Because it is only by standing up, or, in this case, sitting down and speaking his dynamic mind, that this city will ever attain its Olympic destiny: Whistler’s parking lot.

1. White people’s asses. Why don’t they have any? They’re flat like pancakes. That’s not right.

2. People that sit in the aisle seat on the bus while the window seat is open. I can’t get up to sit down. Thoughtless.
3. International students walking 3-abreast, arms linked and dragging their feet. I speak Cantonese, but that doesn’t mean I can’t squeeze the knees.

4. Fewer Asian people shopping at T&T supermarket because I like to be surrounded by white people when I’m shopping for Asian food. And you know what? T&T doesn’t even carry olives.

5. I don’t really like seeing handicapped people in public. It makes me uncomfortable. Why can’t they walk? Let’s look into it.

6. We need to do some more research into UFO phenomena and support research into recurring paranormal activity. Is there another children’s support organisation we can shut down for a few extra funding bucks?

7. Women sure do like to talk. I just wish they wouldn’t call the cops.

8. Less affordable housing. More adorable housing.

9. Why do all the whores want us to pay for their heroin habit? ‘Bitch, I ain’t the Mayor!’ (Note to self: must change this if I become Mayor.)

10. Privacy is for perverts. If I’m not doing anything wrong, then the cops can watch me. And if I am doing something wrong I want a copy. For reference purposes. Plus I like the way my hair looks on close-circuit, So, more cameras on Granville Street. Now.

11. Homelessness is for homos. Gays make my cock hard…er…I meant homos. I MEAN homoless–Christ! HOMELESS people make my cock hard. (Oh, for the love of men, I mean God) What I mean to say is, homeless people make me feel secure. More homeless, please.

12. On the other side of those mountains are all kinds of different scenery we are being denied. Fucking mountains. Only good for grouse-grinding and throwing yourself down with 2X4s on your feet. Knock ‘em down! Those things need to pay.

13. Giant black squirrels. They’re always watching me. Find your own bush, rodents. Anybody else ever notice their cute little faces, up close are usually crisscrossed with scars and tattoos?

14. This city needs more black people like James Green.

15. Rust. Fuck that stuff!

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Shiny Balls

Still from "Geopolitics in 30 Seconds" on Wonder Showzen

The economy won’t save us It’s the economy, stupid. The mantra created by James Carville that shaped President Clinton’s second term win espouses the firm political belief that if the economy is strong, quality of life will follow suit, and everyone will be happier… or at least those most likely to vote will be. And to a degree this might be true. But seeing as how we all vote, and we’re all increasingly less happy, it might serve us well to reassess this standard.

Right now, Premier Gordon “Hawaiino” Campbell is polishing some Chinese relaxation balls in Beijing in a desperate attempt to strengthen B.C.’s ties with the world’s fastest-growing economic superpower. The key to this arranged marriage is Vancouver, which is being lauded as the West Coast link to the Far East.

Look at your shoes. Made in China. Look at your iPod. Made in China. Look at your cock. Made in China. Now, look at your government. Don’t be surprised if you find the ubiquitous slogan of capitalism branded Campbell’s ass the next time you flip him over.
But aside from a massive influx of shiny balls, dolls and sprawl, dollops of wallets, fidgets and midgets, what will closer ties to China actually mean for Vancouver? Well, if you’re a freewheeling and dealing consumer, it’ll mean cheap and wasteful goods and good times getting wasted. If you’re a rich Chinese entrepreneur, it’ll mean one more condo to buy and leave empty until real estate values and homelessness double. If you’re the Dali Lama, it’ll mean one less place to hob knob with celebrities. And If you’re a poor Chinese labour worker, it won’t mean a damn bit – most of your family already suffocated in shipping containers trying to sneak into the city.

But how ironfisted is China’s reacharound on our city? Well, Provincial transportation czar Kevin Falcon went on record praising China’s complete absence of labour and environmental restrictions, joking that without public consultation or mounting opposition, he could simply green-light the Gateway Project highway expansion and pave over houses. As our politicians kneel to the shaking of China’s fly, what does Mr. Campbell suggest we do? “We simply need to reach out and to grasp it.” It’s the economy, stupid, and we might do well to get in on the ground floor.

Economy 101: Upper management of large corporations, having bought or crushed all the small companies and cornered every market, give all the profits to their executives and shareholders. Having convinced their national governments they shouldn’t pay taxes because it hinders profits, they still fall into debt because of the executives’ pay packets. To stay afloat corporate America has borrowed heavily, accruing debts eating up 30% of their revenue in interest payments. To scrounge pennies, they sack the staff and outsource the jobs to China, thus producing, say, Odour Eaters much cheaper, but selling them for the same price. Pure profit. Yet Big Business, creating waste, underemploying, and requiring federal handouts the tax-cutting government can’t afford, has effectively produced an empty economy. Hence the downwardly spiraling “quality” of middle-class life, accompanied by the ever increasing dissention and the need to scare the shit out of people so they will stop asking questions. Meanwhile, the captains of industry sneer that public services are inefficient and should be privatised to make more money… for the executives.

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