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Quick, sparky political digs, crabs, and short bursts of sometimes thunderous applause.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

More Sensational Fearmongering: Province-Style! 



Perhaps it's because my 5 day old daughter is on my lap right now, but I can't help but be further disgusted by the irresponsible bastardization of journalism being malpracticed at The Province newspaper.

"Toddler Shot Dead for Crying" is pretty far from even an attempt at a subtle nod towards propriety. It makes me think that in some sleepy suburb around Vancouver, mom or pop just couldn't handle it anymore and decided to cure colic the ultimate way. And while "School Hostage Drama" technically exists above the sensational headline, it is not as visible 10-30 feet away from the newspaper boxes.

But in an even more cynical twist, after scaring the meconium out of us with a tale of "we're becoming just like them gun-slinging Americans," we get to see a nice piece of military hardware below designed to appease us into a new sense of security courtesy of the military industrial complex. Those terrorists can murder our crying babies, but at least we have armoured personnel carriers to protect our homes from ruffians and thugs who use the Skytrain to invade our neighbourhoods.

Scare us, then shove weaponry in our face to appease our fear. It's a good way to keep us insecure. Don't give in.

Finis

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Lamenting the Lack of a Black and White World 

I guess I should shut up about the depravity of CanWest's media near-monopoly that undermines the free press in Vancouver. The Courier spent a good time slamming the Sun and Province for running identical pictures of Karla Homolka, as well as a number of other vapid idiocies in the Sun.

This kind of serious criticism is essential in a free press environment. Independent papers must stand up and assault the stranglehold of thought threatened by a media oligopoly. It's bad enough to be cynical about CanWest's share in MetroNews as it attempts to grab Sun and Province readers with its weekday free paper. Ah, thank god for the Courier.

Oh wait, on the Courier's masthead they admit to being a part of the CanWest group. Curses. Foiled again.

Finis

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Justice for Those Who Don't Vote 

Barry Link sums up my views of the huge minority of British Columbians who have insulted us all by not voting last month. I respect his analysis of the state of citizens' relationship with the electoral process. But there are three additional points to make.

First, I disagree with Link's claim that the media is less cozy with government now compared to the past. I find no reason to stop referring to CanWest as Campbell's neoLiberal Ministry of Information. The cliche about not seeking conspiracy when incompetence can fully explain an event is poignant here. While not examining incompetence, there is no need to seek a deep conspiracy between the government and circus that pretends to be a independent, free press in BC; it takes no brain surgeon to recognize that Campbell's neoLiberals and CanWest share the same economic and social ideals. They need never even speak to each other: CanWest will support their saviour government like Mairkin Theo-Cons maniacally support w.Caesar down south. Turns out every once in a while we find evidence of a tangible link between CanWest and the neoLiberal party, but that hardly matters. The local media junta will forever support the government as fast as its editorial board will declare a premier's drunk driving Maui debacle a dead story. Shame.

Second, in cataloging all the reasons why our society is well-off, Link doesn't really go far enough. Our luxury is our complacency. Democracy evolved out of the need to achieve justice in an oppressive day. When the majority is living well and salivating over the Hummers crumbling our streets, there is less obvious need to "be" political. Campbell's neoLiberal goons championed this by not showing up to all-candidates meetings all over the province and trumpeting the "Golden Decade" hysteria, just to remind us that voting is not required. We should just stay home, watch the lottery commercials on TV and think about which Yaletown penthouse we'll buy when we build the better mousetrap or get bought out by some Mairkin corporate giant.

Third, the disastrously huge minority of people who didn't vote, in one sense, did vote: they voted for Campbell's neoLiberal junta. The BC government believes in undermining social interconnectedness. What better way to support that ideology than by not voting. We all get what we deserve. This is where Link's last line in his article is quite poignant, his sentiments towards the non-voters: "To hell with you."

I share his views. Good for him.

Finis

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The Tao of Politics 

Kevin Potvin's philosophy shines steadily in The Republic. Snippets of it also grace the pages of The Vancouver Courier, despite its insistence on the Urban Landscape column where Fred Lee goes around taking pictures of the pretty people at high society galas for beautiful people. In fact, Potvin's column in the June 1, 2005 Courier is opposite Fred Lee's photos of the beautiful.

Irony lives as Potvin's column that day dealt with the philosophical depravities of the BC neoLiberal party that clash with his: values that respect more interconnectedness and interdependence in society. The neoLiberals would just like to ignore the mere abstract possibility of social responsibility, gutting it on the alter of individual freedom, greed and selfishness under the accomodating awning of unregulated global capitalism [$6.00 training wage, foreigners building BC's ferries].

I enjoy Potvin's work in The Republic so much that each issue has a number of articles that leave me with the me-too feeling of wishing that I had written them.

Potvin's June 1, 2005 Courier article expressed an optimism about the future of sane society that last month's tragic reelection of the neoLiberal fools undermines. In the ebb and flow continuum of social movements, the neoLiberal mongers of social destruction will not last long. Indeed, BC's tendency for polar shifts in political movements supports the yin-yang spinning that some day will return sanity to our provincial legislature.

In a turn of intent pragmatism, the BC New Democrats [formerly the NDP], have spend 19 months pushing new spin: they wish to be the new centrist party of BC. There has never been a substantial third party in BC: no centre. The Greens pretend they can be it, but they end up centre-right with token environmental tendencies that they will subsume beneath sustainable development paradoxes. The DRBC like every other centrist party is hampered by an intangible base. And ever since the Socreds left the scene as the right wing party of the province and the so much more right wing neoLiberal freakshow claimed that end of the spectrum, all that's left is the credibly-empty 1990's NDP.

So they elected Carol James as their leader and embraced a mushy middle on the idea, perhaps, that embracing more authentically centrist ideals will get them elected. For certain, a left-wing NDP that will in the future alienate the CanWest neoLiberal Ministry of Communication can never again govern, but a truly centrist party could.

This will leave many true left wingers shivering in the Vancouver winter rains in their patched red underwear. We'll see if LeftTurn.ca--or some similar umbrella--can make tangible the scattered will of lefties more effectively than the dozens of would-be centre-right parties have done since the neoLiberals have Thatcherized and Reaganized and Friedmanized BC's economy and social fabric under the guise of a centrist name: "Liberal."

However the next few years or two decades of the yin-yang spin of BC politics evolve, Potvin's right. It's all cyclical. He writes, "overall, we are moving over the course of five centuries inexorably toward and interconnected model of humanity. Sooner of later, our legislation and resources cannot but come to reflect it." The mere existence and voter support of the Green Party in BC both provincially and federally--despite their pale reflection of their European roots--indicates the truth that people who know about ecology and symbiosis are moving towards voting out shortsighted bastards who can't see themselves fitting in the big picture. They won't even have time to let us eat cake...being blind and all.

Vancouver Councillor Fred Bass reflected such long term vision in his letter in the same Courier issue. The blind will eat their young and they won't even know it.

Finis

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