Night Music: Art Blakey and “Dat Dere”

November 12, 2014

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers do the classic Bobby Timmon’s tune.

Ain’t YouTube just grand.

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When Does An Apology Mean Something?

November 12, 2014

This morning started with a CBC Radio debate between the three main Mayoral candidates; and that started oddly with Mayor Gregor Robertson apparently apologizing to the residents of the City for screwing up for the last six years.  In fact, his apology was much milder than that, but it sounded like an apology.

A frequent correspondent wrote me this interesting note about the apology:

The apology from Gregor Robertson in the Courier article, also detailed in the Straight article linked below is certainly surprising!

http://www.straight.com/news/769941/gregor-robertson-apologizes-vancouver-voters-during-mayoral-debate

The apology is even more astounding in light of his “no regrets” comments just 5 days ago:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/dogged-and-focused-gregor-robertsons-says-he-has-no-regrets/article21512790/

Perhaps what’s even more astonishing is that Gregor doesn’t ever state what he’s apologizing for. Either he doesn’t know what he’s now sorry for, or he’s unwilling to say so.

Neither is particularly confidence-building.

And there you have it.


I Used To Be Homesick

November 12, 2014

I used to be homesick

for the smell of the old Sainsbury’s butchers shops, the sawdust, the red raw hands of the fat-armed butcher’s boys;

for the extinct pink Financial Times and the Sporting Life, for their columns and columns of incomprehensible numbers and symbols of form and potential, neither suitable for fish and chip wrapping;

for the smell of the Tube tunnels as a rushing train pushes warm stale air across faces and platforms;

for the hop skip and jump it used to take to keep drinking all day in the days of the mysterious licensing hours;

for the certainty of location in a spoken voice, always the region and often the very suburb or streetscape;

for the red squirrels in the parks and the water rats in the ditches and the horses that pulled the rag and bone mens’ carts on a Saturday morning;

for the hordes of rednosed rawboned hoop-shirted hooligans whooping it up on a Saturday afternoon, street level nationalists;

for the exciting stink of the Standard Wallpaper Company fire way back before the clean air acts when the thick smoke billowed invisibly within the choking smog;

for Toots & The Maytals and Cliff Richard & the Shadows, and the Yardbirds and the Uxbridge Fair, for Eel Pie Island, the Marquee Club, and the Orchid Ballroom, Purley;

for the taste of raw beer hoppy and alive in an alehouse more ancient than America where 100 is a busy night and the beer and the bread and the cheese are homemade;

for the rank taste in the mouth when the gasholders were full and leeching and the air smelled green;

for Prince Charles and Coronation Street, and Mastermind and Marjorie Proops and the Sunday Mirror and the Evening Standard and the Guardian crossword, and the suckers getting taken at Piccadilly Circus;

for eel-pie and mash, for meat-and-potato pies, for streaky bacon and fat-filled bangers, for two pieces of rock and six pennyworth o’chips, for Bisto and Bovril and Daddie’s Sauce, for Marks & Sparks Christmas puds, for hot runny custard, mushy peas, black pudding and kippers;

for the china chink of cup on saucer across the village green as your team takes to the field in whites and off-whites and green-stained creams, running and stretching and yawning off the dozen pints of the night before;

for the narrow roads and tiny cars and miniature houses and rose gardens and muddy resorts and back lanes where it is safe to walk.

I used to be homesick before you.


Last Day of Advance Polling

November 12, 2014

Today and next Saturday are the last chances you have to vote in the 2014 Vancouver Municipal Election.  Because of the deal struck between Vision Vancouver and the BC Liberals, this will be the last chance you get to vote until the end of 2018 — four whole years.  That makes your vote even more important than usual.

The key point in this election is to endure that Vision Vancouver does not get another majority — the last thing this City needs is another four years of one-party dictatorship, especially a dictatorship that has a close bond with their cronies in neighbourhood-destroying development and real estate industry.  The best way to do this is to ensure that at least four, and preferably five, parties get seats on City Council.  That is the reason for the selections below:

For Mayor, I have selected KIRK LAPOINTE. He has brought the NPA back to their traditional neighbourhood-centric role, and he has endorsed thr Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhood’s strategy for collaborative planning.

For Council, I propose three Greens (Brown, Carr, and Fry), RJ Aquino of OneCity, two Cedar Party (both the Chernen brothers), two NPA (select any two from Affleck, McDowell and Ian Robertson, and two COPE (Barrett and Louis are my choices).

These candidates and their parties have endorsed the Coalition’s Planning document and, just as importantly, have agreed to collaborate and cooperate with each of the other parties to make sure that a non-majority Council will work well and produce a Vancouver of which we can all be proud.