Night Music: Boz Scaggs’ “Lowdown”

November 16, 2014

The wonderful Boz Scaggs live with one of his “Silk Degrees” songs.  I always think of West Coast Funk when I hear this stuff.

Erring On The Green Side

November 16, 2014

There were of course a number of sad events on Saturday night, not least of which was the failure of the Vancouver Greens to make a breakthrough: excellent Council candidates Pete Fry and Cleta Brown floundering in 18th and 19th place, about 27,000 votes behind their leader. They have a couple of strong Commissioners on Parks Board, and Janet Fraser seems to hold a balance of power position on School Board; but still just the indefatigible Adriane Carr on Council.

This is both sad and surprising. The rumour was that even the big parties’ internal polls had Pete Fry getting a seat.  So what went wrong?

From my seat on the sidelines, I thought they did a pretty good job of spreading the brand between the three candidates.  Adriane had the obvious name recognition advantage, but their appearances and speeches seemed to be equally spread.  Unfortunately, they undersold the brand in my opinion.  As I understand their campaign, they dumped their entire platform on the first day, and then barely mentioned it again.

Meena Wong and R.J. Aquino drove their campaigns through almost daily announcements of platform planks.  Vision and NPA did much the same. It was these announcements that drove the news cycles and the headlines.  This is basic retail politics and doesn’t cost that much to actualize.  The Greens didn’t do that, seeming to rely almost entirely on Adriane’s reputation and the candidates’ presence on many stages and at events.  They were all great one-on-one and in debate format; but that wasn’t going to be enough.  Linking Fry and Brown to specific scheduled platform announcements might have tied them more closely to Carr and the party and brought their votes up closer to the top ten.

The decision not to run a mayoral candidate was, I still believe, correct.

I’m sure some poli-sci student(s) will write the definitive story of what effect, if any, social media played in this campaign.  If it had no effect, then no loss.  But the Greens were way behind on twitter so far as I could see, with Pete getting involved at times, but with little if any help from Adriane and Cleta.  As I say, this whole twitter business may have meant nothing, but why take that risk when the entry price is so low?

There is every reason to believe that Pete and Cleta will stay involved, and that’s a good thing.  I don’t know whether four more years alone on a Vision Council is a blessing or a curse for Adriane.

Nail-Based Sculpture

November 16, 2014


Here are some examples of turning the ordinary (a nine-inch nail) into extraordinary art works.  John Bisbee has spent thirty years perfecting his craft.  Marvelous stuff.


Glorious Day Turned Into The Twilight Zone

November 16, 2014

To quote Charles Dickens:  it was the best of times, and the worst of times.  The best of times was the weather and the camaraderie in the line to vote; the worst of times was the dismal and depressing no-change result.

There were some marvelous ideas put forward by OneCity, the Cedar Party, COPE, Bob Kasting, and the Coalition.  But if Vision sticks to their campaigning platform, none of these ideas will see the light of day, smashed beneath the developer-first we-know-best arrogant social engineering project that is Joel Solomon’s and Bob Rennie’s and Ian Gillespie’s Vision Vancouver.

And they win despite the clear evidence of their method of managing through cronies our precious resources.

As I wrote to someone earlier this morning, anarchists are not born, they are made by democratic disasters such as this.  Modern corporate “democracy” is a money-driven publicity exercise, dependent at least as much on organizational ability in the GOTV period and the fear placed in the minds of those who don’t think about these things for very long, than on the quality of real ideas and how those can be used to make everyone in Vancouver prosper.

A very sad day for Vancouver.