I just took the time to listen once again to the genius of “Burn“ which was my Night Music for yesterday, and it reminded me that I saw Miles play at Expo in 1986.
I bought my first Miles Davis album (“Sketches of Spain“) when I was still at school, so sometime prior to 1966. He has been a hero of mine now for more than 50 years, and I have enjoyed every phase of his career. However, oddly enough, all I can remember about the Expo concert was the fact that he never once to my recollection ever faced the audience or acknowledged our presence.
According to the calculations of Archbishop Usher of Armargh, today is the earth’s birthday. His calculations led him to believe that God created the world on October 23rd, 4004 BC.
Now, there are those who say his math is wrong, but let’s not quibble on our birthday!
Eleven years ago today, I was called into my boss’s office and told that I was being laid off.
The locally-owned company where I had worked for a good many years had been taken over by a larger American group earlier that year, and they wanted to put their own people into senior management positions. I wasn’t the first or even fourth senior manager to be sent packing, and I had expected this meeting all through the summer. I was almost sixty years old and bored with working for someone else. When the hammer fell, I was greatly relieved and happily accepted the generous severance pay they offered.
Luckily, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the first part of my enforced retirement. I was keen to write a history of Commercial Drive and over the next fifteen months, that’s what I did. Along with this I helped establish the Grandview Heritage Group which kept me busy and interested. At the same time, I wanted to become a lot more involved in local politics, knowing that a Community Plan was about to be thrust upon us. Any regular reader of this blog will know that I was and remain deeply involved in those matters to this day.
The Community Plan experience led to my third book Battleground: Grandview which should be available in the next few weeks.
So, I have been busy these last eleven years. But the genuine sense of freedom has been the really exhilarating feeling. I wake up when I want, dress in whatever I want, spend time with the Everloving, cook, take long luxurious naps, read, write, and relax. We certainly don’t have the money we had when I was working, but we get by OK, and I’ll swap the money for such freedom any day.
It has been a grand eleven years, and I quietly thank my old firm for laying me off when they did.
Yesterday, at City Council, the Vision-era decision to hold public hearings at times when most of the public is unavailable (i.e., during weekday business hours) was finally overturned — but only just.
Under Council procedures, Clr Swanson’s abstention counts as a yes, and so by the barest of margins — 6 to 5 — Vision’s thoroughly undemocratic rules for eliminating public discussion of public business were defeated and a more people-friendly policy will take effect in 2021. CityHallWatch has a detailed look at the history.
I am amazed that this nearly lost. It might have seemed likely that Vision 2.0 (Mayor Stewart and Clr. Boyle) would oppose, but what were the Vancouver Greens thinking? I know that recently they have been happily leaning on the Vision-esque Americanized City staff for many of their thoughts and actions, but I could not believe they would be so publicly scornful of the public’s right to be part of the debate. It shows their fundamentally un-progressive position on so many issues outside of, perhaps, the environment.
I am glad that this Motion passed, but I am disappointed by what the voting shows about the Vancouver Greens
BC had experimented with Prohibition for a short while. However, the matter was put to a plebiscite on 21st October 1920 and the people voted by a wide margin to cancel Prohibition and start government-controlled liquor sales.
The City of Vancouver has compiled a fascinating series of demographic statistics about our neighbourhood. It covers such a lot of ground that it is perhaps easiest to show an image of the Table of Contents:
There is a ton of material to mine here and I am sure I will refer to it often. Just as a start, I was fascinated to see these two graphs …
… which go against my everyday feel of the place as one of both welcoming and encouraging diversity.
There is an online ZOOM debate this evening which will pit Vancouver-Hastings candidates against each other. It is being sponsored by Longhouse Ministry.
The BC Green candidate Bridget Burns has an excellent piece on the Georgia Straight.
Update 7:09pm: I have been unable to connect with the meeting using the link sent to me. I hope some of you have better luck!
Many of us might be familiar with the recent news that the Fred Perry Company has stopped producing a particular style of polo shirt because the clothing has been adopted by the fascist Proud Boys and similar neo-Nazi scum. In light of that, the Everloving came across an interesting article in BuzzFlash which led to others supplying a brief historical background to the uses and abuses of fashion by fascists.
For example, Manjima Bhattacharjya wrote in her Firstpost column titled “Dressed to kill”, that the age of high fascism and fashion are inextricably and insidiously linked.
“The Italian fascist party through the 1930s and 1940s systematically employed the fashion industry as a tool to mold the cultural expressions of nation, class and gender in the ‘new Italy.’” After the Nazi occupation of France, “Hitler used fashion as propaganda, organizing photo-shoots of stylish people in Paris alongside his soldiers, to show that people were living happily under the occupation.”
Fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, author of Worn on This Day told Fast Company:
“The appeal [of the Perry shirts] for the Proud Boys seems to be in its laurel wreath logo—a sports reference inconveniently reminiscent of Nazi imagery—and specific color combinations,” Fast Company’s Elizabeth Segran noted that “Adolf Hitler’s ceremonial flag, for instance, featured a black swastika in the center of a yellow wreath.”
On October 8, Glossy’s Danny Parissi reported that
“Groups like the Proud Boys have a long history of co-opting fashion brands and aesthetics to appeal to potential new members, and that aesthetic has been moving further toward high-fashion. (The polo sells for $90 at Bloomingdale’s.) For the brands who these groups latch onto, the association can be hard to shake.” The same article noted that “Dr. Martens, whose boots have been a staple in British and American fashion for decades, has long been dogged by associations with Neo-Nazi groups and skinheads, who adopted the Doc Martens boot as part of their aesthetic in the 1980s. That association has followed the brand ever since. In 2017, the brand was criticized widely for a billboard showing a black boot with red laces, a color combination that is often worn by skinhead groups, with the red laces specifically denoting that one has ‘spilled blood’ for the cause.
As Howard Graves comments, there is little the companies can do: “The furthest reaches of it are out of the brands’ hands. If the Proud Boys want to keep saying they love Fred Perry and wearing Fred Perry, they’re going to keep doing it. They’re relentless. But I tend to think that an open refutation of groups that are co-opting your brand for fascism is the least you can do and heartening when I see it.”
He had long ago accepted the loss as permanent,
but that acceptation was merely a gloss, as yet skin deep,
not yet having bled into the very marrow of his being,
nor led him to that place of serenity.
His bitterness lay as deep as the roots of cedar in shale,
following tracks as distant and serpentine as the staged attacks
of true hackers working their miraculous juju through the internet
ether, and forever ending in a sad soiled grace.
And, though he could choose to confuse his loneliness with tragedy –
as if he were the sainted prophet of his own persecuted
exarchate in exile — it was but loneliness nonetheless,
and it hurt as bad as the arrows of martyrdom.