Night Music: A Walk On The Wide SideSeptember 12, 2022
The Arrogance of Front RunnersSeptember 12, 2022
For the last few weeks, volunteers from the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) have sought to put together a Mayoral Forum which was scheduled for 19th September at Britannia. It was to be an occasion for the people of the neighbourhoods of Vancouver to question the five leading candidates for Mayor specifically about community engagement, local development, housing affordability, and public safety.
Colleen Hardwick of TEAM agreed to attend, as did Mark Marissen of Progress, and Fred Harding of the NPA. I know CVN thanks them for their acknowledgment that ordinary residents are worth the effort of engagement.
However, both Kennedy Stewart of Forward Vancouver and Ken Sim of ABC decided they didn’t have the time or desire to speak with the people of East Vancouver and the other neighbourhoods. Even though they were given plenty of notice, they are probably too busy cozying up to their big developer buddies, planning the further ruination of our great city for the benefit of their well-heeled backers.
The rationale for the event was to listen and compare the five major candidates. With two of them refusing to attend, the rationale fails and so the event has been cancelled.
This is the second such opportunity to mingle with taxpayers Stewart and Sim have disdained in the last week. Twice bitten, forever shy, I say. The opportunity to show these characters the door once and for all occurs on October 15th, and you can do it with your votes. Take that opportunity and help free Vancouver from the clutches of the for-profit growth4greed mindset that has dominated our politics and created the affordability crisis for the last generation.
Only TEAM has the right people and the right policies to ensure that residents of Vancouver have the final say in how our city and our neighbourhoods develop. I urge all my readers to vote Colleen Hardwick for Mayor with a TEAM majority Council.
LascauxSeptember 12, 2022
On this day in 1940, the Lascaux caves in central France were discovered by four teenagers. As they entered the long shaft down into the cavern, the boys saw vivid pictures of animals on the walls.
When the site was made available in the later 1940s, this cave art was wildly popular with the public. More importantly, it allowed everyone, both public and scientists, to understand more clearly that the so-called “cave men” were far more than the mindless brutes of previous imagination.
At about 17,000 years old, the Lascaux images are far from being the earliest known cave art today — several caves in Europe and Indonesia have art from about 40,000 years ago, and a recent “sketch” on a rock in South Africa may be much older. However, the enormous trove of images (more than 900 animals identified) at Lascaux combined with the encouragement of tourist traffic to the location has allowed this cave complex to become the best known of all cave art.
The discovery at Lascaux marked an important anniversary in our understanding of who we are and where we came from.
Poem: I Used To Be HomesickSeptember 12, 2022
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.