Thursday, March 08, 2007

riot vancouver 2010 - responding to the schmolympdicks



I received this unsolicited e-mail yesterday. It is a press release from Vancouver's Only magazine (formerly Terminal City). I did not object too much to the "spam" - some spam is ok, and I liked the subversive tone of this one. They are offering up a free "Riot 2010" countdown widget as antithesis to the Schlonglimpdicks' countdown crock o' shite.

With regrets from them (elitist schmoes) the widget only works on Mac.

Feel free to spam Chuck Ansbacher though, he did include his e-mail address. Be nice - it is a fairly cool on-line mag. And, they are pissed off with the Schmo-limpdicks too. I am hearing more and more disgust about that every day. I'm gonna finally pop, and write a manifesto on that some day.

The Only Magazine Riot Vancouver 2010 Widget

Riots are nothing new to the Rainy City. Take, for example, the Victory Square "work camp" riot of 1935, the Gastown pot riots of the '60s, the Guns 'n Roses riot of 2002, and, of course, the Stanley Cup riots of '94. On July 2, 2003, Vancouver won the bid to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. An honour indeed, the city responded with celebration, but also with groans. Anyone honest with themselves admitted there were problems to overcome, but it was thought that these were just the growing pains of a developing city on the verge of becoming "world class." But Vancouver, a city with the most poverty stricken postal code in North America, could only celebrate for so long. It turns out five rings aren't enough to hold this glass city together. The cost of the Games are vastly over budget and diverting money from social programs. There is a constant worry the mountains won't see the kind of snowfall necessary for an Olympic host. Homelessness has increased and is projected to continue. Some citizens want answers. None have been given. Despite continued protests and lucid studies outlining how the Games are damaging the city, the Vancouver Olympics Committee decided to celebrate some more recently. They built a nice digital clock to countdown the remaining three years until the Opening Ceremonies. You may have noticed this monolithic eyesore, seemingly dropped from the sky onto the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery, missing only a crowd of curious apes and a lobbed bone to complete the scene. There it sits, ticking away in its clean, tasteful glass case under the watchful eye of a hired security guard. Ticking along as the city surrounding it succumbs to the pressures of transition. Building construction rumbles from nearly every corner, marginalised citizens are turned out onto the streets in lucrative grabs for real estate, and money is being exchanged at a drunken pace. Under these circumstances, the countdown and the clock have many symbolic meanings, and Only Magazine sees a situation ripe for public opinion to boil over the edges of decency. Of course, we would never incite or even encourage anyone to riot. If you hadn't thought of it before now you're probably not going to be one of the people there. However, history has taught us that if (when) there is a civil disobedience, it won't be the issues that are blamed, and it won't be all the poor decisions made leading up to the Opening Ceremonies either. So if the police need a scapegoat, Only Magazine volunteers for the job. We love attention. In the spirit of being subversive without actually having to leave your computer, Only Magazine gives you a Widget so you can smash the state and read the Google at the same time. Dissent from your laptop. The Only Magazine Riot Vancouver 2010 Widget.*

Signed,
Only Magazine

*Seriously, Only Magazine does not endorse rioting.

- Official Press Release -
-- Chuck Ansbacher
Managing Editor
Only Magazine
#611 142 - 757 West Hastings
Vancouver, BC
V6C 1A1
onlymagazine.ca

18 comments:

Warren said...

I've gone through a few phases since the idea of the games in Vancouver came up.

Hope.. that we would get the games.

Excitement.. when the games were awarded.

Worry.. that the city would be ready, able to afford the games, put on a decent show without and shenanigans (Atlanta)

And now, I'm annoyed, but more at the detractors than the supporters. Get some facts through your head:

1. The games WILL come here in 2010. Its too late.

2. Stealing flags, throwing eggs and whatnot isn't helping. You look like fools, and help make the rest of us look bad to outsiders.

3. If the money wasn't spent on the Olympics, it WOULD NOT go to health care/welfare/social programs, etc.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for healthy, normal adults who "can't get a job" and are in the full time business of whining.

scoop said...

I was at the clock unveiling and sickened by the behaviour I witnessed.

I am all for people / groups that constructively use the context of the Games as a platform to point out social issues that need to be addressed. Like the IOCC at http://www.olympicsforall.ca/

But people who vandalize and incite others to riot (even if half tongue-in-cheek) are not seriously thinking about the public good, only about how to get attention.

The "riot clock" is in poor taste and irresponsible.

solipsist said...

Struck a chord?

warren - why were you hoping we would get the event? And why were you excited?

The event may NOT come here if the weather does not co-operate. The IOC has already asked Salt Lake City if they are prepared in the event that we have no snow.

I personally do not throw eggs, etc., and feel that those who have been sucked in by the hype are the real fools.

Not sure how to respond to #3, or your final point.

scoop - do people have to hide on the Internet in order to "constructively use the context of the Games as a platform to point out social issues that need to be addressed"? Or was it the heavy-handedness of Vancouver's finest that sickened you?

My personal feeling is that the event is in poor taste and irresponsible.

I do agree that we ought not to incite to vandalism and violence though.

The protest at the unveiling was peaceful - other than the police response.

duck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
duck said...

2. Stealing flags, throwing eggs and whatnot isn't helping. You look like fools, and help make the rest of us look bad to outsiders.

Disapprove of violence, but if we look bad to outsiders, who cares? I don't give a tinker's dam about how outsiders view me/us/them/it/she/him/they.

3. If the money wasn't spent on the Olympics, it WOULD NOT go to health care/welfare/social programs, etc.

But it wouldn't be spent. That's enough for me, 'cuz somebody pays (it's not free), and I think who pays might just be me and all the other taxpayers who don't want the games.

solipsist said...

duck - if I wasn't so tired, and consequently, braindead, I would have said the same about money spent on the Scmolimpdicks.

I recall that part of the Olympic plebiscite question was whether one agreed to ~ $158 M ought to be borrowed by The City for "infrastructure" spending.

Property taxes have not reflected this borrowing yet, but they will.

Further, the question on hosting the fiasco was only extended to residents of Vancouver (approx. 500K people), and not to the other 3.5M others who inhabit this province. And now Translink needs to extend it's purview as far as Hope? Why? Who the fuck is going to pay for the RAV?

Anybody tried driving in and around the Cambie area lately? I drive it 4x/day, and it's a fricking nightmare. I can't tell you what a nightmare it was getting my labouring wife to the hospital at 6:00 PM.

Michael Randallbard said...

I'm all for rioting. I'm a bit too old for it but I've been in quite a few in my earlier life and can honestly say it is the only thing that politicians listen to. You cannot ask them nicely you have to try to destroy something that means a lot to them in order to get your way or get them to listen.

The people of BC did not vote for nor did they want the Olympics. The plebiscite was only for citizens of Vancouver to vote for and the bid backers narrowly won. Had it been something the whole province voted on it would have been soundly defeated.

So, yes lets applaud the rioters. They are never given a proper platform for their point of view so I enjoy watching it on TV. Anything that puts Vancouver in a bad light around the world is just fine with me because this city is over run with criminals both in government and in society and, no, I do not consider a flag burner a criminal.

Die Yuppie Scum and rich Whistler Pigs.

Anonymous said...

Which postal code is the most poverty stricken in North America?
I guess the US uses zips so they don't count? I used to take produce from South Central LA to Van(just off Venables) all the time. Van doesn't scare me. LA does. If you think there is poverty here you don't get out much.

scoop said...

solipsist,

I respect that you feel strongly about this issue.

I'm all for free speech and the right to undisturbed peaceful protest. I may disagree with you but I'll fight for your right to be there. And I don't care if it makes us look bad because in fact it's what makes Canada an incredible place. At the unveiling I saw the police allowing lots of that to happen.

When it moves to throwing eggs, storming the stage (both happened at the unveiling) or the rioting that is being suggested (I'm glad you agree on this point), it goes beyond what the constitution guarantees, and naturally the police have to respond in kind to shut that kind of behavior down.

My problem is I don't understand the point of these protests. Is the point to bring about change, or not? If so, what would the protesters like to see happen at this point? Help me out here.

Warren said...

warren - why were you hoping we would get the event? And why were you excited?

I think its something that we can be proud of. I'd like to think that some of the facilities built will be a legacy for Canadian athletes to enjoy. I remember hearing some of the 1998 and 2002 winners credit the Calgary facilities built for 1988 for help in training them to perform at their best.

Apart from that, I like the idea of the Olympics in general. They have become overly commercial, but it is nice to see the world get together to co-operate with friendly competition.

Is the point to bring about change, or not? If so, what would the protesters like to see happen at this point? Help me out here.

Exactly... the classic case of whining or raising a stink without offering another viewpoint or "better idea". These guys grow up to become the official opposition in various levels of Canadian government.

Warren said...

solipsist:
I recall that part of the Olympic plebiscite question was whether one agreed to ~ $158 M ought to be borrowed by The City for "infrastructure" spending.

Property taxes have not reflected this borrowing yet, but they will.

Further, the question on hosting the fiasco was only extended to residents of Vancouver (approx. 500K people), and not to the other 3.5M others


Don't you think the people paying the taxes should be the ones deciding on the Olympics?

Frankly I think most of the dissenting viewpoints came from within the COV, and if the vote were extended to the GVRD and further, support would have been higher.

tulip-Mania2 said...

Warren: You have clearly overdosed on Love Position number 9, or whatever you boomers took too much of in the 60's.

The olympics is about money. End of story.

The bs about the Ancient Greek spirit of the athlete is just that, BS.

Warren said...

tulip,

Sorry not a boomer here, nice try though. I'm typically a pretty cynical person, but I like to be realistic at the same time.

That being said, do you have an idea, or do you just shoot down others?

tulip-Mania2 said...

Warren

That being said, do you have an idea, or do you just shoot down others?

Yes, I do have an idea. If Vanoc, wants to bring the circus to Vancouver, I have no problem with their venture, and I would hope they could make it a success, financially and otherwise.

My objection is their collection of Corporate Welfare.

In my view the whole lot of them, politicians, from the right and left, the organizers,
et al, are parasites, and those who can’t see through the deceit, are fools.

Warren said...

My objection is their collection of Corporate Welfare.

This is a publicly sponsored and funded event, with help from advertisers and the IOC, which is who the checks are made out to (specifically TV rights, and others). This isn't Exxon drilling for oil in a national park with massive tax deductions. Explain a little more about what you mean.

rentah said...

tulip, warren:

Well, for a start, are there any business or otherwise connections between the Vanoc committee and the companies who have won contracts for the games?
Who is going to profit from the development of the Olympic village?

I agree there is a strong possibility of nest-feathering going on. I hope that somebody is working to make the process trasparent and reveal any conflicts of interest.

Warren said...

Well, for a start, are there any business or otherwise connections between the Vanoc committee and the companies who have won contracts for the games?

That's an important point rentah.. I agree there should be open processes, like any government project. I can't remember who ended up winning the contract for the Olympic Village, but they bid way over Concord Pacific, I think it was posted at VHB's site months ago. IIRC they paid something ludicrous like $500 per buildable square foot. Here's hoping they don't go bankrupt. ;)

Anonymous said...

Sol is taking a break. He has a new baby. Never mind about the real estate market. It is not real.

Life goes on...unti it doesn't.