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Blind Man with a Pistol
Michael Stewart is the blogs coordinator for rabble.ca. BMWAP is a blog about culture and capitalism. Damn right, it's confusing; it's a gas, baby, you dig. Follow him on twitter: @m_r_stewart.
In 2013, then-NDP leader Adrian Dix was about to address a labour convention to kick off his election campaign. Dix enjoyed a 20-point lead in the polls over a floundering Christy Clark. The mood in the room was jubilant: after 10 years of B.C. Liberal austerity, the left was going to finally win.
Then someone handed me a placard: "CHANGE FOR THE BETTER," it read. "ONE PRACTICAL STEP AT A TIME."
If you met a young man who couldn't afford rent in Vancouver so he purchased an old Chevy campervan, parked in a different part of the city every week to avoid parking tickets and tow charges, and had to beg for water so he could occasionally shower, I would expect you to react in horror that young people have been forced to respond to the housing crisis in such degrading and burdensome ways.
In October 2014, independent journalist Jesse Brown with the assistance of the Toronto Star published anonymous allegations that CBC star radio host Jian Ghomeshi had physically and sexually assaulted three women. Within a week, the number of anonymous women accusing Ghomeshi had grown to eight; by December, 15.
Ghomeshi, of course, was disgraced, fired and now faces five criminal charges from the Toronto Police.
What is left to say about Vancouver's real estate market? I suppose we could begin with the ritualistic monotony of citing the latest in a long line of studies that names Vancouver as the second-most unaffordable city in the world. For the seventh year in a row. Ho hum, no one can afford to live here, ever. And politicians at every level across party lines stuff their hands in their pockets trying to hide now their embarrassment, now their incompetence.
The shocking murder of nine journalists and three others in a brazen, coordinated attack in the offices of French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo demands sympathy for the victims' families and has provided a chilling reminder to many writers, editors and satirists who challenge orthodoxy of the potential costs of their willingness to provoke. That shouldn't, and won't, be forgotten.
We have already heard political leaders from across the globe represent these attacks as attacks on democratic values. Stephen Harper called the attacks "barbaric" and vowed that "Canada and its allies will not be intimidated." We would "stand firmly together against terrorists who would threaten the peace, freedom and democracy our countries so dearly value."