rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.
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: @blindmanspistol
Tiny houses are now all the rage in British Columbia nowadays. Nelson Tiny Houses calls them a "political movement" and "as much a work of art as they are a place to live." It's the latest iteration of a "smaller living" trajectory that began with laneway housing in Vancouver, moved on to Gastown microlofts and now settles on 300 square-foot luxury homes on the back of a trailer.
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."
A few weeks ago a number of mainstream journalists were calling the Vancouver municipal elections "Ho hum." "This was the most boring, uneventful city election campaign in recent memory," wrote Gary Mason. It's a line we've seen repeated by the CBC's Rick Cluff, among others.
Earlier this week on Twitter, NPA city councillor George Affleck ripped into Gregor Robertson for being good looking. Sadly, the level of political debate in Vancouver doesn't have much more to offer than jibes about good, strong, clean teeth. It's no wonder this city is unlikely to improve upon the disgraceful 35 per cent turnout the last time voters went to the polls.
While much of the Western press has been rallying around the sensational and gruesome videos depicting the murder of two journalists and one international aid worker to justify yet another imperial adventure into the Middle East, very few journalists, politicians or critics seem to be questioning why this might not be such a hot idea. I certainly don't like the idea of beheading journalists (nor do I like the massacre of 150 Syrian soldiers that preceded them) but "It's never turned us wrong before!" is not quite the foreign policy thesis that stands up to the scrutiny of history.
When the results of the Scottish independence referendum started to become clear last night -- a result my head had been expecting but one my heart still held out hope against -- my spirits sank at the latest electoral defeat for left-leaning politics. When, I wondered, do we get to win?
A beaming Stephen Harper announced today that one of the two ships from the long-lost Franklin expedition was "discovered" by scientists and researchers on the largest ever expedition to find the missing shipwrecks.
"I am delighted to announce that this year's Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada's greatest mysteries," Harper said in a statement.
The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) attempted to offer an alternative today to the blancmange buffet currently masquerading as Vancouver's muncipal election -- in which two wealthy, pro-developer, white, male candidates vie for the mayoral seat. Former federal NDP candidate Meena Wong announced her intention this morning to run for mayor in order "to create a Vancouver that everyone can afford and enjoy."
Two days after 18-year old Mike Brown was shot eight times by a Ferguson County police officer, comedic actor Robin Williams hanged himself. As a relatively middle-class white person of a certain vintage, I saw my social media feed shift from displaying the odd note about the latest mainstream example that we live in a racist, white supremacist police state (a fact visible at all times to low-income people, persons of colour and colonized peoples) to all Williams, all the time. Even Barack Obama issued a statement a matter of hours after Williams died and didn't release anything about Brown until three days after his murder.