CARBOHYDRATE MASSACRE

November 3rd, 2009
Chewing Pavement

Chewing Pavement

To be performed somewhere between the styles of Minor Threat and Earth A.D. era Misfits.

Gonna eat a whole pot of pasta!
Gonna eat a whole pot of pasta!
Gonna eat a whole pot of pasta!
CARBOHYDRATE MASSACRE!

Gonna eat a big loaf of bread!
Gonna eat a big loaf of bread!
Gonna eat a big loaf of bread!
CARBOHYDRATE MASSACRE!

(chorus)
If I don’t get my carbs,
then I won’t be full!
If I don’t eat them up real soon
then someone’s gonna
DIE DIE DIE DIE!

Gonna eat a whole bag of rice!
Gonna eat a whole bag of rice!
Gonna eat a whole bag of rice!
CARBOHYDRATE MASSACRE!

Gonna eat a pound of potatoes!
Gonna eat a pound of potatoes!
Gonna eat a pound of potatoes!
CARBOHYDRATE MASSACRE!

(chorus)

(bridge)
CARBOHYDRATES!
CARBOHYDRATES!
SOME CARBOHYDRATES!
Are gonna DIE DIE DIE DIE
DIE DIE DIE DIE!

(chorus)
DIE DIE DIE DIE! (x 7)
DIE!

Disenfranchised

August 8th, 2009
Instructions

Instructions

“Our dreams don’t fit on your ballots” is a common rallying cry amongst anarchists, anti-globalisation activists, and a whole slew of other lefty-type “radicals.”  Despite its provenance, I’m starting to think that it applies readily to just about anybody.

As a white male aged 18-36, I suppose I should feel almost as empowered as the people who actually hold the reigns: the old white boomers.  But I don’t, not in the least bit.  In what has been a steady slide since I came of age to vote, I have felt less and less involved in Canadian politics.  The last year has been especially harsh.  To say the least, the system is broken.

Though we have more than two functional federal parties with in this country, there are only two that stand a chance at holding power – and I despise both of them.  Despite myself, I voted for the Federal Liberals in the most recent election, because Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift represented the best chance Canada had at getting any sort of climate change policy to speak of.  (More on this in another post, perhaps, but suffice to say – I have basically become a single-issue voter.  Climate change is the single most important challenge facing the whole of humanity right now.  If we don’t act very strongly, and very soon, then we are all well-and-truly Fucked.  Period.)

As everyone in Canada knows, the “Green Shaft” (sometimes I hate puns) and its sadly uncharismatic but intelligent architect failed in the polls, sending a bleak wave through Canadian politics.  The defeat of Dion’s heavily environmental policy has left all major parties afraid of environmentalism, bolstering Canada’s willing participation in the Global Doom.

This shockwave also passed through provincial politics, an area in which some (very) small inroads have been made for environmentalism and climate policy.  The result is that BC’s Provincial NDP party (who correlate more closely to the Federal Liberals) based their major platform plank on an “Axe the Tax” policy.  This referred to a miniscule carbon tax put into place last year by the Provincial Liberals (who correlate more closely to the Federal Conservatives… the provincial Conservatives correlate most closely with whichever Federal party is the most batshit insane) and could only be described as political pandering at its worst.  This is especially noteworthy since the NDP did actually have a Carbon policy of their own — but they refused to even list it on the bulleted policy list on their website.  After writing a letter telling the NDP why I would not be voting for them, I wound up voting Green.  (I almost voted for the Liberals in a symbolic single-issue gesture, but I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.)

The fact is, of course, that it doesn’t matter one lick who I voted for.  The NDP were safe in my riding, and won easily.  The main reason I bothered to vote at all in the provincial election was because of the referendum on a proposed voting system called Single-Transferrable Vote.  A form of proportional representation, this system would have returned a semblance of franchise to disaffected extremists such as myself.  I was hopeful that the system would win, given that it got 58% of the vote the last time a referendum was held (it needed 60% to pass).  Instead, STV faced a massive scare campaign organized by various vested interests (BC Liberals and BC NDPs included) since STV would have done away with “safe” seats, and would have ensured that representatives would actually have to listen to their constituents or risk getting turfed.  As I whined the next day, BC was offered democracy and turned it down.

The only thing that has left me with a glimmer of hope is that Vancouver’s Municipal election in 2008 saw almost entirely “progressive” representatives get elected.  The lion’s share went to Vision Vancouver, a liberal/centrist type party.  Most of the rest went to COPE and the Municipal Greens.  The ruling right-wing NPA was left with a single member on the city council.  Good riddance.

What have been the results of this progressive turn in Vancouver?  Well, the Burrard Street Bridge now has a dedicated bicycle lane, for one thing.  That’s nice.  Unfortunately I can’t find a reference at the moment, but sometime over the past couple months I read that Vancouver’s Mayor requested that the Provincial Housing Minister put new rent control laws into place, in order to prevent “renovictions” (kicking tenants out for renovations, and then raising the rent to unaffordable levels) and other kinds of rent increases in the lead up to the Olympics.  The result?  The Housing Minister refused, claiming that rent-control laws would be “unfair” to landlords.  Puke.  (If anyone has a reference or can correct any mistakes I might have just made, please comment.)

If the Mayor of Vancouver can’t affect change on something as simple and common sense as rent control, what hope has a lowly animator?  Even our political figures are disenfranched.  The system is broken, and since nobody in this country (except for a small group of persistent protestors to whom I occasionally add my voice) is willing to make any noise about it, all I can really do is wait for the next political cycle and hope people smarten up a little.

I love my country.

PS. Sorry for the many months of silence.  It’s been a hectic summer.  Hopefully this rambly mess represents a return to a semblance of consistent posting.

Lost Pet Series #4

May 18th, 2009

Lost Pets 04

Lost Pets #4

The Lost Pet Series is a collection of photographs of lost pet flyers.

My artist statement can be found here.

(My brother is still in town, but his smarts and debating skills have left me with a lot of food for thought.  Hopefully I’ll be able to crunch it all down to something legible after he leaves.)

Lost Pet Series #3

April 26th, 2009
Lost Pets 03

Lost Pets #3

The Lost Pet Series is a collection of photographs of lost pet flyers.

My artist statement can be found here.

(Expect more radio silence than normal, my brother’s in town and I’m very busy.)

Where’s My Biodegradable Shoe?!

April 17th, 2009

“Where’s my flying car?  Where’s my fucking jetpack?  Where’s my alien dancing girls?”  -From Doktor Sleepless, an ongoing masterpiece by Warren Ellis.

WE NEED NEW IDEAS

WE NEED NEW IDEAS (THERE ARE NONE)

For well over a year, I have been wearing worn-out shabby shoes.  I have been wearing these unwearables because I have been searching for shoes that are biodegradable, recyclable, or both (that is, they can be dismantled into their component parts, some being composted and others recycled).  With the possible exception of “Simple,” which is nearly impossible to find in Vancouver (and I will not buy something online that I haven’t tried on first) such shoes do not exist.

Now that my feet (and legs, and body) have started to complain loudly about the rotten scraps of fabric, rubber, and plastic that I wear on them, I am going to buy new shoes.  Dirty ones.  Non-biodegradable ones.  Because that’s all there is.

The world is built in a very stupid way.  Obviously I’m speaking in terms beyond shoes alone: nearly every product we can buy is still based on that nonsensical cradle-to-grave model.  Why the hell aren’t there more closed loops, already?  The book “Cradle to Cradle” explored that idea in 2001, and the concept of the closed loop has been around since long before then.

And yet, we still have the same old crap squelching through the same old rotting system, only to be left stinking in a landfill, never to biodegrade.  When will manufacturers account for the disposal of their products?  Amongst individuals, if a person makes a mess, they are expected to clean it up.  Why is it different for the companies that make the garbage we eventually have to throw away?  (Note: there is no “away,” there is only a country-sized maelstrom of plastic swirling in the Pacific Ocean.) Why can’t I return my worn out goods to the people who made them to dispose of?

I want to write more, but I’m literally inarticulate with rage.  We’re sitting here at the twilight of an era; night is coming.  Whether that night dawns on a green world or a scorched one will depend in no small part on what we finally decide to do with our waste.  This is bigger than shoes, of course, but wouldn’t it be nicely poetic if we began by moving forward, shod with sustainability itself?