Rennie Time

by Zbigniew

A couple of technoschlubs, all we could rustle-up between us were a pair of dumbphones. We stopped at the Public Library’s main branch, found a terminal and booked an appointment.

The stench of constraint quickly descended on the day, the free flow of the drift impinged by the machinery of externally imposed schedules. With too little and too much time to kill, we wandered off in the general direction of Chinatown.

The day was sharp-focus bright, but still mired in winter: long shadows and windy, with a cold that penetrated my overcoat and tightly wound scarf. A day made for coffee shops. And galleries.

We stopped, here and there, to turn over a few rocks.

Suddenly we were running late; we picked-up the pace. “Looks like we’re on Rennie Time,” I suggested, annoyed. David stopped dead in his tracks. I thought I could detect steam rising off him. “Fuck it,” he said, and I couldn’t argue with his impeccable logic. We sought refuge from the cold and the colder hand of The Man’s appointment software.

*

The local boy that made good by selling off his hometown in 550 sq ft parcels, Bob Rennie isn’t so much a manager of Marketing Systems than their physical manifestation: a living, breathing, skinny-jean-and-cardigan-sweater-wearing confluence of aspiration and subterfuge; a sales pitch for five-year building envelop waranteed concrete and glass lifestyle fantasies made flesh. The Condo King.

No interview on the city’s development prospects passes without a reference to an exciting and new luxury waterfront development; or, perhaps a sub-luxury option in New West, something more attuned to the audience demographic’s leveraging capacity.

Didn’t he say he’s an avid supporter of the arts? He will. And he is, for every artist in his portfolio –sorry: collection.

“I think that the Conservatives right now are being selfish and opportunistic,” Bob told the Georgia Straight recently. He was referring to the province’s newly reanimated party of the farther right splitting the establishment vote and thereby facilitating a (gasp) NDP government.

It’s touching to find the King humbled by fear of the future and the insensitivity of others. Perhaps he’s not so different from those of us anticipating the advancing pressure wave of construction cranes and franchised outlets, the inevitable disruption and disorientation of losing one’s frame of reference.

Don’t worry, Bob, everything is going to be alright. Just take the elevator to the roof of the Wing Sung, a deep breath, and bathe in the calm, warm, reassuring neon glow. No appointment necessary.

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An Open Letter to Bob Rennie