fear & loathing in Lotusland

Category: Agitprop

We’re Pricks

by Zbigniew

Summer Safety

by Zbigniew

Spin Cycles

by Zbigniew


adjective | \’slõ\

  1. naturally inert or sluggish
  2. lacking in readiness, promptness, or willingness
  3. having qualities that hinder rapid progress or action
  4. not acute

Every time Our Illustrious Mayor mentions the federal government, Justin Trudeau, or the province, we slow things down.


“Face Value”

by Zbigniew

Quotation marks can be used to indicate dialogue, direct attribution, and the titles of poems, articles and other short works or compositions.

Quotation marks can also be used to reflect sarcasm, irony, euphemisms, or slang. The word or phrase in quotations cannot be taken at face value.

"Nanaimo" 1"Nanaimo" 2

High Rise, Vancouver

by Zbigniew

Video, theatrical trailer for High-Rise; audio, Trump Hotel & Tower Vancouver

The Legitimacy of the Narrative

by Zbigniew

Simon Fraser

It reads as follows:

Simon Fraser (1776 – 1862) was a fur trader working for the North West Company; the rival of the Hudson Bay Company. The North West Company sought to control the rich and untapped fur supply of the west by establishing trading posts in central and northern B.C. and to find a viable route to the Pacific.

Starting on May 28, 1808, Simon Fraser became the first fur trader to explore the river that would one day bear his name. He set off from Fort George (now Prince George) in four birch bark canoes with his clerks John Stuart and Jules Quesnel, nineteen voyageurs and two First nations interpreters.

Along the way, Fraser and his men met many First Nations people; sharing food, trading goods, exchanging gifts and listening to their expert knowledge. They urged other routes on Fraser, “But going towards the sea by an indirect way was not the object of the undertaking,” Fraser wrote. “I will therefore not deviate.”

But the Fraser River – “is terrible to behold the rapidity and turbulence.” he (sic) wrote. “The rocks are amazing high and craggy … whirlpools and eddies surpass any thing of the kind that I ever saw before.”

Fraser and his men were frequently forced to portage, risking the hanging walkways, spindly scaffolds and dangling ladders built by the local First nations to traverse the steepest cliffs of the Fraser Canyon.

In the fertile Fraser Valley, Fraser and his men encountered the Musqueam people. The day before he reached his goal, he noted, “We arrived at a large village … the chief invited us to his house and served us with fish and berries … the chief consented to lend us his large canoe ….”

On July 2, 1808, Fraser wrote, “We came to a place where the river divides [now New Westminster] into several channels. Seeing a canoe following us, we waited for its arrival. One Indian of that canoe embarked with us and conducted us into the right channel. At last we came in sight of a bay of the sea.”

From the north arm of the Fraser River he could see the open Straight of Georgia beyond. Fraser had fulfilled his quest but the route he discovered to the Pacific was too difficult to serve the North West Company’s commercial needs.

Yet Simon Fraser’s historic adventure was a triumph of spirit and exploration. He challenged the dangerous river traveling more than 900 kilometres in 36 days. Amazingly, his entire crew survived the expedition. Fraser’s discoveries mark the beginnings of modern British Columbia with the Fraser River as a vital commercial hub and transportation corridor for our region.

Perhaps Simon Fraser, seen here in deep thought, is contemplating the incredible changes his journey of exploration set in motion. This evocative sculpture is the work of noted British Columbia artist Ken Lum.

Marine Gateway

Simon Fraser - Ken Lum

Stó:lõ -Halq’eméylem for “river people”

S’olh Temexw is the traditional territory of the Stó:lō people.  According to our swxoxwiyam, we have lived here since time immemorial.  The Stó:lō traditional territory extends from Yale to Langley, BC.”

Stó:lõ Nation

“Respected Stó:lõ family historians (ská:sls, or ‘those that keep track of everything”) strive to document for their audiences exactly how they came to know what they know, and how they have preserved what they know unadulterated from those from whom they learned it. Sloppy or questionable oral footnoting calls into question the legitimacy of the narrative itself, the worthiness of the historian and, by extension, the status of the historian’s family. Indeed, information collected among neighbouring communities indicates that it is a Coast Salish belief that to intentionally modify or alter ancient historical narratives will actually result in physical harm coming to members of the listening audience.”

A Stó:lõ-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, “Introduction,” Keith Thor Carlson

“[Charles] Borden’s regional chronology for the Lower Fraser Delta was organized around the larger distinction between prehistory and history, the boundary separating them coinciding with the arrival of the North West Company explorer Simon Fraser to the Fraser River in 1808. Aboriginal people also use the period of first European exploration –‘the coming of the white man’- as an organizing principle in their histories. But this is less to cite by date a specific turning point than it is to refer to the larger and ongoing processes of colonization. In fact, Musqueam oral tradition regarding the community’s encounter with the explorer highlights Fraser’s theft of a canoe from an upriver village.”

These Mysterious People: Shaping History and Archaeology in a Northwest Community, Susan Roy

“Consequently, when they arrived at Musqueam they were considered enemies. Villagers ran to fetch their warriors. Curiosity overcoming caution Fraser went ashore to examine a huge community house 457 metres in length. Warned to return to their canoe, they found it abandoned high and dry by the ebbing tide. Their armed Kwantlen pursuers, seeing the group’s predicament, closed in, joined by the Musqueam warriors who “began to make their appearance from every direction howling like so many wolves, brandishing their war clubs.” The crew desperately dragged their canoe to deep water, threatening their opponents with their firearms. Unable to continue they were forced to turn back up the river. “

Greater Vancouver Book, “Simon Fraser – Explorer,” Barbara Rogers

“He knew he was at the Straight of Georgia from Vancouver’s map, and wanted to continue to what he called ‘the main ocean’ but, feeling threatened, decided against it.”

British Columbia, A New Historical Atlas, “A River Not the Columbia,” Derek Hayes

Simon Fraser verso

Happy Shadow Flipping!

by Zbigniew

Happy Shadow Flipping

Dull Routine

by Zbigniew

Today I took notice of this, affixed to a derelict building on the corner of Slocan & Hastings:

School or Prison


Vancouver Pimps Seattle

by Zbigniew

Finding Mr. Right (aka: Beijing Meets Seattle and Bei Jing yu shang Xi Ya Tu), according to the Internet Movie Database:

“City girl Jiajia is traveling to Seattle to give birth to the son who’s going to help her win over her rich, married boyfriend. Armed with his unlimited credit card and the singular goal of bringing a little U.S. citizen back to Beijing, Jiajia knows how to play this game of modern love. But when Jiajia arrives in Seattle, the city which inspired her favorite movie Sleepless in Seattle, nothing goes right: she’s stuck sharing a small house with two other pregnant ladies, she has trouble reaching her boyfriend on the phone, and eventually, even the credit card stops working. To top that off, the only person willing to spend time with her is her driver Frank. Frank is the opposite of everything she ever wanted in a man … or could he be exactly the kind of guy she really needs?”

A China-produced knock-off of a cliché-addled Hollywood rom-com featuring unlikeable lead characters, Finding Mr. Right comes off as a lifestyle advert targeted at the People’s Republic of the Recently Enriched. At least I think so; I confess I could only endure a few minutes before succumbing to an aesthetic toxic shock.

I risked such exposure following the Globe & Mail’s “Beijing meets Seattle: Rom-com sets off Asian buying spree.” In particular:

“The screenplay for the film (its English title is Finding Mr. Right) could almost have been written by Seattle real estate agents; it was that much of a boon to the market.”

“It was ‘massive advertising, and there has been a lot of response,’ said Dean Jones, chief executive officer of Seattle real-estate company Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, which has a team of agents (the ‘Asia Desk’) fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and other Asian languages to cater to the continuing, broadening influx of buyers.

“Originally from Vancouver, Mr. Jones said that Seattle is following a similar pattern as Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Vancouver’s reputation as a hedge city, that is, a relatively safe bet for property investors who can afford it, has spilled over to Seattle with its comparatively lower prices (30 to 50 per cent lower than Vancouver, Seattle realtors say).”

While it goes unmentioned in the article, there’s another Vancouver-connection regarding the movie. Other than a few scenes in Beijing, and a very few establishing shots of Seattle, Finding Mr. Right/Beijing Meets Seattle was filmed entirely in and around Vancouver.

So, while real estate shills and pundits and their political affiliates dismiss the influence of Chinese money on the Vancouver market, the city serves as both a discount production centre for extended advertisements of Pacific Northwest Coast property for Mainland China and a source of human capital to serve that market. Beijing meets Seattle, with Vancouver serving as a kind of relationship facilitator. Or pimp, if you prefer.


Post scriptum:

Finding Mr. Right performer Wei Tang shilling lifestyle at YVR:

Wei Tang Shill

perVerse II: The Transit Edition

by Zbigniew

A poem comprised of unsolicited Vision Vancouver mass email subject lines re: the transit plebiscite.

To wit:

Today is the Day

I’m voting Yes

A vote on Metro Vancouver’s future

Spread the word!

On transit, here’s what you can do!

Yes to accountability, yes for better transit!

Will you stand with us on transit?

Congestion is a safety issue

Have you voted yet?

Did you get your ballot?

Today’s the last day

Transit: Today is the day