Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

August 25, 2007

In sharp contrast

To contrast with our anxious “over the flutter of their cash” Silicon Valley millionaires, here’s someone they could learn much from Zell Kravinsky, who reminds me of Dorothy Day, and far from being barking mad, as is regularly inferred about him, makes pitch perfect sense and has taken the measure of the world very accurately.  And since he’s a Renaissance scholar one hopes he can see the value in buying books and supporting artists.

I’ve often wondered if the acquisition of wealth is just humans collecting comfort, continuous comfort, an insulating quilt of comfort to the point that it merely highlights how uncomfortable they in fact are. That inside a monstrous house, and a massive car and a private jet and an endless swimming pool rings little but the eventual echo of loneliness. People even refer to themselves sometimes as “comfortable”. It’s an odd, blank description.

 I think it was Tennessee Williams who said something like we’re all hurrying towards something, what’s going to happen when we actually get there. Well, it would seem that Mr. Kravinsky found out and he could not look at the blatent injustice that stared back at him.

He’s interviewed on The World Service program The Interview here

March 9, 2007

And down came the flag

Enjoyed this story:

 Vandals have stolen the huge Olympic flag that has been flying at Vancouver City Hall the past year.

Police say someone broke the lock on the flag pole early Tuesday, cut the rope, brought the flag down to the ground and then ripped it off the cable.

Just a small strip of cloth, about 10 centimetres by a metre, was left behind.

 It must be said that it was quite athletic feat to get the thing down, not entirely sure why they are calling them “vandals” ..they’re obviously activists. The average vandal doesn’t shimmy up a pole to make a point, usually a can of spray paint or a brick suffices. The flag dipped just as some important international crowd was arriving to celebrate it I believe.

February 20, 2007

Take it to the source

Here’s a man who took his feelings to the source (Dick Cheney) and said what many people may have rehearsed to deliver to any number of gobshite politicians. This, however, was the bullseye of all possible recipients. 

this clip features the part of the movie where Ben Marble, M.D. says “Go F*ck Yourself Mr. Cheney”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qij13CVq17E

 This clip is from Spike Lee’s When the levees broke — a four part requiem. If there was any justice a great deal of the people in that documentary would actually be elected representatives for you’d be hard pressed to find a more articulate and dignified group of people. When you see the indifference these people have suffered it would make you wonder if “to have known some kind of real suffering” should be a prerequisite before you can stand up and represent anybody. Just the way you can’t operate a blood pressure cuff without showing you’ve grasped biology. There’s a great soliloquy in one of the final acts from an activist Fred Johnson (?) where he points out who these politicians work for. It’s bang on because even now in the aftermath there’s next to nothing being done to help these people and throughout the film you get little sense of the people through the politicians. You hear the words: business, resources, state guard, federal, city, you even get the mayor describing taking a shower in Air Force 1, (verging on blasphemous in the context of what’s happening outside in the streets), yet very little reference to their people.

February 18, 2007

City in the turbine

So here’s something peculiar, there has been an explosion in the number of place to get your nails attended to. I cannot fathom where all these extra nails are coming from. If there was a population explosion … those nails would not be needing such extreme attention, just a pair of 75 cent scratch mitts. 

Along with the now familiar sight of big pits dug everywhere awaiting the pouring of foundations for half million dollar condominiums (often where rental buildings used to stand –I’ve counted three flattened in a few block radius from here) it’s becoming apparent that folks will only be able to drink coffee, get their nails done and have the choice of fourteen sofa shops. They will be unlikely to be able to buy a loaf of bread or pint of milk because of the way the city is changing. Jane Jacobs warned of the dangers of this.

It’s all part of the turbine that’s decimating the place in advance of the 2010 olympics. I love the luge and the bobsleigh like any other, but the socio-economic inequality and further poverty that’s a byproduct of this turbine is frightening: there’s no mention of plans for social housing, the cost of living is hopping up, the ordinary citizens are dodging swinging cranes and closed pavements while some property developer rubs his tummy. Sport should be for and of the people. They raised a flag to celebrate three years til the event. (To a chorus of nearby protests) The big sweeping brush is getting ready. To dispose of “eyesores”, to push people further to the margins, to create new cycles of poverty. The sport gets lost in all the click of powerpoint presentations, the bidding for marketing contracts, the building of audacious facilities. Yet the actual sport has far more incommon with surviving the adversity of the alleys in the city, gathering up empties. Nobody ever won the bobsleigh clicking on a computer.